Talk:Human body

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Lead image[edit]

. . . it is unnecessary nudity. TitoDutta 10:48, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

I don't see how a picture of two human bodies (one male and one female) is "unnecessary" on an article about the human body. And it makes more sense if the bodies are naked: clothes don't have anything to do with the article topic or any content in it. WP:CENSOR - not liking pictures of naked bodies or potentially objectionable material is not a reason to remove the picture.Bilorv (talk) 13:00, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

That may be true, but those are some un-representative people. Weird lookin' — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:38, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes. To begin with, they are so extremely clean-shaven in different parts, that you would almost suspect them of being US WASPs:-). If the idea is to illustrate humans as biological beings, more naturally looking people might be better; while if you take dominating culture features into account, they actually ought to be clad. JoergenB (talk) 18:12, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Why not show outline charts of the human body instead of actual naked humans? It may not be good for younger readers of the article. Charts would serve the purpose quite well. (talk) 19:28, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

As it says right at the top of this talk page, Wikipedia is not censored. There is nothing inherently offensive about the human body, and other articles on the anatomy of specific organisms also lead with 'naked' photos of their respective animals. If you've never seen a naked person before and it offends some personal sensibility of yours, you should not expect something objective like an encyclopaedia to cater to your irrational aversion. As for the chosen images being 'non-representative', you could say that about literally any models that could replace them. But our biodiversity as a species is quite low compared to other animals that have achieved a similarly vast distribution, so any two anatomically normal/healthy humans will provide a sufficient representation of the species as a whole. Trilobright (talk) 16:26, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

You don't get my idea. What do you think about my suggestion of outline charts? (talk) 01:44, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Why would we use an inferior copy instead of actual images? HCA (talk) 02:13, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Yes, in this case, the naked imagery is fine. WP:Offensive material has more information on how to approach potentially offensive images. If the image in question were a sexual image, I'd be against it in this article. If it were a sexual image in a sexual article, I'd suggest a less offensive alternative (meaning an image that is not a real-life image), such as a drawing or a painting (if available), per WP:Manual of Style/Images#Offensive images and the WP:Offensive material guideline. But showing what human anatomy actually looks like is very important. This doesn't mean that we need to have a bunch of photographs of naked people in the article; after all, educational diagrams of the human body are common. And per WP:Offensive material, we should be careful to select appropriate images. But at least one photograph of the naked human body, in a non-sexual way, is appropriate for this article. And some educational diagrams of the human body consist of realistic-looking artwork of the genitalia anyway; so they wouldn't necessarily be less offensive. Flyer22 (talk) 07:16, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Furthermore, the image in question is small; it is far from a closeup look of the genitalia. The dimensions are not there. For a closeup look of such anatomy on Wikipedia, readers would need to go to the Human penis, Scrotum, Vulva, Clitoris and Vagina articles. And, yes, the buttocks aspects are clearly visible in the photograph, but people usually don't make such a big deal about butt imagery these days. Flyer22 (talk) 07:29, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

You would need a close-up to see the male member. Indeed the dimensions are not there. Definitely not representative of the whole species. Nevertheless a good picture for the article. Strange to see nudity offend people looking for human anatomy. But then again, everything offends somebody somewhere. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:04, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

Update: With this edit, Jmarchn changed the lead image. He shouldn't have marked the edit as WP:Minor, though. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 04:00, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

Note: I altered my initial comment above. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 04:04, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

@Flyer22 Reborn:. I moved the initial image to a new gallery section, where I added similar images with different skin colour. I think that is of educational interest.Jmarchn (talk) 06:56, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

I think everyone here can agree that "offensive material" is an utterly subjective term; that statements such as, "There is nothing inherently offensive about the human body" are horrifically (from a logical and philosophical point of view) amateur and untenable from the moment they are conceived; and that the basis for any decisions regarding potentially offensive material should defer to Wikipedia policy - specifically, that offensiveness should be gauged by the "majority of the website readers (not active editors)". When approaching a subject that carries with it a clear risk of being offensive to a good deal of readers, it makes sense to be as encyclopedic about the subject as possible while keeping potential offensiveness to a minimum. As concerns this article, there is nothing about the photograph which cannot be communicated by a non-photographic depiction. Indeed, the latter accomplishes just as much and with less potential for offending readers. It seems instead that the users herein are arguing that the photograph is not offensive because they do not find it offensive, or that the photograph is not offensive because it is not inherently offensive (an impossible statement). If either of these approaches were tenable, then what maxim prevents a user from uploading images of blow-jobs and coprophilia to their respective article pages? Or is it sexuality which exists as your line of offense? As if such could even be divorced in its entirety from any notion of "human" or the portrayals thereof. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:15, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

