Talk:Second voyage of HMS Beagle

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Initial paragraph[edit]

This is an excellent article, and I'm glad that the original contributor split it out of the "Beagle" article.

However, I feel that the lead paragraph is not a synopsis of the article. The lead paragraph should stand alone. It is supposed to start wtih a sentence that includes the title (in bold) as the subject, if at all possible. I made an attempt to capture the essence ohte article. Perhaps we can try again?

In my opinion, a new reader need to get the following facts:

1) this is the voyage chronicled by Darwin.
2) The voyage took five years (1831-1836)
3) the voyage went around the world.

Everthing else can be left to the body of the article.

-Arch dude 05:25, 19 November 2006 (UTC)


An image of an organism would be good, perhaps something from the Galapagos? Richard001 08:32, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Chronology of events in South America[edit]

Currently re-reading Janet Browne's Biography Volume 1 - Voyaging but noticed that there are significantly differences in the chronology of events between 1832- 1834 comparing the biog (Pimlico paperback 2006 pp 263-266) and this article. Some events separated in time have become compressed together or reversed in sequence. For example, The book has the sequence as follows - Rejoining Beagle at Montevideo; expedition to R. Uruguay; replacement of Earle by Martens; shooting and eating the Rhea; the purchase of Adventure; Darwin becoming ill. I have not checked The Voyages of the Beagle yet but has anyone found this also to be the case. If its agreed that the chronology is out I am prepared to help with an edit basically involving some swapping around of paragraphs and filling in a few gaps to provide the continuity without adding to length but would prefer to do this in agreement and colaboration with those who have been involved with the writing of this article.Tmol42 23:51, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for checking. The Voyage of the Beagle was reorganised out of time sequence to keep geographical areas together, so you'd have to check the dates rather than relying on the sequence in that book. The sequence and dates in this article come from Desmond & Moore's Darwin – the purchase of Adventure; p. 137, Darwin falling ill with fever p. 142, Rejoining Beagle at Montevideo; p. 143, the expedition to Mercedes near the R. Uruguay; meeting Martens who'd replaced Earle and shooting and eating the Rhea; all on p. 144. Note that Darwin had a more serious illness later: see West coast of South America. I'll try to have a look at Browne as well, and will clarify the point about Martens. .. dave souza, talk 08:49, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Dave, I've edited "bolas" for "boleadoras" which you reverted. I live in Argentina and the correct term for the weapon used by Indians and later "Gauchos" is "Boleadoras". "Bolas" might even has a negative meaning in Argentinean's use of spanish. Thanks, Esteban --Estebanglas (talk) 21:49, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

The sentence is not one that I added, but it appears accurate. Darwin himself used the term bolas,[1] and you'll note that Boleadoras is a redirect to the bolas article so perhaps this is something you could raise on the talk page for that article, which gives both as alternative terms. Possibly the word has changed a bit in meaning since 1833, but both seem to be valid terms and we should really stick to Darwin's usage. . dave souza, talk 22:41, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

reference 8[edit]

If my poor english let me understand right, in the reference 8 there are no evidence for the sentence "22 september ... they saw fossilised bones of extinct gigantic mammals on the beach at Punta Alta, in strata suggesting quiet tidal deposits rather than a catastrophe". I think "tidal deposit" are how the strata have been formed and "rather than a catastrophe" is how the mammals haven't gone estincted for darwin. Darwin the 22th september 1822 seem to be in buenos aires according to The Voyage of the Beagle-- (talk) 19:47, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, some of the points were taken from Desmond & Moore and Browne, pages as reference 9. The date doesn't show in reference 8 (an introduction to Beagle field notebook 1.10), though it indicates that it's between 6 September and 17 October that "Darwin first experienced the thrill, which he remembered for the rest of his life, of unearthing with his own hands the bones of fossil mammals". The date is shown in Beagle field Notebook EH1.10 page 62b which gives it as 22 September 1832, and pages 64b to 65b show the words quoted in reference 8 (the introduction) –

in the conglom teeth & thigh bone

Proceeding to the NW. —
there is a horizontal bed of earth, containing much fewer shells, but armadillo — this is horizontal
but widens as gradually. hence
I think conglomerate with broken shells was deposited by the action of tides earth quietly

