Talk:Albinism/Archive 1

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Search problem

Resolved: Search issue is moot; clarity issue fixed.

Can anyone tell me why this entry doesn't come up in the Wikipedia search engine for 'albinism', although it seems to be linked okay to the other four entries there?

It just means that the search index hasn't been updated since the Albinism article was created. By the way, is this article just about human albinism? If so, it should say so. If not, then it needs to make clear which things are general and which apply only to humans. --Zundark, 2001 Dec 16
Clarified point re albinism in humans. --Berek, 2001 Dec 16

ily cmk —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:01, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Red eyes?

I was under the impression that albinos can have red eyes (or, perhaps more accurately, eyes that appear to be red). That seems to be supported by the William Blake quotation in this article (assuming it is indeed a reference to an albino): His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire. --[anon]

If this is true, it should be mentioned and explained. (Is it perhaps related to the red-eye camera phenomenon; i.e., too much light reflected from blood-rich retinas of relatively-pigmentless eyes?) -- Jeff Q 00:31, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
As of today, no one appears to have responded to my query here (which was, note carefully, whether albinos can have red eyes, not whether all of them do, and why their eyes would be, or at least seem to be, red). Someone added the following line:
The myth that all persons with albinism have "white hair and red eyes" is NOT true.
but this statement, besides being redundant (myths are inherently non-factual), merely claims that not every albino has "white hair and red eyes". It would be still be a true statement if 99.99% of albinos had both these conditions, but no other useful information can be extracted from it. -- Jeff Q 23:45, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
I have seen an albino human with red eyes. And another whose eye irises were pale blue with red meandering radial streaks (likely along large blood vessels in the iris). Anthony Appleyard 16:19, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
Recently, on my twelfth birthday, my aunt presented me with a copy of Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code'. Consequently, I became rather interested in the subject of albinos, as one of the characters - Silas, was one. I heard tell somewhere that albinos can also have purple eyes. Is that true? I am not convinced, as I think it would have been mentioned in the article if it had. 00:04, 24 November 2005 (UTC) Autumn's Whisper
I'd like to clear this up, albinos do not have red eyes. I myself and am albino, and I've doen some research on the topic. The reason it seems like we have red eyes, especially in pictures, is because in a certain light, the eyes look red. Most albinos have blue eyes, liek me. Sorry I don't have much more ifnormation, but the myth is false. - 21:40, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Whoever stated above that they are albino and that albino's can't have red eyes, I highly doubt is an albino. To the person below, much agreed, but blue eyes are eyes that lack pigment. The people with red/pink (purple eyes, not violet, let's not get romantic, but by some it can appear purple) actually have a lack of muscle tissue to produce pigment that did not FORM/form entirely. These people you can shine a flashlight into their eyes and have the inside appear hallow and glow. These people are usually blind or nearly.
Do you have any citable sources for this information? ("lack of muscle tissue...") PS: "violet" is a perfectly appropriate word to me; "purple" to most people means a much darker hue. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 08:06, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Answer regarding red and purple eyes in albinos

I have albino friends who do have red (pink) eyes. It's very rare because it means there is almost ZERO pigment in the iris, but does happen. If the iris are a sort of see-through blue (little pigment) then they can appear purple, because the red from the blood vessels and the blue from the iris makes them appear purple. I have also seen one with such eyes, so I have proof (at least for myself). I myself have Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 2 and have blue eyes with whiteish radial streaks. That means I have enough pigment in my eyes, because they only appear red on photos, not with common lighting. Allyddin Sane 23:03, 11 January 2006 (UTC)Allyddin Sane Edited on 6 January 2007

Fully red? I've done a bit more research and have read that some of slightly pink eyes, but I've always heard that the redy eye thing is a myth (And being an albino with blue eyes, it'd be pretty odd to believe it in the first place) Albinos do appear to have red eyes in certain light, like the flash from the camera, explaining the picture (My eyes look very much like that when a picture is taken of me) But, Allyddin, if you saw it, I really can't argue with that.
By the way, is a good source on this subject -- 01:08, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Some persons with albinism lack iris pigment to such an extent that the eyes can look reddish or pinkish under certain lighting conditions, due to light reflecting off the retina. They do not have red- or pink-colored eyes. Likewise the occasional purplish or violet appearance is due to the same effect, but showing though the more common light blue OCA irises (dig around in Google Images for photos of albinistic fashion model Connie Chiu for some pics that show this effect.) But again, such people don't have purple-pigmented eyes. I can't speak as to any of the other details mentioned above like the whole eye muscle connection. I agree the article should cover this in more explanatory detail cited from authoriative sources. See #Good news with regard to pics below; hopefully we'll soon have usable photos that show the different eye appearance effects of human OCA. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib]
Do the eyes of all albinos shine red in the light? -Ruth-
Everyone's eyes do (cf. the "redeye" effect in flash photography). If you mean do albinistic people have reflectively red eyes under normal lighting conditions, definitely not. I'm not albinistic myself but know two people who are, quite closely; their eyes simply appear reddish pupiled and pale blue irised in one case, and reddish pupiled and kind of pink (or very, very pale blue depending on the lighting conditions) irised in the other; the former has mild nystagmus but not-too-bad vision, the latter has quite poor vision, marked nystagmus and slight lazy-eye. Both require sunglasses outside in the daytime or are very uncomfortable. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 08:00, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

"(assuming it is indeed a reference to an albino): His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire." Uh, guys, that's a passage from the Bible describing God, not a particular person with albinism. :P Or maybe God is albino, ya know... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:00, 1 October 2007 (UTC)


I'd like to see some statistics here on the frequency of albinism, and whether it's more common among particular ethnic groups. User:Palefire

I haven't studied this article super-carefully, but I am quite amazed that there seems to be nothing about the prevalence of albinism at all. Does anyone know approximately what percentage of people/animals are albino, and if there is any variation of prevalence among different continents/racial groups? It seems to me that this info is very important. --DreamsReign 07:50, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Frequency info has now been added, where sourceable, but not enough on ethnicity (even if just to say it isn't a factor, but I don't believe that is actually the case; it clearly is a factor with some of the rarer types.) Each of the albinism types lists an incidence rate in humans (where known). Doing this for animals is essentially impossible, since in the wild most of them die (due to being easily visible to predators and having poor eyesight) long before they can be observed and counted, and in captivity, the numbers would be ridiculously skewed by intentional breeding for the trait, as is common with mice, ferrets, etc. I.e., I think the article already does the very best it can with available and meaningful information on the issue. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 16:07, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
Still out-standing: We need enthicity stats, if any exist in reliable sources. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:10, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Still missing: Prevalence and ethnicity stats Turidoth (talk) 22:43, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

White cats & Deafness

Resolved: Article no longer makes false claim.

There are three ways that cats can be white. Albinism (recessive) is one way and is not linked to deafness. Deafness in white cats is linked to the other two versions, "complete white spotting" (Spotting gene (S), multifactorial inheritance) which can cover the ordinary coat color and the dominant white (W) which also produces blue eyes. Therefore, this article probably shouldn't say that albinism in cats is linked to deafness, as it is the only white cat genetic variant that does not produce deafness in and of itself. aec 22:17, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The counterfactual text is no longer in the article. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 07:50, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


[Much of this topic has been moved from this page to Talk:Albinism in popular culture after the "In popular culture" section merge from Albinism into Albinism in popular culture. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] ]

I'm personally thinking that the section on albinism in culture is rather lacking, to say the least. There's plenty that could be written on the subject, fro mthe occoaisional heartless joke in The Simpsons to the way albinos are treated in different countries (revered in some, outcast in others). There's also the current Hollywood trend of making bad guys albino for shock value. There doesn't seem to be much by way of positive portrayal of albinos in popular culture but if any of you guys know of any then that would make a nice addition too. [--anon.]

Still out-standing: What can be done to improve the cultural coverage here that is not already covered at Albino bias? The Hollywood/Simpsons issue is covered there, but the "treatment in different countries" issue is not, sufficiently. Anyone have sourced information that can be added? — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:10, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

"This article is intended to cover mainly human albinism" why?

Article split?

Resolved: No consensus to split article (new topic below re-opens issue); wording issues raised were fixed.

I am thinking we should have an article called "Albinism in Humans". Or "Albinism in human culture". [--anon.]

why not focus on albinism in general? from an objective point of view, what's so important about human albinos? [--anonymous]
Good question... I would think that the article would focus on it in general, and then human an nonhuman being the specific examples later. Beinh human-focused seems bizarre. DreamGuy 03:18, August 25, 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I like this idea. [--anon.]
The article now addresses these needs (though perhaps could go into more detail about albinism specifics in various non-human species at some point, given reliable sources for the information.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I for one wouldn't mind seeing this split into two or more articles: Albinism, human alibinism, mammal albinism (including human, but not focused on such), and reptile/amphibion albinism. --Hakusa - Wiki addict: 04:24, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
FWIW, I generally concur, but would suggest:
  1. Albinism: general - most of the science should go here, along with the animal pics; it would have a tiny subsection on human albinism and a small pic, and a "See main article at Albinism (human) cross reference. Should also link to leucism, "albino" plants (see next Talk topic below) and other pigment-related stuff, without going into them in detail (should be separate articles).
  2. Albinism (human) - the bulk of the present article, with improvements. Focus on the human element - discrimination, culture, medical advancements, etc.
I empathically do not think we need redundant articles on mammal, amphibian, etc., albinism - there is nothing special or different about the condition in cats vs. frogs. The human aspect of the article needs a lot of work though. There's pretty much no discusson of things like nystagmus damping surgery, the "extreme glasses" (I do not know the technical term) that some OCA suffers can use to legally drive a car, etc., etc. The "world" of the human albino is poorly explored here (I don't mean anything negative about the current content; rather there simply isn't enough of it yet, on enough subtopics).
SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 17:21, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Hey SMcCandlish, thanks for the good job you're doing for the albinism article, but would you mind not calling it "albinism sufferers"? "People with albinism" would do the job nicely, especially since the term "OCA" excludes people who have ocular albinism (OA) - e.g. from the driving issue that you mentioned. Thanks. Allyddin Sane 23:11, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Noted! Hadn't really thought of that at the time. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:51, 10 February 2007 (UTC)


Resolved: Needed material added to article and sourced.

One other thing, the article does not mention how the albinism traits are inheritted, via autosomal (non sex chromosomes) or sex-linked. This would be very important information to someone that has a biology exam tomorrow :P [--anon.]

The article now does this, where this information can be reliably sourced. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Albinism in animals

Resolved: Needed material added to article and sourced; no consensus to split article (issue re-opened in new topic below).

For real, I came to this article looking for information about Albinism in animals, and the article is disappointingly sparse on that subject. i.e. does albinism happen in all animals? just mammals? I've heard of albino snakes, are those true albinos? -- GIR 06:16, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

The article now addresses this. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Who cares about albino animals, when was the last time you saw a black person with white skin and blonde hair? I personally find albinism cool (of course sadly they suffer discrimination, medical problems ect..)--King of the Dancehall 02:38, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Directed towards 'King of the Dancehall'... It's not exactly about whether you care about albino animals(seeing as, obviously, there are others who do care), but that the article should, in a logical and common-sense POV, cover albino animals and plants as well as albinism in humans, seeing as the article is titled 'Albinism' with no mention of the article covering only/mainly albinism in humans. Hm, I hope I'm posting this up right, this is a rather unique way of 'discussion'... XOSAF 03:00, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps this results from the fact that affected animals and plants cannot contribute to this page??? I have albinism myself and am interested in spreading knowledge about it in order to MAKE LIFE BETTER for people with albinism and their families. I hope with the info in this article, we can reduce discrimination against people with albinism! Of course, albinism in animals and plants is interesting, but only from a scientific point of view, as there is no discrimination against them. In fact, many people find albino animals "cute", but treat people with that condition very badly.
Allyddin Sane 10:57, 7 January 2006 (UTC)Allyddin Sane
Citing the fact that animals and plants can be albino means that it's something natural for all life, which seems like the sort of understanding which would lead to less discrimination.
Either way, though, the article should discuss all forms of albinism, unless you want a seperate article for *just* human albinos.
ThatGuamGuy 17:38, 27 June 2006 (UTC)sean
The consensus to date is to keep exanding the article in both human and animal directions.SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Lab animals

I agree, some info would be nice. Albino animals are disproportionately used in research. I don't think it's a coincidence. I'm not saying that albinism itself is the desired trait, but perhaps albinism is a by-product of getting traits desired in mice, rats, etc. And yes, albino snakes are true albinos. [--anon.]

As for albinistic lab animals, yes, there is a connection - they are bred for this trait on purpose; if a brown or grey one shows up (pigmentation being a dominant trait) they know their sample animals have been contaminated with an outside genetic source (e.g. some feral mouse got at the captives to breed with them). Lab mice/rats/rabbits are bred for consistency, and breeding for albinism helps ensure it. Something about this should be sourced and mentioned in the article. I know I have seen a reliable article about this, but that was several years ago, and I am not personally sure where to even begin looking for it again. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Expanding human albinism information

Resolved: Needed material added to article (and will continue to be added, as it is the focus of the article).

what about people that are albinos or mothers who have albino children that know nothing about albinism? i think that there sould be a section about just human albinos.The reson i think this is important is because i have a 1 month old baby and i just found out he is an albino and have no clue on what albinism is or the special care i am probably supose to be giving my child or what to expect in the future. -Ruth-

Ruth, I think you will find very helpful, especially their message board. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 08:18, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
The human albinism section has been and continues to be expanded, though it cannot expand into the area of giving advice, as per WP:NOT policy. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Albino squirrel?

