Talk:Charles Darwin

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Multiple references to humans in OTOOS[edit]

1. Dave Souza, you are edit-warring. Wikipedia policy is to have bold edits and when disagreements lead to reversion, to discuss the disagreements on the talk page (WP:BRD). Unfortunately, you have a history of reverting edits without the required discussion, so that's a problem.

2. You reverted my addition that Darwin's line about light being thrown on man's origin implied that humans shared common ancestry with other animals. This is exactly what Darwin said in TDOM and the quote is included in Footnote III. While most of TDOM is a primary source, Darwin's WP:ANALYSIS of OTOOS there is secondary. Thus, the information in my edit comes from a secondary source, and it is hard to think of a more reliable source for the contents of OTOOS than what Darwin himself reported that it said.

3. All my other edits that you reverted were exceptional claims. According to Darwin himself, he wrote in OTOOS that sexual selection applies to humans, yet you claim that this is somehow not an allusion to human origins. You cite Browne, but given the recent edits by Yopienso, I am quite skeptical that Browne actually said that. Earlier, we had a discussion where you were challenged about your claim that Darwin didn't perceive racial inferiority. In response, you claimed that Browne said this, before acknowledging that she actually hadn't made that claim. These are huge red flags that you are making an exceptional claim which requires "multiple high-quality sources" (emphasis in original, WP:EXCEPTIONAL). So, until that happens, it is not acceptable for the article to say that OTOOS only made one allusion to human origins. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 00:31, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Both pages of Browne's The Power of Place cited in the passage under dispute are accessible (at least to me) in the Google books copy (p.60, p.87). Here are some of the relevant statements from p.60:
  • "With profound deliberation, however, he did not include the two difficulties that would have occured to everybody. He avoided talking about the origin of human beings and he avoided God."
  • "In this book, he was completely silent on the subject of human origins, although in several places he did refer to mankind as an example of biological details.52 The only words he allowed himself—and these out of a sense of duty that he must somewhere refer to human beings—were gnomic in their brevity. "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history," he declared in the conclusion."
It must be borne in mind, however, that Browne was here explicitly referring to the first edition of On the Origin of Species, and it cannot be assumed that she would necessarily have said the same thing about later editions.
In my opinion Darwin's remark about sexual selection's being responsible for "the differences between the races of man" does not constitute a clear reference to the origins of man, and the claim that it does is specious. The latter term explicitly covers the notion that Homo sapiens is a descendent of a different species of ape, whereas the differences between the races of man are merely differences within that species, so a reference to the origins of those differences can at most be considered as being one to evolution within the species, and not as a reference to the actual origin of the species.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 03:45, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
1. Thank you for providing the links to Browne’s book. Unfortunately, I only got content for p.87 and not p.60, so I appreciate the statements that you provided.
2. In the passages quoted from TDOM that are included in Note III, Darwin also explicitly refers to the first edition of OTOOS, so the edition isn't an issue.
3. You are suggesting that I am claiming that Darwin’s reference to sexual selection in OTOOS is a "clear reference to the origins of man" and this is simply not the case. I removed the disputed claim which stated that there was only one "allusion to human origins" in OTOOS. Wikipedia is absolutely clear that the burden to demonstrate verifiability lies with the editor who restores material (WP:PROVEIT). Thus, I am not here to argue that Darwin’s comment on sexual selection was such an allusion. Darwin had other references to humans, and I am claiming that you have not proven that none of these references, with only the one exception, could be construed as alluding to the origins of humans in any way. Arguably, the reference to sexual selection alludes to the fact that humans have evolved and this alludes to the fact that humans have common ancestry with other animals, which is an allusion to human origins. I am not even saying this is a strong argument, but if you cannot conclusively disprove it, then the disputed statement cannot be included in the article.
4. Browne writes “In this book, he was completely silent on the subject of human origins”. Yet Darwin wrote in TDOM that, "It seemed to me sufficient to indicate, in the first edition of my 'Origin of Species,' that by this work 'light would be thrown on the origin of man and his history;' and this implies that man must be included with other organic beings in any general conclusion respecting his manner of appearance on this earth."(see note III) Thus, according to Darwin himself, he was not completely silent on that subject. This shows that there is too much ambiguity on the subject to use Browne as a source for this exceptional claim. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 06:28, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
Implying something isn't the same as stating something. Darwin was silent on the origins while hinting that the reader could put 2 and 2 together. Janet Browne has impeccable credentials and makes complete sense; I'd say she is a very reliable source. Here's page 60. Ken Weiss agrees with her. Here's the preview of a paper quoting several experts on Darwin's silence. And for Darwin on Darwin: "You ask whether I shall discuss “man”;—I think I shall avoid whole subject, as so surrounded with prejudices, though I fully admit that it is the highest & most interesting problem for the naturalist." (Letter to Wallace, Dec.22, 1857.)The claim isn't exceptional at all but is general knowledge.
About note III--clicking on the superscript doesn't take the reader to the note. YoPienso (talk) 08:59, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
1. Thank you for the link to p.60. This time it worked. I don’t understand why the link to Footnote III doesn’t work for you. The superscript numbers 1 and 2 work for me. Maybe someone else can help.
2. Darwin’s letter to Wallace (presumably) represented his intention at that time, but it’s clear that when he actually wrote OTOOS, he did not avoid the subject entirely. I agree that implying something isn’t the same as stating it, but it’s not the same as staying completely silent either. An encyclopedia with multiple editors does not have the same ability to make fine semantic distinctions in the way that a single-author book can. I maintain that it is inappropriate to say on Wikipedia that Darwin was silent on something, only to add later that he wasn’t actually quite totally silent on the matter. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 12:49, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
The claim I was referring to in the second paragraph of my above comments was the edit summary of this edit where you wrote:
"saying that sexual selection applies to humans is an allusion to human origins".
While this edit summary does not say that the suposed allusion to human origins was clear, it neverthelesss appears to me to be the only justification you have offered for your edit, which removed the assertion that Darwin's statement, "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history", is the only such allusion in On the Origin of Species. Since that assertion is properly supported by an accurate citation to an unequivocally reliable source (viz. Browne's The Power of Place), your edit would only be justified if the statement that sexual selection applies to humans constituted a clear and unequivocal allusion to human origins, which, in my opinion it does not, for the reasons I have given above. Since the claim made by the assertion is not at all exceptional (as Yopienso points out in his comments above), the burden of demonstrating its verifiability is quite properly met by the citation to Browne, However, the assertion does also seem to me to be well supported by the statement of Darwin's that you have quoted from The Descent of Man, which I now requote with some of the preceding context:
"During many years I collected notes on the origin or descent of man, without any intention of publishing on the subject [emphasis mine], but rather with the determination not to publish, as I thought that I should thus only add to the prejudices against my views. It seemed to me sufficient to indicate [emphasis mine], in the first edition of my 'Origin of Species,' that by this work "light would be thrown on the "origin of man and his history;" and this implies that man must be included with other organic beings in any general conclusion respecting his manner of appearance on this earth."
While the key words, which I have emphasisd in the above quotation, perhaps do not quite imply that the "light will be thrown" statement is absolutely the only one in On the Origin of Species referring to the origins of man, they seem to me to come pretty damn close.
Browne's statement that the first edition of On the Origin of Species was "completely silent on the subject of human origins" does not appear to me to be obviously inconsistent with Darwin's statement that "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history". Saying that light will be thrown on something says nothing whatever about what that light will reveal about the something in question. Given the context of Browne's remark, I expect that that's all she meant when she said the book was completely silent on the subject, although I do agree that she could have expressed herself more clearly. But in any case, neither the statement that On the Origin of Species was "completely silent on the subject of human origins", nor anything which implies it, as far as I can see, currently appears in the article. I certainly would not propose that it be added, and Yopienso doesn't appear to be arguing that it should be either.
On the issue of how little discussion of human origins there is in On the Origin of Species, to the references cited by Yopienso above I can add Desmond and Moore's Darwin, in which they write:
"Even in 1859 he [i.e. Darwin] had to be prodded into publishing The Origin of Species , and then he let it go with barely a hint about human origins."
On the issue of Browne's reliability, I can offer this survey of reviews in reliable sources which I carried out some years ago in response to another editor's challenging it.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 16:10, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
So much talk, and still all the secondary sources indicate that Darwin confined discussion of human origins to that one sentence. Clarification re Browne p. 60, she writes “In this book, he was completely silent on the subject of human origins, although he did refer in several places to mankind as an example of biological details. The only words he allowed himself .... were gnomic in their brevity. 'Light will be thrown on the origin of man'." There's that sentence, picked out by multiple sources. Stan Giesbrecht is claiming that there are other allusions to the topic but, so far, has failed to produce a secondary source supporting that claim. . . dave souza, talk 17:28, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
@Stan Giesbrecht: The word "silent" is being used to mean Darwin did not directly address human origins. Kathy J. Cooke phrases it very well: "Darwin was convinced that natural selection had worked on man, but he decided not to say so explicitly--he intended to be silent on the topic of human evolution." The author quoting her continues, "She says that we can find implicit references to the evolutionary origins of mankind in his book." Browne lists Cooke's article on the Bajema-Bowler debate in the bibliography, p. 541. YoPienso (talk) 19:09, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────1. YoPienso, I feel like you are proving my point. The fact that you need to explain what “silent” means shows that it is qualified. We cannot use a literal meaning of “completely silent” to understand Janet Browne's line “In this book, he was completely silent on the subject of human origins”.

2. David Wilson, Dave Souza, you say that the claim that Darwin only made one allusion to human origins in OTOOS is supported by the passage you both quoted. In fact however, you need to choose one of multiple possible interpretations to get there. As mentioned above, the claim that Darwin was “completely silent on the subject of human origins” is qualified, but what is the qualifier? Is it the phrase “in several places he did refer to mankind [emphasis added]” or “The only words he allowed himself…”. Clearly if the former applies, then it shoots your theory out of the sky. Thus you have to show that the claim about Darwin being “completely silent” on human origins is not being qualified with several references to mankind, but even if you do, this clearly is an exceptional claim which would require more sourcing to meet Wikipedia’s high standards.

3. Further proof that sexual selection in humans alludes to human evolution which in turn alludes to human origins is this edit, which "distances mention of sexual selection from 'his theory'". Why? It seems we don't want people to think that monkeys are our ancestors, do we? Some things don't change, even after 156 years.

4. The truth is, it is a judgment call to come up with specific numbers on how many times Darwin (a) alluded to, (b) mentioned, and (c) discussed (i) human evolution and (ii) human origins in OTOOS. Different people have different understandings of the threshold required to meet each category and even then, it is probably context specific. Academics are free to express their opinions on the matter and Wikipedia can report this, but the policy is clear that these opinions need to be attributed and "cannot be asserted in Wikipedia as if it were a fact" (WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV). Furthermore, it is inappropriate for editors to synthesize numbers for a particular category that academics themselves don't clearly identify (WP:SYNTH). . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 23:00, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

I'm not proving your point. Allude ≠ discuss. The judgement call isn't up to us, but to secondary and tertiary sources, which agree Darwin was silent (or "silent"). This latest entire post of yours, along with Point 3, posted on 06:28, 18 January 2016, is the kind of primary source analysis not allowed at Wikipedia, although it's required in academia.
From WP:ANALYSIS:
Policy: Wikipedia articles usually rely on material from reliable secondary sources. Articles may make an analytic, evaluative, interpretive, or synthetic claim only if that has been published by a reliable secondary source.
YoPienso (talk) 23:57, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
Ummm, actually, you are proving my point. I am saying that judgement calls are not up to us, at least in terms of adding or restoring claims to an article. (“There is reasonable allowance for speculation, suggestion, and personal knowledge on talk pages, with a view to prompting further investigation,” WP:TALK) You claim that my recent posts are analyzing a primary source, and this is where you are completely mistaken. The analysis here is about Janet Browne’s claim that “In this book, he was completely silent on the subject of human origins”. As we all agree, “completely silent” is not meant literally; it has to be interpreted to be properly understood. And it is precisely this interpretation that Wikipedia prohibits in citations. The burden to demonstrate verifiability “is satisfied by providing a citation to a reliable source that directly supports the contribution” (emphasis added, WP:PROVEIT). To repeat, the problem here is not whether the source is primary or secondary. The problem arises because the disputed claim is not directly supported by, but instead requires interpretation of, the source. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 02:03, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
Janet Browne clearly states on p. 60, He avoided talking about the origin of human beings and he avoided God. [...] In this book, he was completely silent of the subject of human origins, although he did refer in several places to mankind as an example of biological details.
That's very straightforward; there's nothing to interpret. You just disagree and are being argumentative. I won't be wasting more time discussing the matter with you. YoPienso (talk) 02:35, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
Stan, are you having trouble parsing "he was silent... except"? As for the sentence mentioning sexual selection, in Descent CD explicitly relates that to "many details of structure in man could not be explained through natural selection", not to human origins. .As Yopienso indicates, you're flogging a dead horse in an increasingly tendentious manner. . . dave souza, talk 02:47, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
(added later) I just realized today that if you “parse” the particular passage that YoPienso identified here as “very straightforward” with the template that Dave provided, you get that Darwin was silent on the subject of human origins, except for several places. This is only putting 2 and 2 together. Yet the claim it was supposed to support is that there was only one exception. I seriously hope there is no confusion left as to why John van Wyhe is needed as a source. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 03:15, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
1. YoPienso, I accept that you were posting in good faith, and I’m sorry you feel as you do. But, as you say, I do disagree with you on this particular point, and I very much believe this argument / conversation is needed. This is exactly why Wikipedia has talk pages: to make sure the content in the article is properly verified (WP:V).
2. Dave, yes, of course I have trouble with, “he was silent … except”. Why? Because “except” means fill in the blank with your own interpretation. In this edit OTOOS was silent except for the one “allusion to human origins”. In this edit OTOOS was silent except for his one “discussion of human origins”. In this edit OTOOS was silent except for the one “mention of human origins”. As YoPienso said earlier, “Allude ≠ discuss” yet this edit history interprets “except” as Allude = Discuss = Mention. This is exactly why Wikipedia insists so strongly that a source "directly supports the contribution" (WP:PROVEIT).
3. I’ll repeat it again, Browne’s claims that “He avoided talking about the origin of human beings” and “In this book, he was completely silent of the subject of human origins” cannot be taken literally, as Darwin did talk just a little bit about the origins of human beings in OTOOS. Thus, these claims unfortunately shall not be used as sources in Wikipedia articles (whether or not they are used in violation is another matter altogether). I’m sorry that this makes people upset, but I can’t apologize for believing what I do, nor for standing up for what I believe. Now I need to go to bed and to work tomorrow. Sigh. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stan Giesbrecht (talkcontribs) 06:11, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
Stan, you seem to be on your own in your reading of these sources. Perhaps you would do better taking literally van Wyhe; "Although Darwin refrained from discussing the derivation of any particular species, including man, in the Origin except for his famous sentence: 'Much light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history' many people who read the book could think only about what this genealogical view of life meant for human beings." John van Wyhe is another eminent historian who publishes on Darwin. . . dave souza, talk 10:39, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
1. Yes, thank you, Dave. I very much appreciate a source where the claims are literal and can be taken at face value. So much better than: "Darwin never did X. Ever. Although there were several exceptions. Except maybe there was only ever one exception. If this doesn’t make sense to you, go ask someone for an 'explanation' ".
2. I know why you accuse those who demand compliance with WP:VERIFIABILITY with being tendentious. This is your edit where you claim that “Darwin did not share the then common view that other races are inferior”. You cited Darwin’s autobiography, showing he had a black tutor. This, to you, was proof of your claim. And all of the times you have accused me of original research! Hitler had a Japanese friend, so clearly he wasn’t racist. How’s that for original research?
3. This is the edit where you claimed “His only allusion to human evolution was the understatement …”. In OTOOS, Darwin stated that sexual selection applied to humans, so you were claiming that sexual selection is somehow not an allusion to evolution. Words fail me at a time like this. (Allude ≠ discuss) It needed changing, yet when I did, there was a fierce backlash.
4. Here is Jimiraywinter explaining who is really being WP:TENDENTIOUS here. It is sad that you are so determined to maintain a certain image of Darwin that you want to distort reality, but what’s even worse is that other editors are letting you get away with it here on Wikipedia.
5. With all that said, we made some significant improvements to the article, so that’s something to smile about, isn't it? . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 01:53, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

