User talk:Chiswick Chap

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Mathematics and art: the Fraser spiral illusion (made of concentric circles) says something about visual perception, and is a forerunner of Op art.



2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017 -


The Signpost
25 September 2017


Probably will wait until later this week to start on Lizard and map out a game plan like sections and who will write what. Aside from the cladograms, I feel we should re-write it from scratch. I'm sure Cwmhiraeth will still join but I wonder if we find someone from WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles to help as well. LittleJerry (talk) 18:46, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

I am currently working intermittently on Woodpecker and plan to do Sea anemone next. I really know very little about reptiles and do no have any useful sources, so I will be happy to leave this one to you. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 18:54, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
OK, I'll see what I can do. Sounds a good idea to get a herpetologist on the job! Just to let you know, I will be on hols from the 14th. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:12, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
I'll start work on ecology/social behavior/communication later this week. Try not to get into those topics. :) LittleJerry (talk) 18:19, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
No worries, I won't! Chiswick Chap (talk) 18:32, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
Signaling seems to me to be tied to communication which my book gets into detail on. Hence, the section I'm writing will probably replace the current signaling section. LittleJerry (talk) 14:45, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
That's probably fine, the current source while just about usable isn't the best (and I didn't write the section). The anole lizard dewlap thing is I think worth a mention, however. Chiswick Chap (talk) 15:21, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I'll be busier these next two weeks, but I plan to rewrite reproduction. Would you be able to improve morphology and perhaps write about senses? LittleJerry (talk) 17:03, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm running out of time before the hols, but I'll at least take a look. Chiswick Chap (talk) 17:06, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for your work. I can take it from here, but I think I'll have to wait for you to come back to work on more culture and human interaction. I'm in no hurry to get this to GA. What's important is that an article on a well-known and diverse group is in better shape. LittleJerry (talk) 00:22, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

@LittleJerry - I reviewed the culture section and don't have anything to add to it. If you can find anything better, feel free. Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:25, 14 July 2017 (UTC) @LittleJerry - the article seems ready to go to me, and editing seems to have slowed to a halt. Is there anything else you think needs done before we nominate it? Chiswick Chap (talk) 20:45, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

To be honest, I kind of lost interest in this as a GA project. I guess i wasn't thinking of GA as much as just trying to improve the article since it is about an major vertebrate group, but was so underdeveloped. I figure it is not ready for GA at this point, locomotion and thermoregulation should probably be expanded. LittleJerry (talk) 21:41, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
OK, I'll see about expanding those points. If I decide to nominate it, I'll consult with you first. Chiswick Chap (talk) 21:49, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
I also think mosasaurs should be mentioned somewhere in taxonomy. LittleJerry (talk) 22:24, 24 August 2017 (UTC)


You know, I thought I was done with FA projects at least on major taxa, but I’m tempted to do another higher mammal taxa. Do you think Bat is workable? I feel there are a few things missing (like social structure) and the culture section should be summarized more. Do you know any major contributors that could help us? LittleJerry (talk) 23:19, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

I've done a bit on it from time to time, and I see now it's not in a bad state, well worth having a go at. The culture section needs more refs and you're right, it may be a bit long in places. Don't know who can help us, might be worth looking down the article history and talk page. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:37, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
I think the most difficult part is the sourcing since we didn't write the majority of the article. LittleJerry (talk) 18:08, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
Many of the sources are primary, which does rather suggest a lot of them need to be replaced. Chiswick Chap (talk) 18:16, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
I'd try to find someone that could help us. Perhaps we could also find someone to spotcheck the sources. LittleJerry (talk) 18:21, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
If you can find someone that'd be great. Chiswick Chap (talk) 18:26, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

Some stroopwafels for you![edit]

Gaufre biscuit.jpg ~Helicopter Llama~ 13:35, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Many thanks for the kind thought. Chiswick Chap (talk) 15:37, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Modern synthesis[edit]

Chiswick Chap, this is Dabs (talk) 13:51, 19 September 2017 (UTC). I looked at the article again today and it is enormously more informative, balanced and up-to-date than it was before. Below is a list of minor suggestions.

