Wikipedia:Peer review/Richard Dawkins/archive3

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Richard Dawkins[edit]

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This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because it has gone through some structural and text improvements and the citations have been made more uniform. It is GA for years and it has not received any peer review or FAC in over a year. Most or all of the current results of the automated peer review are because of words in citation titles or inline quotations. Any advice as to how to suppress that would be appreciated (as opposed to just regurgitating its output back to here). Can I somehow URL-ize the strings and thus defeat the tool? Are there any more respectable ways?

Thanks, Findaknow (talk) 22:51, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Review by Seegoon

I'm just going to go through this line-by-line, essentially, at first.

Lead
  • Two consecutive sentences in the lead start with 'he'.
  • "He popularised the gene-centred view of evolution, and the meme." is basically repeated two sentences later: "He came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme."
  • "well known"→"well-known"
  • "Dawkins is one of the most widely publicised atheists." seems like a fragment of a sentence to me; you can't use a term like this without a frame of reference. For instance, "the world's most widely-publicised".
Early life and education
  • "During the second world war, he was called up into the King's African Rifles, based in Kenya, returning to England in 1949, when Richard was eight." I'd venture that there's a neater way of wording all this so that you don't use his first (almost said Christian) name.
  • Citations aren't well-distributed throughout the first paragraph; they all simply come at the end. Some specificity would be nice, because it's just not clear which references are for which statements. The same actually applies to the second paragraph too.
Career in academia
  • See above re: citations.
  • The entire second paragraph needs citations.
  • In fact, the whole sections seems a little aimless. What does the last paragraph and quote have to do, specifically, with his career in academia? I'd argue that the answer is nothing.
Career as a popular science writer
  • Again, consider structure. Why is the first paragraph located where it is? I'm beginning to feel that his strictly biographical history might be better served in its own section.
  • "write a book aimed at youngsters in which he will warn them against believing in "anti-scientific" fairytales" quotes-within-quotes should use apostrophes.
  • See the {{citation needed}} tags I've inserted.
  • "Some such as Steven Pinker and Daniel Dennett accept the latter." could do with being "Some, such as Steven Pinker and Daniel Dennett, accept the latter."
  • "Dawkins and Gould did not have a hostile personal relationship, and Dawkins dedicated a large portion of his 2003 book A Devil's Chaplain posthumously to Gould, who had died the previous year." doesn't need four separate citations. However, the first clause "Dawkins... relationship" could do with citation, I feel.
  • "Reductionist" could do with linking.
  • The meme section is a touch short.
  • "Dawkins is an outspoken atheist, secular humanist, sceptic, scientific rationalist, and supporter of the Brights movement and has involved himself with the corresponding organizations." this sentence could do with splitting.
  • "In 2003, he signed Humanism and Its Aspirations, published by the American Humanist Association." in what way did he 'sign' it? What is/was it?
  • Reading through this section, it's clear that it's basically an exploration of his positions and philosophies; it doesn't really fit under the banner of his 'Career as a popular science writer'. This galvanises my belief that this article needs re-organisation.
  • "Dawkins anti-religious stance prompts a wide variety of response."→"Dawkins' anti-religious stance has prompted a wide variety of responses."
  • "Oxford theologian Alister McGrath (author of The Dawkins Delusion)" book titles should be in italics.
  • "Christian philosopher, Keith Ward explores" needs a comma after Ward.
  • I really feel that 'Atheism and rationalism', as a section, is too long. That's not to say that any of it is irrelevant, and I don't think there's any repetition – but it could do with subdivision at least.
  • "this campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think — and thinking is anathema to religion." that's a spaced em dash; it should either be a spaced en dash or an unspaced em. However, as the whole article uses British English, I'd argue for the former.
  • That last paragraph, on the bus campaign, could also do with some distribution of citations.
  • As for the first paragraph of 'Criticism of creationism', see above re: citations.
  • ""it is rather like a detective coming on a murder after the scene... the detective hasn't actually seen the murder take place, of course. But what you do see is a massive clue ... Huge quantities of circumstantial evidence. It might as well be spelled out in words of English." needs a closing quote and consistent ellipses (i.e. a...b a ... b or a... b – I think the second is preferable, although [...] is the least ambiguous form)
  • "In 2009, Dawkins expanded on his ideas about purpose, positing archeo- and neo-purpose." this is totally esoteric. Some further explanation would help.
Awards and recognition
  • "The Richard Dawkins Award has, since 2003, been award by the Atheist Alliance International" 'awarded'

In general, the article seems damned comprehensive and is a fascinating read about a fascinating bloke. However, I feel it could do with some reshuffling and clearer structuring, perhaps with one about 'beliefs and philosophies'. Your citations look perfect by any standard. If you'd like any further clarification or discourse, I'll be glad to help out. Seegoon (talk) 18:08, 7 November 2009 (UTC)