The introduction then says "Here was a very significant discovery. Darwin is wondering if the conglomerate containing sea shells and bones has been formed in an estuary environment and is not a relic of some catastrophe." At that time many geologists thought that all fossils of extinct species had been buried in a series of catastrophic floods, but to Darwin this showed that these fossils of extinct mammals had been gently covered by mud washed over them by tides, supporting the "uniformitarian" idea of Lyell that landscapes and fossils could be explained by the continued action of processes we still see today. Hope that helps, will think about improving the paragraph. .. dave souza, talk 22:20, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

surgeon an ass[edit]

From the voyage section: "Darwin privately thought the surgeon an ass whose old-fashioned approach predated Lyell's concepts". That doesn't even make sense grammatically. What's interesting that this wasn't added as a result of vandalism, but during rewriting somewhere in 2008. Can anybody familiar with Darwin's work explain if this is what he really thought about the surgeon?  Grue  15:43, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Regrettably, Darwin did indeed think the surgeon was an ass, but my paraphrasing of Browne's description went a bit astray. Hope the revisions are an improvement, if it's too much of a culture shock or could be clarified, your suggestions based on the cited sources will be most welcome. Thanks, dave souza, talk 20:22, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Darwin's paradox[edit]

I'm trying to track down a phrase people keep attributing to Darwin, even in scientific literature. I've read his book, The structure and function of coral reefs, and specifically the parts where he postulates that coral reefs thrive and expand in some places but not others due to oceanic conditions. What I have not run into is the phrase "oasis in the desert", or even an allusion to that. The only mentioning of that I've seen is from another scientist Francis Rougerie, who accounts Darwin's observations and uses the terms quasi-desert and oasis-atolls, and may have also coined "Darwin's paradox." If anyone can shed some more light on it I'd appreciate the help. Esoxidtalkcontribs 05:05, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Yup, it's not in CD's book The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs. From a search of DarwinOnline, the only reference Darwin made to oases during the voyage was in his ornithological notes and refers to isolated green patches on the Galapagos islands where "clouds fertilize the soil; & it then produces a green & tolerably luxuriant vegetation. In such favourable spots, & under so genial a climate, I expected to have found swarms of various insects; to my surprise, these were scarce to a degree which I never remember to have observed in any other such country. Probably these green Oases, bordered by arid land, & placed in the midst of the sea, are effectually excluded from receiving any migratory colonists". So, Francis Rougerie seems to have been making this stuff up, and we should be careful not to give him undue weight... dave souza, talk 15:59, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Accomodation or accommodation?[edit]

Regarding this edit, The following sources support the word in the quote being "accommodation":

--Dalek Supreme X (talk) 15:51, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

However, the source cited is "Darwin Correspondence Project - Letter 106 — Peacock, George to Darwin, C. R., (26? Aug 1831)".  which is current scholarship about the original letter, and significant as a source making the specific point that "In the event, CD's appointment was not official. Although CD lists himself on the title page of Journal of researches as `Naturalist to the Beagle' and in the Zoology as `Naturalist to the Expedition' this is not to be understood as an official title conferred by the Admiralty. ... CD's situation was that of guest of Captain FitzRoy, who sought a `well-educated and scientific person' as a companion".
Since it isn't the modern spelling, I've added [sic] for the benefit of our readers. You're proposing various edited collections of letters published at various dates to change a spelling used by Peacock and shown by the Darwin Correspondence Project. Several of the sources you propose are from various editions of the Life and Letters as edited by Francis Darwin or Nora Barlow, two use Darwin and Henslow: The growth of an idea] as a source, the book by Andrew Norman doesn't seem to include this specific point. Why change the source? . . dave souza, talk 17:26, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
The single source you are relying upon has an obvious typo in it. The actual text of the letter may be found in The life and letters of Charles Darwin, edited by his son, Francis Darwin, published in 1898.[2] Please undo your edit. It is not supported by any source other than a single webpage with a typo on the page. --Dalek Supreme X (talk) 04:12, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Charles Darwin (1985). The Correspondence of Charles Darwin: 1821-1836. Cambridge University Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-521-25587-5. : the spelling also appears on p. 140 in CD's letter to Susan Darwin. The Francis Darwin version was heavily edited, hence Nora Barlow's later edition. If it were a typo, the Darwin Correspondence Project could have shown an online correction: it's more likely that this is an archaic spelling. . . dave souza, talk 08:53, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