Thank you. It sounds to me as if the article is now entirely ready for GA, and I have submitted it to GAN. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:51, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

The big issue with the article is whether it is about a historical event or a theoretical construct, either (1) what Smocovitis calls "The Synthesis" (the socio-cultural movement leading to a more unified discipline with a shared view of its boundaries, content, and its history including stories about heroes and villains), or (2) some kind of theory or paradigm that can be defined scientifically in terms of propositions rather than persons and narratives. From the historical format and the focus on persons, the article appears to be mainly about (1). For instance, the Modern_Synthesis_Limits.svg figure is clearly about (1) and not (2), as there are no "paleontological inputs" to (2). But the table of propositions suggests (2). I don't think this has to be changed, because the ambiguity on this issue conveys the ambiguity in scientific writings.

Noted. But Simpson proposed integrating palaeontology in 1944.

Here are some minor suggestions

  • "The start of the modern synthesis was traditionally set around 1918" I have never seen anyone say that. Certainly it would be a minority view. Many people think of Fisher 1918 as the initial seed of a Mendelian-Darwinian fusion (cf event vs. theory), although Gayon and others have pointed out that this exaggerates the role of one paper and ignores a string of precursors going back literally to 1902. You have to understand that theoreticians get excited about Fisher 1918 and like to cite it because even if it had no significance for evolution, it would still have had enormous influence for statistical theory because Fisher figured out how to express variability due to different causes in terms of separate variances that could be added. This was revolutionary.
  • "widespread belief among biologists that Darwinian evolution was in deep trouble, principally because experiments had failed to show" "Widespread" is a good choice. One has to avoid statements about majorities or minorities, because we have no polling numbers. Darwinism has always been popular, even if not dominant. But "principally because experiments..." is not the reason. I would look for generalizations in Bowler's book.
  • "written without knowledge of the mechanism of inheritance." I realize that it is very traditional to say this, but IMHO these traditional descriptions are intentionally misleading: Darwin developed his theory, not in the absence of any view of heredity and variation, but with an incorrect view.
  • "would be weakened by 50% at each generation" This is an opportunity to point to Fleeming Jenkin's criticism, and to introduce Gayon's narrative, in which Darwin's mistaken views of heredity burden his theory with a built-in crisis.
Linked FJ, from my work on Eclipse of Darwinism.
  • "demonstrated that inheritance was 'hard', not Lamarckian". The "not Lamarckian" part is in-world Darwinian story-telling. No one except Darwinians ever accepted Weismann's experiments as an argument against Lamarckism, because Lamarckism is not about mutilations, but about the inheritance of bodily responses due to effort.
  • "the debate only resolved by the development of population genetics, giving a date of 1918 for the start of the supposed synthesis after a period of eclipse" This is definitely giving the wrong impression. I doubt that any ordinary biologist turned to mathematics to solve empirical questions. If you want to point to one incident, the hooded rat experiment is a better choice, a la Provine 1971. The experiment showed that selection could create new types by shifting phenotypes-- turning mottled rats almost completely dark, or almost completely white. The selection experiment itself did not resolve the question of whether this was a Darwinian process of fluctuation and blending, or a Mendelian process, or some mixture. Castle himself believed in a combination of Mendelian inheritance and blending of factors in heterozygotes. But eventually Morgan's students convinced him that the explanation was purely Mendelian, and he conceded. This was in 1919 I think. The ultimate meaning of the experiment for Darwinians was that selection could create new types *without mutation*, as Provine stresses, relying on recombination to create successively more extreme individuals from out of the initial gene pool. The debate was resolved by genetics, by genetic dissection of Castle's rats, not by population genetics.
OK, I've brought in Castle from Mutationism which I've also worked on intensively.
  • "historians Arlin Stoltzfus and Kele Cable" Cable is a historian, Stoltzfus is a scientist.
  • Also, it would be good to introduce Gayon, a historian who has said some of the same things much earlier in a book-length treatment. Traditional histories written by Darwin-friendly sources are misleading about Darwin's mistaken views of heredity, and they often say something coy like "Darwin left this problem for others to work out". Gayon's book problematizes Darwin's commitment to blending inheritance. This results in a crisis that comes to fruition when genetics is discovered. Johannsen's experiments disproved DArwin's mechanism. Darwin's followers had to identify a new mechanism to make selection work. The Mendelian mechanism is not simply the frequency-shifting form of selection that the Mendelians conceptualize, because this could be used in a theory of evolution by single mutations. Ultimately the frequency-shifting form of selection is used to justify a shape-shifting form of selection via the genetics of quantitative traits (the multiple-factor model). This is Gayon's thesis.
  • "De Beer's embryology, 1930" I don't see why this is included. The inclusion of this makes it seem like we are taking a march through the 20th century rather than talking about the Modern Synthesis itself.
Rewritten the section by merging with material on de Beer from the evo-devo section. De Beer made highly relevant (and prescient) comments about the place of embryology, and other authors, cited, have noted his relevance to the synthesis, even though his ideas were not incorporated until much later. The section now says that. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:51, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
  • "Definitions by the founders" I would break up Mayr's statements about randomness into a statement about mutation and a statement about recombination. This removes 1 row and 2 blank cells, making the table less sparse. Also, note that these authors made different claims in different places. Dobzhansky certainly had much to say about the role of recombination. I could find some more statement to help fill in the blanks.
    • ”It is most important to clear up first some misconceptions still held by a few, not familiar with modern genetics: (1) Evolution is not primarily a genetic event. Mutation merely supplies the gene pool with genetic variation; it is selection that induces evolutionary change.” (p. 613 of Mayr E. 1963. Animal Species and Evolution. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press)
    • ”Those authors who thought that mutations alone supplied the variability on which selection can act, often called natural selection a chance theory. They said that evolution had to wait for the lucky accident of a favorable mutation before natural selection could become active. This is now known to be completely wrong. Recombination provides in every generation abundant variation on which the selection of the relatively better adapted members of a population can work.” (p. 38 of Mayr E. 1994. The Resistance to Darwinism and the Misconceptions on which it was Based. In: Campbell JH, Schopf JW, editors. Creative Evolution?! London: Jones & Bartlett, Inc. p. 35-46.) Dabs (talk) 13:51, 19 September 2017 (UTC)


