User talk:Dave souza/Archive 15

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Archive 14 | Archive 15 | Archive 16


The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs

The GA review for the above has been undertaken. Contact me on my talk page if you have any questions. Nice work. hamiltonstone (talk) 05:29, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Harvard refs

Greetings. Could you possibly help me out with Harvard references in the Descent of Man? Clicking on a note by Blackwell ought to take one to her book (and I also flunked the last, first scheme on her name). -SusanLesch (talk) 02:06, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Replied on your talk page with some useful links. . dave souza, talk 08:35, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
And you've fixed the article! Thank you so much. -SusanLesch (talk) 22:47, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Might be best left ...

Hi, dave. You know what I mean. --Philcha (talk) 18:14, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Back to Wiksloth, then. Life's too short. . dave souza, talk 18:17, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Geez, there is one sane person at WP :-) --Philcha (talk) 18:56, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Who? . dave souza, talk 18:58, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
You. And I thank you. —mattisse (Talk) 19:06, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Gee shucks. Thanks! Still not making any claims to sanity. dave souza, talk 19:11, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok then, if you insist. Your mad as a hatter. :) Jack forbes (talk) 19:15, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm. Plays White Rabbit on stereo. . . dave souza, talk 22:19, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Oh, I see

"Not surprising that the creationists would mislead the public" is a legitimate comment and not trolling, but pointing out the condescending nature of the statement is trolling and must be removed. Cute. I bet you'll remove this comment, too. (talk) 15:16, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Not at all, thanks for drawing attention to your contributions. . dave souza, talk 16:07, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
That is quite helpful of him, isn't it? One click and it's all right there! :) Auntie E. 18:01, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Darwin again: Logicus's response to souza

To preserve integrity of the discussion, I post your recent comments you posted on my Talk page here, together with my response. I hope you approve. Thank you !

Once again, you're showing a tendentious and disruptive approach to discussing and editing the Charles Darwin article. Please properly discuss any proposed changes in accordance with talk page guidelines, including finding sources to back up your claims and accepting properly sourced statements. Seek consensus before making changes, and stop trying to edit war to get your own way. You appear to be pushing a fringe view, which is unacceptable. Also note that calling another editor "functionally illiterate"[1] is a personal attack: if you continue with such disruptive behaviour you are liable to be blocked from editing. . . dave souza, talk 20:29, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Logicus’s response to Dave souza's comments: Insofar as the Wikipedia policy statements on tendentious and disruptive editing are at all intelligible, coherent and non-vacuous, so far as I understand them I have never engaged in tendentious editing nor in disruptive editing Rather Logicus is a constructive, productive and improving editor who, in particular, has successfully corrected many failed verifications in Wikipedia articles, including several in this one.

Yet once again you make allegations about breaches of Wikipedia policy by Logicus that you again fail to substantiate by demonstration. Moreover when challenged to substantiate such allegations in the past, you have notably not only always failed to do so, but have never even had the elementary courtesy to say what specific rule you imagine has been breached and by what action(s). This hardly promotes understanding of your interpretations of Wikipedia policy. I would be grateful if you would either substantiate or else withdraw your allegations.

In your second sentence you further insinuate I have (i) breached talk page guidelines by not properly discussing proposed changes in accordance with them, (ii) failed to provide sources to back up my claims, and (iii) not accepted properly sourced statements. So far as I recall, all these three insinuations are also false. Hence I would be grateful if you would provide what you imagine to be examples to the contrary so that I may at least conside your apparently different interpretations of policy. And again I would be grateful if your would substantiate or else withdraw your allegations.

Re your third sentence and your instruction to seek consensus before making changes, for your information as it happens there is no Wiki policy requirement to seek consensus with any group of people whatever before making changes, and certainly not with yourself, at least because that would conflict with boldness policy. On the other hand may I invite you to consider the charge that you are a Tendentious Editor by virtue of engaging in the following listed vice of Problem Editors:

"You delete the cited additions of others with the complaint that they did not discuss their edits first.

There is no rule on Wikipedia that someone has to get permission from you before they put cited information in an article. Such a rule would clearly contradict Wikipedia:Be bold."

You also accuse me of edit warring. But again I am not aware of doing so. So what sufficient criterion/criteria of edit warring do you imagine my edits satisfy, if any ? Would you please either substantiate or else withdraw this unsubstantiated allegation.

Re the allegation of your fourth sentence that I appear to be pushing a fringe view, in spite of how it may appear to you in a possibly hagiographically distorted perspective, my view immediately in question here in the current dispute over wording is that NS is not the basic mechanism of evolution in the MES, which is rather genetic variation that produces the basic variational material that is then selected from by NS. This is hardly a fringe view, but surely rather the main consensus when people are speaking scientifically seriously rather than blathering.

And nor can the alternative text that I am proposing possibly be interpreted as pushing or expressing a fringe view, except possibly by the most extreme lunatic fringe Darwin hagiographers. May I remind you what that text is:

“…but it was not until the 1930s that natural selection began to be widely accepted as an important factor in explaining the process of evolution.”

This text was designed to be neutral on the contentious issue of whether NS is the basic mechanism of evolution in the MES or not, whilst yet accepting it is an important factor. It seems to me a perfectly reasonable neutral compromise, whereas your proposed text is clearly pushing what I understand to be a minority POV and a gross error about the structure of the multifactoral causal model of evolution in the MES and the base and superstructure of that theory.

Re your last sentence, I deny describing somebody as 'functionally illiterate' is personally attacking them, as opposed to appropriately identifying their lack of competence or disability in some relevant respect, whereby their proposals should be ignored. Would you also regard the terms 'dyslexic' or 'paraplegic' as personal attacks ? 'Functionally illiterate' means being insufficiently literate with respect to some specific technical function, such as say technical proof reading or editing encyclopedias, as opposed to being wholly illiterate i.e. unable to read and write in some specific language. It seems to me the term is justly applicable, for pertinent example, to anybody who regards Carroll's blather about the power of Darwin's rhetoric as verifying "Darwin presented compelling evidence that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors" any more significantly than the following alternative source does:

"A wop bop a loo bop, a lop bam boom" Richard Penniman Tutti Frutti 1955.

It seems to me that suchlike ought not to be editing encyclopedias.

Finally, let me make it clear I am not concerned with pushing any POV on this article as you insinuate, but rather only with trying to improve it to provide a historically and logically accurate account of Darwin's theory of evolution, and of whether or not it ever constituted any empirical scientific progress in any version of the 6 editions of Origin, and of its achievements, if any.--Logicus (talk) 18:00, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

My advice above stands. Please take care to reflect reliable secondary sources accurately, and look to achieve talk page consensus. . dave souza, talk 18:27, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Au contraire, given your failure to substantiate any of it, your advice falls, or rather it never stood up in the first place. As for these further two pieces of unsolicited advice, the first is misplaced unless you can establish I have reflected reliable secondary sources innaccurately, apart from my silly error about the wrong page in Bowler. And on your instruction to achieve talk page consensus (before making changes or flagging), would you be so kind as to identify where this rule is stated in Wiki policy. Or is it just another souza invented dictat ? --Logicus (talk) 16:23, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
You seem to have a habit of suggesting people have literacy problems. As for consensus, Wikipedia policy states "Consensus is Wikipedia's fundamental model for editorial decision-making." Dougweller (talk) 16:49, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia policy may well state "Consensus is Wikipedia's fundamental model for editorial decision-making." But it does not state the rule I stated that you and souza appeal to, namely that one must achieve talk page consensus before making changes or flagging, which would conflict with boldness policy. In fact to the contrary, if anything, there is even Wikipedia guidance against any such a rule that you and souza appeal to in order to block improvements. Please see Wikipedia:Don't revert due to "no consensus".--Logicus (talk) 15:02, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Hi, Logicus. Essays don't trump policies, and be assured that your edits have been reverted because they're not improvements, as has been fully explained and discussed on the talk page. . . dave souza, talk 15:23, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Dougweller over-states the importance of consensus - 1 good source trumps any amount of consensus, unless the consensus is backed by at least 1 good source too. --Philcha (talk) 17:24, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Sure, I agree. But what's the good source you have in mind? Dougweller (talk) 15:49, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
First of all this is not a case of there being no consensus in favor of an edit. This is a case where there is a clear consensus against the edit(s), which is a horse of a different color. Secondly, multiple sources have been provided by the editors arguing against the edit(s) in question, but one party to the dispute simply dismisses them. Rusty Cashman (talk) 17:13, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Logicus to Cashman: First of all, there is no clear consensus against the edit in question here. Only a vanishingly small proportion of less than half a dozen editors have expressed any opposition. Do note that the positively undefined Wikipedia notion of consensus at least musters the negative part definition that it is not unanimity.
Secondly, to date clearly no source has been provided that verifies the mistaken claim made that Darwin presented compelling evidence for descent from common ancestors. That is why the souza lobby so desperately keep trying to find different sources to verify their unverifiable claim They are now onto their fourth failed source in their serial efforts to find one - van Wyhe, Carroll, Bentley Coyne.--Logicus (talk) 18:26, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the Revisions

Thanks for reverting and adding back the opening of Terry Eagletone's review. Regardless of what one thinks, that's what he said! and I think balances the rather intelectual second quote rather well Claudebernard (talk) 12:24, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

My oops, have commented contritely on your talk page. . . dave souza, talk 12:44, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I just noticed you revised the section on the evolution of the bomb. beetle after my changes. Thank you; it reads more clearly now. I was unable to decipher whether the original text was speaking about hypothetical changes or listing actual adaptions or a mixture of both, but you have made it far more clear.

