Talk:G. Ledyard Stebbins

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Featured article G. Ledyard Stebbins is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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February 3, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
August 17, 2006 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article


In the Evolution and Inheritance in Plants section, the part on Anderson and Mayr seems to come out of nowhere. I realize the purpose (to connect Stebbins with other Modern Synthesis work and give the reader some context for the synthesis), but it seems an awkward transition, beginning with Stebbins' 1946 lectures then jumping back to 1941. I suggest moving the discussions of both Mayr's and Dohzhansky's books to the top of the section (or the end of the previous section) to get that necessary background out of the way before getting to Stebbin's lectures and book.--ragesoss 05:17, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

  • I'll leave you to mess around with it. The connection with the format of Dohzhansky's books and Stebbins is important where it is though since it follows the model established by the earlier work.--Peta 05:24, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
    • I've taken a shot at it. It's still a bit weird, but it's better, IMO.--ragesoss 05:35, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
      • Much better. Your last edit is perfect.--ragesoss 05:54, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
        • Thanks. There's probably a whole article that could be written on the Columbia Biology Series, but there are too many other gaps to fill first.--Peta 06:01, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

elaboration of ongoing research[edit]

From the UC Davis section:

Research is still ongoing as to whether hybridisation is an accidental consequence of evolution or if it is necessary for the origin and evolution of plant species.
Footnote: Rieseberg, L. H. 1995. The Role of Hybridization in Evolution: Old Wine in New Skins. American Journal of Botany 82:944-953.

If possible, it would be good to have more and more recent sources within this footnote. That article is from 11 years ago, so it doesn't do a great job of illustrating the ongoing investigation of this question.--ragesoss 05:26, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

  • It the kind of question that will never be settled, so a review that talks specifically about Stebbins research is more useful (and historicaly interesting) that quoting some random recent research. The cited paper also gest 193 citiations in the web of science which refelcts its ongoing use as a starting point to discuss this type of research.--Peta 05:35, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Maybe mention that in the footnote (and, if you're up for it, search for more recent review papers on the topic to add to the footnote).--ragesoss 05:37, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I added a link to a more recent review on the topic. Quoting citation figures etc,. is heading into the realm of OR.--Peta 05:42, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Very good. I'd rather see them both in the same footnote, but that's a style issue I'll leave to your discretion.--ragesoss 05:47, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

overall impression[edit]

One thing I think would help this article a lot is more images. In particular, if there are any conceptual diagrams relating to his scientific work that could be included, that would be ideal.

Regarding the concerns about whether the article makes clear why he was important, I think it could be a lot better in that regard, though I don't really know enough about plant evolution to say how, exactly. A mention of the connections between hybridization and evolution in the introduction might be good.--ragesoss 06:01, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

  • The main difficulty is that the most important thing he did was establish a framework for everyone to work in (not something you can illustrate with a diagram). He had ideas about a lot of specific things, but none that were more important than the 1950 book. I'm stuck on how to get than across. Also hybridisation and polyploidy and evolution aren't the easiset thing for most biologists to get their head around, I don't want a biographical article to get too bogged down in the science.--Peta 06:05, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Do you suppose that anyone not interested in the science will read the article? - Samsara (talkcontribs) 08:25, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I hope so. The purpose of an encyclopedia article is not to alienate a reader with confusing details, but to provide them with the most important details so that they can grasp the basis on a concept - and get them interested in a subject. This article is more in depth (and correct errors that appear in) than EB, and talks about his science in more detail than several of the biographies listed in the biographical references. When I wrote the McClintock article I didn't go on at length about Ac/Ds transposition because is something that is conceptually difficult to realate to if you have no idea about science, the same is true for much of Stebbins research. Also the disconnect between what we know now, and what people understood in the 40s and 50s about genetics makes old research seem far less exciting than it was at the time. In any event I think that if you read this article you should understand that he developed the framework for how we think about evolutionary botany and if we have an intersted audience they might want to read on further about the synthesis.--Peta 09:11, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
But no one is asking for confusing details. We are asking for an explanation of why his research ended up being so important as time progressed. If that needs details to show, fine, do it. Maybe someone will learn something! As it is, the why is still unclear. However, i suspect that you have most of the correct details, they just need to be organized to show this.pschemp | talk 12:34, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


We've had 'headline text' at the bottom of the page for almost an hour. Isn't it great how anons can edit TFA? Richard001 (talk) 20:34, 6 January 2008 (UTC)


This should have the criticism of those who do not beleive in evolution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:33, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

I would think they wouldn't bother going after the specific branches of the theory and instead attack the root. Brutannica (talk) 06:19, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

The mentioned "Percy Saunders" (who should have his own linked article,,,,,,maybe I'll try to write it) was actually a Chemistry (not Biology) professor at Hamilton College, who published as A. P. Saunders. Jtmilesmmr (talk) 19:55, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

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