Talk:List of the verified oldest people/Archive 12

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New case

Some older versions of the Guinness Book mention a 113-year-old Canadian man called Pierre Joubert. You think he could be put in related articles? (talk) 01:08, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Ouch: his case has been debunked years ago, since he was wrongly confused with his father. Extremely sexy (talk) 12:26, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Wilhelmina Kott

In the list on here it says that Wilhelmina Kott was bon on March 7, 1880. However on this list,, it says that she was born on March 7, 1879 and that some records say it was 1880 but they accept 1879. It is an official GRG list as well. I may be wrong but what do you think. Should her age be changed on our list. --Audrey Knight (talk) 17:04, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Good question, and Louis Epstein states 1880. Extremely sexy (talk) 15:10, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually that should be "Robert Young" states 1880.

Guinness accepted her as born in 1879, based on the 1900 census. But the scientific rules state that proof of birth must be issued within 20 years of the birth event. The Social Security Administration study located her in the 1880 census as "2 months old." This is the oldest document available, issued in the year of the birth. Therefore, it should take precedence over a 1900 census listing.

Sincerely, Robert Young Extremely sexy (talk) 21:14, 4 August 2008 (UTC)


Should favor those who are there don't break a record by matching it, but by exceeding it.Ryoung122 03:12, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

I think they should favour whoever has lived longer in days (well actually I don't think they should be tied), since some have lived through more leap years.
Here's a quote from a while back (see Archive 10):
"Regarding the discussion of rankings based on supercentenarians (years and days):
1. The GRG chose the year/day format, in part due to tradition. This tradition includes Guinness World Records but was actually started by T.E. Young, president of the Society of Actuaries (London) in 1899.
2. In many cases we do not know the exact day/hour someone is born. Someone may appear to be older at '41,821' days than someone who is '41,820' days. But let's suppose that person A was born at 11PM and died at 1AM, they lived 41,820 days and 2 hours, they get credit as 41,821 'days'. But the second person was born at 1 AM and died at 11PM, they get credit for 41,820 days, but they actually lived 41,820 days and 22 hours. Thus, based on the scientific concept of 'sigificant digits', we shouldn't really be over-focusing on extreme/exact amounts like this...we simply don't have enough information to conclude who is older.
3. The 'equal' rankings were also done to conform to Microsoft Excel, which uses the years/days to calculate the ages.
I'd appreciate it if you could point this out, that it is not simply a matter of the GRG not knowing math.
Sincerely, Robert Young"
1. From the point of view of the public, it makes a lot of sense to use age in years and days because people will not be able to understand how old someone of 44,000 days is. However from a scientific point of view, some people have lived through more leap years than others. As there are many ties in this list, they need to be accounted for. For Guinness, I feel that age in days is more or less irrelevant, as they are unlikely to list tied people for years and days, who differ by one leap day. The first people to be tied are ranked #33. I would be surprised if Guinness lists more than 20/25 of the oldest people ever.
2. This is true, but this also applies to the year and days format so I don't feel it is a relevant point when deciding between two formats. Unfortunately length of life can't be calculated so accurately in most cases. The fact remains though that 'age in days' is more accurate than 'age in days and years', the latter of which I feel adds an unnecessary error when they are used to rank by age. I think the table should be ranked by age in days, but keeping the age in years and days column so that people can actually interpret the ages.
3. With help, I discovered that it is possible for Excel to also calculate their age in days - including the leap years. Unfortunately, Excel counts 1900 as a leap year, which it wasn't.
=DATE([Year of Death]+2000,[Month of death (number)],[Date of death])-DATE([Year of birth]+2000,[Month of birth (number)],[Date of birth])
The +2000 shifts the years on 2000 years to account for 1900, as it knows 3900 is not a leap year.
In summary, it would be more accurate to use age in days to rank the people. I think it would improve list BB if the existing 'age in days' column was replaced by the above formula, or similar, that accounts for leap years.SiameseTurtle (talk) 04:59, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
That's not really the point: we could have two persons tied even after factoring in leap days. Since it's becoming slightly easier to live long over time, a more recent occurrence of the exact same life span is slightly less significant than getting there first.Ryoung122 05:54, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
If we have two people tied for age in days, then I agree, the earliest should be put first. However if two people are tied for 'age in years and days', but person A lived through one more leap year than person B, then person A should be placed above person B even if person B was born earlier. SiameseTurtle (talk) 00:53, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Ties while living


