Talk:Ray Lankester

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Some explanations of changes[edit]

In the paragraph listing the extraordinary number of top biologists whom Ray met in his father's house, it is poor practice to list their full names, because that is so cumbersome and gets in the way of the reading process. Since we have the link system, any reader who doesn't know who, say, Clifford is can soon find out. That is the whole point of links.

The same person changed 'his German was good, and he could read the language fluently' to 'his German was fluent'. Of course there is a big difference between reading and speaking a foreign language: I have no reference at present on his speaking German, and will return this. Meanwhile, I've taken the comment out.

The same person changed 'whilst still a child' to 'while still a child'. The original version is correct.

Such a large number of changes should not have been made without a) better justification, and b) reasons fully explained.


I have also diluted the suggestion that he was the model for Challenger, following reasons given by another contributor.

Macdonald-ross (talk) 17:01, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Lazarus Fletcher[edit]

Much as I respect Lankester's exceptional contribution, am I the only one who thinks it is a little harsh to refer to Fletcher as a 'relative nonentity'. I have not edited this, but perhaps the original writer might consider whether this can be rephrased or justified... 89.240.110.205 (talk) 02:35, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, I have examined their track records by looking at their Royal Society nomination papers ([1] and [2] for Lankester;). There is no question that Lankester's track record was streets ahead, and we know from Punch and other periodicals that he was wellknown to the general reading public. Add to that Fletcher never held a single post outside the museum, had no publications at all in the biological sciences, not even palaeontology, and was Thomson's chosen man, no doubt because he would kow-tow to Thomson's will... Lankester, on the other hand, held important posts in two universities, published massively, had Charles Darwin's signature on his FRS application... The public debate about the row conclusively proved who was the better known to the educated public. And relative nonentity is what Fletcher was. It is not a judgement on him as a human being; just the truth about their relative visibility as scientists. Why be mealy-mouthed? Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:50, 31 December 2009 (UTC)