As seen above, I went by the Wikipedia policy WP:NOTCENSORED and the Wikipedia guideline WP:Offensive material. Go ahead and read WP:Offensive material and what it states about images of a naked body in an article such as this; it is something readers should expect. WP:Principle of least astonishment is about something the readers wouldn't expect. They would not expect sexual images in this article, and they shouldn't expect them. They don't belong in this article. A picture of a naked human body being shown in the way the two people are shown in the disputed image is not sexual unless the reader makes it sexual. And yet I still stated, "This doesn't mean that we need to have a bunch of photographs of naked people in the article; after all, educational diagrams of the human body are common. And per WP:Offensive material, we should be careful to select appropriate images." Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:37, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
I just noticed that an IP restored the disputed image. That restoration was completely unnecessary and now we have this image used twice in the article. If it wasn't clear, I agree with Jmarchn's solution. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:45, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
Why should link-clickers expect a photograph of naked individuals as opposed to a diagram and textual information pertaining to the human body? The guidelines you and I are both referencing are vague - and for a good reason (which may be intentional or not): defining "offensive material" in an objective manner, divorced from subjective, popular opinion, is (thus far) not possible. Indeed, the quote I included from Wikipedia's policy on offensive images states just that - that offensiveness should be determined by the majority of the readers using this encyclopedia. And this, in the end, is the only reason why you and I do not find sexually explicit images acceptable herein; the majority of the public (and Wikipedia readership) finds them obscene. I do not, personally, find the human body obscene, but I wonder if the defense to keep this image up has more to do with users trying to push their personal acceptance of human (strangers') nakedness on those who are bothered by it, which I find problematic for assessing what is best for Wikipedia. "Lead images should be selected to be of least shock value; if an alternative image exists that still is an accurate representation of the topic but without shock value, it should always be preferred" [emphasis mine]. Also, as a quick and easy means of gauging the public (and your typical Wiki reader) on this topic, consider the simple fact that, worldwide, full nudity in public is illegal. Yes, I know that Wikipedia is "not censored" (or at least so goes the chant/mantra), but the real-life laws prohibiting such reflect a majority preference. Now, if you want to get into false consciousness and theories that this is all just socioreligious brainwashing keeping us from the majesty and paradise of a full and explicit humanism, then that's a topic for another day. My position holds - the image should be replaced, but I have no intention of doing so myself, only to bring up a point you folks seem to be overlooking. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:49, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
"Why should link-clickers expect a photograph of naked individuals as opposed to a diagram and textual information pertaining to the human body?" Um, because pictures like File:Human Body.jpg are shown in anatomy books and this is an anatomy article. Both types of visuals (the naked photograph type and diagrams) are shown in anatomy books and doctors offices. And the Wikipedia policy WP:NOTCENSORED and the Wikipedia guideline WP:Offensive material are not as vague as you are making them out to be. They get the point across well enough, with examples. If they were useless, we wouldn't still defer to them. As for the rest of what you stated, I see no need to respond since I already addressed matters above. For example, I already made it crystal clear that, per WP:Offensive material, I commonly opt for the least offensive image and would not mind at all if the previous diagram was used. I stated there was no need to change the lead image back to the disputed one. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:00, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
Also keep in mind that WP:Principle of least astonishment is an essay and, per WP:Policies and guidelines, does not have the same weight as a Wikipedia policy or guideline. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:03, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

Why would a page about an object not include an unobstructed, clear photograph of said object? The squeamishness of the general populace? 51% of Americans fear snakes (according to a Gallup poll), should we remove all the photographs from the snake pages? HCA (talk) 16:40, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

