Template talk:Natural history

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Thank you, Chiswick Chap. I'm surprised a such a template hasn't been created until now. For the sake of consistency, I propose the 19th and 20th centuries be merged into a section called post-Enlightenment, or some equivalent. Do you agree? JKDw (talk) 12:24, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it's odd. I'm very reluctant to have a section that stretches close to the present as there'll be travel books-style listcruft (swap out the last few letters if preferred); I don't think we know about genuine history-worthiness for at least 50 years after the event, probably rather longer. Lockley had a long life and remained productive, but if I was going to choose any of his works for the list I'd go for an early one. If there's any sign of barnacle-encrustment we can think again about the 20th century section; and I think I'd better replace the 'Pioneering...' grouping really for the same reason: perhaps we should also write some documentation to that effect. Chiswick Chap (talk) 12:46, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Is there a term, then, for a period after the Age of Enlightenment, but ending before the present? I think that would be better than adding 'pioneers' to the end, which I perceive as being already implied. JKDw (talk) 13:04, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't think there can be one, because the Victorian era in NH (and by the way, we ought to link to a putative article on that, not just the era in general)) consisted of exploration (Beagle, rainforests, etc), and the description of thousands of new species; whereas the 20th century in NH consisted of observation of animal behaviour, camouflage and other such secondary effects, given that in general the taxonomy was already defined. Thus, 'Age of exploration', 'Age of observation' might be useful descriptions to go with the dates. As for leaving out the pioneers, if you do that we'll get every Tom, Dick and Harry adding names of anyone who did any sort of flower-pick or bird-count up until yesterday, which I call the travel books effect, go and look at it! WP is absolutely not the place for taking anything as implied or assumed; there's always someone with a reason to assume something that suits them better. 'Nuff said. Chiswick Chap (talk) 15:38, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Ok, I understand all but one thing; if it is necessary to avoid implications, why have you not written 'Classical antiquity pioneers'? The inconsistency bothers me, but I don't want to cause a fuss. On an unrelated topic, this template is good for navigation between articles about naturalists and their magnum opera, but of course NH is about more than that. I understand NH is not so strictly defined (which is why I ask for your opinion), but should there also be a section for major aspects, such as taxonomy, evolution, biogeography, etc.? JKDw (talk) 04:29, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps the original grouping into NH pioneers was best, I rather think so and am happy to put it back. Then other aspects if agreed can have their grouping. But I think evolution is the birth of scientific biology; of course Darwin arrived at it by NH, but all the genetically-based studies of evolution are certainly biology not NH. So we have some kind of boundary there. Merry Christmas. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:20, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Evolutionary thought generally (including pre-Darwinian evolution) might be more acceptable, but I suppose you're right that Darwinian evolution is nowadays not really a NH topic. Merry Christmas to you too. JKDw (talk) 11:46, 24 December 2014 (UTC)