OTOOS: “the hand of a man … [is explained by] the theory of descent with … modifications”[edit]

1. Several weeks ago, we got into a lively discussion about the claim that Darwin had only alluded to human origins one time in OTOOS, namely his statement that “light will be thrown on the origin of man”. There was significant resistance when I wanted to remove it. Even though I was not super familiar with OTOOS, I knew it didn’t pass the sniff test, and it was eventually removed when it was shown that it was not actually supported by the alleged source.

2. Since then I have become a bit more familiar with OTOOS and realized that there is another passage where Darwin very definitely alludes to human origins. He compared the human hand to appendages in other mammals on several occasions, including in particular, when he wrote, “The framework of bones being the same in the hand of a man, wing of a bat, fin of the porpoise, and leg of the horse … at once explain themselves on the theory of descent with slow and slight successive modifications” (emphasis added, Origin, 1859, page 479). There are links in the Charles Darwin article from both “human descent” and “human evolution” to the “Human evolution” article. It seems pretty obvious that the passage on descent with modification explaining human biological features is an allusion to human origins. Wikipedia has policies to prevent exactly these kinds of disputes. So what went wrong?

3. Wikipedia policy does not require that something be proven true to be added, but it must be verified by a reliable source. However, it must be remembered that when a claim is proven to be false, it is obviously not verified by a reliable source. There are 2 components here that I want to focus on: (1) The claim must be verified, that is, the source must make the claim in reality and not just in someone’s imagination, and (2) the source must be reliable. It turns out that both components failed in.

Claim must be verified[edit]

4. In this dispute, I was attempting to remove a claim that others wanted restored. In content removal situations, Wikipedia policy is clear that the onus rests on the party seeking to restore content must prove that it is verified (WP:PROVEIT). Yet at one point, I was told that I had to show that the reference of sexual selection applying to humans was clearly and unequivocally an allusion to human origins, when in fact, the onus should have been assumed by the other side to show not just that this reference was not such an allusion, but also that there were no other such allusions elsewhere in the book (which of course there was). So, the misplaced burden of proof was problematic.

5. A bigger problem is that the claim did not follow the source. In fact, it seemed to say exactly the opposite. Another example of a claim not following the source is that Darwin didn’t perceive racial inferiority. In defending this claim, Dave Souza said it was just so “complex” here and here. In the latter post, he went so far as to say that he “[didn’t] find it straightforward”. Yet this confusion didn’t stop him from trying to synthesize support for the claim in this mumbo-jumbo. The truth is, if it really is so f*#$ing complex, Jimmy Wales doesn’t want this synthesis on Wikipedia. Indeed, in this post, “complex” was used to signal disapproval of content that meets all the criteria for Wikipedia. So, what I’m trying to say in this paragraph: make sure that the source actually says what the editor claims and call them out when claims smells fishy.

Source must be reliable[edit]

6. But I think the biggest problem here is that Janet Browne is actually not a reliable source at all. A few weeks ago, I thought the presence of inaccuracies was just her idiosyncratic writing style, where things needed to be interpreted and taken with a healthy grain of salt. But having read more in OTOOS, having battled with the Guardian over the lies of Adam Rutherford, and having thought about this more, I have come to realize that Anarchangel is correct that it doesn’t matter how many accolades Browne has that admire her beautiful prose. What matters is whether the claims in that beautiful prose hold water. They don’t:

With profound deliberation, however, he did not include the two difficulties that would have occurred to everybody. He avoided talking about the origin of human beings and he avoided God. He remembered the bitter furore over Vestiges. He remembered the years he had spent worrying about divine intervention. No matter how seriously and cautiously he might treat evolutionary questions himself, he knew that anything he said was bound to ignite furious controversy, and anticipating just such a response, he had long ago drained his manuscripts of any reference to a Creator or human ancestry. He had no intention of reintroducing them now. In this book, he was completely silent on the subject of human origins, although he did refer in several places to mankind as an example of biological details. The only words he allowed himself—and these out of a sense of duty that he must somewhere refer to human beings—were gnomic in their brevity. “Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history,” he declared in the conclusion. When he needed to, he spoke cautiously of the Creator, aware that his book might otherwise be labelled atheistic. But he was careful not to allow the Creator any active role in biological proceedings.

He purposefully avoided the first origin of life, too. For a book that would claim in its title to address the origin of species, Darwin’s text refused to propose any theory of absolute origins. He had no systematic history of beginnings to offer, no primeval soup or creative spark, and only at the end of his book did he mention the likelihood of all ancestral organisms originating in one primordial form. Such ancient origins, he privately believed, were lost in the mists of time and were essentially unreclaimable. His story was not about the start of life but about the processes that governed organisms during their life spans.

Janet Browne, The Power of Place, pages 60-61]

7. Browne writes: “With profound deliberation … He avoided talking about the origin of human beings. … he had long ago drained his manuscripts of any reference to … human ancestry. He had no intention of reintroducing them now. In this book, he was completely silent on the subject of human origins”. This is so emphatic and so utterly false. It’s classic propaganda: write a few lies, then say something that contradicts it (the truth), and pretend it fits together. The true believers have something to point to and they can say, “see, here! Browne did mention that Darwin talked about the origins of man”. Okay great, so why is she also so emphatic that he hadn’t?!!

8. Browne writes: “With profound deliberation … he avoided God. … he had long ago drained his manuscripts of any reference to a Creator … He had no intention of reintroducing them now.” Also completely false. Darwin mentions “the Creator” 7 times in the 1st edition and adds 2 more references, using it 9 times in the 2nd. Again, later in the paragraph, she acknowledges that Darwin “spoke cautiously of the Creator” which completely contradicts her earlier claim where she says he had not reintroduced the Creator. And again, the perfect propaganda piece, because you can use it to support whatever claim you want to make.

9. Browne writes: “He purposefully avoided the first origin of life, … Darwin’s text refused to propose any theory of absolute origins.” This also isn’t true. Darwin wrote that “the first creature, the progenitor of innumerable extinct and living descendants, was created” (emphasis added, Ed 1, 1859, page 488). In the last sentence of the 1st edition he wrote that life was originally “breathed into” the first forms of life, and in the next 5 editions he went further, writing that the first powers of life had “been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one” (emphasis added, Ed 2, 1860, page 490). It’s time to call a spade a spade. That’s definitely not “purposefully avoiding the first origin of life”.

10. That’s simply too much WP:BULLSHIT. I’ve seen this logic on Answers In Genesis so many times: say a pack of lies in weird and clever ways, then say the truth or something that is almost the truth, mix in a lot of smokescreens and a few red herrings. The perfect way to see who is really drinking the WP:KOOLAID and who is only pretending to. The bottom line here is that Janet Browne is not a reliable source about Charles Darwin. While most of what she writes is probably accurate and true, those relying on it must follow the evidence to the primary sources to verify any given claim.

11. Finally, I want to draw an analogy with what Browne wrote about Darwin: “No matter how seriously and cautiously he might treat evolutionary questions himself, he knew that anything he said was bound to ignite furious controversy”. In a similar fashion today, reporting what Darwin actually wrote about humans and human races, no matter how seriously and cautiously, is bound to ignite furious controversy. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 23:24, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

@ Stan Giesbrecht, your biggest problem is that you're relying on your original research to dismiss what multiple eminent historians have published about Darwin. No "original research" is a core policy, and you should be trying to follow what historians have published rather than dismissing them on the basis of your own unusual interpretations. We can work on improving our understanding and coverage, but should not give undue weight to unpublished assessments of Darwin's views. Since your use of primary sources is clearly disputed, WP:PSTS applies. For these reasons, I've undone your edit. Focus on finding a published secondary source that supports your analysis, and don't attack other editors. I'm not going to respond in detail to all the sprawling points you've raised, for discussion purposes it works much better if you can raise one point at a time and sign it to allow direct discussion, and try to keep on-topic rather than attacking the reputation of good quality sources. . dave souza, talk 09:04, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
In addition, the "Letter to Guardian" posted above is indicative of someone on a mission. However, righting great wrongs is not the purpose of Wikipedia. Given the commitment involved, it is unlikely that further discussion would be productive. Johnuniq (talk) 10:12, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
1. Johnuniq, you’re absolutely right that I am on a mission to get the Guardian to correct the brazen lies that they published about Charles Darwin, such as claiming that he never talked about humans at all in OTOOS. I will continue to push them to correct these inaccuracies as their own editorial code requires and I would also encourage others to pressure the Guardian to be honest and accurate. But as I’ve already mentioned, that is not why I posted [those letters] on this talk page. I was responding to a proposal to add a claim to the article that Darwin wasn’t racist, and to use Adam Rutherford's article as a source for this claim. As you know, Wikipedia’s verification policy requires claims to be supported by a reliable source, and I wanted to show that Rutherford is certainly not reliable and shall not be used as a reference to verify such a claim on Wikipedia articles.
2. Also, thank you from pointing out that Wikipedia's purpose is not to right great wrongs. This is in contrast to the Guardian, which seems working hard at righting great wrongs. In particular, they seem to think that they can end racism by pretending that race doesn’t exist. To support this ridiculous fantasy, they published a number of lies about Charles Darwin, one of my heroes. In the past, there have been a number of similar misrepresentations on the Darwin article here and also many more on the Descent of Man Wikipedia article. Some of these were clearly a misguided attempt to right great wrongs, as was pointed out, so that was a good call: we need to take extra caution to ensure that Wikipedia articles don’t use false or misleading information in some committed effort to right great wrongs, but rather that we accurately present Darwin, warts and all.
3. Dave, you are correct that No Original Research is a core policy of Wikipedia, but are falsely accusing me of such for 2 reasons: (1) The policy prohibits original research being added or restored to an encyclopedia article. The policy does not prohibit it in a discussion on the talk page. And (2) reporting on something published is not original because it has already been published.
4. From Wikipedia:Editorial discretion
Editorial Discretion is not Original Research
It is not original research to make judgement calls on what content to include or not include, how to frame an issue or claim, or what claims and subjects are suitable for Wikipedia. We are not here to robotically compile facts and citations according to a strict set of rules, we are here to create and edit an encyclopedia. This task requires the application of judgement and discretion in order to create a neutral and readable encyclopedia.
The policy on original research is sometimes misconstrued as a blanket prohibition on any application of judgement or critical thinking by editors. The intent of that policy was never to turn editing into an unthinking task, and our articles into mere compilations of published data.(emphasis added)
5. From WP:PSTS which you cited:
Appropriate sourcing can be a complicated issue, and these are general rules. Deciding whether primary, secondary or tertiary sources are appropriate in any given instance is a matter of good editorial judgment and common sense, and should be discussed on article talk pages.(emphasis added)
6. You called my “interpretations” unusual. They certainly are not common inside the heavily protected Walled Garden of liberal delusions. But do you know who else pushed his “unusual interpretation” relentlessly in the face of the furious controversy it ignited? That’s right, Darwin himself. And we are better for his efforts.
7. A better candidate for “unusual interpretation” is taking Browne's claim that
With profound deliberation … He avoided talking about the origin of human beings. … he had long ago drained his manuscripts of any reference to … human ancestry. He had no intention of reintroducing them now. In this book, he was completely silent on the subject of human origins
to mean that Darwin actually wasn't completely silent about human origins in OTOOS. That is truly unusual.
8. The truth is however, I am not really interpreting anything. I’m simply reporting what Darwin actually wrote and pointing out that there are some wild inconsistencies with what Browne wrote in Power of Place, You can call it research if you want, but there is nothing original with reporting that Darwin wrote
Let this process go on for millions on millions of years; and during each year on millions of individuals of many kinds; and may we not believe that a living optical instrument might thus be formed as superior to one of glass, as the works of the Creator are to those of man?(Emphasis added, Origin, Ed 2, 1860, page 189)
Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed by the Creator. (Emphasis added, Origin, Ed 2, 1860, page 484)
Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. (Emphasis added, Origin, Ed 2, 1860, page 489)
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; (Emphasis added, Origin, Ed 2, 1860, page 490)
9. What are the odds I could copyright these quotes? Absolutely zero! Why? Because they are not original. Research maybe, but certainly not original. And it is nothing more than common sense to recognize that these quotes are wildly inconsistent with Janet Browne’s claims that Darwin never introduced a Creator and that he completely “avoided the first origins of life” in OTOOS. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 07:29, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

edits[edit]

1. I edited the following 2 claims, because they are not verified, that is, there is not a source that says the same thing:

  • “He avoided discussing human origins beyond one sentence…”
  • “Darwin avoided mention of human origins save for…”

The source that this is referenced to is John van Whye’s: “Darwin refrained from discussing the derivation” of humans, except for the one time. But derivation ≠ origin. Derivation is the act of obtaining something from its origin. So, that's why I removed the word "avoid" in re-framing the sentences.