Recently I have noticed that when a living person on this list "ties" the person above them, they are placed above them. In my opinion this is too soon because it presumes they will still be alive the next day. It's better to not move them above the previous entry until they have cleared them by one day.Ryoung122 03:37, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

That is not entirely correct. It is not done on an arbitrary basis. Please keep in mind (when tied) the order in which they are listed has no meaning or precedent, they are all considered the same in "likeness." With that said, if an individual has a "day count" which exceeds another by one day when tied, they are placed above to maintain numerical order, and not appear sloppy. If the situation were to occur that an individual is found to be deceased the prior day, the table would be adjusted in the same manner irregardless of placement within the tie. It is important to note that neither placement within a tie, nor numerical "day count" have any effect or meaning in ranking. Thanks. TFBCT1 (talk) 02:32, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Obviously that's not true, or you wouldn't bother to put those with a higher day count on the top. So far all of the deceased cases are listed with the first tiebreaker age count, and the second tiebreaker chronological order. I'm simply asking the updaters to respect this. It's not too much to ask.Ryoung122 19:19, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Ryoung on this. Either we rank them by age count or we don't. To stick those with a superior day count, when the sources fail to do so, on top of someone suggests a superior rank when the sources fail to make such a distinction. If we were to go by daycount here, there'd be an argument to rank that way. But we don't, so if the year/day is tied, the next tiebreaker, as Ryoung says, is chronological order, not day count. Canada Jack (talk) 04:08, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree. The Age in Days is merely subsidiary information and should have no effect on the list. DerbyCountyinNZ (talk)

The age in days is certainly not subsidiary information. How can we have a legitimate list of the oldest people if we don't put them in the correct order? Why should an older person be placed below someone who was younger than them? While the GRG doesn't list people by age in days, it does give the dates of birth and death, so calculating the age in days is not original research. Neither is putting tied people ranked by their age in days. Quite frankly, this list should be about listing people by the length of their life. The argument for listing them by age in days is because it is more accurate and doesn't discriminate those who lived through more leap years. Where's the sense in saying that a day that someone lived through doesn't count towards their age? It's unscientific to say it doesn't. Day count should come before chronological order because they should be ranked by their age. They shouldn't be ranked by their age with a separate clause so that if they have lived through one more leap year than someone else, they should be placed below. The fact remains that 'age in days' is a more accurate ranking than 'age in days and years'. SiameseTurtle (talk) 10:34, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

How can we have a legitimate list of the oldest people if we don't put them in the correct order? But therein lies the rub. The "correct order" is what the sources determine. And if you care to visit the GRG, they go by a) year/day then b) chronological order. So, while here we have Ura Koyama on top of Carrie Lazenby, both whom died at 114/218, but Lazenby died first, GRG lists them in chronological order. [1] Besides if they are "tied" at 34th place, clearly that is because they have identical year/day counts. To put one ahead of the other owing to day count suggests that is a superior claim even though they are tied by year/day count. But the sources don't say this.
I think one aspect of what Robert said above in September is that we shouldn't sweat it when there is a question of one day's difference. Because the level of accuracy here isn't 24 hours, it's more like close to 48 hours (or even more when a claimant was born in Europe and died in the Americas). IOW, we are presuming a level of accuracy here that can't really be determined. Besides, it is original research to change the rank based on a criterion - day count - that the sources don't seem to apply.
As to the ultimate argument about which is the most accurate count, I agree there is an argument to be made that day count is more accurate than year/day count. But the sources have, for whatever reason, chosen the latter count. And, as I say above, to be truly "scientific" about it, the ages of these people have an associated error of close to 48 hours, so sticking so closely to this day discrepancy (which is at most, owing to leap years, a single day), ignores the fact that that margin of error is smaller than the margin of error already in place. Canada Jack (talk) 15:40, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
1. The sources list them as tied. On this list they are still tied, although the order is rearranged occasionally. That's not original research - their rank is still the same here, as is their age at death.
2. That's applies to both year and day and day counts, so it's really an irrelevant point when deciding between the two formats. It would also bring about a lot of problems. We have someone at 114, 94 who would then be tied with the people below at 114, 93. Then they would be tied with the people below at 114, 92.
3. There's no point in adding in an extra error just because we have a larger one. Regardless of the size of the other error, ignoring leap years just adds to the total error. For the reason above, we can't realistically change it to a format where there is no error, because then we have problems with assigning ranks. SiameseTurtle (talk) 16:44, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Ryoung122, lets not be so presumptuous and stick to the published facts. JBsupreme (talk) 16:54, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

1. The sources list them as tied, yet on these pages we seemingly add a new criterion - if the day count is superior, then that person is placed above even though they are "tied." But either they are "tied" via year/day count, or they are not. To place one above another suggests one has a superior claim which is original research.

