It’s true that the term Prokaryote is going away. The problem is not that it is a bad word when contrasting Bacteria and Archae to Eukaryotes, but that it implies similarity between the two ‘Prokaryotic’ domains.
I see the rationale, but I need to read up a bit on this before I start changing my lectures. Thanks to Nucleoid for pushing this topic.
There are reasons to avoid using “prokaryote” in biology teaching. So, why are so many biologists resistant to the idea?
Why not use “prokaryote”? Norman Pace published a one-page piece in Nature, “Time for a change” that raised concern about use of “prokaryote” (in education), and the common biology textbook paradigm of splitting organisms up into prokaryotes vs. eukaryotes. Pace highlighted many of the differences between archaea and bacteria, discussed evolutionary relationships/history, and made a case for avoiding use of the term prokaryote with students. (Check out the 2005 article by Jan Sapp discussing the history behind the prokaryote-eukaryote dichotomy, too.) Pace expanded on this with a lengthier educational piece in 2008.
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