2. I added the claim that Darwin compared human anatomy to that of other mammals, as this is important information about Darwin's most famous book. It is cited to OTOOS which is obviously a reliable source, even if it is primary. I also pointed out that OTOOS implied common ancestry for humans, which is what Darwin wrote in TDOM which is not only a reliable source but also a secondary one as it is analyzing and describing another book. Darwin's discussions of humans in OTOOS while brief, were nevertheless very significant, and were being downplayed, which does not represent a neutral point of view. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 07:50, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Replies[edit]

Still no secondary or third party source, as required by WP:SOURCES policy, and "nevertheless very significant" is only your own original research: your synthesis is against policy. Worse still, you've been removing good quality secondary sources by historians you disagree with: NPOV#WP:WEIGHT requires due weight to that scholarship. If the point was "nevertheless very significant" you'd be able to find it being discussed by historians: I've looked, and not found any indication that the passage about Owen's homology should be taken with the interpretation you're putting on it. Multiple sources highlight the avoidance of discussion of human origins beyond "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history", we can discuss exact phrasing of this point but you're becoming tendentious in trying to overturn published historical analysis. . dave souza, talk 09:05, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
I will point out that your efforts are better aimed at publishing a peer reviewed paper, that is a placed for original research. BTW please keep things shorter here as it is difficult to follow, perhaps write up your what you want to include in your sandbox and summarize here why you think it should go in this article. BTW I added a subsection heading so people can find the end of your argument. You should almost certainly not include subsection headings within your own argument on Talk pages. Erp (talk) 15:00, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
1. Erp, I take your point about not using subsection headings on the talk page. I didn’t realize how it would affect the edit summaries. Live and learn (I hope).
2. The point I was trying to make, and seemly not getting across, is that I am not doing original research. Mr. Souza’s claims of such are simply not true. His accusations are false, yet he is very gifted at spinning the truth, and so it seems plausible to many people. In fact, it is Charles Darwin who did the original research here. I have spent much time reading TDOM and some time reading OTOOS which can be labeled as “research”. But, I am only summarizing and reporting that material, just like Wikipedia editors are supposed to. So, to repeat, I cannot be original in this regard, because the originality is Darwin’s.
3. Johnuniq is critical of my “campaign” but in fact, Dave Souza has been far more committed than I have. I have only been editing Wikipedia since the Christmas break, while Mr. Souza’s extreme commitment to controlling the narrative of Darwin’s views on the human species and on human races has been going on for many years. In fact, nearly every post on race here for the last decade was by Mr. Souza. These posts covered the whole spectrum of truthfulness, ranging from truthful and informative to technically honest but deliberately misleading to significant distortions to complete and utter lies. Fact and fiction got blended together to make Charles Darwin compatible with contemporary liberal values on race.
4. Various editors have said that I was going against the “consensus”. But WP:Consensus actually requires multiple editors to bring different perspectives that get resolved through compromise, not one editor writing the narrative that is protected by a posse.
5. Mr. Souza is, in his own way, a very gifted writer, capable of spinning a story, and highly motivated in his WP:Disruptive Editing. He will often take posts by other editors and re-write them to spin the narrative differently, in an effort to establish Ownership of Content. He rewords passages back and forth and around and around and buries contentious claims in sprawling edits with unhelpful and misleading edit summaries. References get added and dropped and moved around, making it impossible for a fact checker to know which particular source is said to be supporting any given claim. This is completely against the spirit of Wikipedia's community editing policy.
6. Mr. Souza's last 5 edits are a fantastic example. He moved material back and forth and reworded a number of passages with no description on the talk page and completely unhelpful edit summaries. He also added the 2 following claims:
  • "Darwin's belief that other races were 'equal humans'"… [1]
  • "Darwin's belief that black people were fully equal"… [2]
7. So, he is claiming that Darwin believed that all races were “equal”, in a tangential way, which is problematic. An encyclopedia should state important facts directly and should not mix them in with other claims in such a way as could be confusing, although that’s clearly what Mr. Souza wants. By imbedding the claims into the fabric of the story, it is harder for others to edit them later; so this is against Wikipedia policy. Another problem with these recent edits is that we have no way of knowing which source is supposed to be saying these things. I have already described how he makes claims about Darwin's views on race that are entirely his own, then defends his synthesis by alluding to various sources, claiming that it is "complex" and that he "[doesn't] find it straightforward" (para. 5, Claims must be verified). To an unbiased person this would indicate that the claims should be removed from the article instead of maintained.
8. But the biggest problem here is that these claims are utter WP:BULLSHIT. Darwin was absolutely clear that he didn’t view all races as equal. He described animals as being higher and lower on the “organic scale” and he also applied this scale to human races. Most of the time Darwin didn’t specify which particular race was where on this scale, but in a fascinating and well know passage in TDOM, he explicitly stated that “the negro [and] the Australian” were closer to the ape than "the Caucasian" was.(Descent, Ed 2, 1874, page 156) Yopeninso has also provided numerous secondary and tertiary sources stating that Darwin didn’t view all races as equal, including: Desmond and Moore, in Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist, p. xxi, "He thought blacks inferior but was sickened by slavery."
9. I can't say whether or not these claims are written in some published source somewhere, but it is worth noting that Mr. Souza referenced Desmond and Moore here, who actually said exactly the opposite of what Mr. Souza did. What I can say with total certainty is that these claims here are not verified by a reliable source (WP:V).
10. Mr. Souza has accused me of many things, most of which are false, and I have repeatedly pointed this out. Yet he never responds to the points I raise, just whines that I lack civility and need to assume good faith, and then levels another false accusation against me. Oh, the irony! I’m going to need your help, here, folks. Jimiraywinter told us this years ago. Dave Souza is a master story teller, but he is a liar and not here to build an encyclopedia (WP:NOTHERE). . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 17:32, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
I undid the last 5 edits to the version of 08:15, 12 February 2016‎ (which is also the version of 08:33, 1 February 2016). I meant to put that in the edit summary (and now can't). Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 17:49, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
I suggest you remove the bit where you call another editor a liar. Please read WP:NPA. You might also look at WP:CONSENSUS. If you think there has been some sort of misconduct please bring it to WP:ANI rather than here. Thank you. Dbrodbeck (talk) 17:42, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
  • @Stan Giesbrecht your personal attacks are getting old fast. You need to step back from your personal attacks and disruption on this page. I know you have read some of Darwin and you believe you fully understand Darwin and his historical context, but I assure you that you do not. --I am One of Many (talk) 21:35, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
Stan, if you were using Darwin's books as sources for biology articles then that would be appropriate use of them for a wikipedia editor (though woefully out-of-date). However interpreting them to draw conclusions about the author is original research and the domain of a biographer or a historian; someone who has spent time studying all or most of Darwin's works and correspondence and is familiar with the milieu (among other things the different meanings 'race' had at that time). You are best off sticking to works done by biographers and historians and, given the vast amount written about Darwin, relatively recent ones. Which means sticking to stuff like

Desmond and Moore, in Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist, p. xxi, "He thought blacks inferior but was sickened by slavery."

though I would be concerned that the quote seems to come from the preface and not the body. My own view is that Darwin was somewhat racist though not very by the standards of his time; he certainly saw men and women of all races as fully human. Looking over the article I'm a bit concerned that the quote "equal humans" does not have a citation and does not have proper context. Erp (talk) 03:01, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
1. Erp, the quote you provided from Desmond and Moore states explicitly that Darwin thought blacks were inferior, yet the disputed claims say that Darwin thought blacks were fully equal. You question the reliability of Desmond and Moore here, simply because it’s in the preface. This strikes me as odd; I think if they published it, we should presume they knew what they were saying when they wrote it. But even if the quoted passage is unreliable as you suggest, YoPienso has provided numerous other references that say the same thing (near the bottom of the section Differences between races).
2. I Am One of Many, I am completely baffled as to why you are supporting unsourced and false claims on Wikipedia. You claim that I don't know as much about Darwin as I think I do. That might be true, but it is not the issue here. As I mentioned in the paragraph above, there is an abundance of secondary and tertiary sources that disagree entirely with the disputed claims. That is the problem that needs to be addressed. Wikipedia is not a democracy where an editor can be voted off the island just for kicking the sacred cow (see WP:NOTCENSORED). Wikipedia policy makes absolutely clear that all legitimate concerns need to be addressed in reaching a WP:Consensus. Making sure claims are verified by a reliable source is definitely a legitimate concern (WP:V).
3. It is you who are supporting a campaign of WP:Disruptive editing in your latest reversion. The only thing I am "disrupting" is the ownership of the article (WP:OWN). From the subsection, Multiple-editor ownership:
The involvement of multiple editors, each defending the ownership of the other, can be highly complex. The simplest scenario usually comprises a dominant editor who is defended by other editors, reinforcing the former's ownership.
I could not have said it better! . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 16:46, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
Stan, see the next sentence: "As before, address the topic and not the actions of the editors." Do that. . dave souza, talk 20:51, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, this is not the place to complain about conduct. There is a place Stan, it is called WP:ANI. If you really think there has been misconduct here you ought to bring it up there. Dbrodbeck (talk) 20:59, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
1. Dave, you missed a sentence. (Check the link.) What the next sentence really says is, "This is often informally described as a tag team, and can be frustrating to both new and seasoned editors." This is absolutely spot on. The tag teaming here is very frustrating indeed!
2. Dbrodbeck, the ownership of this article for the past decade has seriously compromised the accuracy here in presenting a sanitized, politically correct version of Darwin, that simply doesn't map onto reality. An important role of talk pages is to discuss ways to improve the accuracy of Wikipedia. That is why this conversation is so important here, even if it is painful for all. Regardless of how many guts are churning, it is incumbent on all of us editors to strive to present a more accurate portrait of Darwin, even if there are some warts in that picture. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 03:31, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm querying its location in the frontmatter (Roman numerals) simply because that is not where authors make their arguments and may not be as careful in supporting what they say there (frontmatter material is usually not peer reviewed). I do think the article should be careful to separate whether Darwin saw all people as 'equally human' (entitled to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, which I think he did) from whether he saw all humans as equal in abilities (he did not) from whether he saw different groups of humans (e.g., 'races' or social classes or sexes) as inherently equal in ability or equal in result (certainly not equal in result). His views almost certainly varied over time and also between gut feeling and intellectual conclusion (e.g., all humans are equal until my daughter wants to marry the coachman [not that his daughter did want to marry a coachman but such an incident does show up in the family letters as happening to an acquaintance]). So is this article clear in its distinctions and does it support each? Does it also reflect any major disagreement, if any, in the academic community? For instance from an academic critique of Sacred Cause? Erp (talk) 04:41, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
Erp, in footnote VI, the article claims that Darwin believed “that black people were fully equal”. I think this is simply untrue, or at the very least, very misleading. What do you think? . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 01:38, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
I would prefer it to be worded so it was clearer what type of equality is being referred to. It is certainly based on the quote I mentioned in the section below on 'equal humans'. Are we talking entitled to equal human dignity which I think is what Desmond and Morris think Darwin believed (and I think correctly) or something else? Depending on what the source states I would think something like "Darwin's belief that black people were entitled to equal human dignity was ...". Erp (talk) 04:24, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
1. Desmond and Moore write that Darwin was obeying the command “to honour black people as 'equal humans'”. So, they actually don’t say anything directly about what Darwin believed, just what command he was obeying. They certainly don’t say anything about equality in dignity, just equality of freedom from slavery. So, the sentence now is false and needs to be removed or changed, but your proposal to change it is not actually verified by the source.
2. Furthermore, I’m not convinced that Darwin ever wrote that he thought that blacks were entitled to equal dignity (it seems at odds with what he wrote in TDOM and other places). Certainly he detested slavery and cruelty towards black people, but these are different things and people today should not be putting words into Darwin’s mouth. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 12:54, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
As Cagliost stated in the edit summary, the claim that Darwin believed other races to be equal is simply not true. I have removed the 2 such claims from the article. The one in the footnote was simple to remove, but the one in subsection "Human Society" was (deliberately) embedded into the passage, meaning that the surrounding sentences would need to be substantially reworked to remove the false claim. Therefore, I simply reverted the whole edit and restored the previously existing version of subsection "Human Society". (That particular edit was a lot of moving text back and forth and seriously lacked an WP:IMPARTIAL tone anyway.) . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 02:46, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
As far as I can see, your views on Darwin are WP:FRINGE, so please discuss them and obtain consensus in the future. --I am One of Many (talk) 03:24, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
Both Erp and Cagliost already agreed that the disputed claims are not true. You didn’t even bother reading what was written. All I did was revert the previous version of that particular subsection, which I properly explained. I had nothing at all to do with the “fringe view from 'European Journal of Women's Studies'” that you accuse me of. If you would have looked, you would have realized that the version that you restored already has the “fringe view” that you accuse me of. That line was added long before our present dispute. If that journal really is against policy as you claim, then go ahead and delete it or start a discussion, but whatever you do, please read before you act. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 04:13, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm moving my replies down to the 'equal humans' section below so it is easier to find Erp (talk) 06:15, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Back to humans in OTOOS[edit]

1. We were discussing what Darwin had written about humans in OTOOS several weeks ago, when out of the blue, some claims were posted that Darwin thought the races were equal. Not only did these unfortunate claims have no basis in reality (see here or read TDOM), but also, no source said what was posted in the article (see WP:NOR). Hopefully things have settled down and my frazzled nerves had a chance to recuperate, because we still have a bit more work here.