Resolved: Photo removed.

The photo of the brown squirrel jsut looks like a light brown squirrel to me, what exactly about it is supposed to be albino? DreamGuy 03:18, August 25, 2005 (UTC)

Photo has been removed, so this is a moot topic, but to answer the question: Not all albinistic organisms are totally white; read the article. :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 07:48, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


I was actually looking for information on albino plants (plants without chlorophyll, usually caused by a genetic mutation). Is there another term which is used for this? -- 13:29, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

If you type "albino plants" into Google, quite a bit of information comes up. There are no other terms that I'm aware of, and research on the subject is pretty limited. Since there is no chlorophyll, an albino plant dies shortly after sprouting and there doesn't seem to be a reasonable method of keeping them alive. Supposedly there's a photo of a man keeping albino corn alive, but since it's a black and white picture I don't feel confident in the credibility.--Meghan Dornbrock 18:23, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
If you look at cacti, lack of chlorophyll isn't uncommon in cultivation, although I think the term albinism isn't always applied to it. Some Gymnocalycium and Echinopsis species cultivars without chlorophyll are or have been very popular; keeping them alive by grafting onto some other cactus is easy. Note though that these plants are bright neon red, pink or yellow, since the other pigmentation is still present, and not hidden by all that green.
Come to think of it, plant species without chlorophyll are not that uncommon: Neottia, Orobanche, Monotropa, Lathraea and so on all lack the green, and some of them are wax-colored, indicating no particular pigmentation at all. I don't think the term albinism covers this — "lacking chlorophyll" is the term you usually encounter. -- JöG 20:56, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I would bet money that "albino plant" is just an imprecise shorthand term that some sloppy webwriters have been using; given that albinism is a disorder of melanin production, it's impossible for plants to be albinistic, because they don't have melanin (as far as I have been able to determine), but use completely different biological pigments. However, if the "lacking chlorophyll" trait/disorder has a name I think it would be a good addition of the article as a disambiguation, after leucism, axanthism, etc. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 07:46, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

"Albino": PC or not?

While the most common term for an individual affected by albinism is "albino", most of them prefer "person with albinism"
Could anybody cite the testimony of a real one to back this up? To my knowledge, the only people who claim that "albino" isn't politically correct aren't albino. I'm albino myself, and I believe we have the right to self-determination. —Saric (Talk) 22:40, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I am an albino, and I call myself albino. Many of my friends, however, dislike that term because they hear it on the streets as in "Hey look at that albino freak over there." We can change it to "some of them" if that's more to your liking, but I think it should stay there because there's no harm in making people aware of possibly hurtful comments. Allyddin Sane 22:50, 11 January 2006 (UTC)Allyddin Sane
There isn't another term that's widely used for albinos (I've never heard one at all, ever). Souns to me like a case of your friends being overly protective. Durahan
All right, I changed "most of them" to "some of them", and "most often used" to "often used". I'm just afraid that the word "albino" might become really taboo. If that happened, English speakers would be left without a one-word phrase to describe people with albinism. That would be bad. —Saric (Talk) 00:46, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Nah, we'd just use "albinistics" (cf. "bulimics", "paraplegics", etc.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 10:31, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't want to make it taboo, but I want to make people aware of what this word can do when it's used thoughtlessly. What's so bad about "person with ablinism"? I will continue to call myself an albino, but when I'm talking about albinism, I say person with albinism. 11:24, 16 January 2006 (UTC)Allyddin Sane
I have albinism and I utterly detest the term "albino" partly due to experience in high school, but mostly because it's dehumanizing. I'm a person, not the albino. [--anon.]
I'm sorry that you got picked on in high school, that's no fun. I had people screaming "whitey" at me through middle school until I realised that, hey, being an albino's pretty cool. I never said anything, but apparently it showed: The obnoxious people who picked on me were all, "Oh, this isn't fun. He's not touchy about it. Let's go pick on the fat kids again. I actually have a point here: If you were discussing a human trait of which you were NOT ashamed, you wouldn't protest. An artist doesn't request that she be called a "person who does art", a weight-lifter isn't a "person who lifts weights", a Canadian isn't "a person of Canadian origin". Your objection to the term only shows your disgust for our condition. Some of us are not so ashamed. (talk) 15:17, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Hey I'm sorry, but so few people have albinism that "the albino" is the way many casual acquaintances who don't know you very well are going to know you. It shall be your defining characteristic until or unless they get to know something more unique about you than your albinism and that's all there is to it. [--anon.]
Still out-standing: We need one or more reliable external sources for the "p.-c." concerns regarding the term "albino" being applied to humans. We do have anecdotal evidence here on this talk page, but it can't be cited in the article. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:39, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Someone remind me about this; I did in fact find a source, but I forgot to use it. It'll take me a little while to dig it back up again. It's one of the sources cited at Albinism in popular culture (but not, I think, cited as to that particular point). — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 18:33, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

A recent search on Google yielded 11.5 million hits for the term "Albino" and only 24,000 hits for the word "Albinistic". My spell-checker right now is not even recognizing that word. Unless there is evidence that the majority of occurrences of the word on the internet is possible hate speech, 'Albino' is the word that is in over-whelming usage and therefore is the word that should be used throughout the article. I think we should preserve a blurb about some albinos seeing the term as pejorative and preferring 'Albinistic' but I don't think we should use 'Albinistic' throughout the article. 23:19, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Women with albinism raped

Resolved: The questioned points are now source-cited.

In any case, what was NOT PC was the phrase in the myths section on Zimbabwe, "this has led to many albino women and even some white women without albinsim in the area being raped." There's no evidence provided to back that up, I never found any information about rampant sexual assault against white women, leading me to beleive this is just some lame bigotry. Durahan

Hey Durahan, just google "albino Zimbabwe" you should get some news articles about it. I didn't want to link or quote it because who knows how long the info stays on these sites. 11:32, 16 January 2006 (UTC)Allyddin Sane
Article now cites source on this. SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:41, 16 January 2007 (UTC)


Resolved: The questioned points are now source-cited.

I was told that albinos are infertile. Seeing as there are several albinos posting here, and that didn't appear to be in the article, I'm starting to think it's false. So: 1) Is it false? 2) Is it, if true, common, rare or absolute? 3) Or is that a myth. And please add your answer to the article.

A while back this was added (and almost immediately removed again): "A common misconception is that albino individual of a species is sterile. This was originally forwarded as a prejudiced myth brought about to incur hatred against albinos(see sections further down). Albinos are fully capable of reproducing, and some reports of abundantly fertile albino individuals have been recorded." Probably for lack of sources. I've added an 'excerpt' of this to the Myths and superstitions paragraphs. -Shai-kun 23:22, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. --Hakusa - Wiki addict: 23:56, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
It (the original) was also grossly non-neutral. Anyway, more info on the topic of overall health and stuff (with sources) has also been added now. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 07:41, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Blondes are albinos (trolling; ignore)

Resolved: Apparent trolling; taken to user talk.

Cross posted from the blonde discussion forum:

"WTF?! who deleted the picture of the boy with platinum blond hair that I had?-busboy 03:12, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

"I wasn't the one who deleted it but I can imagine it was due to the fact that the boy did not have platinum blonde hair, but white hair due to albinism. The picture was also featured on the page for albinism in humans. Despite that someone said in here that they think light blonde hair/people are a type of albinism, albinism and being blonde are two VERY different things. A blonde person lacks pigment ethnicically and can pass down these colors. It is very possible for a person of northern European descent to be born so extremely fair that they have pale skin, white hair and blue eyes and NOT be albino. Albinism is a genetic defect that both normal colored parents must have and pass on to a child. If that child has children one day, unless they have children with someone else carrying the albino gene, their children have normal coloring. Same can not be said for the pale blonde person. So I can only imagine that was the only reason the picture was taken down, but I'm NOT possotive on the motive because I didn't remove it.
But I do stand by albinism not being the same as being born blonde. ;) Being blonde is not a form of albinism."

"Actually, depending on which type of blonde you are talking about it is. The yellow-haired toddler on this page has OCA2 or a subtype of OCA1 in conjunction with ocular albinism. It is even said on the albinism page that, people with albinism can have dirty blonde or light brown hair. Various subtypes of OCA1&2 exist mostl among whites, scince all blondes are some type of albino."busboy 16:50, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

"No, not depending on what type of "blonde" I am talking about, being born ethnically blonde and being born ALBINO are not the same thing. There is a difference between a "blonde" person and a "person with blonde hair." A person of African ancestry can have albinism and have blonde, or even white hair, (and rarer cases of red) and still not be a "blonde". And there is a HUGE difference between occular albinism (the dirty blonde/light brown hair you're talking about which only affects their eyes and not their skin and hair) and occulocutaneous albinism. Having blonde hair means you have Scandanavian ancestry, no matter what nationally you are, even if your family has lived in Japan for x amount of generations and you consider yourself Japanese. Albinism is a condition. No, all blondes are not some type of albino, please understand the difference between pigment (think of it as contrast) and melanin (think of it as hue/saturation, what makes red hair red and blonde hair yellow), and that albinism is a condition which must be diognosed by an eye doctor (sometimes even as late as 18 people are diagnosed). I know a few blonde people I can take to an eye doctor and they can have perfectly normal eyes, no matter what color, or even if they are near/far sited and still not have the condition known as albinism." [--anon.]
Busboy, you are definitely incorrect on this topic ("all blondes are some type of albino"), and bordering on trolling. See [1] for some facts. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 17:21, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't agree with 'There is a difference between a "blonde" person and a "person with blonde hair."' They do mean the same thing, to my way of thinking. Unfree (talk) 06:30, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Blonde = Naturally blonde. Person with blonde hair = Any person on the planet who has dyed his/her hair blonde. Thus, a person with blonde hair. Not that hard.


I have a question. Why is there no information on the history of albinism? I know it may not seem that important but you should have some form of a brief medical history on albinismit comes in handy when doing reports. [--anon.]

Might be an interesting addition, but sourceable information on the topic is pretty sparse. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 07:34, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


Resolved: Article is now categorized.

This article appears to be uncategorised. Category:Congenital genetic disorders could be appropriate here? --apers0n 09:17, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

I've changed it. :) NCurse work 06:43, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Why "disorder", rather than "trait", "characteristic", or "feature"? "Disorder" is definitely judgmental and inaccurate. Albinism is certainly not a pathological condition. Unfree (talk) 06:36, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

White people (trolling; ignore)

Resolved: Apparent trolling; taken to user talk.

Dont they come from albino blacks thousands of years ago? — Deananoby2 (Talk | contribs)

Um, no. See Human genetic variation. While the core human genome almost certainly derives ultimately from Africa, the origin of the so-called "races" doesn't have anything to do with albinism, and "white people" are largely a western-migratory split-off of central Asians mingled with older Pre-Indo-European populations who may have been in Europe since the last Ice Age (depending on which theory you prefer, both Asians and indigenous paleolithic Europeans were descended from different groups migrating out of Africa, or even the "native" Europeans may have been descended from an earlier west-moving group of Asians). "Caucasian" people are, like the Japanese and other north Asians, lighter-skinned than equatorial peoples apparently because they simply don't need the sun protection, and thus over a long period of time evolved away from producing what for them would have been excessive amounts of melanin pigment. Cf. genetically caucasoid populations in southern India, who are much darker than Europeans generally and even than many northern (cooler climate) Indic populations. Compare also the skin tone of Polynesians, ethnic Filipinos and others farther east and south to that of central-east Asians in China; the complexion of Amazonian Natives to that of North American First Nations, etc. Basically, the closer you get to the equator (when speaking of populations who have been indigenous since prehistory), the darker the skin tone is, to protect against the more direct UV radiation of the sun (there are always exceptions of course - Australian Aboriginals are quite a bit more southerly than equatorial Africans but quite dark when not hybridized with European genes; but they also colonized an area that is basically a desert, with little cloud cover for most of the year). Personally I don't think anyone has an adequate theory yet why certain populations become much paler than others, such as Scandinavians and true Russians (by which I mean ethnic Russians in the area historically known as Russia, not Soviets or Russian Federation citizens in general, who are from a wide variety of ethnicities) - despite being commonly thought of as "extra-White" they have even more definitively Asian genes, on average, than most other Euopeans due to historical invasions of Huns, Avars, Tatars, etc. See also the Japanese who on average are paler than Koreans at roughly the same latitude (and especially see the Ainu, a unique and even paler ethinicity that lingers in a few places in modern Japan). Native North Americans have lived at climes just as temperate-to-cold and northerly as the aforementioned groups for seemingly about as long a period of time, but are uniformly darker than the Old World populations. The climate effect is clearly just one factor among many, with gene dominance being the prevailing one. If you sent a million Irish to a desert-and-jungle planet and a million Congolese to an ice planet, I do not believe that if you returned in fifty thousand years you'd find they'd traded skin tones. Rather, they'd probably both be a medium color, on the way to evolving to suit their environment better, and most of their non-hue-related ethic features would remain unchanged (though probably not all of them - some traits are probably genetically linked to others.) And to come full circle, the albinism gene woud not have helped those on the ice planet in evolving toward producting less melanin - the albinism gene almost certainly causes too many problems for it to be naturally selected for - the vision deficits easily cancel out, in surivability terms, the benefits of not wasting bodily resources generating unneeded pigment. Would an "anti-albino" hyperpigmentation gene do well on the hot planet? Dunno. I have not read up on hypermelanism at all, so I don't know if comes with any negative side effects the way albinism does, and it is (as a genetic disorder; I'm not speaking of an ethic tendency toward a darker shade than some other ethnicity) very rare in humans anyway, much more so than albinism. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 10:50, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Well if it was about the equator at all than how come eskimos are darker than USA native americans? and how come Sami ppl are darker than germans? — Deananoby2 (Talk | contribs)
[Replying on Deananoby's talk page] — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 19:12, 23 July 2006 (UTC)


Resolved: Picture in question was replaced.

