Talk:Alexander von Humboldt

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Founder of biogeography[edit]

I don't have a problem with the biogeography statement in principle, but the same would apply to a number of other disciplines as well. I think it should not go into the opening statemet, otherwise all other fields he founded would have to be mentioned as well. It would be better under a separate, new statement like summary of achievements. --Carboxen 07:26, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

"Introduction"[edit]

Everything in the so-called introduction, things and places named after him etc., should come at the end, after the actual biography. Any reason this section is where it is now? u p p l a n d 13:03, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree with you and moved that so-called introduction to the end of the article. Thanks, Madman 22:39, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Humboldt or von Humboldt??[edit]

Sometimes in the article Alexander is referred to as Humboldt and other times as von Humboldt. We should standardize, but I don't know the rules that apply here. Madman 01:33, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

For all I know, von Humboldt is preferable, because, strictly speaking, as in many other cases with nobility, it is equivalent to from or of Humboldt referring to the family castle (sometimes only imaginary, as it was in the case of von Linné). Taking von out of this combination we not only deny their noble status (which may well fit the egalitarian Zeitgeist of the 21st century) but also make some slight but meaningful difference (just like calling me Alexei St Petersburg instead of Alexei from/of St Petersburg). Calling him consistently by one of his personal names (Alexander) would be, probably, even better, but this will be too bold.
Nobility is largely an ancien regime institution and this cultural distance makes all the tricks less understandable for us. However if we eradicate all the clues, we undermine the very possibility to understand them at all. Alexei Kouprianov 07:12, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but it is quite normal to leave out the von when just mentioning the person by surname. (Think of Bismarck, Hindenburg, etc.) Insisting on using the von in such cases will just seem affected. When using given name and surname together, the von should always be included, unless the person him/herself didn't use it, or one is referring to a time before the person was ennobled. u p p l a n d 10:44, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
You are correct. I might note that both Darwin and Ingersol certainly just referred to him as "Humboldt" so we can safely say that people in the 19th Century referred to him without the "von" so there should be no problem with not using the "von." 68.97.15.166 (talk) 23:35, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

The title Freiherr[edit]

Actually Alexander (and Wilhelm) von Humboldt did not carry the title Freiherr. They used this name for themselves but the family got the title from the emperor Wilhelm I. not before 1875. Before 1806 the title had to come from the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and there is no record of this. It is also not reasonable that a Habsburgian emperor (at that time) may have given the title to a Prussian. -- Christian Jaeh (talk) 14:01, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Misleading information[edit]

According to a book I’ve read, the first person to propose that the lands bordering the Atlantic were once joined (South America and Africa in particular), was actually a Dutch map-maker Abraham Orelius in 1596. The book also asserts that the second person to claim this was Sir Fancis Bacon in 1620. Perhaps the statement (“first to propose that the lands bordering the Atlantic were once joined”) is too vague and is thus incorrect. I will not remove it because I am unsure of the specifics; but if anyone else agrees, then reword or remove it. TDBSW 17:33, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Umm … I’m too impatient, I just reworded it; change it back if you like. Perhaps he was the first form his country to propose this, but I just changed it to “one of the first”. TDBSW 07:50, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

POV/Citation Issues[edit]

Though well written, the article is absolutely filled with value judgements that really have no place in wikipeida. The most glaring one comes at the end of the article:

'After every deduction has been made, he yet stands before us as a colossal figure, not unworthy to take his place beside Goethe as the representative of the scientific side of the culture of his country.'

If someone notable said it, or there's some sort of reputable source conveying a similar sentiment, I think the article would be improved by leaving it. However, if it's just a personal assessment, it (regretably) needs to be removed, along with the other POV statements. I'll do some research on it and be back in a few days hence, either to add proper citation or delete unsourced/unsourcable statements. Anyone with similar (or different) inclinations is welcome to assist. Detruncate 04:12, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

That line sounds like it came from the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica, which was the starting point for this article. You should feel free to just instantly nuke stuff like that.--ragesoss 04:14, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:1964-DDR-5.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 04:57, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Alexander von Humboldt Portal: Google Earth/ Wikipedia global[edit]

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosmos_%28Humboldt%29

"„Ich habe den tollen Einfall, die ganze materielle Welt, alles was wir heute von den Erscheinungen der Himmelsräume und des Erdenlebens, von den Nebelsternen bis zur Geographie der Moose auf den Granitfelsen, wissen, alles in Einem Werke darzustellen, und in einem Werke, das zugleich in lebendiger Sprache anregt und das Gemüth ergötzt. Jede große und wichtige Idee, die irgendwo aufgeglimmt, muß neben den Thatsachen hier verzeichnet sein. Es muß eine Epoche der geistigen Entwickelung der Menschheit (in ihrem Wissen von der Natur) darstellen.“ „Das Ganze ist nicht was man gemeinhin physikalische Erdbeschreibung nennt, es begreift Himmel und Erde, alles Geschaffene.“(Humboldt an Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, Berlin, 24. Oktober 1834. In: Briefe von Alexander von Humboldt an Varnhagen von Ense aus den Jahren 1827 bis 1858. [Hrsg. v. Ludmilla Assing]. Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus 1860, S. 20 und 22.)" —Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.40.193.11 (talk) 13:36, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Addition[edit]

There is also a private school in Montreal, Canada, named after Humboldt. It's called AVH Schule. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.241.127.194 (talk) 23:38, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Distance of Orinoco journey[edit]

The article states that the Orinoco trip "covered 1,725 miles (2,776 km)". I can't find any source for that number. Instead, Humboldt himself seems to have written 2250 km (http://www.humboldt-portal.de/sro.php?redid=11669), and 2250 also appears in the Penguin edition of his personal narrative (see page lxviii at http://books.google.com/books?id=p3sR0nv5BGsC). Does anybody have better sources? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stephan Matthiesen (talkcontribs) 09:27, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Clarification of "the bigotry without religion"[edit]

Under the subheading, Humboldt Acclaimed, I'm marking for clarification the phrase, "the bigotry without religion", because I can't imagine what this phrase might mean. Is this some archaic usage of these words, or something that got lost in translation? Downstrike (talk) 02:06, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

File:Woodbridge isothermal chart3.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Woodbridge isothermal chart3.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on June 19, 2011. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2011-06-19. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 16:54, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Isothermal map of the world

An isothermal map of the world, based on the research of Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist whose work laid the foundation for the sciences of physical geography and meteorology, among other things. By delineating "isothermal lines", he simultaneously suggested the idea and devised the means of comparing the climatic conditions of various countries.

Map: William C. Woodbridge; Restoration: Jujutacular and Lise Broer
ArchiveMore featured pictures...


Fame[edit]

It should be mentioned in the article that in his time, he was said to be the most famous man in Europe after Napoleon Bonaparte. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 08:38, 15 July 2011 (UTC)