2. The article states multiple times that Darwin only talked about human origins once in OTOOS (that being “Light will be thrown on the origin of man”). The thing is, OTOOS also states that anatomical similarities between humans and other mammals would be explained by the theory of descent with modification, which is also commonly known today as the theory of evolution. It seems clear that Darwin is trying to say that humans share ancestry with other mammals, without actually saying so explicitly (as he does in TDOM). Yet, according to the article, this particular line is conclusively not talking about human origins. I happen to believe that it can be thought of as talking about human origins.

3. But even if I am wrong, and it is completely unreasonable to construe such a link between the anatomical similarities of different life forms with his theory of evolution as saying anything at all about their origins, even if this is true, the truth is not enough for Wikipedia. All claims must still be verified to be posted in the article (WP:NOTTRUTH). But the challenged claims are not actually verified, as there is no referenced source that directly says that there was only one time in OTOOS that Darwin talked about human origins. They are ostensibly sourced by Janet Brown and John van Whye. But Brown writes that OTOOS was “completely silent on the subject of human origins” which is not only inaccurate, but it also contradicts the very claims it's supposed to support; while van Wyhe writes:

Although Darwin refrained from discussing the derivation of any particular species, including man, in the Origin except for his famous sentence: 'Much light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history' many people who read the book could think only about what this genealogical view of life meant for human beings.

I don’t quite know what van Wyhe is trying to say about OTOOS exactly, but I do know that derivation actually means the act or process of obtaining something from the original, so it’s clearly different than what the claims in question are saying and consequently doesn't verify them (see WP:A and WP:V).

4. Furthermore, there is clearly a WP:POV push happening here, trying to downplay the extent that Darwin actually did talk about humans in OTOOS. Darwin himself made clear in TDOM that OTOOS implied that humans shared ancestry with other animals. Darwin's brief discussions about humans in OTOOS created a ruckus back when he published it, and are still, unfortunately, creating a ruckus today. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 03:07, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Stan Giesbrecht, I hope you don't take offense, but I don't understand why you insist on doing original research. If you don't agree with reliable academic sources, then go publish in that domain where you can do original research, but your WP:OR edits are never going to be allowed to stand here simply because they are strictly against policy. For example you write: "All claims must still be verified to be posted in the article (WP:NOTTRUTH). But the challenged claims are not actually verified, as there is no referenced source that directly says that there was only one time in OTOOS that Darwin talked about human origins." We don't do the verifying, the source is the verification, period. If we did allow original research, whose Tom, Dick, or Jane's research would be allowed in articles. I recommend just letting this trivial point go. If you really think that whether Darwin mentioned humans once or more than once in the Origin, then publish it in a mainstream academic journal and we can probably include it here. --I am One of Many (talk) 03:41, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
1. You accuse me of original research. Please provide specific examples of times where I have posted something to the article that you think is original research. From the link you provided:
Research that consists of collecting and organizing material from existing sources within the provisions of this and other content policies is fundamental to writing an encyclopedia. Best practice is to research the most reliable sources on the topic and summarize what they say in your own words, with each statement in the article attributable to a source that makes that statement explicitly. Source material should be carefully summarized or rephrased without changing its meaning or implication. Take care not to go beyond what is expressed in the sources, or to use them in ways inconsistent with the intention of the source, such as using material out of context. In short, stick to the sources. (WP:STICKTOSOURCES)
2. Obviously I try to think about what Darwin is actually saying when I read his books and post on the discussion page here, but there is nothing that I have added to the article itself that amounts to original research. You write "We don't do the verifying, the source is the verification, period." I have carefully summarized a couple of lines from Darwin’s material as best I could and included direct quotes where I thought appropriate. Thus, I am not verifying anything myself as you suggest, but it is Darwin's own books that verify what I wrote. The research I am doing is not original, but rather research from primary and sometimes secondary sources. This research of reliably published sources is fundamentally important to Wikipedia, as stated in the quote from the policy page you provided (WP:OR).
3. You query why I am so driven here, and I’m not sure myself. But there reality is that Darwin wrote what he did, and it is being distorted and misrepresented. I find it wildly unacceptable to censor what he wrote just because people today find it inconvenient. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 05:20, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
Stan, see WP:SYN, you're trying to synthesise quotes from primary sources to support your own views. As you said above, "It seems clear that Darwin is trying to say that humans share ancestry with other mammals, without actually saying so explicitly" and you "happen to believe that it can be thought of as talking about human origins." No one cares about your own interpretation of points that are not explicit, or your beliefs. If reliable published scholarship comes to the same conclusion, then cite that. However, as shown by the sources you've tried deleting, the published scholarly view is that Darwin avoided discussing human origins, while including that one sentence as an explicit marker.
Darwin himself wrote "You ask whether I shall discuss “man”;—I think I shall avoid whole subject, as so surrounded with prejudices, though I fully admit that it is the highest & most interesting problem for the naturalist."[3] He did drop other indirect hints, but nothing else was as explicit. Of course, you can look for a high quality secondary source expanding more on the topic. . . dave souza, talk 08:49, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree with this analysis. These edits are well meant and entirely to the point, but still a clear case of wp:synthesis and thus inappropriate here. - DVdm (talk) 15:40, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
It is easy to cherry pick text from someone who wrote a lot of stuff and find points that might appear to support all sorts of ideas as interpreted by modern eyes. That is often seen in another context on Wikipedia where editors find text written a thousand years ago which they believe shows the author should be seen as the "father of X" where X is a scientific topic ranging from Newton's laws of motion to Einsteins' relativity. Fortunately Wikipedia is protected by the WP:SYN policy—interpreting information must be done by suitable reliable sources. Johnuniq (talk) 22:45, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 1. Dave, you write, “No one cares about your own interpretation of points that are not explicit, or your beliefs.” This isn’t true. Jimmy Wales cares. He wants false and misleading information blasted from the article, and he wants us to have these discussions here on the talk page to do this. And clearly, the accuracy of this article needs a little bit of improving.

2. You cherry pick quotes from the talk page that I would never post to the article and claim this is WP:SYNTH. This is wrong. From SYNTH is not directly applicable to talk pages:

A talk page is the right place to claim that something in an article is SYNTH. The policy does not forbid inferences on talk pages that would be SYNTH if made in an article.

Drawing non-trivial inferences is the heart of argument, and on talk pages, you're supposed to present arguments. As the policy consensus says, "The quality of an argument is more important than whether it represents a minority or a majority view." Likewise the guideline PNSD says, "Wikipedia works by building consensus. When conflicts arise, they are resolved through discussion, debate and collaboration." Of course, these are arguments about what the sources and policy say, or what will or won't improve an article, not arguments about the substantive issues themselves. As the talk page guidelines say, "Talk pages are not a forum for editors to argue their personal point of view about a controversial issue. They are a forum to discuss how the points of view of reliable sources should be included in the article, so that the end result is neutral."

Obviously, if someone were to post to the article what you cherry picked from my discussion posts, that certainly would be SYNTH; but given that no one has posted such claims to the article and no one will post such claims to the article unless the same thing is directly said by a reliable source, it is not SYNTH.

3. You write, “If reliable published scholarship comes to the same conclusion, then cite that.” Well, Darwin himself, in TDOM came to the same conclusion I did on the point that OTOOS implies that humans share common ancestry with other animals. So you are claiming that TDOM is not reliably published scholarship. Words fail me; this is too absurd.

4. There are two other claims that I posted to the article: 1) that Darwin “discussed anatomical similarities between humans and other mammals” and 2) that Darwin “contemplated the significance of anatomical similarities between humans and other mammals”. Both are sourced by what Darwin wrote, "The framework of bones being the same in the hand of a man, wing of a bat, fin of the porpoise, and leg of the horse … at once explain themselves on the theory of descent with slow and slight successive modifications." All I am doing is summarizing what is in OTOOS as best I can (WP:STICKTOSOURCES). Even a fifth grader can tell what it means to “discuss similarities” and to “contemplate the significance of something”. If this really was synthesis, there wouldn’t be much to Wikipedia.

5. The bottom line is, claims that I have posted to the article are directly stated in the reference I provided, in line with Wikipedia policy. Any refusal to allow accurate reporting of what Darwin actually wrote is nothing short of WP:CENSORship.

6. Johnuniq, you state that WP:SYNTH is not optional, which is precisely why the claims that Darwin’s statement that the anatomical similarities that he observed between humans and other mammals would be explained by his theory of descent with modification is not talking about human origins needs to be removed from the article. The sources that are referenced to ostensibly support such claims do not actually say what the claims do. Dave justifies them anyway because Darwin had written a letter before finishing OTOOS, saying that he thought he would avoid the whole subject of discussing humans. So, Dave is synthesizing the claim that Darwin only discussed humans once, from Darwin’s stated intention to not discuss humans at all. Go figure. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 05:23, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

@Stan Giesbrecht: re 5: in your edit in the article you claim:
  • "...discussed anatomical similarities between humans and other mammals."
  • "While the book might not have explicitly discussed human origins, it implied that humans shared ancestry with other animals."
  • "He also contemplated the significance of anatomical similarities between humans and other mammals, writing: ..."
This can be all be perfectly true, but none of it is "directly stated in the reference you provided". These are three elementary schoolbook examples of synthesis in the Wikipedia sense, aka wp:SYNTH, and orthogonal to Wikipedia policy. - DVdm (talk) 08:30, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
1. Maybe we can put the discussion about Darwin’s comments on the anatomical similarities between humans and other mammals in OTOOS on hold for the moment and focus on Darwin writing in TDOM that OTOOS implied humans shared ancestry with other animals. I made an addition, which is italicized:
  • The book did not explicitly discuss human origins, although Darwin later wrote that it implied that the same general conclusions he had reached about the first appearance of other animals also applied to humans.
I still tried to paraphrase it line with Wikipedia policy, but this time took more exact words from the source. I also attributed it to Darwin, rather than stated it as factual, and I didn’t explicitly mention common ancestry. I’m still not convinced the original was in violation of Wikipedia’s policy on synthesis, given what else he wrote in OTOOS (see for instance SYNTH is not explanation and SYNTH is not a catch-all), but I can see why others did see that as synthesis.
2. There is a massive double standard here. I am quickly called out for synthesis, yet there have been many synthesized claims posted here over the years, some of which were pure fiction. I am thankful that a number have been taken down, but the resistance to removing such claims is evidence of serious bias.
3. Darwin’s own analysis of the implications of OTOOS is relevant for Wikipedia in its own right, but the importance here is greatly enhanced because of Wikipedia’s policy demanding a neutral point of view (WP:NPOV). The article claims that OTOOS doesn’t explicitly discuss human origins, which is hair splitting. It is saying that even though Darwin explicitly mentioned the origin of man, he didn't explicitly discuss the topic, and also that even though he discussed human origins, he didn't explicitly discuss the topic, so it is glossing over its implications. The policy requires that all significant viewpoints get expressed, which is why Darwin's statement about what OTOOS implies is required here. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 19:52, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
Your edit is misleading, lacks a secondary source and again gives undue weight to your synthesis. The statement in the article was both correct and well sourced, so I've restored it. To explain further, your wording misuses a primary source, the full passage form DOM makes the very point you've been disputing, that Darwin avoided the topic in OtOOS beyond implying applicability to human origins in his famous "light will be thrown" passage:
"During many years I collected notes on the origin or descent of man, without any intention of publishing on the subject, but rather with the determination not to publish, as I thought that I should thus only add to the prejudices against my views. It seemed to me sufficient to indicate, in the first edition of my 'Origin of Species,' that by this work "light would be thrown on the origin of man and his history;" and this implies that man must be included with other organic beings in any general conclusion respecting his manner of appearance on this earth."(Darwin 1871, p. 1)
That issue is already covered in the preceding section of our article, you've overextended what should be a brief note on the context of the first reviews, as discussed by Browne on p. 87, which we've discussed above. If that's not plain enough for you, Desmond & Moore (1991) p. 477 says of the same review: Though 'Man' was scarcely mentioned in the book, he was rarely avoided in the press. The Athenaeum had histrionics about men from monkeys and snubs to theologians." So, I've restored the simpler wording, if you want to make changes please discuss them here first, putting your proposed wording and sources on the talk page for others to consider. . . dave souza, talk 21:55, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
1. Dave, your dishonesty has me baffled and amazed. I have dealt with a number of Young-Earth Creationists who glory in their refusal to acknowledge reality, but you have taken things to a level I never imagined possible.
2. Your edit summary claims that my post was “misleading original research”. Reasonable people maybe could have a discussion on how I reported what Darwin stated that OTOOS implied and whether it could be misleading in some way. But your accusation that this particular edit constituted original research is simply a bare faced lie. You know very well that all I did here was summarize what was published in a very reliable source, nothing more, nothing less. I put it in my own words, as Wikipedia requires, but kept the original meaning, and then attributed it to the author. Your false charge of original research is nothing more than a desperate attempt to maintain control of who can post here, just like you’ve done for the last decade.
3. You added a subsection title which claimed that I used TDOM as a source for the “first reviews” of OTOOS. This claim is completely false. The “review” of OTOOS that Darwin provided in TDOM came 11 or 12 years after the first reviews of OTOOS actually did. I never made any comment on the first reviews, which is why I deleted that title.
4. You wrote, “The statement in the article was both correct and well sourced, so I've restored it.” Your claim that you “restored it” is false, because I never removed anything to restore. All I did is add a line about Darwin’s view of what OTOOS implied which you deleted, not restored.
5. You claim that my edit lacks a secondary source. But from WP:ALLPRIMARY
More importantly, many high-quality sources contain both primary and secondary material. … A peer-reviewed journal article may begin by summarizing a careful selection of previously published works to place the new work in context (which is secondary material) before proceeding into a description of a novel idea (which is primary material). An author might write a book about an event that is mostly a synthesis of primary-source news stories (which is secondary material), but he might add occasional information about personal experiences or new material from recent interviews (which is primary material).
So, while Darwin’s extensive analysis of humans and also of sexual selection in TDOM is primary material, the analysis on OTOOS that he wrote in TDOM is secondary material, even though it’s in the same book. So contrary to your charge, my post does not lack a secondary source.
6. In this post you claim that Darwin’s “only allusion to human evolution was the understatement that "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history".” This claim is not true and I edited it. My edits got quickly changed to claim that Darwin’s “only allusion to human origins was the understatement that "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history"”. Well, this also isn’t true, because Darwin’s statement in OTOOS that anatomical similarities between humans and other mammals would be explained by his theory of descent with modification definitely alludes to human origins. Yet you fought every change tooth and nail. You also gave enthusiastic support to Adam Rutherford’s article that falsely claimed the OTOOS didn’t discuss humans at all. The evidence is clear that you are here to downplay the extent that Darwin talked about humans in OTOOS, which violates WP:NPOV.
7. You wrote, “if you want to make changes please discuss them here first, putting your proposed wording and sources on the talk page for others to consider”. This is the best joke of the century. Normally I am in favour of discussing proposed changes on the talk page, but in this case, you have never responded in good faith yet, so this clearly is not a good strategy. For instance, you take what I have said in other places and claim that Darwin’s sentence about his decision not to publish an account of all his notes on humans in OTOOS contradicts my said earlier statement, and that because I was mistaken somewhere else then you are justified in reverting this post. More examples of bad faith discussions were when it was pointed out to you that your claims that Darwin didn't perceive racial inferiority were completely false. You responded with pure mumbo-jumbo. After they were finally removed, after you fought bitterly to keep them, you arbitrarily turned around and posted more false claims that Darwin thought all races were fully equal. The source you cited never said anything remotely close to this, so your post there was original research. Plus, you didn't bother to discuss it here to reach a consensus yourself. So the pot is calling the kettle black. Finally, here and here are a couple examples where editors have made good faith attempts to engage in rational discussions about Darwin’s views on race, and you just responded with more and more mumbo-jumbo, while refusing to engage in the substantive points raised.
8. Finally, you claim that it would be giving WP:UNDUE weight to include Darwin's own point about what OTOOS implies about humans. This is not true. Wikipedia requires all significant points of view to be included, and his is certainly significant. From WP:NPOV: "This policy is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus." So, I'm restoring my edit. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 03:36, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't understand why you don't seem to understand or are unwilling to follow WP:OR, WP:SYNTH, and WP:CIVIL, but I think a WP:TBAN is probably in order if this continues. --I am One of Many (talk) 05:30, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
I’m just a little curious if those responding to a ban request will pick up on your attack on “European Journal of Women’s Studies” as fringe as a justification to revert my edit, when in fact that was posted many years earlier by none other than, guess who. I’ve got a hunch that uninvolved editors won’t miss the fact that there have been numerous false claims about Darwin’s views on race, based extensively on a particular editor’s own original research. Not sure if that’ll fit under the radar. They’ll surely notice that only one editor is allowed to make edits about Darwin’s views on human evolution and race. Maybe people should be on the lookout for a WP:BOOMERANG. Just saying. .Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 05:01, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