Lhynard (talk) 19:26, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Glad it helped! The original wording was probably mine, and your raising the question was very helpful in getting me to look again at the sources to clarify the summary. Many thanks, dave souza, talk 20:51, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication

Dave, I've started an article on Darwin's Variation. I think the book warrants its own short article although there is already a biographical article Darwin from Orchids to Variation that you created in March 2005 which includes a section on Variation . I've plagiarised sentences from this and added more details. The article obviously needs more work - for the Contents section I've said nothing about chapters 1-26.

There are already figures from the book on Commons taken from Gutenberg but they are at rather low resolution. For possible inclusion in the article I've scanned a some figures at higher resolution. Aa77zz (talk) 08:20, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Excellent work, well worthwhile. The biographical article is one of a series used as a resource for information on Darwin's life, mainly based on Desmond & Moore, and using it is just as intended! All open for re-use, as you've done, and don't hesitate to update these biographical articles or reduce information that more specifically belongs in articles about the books. However, the first priority is getting together a brief summary of Variation, as you say. I'm currently trying to read up on Darwin as a geologist, will try to help out when I can. New scans of figures will also be very welcome. Thanks for making these improvements, dave souza, talk 10:58, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Reaction to Darwin's theory

Dave, Just to let you know that I've deleted a bunch of references from Reaction to Darwin's theory that you added in July 2007. I've removed many of the uncited references including some early Darwin publications - we are unlikely to need them in the article. I've started adding inline citations to direct quotes - all except one were from the Darwin Correspondence Project. As always, there is more to do... Aa77zz (talk) 14:36, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks very much, these were "in case" references duplicated from Charles Darwin which didn't get taken further, your tidying up and finding new references is great work. Back then I was copying cites out of D & M's biography as they didn't seem to be available online, things have changed greatly! Am presently trying to work on a couple of other articles, it's good to see progress being made on that one. By the way, do you think we should consider moving it to another title? It's very much concerned with Darwin's life in the first year after publication of the Origin. Perhaps there's a case for expanding On the Origin of Species#Reception into a main article which could maybe be called impact of Darwin's theory and cover the long term impact as well as the immediate reaction. However, guess that would overlap with history of evolutionary thought. Plenty other projects to resolve first! . . dave souza, talk 18:22, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I've added more inline citations and more references to your unloved child. I've made very few changes to the text. I struggled to come up with suitable citations for the background section but most of the direct quotes now have citations to primary sources. I couldn't find a primary source for "A bench of bishops is the devil's flower garden" quoted by D&M p 501 2nd para. The proverb is mentioned in a manuscript by Francis Darwin.
Currently there is only one publication in the Further reading section: Owen's Ape & Darwin's Bulldog. I haven't access to this book and therefore can't judge whether it is suitable. Should I delete this section?
When a publication is only cited once, I prefer to include the publication in the References (ie cited publications) and use the Harv template in the text rather than having a hybrid system with some publications in the Notes section and others in the Reference section. I've chosen not to include access dates for urls pointing to published sources. There has been a lengthy discussion on this issue and there may even be a consensus. We are in a special position in having so much of the primary literature available online.Aa77zz (talk) 13:40, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Many thanks for that. The "bench of bishops" is a colourful anecdote, but Francis Darwin suggests it in a completely different context.[2] They do seem to dramatise things sometimes, perhaps they have another source. Think we should trim it out?
'Owen's Ape & Darwin's Bulldog was added by User:Cosans,[3] who seems to be its author. From discussions at User talk:Cosans and various other places he seems to have a valid point that Owen tends to be unfairly misrepresented. However he's not edited since March, and I've not read the book so can't really recommend it as further reading. Will try comparing the sources to hand and may try to revise the text a bit.
Good work with organising the references. Think we should remove "retrieved" dates from the remaining letters and references? It's been one of these chores adding them, and I agree that they're probably a bit unnecessary in cases where works are published. The only problem might be when an error in transcribing the original gets corrected on the site we're using. Thanks again, . dave souza, talk 17:27, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Introduction to evolution

It appears that there is an effort to delist this FA article. Any assistance or comments you could offer would be appreciated. Thanks. --Filll (talk | wpc) 22:47, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

It looks to be heading for a rewrite. I agree, it's one of those articles that needs to be streamlined into a better shaped whole. It has the potential to be something really great. Auntie E. 15:59, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, my feeling on looking it over is that the article served well at the time to help resolve arguments and issues that plagued the evolution article, now these have been resolved the evolution article has improved greatly but the introduction is now lagging behind. The rewrite in progress is looking to be an improvement, giving clearer explanations of the issues. Will try to chip in, . . dave souza, talk 18:33, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Paluxy River

Hi, Dave,

Don't know if you remember me from "No Intelligence Allowed" this summer, and I hope I'm contacting you correctly. Haven't been at Wiki much lately.

I want to draw your attention to the Paluxy River article. I'm trying to find credible testimony about Carl Baugh's "man-tracks," but find only a stub with one dead-link reference and another to the questionable Talk Origins site.

It seems one individual, Glen J. Kuban, has attempted almost single-handedly, with some help from one Ronnie Hastings, to debunk Baugh's claims. Neither Kuban nor Hastings have impressive credentials. Surely somewhere some more highly qualified scientist has weighed in on this controversy, or perhaps not. Perhaps they've not thought the claims merited rebuttal. This would be unfortunate.

Yes, I have an agenda: trying to convince some friends of mine that men and dinosaurs were NOT contemporaries and that Baugh is either a fool or a fraud. (Sorry to be so strong; not that you'll mind, but I don't like to call people names.) The best I've come up with is a mention of John R. Cole from the U. of Mass.

Are you interested in improving the article?

Hope you have a great week! Yopienso (talk) 04:22, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

PS Here is an example of non-information.

And PZ Myers with his typical cavalier attitude--I want sober science.

Yopienso (talk) 04:50, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Bit rushed just now, Dinosaur Valley State Park is the main article about the tracks issue, but has little more info: more sourcces are cited in the Carl Baugh article, which looks like a useful start. Try checking out the links there, and if you can improve the other articles that will be great. Your friends might prefer this source, for one. . dave souza, talk 07:39, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Dave. If I ever get around to it I might add some more info; probably won't.  :O Yopienso (talk) 13:44, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


Please see: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Special creation. Borock (talk) 07:10, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Drapier's Letters

Since you were looking over the page, care to leave any comments? Ottava Rima (talk) 01:02, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the invitation! I've been getting bogged down a bit with serendipitous excursions arising from my watchlist as well as with die schreckliche deutsche Sprache, and oh the Mud, how deep he is! From a reliable publisher as a copy of the first edition. Hope that will help you to resolve a little local difficulty,[4] without any need for mudslinging. But I digress. Have skimmed over the article, and indeed some points come to mind so I'll add my comments. Thanks for the heads-up, dave souza, talk 07:24, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Haha, thanks. I was mostly going off the title and spelling based on the sources I had and what I knew to be trustworthy on Twain. If there was a first edition to check it again to prove what the original stated, then it would easily be changed over. I don't think the individual understood that, and I hate when people require jumping to something that we don't have any proof for. Standards and personal knowledge are a good starting place for research, but a lot of people want more. I had one request on another page where I talk about how a poem is related to the whole of Romantic poetry, even though none of the sources really said much in terms of its relationship to other Romantic poems (and most of the sources were major critics of Romantic poetry and discuss other works in relation to the whole, so, there was probably -no- relationship with the individual poem). Squeezing blood from a rock is the Wiki motto sometimes. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:03, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I know the feeling, and have one or two arguments simmering away. However, I think Penguin Books stating their version is "set from a copy of the first american edition" is as good as it gets, and it's worth changing from "of" to "oh". Found that by searching for the rest of the phrase, and the better sources / earlier editions do seem to consistendly use "oh". Much more poetic! . . dave souza, talk 15:12, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, I would think the opposite of poetic would suit his purpose. :) I made the change and left a note that if someone finds another statement about a first edition that contradicts then it should be discussed. There have been some famous editing changes in history, and one I remember is "solider Aristotle" to "soldier Aristotle" (Yeats's "Among School Children", which dearly needs a page and I should get around to that sometime). Ottava Rima (talk) 03:24, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Ottava, perhaps he couldn't help but write well, I do seem to recall at least one analysis remarking how poetic it was. Nice editing change to Aristotle, hadn't heard that one. Am vaguely aware of various schoold of biblical studies and analysis but not much of literary studies, though did come across this one. . . dave souza, talk 06:57, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Oh wow, that better be humorous because I laughed the whole way through it. :) Ottava Rima (talk) 13:59, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Well done! If you've not come across higher criticism and the like it can be puzzling rather than satirical, glad you liked it. . dave souza, talk 15:34, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

"Can't show the invisible"

I didn't say he shows it; I said he attempts to show it, which is a reasonable description of what he does... Evercat (talk) 13:27, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Subtle, but in my opinion "Dembski attempts to use probability mathematics to show.." sails too close to WP:GEVAL, and "Dembski attempts to use probability mathematics to support his claim..." is more accurate. The first at least implies the possibility of showing the Logos of St. John in improbability.... but then I'm not a mathematician! . . dave souza, talk 14:45, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Well, the current phrasing is OK I suppose. I objected to the original "he attempts to hypothesize", which makes him sound so incompetent that he couldn't make a cheese sandwich without help... Evercat (talk) 18:48, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Fair enough, you'd have to ask ERV about that! . . dave souza, talk 19:48, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

copyvio question

Dave, I know it isn't your area - but I would like your advice. I have detected a copyvio on Niger Inland Delta where the text is lifted directly from the World Wildlife page. I've put a note on the talk page. How should I procede? Should I simply delete the contributions by user PimRijkee? Aa77zz (talk) 09:22, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Sorry I was out when this came up, you seem to be making good progress so far and the response on your talk page looks promising. Also good work with finding the ecology section text taken from a ESA pdf. Given the good faith response to the first finding presumably PimRijkee will take that on board as well, and obviously we'd expect Pim's cooperation to ensure there aren't any other interim or unintentional copies of text that need to be rephrased. Hope that gets sorted out amicably, let me know if you'd like me to comment or advise. Thanks for the good work, dave souza, talk 20:18, 21 October 2009 (UTC)