WP:MOSQUOTE includes "trivial spelling and typographic errors should simply be corrected without comment", so unless the spelling matters for some reason, it should possibly be corrected regardless of who wrote what. Johnuniq (talk) 04:47, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

That's certainly a possibility, but goes against the opening point "Quotations must be verifiably attributed, and the wording of the quoted text should be faithfully reproduced. This is referred to as the principle of minimal change. Where there is good reason to change the wording, enclose changes within square brackets", and the closing para: "In direct quotations, retain dialectal and archaic spellings, including capitalization". Is it really so important to correct Peacock's 1831 spelling to meet modern standards? The meaning of the word remains clear. . . dave souza, talk 08:53, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Is there any evidence that accommodation was commonly spelled "accomodation" in 1831? Also, on what basis did you decide that certain sources are "significant as a source" while others should be discarded as being "heavily edited"? This looks like a case where reliable sources disagree, and I am trying to understand on what basis you determined which sources to follow and which sources to ignore. BTW, does the actual Peacock letter still exist? If not, what is the earliest source that quotes it? Dalek Supreme X (talk) 16:07, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
As the Correspondence Vol. 1 p. 15 states: "The objective of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin is to provide definitive transcripts of all the available Darwin letters". For that specific letter, the Physical description is "ALS 6pp". See their Editorial policy and practice section 5 for explanation of the initials: A – autograph (½ or more of text in sender’s hand), L – letter, S – signed by sender. "Physical descriptions are given for all original manuscripts located by the editors. If an original has not been found but a photocopy or some other facsimile of it is known, the physical description is followed by ‘(photocopy)", the description indicates that they worked from the original, not a copy. Note the second paragraph of that policy, "After initial transcription, each letter is closely checked against the original or a facsimile four times, to give as high a degree of accuracy as possible. Original spellings (and mis-spellings!) are retained." Hence what looks like cases of the same mis-spelling, by Peacock and CD: I've not found evidence that this is an archaism.
As Freeman notes, in Life and Letters Darwin's autobiography was edited by Francis Darwin to avoid giving offence to Emma: it's not clear how much this applied to the letters. Nora Barlow's 1957 edition restored omissions, "correcting many trivial errors and alterations". The letters she included were hitherto unpublished,[3] but she was one of the editors in a publication you've suggested.
In summary, the Correspondence is a good modern source, and in this case worked from the original letter. . . dave souza, talk 14:47, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
That convinces me. Thanks! --Dalek Supreme X (talk) 17:47, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments, it's a stylistic point as to whether we correct the spelling, but in the circumstances I think adding [sic] is the best option.
I'd not read all the sources you've found, a secondhand copy of Andrew Norman's book was available from a charity bookseller so I'm having a look at it now. He makes some interesting points, but unlike the historians we've cited he's worked solely from the 1945 second edition of The Voyage of the Beagle. On p. 37 he quotes the book on how food supply in nature "on an average, remains constant; yet the tendency in every animal to increase by propagation is geometrical", and says "in his own mind, the seeds of the great theory for which he was to become famous were beginning to germinate." Norman seems to have been caught out by second edition revisions adding hints of evolutionary thoughts which weren't in the original journal.
Still, his book may be worth citing with caution, and it's interesting to read a different perspective. . . dave souza, talk 08:19, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Course of voyage could use an image, or a more prominant explination in opening section[edit]

I haven't read the whole article yet but I just wanted to know if it circumvented the globe or did a loop. sure I should read the whole article, but me and millions like me don't and just want the info faster. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:59, 27 March 2016 (UTC)