@Stan Giesbrecht: Your account was created on 2 December 2015 and your only edits have been in relation to this topic. Your only article edits are at Charles Darwin (25 edits) and The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (6 edits). Many experienced editors watch this page and it is highly unlikely that they would silently watch your edits be reverted if the changes appeared beneficial. My suggestion would be to focus on one small issue at a time, and to explain why a change is needed. The walls-of-text on this page are extremely unhelpful—experienced editors are very unlikely to wade through a bunch of who-knows-what sprinkled with quotes from well known policies. It is better to use simple words to explain why one change should be made (mentioning the reference to support it), then wait for a response. Any follow ups should focus on that one point and omit mention of policies because we all know what they say, and we are familiar with their underlying principles because we have experienced many different topics. Johnuniq (talk) 06:29, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

1. You wrote, “Any follow ups should … omit mention of policies because we all know what they say”. In this edit you state that primary sources will not be considered. But see WP:PRIMARYNOTBAD. So, either you don’t know Wikipedia policy as well as you claim, or you don’t care to follow.
2. I made perfectly clear from the beginning that the reason that I started an account was because of how upset I was at the incredible bias on the reporting of Charles Darwin’s views. Most other Wikipedia articles do not have misrepresentation this naked. If there wasn’t such bizarre resistance to my posts here, my edit summary would probably be 6 on TDOM, 6 on CD, and a number on other articles.
3. You are not the only one who can look at a Wikipedia logs. All your edits for quite a few years are only reverting other people’s posts. Tell me, if you can, when is the last time you added content to this article, in some significant amount, that you typed up? All you do here is tag team for the WP:OWNER, as an enforcer:
The involvement of multiple editors, each defending the ownership of the other, can be highly complex. The simplest scenario usually comprises a dominant editor who is defended by other editors, reinforcing the former's ownership. This is often informally described as a tag team, and can be frustrating to both new and seasoned editors. (Multiple-editor ownership)
. Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 05:01, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
The diff of my comment shows an extremely accurate and pertinent remark. Its point is that our analysis of what Darwin wrote is not relevant. Apparently you believe there are significant deficiencies in the current article—if so, the way to get action would be to produce a secondary source which contradicts information currently in the article, or which shows that due material is missing. You are correct that I have not made significant contributions but it is still reasonable to ask for a brief description of a problem in the current text, with an indication of why it is a problem. Johnuniq (talk) 07:09, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
1. Johnuniq, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you are mistaken here. Wikipedia policy is absolutely clear that while care must be exercised in using primary sources, they can be used. Yet you double down on your blanket prohibition to the use of primary sources. Your earlier post states, “Here is the secondary sources link again—such sources are the only thing that will receive attention here.” You describe this prohibition against primary and tertiary sources here as “an extremely accurate and pertinent remark”. Why? Because you think you are an WP:OWNER here. You don’t have to follow core Wikipedia policy because you get to make up your own rules. This is completely unacceptable: Wikipedia requires that all legitimate concerns be addressed, including use of a primary source when done in compliance with Wikipedia guidelines.
2. You also wrote, “our analysis of what Darwin wrote is not relevant”. This is complete hypocrisy. Dave Souza has posted claims to the article that were his own analysis / synthesis, a number of which weren’t even true. Yet when I pointed this out, all you did was attack me, saying things like: not a forum or too much text, without every actually responding to any of the points I raised. This is pure WP:CENSORSHIP. You are only here to ensure that not all of Darwin’s beliefs get accurately reported. But Darwin wrote what he did and it can't be dismissed so easily. Furthermore, any analysis on the talk page that identifies false or misleading information is relevant to improving the accuracy of Wikipedia, so your earlier claim to the contrary is not only hypocritical but also false. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 22:33, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
Fine, now how about a brief description of a problem in the current text, with an indication of why it is a problem? Johnuniq (talk) 23:25, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

Human origins implied but not explicit in OtOOS[edit]

Multiple historians, and CD himself in DOM, highlight how CD omitted discussion of human origins, but covered himself by with one enigmatic sentence, "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.". There's a mass of discussion above about the wording:

He avoided discussing human origins beyond one sentence;"

To make the issue more explicit, I've modified the wording:

"He avoided explicit discussion of human origins, but implied the significance of his work with the sentence;"

That leaves it more open for the few other vaguely relevant instances where humans are mentioned, and I've added a link to the footnote giving quotations. If modern published scholarship goes into this in more detail, we can certainly take account of such sources, but remember this is an overview article and is meant to be concise. . dave souza, talk 07:30, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

Dave, certainly a step in the right direction. I made a couple of edits in footnote III. First, I followed suit from your edit make it more open, and changed it from “Darwin avoided mention of human origins save for his concluding remark…” to “Darwin mentioned human origins in his concluding remark…”, in order to leave it more open for the other times where humans are mentioned. Second, I added the same 2 quotes that I had earlier. While you identified them as “vaguely relevant”, it’s clear that Darwin thought about them carefully. I can guarantee you that many readers will want to read those quotes, to think for themselves what exactly Darwin meant by them. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 05:12, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
I have begun to realize that there is a conflation happening here, between the fact that Darwin didn’t explicitly spell out his conclusion on human origins with the claim that he didn’t discuss human origins in OTOOS. Furthermore the claim is sourced to Janet Browne, who, as mentioned in Talk:Charles_Darwin#Janet_Browne_is_not_a_reliable_source_about_Charles_Darwin, is not a reliable source on this point. This needs to be addressed next week. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 21:34, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Human origins implied but not explicit in OtOOS: discussion of sources[edit]

1. As I wrote above, there is a conflation between the fact that OTOOS implied human’s animal ancestry without explicitly stating this with whether or not Darwin talked about such origins, which he did. Darwin set out to answer how different forms of life came to be in their current state: the origin of each species. Given that humans are a species that has evolved in this way, it is misleading and technically false to claim Darwin wasn’t talking about human origins, just because he didn’t explicitly spell out his conclusion, and so I made these edits.

2. Darwin's comments. Dave wrote: … CD himself in DOM, highlight how CD omitted discussion of human origins, but covered himself by with one enigmatic sentence. What Darwin actually wrote in the introduction to TDOM was that he had refrained from publishing on humans in OTOOS. Darwin had previously intended to include a chapter on humans where he intended to explicitly report on his "notes on the origin or descent of man", but at some point in the 1850s, he decided to take this chapter out of his manuscript he was preparing.

3. The following sentence states: “It seemed to me sufficient to indicate, in the first edition of my 'Origin of Species,' that by this work "light would be thrown on the "origin of man and his history;" and this implies that man must be included with other organic beings in any general conclusion respecting his manner of appearance on this earth.” Again, he is not stating that this was his only comment on humans in OTOOS, he is just saying that this was, in his opinion, sufficient to imply that humans, including their psychology, had evolved the same way as other animals had.

4. Darwin had written a handful of statements in OTOOS that clearly signaled his belief on human's animal ancestry. This point wasn't really in dispute to the target audience of TDOM. What was in dispute, however, was whether or not the human mind had evolved by natural processes or whether supernatural intervention was required. Darwin believed the former, and it seems that Alfred Wallace initially did too, but then Wallace changed his mind and adopted the latter position, which caused Darwin some distress. Consequently, in TDOM Darwin focuses less on the question of whether human's have animal ancestry, and more on trying to show that there is a continuum of each mental and moral faculty. As far as I am aware, Darwin's comment on light being thrown on human origins is the only reference in OTOOS to human psychology, which might explain why he used the line “It seemed sufficient” when he had, in fact, alluded to human's animal ancestry multiple times in OTOOS.

5. Historians' comments. Dave also wrote: Multiple historians … highlight how CD omitted discussion of human origins …. In fact, “historians” of Darwin are all over the map on this point and many seem to have “a sense of duty” to distort what Darwin wrote in some way.

6. The article’s claim that Darwin “avoided explicit discussion of human origins” is sourced by Janet Browne, who in fact falsely claims that Darwin referred to humans only one time in OTOOS (see my post above which links to the thread below). Wikipedia requires reliable sources, so I removed this citation to Browne. Another example of distortion of reality is Michael Ghiselin making the same claim. In his introduction to OTOOS published by Dover Publications, he wrote that Darwin had only “provided a single sentence about the human species” (page xiv, emphasis added) when Darwin had clearly provided multiple comments about humans in OTOOS.

7. References. A much better description is by Gregory Radick: “Although not explicit in the Origin, the easily inferred conclusion for humankind [was] that humans are the evolved descendants of apelike progenitors”. That is, it’s not the discussion that didn’t happen, because it actually did, it’s the conclusion about human origins that wasn’t explicit. Another reference is by Julian Huxley and HBD Kettlewell, who wrote that Darwin “had dropped a number of hints about man’s animal ancestry in the Origin”. I also used John van Whye as a source for his discussion of Darwin’s reference to homologous bone patterns in mammal morphology.

