Talk:Theodosius Dobzhansky

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    • Add some of his earlier publications to WikiSource

Place where ashes scattered[edit]

If anyone knows the place name where Dobzhansky's ashes were scattered, please add this information to the article. It is significant because evolutionary biologists sometimes visit the place (I know from personal correspondence that Brian and Deborah Charlesworth have, (quoting BC) "inhaling thousands of molecules of the stuff"). - Samsara contrib talk 21:05, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

"Holodomor" reference[edit]

I don't think this issue is relevant to the article; Dobzhansky had been living in the States for five years before it started. I've deleted the sentence and associated reference. Tevildo (talk) 19:55, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree. The relevance of this event to his life has not been shown. EdJohnston (talk) 20:33, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Tribute video[edit]

I've posted a pair of videos to YouTube, which might be of interest in the External links section. The videos are parts I and II of a tribute to Dobzhanksy consisting of old home movies of him, including scenes of him collecting Drosophila at Mather, along with audio commentary from several of his students, including Wyatt Anderson, Bruce Wallace, Francisco J. Ayala, Lee Ehrman, and Jeff Powell. Links to the videos are here and here. Add them to the article if you see fit. Zé Ayala, May 7, 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for telling us, and for checking here on the Talk page. The videos appear very relevant and useful. Can you tell us who made these videos, and who you believe owns their copyright? This is a question that people sometimes ask, and it's good to check it out when we can. EdJohnston (talk) 19:45, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I am the creator and copyright owner of this video. The home movies are all from my family's collection, and I received permission from each of the audio commentators to publicize their recordings. Zé Ayala, May 7, 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
You are also User:Pawntakesqueencheck? Better not keep restoring the link to the article; anti-spam bots have been told to watch out for YouTube. I am asking an experienced colleague if the link is acceptable; let's wait to hear what he says. EdJohnston (talk) 15:57, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that is me. The notice I received informing me of the automatic removal implied that the reason for it was that I wasn't a registered user, so I registered and reposted the links. I'm confused by the automatic removal: Wikipedia's policy on external links says there is no blanket ban on YouTube links. Pawntakesqueencheck (talk) 19:46, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Neutrality is an important objective at Wikipedia, Unfortunately the External links policy on Advertising and conflicts of interest states You should avoid linking to a website that you own, maintain or represent, even if the guidelines otherwise imply that it should be linked, which is in line with the conflict of interest guidelines. Neutral and independent Wikipedia editors should decide whether to add it, however here are some additional rules:
Wikipedia is not the place for tribute videos. Some links can be a service to the reader, but they cannot improve the encyclopedia or article itself. Yes, the internet is full of good material, but Wikipedia is not a directory to that content.--Hu12 (talk) 04:15, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Brazilian Drosophila research and classic Amazon forest diversity paper not noted in article[edit]

Dobzhansky is remembered in Brazil, and perhaps his Brazilian contributions will be remembered in a later edition of this biography. His classic Amazon tree paper is:

G. A. Black, Th. Dobzhansky and C. Pavan. 1950. Some Attempts to Estimate Species Diversity and Population Density of Trees in Amazonian Forests. Botanical Gazette, Vol. 111, No. 4 pp. 413-425.

--Wloveral (talk) 00:39, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion. Are you able to give us a few sentences, in your words, of what the main contribution of this paper was? References are good, but article text is better. You may have noticed that Dobzhansky deserves a much better article than what we currently have! EdJohnston (talk) 01:41, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

He was also an eugenist[edit]

Theodosius Dobzhansky was also an eugenist. In fact, he was among the signatories of the eugenics manifesto in 1939.Agre22 (talk) 12:46, 12 January 2010 (UTC)agre22

This sentence...[edit]

"He was a strong supportor[sic] of the Darwinian view of evolution." Is it necessary? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:31, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Not really, but given the controversy that existed amongst both contemporary and even subsequent Russian biologists regarding evolution it is worth pointing out that he is a Darwinian. Given that both his work and Morgan's heavily influenced the Neo-Darwinian paradigm that still pretty much stands to this day, a nod to Darwin really isn't out of place.

I was actually more concerned with the implicit notion of a belief in the Christian God being in conflict with a recognition of (neo-)Darwinian evolution. So I changed it. The notion of someone being a supported of evolution and their religious sensibilities ought not be linked with a "nevertheless". Unless the goal is to troll. I could see both New Atheist and Christian trolls using that sort of a formulation. Let's keep Wikipedia objective and not descend into some sort of a Conservopedia-style nonsense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:52, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Name should be in Russian[edit]

