Talk:Evidence of common descent

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Article Title[edit]

I know it has been brought up a thousand times before, but the title is not a descriptor of the material within the article. Instead of reworking the article, I propose that we just rename it to Evidence for Descent with Modification. That is the term Darwin used and it fits better with the common publications relating to the evidence for evolution.

For reasons unknown, the past discussions changed the article name from Evidence of Evolution to Evidence of Common Descent. Sensible but unreasonable in my opinion considering that most of the literature that surveys the subject matter just simply calls it the evidence of evolution. Also, a simple Google search for Evidence for Evolution turns up thousands of results with that title. Even the most well-known publications use the term evidence of/for evolution.

That being said, as per WP:CRITERIA, the current title does not fit the 5 main standards for article titles. Whereas, if the title were simply Evidence of (or for) Evolution or my proposal of Evidence for Descent with Modification, it would be more recognizable (possibly inviting new editors due to the fact that the laymen tends to not know what "common descent" is but definitely has heard of the term "evolution").

In addition, past talk page discussions have commented on the fact that the material is not so much evidence of common descent. Technically it is, but the article encompasses a much broader scope essentially rendering it, in my opinion, obsolete. Why change the material in the article when you can just change the title to fit what the article has evolved into? Of course that logic cannot be used in all circumstances, but in this one specifically, I think it can apply because "common descent" leaves out various other aspects of the evidence for evolution as a whole.

Any thoughts on the matter? A. Z. Colvin • Talk 01:35, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

I noticed that noone answered your question for a while. I like the current name, but I don't personally see a problem with the one you proposed. That said, I don't have any particular authority to decide. It's also difficult to evaluate if no objection implies that others agree... (talk) 23:57, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
It appears to be a dead talk page at this point so I guess the issue is moot. Thanks for your response though. A. Z. Colvin • Talk 05:04, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
I got your message. It seems that this article has been substantially revised since my last comment, several years ago, so that now it focuses a bit more on the actual topic implied by the title, which is the evidence for the common descent of all living organisms. It's no longer just about obvious things, like that humans and chimpanzees are related. Just by reading it, there now seems to be some supporting evidence cited. It's not perfect, but it's significantly improved. ChicagoDilettante (talk) 01:40, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

I propose a discussion and reopening of this topic. I have requested a name change. Input and debate is welcome. A. Z. Colvin • Talk 00:35, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

Requested move 5 March 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No move, per WP:COMMONTITLE, and rationales provided below. (non-admin closure) jcc (tea and biscuits) 16:39, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

Evidence of common descentEvidence for descent with modification – See rational: Talk:Evidence_of_common_descent#Article_Title A. Z. Colvin • Talk 00:41, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Oppose – Per book usage, the current title is much more common. And the proposed alternative drops the key concept of "common" that this article is about – that is, a single ultimate ancestor. Dicklyon (talk) 02:53, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose, The rationale above suggests that the title was 'weakened' when it was changed from 'Evidence for Evolution' but then suggests what seems to be a further weakening. Common descent has often been the sticking point for those who can't accept evolution and I think the article now does a reasonable job of explaining it. It's technical enough already and doesn't need more nudges in that direction. Chris55 (talk) 08:07, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment. "Common descent" means "Genetically distinct organisms sharing an ancestor." When two genetically distinct populations descend from a common ancestor, this implies that evolution occurred. So evidence for the idea that evolution occurs can be relevant to an article on 'common descent' insofar as common descent (between distinct populations) is always an example of evolution. It can also be relevant insofar as people's doubts about common descent stem from doubts about whether evolution occurs; showing that evolution occurs at all can be a stepping stone to showing that evolution results in separate genetically distinct populations (and species, genera, etc.). If we were going to go with a name change to the weaker idea, then 'Evidence of evolutionary change' is probably a better title than 'Evidence of common descent'. But it's easier to justify discussing evolutionary change in general in an article about common descent, than to justify spending a lot of time on common descent when an article is about evolutionary change in general. Another alternative would be 'Evidence of evolutionary change and common descent', but this might misleadingly imply that common descent isn't an example of evolutionary change. -Silence (talk) 11:11, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the article seems very geared towards providing evidence for common descent specifically. There happens to overlap with evidence for 'descent with modification' but if you're using the term 'descent with modification' you might as well just say 'evolution'. If there was a "Evidence for Common Descent by Evolution/Evidence for Common Descent and Evolution" I might consider it. Otherwise there does not seem to be enough reason to specifically justify changing it.--Ollyoxenfree (talk) 21:50, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment. Thank you for inviting me to vote. I am still unsure how this article should be named, as per my last comment (under the same IP address above), and I like the current title. Dicklyon and Silence have raised interesting points. I would neither object to "Evidence for descent with modification", nor with "Evidence of evolution" or "Examples of evolution", although the article might then require some adaptations (or fragmentation). As another variant of the aforementioned "Evidence of evolutionary change" idea, I could also propose "Evidence of diversification of life though evolution", or similar, but then again the scope of the article would then change... Sorry for not helping much, I'm ambivalent. (talk) 04:46, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Per Dicklyon and Chris55 above. Jim1138 (talk) 08:37, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose there is absolutely no reason why changing to the proposed title would be appropriate. At best this should have been a request back to the original title.InsertCleverPhraseHere 11:31, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Image captions[edit]

Is there any reason why the images are numbered off (like the first image caption starts out with "Figure 1a")?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  20:38, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

It allows the text to refer to the figure in the proper context. This is done for instance for (Fig. 2b), however it seems that the references are indeed currently lacking for figures 1<x>. (talk) 14:33, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Article title #2[edit]

Why is it "evidence of common descent" instead of "evidence for common descent"? I'd make the change myself but given the section above on the article title, it looks like it'd be controversial. Banedon (talk) 05:56, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

The title reads perfectly clearly in British, Australian and no doubt many other varieties of English, so it could be ye olde language variation argument all over again, not worth it. There are thousands of badly-written and badly-cited articles out there weeping for attention, so if you have spare energy, you know how to help. Chiswick Chap (talk) 06:00, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
^ Rude. Before you throw the "why don't you go improve another article" line at me again, I'll say the same to you too: if you don't like responding to me here, go improve another article that is "weeping for attention" if you "have spare energy". Alternatively, go to ANI.
If you are interested in discussing this then I'll point out to you that:
  • The phrase "evidence for common ___" occurs three times in this article.
  • [1] indicates the trend has been towards "evidence for common descent" since 2003. In fact 9 years ago, which is when the latest data was available, "evidence for common descent" was twice as common as "evidence of common descent".
Banedon (talk) 01:45, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I personally prefer "evidence of common descent" (I was previously —░]PaleoNeonate█ ⏎ ?ERROR 08:01, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Various arguments have been made in past discussions about the title of this article, and "of" and "for" are certainly used interchangeably. Popular published discussions often use them interchangeably as well. Here, it has been arbitrarily decided that "or" is best. Nevertheless, I think "for" matches more closely with most published matter concerning the topic. And for that matter, nobody uses the phrase "Evidence of common descent" anyways. They use "Evidence for evolution". The article has a completely ridiculous title and should have been changed years ago. It would increase readership, editorship, and actually be the first result on a google search. Andrew. Z. Colvin • Talk 03:04, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

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