(page 174)Apart from Darwin’s notebook theorizing of the 1830s, the main corpus on which he drew in the Descent and the Expression was the large and mostly public one that accumulated in the 1860s in the wake of the Origin of Species (1859). Although not explicit in the Origin, the easily inferred (page 175) conclusion for humankind – that humans are the evolved descendants of apelike progenitors – struck commentators not merely as unlikely but, in undermining Christian teachings and the moral striving they inspired, unwelcome. (emphasis added) — Gregory Radick, Darwin and Humans, in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought, edited by Michael Ruse, 2013, pages 174-175
Though he had thought about the subject ever since he first saw the Fuegian savages on the Beagle voyage, had amassed many facts bearing on it, and had dropped a number of hints about man’s animal ancestry in The Origin, he had been content to assert, at the end its final chapter, that, with the aid of his theory, ‘light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history’. (emphasis added) — Julian Huxley & HBD Kettlewell, Charles Darwin and His World, 1965, page 77
Darwin's theory of genealogical evolution (as opposed to earlier theories by Lamarck or Vestiges which entailed independent lineages unfolding sequentially because of an innate tendency towards progress) made sense of a host of diverse kinds of evidence such as the succession of fossil forms in the geological record, geographical distribution of life (biogeography), recapitulative appearances in embryology, homologies like the hand of a man and the wing of a bat, vestigial organs, nesting taxonomic relationships observed throughout the world and so forth. (emphasis added) — Jon van Whye, Charles Darwin: gentleman naturalist: A biographical sketch, 2008

. Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 22:18, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Stan, these sources show implicit inclusion of human descent, not explicit discussion of human origins. Your parsing of Radick's comment is really strained, distorted by your selective quotation in your discussion of the point. As van Wyhe notes, human homology is included in evidence, but "Although Darwin refrained from discussing the derivation of any particular species, including man, in the Origin except for his famous sentence: 'Much light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history' many people who read the book could think only about what this genealogical view of life meant for human beings." So, the earlier wording there works better, but I think there's room for improvement which I'll include. dave souza, talk 01:56, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
1. Dave, you write “these sources show implicit inclusion of human descent, not explicit discussion of human origins.” This is exactly my point: that common descent of humans could be inferred from OTOOS. That is all that I was adding (nothing about discussing or not discussing human origins), and as you acknowledge, these sources support my addition, so there was no justification for you to delete what I added.
2. You claim that my “parsing” is “strained”; let me tell you what’s strained: your conflation of derivation with origin. Derivation is the act or process of obtaining something from its origin, yet you claim they mean exactly the same thing. They’re not and your claim is completely unverified. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 04:16, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
Eh? That seems to be your claim that derivation and origin are the same thing: Darwin clearly avoided explicit discussion of how humans originated, but at some points implied that his theory of common descent would apply to humans. You're going beyond what Radick wrote: we can all agree that "Although not explicit in the Origin," it could be easily inferred "that humans are the evolved descendants of apelike progenitors". Not explicit, but implicit. You jump from that to – "it’s not the discussion that didn’t happen, because it actually did, it’s the conclusion about human origins that wasn’t explicit" which isn't in the source: it's your own opinion that "it actually did". So, I'll undo your original research misusing Radick, and introduce further sources. Your wording gave undue weight to your unsourced view, but we can certainly discuss potential clarification on the basis of sources. dave souza, talk 12:36, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
1. Why are you accusing me of claiming “that derivation and origin are the same thing”??!! You are the one who is claiming that they are the same, I clearly stated that they aren’t the same and explained why!
2. Your edit summary dishonestly claims that you removed my “original research” from the article. It certainly would be original research if it was posted to the article, but as everyone can see, I never did.
3. You are trying to flip the onus here. You are trying to make a claim that I think is misleading and might even be inaccurate, and for no good reason given that we agree on the substantive issue here. You have failed in your WP:BURDEN to verify the claim that Darwin didn't explicitly discuss human origins in OTOOS, and there is a much better way to say things so we both agree.
4. Finally, I removed the citation to page 60 of Browne's book because there are too many false claims there and it says exactly the opposite of what you are trying to post. So please stop restoring unreliable sources. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 14:37, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
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1. I was given a warning yesterday for edit warring. I got carried away and I’m sorry for that. With that said, this article has a serious WP:OWNERSHIP problem that needs to be addressed head on at some point. There is one dominant editor with several enforcers. See Multiple editor ownership for a stunningly accurate picture of what’s going on. Dbrodbeck and I am One of Many have often provided muscle in edit wars, but have never made any attempts to discuss legitimate concerns on the talk page or make their own edits to the article.
2. After I started becoming aware of just how many false and misleading claims were posted on Wikipedia about Charles Darwin and his works, I started an account with an eye to improve the accuracy here. I have been pejoratively identified as an WP:SPA, but I simply don’t know of any other article of such importance that has been distorted to quite this extent. All I can say is that this is my only account and this is my real name and I don’t think there is anything wrong with focusing on something that so clearly needs attention.
3. The fact is, Dave Souza has been asserting ownership here for about a decade. He has been extremely aggressive in controlling the narrative, especially with regard to what Darwin said in regard to humans and their origins and human races. He has posted numerous false and misleading claims that I have had some success in correcting, but it has been a fight every step of the way.
4. In theory, it shouldn’t be this way. Wikipedia has very strong rules requiring that any potentially disputed claim must be directly stated in a reliable source, and the onus to prove this rests with the one adding or restoring it. So if you see something that you think is misleading or false, you should be able to request the quote from the source that backs it up, and if there isn’t any, it should be easy to deal with from there. But in practice, Dave has often posted his own synthesis and then put the onus on me to prove that any particular claim is false.
5. Our disagreement on how to report here what Darwin said about humans in OTOOS is long running. Dave posted that Darwin had only made one allusion to human evolution some years ago. In TDOM Darwin refers back to his comments on sexual selection applying to humans, so back in January I posted that actually there were other references to human evolution in OTOOS. Dave then changed and/or reworded my posts, now claiming that there was only one allusion to human origins. I still thought this wasn’t quite correct. There followed a somewhat lengthy discussion among various editors on the sourcing for such a claim. It was supposedly sourced by page 60 of Janet Browne’s Power of Place, but I managed to show that she actually said the opposite of what they were claiming when Browne’s words were parsed out as they said to.(link to location) But, by this time, Dave had posted claims to the article that Darwin hadn’t discussed and hadn’t even mentioned human evolution / human origins save and except for his one comment about light being thrown. By that time, I was thankful that there was at least some improvement to the article, even though I wasn’t happy about Dave’s aggressive editing habits.
6. I was reading OTOOS in February when I started to realize that Darwin had actually made a lot of comments about human biology in his presentation of evidence for common descent. One of the more outstanding ones is his claim that the homologies he identified between humans and other mammals “at once explain themselves” on his theory of evolution! (p.479) I was disgusted!!! This is obviously at least an allusion to human evolution and human origins. Why the hell did Dave and various other editors try to defend claims that were so blatantly false? Why exactly is Dave claiming that this is not even a mention of human evolution or human origins? Where is his source for that?! Why is it always on me to have to prove that something is false before it can be taken down? This is exactly why Wikipedia has such rigid polices requiring that claims be verified by a reliable source.
7. This latest dispute is simply a continuation of Dave’s determination to downplay the extent that Darwin actually did talk about humans in OTOOS. The pattern is clear: he started off with claims that were obviously false, and every time I would challenge it, he would make me prove the falseness of the claim, in an effort to come up with an ambiguous and misleading claim that can’t be proven to be false. What is the difference between discussing something and explicitly discussing it? Who knows? If you discuss something, you discuss it, what's this explicit part? Oh, I know: it’s because Darwin never explicitly mentioned human origins, right? Ummm, actually he did when he wrote about “the origin of man and his history” so it can’t be that. What then? I simply don’t know.
8. Jimmy Wales wants ambiguous and misleading claims taken down from Wikipedia. The simple truth is that we all agree that in OTOOS Darwin didn’t explicitly spell out his conclusion about human origins but did so implicitly. Dave is conflating this with his claim that there was no explicit discussion. So, maybe it's not the end of the world, but why would we include some ambiguous and somewhat misleading claim about whether or not Darwin's many comments mentioning and otherwise alluding to human origins rose to the level explicitly discussing? Dave claims that there are all these sources that say exactly what he is claiming. But this is from someone who has a long history of distorting reality in the most outrageous fashion. These sources each word things a little bit differently. If this wasn’t his own synthesis, he would have posted a quote from some source to directly back up his claim.
9. In theory, this should be an easy case; there is an ambiguous and misleading claim that is not verified by a reliable source. But, there is a determined owner intent on controlling the narrative with enforcers to back him up. I really don’t want to edit war over a point of ambiguity that is relatively minor (there’s bigger fish to fry), but I do want people to understand that I find it really sad that such a claim stands because of a pseudo consensus, especially considering that I got falsely accused of making points that are the exact opposite of what I said.
10. I know lots of editors are wishing I would just go away (like Hillary wants Bernie to go away, because after all she is totally entitled to the nomination). But for whatever reason, the lies and distortion about my hero have been just too much for me. Sorry. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 02:25, 28 May 2016 (UTC)
No, we don't wish you would go away because established editors are used to single purpose accounts who have little awareness of how Wikipedia works apart from gleanings extracted to support their position. There will be plenty after you. Repeatedly posting walls-of-text with claims about other editors (and Jimmy Wales!) means whatever point you are trying to make is lost. Johnuniq (talk) 03:03, 28 May 2016 (UTC)
I’m going to respectfully disagree. I know many points I make do bounce right off the armour here, but some do get through. Taking down the false claims that Darwin thought all races to be equal clearly couldn’t have happened without the “walls-of-text”, so they're not all bad. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 03:53, 28 May 2016 (UTC)
BTW, thanks for your vote of confidence allowing me to stay. I have a fascination with Dutch-Russian Mennonite history (being one myself), so hopefully I’ll find some time to edit there, and I will no longer be a single purpose account. I’ll never edit on as many topics as you do though, that's for sure. Cheers. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 06:19, 28 May 2016 (UTC)

Wording looks ok, sufficient sources[edit]

@ Stan, these changes you made to the wording look ok to me. In this edit and summary "extra sources are simply overkill at this point", you removed sources and indicated that you're satisfied with the sources in place. The sources removed, Larson 2004, p. 92, Darwin & Costa 2009, pp. 199, 488 and Desmond & Moore 2009, pp. 309–311, give further views and support to the wording "He avoided explicit discussion of human origins, but implied the significance of his work with the sentence; "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history." " However, I don't see a need to reintroduce them given that the wording issue is resolved. . dave souza, talk 07:33, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

Ownership charge[edit]

I've kept half on eye on this article for years. So I was interested in Stan Giesbrecht's claim that there was a WP:OWNERSHIP problem here. Take it from me: there isn't. What we have is an editor (dave souza) with a genuine interest and passion for a subject coupled with proper understanding of of WP policies tirelessly defending an article that acts as a magnet for cranks of every stripe. He (Stan) may not be a crank, but the focus on extracting some view relevant to human racial origins bespeaks such. The 19th century was a different time and different norms applied in any case. Darwin was a genius who bequeathed the most influential non-physics scientific theory of the 20th century. Let's just let the article continue to report that. Oh, and by the way Stan Giesbrecht, please stop punctuating everything thing you write with WP:SOMEDAMNPOLICY: it's like having an interlocutor hit you on the head with a cudgel after every sentence. Mcewan (talk) 00:40, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

1. It seems that my posts bespeak that I’m a crank because they violate your moral taboos. You’re the liberal equivalent of those conservatives that don’t want biology textbooks to cover human sexuality. Think of the children. But everyone knows this is no longer the 19th century and the world won’t end by actually reporting the contents of Darwin’s excellent books. It’s like he said: “But we are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with the truth as far as our reason allows us to discover it.”
2. Mcewan, everything you’ve written proves the Multiple-editor ownership that you’re trying to deny here: you write in support of the WP:CENSORSHIP team, who don’t care about logic and reason, so I’ll keep citing WP:THOSEDAMNPOLICIES. The only reason you feel like they are hitting you on the head is because you know they are being violated. The fact is, Wikipedia is supposed to be WP:COMPREHENSIVE with a WP:NPOV, not your sanitized politically-correct version. I should be allowed to work towards that end.
3. Finally, I added a subsection title, as this is a different topic from the previous post. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 04:00, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

Darwinian Irony in liquor label[edit]

The Catalan producer of: 'Anis del mono', an Anise, seems having used the face of Charles Darwin in the label of the bottles, perhaps adding in private comments that the monkey in the bottle may be a relative of mr Charles Darwin, but not of their own. Image added to Wikimedia Commons. Regards, + Salut--Caula (talk) 14:07, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

For the curious: File:Anis del Mono label -the face is reported being that of Charles Darwin.jpg. Johnuniq (talk) 22:13, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Not much beyond cute Face-smile.svg - DVdm (talk) 22:28, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

TDOM: humans have diverged into distinct subspecies[edit]

1. In the discussion about TDOM, I added the point that Darwin wrote that humans have diverged into distinct subspecies, while remaining one species. The section had previously focused on one to the total exclusion of the other, so this is a clear violation of WP:NPOV.

2. It also was clearly violating WP:COMPREHENSIVE, as Darwin identified determining the taxonomic rank of human races as 1 of the 3 points he would confine his discussions in the book to, and he gave a very clear answer to this question in the conclusion.

3. I referenced this to TDOM and included the direct quote in footnote VI, which is sort of the theme of there, although that footnote also includes some serious WP:EDITORIALIZING. Here are 2 secondary sources that I’ll mention on the talk page, so I don’t get criticized for only relying on primary sources. 1) In this post Steve Sailor writes: “Darwin himself ultimately viewed human races as separate subspecies, but it took him a lot of arguing with himself to get there”, and 2) This article from the Guardian originally claimed that Darwin didn’t think human races were separate subspecies, but when I complained, they agreed that he did, writing: “In fact [Darwin] did refer to human races as sub-species.” I don’t think either of these sources needs to be referenced in the article, as TDOM is so clear on this point and is the most reliable source here. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 20:15, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