2. The point is that re-ordering by using a different criterion than used by the sources makes little sense when the level of accuracy is coarser than the discrepancy via day count. No one is suggesting that we therefore consider people one or two days apart are therefore "tied." What is being suggested is that to insist on the day count as being "scientific" is in fact not based on the level of accuracy we really have here.

3. But if the "true" age of a person (assuming the dates of birth and death are accurate) can only be determining within a margin of error of about 48 hours, by insisting that a daycount is somehow "more" accurate ignores that the difference we are talking about - one day at most - falls within the 48 hour margin of error! As Robert pointed out, while certainly not perfect, the year/day count is within the margin of error and the illusion of a "more" accurate rendering via daycount is simply that - an illusion. It is quite possible, for example, for a person with a superior day count to have lived several hours shorter than someone one day shorter. Therefore to insist on reordering these people by that basis implies a level of accuracy which in fact is not present. In the end, we should simply reproduce what the sources determine and cease pretending "our" method is more accurate. It really isn't. Canada Jack (talk) 17:14, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

1. To place one above the other does not imply a superior claim - they have the same rank. Those of equal rank have the same claim. That is why they're tied. Calculationg the age in days through Wikipedia is not original research either.
2. It's as scientific as we can get without knowing the times of birth and death, which many people do not know, records rarely exist and for many the data is lost forever.
3. It's not an illusion at all. An analogy to what you said is that a statement such as 41863±2 (ie. age in days) is just as accurate as 41863±3 (ie. age in years and days) because the extra ±1 is smaller than the original ±2. Clearly it's not the case. Age in days is more accurate. SiameseTurtle (talk) 17:42, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

1: If they have the same rank, why is someone born later put above someone born before? Intuitively, we'd put people, if tied, in order of birth. But that's not what is happening in some cases, despite that criterion being applied in the original sources. Clearly, the order is being changed by applying a criterion the sources are not applying. Which is original research.

2: It's not as "scientific as we can get," because the margin of error is close to two days. If it was less than one day, you'd have a point. By applying your criterion, you are implying that these people would be older if we went by day rank. But that is not something we can actually determine given the margin of error.

3: You seem to miss the point, Siamese. If the margin of error going by date of birth is in fact greater than the "more accurate" rendering by day count (which also has the same margin of error), and people "older" by day count can actually be younger than a person supposedly younger, how is day count "more accurate"?

Let's be clear here: We are talking two separate accuracies here. One is what count more accurately reflects days elapsed. And the day count will be more accurate as it will reflect a missed leap year date and the year/day count may miss that. But the margin of error there is a single day. The second accuracy is whether a specific count with a render in days is accurate to within 24 hours. It isn't. It is accurate to within closer to two days. But insisting on pushing the former criterion as making the count "more scientific" doesn't work in this case because the margin of error for the crucial piece of information - what day a person was born and died - is greater than the the supposed "correction" brought by applying the day count (which corrects by a maximum of a single day).

And, ultimately, we are not here at wikipedia given the liberty of second-guessing or correcting the sources from which this information comes from. While I don't think there is a problem with including the day count, there is a problem in "correcting" the rank - even if it is limited to placing one person above another person when tied - when the sources choose not to do so. They may have carefully considered the very point you raise, and have decided, perhaps by my logic, not to apply a correction. Or perhaps they haven't considered it, or have another reason here. Whatever. The point is if a change is to be made, it should not be made here, it should be made by them. Canada Jack (talk) 19:50, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Are we able to reach a consensus on this issue yet? The majority of updates still seem to be by users who are using the day count as a means of ordering ties. DerbyCountyinNZ (talk) 01:55, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
I still don't agree. If a value is 10±2 then you wouldn't call it 9, even though it's within the margin of error. Secondly, as 1900 wasn't a leap year, in the future this will become even more of an issue. It's already evident in Margaret Ann Neve's case as 1800 and 1900 were not leap years. If ranked by years and days then it's biased in favour of newer cases. SiameseTurtle (talk) 23:04, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

You have failed to address the salient points, Siamese: #1) why "correct" for a margin of error of one day when the margin of error for the most important measure - the age of an individual - is almost two days and #2) since when do we apply a criterion the sources do not apply? That's original research. Even if you arguments are 100 per cent water-tight, the sources are not applying your arguments. Therefore we can't. Canada Jack (talk) 19:14, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

