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)