I've always wondered, what caused the people in the family in that poster to have such incredibly huge hair? Was it done up that way as part of a stage performance or something?

Yes. Albinistic people don't naturally have bigger hair than normal! — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 22:05, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

This article needs a photograph of a person with albinism. The dumb old drawing seems like a curiosity and more appropriate to a freak show page or something. I say this because it tells me more about a certain historical family and the way they dressed and grew their hair, the way old drawings look, etc. than about the way albinism looks. The initial picture should be as narrowly informative as possible about the subject at hand. This drawing is not only off-topic it also does not get across well what albinos look like. I think from this picture albinos are identical to regular humans only they have copious amounts of white hair which a long time ago at least they styled in outrageous fashion. 10:26, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Should we put this image in the article: Image:Queen Two on TunHwa S Rd Taiwan Pride 2005.jpg? NCurse work 06:45, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes but, a cropped version showing our intended main subject centrally; the foreground parade stuff is of no relevance, and turns the pic into a "Where's Waldo?" excercise. I'd keep some of the people next to her, for contrast, of course. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 18:24, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Done. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 09:56, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Good news with regard to pics

I'm working with photographer Rick Guidotti of to get some of his images up here on Wikipedia or better yet Wikimedia Commons. For those unaware of him, he's by far the most proflific photo-documentor of albinism (and vitiligo, etc.) Some of his work is in a fashion vein, but he also does a lot of more documenary-style work. We should pretty soon have some properly licensed photos to use in this article showing various phenotypic effects of albinism in a variety of ethnicities, if all goes well. That embarassing 1800s painting can go away! — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 17:21, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Update: Still working on this. Guidotti is receptive; we've both just been busy with real, non-WP life. Delayed but not forgotten. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 09:53, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Great idea! I was able to meet Rick in July 2006 and he is a real blessing for the albinism community! YAY! I have a few photos of people with albinism myself, but I was always too dumb to pick the proper copyright option and they were deleted. LOL Allyddin Sane 22:31, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Just got back in touch with him today in e-mail. Will post about the results as they come in. PS: If you go to my userpage and click on the e-mail link you can contact me directly, and after you have my actual e-mail address, if you send me the pics, I can process them in the Commons system for you. I have some experience at that and all the licensing hoo-haw that's required. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 20:54, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Sunscreen and vampires

Resolved: Topic died out; to the extent it was revived it is not relevant here.

I'm an author doing research for a vampire book, and I have to ask: Is there some kind of super-extra-strength sunscreen that some people with albinism use for extended periods? Cam 05:28, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Sunscreen comes in various SPF ratings, some of them pretty high. But, eh, what do albinistic people and their sunscreen have to do with fictional undead things? Legendary vampires are supposed to be unable to stand the light of day because they are "creatures of the night" in a deeply metaphysical way, so it's kind of silly (even aside from the idea of vampires in the first place) to suppose that they could use some kind of prescription albino or photophobiac sunscreen to escape their banished-from-the-daylight fate. JMO... — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 09:51, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm curious now. Does perscription sunscreen exist? What is the extent of protection? 3 hours? 6 hours? I think the highest I've seen for over-the-counter sunscreen is 120spf. I believe this is 120 minutes. I do not know any people with albinism, but I am very interested in the condition. Miggyb 05:15, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
This is not the sunscreen article; not relevant here. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:31, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

A vandalism solution proposal


Resolved: Outdated.

Wikipedia:Semi-protection policy could protect this page from the kind of "ALBIONOS LOOK FUNNIE!!!" vandalism this page gets hit with regularly (most of you probably don't see it "in your face", because it gets reverted fairly quickly, but it happens on a very regular basis, and you can see the reversions of it in the article History.) Applying for this protection would mean that anonymous (IP-address-only, and non-logged-in registered) users, and brand-new registered users, would not be able to edit the page. I'm opening the question of whether others here feel that this article is of enough value, and approaching "good article" status enough, to warrant such a semi-protection request and whether the disabling of anon/newbie edits would be a price worth paying for that protection. (Disclaimer: I am not a WP admin, just an anti-vandalism patroller and regular editor of this article who is tired of seeing it vandalized, and one who has no problem with the idea of disabling or restricting anonyous edits — a "wikipolitical" stance that others may disagree with.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 05:48, November 25, 2006

Well, after a few weeks and no issues being raised, it is done. This article is now "semi-protected", which should bring an almost total halt to wiki-vandalism here. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 16:37, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Cool, well done. I recently had a look at the German version of the page. Pretty stupid comments on there (like "are there albino humans?". Sad. Allyddin Sane 22:34, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

January 2007

Resolved: Outdated.
NB: Admins may from time to time unprotect this page. I go to lengths to get it reprotected, but I may need additional support for that in the future. Keep eyes peeled for alerts about protection status here. I think the protection is important, because the vandalism is always anonymous IP vandalism, non-vandal edits are almost never from IP addresses on this article, policy does not state articles cannot be perpetually semi-protected, and the vandalism will never stop unless there is a sea change in our culture's perception of albinism, and this is a science article slated for inclusion on the CD-ROMs, so it needs to be kept "clean".SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:02, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
What's the status on that? And what kind of "support" do you need? Allyddin Sane 12:52, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
It's reprotected; support would be !votes in support of the SP when it is proposed. I'll try to given advance notice next time. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 19:59, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

March 2007

Resolved: Semi-protection achieved until May.

Wow, it has gotten much worse again in the last few hours... but that just reinforces my feeling that this page needs its semi protection back!!! Allyddin Sane 16:30, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I think so too, but I meet a lot of resistance. Most admins seem to feel that if a page isn't being vandalized 10x per hour it shouldn't even have semi-protection. Still kind of reseaching how to make better headway with such people. The fact that this article has very few regular, watchful editors is a strong point in favor of SP, but not necessarily enough. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 18:25, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm filing for semi-protection again; it would be helpful to have *'''Support''': ... !votes lodged at the RFPP. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 19:29, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Nevermind. Got it semi-protected for 2 months. Sought indefinite SP, but this is at least some breathing room. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 19:59, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Well done! But couldn't you have aimed for July so I'm done with my thesis and have more time to continue this war against vandalism??? LOL Anyway, thanks on behalf of many people with albinism, and I will get back to you regarding the other issues. Allyddin Sane 20:58, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

May 2007

[Forthcoming. Expect vandalism to start up again on May 15.]

Merge with Evil albino

Resolved: Merge completed, and later re-merged; new article is Albinism in popular culture.

I'm about to propose a merge of one subsection of this article with another article that is more about the topic in question (though from a negative p.o.v.) I propose that the fictional characters list here be merged with the one at albino bias which is also being merged from evil albino; both of these articles have been the targets of deletion attempts, mainly because the lists in them overlap too much (including with the one here) and no one is "policing" them, e.g. to cite sources. I'll do what I can to merge and cite them into a defensible article. It may eventually fail AfD anyway, but if so, it will be good that this list is no longer in the main albinism article or it too will simply come under attack. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:15, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Update: The "evil albino" article was pre-emptively deleted in an either improper or amazingly coincidental AfD immediately after I unprod'd albino bias and started doing the merge. I have moved for the article to be restored at least until the merge is completed. Please see this undeletion request and add support for having it temporarily restored.SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 03:31, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Update: Evil albino article history restored, so the merge can now commence. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 10:12, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Merge of popular culture section with Evil albino and Albino bias into Albinism in popular culture is now complete. Talk topics that are now only relevant at Talk:Albino bias are being moved there.SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:03, 16 January 2007 (UTC) Updated: 00:47, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

No references, and unspecifics in "Visual and other health problems"

Optic neural info

While interesting and valuable, this section doesn't contain any references at all. In particular, I find the statement "Abnormal routing of the optic nerve to the brain" highly unspecific, and there is no reasoning behind why this would be related to the genetic disorder that albinism is (missing melanin), and no references. It further states "the biggest problem arises from a [..something..] and abnormal nerve connections between the eyes and brain. These abnormalities define albinism, medically. While the effects of this condition are difficult to describe, it can be explained as seeing at a lower resolution.", which is interesting, but too unexplained to be appropriate. --Stolsvik 09:45, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I can't remember if I wrote that, but I can tell you that I know FIRST HAND that it is true. Sorry I can't cite sources, but that is something that every (good) ophthalmologist I ever saw told me. Maybe I can look for sources some time - not so soon though. Allyddin Sane 22:38, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
The information is sourced now. Marking this subtopic "Resolved". — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 00:54, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I just added the "neural pathway stuff" again and sourced it. I had forgotten this completely! There are actually many sources, should I quote more? I have German ones too, but there are several English ones as well on the internet. (Books on albinism??? I gotta write one, haven't seen a single one with up-to-date info yet) Allyddin Sane 00:49, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
An additional non-web, medical source would be best. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 10:47, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Reverting many recent unsourced edits to this section

Resolved: Incorrect material replaced & sourced, inappropriate deletions reverted & sourced; unsourced facts sourced.

I agree it needs plenty of research and sourcing, but the recent edits by Morgan Wright (talk · contribs) were entirely unsourced, arguably factually incorrect in several cases (according to research I've already done, though some of it remains to be cited), and misunderstood the language of the article in others. Details:

  1. Removal of several types of eye problems was not justified with references. They've been restored (and I also retained Morgan's addition of a new one; it will be sourced and either kept or removed based on sourcing research when I or whoever else researches the rest of them; i.e., its addition isn't any better or worse than the existing examples). Morgan's claim that hyper- and myopia, and astigmatism, cannot be linked with albinism contradicts sourced and cited research I've alread done (on other points) elsewhere in the article (OMIM, etc.) They DO need to be cited here specifically, yes, but deletion without cited counter-evidence is unwarranted, I feel, because if anyone's been following my edits here they can see that I have been working from the top down, doing very meticulous sourcing, and the very next section I was about to work on is this one. The optic nerve bit has been challenged by someone else, but another editor here swears it can be sourced. I'm the one doing 95% of the sourcing here, so I'd like an opportunity to try to source this over the next month or so. If others insist on its removal right now, I won't fuss about it, however.
  2. "Eye conditions common in albinism may include (but will not necessarily be present for all)" was weakened, with the excuse that "these conditions are found in ALL albinos", which is factually incorrect according to the sourced and cited research I've alread done elsewhere in the article (OMIM, etc.) [citation in article text at this particular spot is still pending], and regardless is too extreme/categorical/generalized a statement to accept at face value without a source, even if I hadn't already seen counter-evidence.
  3. "People with albinism are also likely to have astigmatism and/or strabismus" - language restored, but clarified as written here; Morgan simply misunderstood the original text as meaning "...astigmatism, a.k.a. strabismus" (that's not what it said, but it was ambiguous enough that it could be interpreted that way; Morgan was correct that that interpretation is counterfactual, but his/her edit actually removed factual information [citation in article text still pending], i.e. regarding likelihood of a particular eye problem.)
  4. "Organisms with albinism suffer from impaired vision, but the degree varies greatly" had its 2nd phrase lopped off without any evidence to back the chopping. I know for a fact from direct experience and voluminuous citable research [citation in article text still pending] that the original language was correct, so it has been restored.
  5. Retained other edits (though they all need sourcing), and made some clarity refinements, new wikilink and the like.

SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:56, 10 January 2007 (UTC) [Minorly edited for clarity & typos 08:43, 10 January 2007 (UTC) by — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] ]

FYI, Morgan and I have been replying to each other about this dispute, on our Talk pages. My summary reply is probably relevant here as further explanation of the partial revert:

I've responded at length to your reply on my Talk page. Super-short version: No disrespect intended; it's not about whether you are qualified or not, but rather about policy/process here. Replacing one unsourced thing with another unsourced thing is almost certain to get reverted by someone, because the original is presumed under WP:AGF to be valid, while WP:OR#Citing oneself (and see also footnote 1 on that page for further rationale) prevents us simply taking your word for the validity of your unsourced changes just because you happen to be a doctor in a relevant field and "know you are right". Wikipedia just doesn't work that way. Anyway, please see the longer reply. Your input would be actually genuinely valued on the article, it just needs to be sourced like everyone else's. No free pass for a medical degree.  :-)

SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 08:43, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Section tagged-to-heck with "citation needed" specifics

Resolved: Unsourced facts at issue now cite sources.