Yes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:59, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, that answers how seriously we should take your position then. Discussion closed. HCA (talk) 14:27, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
You receive the level of seriousness that you bring to the conversation. You chose to overlook the policies I cited - principally, that Wikipedia's readership (which happens to be the public) ultimately determines the definition of "offensive material" - such is already in play all across this site, which is why when we go to the page dedicated to the Tate murders (perpetrated by the Manson Family) we do not see the crime scene photos in which the pregnant Sharon Tate lies naked, bloodied, and stabbed. If Wikipedia's aim was as simple as the revelation of the explicit truth of all things encyclopedic, why let public preference stand in the way at all? Can you universalize your own maxim? My guess is that you yourself have a line which you do not want Wikipedia to cross. I do appreciate your use of the word "object" as an attempt to suggest that an object in and of itself is never offensive, but I must disagree with the objectivity of such a statement. When it comes to "offensive material", all that you or I (or anyone) can bring to the discussion is our preferences. Offensiveness is a construct, and no objective reality can be realized, regardless of how much you wish to add the weight of objectivity (science!) to your opinion. It is still just an opinion, or preference - in this case, a lack of offense on your (and also my) part as regards the lead image. You also rather crudely decided to conflate offense with squeamishness (perhaps to utilize your snake trivia - which, I grant you, was an interesting figure). The latter is akin to walking in upon your naked grandmother, whereas the former is akin to being flashed at Target. Oftentimes, offensive material is regarded as such based primarily on where and how it is encountered (e.g., non-requested nudity in public vs. late-night pornographic internet quests). What is at issue here is the public's expectation of this resource, and the fact that the users arguing for the lead image's presence do not seem to appreciate their own cultural biases behind their feelings of non-offense, preferring instead to claim for themselves a scientific point of view that is culturally immune, and casting upon the image's dissenters a stigma of social repression (i.e., lacking wisdom, enlightenment, sensibility). The philosophical missteps here are what I find offensive. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:00, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Ask for semiprotection[edit]

This page has been destructively edited by some users especially IP users, and many of the edits are soon undone. Sky6t 15:04, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

info shown by sources pertaining to sentence : "... body contains between 5 and 5½ litres of blood ... "[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


"The average adult body contains between 5 and 5½ litres of blood and approximately 10 litres of interstitial fluid." (first under heading Composition)

see sources in here

A healthy young man has 5 to 6 litres of blood (Genetics Classical To Modern - Page 2-22 - P. K. Gupta)

The circulatory system of the average adult contains about 5.5 liters of blood. (Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory Manual - Page 266 - Elaine Nicpon Marieb)

human has about 5 liters of blood (Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: A Functional Approach ... - Page 70 - Ronald Arly Bergman)

between 4.7 and 5 liters, although the more recent sources state the volumeof blood in an average adult as 4.7 liters ( Whalestate (talk) 00:28, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

These would support between 5 and 5 1/2 litres. Also note there is a difference between blood and interstitial fluid (which is between cells). Please feel free to improve the article by adding these sources (and more while you're at it!). Lastly, the final source is probably not as reliable as the other sources, which are textbooks. --Tom (LT) (talk) 02:08, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Many thanks for the sources! --Spyder212 (talk) 02:55, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

"Studies in science"[edit]

I've boldly moved this section to "Society and culture". I am trying to separate this section, which relates to how the human body is studied and taught, from information about just the anatomy and physiology of the body. What are other editors thoughts about the location / wording, and this idea in general? --Tom (LT) (talk) 03:30, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

I think it's probably a bold but wrong move. The section needs a bit on history, not a discourse on anatomy in general, so probably best to move it out - if indeed it's correctly placed in this article at all. This is not an article about anatomy as such, nor about medicine, so what's it for? Perhaps we should just cut it. However, the history of anatomical and figure drawing does need at least a brief paragraph, given that it's the most conspicuous thing about the subject, so we have to cover Vesalius, Da Vinci etc in the text as well as in the existing images. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:36, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I see you've put this under "Professional study". I think this is a good choice and separates the "Study of" from the sections about the anatomy + physiology. --Tom (LT) (talk) 22:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

List of systems[edit]

I think it's useful to have the list of systems on this page, although I find the current format and table pretty ugly. I'm scratching my head how else we can display this, however. Any ideas? Maybe a gallery of large images? --Tom (LT) (talk) 03:39, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Both the overlarge multi-image (not going to work terribly well on mobile devices, each system reduced to a dot on postage stamp) and the table are rather unlovely: of the two, the table is not worse than the multi-image. But the table boundaries are unnecessary: all that is needed is a subsection for each system, with one image (either left or right, take your pick). The table gives an unwarranted air of officialdom without adding anything, and it takes up a lot of space. If we need two images per system (do we?) then they'd still be best attached to their section of text, not in a lump above it. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:33, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks this looks much, much better now. --Tom (LT) (talk) 22:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Hm, I've had quite a session. My first impression was that things weren't too bad, but everything I looked at turned out to be largely uncited, confused, disorganised and occasionally just plain wrong. I see that I have effectively restructured the whole article. It remains mainly uncited but at least it shows where we need to take the text – mainly in the direction of a complete set of refs.