Nfitz, please stop trying to dig a hole for yourself. If you want content kept in articles, provide verification or the information will be removed in accordance that policy. Attacking other editors for your failure to follow policy is not a good move. . . dave souza, talk 17:50, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
  • But that's what's so bizarre about this! I've done everything possible to address the lack of verification on both the Daniel Greenberg and Sudbury School page as they have arisen. The user in question ignores the many edits that have been made to fix the pages, and simply focuses on a couple of small disputes. I worked through yesterday and added the references that were causing all the strife on Sudbury School which no one seems to have any issue with now that they are done ... and it turns out they were from a source already referenced twice on the same page. And I've attempted to do the same with the Daniel Greenberg page; which obviously still needs some work, however I've continued to work in good faith, and yet have been subjected to various personal attacks by the editor in question, with very clear violations of WP:NPA, WP:CIVIL, and WP:FAITH. I certainly don't think pointing out to another editor that they are violating Wikipedia policies is attacking them! If editors would work together on the talk page to discuss through disputes, this project would go a lot smoother. Nfitz (talk) 18:02, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
    • And I just saw your note on a couple of other pages. I see no text in any of these disputes that is tagged for a lack of verification. Perhaps I'm missing something? I appreciate your intervention in this dispute ... I think we would both benefit from other points of view. Nfitz (talk) 18:11, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Glad to hear it, as you say discussion and provision of verification is the way forward. Your complaints about civility appeared from my brief inspection both unjustified and an unnecessary diversion, a focus on meeting content policies is much better. . . dave souza, talk 18:37, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Every talk post the user in question makes has all these extra unnecessary and agressive adjectives. And the very first post he made on my talk page on the subject since August, wasn't a "hey - let's discuss this ...", it was a warning template threatening I be banned! At the same time he is convinced that the subject in question isn't notable, but refuses to the logical course of AfD (though I guess he has now gone to a proper merger discussion, which is another alternative ...). Nfitz (talk) 18:50, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
This came up because your own conduct looked pretty abrasive, so WP:NAM seems appropriate, and please accept that other opinions about an issue can be legitimate. This seems to me to essentially be a WP:EQ issue, and if you really must report it elsewhere then WP:WQA would be more appropriate, but in my opinion the time would be better spent in improving the relevant articles. Thanks for the heads-up, having had a look at the issue under dispute I've commented there. . . dave souza, talk 08:28, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
I may have made the mistake early on in reacting to his earlier taunts in kind. That was a mistake, that I think I've mostly avoided since then. I'm really not used to such editors, I've found most to be constructive in the past. And I'd much rather spend my time improving the article, rather than to have to spend time defending what seems like a pretty obvious pass of WP:N in my mind. I still think this is better served at AfD, if it is really notability we are looking at here. Nfitz (talk) 22:30, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Hrafn tends to be pretty forceful about policies such as WP:V and WP:NOTE, and he also tends to have good judgement about them. In my opinion, last I looked, more in the way of reliable third party sources would be needed to survive AfD, and my recommendation would be a merge and redirect rather than just deleting the article. A merge and redirect leaves open the possibility of adding such sources to the main article, and then by agreement following WP:SUMMARY to split off the information into a suitably well supported article replacing the redirect. Better to put energies into finding those sources now rather than putting time into the AfD process, but that's just my opinion. . . dave souza, talk 23:45, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Forceful ... that's an understatement ... he a one-man Wiki taskforce! And I say that as a back-handed compliment. He'd be better served by not shooting first, and asking questions later. Between his cryptic posts written in shorthand, and his tendancy to almost subconciously weave personal attacks into his comments and edit summaries ... it's a miracle he hasn't been blocked in the past! I've certainly seen editors blocked for a lot less ... and I'm not just looking at my exchanges with him.
On the issue itself, you may well be right ... though it does seem bizarre that a well-published writer isn't notable, but 50,000 footballers with far less 3rd party sources and media references are ... I'm a little confused on what a reasonable source is. There's reference after reference on him in the popular media (particularly the NY Times and Boston Globe), and a dozen or so in scholarly journals and published books, that I can find. Nfitz (talk) 03:47, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Not "shooting first, and asking questions later"? ROFLMAO! I would strongly suggest that Nfitz review the edit summary of this edit, which (as far as I can remember) is our first interaction, in which he most emphatically came out shooting. That I would shoot back, pointing out that he was shooting blanks (pun intended), is an entirely predictable consequence. I would strongly recommend that Nfitz remember the Golden Rule, and not himself come out shooting, if he does not want a similar response, or at the very least check out his ground first, to make sure his 'shots' have some validity. Opening gambits making wild accusations of violation of non-applicable guidelines do not endear him to his potential correspondents. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:44, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Just so, to both of you. Deriding or complaining about other editors is a waste of time, the way to retain an article of dubious notability is to provide verification from reliable third party sources, not just a list of published books. Good luck to all, . dave souza, talk 15:50, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
How there anything at all in my edit? I simply restored the page, asserted notablity, and asked the user not to leave the page blank ... there was no ill will or intent in that; perhaps leaving it blank was not the correct WikiTerm. I'd note however that the use of terms such as ROFLMAO! is insulting, demeaning, bordering on a personal attack, and a violation of WP:CIVIL. User:Hrafn is the most consistently rude and uncivil editor I have ever encountered in this project! As far as I'm concerned users that continually display such incivility are a liability to the project and should be permanently banned! Sorry to put this on your talk page Dave ... I'm not sure I've ever been WikiHounded before! Nfitz (talk) 01:25, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
I get the impression that neither of you realises how much you're upsetting the other, and in trying to express that you're both making the relationship worse rather than better. Agree that ROFLMAO is impolite and better not said, but note that WP:CIVIL also requires "Do not ignore the positions and conclusions of others." Dismissing legitimate concerns as wikilawyering is also impolite, and while Hrafn was perhaps expressing undue scepticism when commenting about the improbability of a sudden burst of progress after four years of inadequate evidence of notability, Nfitz seems to me to have been attacking in response, and persisting in bare assertions of notability without putting forward sourced evidence to convince other editors. Note the plural. If the article is to be kept separate rather than merged into the school article, the issue should be resolved on the relevant article talk pages on the basis of evidence demonstrating independent notability: last I looked that evidence appeared to be lacking, and that should be the focus of attention of those wanting to keep a separate bio. Hrafn is entitled to critically examine claims in relation to agreed guidelines and policies, that in itself should not be taken as an attack. Doing so politely with a conscious effort to avoid any sarcasm, intended or not, should help to improve relationships rather than diverting into arguments about the person rather the article. Which is what caught my attention in the first place. . . dave souza, talk 09:51, 4 November 2009 (UTC)


Hello. One of the editors on this page has a neutrality concern about the use of "pseudoscientific" in the first sentance of this article. Could you please join the discussion on their talk page? Thanks.--TParis00ap (talk) 19:10, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Tnanks for the heads-up, have done. . dave souza, talk 20:47, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
She's using the talk page now at least, but is seeming to ignore everything I say while quoting me on stuff I don't say. Treading into IDIDNTHEARTHAT territory. What am I saying, treading? More like divebombing... Auntie E. 00:17, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
It's the creationist mindset, it's long past bedtime in Glasgow Herald territory, but I've added a couple of comments. Relax and forget the nonsense, which will get stomped on by many able editors. . . dave souza, talk dave souza, 00:39, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Fertilisation of Orchids on main page

I replied in detail to your post on my talk page there, but the upshot is I recommend waiting for Feb 9 or 12 when you will have at least one point with Darwin Day being particularly appropriate. Rusty Cashman (talk) 18:31, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the advice, as stated in more detail[5] will try to bring it up in time for Feb 12 or May 15. . . dave souza, talk 19:14, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
I think this is a wonderful article and fully deserves main page space. You could ask User talk:Wehwalt on the strategy issue, as he is good at that. I will support you when you go for it. Regards, —mattisse (Talk) 19:42, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your encouragement, I value your opinion on this. Was just raising the possibility of adding it to the Darwin celebrations, but Rusty who is well experienced in the process is right to point to the very reasonable tendency to avoid the same general topic appearing too often in quick succession. I'm content with putting it forward at the times suggested for next year. By the way, a more run of the mill article, but I've been working on Down House a bit, and think you'd find some of the anecdotes about the life of the Darwins rather fun. Like them not really much liking it, but buying it as a bit of a last resort! All too familiar from my memories of house hunting :) . . dave souza, talk 20:49, 31 October 2009 (UTC)


"they'd quote mine their own grandmothers" Like it! Just sayin' TheresaWilson (talk) 20:19, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks! Did think of writing "grannies", but thought it more tactful to keep it in English :) . dave souza, talk 20:27, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

