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Talk:Australian marsupial

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The claim that there are placental and marsupial mammals which are nearly identical is absurd and should be removed to prevent ridicule.

Roy 18:12, 1 Feb 2005 (GMT)

I have added "virtually identical", which will remain indefinitely. The other differences between the two are trivial in comparison to the reproductive system.

--Chris Ashcraft 00:12, 4 Feb 2005 (GMT)


The article as it stood was, and was presented as, the beginning of an off-line article on the topic. As such, it wasn't possible to edit it without changing it to be its own article.
I have now done that, but I didn't have the time to research some of the details much. I may have misrepresented the evolutionary argument a little (I know I have "misrepresented" it to the extent that evolutionists are convinced that evolution can explain it), and the section I titled Different post-flood migration patterns is very rough and just from memory. It almost certainly needs some work. Also, Chris may like to alter what I wrote about his idea if I haven't represented it adequately.
Philip J. Rayment 02:09, 2 Feb 2005 (GMT)

This edit is a violation of CreationWiki guidelines since you appear to be at odds with the original article, nevertheless I will let it stand with some modification.

"It is not permitted to delete content where you are at odds. Instead you should simply add to what has been previously written with explanatory headings."

We generally recommend that efforts be focused on creating new pages rather than editing existing manuscripts. There is simply more work needed in the former and no toes to step on. But please continue to contribute in a manner in which you think you are best used.

--Chris Ashcraft 00:12, 4 Feb 2005 (GMT)

How was I at odds with the original article, in any significant way?
And what substantive content did I delete?
Therefore, how was it a violation?
Existing articles frequently need work as well, and I find that I am better able to do that, than write articles from scratch, although I have done that at least once. Wiki is designed for everybody to contribute to articles, rather than everybody simply writing their own.
Philip J. Rayment 14:31, 4 Feb 2005 (GMT)

You deleted about 3/4th of the original article, including all but one sentence of the opening paragraph. View the page history. In doing so, you changed the principal explanation for the distribution from an adaptational change in those populations, to climatic effected migration. You are not permitted to make such deletions. You may only add further explanations to the bottom of the article, then place your peer review on the talk page, and allow the admins to make the ultimate decision about removing content.

There is a real need for basic editing of existing articles, and I would not discourage you from continuing to perform this function. Authors find it very difficult to spot typos within their own writings. Authors new to Wiki will also be unfamiliar with formatting code and will need help improving article appearance. Your contributions have been highly valued. But, at this stage of the CreationWiki development, we advise users to write articles of their own, rather than rewriting those posted by someone else. There are many blank pages that still need content.

You should also note that it is forbidden to reverse administrator actions or edits. You reversed an edit of mine once before, and again on this same page.

--Chris Ashcraft 17:39, 6 Feb 2005 (GMT)

<<You deleted about 3/4th of the original article, including all but one sentence of the opening paragraph.>>
This is not correct. First, that "one sentence of the opening paragraph" was actually two sentences.
Second, the history comparison does not do a good job of comparison because of the combination of re-ordered paragraphs and changes. That is, it appears that more was changed than actually was.
The article prior to my editing comprised four paragraphs:
  1. I rewrote the first two sentences into one, and it whilst it was worded quite differently, it covered basically the same territory. The only change of substance I consider to be a correction to the claim that there were no placentals in Australia. The next two sentences were left intact. The final sentence was replaced by a shorter version that said basically the same thing.
  2. This paragraph was kept intact, except for turning John Woodmorappe's name into a potential link. It was, however, relocated further down the page, so the history comparison doesn't pick that it's the same paragraph, possibly partly because of the minor change I made to it.
  3. This paragraph was essentially kept intact also. I made a trivial change to the beginning ("The evolutionists"->"Evolutionists"), and added some more information to the end. It was moved down to become the fourth paragraph. Again, the history comparison doesn't show the similarity.
  4. There were two sentences to this paragraph. The first sentence got a new beginning and was moved up to become the third paragraph. Apart from replacing the first five words with a different six words, the sentence remained intact. The second sentence of the original paragraph was completely rewritten and moved to a new location (under the heading "Designed genetic variability"). I rewrote it for two reasons. First, it read as though this was the theme of the article. It is the theme of the linked article, but it shouldn't be of this article that lists several possible explanations. Second, it spoke favourably of "convergent evolution". I realise that what you mean is something different to naturalist convergent evolution, but that's the point—it should be clear that something different is being discussed. And I invited you to alter it if I hadn't represented the idea properly.
And apart from adding another possible explanation, that was it. The article had eleven sentences before I rewrote it. Seven of those sentences remained totally or largely intact. The remaining four were rewritten, but covered basically the same ground.
<<In doing so, you changed the principal explanation for the distribution from an adaptational change in those populations, to climatic effected migration.>>
I don't see how I did that, and I certainly didn't intend to. What I would agree to is that I changed it from a principal explanation for adaptational change to simply listing three alternative explanations without favouring any of them. As this is meant to be a CreationWiki article rather than an introduction to your article on adaptational change, that seems to be appropriate.
<<You are not permitted to make such deletions. You may only add further explanations to the bottom of the article, then place your peer review on the talk page, and allow the admins to make the ultimate decision about removing content.>>
This is contrary to the principles of a wiki wherein people are encouraged to do whatever they think is appropriate (in good faith) to improve an article. If others disagree, it can always be reverted or further modified, but to have artificial limits on what editors can do and can not do to articles is not what a wiki is about.
<<You should also note that it is forbidden to reverse administrator actions or edits. You reversed an edit of mine once before, and again on this same page.>>
"Administrator actions" is a very broad concept that needs to be qualified. And I can't see any difference between the type of edits you made "as administrator" and the edits I made. It will stifle CreationWiki if edits made by administrators are somehow sacrosanct and not then editable by other users. That rule should be limited to decisions made following an edit war or something else that serious, nothing like of which CreationWiki has experienced so far. I'm not sure what edit you refer to on this page that I reversed, as I can think of two possible contenders. One is my change acknowledging the existence of placentals in Australia, which you reversed, and I re-instated. I suppose that was me reversing an edit of yours, but with good reason and demonstrates why administrator edits should not be untouchable. The other is my edit that moved the link to your article to the bottom of the page, which you moved back to following the summary of your proposal. I then moved it back to the end of the article, but I don't consider that a revert because the circumstances had changed, there now being three references. And again, I don't see how your edit qualifies as an administrator edit that should remain unaltered.
<<Your contributions have been highly valued.>>
Thank you.
Philip J. Rayment 09:59, 7 Feb 2005 (GMT)