Dbrodbeck, the D in WP:BRD means engaging in a discussion on the talk page, not simply claiming there is no consensus. You don't like the post, but the truth is, the article currently violates WP:NPOV which states: “This policy is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus.” So, please justify your reversion and explain how we can achieve the required NPOV to comply with core Wikipedia policy. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 21:15, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
You are making your own conclusions based on primary sources, we don't do that typically. Dbrodbeck (talk) 21:33, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
Stan, you've been pushing your own interpretations of Darwin's writings: this series of edits in tDOM removed unsourced paragraphs, but introduced instead a synthesis you've put together. Your ideas conflict with the published judgment of eminent historians: for example, Michael Ghiselin p. 35 briefly discusses the chapter you're quoting, with a very different focus – "Darwin rejects the notion that humanity consists of more than one species in spite of great geographical diversity." The whole issue of sub-species, or better put in modern terminology as varieties, is that they're not distinct species. When time permits, that needs to be clarified in the tDOM article. . . dave souza, talk 22:02, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree with all you say about the need for third-party sources. I would just point out that the modern Code of Zoological Nomenclature stops at subspecies. Varieties are only used in the Botanical Code. William Avery (talk) 22:11, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
Good point, the thing is that Darwin was in the process of redefining what species meant, with speciation as the fixing of subspecific varieties and not divine creation. Both terminology and knowledge have changed, and Homo sapiens sapiens is apparently now regarded as [the sole extant] subspecies. Race (human categorization) has diverged in common usage from Race (biology). . . dave souza, talk 08:08, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I suspect that there is a racial/political agenda behind Stan Giesbrecht attempts to introduce his own WP:POV into this article. Part of this opinion is based off-site posts that I'll say no more about here, but I will point out that one of the articles above that Stan links to is from VDARE, which is basically a race-base hate website. I think we have to be very careful in preventing race-based hate POV from gradually getting into this article via an WP:SPA. --I am One of Many (talk) 03:16, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
Any such POV would obviously be entirely against policy. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:42, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
1. Sorry for the delayed response. I was planning to respond, but stuff happened, and things got too busy. But I want to respond to some of the criticism above.
2. First, Dbrodbeck attacks me because I didn’t provide secondary sources; then I Am One Of Many (IAOOM) attacks me because I did. IAOOM identifies one of the secondary sources as a “hate website” and wants the information to be censored accordingly, notwithstanding the fact that another secondary source says exactly the same thing.
3. Editors here seem to be offended by Darwin’s belief that humans diverged into distinct subspecies, but that simply isn't relevant. The point is that this is Darwin’s POV and needs to be reported in a neutral manner. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 03:25, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Simplified and removed povpush at Descent of Man as above. Still to add commentary and detail from further reliable secondary sources. . dave souza, talk 13:08, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
As I mentioned above and on TDOM talk page, Darwin's belief that humans diverged into distinct subspecies is his WP:POV and therefore needs to be reported for the article to be WP:COMPREHENSIVE. With that said, I don't have time for such editing for the next little while. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 03:25, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
I edited TDOM page to more accurately reflect what Darwin actually wrote about race in that book. I posted comments and sources on the talk page. This also needs to be addressed here, next week. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 21:24, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for introducing sources, there are issues with your edits but it's not something I can address immediately. Will discuss it at the relevant talk page when time permits. . dave souza, talk 01:48, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
@ Stan Giesbrecht, work in progress, but in light of the above discussion I'm disappointed to find [https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Descent_of_Man,_and_Selection_in_Relation_to_Sex&diff=720815962&oldid=715869595 your edit of 03:13, 18 May 2016, added a reference to a VDARE blog – the author Steve Sailer has no credentials as a Darwin scholar, and "YOUR PERSONAL PATRIOT PACK Stand up against Cultural Marxism and celebrate America!" is a red flag. Not a reliable source, and no justification for your original research. . dave souza, talk 18:11, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
1. I’m disappointed that you are WP:CENSORing information that you know is accurate and important. TDOM is Darwin’s second most important book; the answer to his third (of three) question in the book is extremely relevant (see WP:COMPREHENSIVE, and secondary sources are always preferable.
2. The burning irony is that you are demonizing a source because of your moral taboos, and not the accuracy of the information provided, while at the same time defending a citation to an ambiguous source that has demonstrably misled you. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 04:09, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Hardly demonising to note that a VDARE blog by Steve Sailer clearly fails WP:BLOGS, or "censorship" to remove dubious interpretations lacking a good source. It's worth being aware of red flags about their position, which isn't one of Darwin scholarship. . dave souza, talk 11:01, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

Janet Browne as a reliable source about Charles Darwin[edit]

Example = "Voyaging": she tries to list the pall-bearers at Darwin's funeral and manager to leave one out, Rev. Cannon Frederic Farrar! (page 497)

2.30.190.52 (talk) 11:20, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Rather detailed for this article, we can review the point if you give a citation for Farrar. . . dave souza, talk 01:45, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
The citation of Voyaging is incorrect. It's on p.497 of The Power of Place where Browne lists the pall-bearers. She gives the Duke of Argyll, the Duke of Devonshire, the Earl of Derby, J. Russell Lowell (the America. ambassador), William Spottiswoode, Hooker, Huxley, Wallace and Lubbock. In the biography of Farrar, written by his son, he is quoted as having written "I was asked to be one of the pall-bearers" (p.109). But it is absurd to consider a relatively minor blemish like this as an indication that Browne is not generally reliable
David Wilson (talk · cont) 14:34, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, I've noticed that the Frederic Farrar article cites "The Funeral of Mr Darwin", The Times, 27 April 1882. (Wikisource) so that's well supported, and the correct list appears at Darwin from Insectivorous Plants to Worms#Funeral so no problem there. . . dave souza, talk 16:48, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
@David J Wilson: 1. You say that missing the name of one pallbearer doesn’t, by itself, show that Janet Browne is unreliable. Fair enough. But you would have to agree, wouldn’t you, that there is plenty of other evidence that does calling her reliability into question?
2. Wouldn’t you agree that she claims in Power of Place that Darwin took out and kept out all references to “human ancestry” when writing OTOOS? Wouldn’t you also agree that she claims that Darwin was “completely silent on the subject of human origins”? Didn't Darwin, in fact, drop a number of hints about human origins and human ancestry in OTOOS?
3. Isn't it also true that Browne claims that Darwin took out and kept out all references to a Creator? But hadn't Darwin, in fact, referred to “the Creator” numerous times in OTOOS?
4. David, I want to put to you that there is an abundance of clear and compelling evidence that Janet Browne is not a reliable source with respect to Darwin’s discussions of humans in OTOOS and consequently the citation to p.60 of her book should be removed from reference #128. (Just to be clear, I am not looking for the text in the article to be modified here, just the one citation removed.) I would very much appreciate your reply with respect to the questions posed here. Thank you. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 20:03, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
I have no intention of being drawn into what I suspect would be and endless back and forth on this matter. I will therefore limit myself to fairly direct answers to your questions and resist the temptation to provide more lengthy explanations. I will probably ignore any followup questions.
1. No. Since I've seen no such evidence, I don't feel at all compelled to admit that there is any, let alone an "abundance" of it.
2a. No, I haven't seen her make any such claim in The Power of Place, either on p.60, which is where I presume you think she does so, nor anywhere else.
  b. Yes, she certainly makes that statement.
  c. My views on this question are sufficiently complex that a simple yes or no answer would be misleading, and I have no intention of indulging in the lengthy pontification that would be necessary to explain them.
3a. Same answer as to question 2a.
  b. Yes. More specifically, the first edition of On the Origin of Species—which is what Browne was referring to on p.60 of The Power of Place—contains seven occurrences of "Creator" and two of "God"—one of the latter being in the text proper, and the other being in a quotation from Francis Bacon's The Advancement of Learning on the page preceding the title page.
4. In my opinion you have provided no evidence that Browne is unreliable, so removing citations to her book cannot be justified on those grounds. On the other hand, the passage on p.60 is somewhat ambiguous and can be easily misinterpreted, especially by anybody who can't be bothered to read the rest of the chapter where it appears. Thus, it should of course only be cited to support statements when the support it provides is unequivocal (which I haven't checked for the citation in question).
David Wilson (talk · cont) 05:56, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for your responses. Maybe I’m too pedantic, but the ambiguities and misinterpretations do bug the snot out of me at times. What else can I say? Take Care. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 09:24, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

SEPERATE CONVERSATION: reply to original post by 2.30.190.52

1. Thanks for the info. I’ve moved this to a new section, rather than a subsection of the discussion on properly reporting Darwin’s belief that humans have diverged into distinct subspecies.
2. In terms of Browne, I’m more worried about her claim in Power of Place (page 60) that Darwin only referred to humans one time in OTOOS:
The only words he allowed himself—and these out of a sense of duty that he must somewhere refer to human beings—were gnomic in their brevity. “Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history,” he declared in the conclusion.
3. This is completely false: Darwin referred to humans multiple times in his most famous publication, including comments about sexual selection applying humans and homologous bone patterns between humans and other mammals. She is clearly trying to distort reality by deliberately writing something as nonsensical as this, as I mentioned in Talk:Charles_Darwin#Source_must_be_reliable. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 21:24, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
False argument on your part: Browne has just stated "he did refer to humans in several places as examples of biological details." You seem to have a distorted view of sources. . . dave souza, talk 01:45, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
1. Seriously? You want to defend Browne on this one? It’s there in black and white: Browne claims that the only words Darwin used to refer to humans in OTOOS was the line about light being thrown. If she wanted to report the truth, she would have worded things much differently.
2. Browne is a loon who shoots 5 directions at once. Do I need to remind you that she also claimed that, “With profound deliberation … He avoided talking about the origin of human beings. … he had long ago drained his manuscripts of any reference to … human ancestry. He had no intention of reintroducing them now. In this book, he was completely silent on the subject of human origins”. What part of WP:BULLSHIT do you not understand? . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 04:10, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
Browne is a very reputable historian, unfortunately you're not reading what she says as a whole. Your insults simply undermine the case you're trying to make, please desist. . dave souza, talk 13:14, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
1. No reputable historian would write things that are so overtly false. Please take off your rose-coloured glasses. By “reading what she says as a whole” you mean to WP:CHERRY pick the true parts of what she writes and ignore the WP:BULLSHIT. Only then will we be able to see how “accurate” she is.
2. It is your denial that undermines your case. She says that Darwin was “completely silent on the subject of human origins” in OTOOS, yet you agree that OTOOS implied common descent for humans. It doesn’t line up. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 14:28, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
Stan, your Bullshit is complete bollocks. Her wording works as a whole, of course if you don't like it see also van Wye, Larson, Costa, Desmon & Moore as cited. All make the point in various ways, that Darwin's book did not explicitly go into human origins beyond that specific sentence, though shared descent was implicit in parts of the book. While our wording can no doubt be improved, you were giving undue weight to your unsupported if rather convoluted claim that "it’s not the discussion that didn’t happen, because it actually did, it’s the conclusion about human origins that wasn’t explicit." If you're claiming that there was explicit discussion of human origins, provide the source and a quote to support your argument. Thanks, . dave souza, talk 17:01, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
1. Sure Dave, keep claiming that the sky is green and grass is blue. Browne’s claims on pages 60-61 are completely nonsensical. They make no sense whether taken individually or "as a whole" and you know it.
2. All you do is go after one line I posted on the talk page. Even though I most certainly do not want to post it to the article, you claim that I need to “provide the source and a quote to support [my] argument”.
3. It’s amazing how you always manage to accuse me of what you need to listen to, just like when you accused me of claiming that origin = derivation, when I stated exactly the opposite. In this case, it is you who needs to provide a source and a quote, rather than these vague claims that all these sources support what is really just your own synthesis (WP:PROVEIT). . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 18:45, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Stan, this largely seems to arise from your unusual reading of what Browne's written: other editors seem to find it understandable, and her books are well recommended by reliable sources, including van Wyhe. Clearly both myself and David J. Wilson disagree with your argument that a minor error invalidates Browne.
To take another example, do the blatant errors of p. 62 – "his father sent him off to Christ's College, Cambridge University to earn a theology degree .... Even though he completed the training necessary to be a minister," and p. 66 – "if a young man, Alfred Russell Wallace, had not brought the same idea to the Royal Society in 1858. Wallace, equally nervous, had written to Darwin asking for advice, and they presented their findings jointly to the Royal Society in 1858." invalidate John P. Jackson; Nadine M. Weidman (2004). Race, Racism, and Science: Social Impact and Interaction. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-3736-8. ? . . dave souza, talk 18:38, 30 May 2016 (UTC) (note: for discussion of usage of this source, see Talk:The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex#Examples in the Article and my comment. dave souza, talk 06:53, 31 May 2016 (UTC))