My edit to the lead of Charles Darwin

I reverted an edit by Logicus to the lead sentence in Charles Darwin that was clearly wrong because it conflated evidence for common descent with evidence for natural selection when, as I know you are very much aware, the issues were treated somewhat independantly. However, after the reversion I decided that they had a point about the structure if not the content of the lead sentence. The truth is that I have been mentally cringing every time I read "realised and presented" for some time now. Therfore I have been bold and broken up and restructured the lead sentence in a way that I think reads much better. If you think I have misjudged the fine line between boldness and rashness, please feel free to revert what I did. Rusty Cashman (talk) 09:41, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Many thanks, it's a difficult nuance to convey briefly without understating the impact of Darwin's publication. Your rewording looks like an improvement to me, and at the least gives a useful way forward. For a while now I've been thinking over a way of adding a brief paragraph at the end of the Charles Darwin#Descent of Man, sexual selection, and botany section giving a little more about the eclipse of Darwinism, and the rehabilitation of the primacy of natural selection with the modern evolutionary synthesis. The sources I have to hand are less useful on recent developments: in a simplification, it seems that natural selection is given prime place in explaining adaptation, while (a minority view?) holds that genetic drift is as significant or more significant in explaining speciation. All something to ponder. Thanks again, dave souza, talk 10:32, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

New edits to Michael Behe

Can you check the recent edits to Michael Behe by Swood100 for due weight, et al.? I reverted one edit already, but I'm not too keen on the rest. They say nothing, just lead people to click the link to the source. Thanks in advance, Auntie E. 01:07, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Due weight isn't the core problem so much as the fact that none of the sources are reliable (at best 'questionable' or self-published). I've reverted the "rest". HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:05, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, you both deserve a Golden Crocoduck award. . . dave souza, talk 15:54, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Origin on the main page

I see you have already noticed that the nomination is up. You might want to take a look at my condensed blurb and image choice. The blurb is constrained by having to be less than 1200 characters and the image has to show up well in a small form factor. I thought about using the evolutionary tree image from the book itself instead of the one from the notebook, but I was afraid it would be almost impossible to see in a small form factor, and the notebook image has become kind of iconic. Rusty Cashman (talk) 21:34, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

It's either that or a portrait of Darwin, and the early tree seems good to me. As you say, it's been featured a lot this year as an iconic symbol of his ideas, and a portrait would have to be the beardless Darwin. The blurb read well at a first read over, will look it over again and let you know if I have any thoughts. . . dave souza, talk 23:11, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
I responded to your suggestions on my talk page. I made some of the simplifications to the blurb that you suggested, but I pushed back on scientific naturalism, which seems to me to be a much simpler and less controversial topic than you make it out to be, but I await your response. Rusty Cashman (talk) 09:23, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

William A. Dembski related discussion is a very offensive page and should not exist. Also, you should not be an administrator. You are violating policy. WiZeNgAmOtX (talk) 09:46, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Always glad to assist, dave souza, talk 11:52, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Invitation to participate in SecurePoll feedback and workshop

As you participated in the recent Audit Subcommittee election, or in one of two requests for comment that relate to the use of SecurePoll for elections on this project, you are invited to participate in the SecurePoll feedback and workshop. Your comments, suggestions and observations are welcome.

For the Arbitration Committee,
Risker (talk) 08:06, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

arguments against evolution

Hey thanks for the hints, I think your clarification is a fair compromise between what I thought necessary and the people deleting it thought they would like.Darwinftw (talk) 00:43, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, often people on both sides of an argument have fair points, and the aim is finding words that summarise sources in a way that meets reasonable objections. Sometimes easier said than done! . . dave souza, talk 09:39, 16 November 2009 (UTC)


Hey, wonder if you will give me some input. I found an article that needs a bit of work when it comes to due scientific weight: Lloyd Pye, ancient astronaut type, no mention of scientific consensus until the corralled off "criticism" section. As you know, I'm ignorant when it comes to actual content creating, but I do want to learn. The difficult thing is finding a decent bunny slope article that is not so bad that I run screaming from it. I'm hoping this one would be good to work on. So far I've added a small addition to the lead to mention the existence of actual science, but that's only the beginning. I'll take whatever advice you are willing to give for the next step. Thanks for all your help, Auntie E. 18:39, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Will be delighted to assist, unfortunately some patience is needed as I'm struggling to pull something off over the next couple of days, will look at it then. In the interim, without even looking, my experience is that it's best to find sources first, and the better the sources the easier it is to write. A lot of it involves trying to say the same thing as the source in different words, turning sentences round and trying to think of alternative words with the same meaning. A thesaurus may help, usually I'm too lazy to look it up. So, that's my recommendation for the next two days, will try to look into it in more detail then. Good luck! You seem to be erudite and well able to communicate, so it should work out well. . . dave souza, talk 20:17, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, had a peek. Suggest "In his work he argues against the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans did not evolve from earlier organisms..." is a little ambiguous, as it's his argument that humans didn't evolve, not the scientific consensus. Try turning it round a bit, perhaps "In his work he rejects the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans evolved from earlier organisms, and claims...." It could be done in other ways, try playing with it on a text editor and choose what looks best to you. . . dave souza, talk 20:22, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks :) Auntie E. 05:44, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Update: did some minor edits, got reverted on one by a recent changes patroller. Partially my fault, could've used a better edit summary, but still. Gotta watch those people. :) Auntie E. 17:53, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Was just about to say, your edits look good to me. The additional paragraph about criticism could be fleshed out a bit, ideally mentioning the main critics and citing a reliable source: the article as a whole seems to be a bit lacking in sources, and as a BLP we have to take extra care with finding reliable citations. However, you're right to say that the lead should reflect the article. Formatting the sources (perhaps using this tool) would be a good move. . dave souza, talk 18:02, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh boy, finding sources may be difficult, the internets is flooded with woo about this guy and not much reliable. This essay has a conclusion that suggests the expected, but not an expert opinion. The Flexibility of Scientific Rhetoric: A Case Study of UFO Researchers would be useful if you can get journal access, or contact someone who has such access and ask if they could send you a pdf. Frustratingly, the New England Skeptical Society website was playing up, but having found their article I've given way to temptation and added a formatted reference as well as making it clear that all the other external links are Pye's own pages. Have kept a pdf and saved copy of their web page, in case they start giving 404 not found again. . dave souza, talk 18:57, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Great Hippocampus Question

I like it! -Philcha (talk) 19:12, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks! Now think of all the pages that could usefully have that link added! . . dave souza, talk 18:58, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Kirk Cameron

Is "...creationist misinformation about Darwin and about evolution." POV? A creationist would probably not consider it misinformation. Pdcook (talk) 17:12, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

A creationist would probably fail to give due weight to the clear scientific consensus, and would seek "equal validity" for pseudoscience, in contrast to what we are required to do under these linked sections of WP:NPOV policy. Hope that helps, dave souza, talk 17:36, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
It does help. Although, would it be more prudent to attribute a statement by a reputable person or group condemning the intro to the book as pseudoscience, like what is in the Ray Comfort article? Regards, Pdcook (talk) 18:26, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
It's a judgement call, and as long as it's clear that the overwhelming majority expert opinion dismisses the pseudoscientific views, that option is probably better. We do have the NCSE statement going into it in some depth, but it's geared to rebutting Ray Comfort and Cameron is a second tier assistant, so my first thought was to avoid too much detail on the Kirk Cameron page. You are of course welcome to change it, with due regard to avoiding giving equal validity to the WP:FRINGE view. Thanks for thinking about this, dave souza, talk 18:34, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Interestingly, pro-science students are rushing to get these books, as well as distributing accurate information and finding that "The most common responses I saw from people who took the book were, 'Awesome, I've always wanted a copy!' The most common response from people rejecting the book were, 'Ugh, no, I don't believe in evolution.' You know what that means? ....."[6]. . . dave souza, talk 19:40, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

We are not going to include a matter-of-fact assertion that Comfort's book contains "misinformation". Proper weight means that articles on evolution and creationism should explain that creationism does not have any standing in the scientific community, and that natural selection is considered to be a scientific fact, but that does not mean that the article can appear to make a judgment on what is a fact or what is "misinformation". Such things must be attributed to their sources. We can say "Eugenie Scott" or "the scientific community calls it misinformation." But an article cannot state that in a matter-of-fact manner, because that would give the appearance that the article is drawing a conclusion in the EvC conflict, and it cannot do that. There is also no reason why an article cannot also include, as a source, a link to Comfort's site in which he responds to such things. We cannot give equal balance to both evolution and creationism, but only in articles whose context is purely scientific (as in articles about various species, natural selection, etc.--think of this as the equivalent of a science class) because in the scientific community, there is no conflict on that. But in articles about a social controversy (think of it as the equivalent of a social studies class), equal weight must be given to both sides. An article cannot state its own conclusions on such things. Nightscream (talk) 19:55, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
While we can sometimes make necessary assumptions, your proposals for improvements in full compliance with the above policies will be welcome. . . dave souza, talk 19:58, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 19:59, 20 November 2009 (UTC)


No, not Charles, but Erasmus. The Temple of Nature is a fore something (I don't know the term for a poem that inspires a scientific work) of Charles's works. It also has no page. For some reason, people ignore it for the less The Botanic Garden. An odd thing. I was thinking that perhaps we could work on the poem along with creating pages for the two components of the Garden. All three fit in with the De rerum natura tradition nicely. I wouldn't mind trying to figure out an appropriate classification and creating a page on that too.