Re: "I have added "virtually identical", which will remain indefinately. The other differences between the two are trivial in comparison to the reproductive system."

The differences between thylacines and wolves include size (thylacines were about 1/2 the length and hence 1/8 the weight of grey wolves), colour (yellow/brown vs. grey), markings (thylacines had stripes), skull shape (thylacine skulls were shaped more like fox skulls than dog skulls), coat length (shorter in thylacines), teeth (see http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/skull/dentition_comparison.htm ), brain size and shape (marsupial brains are smaller than placentals' and lack the connection between the two lobes), leg length (thylacine legs are comparatively shorter), feet (see http://www.naturalworlds.org/thylacine/naturalhistory/anatomy_1.htm ) and tail (ibid). Thylacines and wolves are definitely not "virtually identical"; the differences are non-trivial, even in comparison to the reproductive system.

There are equally clear diffrences between mice and mulgaras (e.g. tail, diet), between rats and kowari (tail, legs), between moles and marsupial moles (colour, claws). As for anteaters and numbats, about all they have in common is their diet and the nature of their claws and tongues.

If "virtually identical" is to remain indefinitely, then it will be incorrect indefinitely. You may consider this comment derogatory, but it is difficult not to be derogatory concerning a false statement which is retained even after its falseness has been repeatedly pointed out. Roy 20:03, 16 Feb 2005 (GMT)

I feel no need to defend Chris' precise wording (it being his wording since he changed my wording), but you have failed to convince me, for one, of your case. I am not all that knowledgeable on anatomy, and only changed the original wording ("identical" to "remarkably similar") because even I could see that there had to be some other differences, no matter how trivial.
However, many of the differences that you list are also to be found between different varieties of dogs. Pick two different dog breeds, and you will find differences in size, colour, markings, coat length, brain size, and leg length. So in determining whether a thylacine and a wolf is of the same kind, these differences truly are trivial.
As far as skull shape and the differences for the other creatures you mentioned are concerned, I don't know—and you haven't said—how significant the difference is.
That leaves the brain connection, teeth, feet, and tail as possible significant differences. Perhaps you have a point there; I don't know. I don't know how significant some of these things are absolutely, and I don't know how much they vary from wolves compared to variation between different varieties or species of canines. What I do know is that you have gotten a number of differences wrong (in the sense of them not being significant), so I have no good reason to believe that the remainder are valid as significant (non-trivial) differences.
Of course Chris can add his own comments.
Philip J. Rayment 01:38, 17 Feb 2005 (GMT)



Phil, yes, some of the differences I listed are less significant than others (but not 'wrong'), and a few (e.g. colour, hair-length, size) can be found within single species with wide variation such as domestic dogs. Others cannot - dogs don't have 16 incisors. But then, Chris' claim is not that that thylacines and wolves were of the same kind, but that they were "virtually identical". Do you consider all domestic dog breeds to be virtually identical?

I wouldn't have objected if Chris had merely claimed that some marsupials were similar to placental mammals - but he is claiming that they are virtually identical, which is false.

Roy 16:59, 21 Feb 2005 (GMT)

One more difference - I was at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum last weekend, where there are skeletons of various mammals, including marsupials; comparing these skeletons shows that marsupials have a different pelvic structure than placental mammals.

They also have a stuffed thylacine exhibited next to a stuffed wolf, and they are obviously different. Roy 00:26, 13 Apr 2005 (GMT)