Morgan re-reverted many of his/her changes, and rather than edit-war over it, I've tagged them with {{citation needed}} and other related templates, as needed, and further so tagged about 2/3 of that section's pre-existing text, which as already noted above was an unsourced mess to begin with. The section is ugly as sin for now due to all these tags, but at least we know what to work on in the short term (and it has also been "compressed" with the removal of load of redundantly redundant redundancies. Three bits are flagged {{dubious}}</nowiki>:

  1. The claim that albinism always results in nystagmus; this is hard to credit, and a generalization of this magnitude demands source citations. I have very direct personal evidence (an albinistic close friend with not a hint of nystagmus, and who never had damping surgery) that this is false, and OMIM information also strongly suggests that it is false, at 203300, 300500 and elsewhere - some people with of some forms of albinism are so unsymptomatic as to require genetic testing or retinal exams to even ascertain that they have it; it is highly unlikely that such individuals would have nystagmus. Morgan: I realize that you are an opthalmologist, but I have to note that you cannot possibly have been exposed to all of the forms of albinism documented here, and are remarkably unlikely to have been exposed even to anyone other than OCA2's and perhaps a handful of OCA1a's, unless you are a globe-trotting albinism opthalmology specialist, in which case this article would surely already be citing your books and papers. Even for OCA1/2, I would have to see credible and multiple sources to buy it, though, since my OCA2 (I think; could be OCA1b, I suppose - very pale; white hair; no evident moles on face, neck, shoulders or arms; faintly blue eyes that often look pinkish or violet depending on the light; can't legally drive, but can see across the room, and uses glasses to read) friend without nystagmus has self-evidently (for me personally, not for Wikipedia) disproven the assertion. It does occur to me that just because she (and I, etc.) cannot detect any nystagmus does not mean none is medically present in some minisculely-detectable way, but it's a moot point - OMIM already at least indirectly contradicts the "all" generalization. So, I'll start again with OMIM on this issue, and go from there until I can find something conclusive either way. It would be, uh, helpful if you or someone else (hello people!) would also do some source research on this stuff; this is not the only article I'm working on (WP:CUE is my baby...)
  2. For precisely the same reasons as above, the claim that albinism always results in light hypersensitivity is difficult to accept without reliable sources. It should almost certainly read "usually", not "always". Since some people with some forms of albinism have eyes almost medically indistinguishable from normal ones, and some further have skin tones not out of the norm, just a bit paler than average for their genepool, then photosensitivity is highly unlikely to be an issue for those individuals. Again, this article is about albinism as a class of disorders, not about the common results of OCA1/2 specifically.
  3. And our old favorite the, "optic neural pathways to the brain" bit; I'll try to prove/disprove this in my next major batch of source-hounding. Given two objectors to and one defender of this passage, I think it prudent to delete the reference if I can't source it (unless someone else wants to start sourcing things; I seem to be the only one actively doing any work in that area, for the last few months.) The talk page will archive the fact that the issue was raised and disputed, and if necessary it can be proven or more solidly disproven at a later date. I'm asking that it remain in there, tagged "dubious", for now, since it has been a long-standing part of this article, I think for over a year, and a consistently good-faith regular participant here swears by it with multiple anecdotal sources, which suggests it is quite possibly sourceable (or correctable, perhaps as a mishearing or the speakers' oversimplification of something?)

Note to self or other active editors: I think in the spate of recent edits that the point has been lost that the level of affliction of each of the various eye problems varies greatly from individual to individual.
Toodles for now. :-)
SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 11:49, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

That no longer seems to be the case. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 18:33, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah well, I've corrected the paragraph twice and if you want me to do it a third time you need to pay me. Stating that people with albinism also can have nearsightedness and farsightedness is like saying people with pneumonia can also have a clubbed foot. When you list signs and symptoms of a disease, you limit them to the ones that are caused by or associated with the specific disease. Astigmatism is on the cornea, more rarely in the internal lens, and is an error of refraction. It has absolutely nothing to do with the pigment in the retinas. Albinism is a lack of pigment, the cornea doesn't need pigment to develop properly. The fovea, however, needs a normal RPE to develop properly. It isn't actually known why, but we do know this to be the case. In order to save myself time looking each fact up, I will just cite the most encyclopedic text and I'm sure every one of these points is there. It's called "Clinical Ophthalmology" by Duane and Duane. It's about 10 thick volumes and includes everything. However, you can't just point to one sentence and say "here it is" you actually have to study the entire book to get an understanding of all this information. For example, you are never going to find one sentence in any text that states specifically that "albinos have the same prevalence of nearsightedness as the regular population." No text would ever say that. They would say in one spot what albinism is, and in another spot say what nearsightedness was, and leave it up to the reader to understand the two have nothing to do with each other. Otherwise they would have to say in the description of each disease all the other thousands of diseases that have nothing to do with it. Would I look up pneumonia and find a specific sentence, "pneumonia has nothing to do with clubbed foot." It seems to me that the original writer needs to cite a reference that albinism is associated with refractive errors, and if not, it just needs to be deleted. I can't cite a reference for a null, I can't cite a reference for someting I deleted. Do I just leave a blank line and cite why it's not there? If they say Albert Einstein discovered America, do I need to cite a reference why I deleted it?Morgan Wright 15:30, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Action: Re: "cite a reference that albinism is associated with refractive errors, and if not, it just needs to be deleted" - that's a valid tactic. I don't personally think it's necessary right this moment while the article is still tagged as being under development, but I don't think anyone will keel over and die either. I actually strongly lean toward the feeling that only some rare variant of albinism is directly connected to refractive errors (I figure one of them probably is, or it wouldn't have been added to the article), but not most of them, so mention of astigmatism, etc., probably does not belong where it presently is, and needn't be added back at all until such time as it can be sourced as to what funky albinism variant is belongs to (cf. deafness and other rare-albinism effects which are not listed under the general ones. I think we can shake hands and move forward on that edit. The rest below is more general commentary that may or may not be helpful/interesting.
Just the fact that you expect payment for your "work" on Wikipedia suggests you may not be ideally suited to participate here without a change of perspective. Anyway, you seem to still not be entirely getting it. No one here thinks you are a liar about your qualifications or about [your belief in] the factuality of your assertions (I mean all of them, not just the desire to delete the astigmatism stuff). It's simply the fact that they are bald assertions; period. There really is nothing else to it. You could be C. Everett Coop and we would still demand source citations. The fact that your additions have been tagged {{citation needed}} instead of just deleted is a sign that you're being shown more respect that non-medical editors. I'm not sure if you're fully understanding that. The default treatment of an article already in sore need of source citations is to resist additional unsourced material, especially on science articles. Clean up before expanding.
Anyway, I strongly suspect you are correct in your albinism:nearsightedness::pneumonia:clubfoot analogy, at least with regard to OCA2 and some other less rare varieties, and have suspected so for quite some time; we just need to see documentary evidence (and I'll probably do the research myself in OMIM and the like). Your "personal certainty" stance on this point simply isn't helping us here, especially given the highly unusual nature of the less common forms of albinism. Given that some of them are connected with deafness, hemophila, autoimmune disorders and neurological problems, among other ailments not seen at all in any form of albinism an American ophthalmologist is ever likely to encounter, the rest of Wikipedia can't simply take your word for it that you are absolutely right, generally and globally, on this sub-topic (ergo it would be better to remove mention of astigmatism, etc., if they are unsourced, than to add statements regarding their incidence, also unsourced). More to the point, no one has said that astigmatism has anything to do with eye pigment (if the article did actually say that, I could understand why anyone would be up in arms!); but neither does neurology or the immune system or hearing. Do you see what I'm getting at here? This article is about all forms of albinism, including the "weird" ones, not just the ones common (if 1 in ~18,000 can be said to be "common") in the modernized West. (Though if you are, as I suspect, right about several points with regard to OCA2 and perhaps OCA1 and OA1 on ophthalmological details, then the article probably needs an update to reflect that; it improves incrementally as more details are sourced and narrowed - overbreadth of assertions is the main point of resistance you are meeting here.) And it is generally better to find where a statement fits than just delete it (though again, in the case of astigmatism and the like which generally cannot be sourced as being related to albinism, remove them for now; if they are sourceable as to some rare kind of albinism they can be put back in, under the subsection for that disorder instead of the general section. I think that'll make everyone happy.
I strongly agree with your statement: "When you list signs and symptoms of a disease, you limit them to the ones that are caused by or associated with the specific disease." The situation we're in here is that various unsourced statements have claimed that this symptom or that is associated with (some form(s) of) albinism (which may have been written by people with credentials equal to yours - no one can know, which is why we cite to reliable sources), meanwhile you've added more of them, and agitated for the removal of others (I for one agree with some of those deletion ideas at this point, though not necessaril all of them, FWIW). The preferred procedure here is to try to prove or disprove them (some more "exclusionist" editors advocate removing everything that isn't sourced, on sight, but this is not the WP norm), and to not add more of them. I think the happy middle ground is to remove the ones that you've argued strongly are bunk, leave in the new additions tagged as needing sources, and see if they can be sourced over the next few weeks, and also restore stuff that was deleted if (on the off chance) specific deleted points can actually be sourced. Ones that can't be sourced will get removed just like the ones being targeted now. Yes?
I believe you about Duane and Duane (and I suspect your wider point is that one has to have an understanding of ophthalmological medicine in general to make sense of a text of that level of technical depth, which I also believe). There are other sources, like OMIM - secondary sources that distill information a "bit" more succinctly, that intelligent laypeople can understand and cite, and those are good enough sources for our purposes unless contradicted by something more primary. Anyway, I think this particular sub-issue is really moot, because no one is challenging the assertion that astigmatism and the RPE are unrelated, but rather the assertion that no form of albinism can possibly be tied to astigmatism the way some of them are tied to bleeding diathesis or hearing loss. There may quite well be a source that reliably says that "this form of albinism does not have the same prevalence of nearsightedness as the regular population, but rather (insert numbers here)". If this is the case for HPS or some albinism variant, I expect this will be found "real soon now", i.e. the next time I or someone (I wish there was someone) else with the time and drive to do another marathon sourcing session, does so on this part of the article the way I did on the parts above it already. It's an all-day (to 3-day) endeavor, but generally very productive, and rapidly eliminates nonsense. But either way, it's probably irrelevant since there's no reason (that I'm willing to defend any longer) to preserve the astigmatism-type stuff remaining in the general section, and (for the same reasons I resisted your additions) would not want to see them added back in anywhere else until reliably sourced, so out they go.  :-)
PS: Regarding the "optic neural pathways to the brain" stuff, with two detractors and only one supporter (who can't find citations to back it up), I don't see a defensible reason to keep it. If it is for real, it will eventually turn up and can be re-added with citations then. Fair enough?
SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 12:19, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Marking subtopic resolved because the disputed facts have in fact been source cited, topic is moribund as to other details, and the {{Fact}} tagging in the topic is uncontroversial and actually resulting in facts being cited with references. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 10:45, 2 March 2007 (UTC)


Resolved: Moot issue.

You reinserted the big long question that esotropia is possibly not crossed eyes? How is this possible? That is the definition of esotropia. Esotropia is crossed eyes, exotropia is diverged eyes, but you added that question. Please delete it. Then you inserted that claim that surgery to the eye muscles can correct astigmatism? There is no surgery to any eye muscles that can have any effect on astigmatism or any other refractive error. The surgery for refractive errors is on the cornea, not eye muscles. And either way, none of this has anything to do with albinism. I think it would be best to just delete the entire section. and let somebody write it all over again. I am terrified to go look at the article about esotropia that I edited last night, for fear of finding that you deleted everything I wrote and replaced it with wrong information. I'll go look at it now, and if you did, I will never log onto Wikipedia again.Morgan Wright 15:28, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I removed it because the WP article on esotropia did not even mention crossed eyes once, and you did not cite any sources here. I.e., the only source on hand contradicted you. If you are tired of your edits being reverted, then start citing sources. You are not a source, for WP purposes, whether you have a medical degree or not. Please understand this. It's been explained to you several times. If you think the esotropia article is wrong, then go fix it (with sourced information). I think you've already done that, and I've not re-reverted your change with regard to esotropia in the albinism article since it no longer contradicts the esotropia article. Now, please henceforth edit per WP policies and guidelines. You don't get to assert every edit you make as unchallengeable simply because of your background; if you add or change a fact without sourcing it it is fair game for alteration or deletion. Your background, like everyone else's, is utterly invisible to readers of this encyclopedia; this is why we cite sources. PS: I have no interest in the content of the estropia article. But if you made major edits there without citing sources, do not be at all surprised if other editors revert your changes, for the same reason they keep getting reverted here. It's nothing personal, but I'm not sure you understand that yet. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 03:06, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
PS: See #Peacocks photo above for a great example of how someone behaving like you have been suddenly turned resistance into cooperation, simply by citing a source. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 03:08, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
PPS: I think as far as the actual Albinism article text is concerned, we're actually coming to consensus, so we needn't argue so much, methinks. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 05:58, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Peacocks photos

Resolved: Photo in question has been removed.

I have removed the "albino" peafowl photo because I found it very misleading. Contrary to popular belief, most white peafowl are not albino, but a result of a genetic mutation. Frankyboy5 23:25, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Restored, because this assertion isn't backed up with any citations, and doesn't make any sense as-worded; albinism is "a result of a genetic mutation", so you are not actually making a distinction here. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 10:10, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
PS: If you do justify the removal, please don't just delete it but repace it with something better (search Commons for "albinism", "albinistic" and "albino") — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 10:16, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Update: Reverted another deletion. Again, show evidence that the pic is misleading, and replace it with something better please. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 17:36, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
See [2] [3]? Those peafowl are most likely the result of a different genetic mutation (not albinism). Many White Peafowl exist in captivity, albinism in peafowl is much rarer. And it would be very rare for two together to be albino. There are other genetic mutations such as the black shoulder.Frankyboy5 06:08, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Works for me. Changed the pic. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 11:59, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
[4] ~ UBeR
See above. It's not actually an albino, but has a different (common avian) pigmentation condition. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:55, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
PS: The article text itself now addresses albinism-like pigmentation disorders in fowl in considerable detail. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 03:10, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Driving "super-glasses"

I'm aware of some unusual eyeglasses that people with low vision can use, to legally drive. They look vaguely like HMDs crossed with stereotaxic devices. Anyone have any information (sources, I mean) on these? They should be mentioned more encyclopedically than they are now. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 06:00, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

They are called bioptics, and have glasses for near vision with scopes mounted atop for distance vision. Driving with these is legal in many states, in some even with vision close to 20/200. Outside the US, I don't know a single country that really allows it - perhaps the roads are to narrow over here in Europe. ;-) As regards sources, I believe there is some on the web sites of the support groups mentioned in the main article (don't have the time to look right now). Allyddin Sane 01:03, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

In Britain bioptics are currently not acceptable for driving. If anyone does so, their licence may be invalid, and that in turn could mean serious insurance implications. Further info and possible future developments at the DVLA's website:

Support Group Link?