Would you be interested? Not right this moment, of course, but in general? If so, I will get some prep work in December and we could start compiling stuff in user space. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:09, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes indeed, in principle! Bit of a rush just now, dave souza, talk 20:13, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
I figured such, but it is always good to throw ideas up into the air for future use. :) Ottava Rima (talk) 20:39, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
If anyone begins work on this project. I would be happy to help. I think Temple of Nature was a really interesting work. Rusty Cashman (talk) 07:43, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

John Brodie-Innes

Thanks...and thanks to you for starting it off. Jack1956 (talk) 21:00, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Revert of On the origin od species edit


Sorry if you thought it was vandalism to remove the "Is it valid? No it isn't section". Although you say it has been reverted, it appears it hasn't been, which implies I was right to remove it. I'm glad that I didn't bother to sign in properly if that's the reception I would have received on my talk page. I know you've probably had a particularly trying day watching it while it's been on the front page, but not all IPs are bad. TerriG (talk) 18:05, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Not all IPs are bad, re-added the "is it valid" section, for which I posted an unconstructive edit template, and removed the section, for which I expressed thanks. Don't know how the confusion has arisen, hope that clarifies things, dave souza, talk 18:26, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

DYK for William Snow Harris

Updated DYK query On November 24, 2009, Did you know? was updated with a fact from the article William Snow Harris, which you created or substantially expanded. You are welcome to check how many hits your article got while on the front page (here's how) and add it to DYKSTATS if it got over 5,000. If you know of another interesting fact from a recently created article, then please suggest it on the Did you know? talk page.

Materialscientist (talk) 19:42, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Problem edit by User:Anthon.Eff at Meigs Magnet School

Dave, would you mind taking a look at this please? Three days ago, Anthon.Eff (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log) made this edit at Meigs Magnet School, which I reverted for a number of reasons, which are obvious. His latest edit to the article is better, except that he's put an uncivil remark in the edit summary. I notice he's been warned about that before. –Signalhead < T > 20:06, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Have tried some tact and diplomacy, Anthon.Eff has been around long enough to know better and the behaviour is both surprising and disappointing. Hope that helps to improve things, dave souza, talk 20:46, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Yep, I was a little surprised when a quick look at his recent edit history didn't reveal anything untoward, although his talk page suggests there's an underlying attitude issue. Anyway, thanks for the intervention. –Signalhead < T > 21:06, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

missing links


I have identified all the Charles Darwin descendants in this article, save for two: Sarah Darwin, (botanist), and Chris Darwin ("adventurer"). Any idea where they fit in the Darwin family? I know Sarah is married to Johnannes Vogel and has two sons, but I can't find information on her parents. - Nunh-huh 23:32, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

That seems to be indirectly from the Daily Mail, which is a wildly unreliable source much of the time, but gives essentially the same info as this BBC article. Not something I've come across, and a search at Darwin Online didn't pick up anything useful. Sorry not to be of more assistance, dave souza, talk 23:46, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
clue about Sarah: "I do have a cousin who is a zoologist," she says, "and my father is a scientist - a metallurgist. One brother is a computer scientist and my other brother is an eco-warrior in Australia."[7] will try for more later. . . dave souza, talk 23:59, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm... good clues, but they don't ring any bells... the eco-warrior in the family is Jos Barlow, but Sarah's brother should be surnamed Darwin... so I'll poke around and see. There really should have been a comprehensive list of descendants put together for the various Darwin centennials, but I guess there wasn't. - Nunh-huh 01:13, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
I suspect the two I'm missing are brother and sister: that is, Sarah's Australian eco-warrior brother is this Chris Darwin. I don't know which great-grandson of Darwin is their father; I wonder if Sarah's "metallurgist" could be Edward Leonard Darwin, whose profession I have as "civil engineer".... - Nunh-huh 06:46, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Don't think anything very useful turned up, this gives the names and ages of Sarah's children, one on Chris says "Born in London, he worked in advertising and television commercial production for several years before coming to Australia in 1986. He now works as a tour guide in the Blue Mountains, where he lives with his partner and their one-year-old son Erasmus Darwin," and mentions eco issues. He was 47 in February of this year, and perhaps less informatively, both he and Matthew Chapman live in Australia. You'll probably know all that. . dave souza, talk 16:34, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Just a note to say that I've sent you an e-mail via Wikipedia mail, so you can check your mailbox. - Nunh-huh 01:26, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

DYK for Great Hippocampus Question

Updated DYK query On November 25, 2009, Did you know? was updated with a fact from the article Great Hippocampus Question, which you created or substantially expanded. You are welcome to check how many hits your article got while on the front page (here's how) and add it to DYKSTATS if it got over 5,000. If you know of another interesting fact from a recently created article, then please suggest it on the Did you know? talk page.

Materialscientist (talk) 01:42, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

You're doing outstanding Darwin related work; kudos to you. --Tagishsimon (talk) 02:40, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Many thanks to both of you, it's a lot of fun finding out a bit about Darwin from the huge range of historical information and commentary available nowadays. . .dave souza, talk 13:11, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

RFC/U Logicus 2 (Draft)

I am drafting a Requests for comment/User conduct concerning the conduct of Logicus (talk · contribs · count · api · block log) since the abortive RfC of February 2007. Since you have been involved in the recent content RfC at Talk:Celestial spheres, I would appreciate it if you would look over the draft and see whether it seems appropriate, what revisions you would propose, or what you could add.

At the moment, parts of the RfC are little more than outline points and the desired outcome is totally undefined, but with cooperation perhaps something can be put together that could make it through the process.

I had hoped that this RfC would not need to be posted, given the recent closure of a content RfC on Logicus's edits. However, Logicus's recent comments suggest that I may have been too optimistic.

Feel free to either edit the draft or submit comments on its talk page. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 21:34, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll try to add info on the perennial arguments Logicus made on the Darwin talk page, can't tackle it for a couple of days. . . dave souza, talk 10:08, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for offering to help. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 15:04, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

"Coy" Darwin


Even though you are using the word "coy" because it has been used in your sources, I question its use in this case. The word seems to have various meanings, varying from possibly appropriate to inappropriate, according to dictionary definitions. I wish you could find an alternative word to use, as from my point of view it seems to trivialize Darwin. I know this is just one point of view, possibly wrong. Regards, —mattisse (Talk) 21:42, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Fully agree, see my clarification.[8] All rather a rush, it's a reluctant concession to Rusty's sources but think we'd be better without it. . . dave souza, talk 21:59, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Agree, as the word (to me) seems "loaded" and not a neutral word. Regards, —mattisse (Talk) 22:07, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
The word "coy" is a little freighted. you could almost just use "cautious" instead, but coy implies a certain element of calculation rather than just apprehension. If all Darwin had said was "Light will be thrown on the origin of man." then "cautious" might be the right choice, but I think Costa is right to point out that while it is often quoted in isolation that sentence does not stand alone. The sentence before it says that psychology will be put on a new foundation based on the acquisition of mental powers and capacities by gradation, which strongly hints that, as we know from his notebooks and correspondence, Darwin has already considered the implications in considerable detail. Thus he is trying to be evocative without being blatant, which is sort of the definition of "coy". Admittedly that last is OR on my part, but I think it suggests why Quammen and Costa, especially Costa mith have selected the wording that they did. It occurs to me that "subtle hint" might work as well as "coy hint", but it would not have the merit of coming directly from a source. Rusty Cashman (talk) 08:37, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Rusty, I'm in the midst of other things and don't have much time to research this just yet, but still feel that "coy" has a sort of twee feel, while from Browne and Bowler the statement is a deliberate and clear declaration of intent without going into details, using language to avoid going into the controversial subjects of first origins as well as human origins. Desmond and Moore's intro to Descent page xxxiv notes an earlier mention: they quote part of "I might have adduced for this same purpose the differences between the races of man, which are so strongly marked; I may add that some little light can apparently be thrown on the origin of these differences, chiefly through sexual selection of a particular kind, but without here entering on copious details my reasoning would appear frivolous."[9] They call it "a throwaway line that hid so much" before jumping on to "Leaving humans out of the Origin did not lessen the vilification..." They are outlining the case they have since developed in Darwin's Sacred Cause, a thesis I've yet to fully check for this issue. This review summarises well the caution that book is to be given. Overall, I'm wondering if this issue should be developed more fully in the section on Darwin's Concluding remarks rather than expanding the Reception section. In another issue needing to be resolved, the lead and in particular opening sentence of Charles Darwin have been much debated lately in several sections of the talk page, am hoping to reconsider the lead afresh shortly: if you or Mattisse have any thoughts on it they would be greatly valued. Meanwhile, must get on with Xmas cards... . dave souza, talk 11:30, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I reorganized the material along the lines you suggested, and in the end I went with "cautious" rather than "coy". I still think "coy" is the ideal word but if it is goint to bother people "cautious" works almost as well, and maybe somewhat more encyclopedic. Rusty Cashman (talk) 20:25, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Rusty, it's just that the term seems out of character for Darwin. Will have a look now at the changes, and review my sources. Thanks again, . dave souza, talk 20:28, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
The revisions look good at first glance. The tenses in the Concluding remarks section are a bit odd, will think about that. I'd quite like to see something discussing the hint about human races in sexual selection, don't recall that being covered. Will try again to check out Darwin's Sacred Cause for relevant comments. . . dave souza, talk 21:46, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

You have a point about the verb tense and I have fixed it. As to the actual dispute over "coy" I suspect that it is not so much over Darwin as it is over the overtones of the word, and this may be somewhat of a US - Brit thing. I suspect that it may not be a coincidence that both the sources I found that use the word are written by Americans (Quammen and Costa). It seems like it may have a slightly more negative connotation on your side of the pond. Rusty Cashman (talk) 06:33, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Labels and parodies

On your talk page you have an interesting quote about parody which has additional application. Your quote is:

Nathan Poe once said: “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is uttrerly impossible to parody a creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article.”