1. Dave, you know very well that I never made the argument that a minor error will invalidate an entire work, as I said in my post to David Wilson. Clearly all of us disagree with the “argument that a minor error invalidates Browne”.
2. My opposition to Browne’s citation in reference #128 isn’t just based my own reading of what Browne wrote, but also yours and David’s. In our earlier discussions, both David and you emphatically claimed that what Browne wrote on p.60 was that Darwin had only alluded to human origins once in OTOOS. Yet, as Huxley and Kettlewell show us, Darwin had, in fact, alluded to human origins multiple times. And we all (now) know that Darwin wrote that the homologies between humans and other mammals “at once explain themselves” on his theory of descent with modification. This is definitely at least an allusion to human origins. Thus, we can see that the Browne's passage about this exact point has been, to say the very least, seriously misinterpreted.
3. As David stated above: the passage on p.60 is somewhat ambiguous and can be easily misinterpreted and that it should of course only be cited to support statements when the support it provides is unequivocal. As we have seen, the support it provides on this particular subject is far from unequivocal. It is ambiguous and has been seriously misinterpreted by people experts on Darwin. It is clear, therefore, that it should not be used to source the point in the article about human origins in OTOOS, when John van Whye is far less ambiguous on this particular topic and far less prone to misinterpretation.
4. Finally, it’s not the end of the world but, while the old section title (‎"Janet Browne is not a reliable source about Charles Darwin") was not neutral , the new one you chose ("Janet Browne as a reliable source about Charles Darwin") certainly isn’t neutral either. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 09:31, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
@ Stan, as David J Wilson notes above, you're misrepresenting what Browne wrote, but you've now jumped to remove her p. 60 as a cite on the basis of his remark that a passage on that page is "somewhat ambiguous and can be easily misinterpreted, especially by anybody who can't be bothered to read the rest of the chapter where it appears." A published source is needed if you want to assert that it "has been seriously misinterpreted by people experts on Darwin".
Your claim that the homologies passage "is definitely at least an allusion to human origins" is unsupported, and it's just as valid to put that under Browne's description that Darwin "was completely silent on the subject of human origins, although he did refer in several places to mankind as an example of biological details." Thus, van Wyhe includes it among example of biological details supporting "Darwin's theory of genealogical evolution", but does not describe it as being on the subject of human origins, and later states "Darwin refrained from discussing the derivation of any particular species, including man, in the Origin except for his famous sentence".
The general statement made by Huxley & Kettlewell doesn't clarify what the "hints" are, and as van Wyhe says, "many people who read the book could think only about what this genealogical view of life meant for human beings". So, Browne remains a valid source, but given the misinterpretation you seem fixated on, I'm content to cite Costa instead, supporting the text more specifically than van Wyhe, while keeping a cite to him as a useful online source. dave souza, talk 17:09, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
1. Dave, I know you are bitter and offended that I called Janet Browne a loon who writes a hodge-podge of mutually contradictory claims (I hope you can forgive me some day) but, in fact, the reason her citation to page 60 is gone is because a number of editors here, who are well read and very knowledgeable about Darwin, misinterpreted it. That is the proof needed for its removal. I already provided a couple of diffs above, but will provide some direct quotes (with my added boldface) for you.
2. You posted the claim that Darwin's “only allusion to human origins” was the light-will-be-thrown statement, citing Browne, 2002, p.60. I disputed this claim which lead to a vigorous pushback from multiple editors. Here David Wilson wrote:
The claim I was referring to in the second paragraph of my above comments was the edit summary of this edit where you wrote:
"saying that sexual selection applies to humans is an allusion to human origins".
While this edit summary does not say that the suposed allusion to human origins was clear, it neverthelesss appears to me to be the only justification you have offered for your edit, which removed the assertion that Darwin's statement, "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history", is the only such allusion in On the Origin of Species. Since that assertion is properly supported by an accurate citation to an unequivocally reliable source (viz. Browne's The Power of Place), your edit would only be justified if the statement that sexual selection applies to humans constituted a clear and unequivocal allusion to human origins, which, in my opinion it does not, for the reasons I have given above. Since the claim made by the assertion is not at all exceptional (as Yopienso points out in his comments above), the burden of demonstrating its verifiability is quite properly met by the citation to Browne,
You immediately backed David up:
Clarification re Browne p. 60, she writes “In this book, he was completely silent on the subject of human origins, although he did refer in several places to mankind as an example of biological details. The only words he allowed himself .... were gnomic in their brevity. 'Light will be thrown on the origin of man'." There's that sentence, picked out by multiple sources. Stan Giesbrecht is claiming that there are other allusions to the topic but, so far, has failed to produce a secondary source supporting that claim.
3. In fact, Darwin discussed homologies in the Morphology section as well as in the conclusion. The reality that this alludes to human origins is strongly supported by WP:COMMONSENSE (whether or not it fits under Browne’s description as you suggest). A simple and straight forward reading of OTOOS contradicts your earlier reading of Browne, but if that isn’t good enough, here are a couple of secondary sources.
4. While Huxley and Kettlewell might not have specified which passages they think are “hints about man’s animal ancestry”, they do specify that it was “a number of hints”, thus contradicting your earlier conclusion that Browne stated there was only one.
5. Costa writes (p.199) that Darwin’s reference to sexual selection applying to humans was one of the “references to human origins in the Origin”. Even though he goes on to say that it isn’t a reference “to human origins per se”, it clearly contradicts your claim of only one such allusion. It’s so ironic that the citation you added just now makes the exact point I made earlier (for which you so robustly attacked me), contradicting your prior understanding of Browne.
6. Dave, I hope you can see that you have provided the proof for why Browne is not an appropriate citation for this exact topic. . Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 03:53, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Stan, at last you've provided a couple of sources as requested. Scholars can express differing views on nuances, while still being reliable sources, and Browne fully meets the WP:SOURCES policy as well as being a well regarded scholar. Costa covers the point that explaining human races isn’t a reference “to human origins per se”, but it's implicit. Which our current wording, as edited by you, covers pretty well. . 10:54, 17 June 2016 (UTC) added timesstamp, but inadvertently omitted name: dave souza, talk 17:11, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
1. You forgot to sign your name, Dave Souza (just so people know who I’m talking to)
2. The current wording actually doesn’t have the clarity it could and should. We all agree that OTOOS implied that humans have animal ancestry, but didn’t say so explicitly. I know you think that this is equivalent to saying there was “no explicit discussion” of human origins, but your wording here is vague, and given the misunderstandings on this very topic, quite unfortunate. We should strive for clarity; there is no upside to your choice of words and the downside is a risk of misinterpretation.
3. It is sad that you won’t openly acknowledge any mistakes you have ever made. Although you tacitly acknowledge that you misinterpreted Browne, it would be so much better if you would have the courage and grace to say so explicitly.
4. It is also sad that you still deny all concerns about Browne’s reliability, especially given that your link to WP:SOURCES explicitly mentions “a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy”. The convoluted mess of contradictory claims on pp.60-61 is certainly a red flag and the fact that you were seriously misled by that very passage is further proof of a red flag. While most of the statements that she writes will be accurate and her books can be used to source non-controversial facts, these red flags mean that she is certainly not a reliable source to prove any contentious claim.
5. Most troubling of all, Dave, is your opening line, “at last you've provided a couple of sources as requested”; for two reasons. First, I long ago provided passages from the most reliable source of all, OTOOS itself, which you should have taken seriously instead of simply ignoring on the claim that Wikipedia prohibits the use of primary sources. Second, it shows a major violation of the WP:BURDEN of proof, as the onus rests on the party adding or defending a disputed claim to show that it is properly verified and not on the person challenging the claim to show that it is not. --Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 16:07, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
1. A tilde too many so inadvertently omitted name, fixed now. 2–5 You continue to be wrong about Browne, if you want to argue a point is controversial you need good secondary sources. Please desist from using VDARE as you've tried again at DoM, that's clearly not a reliable source on the topic.. . . dave souza, talk 17:11, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
Dave, you claim that with respect to paragraphs 2 to 5 of my previous post, I “continue to be wrong about Browne”. Specifically in paragraph 3, I claim that you misinterpreted Janet Browne, so for clarification, would you please answer the following 2 questions:
Question 1: Did you misinterpret Browne in your 17 Jan 2016 post when you cited Browne for the claim: “His only allusion to human origins was the understatement that "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history"”?
Question 2: Did you misrepresent Browne in your 18 Jan 2016 discussion post, which included the “Clarification re Browne p. 60” comment?
Thanks. --Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 18:03, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Hi Stan, it's not clear what your problem is. Browne, is a well regarded historian and fully a reliable source in Wikipedia terms. Of course, it's always good to take account of multiple good secondary sources. . . dave souza, talk 20:00, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Dave, you say that “it’s not clear what [my] problem is.” It's clear that one problem here is that you entirely ignored my questions. I earlier stated that you misinterpreted Janet Browne, to which you replied that I was wrong about that. I want you to confirm or retract your denial of misinterpreting Browne. Please answer me this: Did you misinterpret Browne? --Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 03:27, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

It seems that one editor doesn't like Browne. Why does that editor not take this to WP:RSN then? Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:20, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

1. Dbrodbeck, I would be happy to support you if you take this to RSN. As you know, the citation to the convoluted mess of pp.60-61 is already taken down and Browne is fine to use as a source for non-controversial facts, but it would still be good to have a general caution about using Browne for contentious claims.
2. As you also know, Dave Souza posted in January, with the claim that Darwin only ever made one allusion to human origins in OTOOS, citing Browne’s p.60. David Wilson has commented on this source, saying, “the passage on p.60 is somewhat ambiguous and can be easily misinterpreted”, and I believe that Mr. Souza has in fact misinterpreted that passage. Yet when I put that to him earlier, he said I was wrong, thus denying that he misinterpreted Browne. I am highly skeptical of this and want him to explicitly confirm or unequivocally withdraw his denial of misinterpreting Browne. Yet, he refuses to do so, claiming he doesn’t know what I’m asking.
3. Mr. Souza has made other posts to Wikipedia that have not been accurate. Yet, I have never seen him acknowledge any error. Not once! Dbrodbeck, please explain to me how you think we can properly build an accurate and reliable encyclopedia if Mr. Souza continues to refuse to answer such a simple question as I put to him above. --Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 17:07, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Hectoring editors will not help your mission. How about acknowledging that as a single purpose account, your quoting of rules is not based on experience. And by the way did you misinterpret WP:CENSORSHIP? Sorry to be a little pointy there, but I want to illustrate that no one cares about battles and no one will bother following a "discussion" which is actually an old fashioned flamewar. If there is something to say, it should be said in a matter-of-fact way, and always with an aim of supporting an actionable proposal regarding text in the article. Any such proposal is lost here. Johnuniq (talk) 23:57, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
1. Amazing, Johnuniq, you state that “Hectoring editors will not help your mission” and then in the very next sentence you hector me for both citing Wikipedia’s rules and also for focusing on one topic, which, by the way, evidence has clearly shown needed (and still needs) improvement.
2. This conversation started as a discussion about the reliability of a particular source. These conversations are extremely important for Wikipedia and absolutely appropriate for the talk page here. It was determined that a particular citation was not proper and was taken down, which led to some confusion as to why. After I explained in greater detail, there was a claim made which seem inconsistent with the evidence so I asked for a clarification. My initial question wasn't understood, so I simplified the question the second time around; I wasn't hectoring anybody.
3. I know I’ve been a little bit blunt sometimes, but I don’t see any flamewars here; Wikipedia has seen a lot worse in terms of personal insults. I have always endeavoured to improve this and other articles, and you know very well that I have corrected and helped correct a significant number of substantial inaccuracies here. Even though a lot of people are uncomfortable with everything Darwin said, many editors actually do care about this and do want a candid article, warts and all. --Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 06:44, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
In fact, it would be very gentlemanly of Dave to respond to the question. No guarantee that would get the bee out of Stan's bonnet, but it could mitigate his sense of outrage, which would be good all round. YoPienso (talk) 20:11, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Since you put it so nicely, I may add that I've not been simply reverting Stan's contributions as they've included points of value, but have been concerned about apparent pov pushing in the attempts to use VDARE and, for example, in the edit summary remove totally synthesized left-wing propaganda which clearly fails to assume good faith.
Stan, you may be uncomfortable with some things Darwin said, but that's all the more reason to find good secondary sources which show the context of the times, rather than simply providing quotes which to modern readers have unwarranted implications of racism. See the sources in On the Origin of Species#Choice of title. While the wording has been improved over earlier versions, Browne remains a good source for mainstream scholarship on Darwin; we take into account other views, but must avoid giving undue weight to less scholarly comments. . . dave souza, talk 00:33, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
1. For the record, Dave, it's bad form to pretend to answer a question just to avoid the heat (your comment to YoPienso: “Since you put it so nicely” and your edit summary: “comment as requested ”). You still haven't explicitly confirmed or unequivocally withdrawn your denial of misinterpreting Browne. Please answer the question asked.
2. Speaking of uncomfortable with things Darwin said, your recent edit at the OTOOS page, cited Geoffrey Hodgson, who finds Darwin's belief that "some human races are closer than others to apes" as being "highly regrettable". In the preceding paragraph, he falsely claims that “the Origin of Species does not refer explicitly to human races at all.” Yet your own edit, citing Desmond & Moore, shows that OTOOS definitely does, and there are also other references to “races of man” in the book.
3. There isn't much room to assume good faith when a posted claim is clearly synthesized propaganda, but you are correct that I should not have presumed "left-wing" in my edit summary.
4. It is really sad that you maliciously edit-war to take down a proper secondary source with accurate information, because of your misguided moral convictions, while at the same time posting false information citing a source with inaccurate claims, and discussing it on a thread about you doing exactly the same thing with another source. The truth is stranger than fiction! --Stan Giesbrecht (talk) 15:36, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
On point 2., Geoffrey Hodgson is a respected academic and is cited for the meaning of "favoured races", not for the point about the tiny minority of three instances in the book when "races of man" is used, far outnumbered by the instances where "race" is used in the sense of "variety". I've added another source on this point, and raised the point at Talk:On the Origin of Species#Meaning of favoured races: sources. Stan, your repeated removal of this wording looks rather WP:POINTy, and ls heading towards edit warring. Please desist. . . dave souza, talk 22:21, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Stan Giesbrecht its time to move on to other things. There is a growing implicit consensus here that you may lack WP:COMPETENCE to edit on Darwinian topics. Please, either carefully reconsider your behavior here and modify it or move on to other topics. --I am One of Many (talk) 15:44, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Agree that it's time for Stan to move on, but not because he's incompetent. He and Dave have collaborated a little and made a little improvement, but they've now lapsed into fruitless carping and evasion. Sad. YoPienso (talk) 17:52, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Ok, I've tried answering the points, but tend to feel this is a waste of time better spent on article improvement. dave souza, talk 20:57, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Reply to Stan re "following 2 questions"[edit]

This needs some context, I've been focussing on reviewing sources rather than getting into a detailed argument but, as requested, here are the main points. In this comment Stan disputed my comment that was still wrong about Browne, as discussed earlier. To clarify, Stan raised assertions about Browne's reliability, [phttps://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Charles_Darwin&diff=prev&oldid=722967615 in reply] David J Wilson presciently said he had "no intention of being drawn into what I suspect would be and endless back and forth on this matter", but refuted some of the assertions. Regarding "2. Wouldn’t you agree that she claims in Power of Place that Darwin took out and kept out all references to “human ancestry” when writing OTOOS?", David had not seen her make any such claim, and "3. Isn't it also true that Browne claims that Darwin took out and kept out all references to a Creator?" is clearly false as Brown discusses Darwin's references to a Creator. That's why I think Stan continues to be wrong about Browne. In response, he claims I "misinterpreted Janet Browne, so for clarification, would you please answer the following 2 questions" which I'll respond to below. . dave souza, talk 20:57, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Question 1: Did you misinterpret Browne in your 17 Jan 2016 post when you cited Browne for the claim: “His only allusion to human origins was the understatement that "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history"”?
As my edit summary said, cite Browne, see also Costa, and my edit continued the sentence to the point that CD had suggested that sexual selection could explain human races. While I think it's a reasonable paraphrase, we've since reached agreement on the more nuanced "He avoided explicit discussion of human origins", so I don't see a problem there. . dave souza, talk 20:57, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Question 2: Did you misrepresent Browne in your 18 Jan 2016 discussion post, which included the “Clarification re Browne p. 60” comment?
My 18 Jan 2016 comment quotes Browne, with ellipsis committing words I thought less directly relevant, and noted "Stan Giesbrecht is claiming that there are other allusions to the topic but, so far, has failed to produce a secondary source supporting that claim." Since then we've found other sources supporting the view that other words in the book imply or hint at human origins, so we've amended the wording as shown above. dave souza, talk 20:57, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Hope that provides the requested clarification. . . dave souza, talk 20:57, 23 June 2016 (UTC)