The article looks much better now you've cut things up and trimmed them and jettisoned a lot of the unnecessary + uncited information. Am not too convinced about this "Composition" and "Anatomy" being separated - maybe will just move them under a single title. Same goes for "Physiology" and "Systems". That said the way you've structured it would be much more approachable from a lay reader IMO. Will have a think. --Tom (LT) (talk) 22:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
The body's elemental composition is certainly not "anatomy". The systems of the body are certainly both structural and functional, to varying degrees. Thus the circulatory system is anatomically arteries, veins, capillaries, and the heart; and physiologically, the autonomic system that delivers oxygen and nutrients, etc etc. Therefore, the sections are logically distinct, and would be a muddle if merged. Chiswick Chap (talk) 05:41, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Chiswick Chap have continued editing. What do you think of this current structure? I feel the "Composition"/"Anatomy" difference is more obvious now. I've tried to organise "Composition" so that it gradually steps up - general, cells, tissues, organs, systems. What do you think? I'm sorry the actual wording is not that great at the moment, but if you like it I'll put some more effort into it & improve & cite it (most of it now falls under sky is blue territory though). --Tom (LT) (talk) 11:37, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Further reading[edit]

I suspect that the 'Further reading' was largely added by publishers pushing their books; it could simply disappear, though there might be some value in listing a couple of books for kids, and a couple of introductory texts for adults, perhaps. Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:53, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

I've boldly removed it for the reasons you state. There are probably a million books that cover the human body in general form, we don't need to provide a list here.--Tom (LT) (talk) 22:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Human anatomy article is missing[edit]

Remarkable. I've started a discussion at Anatomy which used to be all about human anatomy, but not unreasonably isn't; and the article here, human body, also quite rightly has a far wider scope. But Human anatomy, far from being the top of a tree of anatomy articles covering a sizeable chunk of Gray's Anatomy, is just a redirect! Extraordinary. "Something needs to be done." Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:14, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

  • I can't find the reference for this but this followed a sent of discussions 1-2 years ago which (from memory) also involved CFCF. --Tom (LT) (talk) 07:23, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Our main thesis was that there is not really any difference between "Human body" and "Human anatomy" - what exactly is human anatomy, if not the study of the human body? So I think it's quite reasonable that "Human anatomy" redirects here. Oh, I see you've put this at another page. Moving discussion there... --Tom (LT) (talk) 07:23, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Major differences, see discussion. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:44, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

----- Discussion is at Talk:Anatomy#Missing Human anatomy article. -----

Drastic revert[edit]

Tom (LT) and I have just put in a lot of careful work on restructuring and fully citing the article. It is therefore startling to encounter a total revert. I hope we can find some sensible compromise here, as the previous state was not satisfactory. I'm afraid I don't follow the logic (beyond that pictures are nice). Perhaps someone could lend a hand, I'm not sure I feel like coming back here. Chiswick Chap (talk) 19:25, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

This is the revert. I must state that I view having both a Human body and Human anatomy article as unnecessary WP:Content forking. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:57, 6 September 2016 (UTC)


OK, we have been "bold" by editing this article and now had it reverted, twice. CFCF I have always enjoyed working with you, but this sort of reversion is not productive at all.

How can we improve the article if we are essentially reverting to the previous status quo? Please at least leave a talk message here so we can discuss this change.

I think the approach by Chiswick Chap was a lot more visually appealing and removed duplication. If we were going to keep the previous large image (which will be difficult to display on mobile devices) we should perhaps put it either in a gallery or move it to another relevant article. --Tom (LT) (talk) 07:27, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

  • In fact I just want to reiterate how frustrating and disheartening this is. Why has the entire article been reverted? Edit summary seems to suggest only the image was at issue --Tom (LT) (talk) 07:39, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Right. I have re-reverted to the edited article. Am happy to discuss any aspect. If the issue is about the use of a source then we wlll remove that source but please don't hold the entire article hostage without a good reason. This is not the wiki way. --Tom (LT) (talk) 10:34, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry for any perceived hostility Chiswick Chap, but it comes down to the fact that we have a large amount of editors on anatomy articles that add facts sourced to very poor sources. is pretty much one of the worst possible sources available and often engages in WP:Circular. What concerned me is that the distribution was cited to CNX previously — which you removed and then replace with
I've been a little strapped for time lately and couldn't look through all the edits immediately, but I have no reason to believe that you can't take part in developing this page.
Also I happen to like the figures that signify the systems, because they give a broader idea of which parts of the body are involved in each system, so I feel they should be kept.
Let's hope we can collaborate better in the future. 😀 Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 17:51, 9 September 2016 (UTC)