Although born in Nemirov in the western Ukraine of Imperial Russia, Dobzhansky (whose father was of Polish extraction; his mother was Russian or perhaps Polish as well) is not known to have spoken Ukrainian. He did speak and write in Russian (he also knew English, German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese), and was considered Russian by his contemporaries, historians, and himself, so his name should be transliterated in Russian rather than Ukrainian; perhaps some editor who knows Russian can do so. A strict transliteration from the Russian would give Dobrzhansky, a form Dobzhansky used occasionally early in his life. See the essays by Ford and Ayala cited in the external links. Also, he was widely known in the English speaking world as "Th. Dobzhansky"; I've never seen him referred to as "T.G. Dobzhansky" as the article asserts. If he has been called this, it is very much rarer than the "Th." form (which he himself used). MayerG (talk) 04:01, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Wiki flagellation[edit]

This man was one of the Mount Rushmmore titans of modern biology, the modern synthesis: among a small handful of the most influential scientists in 20th century biology/population genetics/anthropology - yet probably because he wasn't scandalous and had few (or any?) enemies, he's given superficial, cursory coverage on wikipedia. That should give us pause...why Kent Hovind's life and views of evolution get more coverage than Dobzhansky's. Professor marginalia (talk) 06:43, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Dobzansky-Muller theory[edit]

I am not an editor but just to throw out a worthwhile addition, perhaps we could put something on his theory of post-zygotic isolation? At least to me, it seems to be one of his other "great" contributions besides the modern synthesis and was one of the first good models for speciation of distantly related species. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:19, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Actually, by making any edits here, you are an editor. While expansion would be nice, it must cite reliable sources, and avoid original research. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:38, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I've also been editing the wikipedia entry on the Dobzansky-Muller Model. I agree that both Dobzhansky's, Muller's and possibly Bateson's pages need to mention this theory. The page for it was listed as the Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller Model when I found it. I almost think it should be changed to just Dobzhansky-Muller Model or a redirect should be made. Feel free to help out with this page. It was very poorly written when I found it. Dopeytaylor (talk) 16:16, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Religious beliefs[edit]

Dobzhansky's religious views are notable and relevant here. Neither Mayr's view of religion nor Russian Orthodox doctrine is relevant here. The article isn't the proper venue to engage in some original research about whether or not Dobzhansky's personal religious views conform to Mayr's or the doctrine of his church. Please review original research policy. Professor marginalia (talk) 01:21, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Certainly, I am pointing out that there are conflicting opinions about Dobzhansky's beliefs in personal God. Why only one opinion should be presented? If Dobzhansky didn't believe in basic dogmas of the Orthodox Church, being a communicant would be sacrilegious. There is a clear contradiction in the text that I am trying to resolve it with additional published information from Mayr. I don't think Dobzhansky was a hypocrite.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribsWHOIS) 07:02, 10 November 2011.
Ok. The Mayr quote is very weak because Dobzhansky's merely mentioned in passing as an example, as one of many evolutionary scientists who believed in God. If you think there's confusion or contradictions over whether or not he really believed in a "personal god" we need better sources, which I will help look for. But the other edit regarding whether or not he was being "sacrilegious" is not allowed. Editors at wikipedia can't do this. To say anything about Dobzhansky's beliefs in the context of church doctrine you need a source that says it directly first-about Dobzhansky. You can't use a source that doesn't refer to Dobzhanksy directly to come to conclusions about what he may or may not have believed. You can read the policy here: WP:SYN. Professor marginalia (talk) 22:30, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
The book Eminent lives in twentieth-century science & religion ed. Nicolaas A. Rupke covers Dobzhansky's religious views in some depth (starting about p 106) and simple labels don't seem to apply. Here's one quote:

Evolution, like everything in the world, is a manifestation of God's activity...I see no escape from thinking that God acts not in fits of miraculous interventions but in all significant and insignificant spectacular and humdrum events. Pantheism, you may say? I don't think so, but if so then there is this much truth in pantheism.

Dobzhanksy saw evolution as a feature of the "divine incarnation" of the universe, which he associated with his church's theology. Quoting the book, "In Eastern Orthodoxy the redemption of the cosmos involves its deification (theosis) by means of divine incarnation." Dobzhansky also described himself as a communicant of the church but "not in the full sense". There's much more. The section should flesh Dobzhanksy's views more as described in this book. Neither Ayala nor Mayr's quotes are that illuminating, it turns out. Professor marginalia (talk) 23:56, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

True, neither quote is adequate but only the first one was given wide circulation. Interestingly, Ayala doesn't discuss his personal beliefs as stated in wikipedia, but he makes pronouncements on Dobzhansky's beliefs. I ordered a book: "Th. Dobzhansky, The Biology of Ultimate Concern: Accepting Evolution and Believing in God. Part Two: Science and Religion" and will get back as soon as I read it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:17, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

On this topic, what does "Dobzhansky himself spoke of God as creating through evolution, and considered himself a communicant of the Eastern Orthodox Church" even mean? It is pretty unambiguous: you either are receiving communion or you are not... --Pstanton (talk) 22:03, 18 April 2012 (UTC)