Talk:John C. Sanford

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Publications[edit]

Is it really necessary to list every single one of Sanford's publications here? The page just looks like a cut-and-paste hagiography at the moment. I reckon thinning them out to the key papers, and removing entirely sections containing publications he's not an author on. It would also be helpful to know why his publications stop at 1995 - it looks like the list that was cut-and-pasted is from an old webpage (e.g. 1995 papers listed as "in press").

Furthermore, it looks to me like he's primarily been added to the WP as some sort of ID stooge. Certainly the only section that's interesting is the so-called genetic entropy one, and that's bereft of proper references (bar some book that sounds extremely dubious). If it's such an important idea, it should be fleshed out properly. And it would be extremely useful to know if it's published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature (or do we have another Dembski on our hands ...).

Cheers, --Plumbago 13:08, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Good point on dates. I found this web site that listed "Sanford Publications" but in haste did not check dates.

Sanford Publications

I will email Sanford and ask his prioritization of the most important publications.

Thanks. It'll make the article easier to read if it's kept to the most relevant articles. I'd recommend those specifically dealing with the gene-gun. That's a major piece of work and, alone, should make Sanford notable (IMHO). --Plumbago 14:53, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

A book addressing the population dynamics of mmutations from a scientist/inventor with these credentials is worthy of serious evaluation. Go read the book before criticizing it without knowledge.DLH 00:31, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

That it's a book, rather than a scientific paper, sets alarm bells ringing. Sanford has no paper trail in the scientific literature on this subject. This is a classic marker for dubious science. From what I can tell about his book from the odd online summary, it sounds pretty bad. However, he has done good science as well (so I would oppose this article's deletion), this just doesn't appear to be it. --Plumbago 14:53, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

PS Plumbago - your "stooge" statement is an argumentum ad personam attack and unworthy of serious editors. It raises serious validity questions about the rest of your comments besides violating Wiki Policy. See Wikipedia:No personal attacks DLH 00:31, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

My "stooge" statement referred to Sanford, not to you. The "no personal attacks" policy relates to editors attacking one another not to editors attacking a subject (at least as I read it). And this is a talk page rather than an article. I certainly wouldn't tolerate anyone describing him as a "ID stooge" on the article page itself. Even if it was myself. --Plumbago 14:53, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Keep or Delete?[edit]

P.S. What happened to Yanksox's deletion motion? Seems to have been removed shortly after being added.

Apologies. Did not understand it. Thought it related to needing to improve it. So deleted it. Please point me to where that this motion is described.

Added this section to continue discussion. Since Sanford is a major horticultural scientist and genetics inventor, he should have a page. With Sanford's recent book, this will help people find further info on him. What reason would there be for deleting this? Many much less significant pages are included in Wikipedia.DLH 00:31, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Found deletion policy DLH 00:58, 7 June 2006 (UTC) As this is my first page, please consider Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomersDLH 01:16, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Sort of Dembski-lite. Just your basic, argument from incredulity.
Not quite. Unlike most ID conjecturing, genetic entropy is a falsifiable hypothesis.
This is an ad hominem attack breaching Wikipedia:No personal attacks Go read the book before criticizing without knowledge. Sanford models near neutral mutations and shows why they are accumulated in the genome.DLH 00:31, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
The speedy tag was removed by DLH (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log) [1]Dunc| 17:21, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Duncharris - I changed your "vandal" code per my changes herein after reading Wiki's policies.DLH 02:15, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

My PS -- who do you think would have access to a list of Sanford's publications?

Yanksox I removed your: - "dated prod|concern = "concern|Seems to be a non-notable bio" |month = June|day = 4|year = 2006" per policy: Wikipedia:Proposed_deletion Contesting proposed Deletion " Contesting a proposed deletion

   * If you do not agree that the article should be deleted without discussion you can do the following things:
        1. Remove the "dated prod" tag from the article, noting this in the edit summary."

Sanford's inventions are a major contribution to Horticulture Science and genetics. Anyone with the number of papers and patents Sanford is worthy of note. Please give your criteria and justify why you think Sanford should be deleted. DLH 01:37, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Plumbago

Please clearly lay out your concerns on accuracy per Wiki Policy: "The accuracy of an article may be a cause for concern if:

   * it contains a lot of unlikely information, without providing references.
   * it contains information which is particularly difficult to verify.
   * in, for example, a long list, some errors have been found, suggesting that the list as a whole may need further checking.
   * it has been written (or edited) by a user who is known to write inaccurately on the topic."