As for this becoming more of an issue, correct me if I am wrong, but the maximum discrepancy here - since we have no cases at least on this page of people who had two dropped leap years (ie. were alive in two of the following years: 1700, 1800, 1900) then the maximum discrepancy we are talking about is a single day. I point out, again, that this is within the margin of error. And there is no such thing as a more "scientific" measure if that correction is smaller than the margin of error already in place. No more than, say, discovering a 100-metre race timed to the tenth of a second is "faster" if the track in one race was found to be 30cm longer. Because the margin of error is greater than the time it would take to run the extra foot, someone timed at the same time could not be confidently said to have run "faster" as the margin of error in terms of time is bigger. Canada Jack (talk) 19:49, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Regarding placement within ties which I have discussed before, here are the points I'd like to make: It does not matter who is on top or who is on the bottom, placement within a tie is irrelevant to ranking. Once again, they both share the same rank. The second point is regarding numeric order within the "age in days" category. It makes sense to preserve numeric order if one person has lived an additional "day." It does not affect the rank and looks orderly. This is not in contention with the original source in that there are no updated materials in which to gauge or compare. I make 90% of the updates to the table and this is the rationale I follow. On a separate issue of the one day discrepancy this eventually will be a two day discrepancy once the anomaly of "no leap year in 1900" is no longer applicable. TFBCT1 (talk) 04:36, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

If it doesn't matter who is on top, then it seems the solution here is obvious - simply rank them the way the original sources rank them. Which is chronological. And, again, while it may "make sense" to rank by number of days, that is not what the original sources do when two people are tied by year/day but not by days. If, for example, Ms Favre who you put above the other person died today, then if the GRG follow past practice, she'd be ranked beneath the person despite the extra day. If you look at Epstein, at GRG, this is the way they do it.

As for it "looking orderly," it most certainly does not. The most obvious way to rank when tied is by chronological order. By doing otherwise implies the people are not tied. Which, in my books is a good argument to remove the day count. What this boils down to is: Are we ranking these people by the manner the sources do? Or are we applying an additional criterion? By changing the ranking as you do in this manner - and to pretend you are not is specious reasoning - is original research.

And, again, if you don't like the way the ranking here is, then go to the sources and ask them to change their ranking criterion.

I make 90% of the updates to the table and this is the rationale I follow. On a separate issue of the one day discrepancy this eventually will be a two day discrepancy once the anomaly of "no leap year in 1900" is no longer applicable.

Alas, your rationale is not the rationale the sources apply. Which is the point. Again, you may have the best, most cogent reasons for doing what you are doing. You may be 100 per cent correct. But we are not here to "correct" the sources. Canada Jack (talk) 05:07, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I see you reverted and applied your original research again, with an implied threat: "I am not playing games here." Uh, neither am I. Here is what we should do here. Since the sources we use list the tied people chronologically, you have to come up with some rock-solid reason why we can ignore wikipedia practice and apply a different ranking rationale for tied people. Since I count three editors who don't think we should do so, it would seem that you have some more convincing to do here. IOW, the onus is on you to defend adding a criterion, it is not on me or the others to explain why we shouldn't. Canada Jack (talk) 05:16, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Clearly, TB, you do not respect how wikipedia operates - having reverted something three times. I will give you the opportunity now to change back to the manner in which the sources have it, then we can discuss whether we should be adding a criterion. Remember, the point here is not how cogent your argument here is on the need for a different way of ranking, the point is should we be applying a criterion the sources themselves do not apply. Canada Jack (talk) 05:45, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

The precedent for ties is established in #41 & #44. They are "deceased" within the tie and are not in chronological order, but in "age in days" order. No ranking issues involved. There also is no conflict with GRG in that they don't keep their tables updated in order to have any comparison. If this is going to cause such heated arguements I can very well remove "age in days" altogether, seeing that I added it to the table back in April. TFBCT1 (talk) 05:55, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

If something has been done wrong consistently, or something inaccurate has been on a page for an extended period of time, there is no "grandfather" clause at wikipedia to keep it that way simply because the "precedent" has been set. Which is why, I note, not a single person has raised a peep so far about my changes to the Martha Graham info we had on this page. For ages, we had "c. Dec. 27 1844" as her birthdate. Until I double-checked after an exchange with Robert and realized we only knew she was born in December, we had information there that someone had put in erroneously back-tracking her age (114y, c.180) and came up with c.Dec 27. Trouble was that estimate was based on only knowing she was born in December! It is not an argument, IOW, to say "well we've had it that way for ages" if the information does not match the sources.

