Talk:Pierre Louis Maupertuis

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Dear fellow Maupertuis students,

I have added a good piece stating the case for his elevation to the exalted status of founder of modern evolutionary theory. I have been pretty careful about the particulars and I hope it is all accurate, reliable, unbiased, and not too boring!

I do hope that the section will be retained without too much alteration. I am fairly confident it is clearly written as of my umpteenth revision 2:47 P.M., 03/07/05.

If anyone has a good counterargument, I would love to hear it!


As I mentioned on your talk page, some of your edits to Pierre Louis Maupertuis are not really in keeping with Wikipedia's style. You modified your original edits to remove first-person narrative and signing your name, but there are still issues of:

Some of your paragraphs read like an essay arguing a point of view. That's fine for articles in periodicals or scholarly journals that publish original research, but it's not in keeping with Wikipedia policy (Wikipedia aims to be an encyclopedia and not a journal for submitting original scholarly research).

-- Curps 20:07, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

tell me what you think.....[edit]

I was thinking of an addition to the bottom of the Maupertuis page. let me know if it is neutral point of view/informative/doesn't take up too much room on your server/etc.

"The chief objection to Maupertuis' priority is that the passage is isolated and taken out of its context. Also, critics contend that Maupertuis was involved in a debate from a different century (epigenesis vs. preformationism) and that it is anachronistic to read, in the above passage, an expression of the concept of natural selection.

Venus Physique is a book about embryology and is chiefly concerned with debate regarding preformationism and epigenesis. In this work he is credited as the first researcher to follow a human hereditary trait, specifically polydactyly, in its passage through a pedigree. This attempt, and some of the accompanying discussion, foreshadows portions of Gregor Mendel's work by more than a century. The comments on evolution, while admittedly cursory, are most naturally viewed, in the context of the text and the historical debate, as simple deductions following necessarily from those ideas expressed in the other portions of the work (i.e. the work he did on embryology, developmental biology, and "genetics")."

I also plan to add to the last little statement, the one on desmond king-hele and his reference to david hume, that king-hele also states (ouch my aching memory!!!!) "While Maupertuis did not offer any real examples of evolution/natural selection... he did explain the theory in great detail". King-Hele said something to that affect...I am without notes at the moment.

Also, the page needs to add more links to other wikipedia stuff. I will try that too someday!

As for original work, I apologize for being so original, but I cannot find someone to give me a PhD/money/a printing press. If I had any one of these I would not be bothering the "wikipedia-editor-guy", and I would be able to cite my own printed academic writings as valid, objective, and neutral sources.

Also, I have taken a number of notes on the subject and I plan to have significant documentation for every assertion I make. At the moment I am without my notes, but I plan on reading them again soon! Perhaps the next time I edit/discuss the Maupertuis page I will be prepared!

  • Your proposed paragraph seems reasonable to me (I am, btw, the anonymous user responsible for most of the biography portion), although it does straddle border between original research and secondary research. However, it seems to be consistent with what Mary Terrall writes on the subject in her book (which I take to be the current pretty much undisputed authority on Maupertuis). The evolution section in general could use some serious editing, but I didn't want to tackle that because I haven't read the relevant books. --ragesoss 08:31, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Principle of least action[edit]

I've hacked together (hacked being the operative word) a history of the principle of least action, including a short coverage of the Konig/Berlin academy affair. Interested parties are invited to correct/expand that article. linas 01:45, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Please provide references for the contents. Thanks!--老陳 (talk) 05:35, 21 July 2010 (UTC)


Maupertuis worked in Finnish Lapland, and was based in Tornio, Finland. Reverting change linking to Swedish Lapland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:58, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Oh. Then how come that the report included an account of the Käymäjärvi Inscriptions, which currently is in Sweden? Probably because of [see map at right]. Using a link to Sápmi (area) like the next "Lapland" link does, is more appropriate. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 22:25, 17 November 2009 (UTC)


No Anders Celsius? No collaboration with Swedish scientists? ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 22:31, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Hyphen, etc.[edit]

The hyphen in his given name seems to be used sporadically (not only here, but in the other WPs as well). Is there a pattern being followed (that I'm not seeing), or is there one we could use? As for the title, the German, Dutch, and Slovenian pages have Pierre-Louis with the hyphen, while the other languages' pages do not. Some use the de, some do not. Ditto for Moreau. This could be due to legitimate differences in the use of the name in various languages, but I suspect it's mere inconsistency in WP. I regret I have nothing informative to add. — ˈzɪzɨvə (talk) 03:09, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Either is fine: the 18thC was another world, where it was quite common for a man to change the form of his name during his life. Given the French propensity for hyphenated Christian names, we should not strive for bureaucratic consistency two centuries on... Macdonald-ross (talk) 14:40, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Date of birth[edit]

Most sources I know give the date as 28 September (Beeson, german Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, german Kirchenlexikon,...) so I think it would be better to inverse the reference and the present date of birth... But this is just a suggestion (my english isn't very good, so excuse possible mistakes). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:27, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Views on God[edit]

One part of the page (sourced) says he was an atheist. Later on (unsourced) it says he gave a proof of God's existence. So which is it? Mcc1789 (talk) 02:55, 12 March 2017 (UTC)