I agree that it is important. I will work at "fleshing it out" when I have more time.DLH 02:15, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Supporting Peer Reviewed Articles[edit]

Plumbago

Following are two peer reviewed articles with material relating to Sanford's book.

Kondrashov “Contamination of the genome by very slightly deleterious mutations: why have we not died 100 times over?” (1995, Journal of Theoretical Biology 175, 583-594).

Suzanne Estes & Michael Lynch (2003), Evolution 57, 1022-1030. Abstract. Deleterious mutation accumulation has been implicated in many biological phenomena and as a potentially significant threat to human health and the persistence of small populations. The vast majority of mutations with effects on fitness are known to be deleterious in a given environment, and their accumulation results in mean population fitness decline. However, whether populations are capable of recovering from negative effects of prolonged genetic bottlenecks via beneficial or compensatory mutation accumulation has not previously been tested. To address this question, long-term mutation-accumulation lines of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, previously propagated as single individuals each generation, were maintained in large population sizes under competitive conditions. Fitness assays of these lines and comparison to parallel mutation-accumulation lines and the ancestral control show that, while the process of fitness restoration was incomplete for some lines, full recovery of mean fitness was achieved in fewer than 80 generations. Several lines of evidence indicate that this fitness restoration was at least partially driven by compensatory mutation accumulation rather than a result of a generic form of laboratory adaptation. This surprising result has broad implications for the influence of the mutational process on many issues in evolutionary and conservation biology.


DLH 02:15, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I think you'll find these article's don't support Sanford's position. I've only been able to look at the JTB one (we don't get Evolution here), and it certainly doesn't (not least because it was published 10 years before Sanford's book was). The abstract for the second paper also doesn't sound like it would support Sanford's position at all. In fact, it even says that C. elegans recovers its fitness in (apparent) direct contradiction to Sanford's hypothesis of continual genetic decay (though, as I remarked above, I'm hardly au fait with Sanford's book). Furthermore, it doesn't (as far as I can tell) cite any of his work, nor is it cited by any of his work (though he may cite it in his book).
As an aside, it's probably not wise to cite the Institute of Creation Research in context of his book - gives the game away a bit. Cheers, --Plumbago 15:06, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps DLH would care to point to peer-reviewed articles by Sanford that support Sanford's delusions?
Besides which, he's given the game away already. — Dunc| 17:05, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Patents[edit]

The original list had 13, but the article now says "more than 25". Can someone clear up this discrepancy? Guettarda 13:49, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Sanford's Feb 2012 publication list shows 32 patents issued.DLH (talk) 21:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

genetic entropy[edit]

Is it possible to re-write this section to make it a little more clear? (Ok, a lot more clear). To begin with, it's an argument, not an explanation. That doesn't work for an encyclopaedia article. The "meat" needs to be at the top, then the supporting arguments. There is no explanation as to what "genetic entropy" is, or what Sanford's point may be.

  • "Having conducted most of his creer as an atheistic evolutionist in applied genetics, Sanford examines the validity of the Primary Axiom that man is merely the product of random mutations plus natural selection. In his (2005) book "Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome""
    • Is "creer" supposed to mean "career"?
    • The last sentance is a fragment.
    • What does "atheistic evolutionist" mean, and how is it relevant? If Sanford has been identified as a prominent atheist, say so in the article. And why as an adjective? Anyway, it seems irrelevant here. As for "evolutionist" - "evolutionary biologist" is a far better term.
    • Since there is no article for Primary Axiom, you should explain what you mean by that term.
  • "Sanford claims that genetic "noise" prevents biotic processes from fixing information and degrades the genome so it could not have evolved."
    • What does "it" mean?
  • "Sanford builds on the work of Motoo Kimura, James Crow, and Walter ReMine comparing:"
    • An article shouldn't be inductive. Tell the reader what you are talking about first, then explain or give the reasoning. Also, what work of Kimura, Crow and ReMine? This is of no help to a reader who has never heard of these people. Discuss the ideas (and mention where they come from), don't just throw some names in without context.
  • "1. Bell Curve idealization of mutations under the Primary Axiom (equal numbers of beneficial and deleterious)"
    • This is meaningless to the average reader. You haven't explained the "primary axiom", and "bell curve idealisations"?
  • "2. Kimura’s distribution (no beneficial mutations, closer to the truth)"
    • Again, how is the average person supposed to know what Kimura's distribution is? In addition, the parenthetical statement isn't attributed, so it seems like an editorial comment. We can't do that.
  • "3. Actual distribution (very very few beneficial mutations, and such selection pressure as to effectively be neutral)"
    • Again, what does this mean? You would need to explain selection pressure, at least in passing, for this to be understandable to the average reader. This statement also needs to be supported. Where is the source and support?
  • "Sanford then applies signal-to-noise ratios (from information theory) to show that selection pressures are too weak for natural selection to transmit useful information into the genome."
    • How?
  • "He demonstrates that "noise" precludes natural selection from selecting a sufficient number of nucleotides in the genome when acting on the phenome containing phenotypes)."
    • This is a pretty strong assertion. "Demonstrates"? How? And where was this work published?
  • "Over 98% of mutations are slightly deliterious and do not get selected out. These accumulate, eventually causing extinction."
    • Really? Where is his proof that natural selection doesn't work? Where is the evidence of extinction through genetic load?