  1. “utterly” is not present in the original and is misspelled.
  2. The original has “fundamentalism” rather than “a creationist.” A “fundamentalist” believes that the earth was created in seven literal days a short time ago, whereas “creationist” also includes people who believe that evolution took place as described by the paleontologists but that the process was influenced by a God and so was not entirely naturalistic. Is this the definition of creationist you are contemplating in your quote?
  3. A person skeptical of the Darwinian explanation is not necessarily a fundamentalist or even a creationist. He could very well believe that a purely natural process must be responsible, but that the observed facts are too far a stretch for a solution relying on random variation. For example, H. Allen Orr said of James A. Shapiro, “. . . it's important to see that Shapiro does not support any creationist account of life. He merely claims that orthodox Darwinism might not be sufficient to explain all molecular biology. The proper explanation will, he thinks, be naturalistic, just having more to do with information theory than with Darwinism.” The conflation of the Darwinism skeptic with the creationist and the creationist with the fundamentalist is simply obfuscation, either intentional or unintentional.
  4. The following are all obvious parodies:
In an article about a fringe scientist we cannot present his viewpoint in his own words because
  1. his quote is not found in a mainstream source and we can only reference mainstream sources, or
  2. his statement presents a fringe position and we cannot distinguish between a statement presented to show the majority position and one presented to show a fringe position, or
  3. his statement is found on a website that has a fringe viewpoint similar to his own, so we have no good reason to believe that the statement presents the majority view, or
  4. to quote him at all would give his statement too much weight.

Since all these objections are currently being vociferously put forth, it appears that it is also impossible to parody some Wikipedia editors, but a pithy formulation of that eludes me, as does an explanation for how a person who cares about the integrity of the enterprise could be complacent about this. --Swood100 (talk) 01:09, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your helpful comments. In reply;
1. “uttrerly” is present in the original and is misspelled.
2. The original has “a Creationist" rather than “fundamentalism”, RationalWiki et al dun it wrong. By the way, the original Fundamentalists expressed a range of views on the age of the Earth, and on evolution.
3. What, pray, is "the Darwinian explanation"? Remember, Darwinism has been used to label a multitude of concepts, as has creationism.
4. Parodies or not, article issues are a matter for article talk page consensus. Please discuss them there.
Hope that assists. . . dave souza, talk 20:25, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
You didn’t get to the heart of the matter, which is this: when you agree that it is “impossible to parody a creationist” are you including as creationists those who believe that evolution took place over billions of years, as described by the paleontologists, but that the process was influenced by a God and so was not entirely naturalistic?--Swood100 (talk) 18:26, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
It is an interesting dilemma. If you answer “no” then you affirm that scientists such as Michael Behe are not creationists and you are at odds with major scientific figures. If you answer “yes” then your motto is seen as ludicrous even by the staunchest atheist, since it refers to people who are known by all to be paragons of reasonableness (though perhaps differing on the question of theism). If you refuse to clarify then we are left with the incongruity of someone who flings his motto out with a panache which, curiously, seems to evaporate when he is asked what the motto means.
Apparently, the response is option three, the refusal to clarify. --Swood100 (talk) 00:02, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Darwin in NOAA The Year of Darwin 2009


Since this was compiled in October 2009, I thought perhaps you had not seen The Year of Darwin 2009 at NOAA. It lists the Wikipedia Charles Darwin as one of three internet resources. Regards, —mattisse (Talk) 20:44, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up, they actually list more internet resources on the next three pages, including the WP article On the Origin of Species. So that's a couple of citations, and in fairness the articles are a useful way to find reliable references. . . dave souza, talk 21:00, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
NOAA seems to have used discretion in their selection criteria and their compilation is thoughtful. The inclusion of the WP articles is a salute to the hard work you have put into them. Regards, —mattisse (Talk) 12:59, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
And you and in particular Rusty as well as all other contributors – don't forget it's a team effort! Many thanks, . . dave souza, talk 18:38, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry! I do recognize that Rusty and others have contributed greatly. It is a wonderful effort that got the information right. Regards, —mattisse (Talk) 23:23, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

It is nice to see Wikipedia get some acknowledgement for the quality and usefulness of some of its content. I don't think that happens as much as it should, because people are afraid to publish links to content that may not be stable, and be subject to periodic bouts of vandalism or worse — mistaken good faith edits. At times it is a little frustrating because I know we are being used more widely as a reference than what you might believe from what you read. Rusty Cashman (talk) 04:16, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Allopatric speciation and Darwin

This edit/section looks like it might need eyes like yours. Gabbe (talk) 00:20, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Great. Thanks! Gabbe (talk) 17:57, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Wow! Quick response! The source doesn't mention allopatric speciation, maybe it's a later term, but presumably the principle applies. Still trying to get to grips with all these exotic terms like exaption! . . dave souza, talk

Help needed with understanding another viewpoint

Hi, based on your contributions at User talk:Hauskalainen it's obvious you have a good understanding of sourcing. Can you help me understand what Zsero is getting at here User_talk:Zsero#Sources_on_Hanukkah, saying "those aren't WP articles, they are the sources"? He's said it twice but I don't understand the distinction he's making. I could understand if they were Notes, but if they're sources, how does this not violate WP:CIRCULAR? I'm asking you here because I suspect asking for a further explanation would only frustrate Zsero and me. --NeilN talk to me 07:21, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

He seems to be citing rabbinical sources in a shorthand way that's rather cryptic and confusing, I've asked if he can clarify that and if possible provide a modern commentary in English as a source. Hope that helps. . dave souza, talk 10:52, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks very much. I understand now. --NeilN talk to me 14:36, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Darwin, thanks

Hi Dave, thanks for correcting the inaccuracies in the Darwin article and also your nice welcome on my user page. Actually I'm not so new to Wikipedia, have been active on the German version for years. I often find small issues like these ones because I have to research facts on many topics for my work, so I notice when different sources are contradictory. It's great that in Wikipedia errors can be corrected very quickly, but I'm also worried because many authors (of printed texts) seem to just copy Wikipedia without any critical thinking or checking of the facts! Stephan Matthiesen (talk) 20:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for bringing these points up, it's terribly easy to mistype something or misunderstand a a source, and it is a small consolation that we can keep on correcting such errors. Even the best of authors can have the occasional mistake in their books, and with so much available now on Darwin it's frequently a question of trying to compare various sources, and as you say, apply critical thinking to checking the facts. Must try to go over everything in the light of newer publications, but it's a long slow task and I'm easily diverted. Hope there aren't very many authors taking this unreliable source without checking! . . dave souza, talk 21:30, 10 December 2009 (UTC)


I made a small change to this in the Young Earth creationism section to change "god" to "a god" which you reverted. Why? The text implies that there is only one god, clearly a POV statement. Markb (talk) 18:59, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Suggest you raise this on the article talk page, but my first thought is that YEC is peculiarly Jewish, Christian or Muslim, hence capital G singular. Of course there may be sources pointing to other forms of YEC, in which case they can be cited and we can amend the article accordingly. Thanks, dave souza, talk 20:09, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks spam

Hey, Dave. Thanks for taking time to respond to my question at AN/I. I'm posting here because I didn't think the noticeboard was the venue for this message. As I suspected there is not much black and white to the issue. I've left the IP's contribs alone even though I find the "Glen X is a glen" formula less informative than what it replaced. It's just my POV and I don't believe my POV is any more important than the anon's. I did want to let all the responders know that I found their input helpful. Regards Tiderolls 13:24, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

No problem, an interesting little issue. I've looked over the IP's edits, made a decision on each case, and noted that at ANI as well as adding a resolved template. We may se a nice new article about the Lost Valley appearing! . . dave souza, talk 21:43, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

RFC discussion of User:Logicus

A request for comments has been filed concerning the conduct of Logicus (talk · contribs). You are invited to comment on the discussion at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Logicus 2. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 21:35, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, sorry things have been rushed lately and haven't made progress on reviewing past situations. Will chip in in the next day or so. . . dave souza, talk 21:37, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. If you'd like to sign on, at the moment the RfC lacks a second signature which it needs in 48 hours. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 22:19, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
My last efforts to get him to mend his ways seem to have been in August, but if no-one with more recent involvement signs up first I can presumably do so on that basis, so will look the details over and sign up tomorrow. Thanks, dave souza, talk 22:35, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Request for assistance

Would you take a look at the recent history of Kansas evolution hearings? I've been unable to get this editor to respond on his talk page. Thanks - KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 21:40, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up, the last edit came up on my watchlist and I was investigating while you added this comment: reverted it as being from a very dubious source, and informed the user. The attacks on the article seem to have stopped for now, but it's interesting to note that this page discusses the basis for the last claim. Will have to sleep soon, but it's on my watchlist. . . dave souza, talk 22:28, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Please tell me I don't have to read that. It is painful to the eyes. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 22:36, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Yup, it is rather garish. The essential point is that Calvert and subsequently the DI have been pushing a rather distorted account of a private opinion expressed on a message board, misrepresenting it as though it were an official communication. Not worth putting on the article unless a reliable secondary source has published an analysis and shown its notability. . . dave souza, talk 22:41, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for the cheatnotes. Nods, the content is clearly intended to discredit the Kansas Cit for Sci group; contains OR, derogatory phrasing, etc. The editor also has removed sourced content with no explanation, etc. He clearly has a strong POV, which is fine; but he's pushing that POV and not even aiming for NPOV, and otherwise breaking policy left and right. Hopefully he'll read all the stuff we've linked to on his talk page. Thanks again. KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 22:46, 14 December 2009 (UTC)