While looking into copyright issues at Copypatrol, this edit was flagged. Of course, it's okay because you identify the source material in the edit summary but could I point you to Wikipedia:Copying_within_Wikipedia, which has our desired wording for such situations?--S Philbrick(Talk) 12:32, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Two points: 1) I assembled the original material, so I don't have to say anything; 2) as you rightly observe, I declared the copy in the edit comment anyway. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:22, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

Medicinal plants[edit]

is currently drawing some fire at FT/N -- thought you should know since you did so much work on it. - (talk) 16:52, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

Thanks, what an absurdity. Chiswick Chap (talk) 17:39, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

that's just camouflage[edit]

I suppose.

But then isn't leaf mimicry also just camouflage, then?

So, suppose wording is changed to "camouflage" or "Carolina mantii change coloration to match surroundings", wouldn't the image be appropriate for Antipredator adaptations (See article: "Generally, mantises protect themselves by camouflage...")?

What I particularly notice is that not only does the tone of the local mantis match the specific limestone (different from the tone of the other less used regional limestones), the dark speckling on the mantis matches the Fusillade molds, again unique to the Cottonwood Limestone. IveGoneAway (talk) 14:01, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Indeed. But your personal observation about the local limestone coloration is just that, your own, which isn't allowable on Wikipedia. Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:04, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
So, change caption to "Carolina mantii change coloration to match environment."? IveGoneAway (talk) 14:42, 22 September 2017 (UTC) 14:43, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
If we considered the image necessary to the article then that would be something like the text we'd want, but basically I don't see it as needed for the article, as there are already plenty of images there (and FAC hates articles with too many images), several of them including the lead image of well-camouflaged specimens. Anyway that's my view. Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:48, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Add to Carolina mantis then? The Carolina mantis's color indicates its environment at time of molting. Some descriptions have the different coloration as variants, rather than changes. The present article has both descriptions, one is probably wrong, maybe; so, OFI. Maybe a gallery of different Carolina mantii colorations? IveGoneAway (talk) 15:17, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes, why not. Chiswick Chap (talk) 15:19, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
After I have collected a series, maybe, and have found a reference for the phenomenon. I am not entirely happy with the quality, it seems not quite focused, but the detail of the fossils suggests otherwise -- the coloration match does make it hard for the eyes to focus on it. Thanks. IveGoneAway (talk) 15:56, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "Mimicry"? This one recently molted on fading Lilium lancifolium: green legs to blend into stem, brown body to match dead leaves, and arched back to match contour of the leaves. File:Carolina Mantis mimicry of Lilium lancifolium 02.jpg. Not that I would add this to Praying mantis, it is for the Carolina mantis gallery.