Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any physical process linking the two events, such as astrology, omens, witchcraft, etc. that contradicts natural science. Opposition to superstition was a central concern of the intellectuals during the 18th century Age of Enlightenment. The philosophes at that time ridiculed any belief in miracles, revelation, magic, or the supernatural, as "superstition," and typically included as well much of Christian doctrine. The word is often used pejoratively to refer to religious practices other than the one prevailing in a given society, although the prevailing religion may contain just as many supernatural beliefs. It is also commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy and spiritual beings, particularly the belief that future events can be foretold by specific unrelated prior events.
Friday, 11 May 2012
Flacourtiaceae is a defunct family of flowering plants whose former members have been scattered to various other families, mostly to Achariaceae, Samydaceae, and Salicaceae. It was so vaguely defined that hardly anything seemed out of place there and it became a dumping ground for odd and anomalous genera, gradually making the family even more heterogeneous. In 1975, Hermann Sleumer said "Flacourtiaceae as a family is a fiction; only the tribes are homogeneous."
In Cronquist's classification, it included 89 genera and more than 800 living species. Of these, many, including the type genus Flacourtia, have now been transferred to the Salicaceae in the molecular phylogeny-based classification, known as the APG II system, established by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. In the list below, Salicaceae is defined broadly. Some taxonomists would divide it into Salicaceae sensu stricto, Scyphostegiaceae, and Samydaceae.