Thanks Dave (is there a wikipedia article on how to reply to an edition on a talk page. BilCat seems a little perturbed by my pointing out an obvious flaw in wiki logic ,p) (ps Im using a netbook and sometimmes miss the ~s when posting) Seamusalba (talk) 19:56, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Couple of points: I don't think there is a flaw in wiki logic, BilCat is rightly pointing out that we can't use "original research". It may seem a great example to us, but unless someone publishes it as an example in reliable source so that we have verification that it's a good example, we can't use it. Wikipedia shows what other researchers have published, not the personal opinions or unpublished expertise of Wikipedia editors.
Secondly, it's mulitcultural and jokes or whimsical remarks in one cultural setting can fall really flat in another, especially where there are different levels of familiarity with the language. Wikipedia etiquette sensibly means not offending other people who don't see the joke. So that's a useful article to read, and WP:TALK gives more guidance about using talk pages – there's some leeway, but really, discussions should be focussed on improving the article.
Hope that helps, see you around, dave souza, talk 20:26, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

well there is a serious point. wikipedia is a medium for Scots and that not being mentionned in the article seems strange to me (seeing as its a wikipedia article!) an example of a discussion in an online resource for finding out information on the subject, where the language causes incomprehension from someone who has learned English and then not understood the language of the response is a valid example of language in action. It just strikes me as wierd that wikipedia cant be mentionned on wikipedia as it were. It exists after all and mention of Scots being used on wikipedia's article about scots would be as relevant as mentionning a language being used on radio or tv. It occured to me when I noticed someone had added a link to the Scots Wikipedia. Seamusalba (talk) 20:32, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Why is it wrong to mention Scots being used on wikipedia in the article? That was the point that perplexed me. If tv and radio in other languages are improvements to a language article, why not mention of their wikipedias? They exist after all, and must therefor be relevant to the subject as people write and edit them so must be using the language. Seamusalba (talk) 20:41, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

We can link to other wikis, and from what you say that's been done. What we can't do is evaluate them, or comment on what they mean or imply. That's the sort of analysis or commentary that needs a source: if the misunderstandings on the Scots wiki were described by the Glasgow Herald, then we could immediately cite that source and also link to the primary source. If an academic publishes a paper on wikimisunderstandings we can report their analysis, but can't make our own unpublished analysis. If we notice something that looks funny, as you seem to have done, we can gossip about it lightly, taking care not to upset anyone not in on the joke, but can't expect it to appear in an article until a WP:RS has published it. Another reason for caution with wikis is that they're unreliable: anyone can edit them and change what you wanted to cite, and there's no way of knowing how good they are at any moment without applying expertise in the subject, which would be original research. It's a lot of fun in its own way, but Wikipedia is not about publishing new ideas or novel research. If you do think something is obvious enough to be justifiably included, you need consensus, which can't be got by putting people down. Tact works. Usually, anyway. . dave souza, talk 21:05, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

erm it wasnt me who elaborated on the "tongue in cheek" metaphor ! Multiculturalism swings booth ways. how do they know how I would take that? Seamusalba (talk) 21:08, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Shrug it off, as a pal used to say, he was so vain that he never believed any bad things anyone said about him, so didna bother. Without checking, Wikipedia:Etiquette probably suggests something like that. . . dave souza, talk 21:19, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

(I guess Ill have to get a job on the Glasgow Herald)!) Seamusalba (talk) 21:13, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Oban Times, Edinburgh Evening News, Greenock Tellygraph, whatever. Anwhere but a wiki! (except perhaps the Daily Mail. We do have some standards) . . dave souza, talk 21:19, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Climategate is not the "theft" of the info but what the info revealed

For the avoidance of doubt I actually think the last edits you did to my changes to the Climategate article (or whatever its name is) were reasonable. Not quite what I would do, evidently, but it seems from your edits that you want WP to do what it is supposed to do. Good! But the suppression of a view, or the appearance of the suppression of a view, is not in WPs interests. To avoid documenting what is termed Climategate (however much you dislike the term, it now exists) by pretending that Climategate is the theft/leak of the e-mails would be dishonest, in my view. The public, the readers of WP, deserve to know what the controversy is. Paul Beardsell (talk) 13:35, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, glad you find the edits reasonable. We do indeed want to cover the "controversy", using reliable sources and not confining the description to the loaded characterisations of the anti-AGW brigade. There's evidently a tension between the need for robust informal discussion and debate within science, and the danger that if such debate is recorded it can be misrepresented by fringe lobbyists. Perhaps the biggest change will be a redefining of terms, now that "trick" is politically incorrect! . . dave souza, talk 14:11, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident edits

Please see Talk:Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident#About "trick to hide the decline" – Disruptive behavior by removing well sourced comments?. Prodego talk 02:15, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, have given immediate response. And so to bed. . . dave souza, talk 02:24, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

psb777 sanction

FYI Wikipedia:General_sanctions/Climate_change_probation/Requests_for_enforcement#Psb777, in case you would like to comment one way or another or neither. Paul Beardsell (talk) 18:32, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, have added my tuppencworth. . . dave souza, talk 19:41, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I knew I could rely on you to do just enough so that I couldn't disagree with you :-) Paul Beardsell (talk) 20:26, 4 January 2010 (UTC) Sorry, what I meant was, thanks. Paul Beardsell (talk) 20:27, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Moderation in all things ;) No problem, it's a learning process. . dave souza, talk 21:42, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Re Jones e-mail of 16 Nov 1999 (Climategate page)

I thought the original lead in your draft proposal was much better than the current

An excerpt from one November 1999 e-mail authored by Phil Jones referred to a "trick" of having a graph of paleoclimate reconstructions show measured real temperatures from 1981 onwards for two series of climate reconstructions, and from 1961 for a third series "to hide the decline."[1][22][23][not in citation given]

IMHO, the full quote should be restored uninterrupted as per your original proposal. The intervening "of having a graph of paleoclimate reconstructions show measured real temperatures from 1981 onwards for two series of climate reconstructions, and from 1961 for a third series", besides being unreadable, is OR and pretends WP knows what the "trick" refers to. Let's let Mann speak for himself. Jpat34721 (talk) 00:14, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

The draft meets the problem of unidentified first names by presenting a sourced statement about who "Mike" is, and making it clear that it's Keith Briffa's reconstruction that was curtailed in accordance with Briffa's request that post 1960 curves should not be used. If that's addressed in the article, the whole quote can go in. It's still a bit abridged from the quote given by Jones in his first statement, but that's probably reasonable. . dave souza, talk 00:21, 8 January 2010 (UTC)


I never thanked for your condolence note last year, but I appreciate it more than I can possibly express. All the best, in friendship. Guettarda (talk) 16:13, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I appreciate that one never forgets these things, and there's so much pressure at the time that thankyou notes can be the last thing on one's mind. Hope it helped a little, dave souza, talk 16:44, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

An incomplete undo

You did an undo on an anonymous user edit on the cosmological argument page, but the undo didn't fix the actual problem edit that was made. The person did 3 edits, and the one at 17:06 on 1/6/10 is the one that needs to be undone. Since I am rather new to this whole thing, I felt it best if I watch behind the scenes and understand how the whole editing process works before getting my hands dirty. I don't want to do something I shouldn't. PoDuck (talk) 14:11, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for raising this, have reverted the article back to a good version, and have given some handy links to guidance on your talk page. Don't hesitate to ask for any hints, expect you'll soon be editing away in grand style! . . dave souza, talk 16:32, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate the links you posted on my talk page. Very helpful indeed. PoDuck (talk) 05:25, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

thanks for response

thanks for your response. I appreciate your diligent and comprehensive pursuit of all the facts. I may occasionally try to make you aware if any further issues arise, since we might benefit from having an outside third party who is aware of some of the context and prior events relating to some of these issues. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 21:52, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Glad to assist, but rather doubt if I can find time to fully grasp all the background to these issues! Thanks, dave souza, talk 22:02, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

On references, quoted attributes and the anal retentiveness of the typical web standardista

You are absolutely correct when you say quotation marks are not required on the value of attributes in HTML, unless the values have spaces in them; however, being a web designer, I have noted that the MediaWiki software employed by Wikipedia tries valiantly to be written in the "transitional" flavor of XHTML 1.0, rather than HTML. Being fanatical about web standards, I am aware that true XHTML 1.0 Transitional must adhere to the standards of XML well-formedness so that it can be easily scraped by an XML parser. This happens with various applications that "read" Wikipedia and reuse the data, but when such applications encounter documents that aren't well-formed they either fail completely, or have to employ various algorithms to handle the tag soup. In this particular case, one of the rules of well-formedness is that the values of all attributes must be quoted. The space before the element-closing forward slash is not required, but it is put there to assist somewhat older web browsers that have compatibility issues. Now it can be argued that most of Wikipedia ignores these rules (largely because 99.9% of editors will be unfamiliar with the concept of well-formed XHTML), but I like to think the little universe that is my Watchlist can be a shining beacon of perfection! -- Scjessey (talk) 16:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Wow, thanks! Will try to remember that next time I'm not feeling too idle, which may not be that often. Thanks anyway for the clarification, dave souza, talk 16:57, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
LOL. I told you I was anal about these things :D -- Scjessey (talk) 17:01, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
LOL – but no need to be an arse about it ;-) dave souza, talk 17:07, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
But at least we can use single or double quote marks - the heady sense of freedom! - 2/0 (cont.) 18:34, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
As long as you don't mix 'em up. One or t'other. -- Scjessey (talk) 18:58, 22 January 2010 (UTC)


HM Customs Ensign.PNG

Hey Dave. I read your comment on the article talk page and I just wanted to get back to you that I'm not interested in advancing any particular point of view. I just want our articles to abide by our editing guidelines and to present information neutrally and accurately. I'm sure you're aware that most of the substantial coverage in reliable independent sources covering climategate has addressed the content of the e-mails and their import. So titling an article and editing it focus solely on the hacking incident is inappropriate. It would be like renaming watergate to hotel break in incident and only covering the burglary. Cheers. ChildofMidnight (talk) 20:50, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

With the exception that there's no such place as "Climategate", whereas a certain hotel became rather more famous than this incident. I've worked on improving the neutrality and accuracy of the article with specific reference to the content of the emails and their import, as well as the other hacked info. Do please find reliable secondary sources on the "controversy" giving at verifiable third party view instead of trying to push major changes to already disputed aspects without proper discussion. Thanks, dave souza, talk 20:57, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Right place?