First off, I wasn't aware of the linking rules of Wikipedia. But nonetheless, I know several people who were able to find much-needed support in the Yahoo Group that was linked before (called Albinism International). Is there a way to direct those users to that group without breaking the rules? Thanks heaps - also to those who try to keep this article clean (and protected, if that's what it takes). Allyddin Sane 00:55, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, there's a prohibition or near-prohibition against linking to sites that require registration to do anything at all, and that Yahoo!Group is actually set up that way (for no plausible reason.) I wrote to the moderator address, didn't hear back; found someone in their list of uses flagged as a moderator and wrote to that person directly, but it bounced. I'll see if I can find another user in there flagged as a moderator. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:43, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, the group is restricted because of the same reasons this article needs protection from time to time: there are lots of people who either have a fetish for people with albinism or hate them (that's the extremes, but there are lots of other problems in between) - neither of which should have access to a support group! Sorry you didn't hear back from the mods, I'll see if I can work out why. What did you try to contact them about anyway, I mean, is there a (permitted!) workaround for the near-prohibition? Thanks again! Allyddin Sane 23:23, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
To be clearer, on all counts: All that needs to be done is that the Y!G should be opened such that anyone, logged in or not, can read it (this is a very simply checkbox in the Y!G admin tools). This will satisfy the WP needs and not do any harm to the Y!G, because it won't allow people to post or do anything else disruptive. I.e., it will just convert the hidden resource into what amounts to a regular web page like any other, for users that are not members of the forum. It would take approx. 2 minutes, and be totally harmless. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:51, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for clearing that up - but it is not an option for the group. Too bad... but again, thanks for the explanation and effort. Allyddin Sane 22:01, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Not sure I follow you; making it publicly readable, like the similar support board over at NOAH, but not publicly postable (unlike the NOAH board, which does get vandalized) wouldn't do any harm to the Y!G at all, and would be enough to make it "Wikipedia OK". — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 22:33, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Well most people with albinism (at least those I know, which is already something, considering the occurence of albinism) feel they need a place to discuss albinism in privacy, on a very personal level - which is only possible in a closed group. But this article was a great way to make the group known on to a bigger audience, so that those affected and their families could even find us. I could tell the group members what you suggested, but I am dead certain the majority will prefer keeping the group closed to reaching a few more people. Thanks for your efforts, nonetheless, I really appreciate that! Allyddin Sane 23:46, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I still don't really understand the "total secrecy" bit; NOAH runs a huge public board of this sort, and it doesn't seem to be a problem for anyone. <shrug> Not much to be done for it, though. Either they'll go for it or they won't. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 23:53, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Uhhh... NOAH is NOT having problems with their board??? You'd wonder! But as I said, I just wanted to know why things are as they are as I am not as familiar with all the Wiki guidelines, and it's okay now. Can't have everything. Allyddin Sane 00:09, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, they weren't when I was on it, which was quite a long time ago. If they set it up as members-only for posting, I'd bet they'd have fewer problems. I don't see what harm could come from public read-only access, that's all. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 00:47, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Dark/Black people?

Is Albinism more prevalent among Africans or people of dark skin, because from personal experience, in a city with a small black population, most of the albinos I've seen were black people. So if someone can clarify this, or maybe it's jiust coincidence and I'm wrong, but it would be a very big coincidence. [The previous unsigned comment was added by (talk · contribs), 11:16, February 7, 2007 (UTC)]

I haven't seen any evidence that albinism is more common among Africans. Perhaps it is just more noticable among Africans, as it stands out more. One could easily mistake an caucasian albino for a blonde, especially if you're not paying close attention.--RLent 17:52, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Albino Moose?

Resolved: Picture in question cannot be used, for copyright reasons.

[5] [6] ~ UBeR 21:51, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

That site blocks deeplinks, so the URLs don't work. Anyway, we can't just use images from other sites due to copyright purposes. The source and permissions of those images is unknown. Especially since they came from Snopes, which means they were almost certainly part of an unsourceable internet "isn't this nifty" forwarding cascade. :-) Marking this "Resolved" since the links don't even work anyway. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 22:31, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Here you go. ~ UBeR 21:59, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Moot; we can't use these pictures, and (as the article says) they probably are not albino anyway, just pale-furred. Sorry! — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 23:02, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Recently added external link to "DermAtlas"

Resolved: Link removed; violates WP:EL.

I'm mainly just wondering what the purpose of that new link is. As far as I understood the WP:EL (by no means I am an expert) external links should add something to the article that cannot be included otherwise.

So, what does it do? There is no additional info that isn't covered in the Wiki article. The linked page also shows entries for piebaldism, but also notes the diagnosis of albinism for those. The respective photo shows only piebaldism, and even though those are two different conditions, someone just having a quick look might mistake one for the other. Wouldn't that be a violation of WP:EL saying that "Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material..." should be avoided? (Note: I know that some sources, and the Wiki article on piebaldism call it "partial albinism", but according to a lecture by doctors who are pioneers of albinism research at the Uni of Minneapolis, it is the eye conditions that define albinism, so that connection and term of "partial albinism" is erroneous and obsolete. I just have yet to find a source for that statement I heard in that lecture.)

If I got that guideline right, an external link also shouldn't be a search result list - which this is.

Above that, with albinism there almost NEVER is a family history of "pigmentary disorders", it seems the author of these entries (1 through 3, same person) is not very well informed about albinism. The other entry about albinism is not even a confirmed case of albinism.

Then there's errors in the descriptions - apart from the fact that I doubt the girl in the first entry has OCA1, (which is up to debate). But it says "In addition to photophobia, she had bilateral nystagmus and was extreme photosensitivity." Reading it thoroughly - that is not a correct English sentence.

Last, but not least: That leaves ONE confirmed case of albinism in that external link, and it has a very negative tone (see first picture). So, what does that link accomplish that is not yet in the Wiki article?

I'm not removing the link (though I am strongly in favor of doing so), I'd just like to know what others think, or what the reason for adding it was in the first place... Allyddin Sane 01:38, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Those sound like perfectly legitimate reasons to remove an external link, I would also be in favor of doing so Adam McCormick 04:28, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Definitely. Nuke it. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 07:00, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
PS: Has other ridiculous errors in it, too. An infant is listed as 32 years old. This is just a photo-blog site for doctors. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 07:05, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Removed it from the article, per WP:EL and WP:SPAM. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 07:13, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Great. I just wasn't sure. Thanks for the input and removal.
Maybe it was added to provide photos? Have you talked to Rick Guidotti again? I too have a few pics of people with albinism, I just haven't figured out the Wiki copyright rules yet... Allyddin Sane 09:07, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
See original topic above for update and idea for solving your problem. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 20:55, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Albinism in humans and animals

No disrespect to the animal kingdom but we cannot have an article that refers to our fellow human beings as species or organisms. I have copied the information on humans to Albinism (human).Muntuwandi 11:08, 28 March 2007 (UTC) We would need to have a seperate article on albinism in general or Albinism in Animals. Furthermore some of the technical jargon needs to be significantly simplified otherwise most readers will simply ignore it. "OCA1a" - The average reader has no idea what that is. What should be emphasized are the practical elements about albinism, what can be seen or done.Muntuwandi 15:33, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I see no reason for dumbing it down! If OCA1a is explained properly, I don't see why it shouldn't be called that. And yes, the "practical elements" can be ADDED to the article, but that - in my opinion - does not justify scrapping the scientific part. I think you're a bit rash with your edits, and unlike you I tend to voice my views and ask for input before making such radical changes - and I am interested in what others think about this split and your "dumbing down"-request and -actions respectively. Allyddin Sane 14:30, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
My take: No, don't dumb things down. They don't need to be medically obtuse just to be obtuse, but they do need to be medically accurate. If someone wants to dumb it down, the work on the version (if it even exists yet) over at Simple English Wikipedia. That's not what we're here for. I don't agree with Muntuwandi's "cannot" language - I don't see any consensus on Wikipedia that articles cannot address humans as animals and a species, which is certainly what we are. That said, there has been occasional discussion here about forking the article, and I personally think it was inevitable. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 21:17, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Can't say I'm too happy with this split... I too have thought about suggesting a split in the past, but as it was done now... not happy. There is still so much obviously human-related content in the general article, and the argument that humans "may not be called species or organisms" is in MY point of view NO argument for a split. I have albinism and of course I am an organism and yes I do belong to the human species... What's the problem? I'd suggest we keep the terminology neutral in the general descriptions and, as needed clearly specify what applies to humans with albinism and what applies to albino animals. I don't think there has been too much research about types of albinism in animals (there's not that much done on human albinism even!) so there isn't much you can say about albinism in animals that wasn't already covered in the part about albinism in humans.

The way it is now, these two articles are painfully redundant... which doesn't surprise me because there just aren't that many differences between human and animal albinism - except the fact that everyone seems to adore albino animals and at the same time discriminate against people with albinism (I know I'm being harsh here but I'm trying to prove a point).

Again, that's all my opinion... (and I don't have the time right now to do anything more than pointing out what my opinion is!) Allyddin Sane 14:23, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

All humans are organisms species in fact animals. However , in wikipedia articles humans are not referred to by these terms but as people. As you mentioned albinism in animals is seen as exotic and outside of science people do not give it much thought. But in humans there are significant social issues that animals do not face. The underlying science may be similar but the social sides are completely unrelated therefore a split is necessary. In fact I would propose the main article Albinism should represent human albinism and a seperate article that deals with albinism in other organisms.Muntuwandi 14:39, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Still think it was rash of you, but I could perhaps agree to a main article dealing with human albinism - not that's it's for me to decide! Regarding the terms, I still think that one article could cover both in a neutral way. Allyddin Sane 16:14, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
My take: It was bold which sometimes but not always equates to rash. I'm not entirely on-board with Muntuwandi's split rationale, but I'm not sure that makes much difference. The article is complicated enough already that a WP:SS direction is inevitable (thus the forking off of the in-popular-culture material already). My main issue is that the split it woefully incomplete. A large amount of material in Albinism needs really to be in Albinism (human). Probably a good 2/3 of the article, which can then be expanded with more general information (and more pics - we do have lots of pics in commons of albinistic animals; just not the peacocks; we already know from documented material in a thread high above this one that they are not actually albinistic, but are pigmentless for a medically very different reason.) I do not know why Muntuwandi wants to reverse him/herself and make Albinism be about human albinism and then have a separate Albinism in animals article, after already forking it the other way. I agree with the present fork; it simply needs to be completed. Allyddin Sane, I believe we can pare the main Albinism article down into a quick summary of what the condition is and what its general effects are, and then branch to richer sub-articles. Doing so is really quite normal on Wikipedia. It's just that the present split, as you put it, is overrun with "painful redundancies" that need to be fixed immediately. I also would not oppose a complete revert of Muntuwandi's massive change pending some actual discussion of how it should actually be done. Either way is fine by me. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 21:26, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Agree with you SMcCandlish (surprised? nah!) - either the two articles need a thorough clean-up, or the split needs to be reverted and thought through beforehand, and then executed. Sadly, I don't have time to do either at present. I have this thesis on my hands here and it's not about albinism, genetics, biology or sociology so I don't have ANY kind of excuse.  ;-) If you have the time for either option, I trust I will like the outcome better than the current situation.
I was just really upset as I had recently recommended the article to many families with newly diagnosed kids with albinism because it was now safe from vandalism - and now it's such a hard-to-read mess that's more confusing than educating. With such a complicated topic - and by all means the medical specifics need to stay in there, that's what encyclopedias are for - a good structure, proper style and, with this split, a clear-as-possible line between the articles are imperative. Allyddin Sane 13:49, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Take for example this statement
"Oculocutaneous albinism type 4 (OCA4) (OMIM: 606574) is very rare outside of Japan, where OCA4 accounts for 24% of albinism cases. OCA4 can only be distinguished from OCA2 through genetic testing, and is caused by mutation of the membrane-associated transporter protein (MATP) gene.[1][2]"
To a lay person this explanation is completely unhelpful. Instead I would propose a picture of person with the condition( a pic is worth a thousand words), discuss where it occurs-okay japan. The symptoms, treatment, possible detection of recessive traits. I think this is something that a reader can identify with. Someone could even infer that they know someone with this particular condition. Whereas the current statement is only useful to people in the biomedical field.
Because of many controversies regarding human skin color, I reiterate the need for a human article. An albinistic lion is unlikely to generate any social issues, in fact most animals are relatively color blind so life is business as usual for them. The situation is so much different for humans and this should be emphasized in the human article.Muntuwandi 14:16, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I think we're talking past each other here. The idea of a split has been one of the longest-standing topics with regard to this entire article (see top 1/5 of talk page). The issue is that the split you've done was half-<ahem>finished. I propose that you complete the split, with all of the material other than a summary of it relating to humans moved into the humans article. If this doesn't happen really fast, I think there's no choice but to revert the split, and proceed to a discussion about actually planning and coordinating a split so that we don't end up with the confusing mess we have right now. Neither of the resulting articles is helpful. As for the humans stuff needing to be less geeky and more accessible (without losing medical information), I agree, but that has nothing to do with article splitting; it has also been covered as a topic here several times. And as for pics being needed, also agreed, and I'm working on this. I get the strong feeling that you have not actually read this talk page at all. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 21:33, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I've reverted the split, and moved Albinism (human) to Talk:Albinism/Humans draft for further work. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 21:52, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes I had read earlier discussions on splitting the article. Some are from december and it seemed there was no consensus. I found that disappointing because others felt the same way and really there is no harm in having two articles.
I guess a lot of issues here arise simply from cultural differences. In fact I only recently found out that white people and asian people could have albinism after the Da vinci code controversy. If a white person with Albinism was to travel to Africa, few would notice that they are albinistic, they would think that they are pale blonde. This arises because white skin is already low in pigmentation thus the there is there is not as much difference in skin complexion. However in Africa when someone is Albinistic amongst a predominantly dark skinned people, they stand out like a sore thumb. The result is intense stigmatization and marginalization. Long ago babies would be abandoned left to die. Girls with the condition suffer from very low self esteem because men do not want date them or to marry them. Thus they are plagued by social vices like prostitution or unwanted pregnancies. Furthermore because of poverty they do not get treatments for skin and eye conditions they suffer due to the intense sun. The result is deterioration of the skin. . So please forgive me if when I see a cutsy little white bird or lovely white crocodile, I get rash. Because it sort of feels like misplaced priorities.
photo of a woman in tanzania
photo nigeria Muntuwandi 00:57, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Please see WP:NPOV and WP:NOT#SOAPBOX. We cannot advocate positions here. As has been said above several times in other threads, we definitely need sourced information about stigma, bias and other social concerns, to be presented in a balanced manner; there isn't a whole lot of material out there, but with dedicated Wikipedians looking for it, it can be found. I don't think this militates, however, for an urgent article split, in which a massive amount of sourced, accurate information was thrown out. What I'm up to now is sifting through the new sourced material you've added to the human part (Amish, Hopi, etc.) and adding that into the live article, and then synching that text with the split versions so we have something stable to work with. Suggest that discussion of the text goes in the topic below, and discussion of the situation, the split revert, etc., can go here. Just so we don't mingle the two and make the editing thread below get confusing. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:41, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
PS: By my reading of the same sources, some of what you added wasn't correct. For example, the variant that affects Hopis in particular is OMIM 300700 (ADFN), not OMIM 103470 (Waardenberg-OA); the very source you cite goes right to 300700! — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:00, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
PPS: Another reason to take this slowly is that editors have worked hard for about 2 years now to get this article A-rated on the assessment scale (Featured Article) is the next step. The split needs to be done with care so that we end up with two A-class articles at the end, instead of two much lesser B-class articles that take another year to get back to A-class. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:00, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with the A rating, the article did not have a single picture of an african with typical albinism, and I could not understand the jargon. btw i did not add any info, i think it was another user who added because i am not familiar with the nomenclature. That is why I mentioned that there are cultural differences. This is based on my experiences living in Africa and the people I have known and seen with the condition. But I can see in the western world it is taken more lightly and is exotic. Ofcoures we can dig up more information and we will but some of the existing sources mention the same . [The previous unsigned comment was posted by Muntuwandi, 02:23, 1 April 2007]