Guettarda 14:56, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree entirely with Guettarda's analysis. This section should only be added again if it's cleaned up substantially, with particular attention to its assorted unreferenced claims. And I remain to be convinced that it can be cleaned up. On a somewhat related point, at the moment the article describes this book as "evangelical". Is that a reference to its style or its content? Judging by its title, and what I can glean of its content from websites, it doesn't sound evangelical in either sense, but I might be wrong. The evangelical labelling just sounds a bit POV or hostile (quite probably with justification) at the moment. Cheers, --Plumbago 15:08, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Agree with all points made here. FeloniousMonk 15:35, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Sanford's biography[edit]

According to data available on Web Sanford:

1. In the following article dated 2000 (but accepted 1999) http://www.hos.ufl.edu/mooreweb/TissueCulture/class8/biolistic.pdf Sanford wrote: "like to thank my wife, Helen, who has been my partner in life for 25 years". This means beginning of '70.

2. In the cover of its last book there is a photo labelled "John & Helen Sanford".

This means that Sanford has been married with Helen since '70. So surely it is not possible, as stated previously, that Sanford's conversion was due to: "In the mid-1980s the breakup of his marriage led ..."

The article does strongly support the anon's contention. Can we please have a cite for the breakup/breakdown of his marriage? It could be simply that his marriage went through a rocky patch in the 1980s (which led ...) but that they stayed married. But if so, that'd be worth stating. It sounds at the moment like we've got an error here, and once you've spotted one error, one does question the rest. Cheers, --Plumbago 08:59, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree only partially. If his marriage did simply "go through a rocky patch" it would be fair not cite it at all. After all this is a very common situation and it would be a mere (and somehow non-neutral) conjecture to bind it with Sanford's conversion [213.140.6.100]

Now the text should sound correct. [213.140.6.100] 11.36 5 August 2006 (UTC)

It might be relevant if it directly led to his conversion to born-again. That's all I meant. It's irrelevant if it didn't. Cheers, --Plumbago 09:58, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

As the link provided by David suggest so, now I agree. [213.140.6.100]

Weasel Words and Bias[edit]

This article has them. 99.225.134.49 (talk) 19:10, 23 August 2010 (UTC)


Not so fast[edit]

The following is surely out of context and inappropriate:

However, Sanford's position is rejected by most geneticists and biologists.

The citation points to an article that doesn't have a single quote from a geneticist. The main reference to biologists has to do with a document circulated in 1966 or something. The genome was mapped in 2000 or so. His contention is that more modern research makes evolution more difficult to imagine. I believe citing a more current geneticist, and specifically, a population geneticist, would be very helpful. DannyJohansson (talk) 03:25, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Modern research has strengthened, not undercut, the centrality of evolution in biology. Guettarda (talk) 04:33, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
just to be clear, you dismiss out of hand what Dr Sanford says? DannyJohansson (talk) 15:41, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Personally? Sure. But my opinion is irrelevant. All of modern biology rebuts his argument. And that's what matters for our purposes. Guettarda (talk) 16:52, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

addition of "and creationist" to lead[edit]

an IP address added "and creationist" to the lead, and Cwobeel reverted with no reason given. In my view, that was a very appropriate addition to the lead since a good chunk of the body is devoted to his creationist views. Why remove that? Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 15:54, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, it may have been a false positive while patrolling recent changes, as I did not see a source for the claim. Rather than label him a "creationist" in the lede (even if that is the case), the material about that subject can be better summarized. - Cwobeel (talk) 16:31, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
@Jytdog: better now? - Cwobeel (talk) 16:34, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
better, thanks. i don't understand the objection to "creationist" but whatever, not worth fighting over. thanks again. Jytdog (talk) 16:40, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

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