Did you mean for this to be in the section on Trenbreth? It seems out of context where it is. JPatterson (talk) 20:05, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Both sections discuss Trenbreth, and I was replying to new comments at the earlier section. Same principle applies. Were you thinking of another email? . . dave souza, talk 20:52, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I see. No, I was trying to address the general issue of providing context (i.e. quoting enough of an e-mail to provide context) even when the source used did not. The Trenberth e-mail is a good case in point. The one "smoking gun" sentence was part of a three email thread and should be put in that context. JPatterson (talk) 21:22, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, but that's a WP:SYN unless a reliable source has quoted the same sentences, and we also have the difficulty discussed earlier that these are stolen, so ethically we shouldn't be quoting directly from stolen goods. Ok if someone else has published the words, but Wikipedia is very sensitive about such copyright issues as linking to unauthorised YouTube recordings. So, best not. . . dave souza, talk 22:10, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I see your point about the ethical issue of using pilfered e-mails though the dilemma with that position is that one ends up arguing it is unethical to be fair. Seem untenables to me. I often see it argued re using Climategate that we need not be as lazy as the MSM. I think the same thing applies here. BTW, do you have an opinion on whether this is RS. It looks at the entire Trenberth thread in context. JPatterson (talk) 14:14, 27 January 2010 (UTC)


That's not vandalism, Dave. It is, however, edit warring. Bishonen | talk 00:51, 27 January 2010 (UTC).

Hmmm. [Re]introducing an unsourced and wildly inaccurate statement in front of a citation that says the opposite? Agree that it's borderline, an unsourced opinion like "Tikky is teh ghey" but arguably sneaky vandalism. Still, teach me to grab templates when it's past my bedtime. All the best to Poddy, . . dave souza, talk 09:21, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Reviewed again, changed template to level 1 test as more appropriate and added welcome to our new determined friend. 3RR seemeed over the top, and my brain isn't working well enough yet to find something better. Am still in a transitional pre-coffee form. Grrr. . . dave souza, talk 09:42, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Dave. The famous (er...) Vandalism Warning Warning, {{subst:vww}}, is the only template ever to emerge from the fertile imagination of Pod, who otherwise tends to think template and temple are the same thing.[10] Bishonen | talk 16:30, 27 January 2010 (UTC).
Am chastened and impressed, shudders to think what flaming cupcake Taj Mahal does to AGW. Thanks for the template link, don't know if I'd ever dare to use it :-/ dave souza, talk 17:20, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Then where on Wiki can I debate?

If wiki is a source of learning knowledge we should have the right to debate one another's beliefs. People can't learn anything new if they don't question what they've been taught.

If at all possible, Can someone add a Debate Tab for wiki pages?

Project Gnome (talk) 21:43, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Advice given on PG's talk page. . . dave souza, talk 23:02, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

UK ICO and "Archiving"

I am so angry over what you just did. I'll add to this comment when I am cooled off a little. Ignignot (talk) 04:50, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I cannot believe an admin would modify someone else's content on a talk page like that, and on an article with probation. Your feedback was welcome, but then moving it to the archives is only a hair's breadth short of deleting it, and completely inappropriate. Personally, I hate throwing WP: links at people, particularly if they are not a new editor. When it happens I try to take it in stride. And I hate quoting policy to people. Many people misinterpret it. But this is unbelievable! The very pages you referenced specifically say:
  1. It is appropriate to report discussion and arguments about the prospects for success of future proposals and projects or whether some development will occur, if discussion is properly referenced.
  1. The basic rule – with some specific exceptions outlined below – is, that you should not strike out or delete the comments of other editors without their permission.
As per 1: the reference was not yet available online, but if you had asked I could have pointed you to a (not RS for the article, but certainly not prohibited talk page material!) [11] which indicated that it would be published in the Sunday Times. I have since located it online: [12] The paper's reputation appears to be quite good, although I do not normally read it myself, being an American.
As per 2: it is difficult to find any violations bad enough to warrant moving the new section to the archives. It was certainly not trolling, a personal attack, or vandalism. It was obviously aimed at improving the article since one of the main topics is reactions to the content of the email, which this certainly is. You would think on a probationed talk page, that there would be at least an attempt at communication before editing my comments.
Also, in reference to the content of your comment, "Apparently such disinformation poisoning the well is being put out by Big Oil and Big Manufacturing" - since I was pointing people to the Information Commissioner's Office - a UK government office with jurisdiction over FOIA requests! - was completely off base. Your edit summary made fun of them for no reason whatsoever! What you've done is not good behavior for anyone on any talk page, but for an admin to do it on a probationed page is reprehensible. Make this right by restoring it and talking to me about it instead. Ignignot (talk) 06:19, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
As requested, I've restored your comment. As presented, it appeared to me to be speculation presenting unpublished information on a subject touching on a biography of someone living, and as such not constructive and indeed inflammatory on a sensitive subject. My comment expressed that in a rather pointy way, and did indicate that I found the comment rather annoying. Had you made it clear that this information was being circulated in unreliable sources I would have found your comment more helpful. So, yes, I'm glad to have your clarification and appreciate now the advantages of talking to you first. . . dave souza, talk 06:45, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, and as I said in the talk page I can understand how it would appear that way on first glance. I hope I have not appeared too vehement towards you - it just really pushed my buttons, perhaps because it felt like you were lumping me in with a group of editors that I do not particularly like. I have since improved the section to include references and quotes to the pertinent information. Ignignot (talk) 14:02, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I can guess the way you feel and your response here was reasonable, much appreciated. It's pretty upsetting to think of what Jones and the others are going through now. Will discuss this more on the article talk page, have already added a summary of one newspaper's coverage of the issue which can be reviewed as usual. . . dave souza, talk 14:21, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Edit summary

Hey Dave Souza. Just some friendly feedback. Your edit summary to this diff read, "as discussed previously on talk, libertanian bloggers comments unnecessary." Adding the epithet "libertarian" strikes me as rather offensive. Being a libertarian is obviously not grounds for censorship on Wikipedia. Mentioning a political stance in a justification for removing content provided by its bearer comes across as a jab... (Imagine "Republican bloggers comments unnecessary," "AGF believer's comments unnecessary," etc.) I expect this was just an offhand/unintentional addition, but I wanted to bring it to your attention for future reference.

Also, and on an only superficially related note, I don't object to your removal if its inclusion does bother people, but I didn't see the previous discussion on the talkpage you mentioned. If you have time I'd love a redirect.

Thanks, and keep up the good work.--Heyitspeter (talk) 07:38, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Pretty sure it was discussed previously, but doesn't come up on a quick look. The blogger's self description is as a libertanian, his blog is not a reliable source and he does not appear to be an expert on the subject. . .dave souza, talk 08:00, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
(sorry in advance for interspersing). I don't doubt he's a libertarian, and I don't doubt that his blog isn't an RS. What I doubt is the link between these two facts. Mention of his libertarianism is at best irrelevant, at worst inflammatory. Edit summaries like "AGF believer's comments unnecessary" should be and can easily be avoided. --Heyitspeter (talk) 08:25, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Ah, previous discussion. By the way, Lindzen's previous accusations of fraud etc. were specifically highlighted by the cited source, hence relevant. . . . dave souza, talk 08:09, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
The cited source specifically highlights several pages worth of information! Surely it isn't all relevant to the paragraph in question. Our article would be several hundred times longer if this policy were enacted. :)
Thanks for finding the discussion for me.--Heyitspeter (talk) 08:25, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Pachauri article?

[13] I saw this rant and was going to revert myself, but i could see no new text added? just some pale yellow blocks were some text might have been? Could you tell me what it was he actually inserted? thanks --mark nutley (talk) 23:05, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

It was a rant about this deletion, and while the statement was accurate in reflecting an article in the Times, that article does seem to me to be dubious on a BLP. Something that could be discussed on the talk page, but the edit I reverted was a null edit done to put a rant in the edit summary, effectively an attack on other editors and not constructive. Found it by checking back in the article history. Hope that helps, dave souza, talk 23:17, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

lol so "racy" was a bit much due to "anti-AGW newspaper spin?"

Have you read some of the excerpts? Calling it racy is being polite. TheGoodLocust (talk) 10:26, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

He does sound a bit of a wanker, but putting it in the lead gives undue weight to an issue being spun by the Torygraph. I've moved it to the bio section, with somewhat more encyclopaedic language and a suitable ToI reference. . . dave souza, talk 10:33, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Yeah I was a bit hesitant about putting it in the lead, but then I thought to myself, if I'd published after becoming famous for something else, would I want to be known for that or for my artistic merits? And so I thought I'd put it up front to give this endeavor of his equal weight with his other work. TheGoodLocust (talk) 10:41, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
The ToI seems to find it a pretty forgettable potboiler, hope you're happy with the changes. Thanks, dave souza, talk 10:45, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't really matter to me. I added him into the category of "romance novelists" but someone removed it as vandalism. Truth is stranger than fiction. TheGoodLocust (talk) 10:47, 31 January 2010 (UTC)