I honestly am not really following what your issue is. I get that you are very interested in albinism in Africa in particular, and if your point is that there isn't enough in the article about that I'd agree with you. I don't see what that has to do with article splitting. If you don't agree with the assessment system at all, you can take that up with WP:1.0. If you don't agree with how the medical genetics project assessed the article, please take it up with that project. Venting on us here isn't going to change any of those things. I'm not sure what the "taken more lightly" comment is about. It is true that westerners are generally not outright superstitious about albinism, and some African and derived cultures are or have been, but so what? Source some reliable information on the topic and put it into the article, and the problem is solved. PS: Sorry I mistook the Hopi/Amish additions as yours; I must not have been paying enough attention to the edit history there. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:46, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
PS: I also agree with you that more pictures are needed. I've been trying to get some from a photographer that specializes in this. That isn't a problem with the article, it's a problem with We have what we have. I'm glad you found a couple of more at Flickr, but if you don't go through the Flickr admin review process to ensure that the licensing it correct, they may get deleted. (I wish I could advise about how to do that, but I honestly don't know the process.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:50, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
PPS: I added the new Tanzania pic to the article, if that helps. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:53, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes I am interested in Albinism in Africa because it has the most dramatic change from dark skin to light skin. This is very interesting because this must have been evidence of how flexible human skin color is. This should have given clues to the single origin hypothesis. The very fact that it is possible for someone with white skin to be born from black parents shows how possible it is that all of humanity is related regardless of skin color.
I am upset because Albinistic people in Africa are often treated like lepers and outcasts and yet this article did not mention anything of the sortalbinism in zimbabwe. some of superstitions are problematic but they are minor. the major issue is lack of treatment which results in frequent sunburn ,flacky skin and other side effects, thus many of the poorer albinistics even though are normal like everyone else often look sickly. this greatly contributes to the stigmatization. People like Salif Keita have come a long way to gain worldwide recognition.
I can understand why the medicals gave it a good review- because they are doctors so they can understand the jargon. but this is an encyclopedia so the average joe reader should be able to come away with some. The content is good just the communication should be improved.Muntuwandi 03:15, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Communication: Agreed. I preserved some earlier comments of yours about that, lost in the shuffle above, into the thread below so that they are not forgotten. Africa: The article does already cover some of this, namely that which could be sourced so far (I believe it was rape and HIV infection of albinistic and even Anglo women in Zimbabwe due to a local folk believe that pale people can sexually cure AIDS). Just because that is all that's in there so far doesn't mean that's all that will be in here. :-) If you know of additional materials which provide information about the problems you mention, please post about them here. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 03:25, 1 April 2007 (UTC)


Splitting the article further

Since even before the split-off of Albinism in popular culture It has been proposed (and recently attempted, with rather mixed results) to split this article into a general article, Albinism, and a human-focused article Albinism (human).

I believe the split is necessary, but must be done with a lot of careful forethought and drafting. The draft Albinism (human) is at Talk:Albinism/Humans draft. Moving material into this piece should be done from Talk:Albinism/General draft (which can be kept in synch as needed with Albinism itself) so that we are not removing material from the "live" article in the course of preparing the humans draft.

Because the draft articles are Talk:-space pages, discussion of the drafting will need to take place here. Please do so in subtopics under this topic, so that the entire topic can be archived cleanly after the split is completed. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 22:00, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

My personal take on this so far is that way, way too much well-sourced, factual and important material has been stripped in the process of the initial split attempt. Talk:Albinism/Humans draft literally threw away about a month of my own painstaking work, in one swell foop. I believe that it did a lot of violence to Alyddin's work, too. I would advocate at this point fact-checking the new material that was added to Talk:Albinism/Humans draft and factoring it into Albinism, then resolving all of the {{Fact}} problems flagged in the article, then seeing about the split. See topic above for assessment-related concerns that are important here as well. It takes a lot of work to get an article like this up to an A-class rating, and it would be a disservice to both readers and editors to fork the article in a way that results in nothing but a pair of B-class (or worse) half-articles. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:04, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
To preserve some of Muntuwandi's comments which are very on-topic in this new-thread context: "To a lay person [the present very medical explanations are] completely unhelpful. Instead I would propose a picture of person with the condition( a pic is worth a thousand words), discuss where it occurs-okay japan. The symptoms, treatment, possible detection of recessive traits. I think this is something that a reader can identify with. Someone could even infer that they know someone with this particular condition. Whereas the current statement is only useful to people in the biomedical field."
I think this raises some important ideas for article improvement. I think also, however, that we cannot lose medical information in the process of making the article more "friendly". — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:57, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Again completely in agreement with you SMcCandlish. I think if the article gets split, there will be enough room for BOTH the in-depth medical facts AND the "friendly" explanations to it. In fact I had planned to add a little more comprehensive info to the types etc., but I can't really devote so much time before July. Sorry for repeating myself, but there is so much false information out in the web that I want to see this Wiki article as factual as can be - it's the only article I CAN change, and it often is used as a reference for other web sites. So medical facts come first, but I agree there should be some "layperson's information" as well. Slap me when I get too deep into the matter - I have spent years trying to understand the condition, its effects, genetics etc. - and trust me, there is much more than you could ever cover in an article like this!
The biggest problem is that many doctors think the type-categorization is set in stone and there is only slight variation within each type (pigmentation-, light sensitivity- and vision-wise). Based on my personal experience, that is not the case, because the types just tell you what gene causes the condition, the actual phenotype (appearance) and severity of the other symptoms is very diverse within a type, even among siblings. But there is close to zero medical research about that, so I can't put up these observations because I have no sources to cite, and it's more or less original research. So even if you put up pictures for each type - you probably won't provide a more precise image, just one that might be true for some, and confusing for many others. An African with ANY type of albinism will "stick out" among his family, that provides NO info about anything.
My point is - the only factual information about albinism IS the "genetics technobabble". Beyond that, it gets complicated as to what is fact, what is "common knowledge", myth, misconceptions (common among doctors, as well) or personal experience. If you remove the in-depth medical info, you're stripping this article of the very few FACTS that you don't find in too many web articles about albinism (most of which still only know "ty-neg" and "ty-pos".
Also, Muntuwandi, I have no idea how you think that "someone could even infer that they know someone with this particular condition" - mind explaining yourself? I have met several dozens of people with albinism, and believe me you CAN'T tell at first glance what their type is. Medical professionals used to think you could, but it's inaccurate to the point of impossible to be sure.
Lastly, as this is way too long of a post already, people with albinism in China receive the same deal of discrimination as those in Africa - don't they deserve your advocacy as well? Families with children with albinism are often granted a "second attempt" in spite of the one-child-per-family-policy, and the first child is sent to an orphanage where many of the staff will neglect it because white is the color of death and considered a bad omen. I also don't see who "takes it more lightly" in the Western world. I grew up in a mainly Caucasian population and I have been, and still am discriminated against. It's probably less because of my skin color, but of my eye sight. "Albino vision" is far more complicated than the article currently suggests - and thus people either under- or overestimate my vision. Some treat me like I was blind, some like I have perfect vision - in both cases, it prevents me from performing to my max - which is what discrimination is all about in the end. Allyddin Sane 08:10, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
For example there are two classifications, oculocutaneous albinism" (AHK-you-low-CU-tain-ee-us) ie affecting both the eye and skin . 2. ocular albinism affects only the eye. If there was a picture of both kinds then one could instantly notice the difference.
Certain types of albinism only occur in certain population- a picture might help. I think everyone who is discriminated deserves advocacy regardless of location. However I think the plight of those in Africa merits special attention. one reason is because they live in the tropics where the sun is intense and this severly damages their skin and skin cancer rates are very high. many are poor so do not have access to advanced medical treatments that are more available in the west. finally because the people around them are dark, they stand out more than if the people were light skinned and thus stigmatization is worse.
for example this article says african american albinism
I think that these issues were largely missing from the article. I am not against medicine or science, i just think that the content should be accessible to the average person. this is an issue I have with many other articles. I have seen diagrams that look like they are straight from the laboratory spectrophotometer on to wikipedia.Muntuwandi 13:17, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry but I don't see how a picture of someone with ocular albinism would help. There are estimates that the majority of people with OA are never diagnosed because "it don't look like albinism". You could put any blue or grey-eyed person's picture in there and pretend it's a person with OA. Or were you thinking about someone with red eyes? In which case I must disappoint you - we usually don't have red eyes except in extreme lighting situations. If you put in one of those pics, you help perpetuate the stereotype that in turn perpetuates the stigmatization you claim to sympathize with.
If you read the article again, you will also realize that not a single type occurs ONLY in one region/country. Predominantly, yes, but not exclusively. Besides, you can't tell apart someone who has HPS (dominant in Puerto Rico) from someone who has OCA1, or 2 or 3 or OA, as both the vision issues and pigmentation varies greatly in HPS. Same holds true for OCA2 and 3 (dominant in Japan). Trust me it's often hard enough to tell whether someone has OCA1 or 2!
And a white-haired Asian child does not stick out among its own ethnicity? Granted, the chance of sunburn and subsequently skin cancer is less severe than in Asia (and yes it IS horrible how many Africans with albinism suffer from it), but the stigmatization is comparable, just less known.
Regarding these missing issues you mention - why don't you just add them??? Allyddin Sane 15:45, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Right. I do agree with Muntuwandi partially, that some additional pics would be helpful in some (but as Allyddin points out not all) cases; we simply don't have any yet, and we can't just rip them off from other websites, books, etc. The text itself can simply be improved by any editor (without deleting sourced, relevant information). Simply complaining that it's not good enough isn't going to make it better. :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 22:09, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Albinism (for humans), and Albinism (general) or Albinism (animals)?

