Talk:Kleiber's law

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2007 comments[edit]

Though this article seems to be quite enlightening on the subject, statements like "It is truly unfortunate that it is not well understood even by its own foremost proponents" have no place in an encyclopedia, do not present any new data and may prejudice a readers opinion.

Furthermore in the 6th to last paragraph there were many claims made about the usefulness of Kleiber's law with no supporting evidence or references. For example: "This equation explains why exercise results in longer life, why over-eating results in shorter life, why stem cells proliferate and why they stop as they differentiate. This equation explains why cancer cells proliferate, and how to get them to destroy themselves."

I'd love to put one of those warnings at the top of the page but I don't know how...

Biledemon 20:18, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, Biledemon, the entry you object to and would caution others about, i.e., the usefulness of Kleiber's Law, would be more clear to you if you ran the numbers and did the graphs, then studied them both very closely. Although this has been done by the author, the material is not yet published, and may never be, because the interpretation of Kleiber's Law most widely disseminated is that of its major proponents who apparently have neither run the numbers nor studied the graphs. Wikipedia allows for the introduction of different treatments of the subject that are excluded from the accepted wisdom because of the lack of affiliation of their authors. So we have reputed 'experts' on the subject making statements that suggest their understanding is incomplete. For example see the discussion of West et al. published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences in 2002 in which they clearly state that the equation may hold the secrets to the aging process, and then go on to assert that metabolic rate is entirely mass dependent so that a rat and a pigeon of the same mass have the same metabolic rate. By so doing they remove the equation from having any relevance to the aging process. You can google the names of these people and find out what they have written. That's what the internet is for. Certainly some of the statements have no place in the old style encyclopedia, as you say, but the world has changed. Scientific knowledge is not carved in stone, although there is a Central Dogma of Biology from Watson and Crick, something that has no place in science. Wikipedia is a convenient forum for ideas which evades the ossification of academia, and which feeds the thinking of the new guys who otherwise would not know anything more about the subject except what is in the text which they have learned to never question. At the end of the entry is my email address informing the reader that further details are available on the subject. Why didn't you ask? 66.215.123.233 00:13, 3 March 2007 (UTC) Gregory O'Kelly

wikified![edit]

I did some wikification of the article, but I think it still needs some work. Also, maybe the biography section should be moved to a separate article?

Jdrice8 06:10, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Major Problems[edit]

This "article" is, for the most part, somebody's personal views about how the the field has foolishly gone in the wrong direction and been generally incompetent, along with his views about what is really important. I'm no expert in allometry, but I'm going to get rid of most of this myself if nobody else steps forward. A short, comprehensible summary would be much better than what's there now. 151.200.245.35 (talk) 01:20, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Restored edits of 68.239.116.212[edit]

I've restored my edits, which had been reverted. The material removed consisted of the opinions of one editor that the general scientific understanding of the topic is flawed, along with his own idiosyncratic views (parts of which are fairly nonsensical). In his talk page comment above, the editor essentially tells us that this is own original research, which is not accepted by biologists. I attempted to discuss this with Showtime2009, but received no reply. 68.239.116.212 (talk) 04:31, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

traduction[edit]

habla engles yo me gustaaaaa hi im a spanish user of wikipedia, and i want u traduct that article because spanish users need that information, please


thank u so much!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.145.150.120 (talk) 13:02, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

You can add it to the spanish Wikipedia. Samwb123T-C-@ 17:17, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Another Challenge: It's 2/3 if the math is done properly[edit]

Quote: "Actually, it's two-thirds," says University of Vermont mathematician Peter Dodds [...] "My new paper follows the argument that was put forth in 1997 [the paper of Geoffrey West and colleagues] that, somehow, networks give rise to the 3/4 law. They were right that supply networks are key to understanding the metabolic limitations of animals. Except my paper shows that networks give rise to the 2/3 law, actually," Dodds says, "If you do the math properly." (Unquote)

From: [1] Spherical Cows Help to Dump Metabolism Law, Joshua E. Brown, University of Vermont, 02-02-2010

Dodds's paper: [2] Optimal Form of Branching Supply and Collection Networks Peter Sheridan Dodds, University of Vermont PhysRevLett.104.048702

--Liberatus (talk) 19:17, 5 February 2010 (UTC)


He's overlooking the thing that I'm not — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:449:8200:A430:D133:A463:5DD3:3A24 (talk) 18:47, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

Page very unclear[edit]

I'm not sure whether this article has received the proper proofreading, but it is very unclear. It's even more a shame then that the topic looks like it would be interesting if elucidated correctly. Here are some suggestions for those who want to help:

  • Dig through the paragraphs and simplify to a few concepts.
  • Write with a style for everyone to understand.
  • Use technical and consistent definitions -- many math articles (e.g. Galois Theory) are about complicated topics but with clear definitions and precise exposition.