AS for the question here, let's take a look at how #41 and #44 are ranked in the original sources. (I think you mean #41 and #45). Epstein [2] doesn't have Kott for #41, so we can't compare there, but has Louise after the other two so is therefore applying a "chronological" rule. GRG [3] also omits Kott, but, as with Epstein, has Louise after the two previously born women despite having the "superior" day count. IOW, if we are to consider the sources as the arbritars here - and since the chief sources both apply the "chronological" rule, then we at wikipedia are forced to apply their criteria, even if we have a good argument to apply another one. We can't, in other words, second-guess our sources especially when the sources agree on ranking the people in this manner. Canada Jack (talk) 15:21, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

"102" oldest not useful

Now that Beatrice Favre has knocked off the two other ladies who were tied for 100th place on the all-time list of oldest people, perhaps we can dispense with the rather silly insistence on some here on saying this is the "102 oldest" or "101 oldest" ever when several people are tied for 100th place. This is a list of 100 oldest people, not any other number. In the same way if an unlikely scenario occurred where five people were tied as the oldest person ever, we'd not say this was a list of the "five" oldest people ever, but the oldest person, with five people tied, we should consistently call this a list of the "100" people ever as the ranking is 100 deep, not any greater number, To do otherwise is to suggest we are keeping track of an ever-changing number of oldest people. In the past several days, 101 to 102 to 100. No, we are keeping track of 100, and if someone is tied at 100 we need not confuse matters by suggesting this is anything other than a list of the top 100. Canada Jack (talk) 04:02, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Quick question..why are we limiting it to 100 people? What happens when somebody is added to the list? Does somebody else get bumped off it? I have a problem with that. If you're "afraid of the list getting 300+ people on it", i.e. the weak "slippery slope" argument, you must be high. -- (talk) 04:57, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

"Addenda" list


The main point of this article is "further information" that would be too tedious to be on the oldest people main page. I suggest we take advantage of that point by adding cases beyond 100, equal to the number of disputed cases in the top 100.

In other words, for Izumi, add an alternate. For C White, add an alternate. For Hongo, add an alternate. For Butariu, add an alternate.

Part of Wikipedia policy is pluralism...reflecting major points of view, including a significant minority viewpoint.

In this case, the scientific, skeptical POV does not see Izumi, White, Hongo, Butariu, etc as valid cases.

Finally, adding an addenda list will make it easier to undo a "101st-deletion" if, for example, someone just died a week ago, or a case is debunked as false.

Sincerely, Ryoung122 20:41, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Robert on this, as it was in the back of my mind already. The list could be, in the text, described as the "100 oldest verified people, with additions as some of those 'verified' cases are controversial. While some of the 'verified' cases may not be true, there are at least enough people added to make the list include the top 100 undisputed claims."
Might be an argument there to do that with some of the other lists, on the men's 100 page, and on the "oldest person" page. Canada Jack (talk) 02:25, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't want to do it due to potential COI issues. However, it's true that some of the cases on this list were mistakenly included by wrong decisions in the past, or due to political-correctness. We're only talking about maybe five cases. Having an addenda list would also make it easier to correct an error in case someone that was "living" actually died a few days ago. For example, if Kama Chinen died in October, she would not be in the top 100, right?Ryoung122 04:11, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

The graph

I really don't think this serves much more of a purpose than decorating the article.

1. A rough estimate from each country can be seen from the list already 2. It's not clear on how it's calculated. For example, is it based on place of birth, place of death, or place of birth/death weighted as 0.5 if different, or place of birth/death weighted as 1 even if different? 3. It's already out of date as Lucy d'Abreu is not on the table any more. If this is going to be used then it would have to be updated regularly, which can't be guaranteed. I think graphs should be reserved for those lists that are unlikely to change frequently.

Thoughts? SiameseTurtle (talk) 23:10, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I was already wondering how to edit the graph to reflect the fact that Lucy d'Abreu is no longer listed. And is Kama Chinen now included? I cannot tell. So I'm in agreement with all the above. TFBCT1 (talk) 03:06, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the graph does not seem add anything to this article. And unless its parameters are properly defined and it is going to be kept up to date there is no really reason to keep it. DerbyCountyinNZ (talk) 07:06, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I am removing the graph in that it does not provide substantial enhancement to any area of the present article or table, and the chart in current form contains errors. TFBCT1 (talk) 16:26, 26 November 2008 (UTC)