I still propose that the main Albinism article should be about humans and a seperate article that is more general for animals. As we have been discussing there is a lot more relevant issues regarding humans.Muntuwandi 23:47, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I think that would be weird and confusing to many if not most readers. If you enter the general term, you should get the general article. Please see WP:SS; that's just kind of how summary style evolution happens. A general article gets more and more specifics in it, until it needs to branch out into new sub-articles about the specific stuff, while retaining a summary of the specifics in the main article. By way of analogy, if you enter "Star Trek" and hit the "Go" button, you do not go straight to the Star Trek: Enterprise article simply because that is the most recent ST show, nor to the Star Trek: The Next Generation article sipmly because that was the most popular show, and then have to hunt around for some kind of Star Trek in general article. You go to Star Trek, which then branches to sub-articles about the various shows and movies (which in turn branch to even more specific ones, such as episode and character articles). — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 00:43, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I have never seen an albinistic animal live, but many humans I have. If the weight of an article shifts heavily in one direction then possibly the article should be given preference over what is lesser known. though not scientific a quick google search for albinism results in 2 out of 30 entries dedicated to albino animals google albinismMuntuwandi 00:57, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I've seen lots of albino animals (in captivity; I have seen an albino raccoon in the wild, however). If you google "albino", you get completely opposite results than the ones you just reported for "albinism". I don't think this is a statistics issue; it's a usability and logic issue. What are people most likely expecting when the enter "albino" or "albinism" in the search box? Think about something else that applies equally to humans and animals. If I search for "fleas", I want general information about the flea and its lifecycle. I might also expect summary sections that link to sub-artices about fleas and humans and the societal repercussions such as the Black Death, another about fleas in popular culture such as the grubby and insect-infested character in the comic strip Peanuts", and so on. But I wouldn't expect that Flea would be about humans and fleas, and that I would have to go looking for a Flea (general) article to find at more about fleas and their lifecycle. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 01:20, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
From scientific perspective there is no difference between animal and human albinism. But from a social perspective, I think that we diminish the value of advocacy that is much needed for people with albinism when we mix things up with cute pictures of animals. Muntuwandi 01:09, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I understand what you mean by the 'cute pictures of animals' stuff, but a) this is an encyclopedia, not an advocacy platform, and b) the effect you are concerned about would be mitigated by having a human albinism article, which I don't see anyone disputing. It's just that your bold (but undiscussed or planned, thus consensusless) attempt at that split was half-formed, and destructive of well-researched information. Your concerns are not being unheared. Some of them are being a little disagreed with; but mostly I think they are undestood and seen and valid, and we are just asking you to stop making these points again and again, and work on improving the article, with source-cited information on the topics you feel are under-represented, so that a proper article split is actually feasible at some point. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Etymology and history

According to etymlogy online the term "albino" was first recording as being used in 1777, when portuguese explorers first saw white looking people in Africa. It was extended to animals in 1859 online etymology. It was primarily used only for humans. This is why I had some problems with the article earlier on because it did not have much specific information about Albinism in Africa but yet it is in Africa where the term arose from. Muntuwandi 01:09, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
"Originally" and "primarily" are not synonymous. I still don't think you seem to understand that there is no bias again Africa or Africans here; simply no one who knows enough about albinism in Africa has bothered to contribute much to the article. Arguing about this on the talk page is not improving the article. SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 02:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes i am a bit of broken record. I meant to indicate that in certain contexts, such as before 1859, albinism only refers to humans. This is just one of my arguments for the main article to refer to only humans.
Muntuwandi 03:40, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Again, "Originally" and "primarily" are not synonymous. A long time ago the words "wife" and "husband" simply meant "woman" and "farmer (male)", without any other connotations. Similarly, the world "albino" does not mean in Modern English what it meant in colonial Pre-Modern Spanish and Portuguese. We're not in 1859 any longer, so that argument doesn't seem very relevant.  :-) Anyway, I reiterate that we needn't contemplate a split right this moment; the article with regard to both humans and animals still needs a lot of work. When the article is re-rated A-Class again (and even you think it is A class) that is a good time to look into a major forking, and if necessary it could be taken to WP:RFC for more community input on how best to split it. How's that? — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 04:21, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
The reason I mention the etymology is to give a timeline. Based on the what the dictionary says it would appear that caucasian people with albinism were not referred to as albinistic before africans were in 1777. This makes sense because why call a white skinned person white when they are already white. Albino comes from albus meaning white in Latin. Of course when the condition was diagonized as hypopigmentation, it was probably then that all people and organisms became to be known as albinistic. The condition was more about lacking pigmentation than skin color.
I will give a simplistic example of the "shopping cart". Traditionally it means that thing you push in the supermarket. But now it can also mean the list of stuff you want to buy from an online store. So in 200 years time when supemarkets do not exist people will want to know why they put their online purchases in a shopping cart.Muntuwandi 05:15, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I have no argument with the idea that this is important information, and more historical info was already requested in another thread above; I just don't think it's a good rationale with regard to how the article is split, that's all. Also, I'm extremely skeptical that albinistic Caucasian people were not noticed and called something before 1777; we just need to find a source for what those terms were. Trust me, I'm a really pale Celto-Germanic guy, but even if I bleached my hair, no one in a million years would think I was albinistic. I'm almost certain there is information out there somewhere regarding pre-1777 White-people albinos, and how they were perceived/treated. We just have to find it. My apologies if your premise isn't really "no one from the West even noticed albinism until Caucasians went to Africa"; that's kind of what it sounded like though. I think that Africa does explain the term. Albino means "white", so Iberians arriving in Africa would have said something like "Mira! Un Negro albino!" ("Look! A white Black guy!") How they would have remarked upon albinistic Iberians is (here at WP, without a source about it yet) entirely open to question. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 06:00, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Merging more stuff into the PopCult article

Since there's probably nothing more definitive of pop culture than "famousness", I've moved the "Famous people with albinism" and "Notable albino animals" to Albinism in popular culture, and re-summarized that article here, per WP:SUMMARY style. This has cut the article down to 31K and made it less confusing (and able to focus on the medical facts and eventually the non-pop cultural aspects such as the issues Muntuwandi raised. A bit bold, but reverting won't be hard if this move is opposed. I think it makes pretty good sense (and also results in the popcult article making more sense itself; until now it was only about fictional portrayals, which is not the full gamut of what an "in popular culture" article is for.) PS: I also restored the "albino colonies" urban legend, but in the popcult article instead of here, and fixed its reference citation. Also added refs for all of the animals. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 05:12, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Three-way split?

the issues of mice and crocs and science still make this article difficult to navigate. I still propose splits, possibly albinism human, medical and genitics of albinism, albinism in animals. Muntuwandi 04:57, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm finding it hard to think of a reason to go that way. It would result in too much duplicate information, since there's very little about albinism that is different in humans vs. other animals other than the cultural aspect, so this suggests that the real split needs to be between the science (which can include the animal stuff, since animals don't have any relevant "culture" here) and the cultural aspects. Given that the article has almost no infomration about the cultural aspects, a further split isn't justified yet. When we have 20K or so of information about the societal treatment of people with albinism in various parts of the world, then we'll have a good split-off sub-article. But the article hasn't even started to address this yet, in earnest. I think we have one sourced fact on this entire subject (about the Zimbawean wave of rapes). Under WP:SUMMARY there isn't justification for a further split yet. I've tried thinking of additional split criteria (Genetics of albinism?) but we don't have enough material for anything like that either. The article right now stands as an intro, a description of what/how/why it happens, a list of types (in humans; we haven't even started with animals yet), a pretty good discussion of treatment/coping, a summary of the "in popular culture sub-article, and some links". That's simply not a complicated enough article to split further. In two years, we might well have 5 articles; depends on how much work people put into writing and sourcing the article. For example we barely mention strabismus damping surgery. How available is it? How successful is it, and does the success rate depend on type and severity of albinism? What are the risks? Etc. We've only barely scratched the surface of even the medical material, much less the socio-cultural issues. There is no hurry, anyway. WP is a work in progress.
I think that the bulk of your concerns (which in essence keep seeming to boil down to "I find it technical and hard to read", which I'm sure many others do; it's a good point) can be addressed by simply improving the article text to be less geeky (which does not mean deleting sourced medical information, it means explaining it better).
SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 10:16, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I could put together an expanded article on the Genetics of albinism if there was consensus for such a split. Rockpocket 19:03, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
That would be very cool. I'm learning that the animal side is quite complicated. Having an article that really delved into the genetics of it could allow us to simplify and summarize this stuff in the main article and make it less med-geeky. I wouldn't worry about the split anyway. The new material might simply make a good section, and seriously if we look at this article in a year or two it's probably going to be very WP:SUMMARY style, with a half-dozen side articles. The consensus issue isn't whether to ever split any further - that's virtually inevitable - but whether do split the current material, which is a lot more iffy. I.e., I think there is zero chance that the work you put into the genetics stuff would be wasted. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 20:04, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, it may take me a little while to collect the resources, and I'll probably start off in workspace. Once it gets going, I'll leave a link from here incase anyone wishes to contribute. Once there is something worth adding, we can decide where it should go, and in what format. Rockpocket 21:20, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Flickr-sourced images

Good find with the sunburn pic; we can use that immedately. I remain concerned that the Flickr source will cause problems later if the Commons admin Flickr verification process isn't followed. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 04:48, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
No worries about the flickr. I had requested the the owner for permission and she was kind enough to release them with the appropriate creative commons license. Muntuwandi 05:15, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry I wasn't clearer: Because too many people have simply either lied or being very mistaken about the licensing of images from Flickr in particular, there is a general policy (I don't know if it is Policy, but it is at least a general practice) of eventually administratively deleting any Flickr-sourced image from Commons unless the uploader of it (or someone else who cares about the image) has a Commons admin go examine the original Flickr page it came from for licensing information, or contact the original owner of the image via Flickr to confirm that the WikiMedia Commons licensing tag is correct. It might take a month or a year for all I know for the image to be removed, but it will eventually be removed. But, since I don't use Flickr for WP purposes, I do not recall what the process of requesting this admin review is over at Commons. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 05:35, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes I am familiar with the process. Basically if the photo has an Attribution or Attribution ShareAlike license then it can be used. There are about 4 other licenses that are not suitable for wikipedia. sometimes people lie but anybody can follow the links and they will be found out.
It is quite frustrating because flickr has so many great photos, but only a tiny fraction of them are have the appropriate license.
You can use these links to search for wikipedia valid photos.
Muntuwandi 05:57, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm still not being clear, I guess. I have been reliably informed that even if you put the A or A/SA license tag on the Commons page, and even if the Flickr page has Flickr's version of the license tag on it, a Common's admin still has to verify this (and puts a special template on the page when this has been done), or the image will eventually be deleted, but that this only applies to Flickr, and came about due to too much bullshitting when it comes to Flickr in particular, for some reason. I will try to remember to look into the matter, and get back to this page with what I find out. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 06:04, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
PS: In the interim, I've installed the sunburn pic in the obvious place in the article. If you can get permission to use the non-CC license Flickr pic that showed the guy covered with melanomas, that would be excellent. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 06:06, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Gallery of available images

Muntuwandi 03:40, 3 April 2007 (UTC); Updated: — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 06:35, 16 April 2007 (UTC) Image:Image:Albinisitic man portrait.jpg|Albinistic boy - image needs renaming Used in article as lead image, but may not be suitable as nothing firm can be said about it, even from the original source

These are some of the available images for use with this article. I've annotated them with issues that come to mind. The main problems we have:

  • Most of them are Africans. More than 1 or 2 Africa pics is going to make this seem like an Africa-only issue.
  • Most of them do not work well at thumbnail size.
  • Most of them have bad names (typos, or "albino" which is offensive to some when applied to people)
  • The boy and mother pic, or the sunburn pic, needs replacing since it's unhelpful to have two pics of same person in this article.
  • The lead picture needs to be really good. The Taiwanese one isn't (though I don't think I want to lose it completely, as it is the only Asian one we have so far), but ZacBowling's suggested mother-and-baby one is even worse - no offense intended, but it is both blurry and grainy, it can't be verified to be what it purports to be (rather than, say, a Black woman holding a White baby), and even if it were clearer it would not be sufficiently illustrative of the topic, because the baby has no hair). The latter point also goes for the Flickr-sourced baby image.

Can someone please trawl the image namespace and Commons for more pics (of people - animal pics are common, and we probably only need one or two at most before the eventual article split talked about elsewhere)? PS: Anyone should feel free to refactor in their own notes about the images in the gallery of course.

We need to think pretty carefully about what needs to be illustrated, and where, and about balance. The article is already Africa-heavy, visually, but not textually, which will be confusing to readers. We are overusing the little boy in green. The lead pic, I would say, needs to demonstrate very clearly (i.e. subject must have hair!) one of the more extreme forms (i.e. the very, very pale, which doesn't seem to be common in Africa if it occurs at all); the typical yellowish form of albinism common in Africa will be pretty indistinguishable from blonde-and-light-skinned African-Caucasian mixed-race people to a large number of readers until they learn later in the article that there are different kinds of albinism. We need to show as many races as we can, it shouldn't all be children, or all poor starving people, or if Rick Guidoti comes through, fashion-like photoshoots, or otherwise out-of-balance. Image quality is important, meaning we need a better Asian picture to replace the snapshot we presently have. Also, we should not interrupt lists of technical information with left-aligned images as was recently done. Left is a nice effect to break up monotony, but it needs to be done carefully.

(I'll move this topic to the bottom in a bit, if someone doesn't beat me to it; I have to restart my browser first as copy-paste just quit working for some reason.)

SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 06:35, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

The picture I posted is sourced and does it not have license issues (I took it myself and released under creative commons). I don't recall exactly where in Kenya but this was during a visit to a humanitarian project I was in involved with for a summer and we traveled out there and dropped off sun cream and head wraps for the high number of albino children in this village. If you look really close at the picture you can see it's not a black woman holding a white baby. You can see that the baby does have lots of hair (and its completely white). It was taken in the same village as the picture of the girl with her sister picture above. The quality and size was caused by the person that took the picture when I let one the children take a picture of their mom but even with the motion blur its one of best examples in all my photos of the genetics involved in Albinism. I can though see how it might hard to conclude anyone really anyone is truly albino from only a photo. I don't post many pictures to Wikipedia but if unsourced means that is the test, then most of the photos here could be scrutinized in the same way, even the asain photo since it came from a photo of a gay rights rally so its hard to say she really is albino at all. --ZacBowlingtalk 00:04, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Here is a great example: Can you tell the difference between the white blond guy and the albino african? :-) --ZacBowlingtalk 00:21, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the new photos are sourced to you, and have correct license tags now; what I meant in the gallery notes is that some of the Commons page captions make assertions (that so-and-so is whoever's sibling, etc.) that aren't sourced, so the captions need to be more general; same goes for the Flickr images which say things like "so and so was abandoned"; well... says who? "If you look really close...": Yes, that's my point. Probably the majority of encyclopedia readers here don't even realize they can click on the image for a larger version. The held-baby picture simply isn't illustrative for WP purposes if it must be very closely studied, at least certainly not as the lead picture (the Asian one isn't much better, but we already have the problem that we are overusing African pictures, so replacing a not very useful picture with another not very useful picture and increasing the African visual slant of the article is a net mistake. That said, we are also overusing the little boy in green shirt. I think it's important to keep the sunburn pic, so I think maybe we should replace the one of him and his mother with the girl-and-her-sister pic you supplied. I'm hoping at least Alyddin Sane and Muntuwandi but preferably also others will chime in here. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:04, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Great new finds, Muntuwandi! However these and all the others that are CC or GFDL licensed need to be on Commons so that other Wikipedias can use them (most of them have an albinism article now). — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:52, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Lead pic

What should the main picture be? Obviously the Taiwan one kind of sucks, but none of the incoming pics work at all well in thumbnail (or have licensing problems, as flagged on their Image:-space pages.) One of the Winter bros. album covers would get the point across better, but of course we can't use those under fair use for anything but the artist of the ablum or one of its songs. I haven't heard back from photographer Rick Guidotti in some time, so I'm losing hope on that score. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 15:30, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I would think Salif Keita would be a possible candidate.Muntuwandi 15:48, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
But that's just the bad case I outlined - it's a fair-use album cover image, and under the FU rules (funny acronym, that!) it can't be used for anything but an article about the artist, the album itself, or a song from the album. Maybe Flickr will eventually come through for us. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 16:39, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Flickr has some decent photos. The only thing is getting permission from the copyright holder or requesting them to add a creative commons license [7],[8]. I sent out a few requests but I haven't got any responses yet, but I'll keep trying.Muntuwandi 16:47, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Added a portrait of a young man in the lead pic.Muntuwandi 11:22, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

And as I warned, this article now looks like Albinism in African boys. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 18:41, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

SMcCandlish, thats unfair to say that the article is Albinism in African boys, what about the photo of the girl from Papua New Guinea, or the Afro brazilian women. all these are available for use once we can agree what would be an appropriate picture gallery and once we split the article into humans. I think there are a lot of interesting issues about albinism that are missing from the article. I am trying to acquire photos from all over the world, not just Africa. this photo is currently the best for thumbnail because it is a headshot and like you said the photo of the Taiwanese lady "kind of sucks", it was not clear or in focus. Before the article had not even one photo of an african and had more photos of ducks and crocs.

I had requested permission for all these photos but by chance I have only received permission for the photos of the various african peoples.

Muntuwandi 02:14, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm just making an observation about the article as it stands now. Didn't say it couldn't be fixed. For now I propose replacing the first green-shirt-boy picture with the Papuan, and adding the carnival pic to the Culture section. After that I think we need to find a pic of a someone with Winter Brothers-style OCA1a, because even after these changes every single pic in the article is or OCA2, maybe OCA1b in some cases, or something more obscure. In the interim, I also propose moving sunburn boy to the "Symptoms and conditions associated with albinism" section (there's a lot of room to the right of that list already), and putting melanoma man where sunburn boy is right now. Still heavily African, but at least they're illustrative. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 02:31, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
PS: The other Bhutan pic available there, with the smaller non-albinistic boy in the same pic, would be a completely perfect OCA1b illustration because of the image quality and the phenotypic contrast within the same ethnicity. Beg for that one if you have to. >;-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 02:36, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I still do not know what the OCA1 or OCA2 are. If you could attach a pic next to each type that would help in understanding the difference. All I am aware of are skin or eye albinism. I guess that is why pictures will really help in making the article more accessible.Muntuwandi 02:53, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
(Please indent your replies) OCA1a is the "total albinism" of, say Edgar Winter and Johnny Winter, or the new Honduras little girl pic: Very pale skin, bone-white hair, no pigment at all (no freckles, moles, etc.), and very light blue eyes (that sometimes look red or pink due to light reflecting off the retina). The Bhutan teenager in the new pics you found is almost certainly OCA1b - white hair and pale skin, but able to develop freckles. The Africans are mostly probably OCA2, from what I can gather on re-reading the article and from what Ayddin Sane says below, though Africa is home to many of the rarer albinism variants, so it would be hard to say for sure. They tend to be darker than OCA1's, with yellowish hair and more skin pigment, and often hazel eyes - see the new Zambia girl pic; very probably OCA2 I should think, from the eye color. The new lead pic, it's hard to say. That could well be OCA1; too bad we can't see his eyes. The new Argentina pic is probably OCA1 of one sort or the other, and the Kuna/Panama pic OCA2 since her hair is straw yellow. More OCA1a's are findable with Google searches for "Connie Chiu" (the model), and "Brooke Fox" (the singer-songwriter). For Afro-Carribean OCA2s, see Yellowman and Al Beeno. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 03:39, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

that makes a little more sense.Muntuwandi 13:33, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Dark-skinned ethnicity leading to darker albinism

Not just with Africans, but also American Hispanics, etc. The article does not account for this in any way (and I don't know the answer myself). Is it that ;darker ethnicities manage to produce some melanin despite the albinism? Is there a non-melanin pigment at work? Does albinism only affect certain of the several types of melanin and these ethnicities have a higher concentration of them? We need some sources on this. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 07:09, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

If you read this article -, I suggest browser seraching ;-) - you'll see that people with OCA1a are the same in all ethnicities. For all others, those that can produce even a little pigment, their ethnic background can have an influence. The only thing in that article I am not sure of being still valid is the bit about brown albinism. Other than that, it is definitely reliable and corresponds with my real life experience with many people with albinism.
Regarding your detail questions, to my knowledge:
Albinism only affects the production of melanin, varying phenotypes are likely just due to varying levels of it. But remember all types except the abovementioned OCA1a can produce "some" melanin! It's just nowhere near normal levels, otherwise we would all be white head-to-toe (and would have red eyes, but let's not even go there). As per the Wiki article on melanin and what I read myself, it is suspected that it is the eumelanin (not surprisingly the dark one) that's lacking in albinism. I have never read any research beyond that...
Next one is a guess: If people from darker ethnicities have higher levels of pigment, and if a certain type of albinism for example reduced melanin synthesis by 95%, this person still would be darker than a Caucasian PWA? I mean, SOMEHOW pigmented people of darker ethnicities also must produce higher levels of melanin than pigmented Caucasians, it is possible in my opinion that the same is true for the reduced synthesis in people with albinism.
Finally - you're asking good questions. :-) Some of these have yet to be answered by the researchers. For example, we know how the tyrosinase gene mutation in OCA1-types affects the melanin synthesis, but not the P-gene in OCA2. As long as that's unclear, I am not sure if we even can make serious comparisons regarding who of which ethnicity is darker because of what. And of course, you won't find any sources that go beyond speculation... Allyddin Sane 21:38, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Disease infobox

I just realised that the article uses a disease infobox. Is Albinism a disease or a condition. I do not think it is a disease, the effects of low melanism may cause diseases such as cancer but itself it is not a disease. Muntuwandi 13:22, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Article describes the disorder accurately; this is a non-issue. The infobox in question is used for all diseases, conditions, parasites, disorders, etc. It's a generic tool, and its name isn't part of the encyclopedic content. :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 18:33, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
It should have been named medical infobox, or health infobox. Conditions like Dwarfism should not be considered a disease.Muntuwandi 13:31, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
(Please indent your replies, e.g with a leading ":" for one indent level or "::" for two). I agree. I'm not certain why it was named as it was. Will look into it. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 19:05, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
PS: I've raised the issue at Template talk:Infobox Disease#Rename. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 19:24, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
PPS: I'm informed that the more generic name Template:DiseaseDisorder infobox exists as a redirect. Will install it. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:32, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Edward the Confessor

It's only a minor nitpick I know, but since the article is protected I can't do anything about it. One of the people listed as having albinism is 'King Edward III of England', which links to the article for 'Edward the Confessor'. While I have no idea whether or not he was an albino, Edward the Confessor is not Edward III, as the official numbering of English kings did not start until after the Norman conquest. 'Edward III' always refers to the 14th century king, whereas the three anglo-saxon kings named Edward are always known by their epithets. The link should be renamed to simply 'Edward the Confessor' to avoid confusion. Fricasso 15:29, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Blatant misinformation in an encyclopedia article is never a minor nitpick. Thanks for pointing this one out; I've fixed it. This page is only "semi-protected"; you'll be able to edit such articles soon (they are only protected from editing by anonymous IP-address editors, and by registered accounts that are only a few days old.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 19:05, 26 April 2007 (UTC)


With regard to technical jargon this is what wikipedia policy says

  • "When writing technical articles, it is usually the case that a number of technical terms or jargon specific to the subject matter will be presented. These should be defined or at least alternative language provided, so that a non-technical reader can both learn the terms and understand how they are used by scientists" Wikipedia:Technical terms and definitions
  • "Explain jargon when you use it (see jargon). Remember that the person reading your article might not be someone educated or versed in your field, and so might not understand the subject-specific terms from that field. Terms which may go without a definition in an academic paper or a textbook may require one in Wikipedia.Wikipedia:Explain jargon

Wikipedia:Make technical articles accessible says

  • "Articles in Wikipedia should be accessible to the widest possible audience. For most articles, this means accessible to a general audience."
  • "Put the most accessible parts of the article up front. It's perfectly fine for later sections to be highly technical, if necessary. Those who are not interested in details will simply stop reading at some point, which is why the material they are interested in needs to come first. Linked sections of the article should ideally start out at about the same technical level, so that if the first, accessible paragraph of an article links to a section in the middle of the article, the linked section should also start out accessible."
  • "Use jargon and acronyms judiciously. In addition to explaining jargon and expanding acronyms at first use, you might consider using them sparingly thereafter, or not at all. Especially if there are many new terms being introduced all at once, substituting a more familiar English word might help reduce confusion (as long as accuracy is not sacrificed)".

Muntuwandi 14:25, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


Just my take, but if someone disagrees with the A-class assessment this article has been rated at (twice, no less, once by the Medical Genetics WikiProject and once by the Wikipedia 1.0 Editorial Team, they should (in order of preference):

A. Improve the article.
B. Leave assessment /Comments as all these project assessment tags instruct, to help identify what the issues are.
C. Discuss the matter on the talk page.
D. Reassess, using the project template of whatever relevant project they are an active member of (and an active member of its assessment dept./task force.)
D1. Not do so with a blatantly redundant project tag; the Medical Genetics project is more specific and more relevant than the general Medicine one. This simply leads to project tag bloat, which is already considered a fairly serious WP problem.
E. Complain to the original assessors and seek a re-assessment.

It strikes me as rather inappropriate to change the assessments of other projects/WP-entities, unless also an active member of their assessment departments. There is no article, anywhere, on WP with an assessment with which some WPian somewhere doesn't agree. A-class assessment in particular is a peer-reivew process, and should not simply be undone because of a lone passer-by's opinion. It's particularly poor form, regardless of those issues, to "demote" an article one or more grades on the assessment scale without leaving /Comments or an equivalent explanation on the talk page.

All that said, I'm sure the article does have issues that need to be addressed, and that standards have changed over time for medical articles. The new (independent) B-class rating is noted, and I for one look forward to /Comments that go into more detail on what is felt needs to be done; we have a pretty detailed to-do list to track these kinds of needs once they're clearly identified. While I think the involvement of that particular project is redundant (like having a WikiProject Sports tag as well as a WikiProject Baseball tag and a WikiProject Baseball Teams tag on every Baseball team article), with all the project templates now stuffed into the project banner container box, it's not a big deal I suppose.

SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 18:06, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

The "citation needed", "who?", "howto" and "expand" tags need clearing up. DrKiernan (talk) 15:24, 13 January 2009 (UTC)


Resolved: Typo fixed in article.

Why is that girl in the picture supposed to have OCA1b? Was that info in the source where the pic was taken from? Looks like a case of straight OCA1a to me. Allyddin Sane 08:00, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Just a typo, methinks. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:29, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Michael Jackson (trolling; ignore)

Resolved: Obvious trolling; also off-topic (this is not Albinism in popular culture.

I heard Michael Jackson caught the Albino diesease(sp?) after eating spoiled food. I think there should be mention of this fact on the page if it is true —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:04, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Please do not respond to this thread; it is an obvious attempt at trolling, like some other threads above. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 03:48, 23 September 2007 (UTC)