74.104.44.94 (talk) 06:24, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Maybe if someone here was a decent mathematician they would have modeled the limbs as concentric cellular layers and, hence, layers of heat resistance, which really makes you think, if you can think that hard. of course. My Proof has been done for months. I took a Polaroid. I told you just about everything you have to know now. Prove it yourself -Ryan Latterell — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:449:8200:A430:D133:A463:5DD3:3A24 (talk) 01:06, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

Kleiber's law: The shorter version, without the "metabolic efficiency" stuff, is better[edit]

The metabolic-efficiency (ME) stuff is OR and is basically nonsense (let's see a cite for it). Warm blooded animals in adulthood have a power-law metabolism exponent for weight less than 1 because they get a boost from surface/volume effects. Plants don't need that, and that's why their metabolic power exponent is one. In adults, all metabolic (food) energy winds up as heat eventually, so there's no point in talking about anything else. Reptiles are not true poikilotherms but do need to heat up to function, and since they need to warm up, and scaling effects give them a similar power law, but with a different scale factor for an overall slower metabolism as baseline. The reasons for 3/4 fitting the data better than 2/3 is unclear, but it may be because very small mammals can make up for their terrible metabolic heating cost by growing a lot thicker coats (shrews are half fur) and larger mammals can simply shed most hair, especially in the tropics (which they have done-- look at a rhino or elephant). That trick keeps the exponent from being the 2/3 law it would be, if all mammals had the same heat-tranfer coefficients from hide-to-air (they don't).

So, Showtime2009 has been blocked as a socker, and is probably our nutcase. The other users opposed to removing the OR are user:Mokele (who by his background should know better), and user:Samwb123, whose problem I don't know, but it may just be conservatism. I'm going to post this on both of their talk pages, and let us see if we can get this back to being a scientific article again. SBHarris 09:38, 8 March 2011 (UTC)


I'm going to prove this law with the strength of diamond in a few days, and I voted for Donald Trump. I already have proven why the exponents act the way they do :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:449:8200:A430:D133:A463:5DD3:3A24 (talk) 18:56, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

I just reflexively revert large content deletions that aren't discussed in the talk page. Had you posted this before deleting it, I'd've been fine with it. To be honest, I haven't read 95% of the page contents. Mokele (talk) 13:08, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

lol — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:449:8200:A430:D133:A463:5DD3:3A24 (talk) 18:48, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

Kleiber's law: can we do a major edit?[edit]

I agree with several discussants above that the page is opaque to read, and as Biledemon said, the style and language are not fitting to an encyclopedia entry. Much seems to be personal vendetta and original research of one or two authors. It is fair to say that there is some academic controversy, so the entry should reflect the mixed opinions; but it is far to one side currently. If Mokele agrees, perhaps in a week or so I/we can try to shorten and clarify it.

A recent reference analyzes much of the available data and comes to a balanced conclusion -- that there is good evidence for a 3/4-power scaling, but with significant exceptions, some of which don't fit with the main theories: Isaac NJB, Carbone C. "Why are metabolic scaling exponents so controversial? Quantifying variance and testing hypotheses." Ecology Letters. June 2010; 13(6):728-735. [3]

Lucubrations (talk) 03:43, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Sounds good to me, anything to make it read better. I've always been leery of biology pages winding up like the math articles, which are essentially unintelligible without an advanced degree. Mokele (talk) 15:29, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
I highly recommend Knut Schmidt-Nielsen's book SCALING: Why is animal size so important? Cambridge University Press, 1984. It's a semi-popular book, but Schmidt-Nielsen goes relentlessly through the math and the arguments, and looks at allometry by metabolism, species, homeotherms vs. others, by organ system, under loads like maximal work, and so on. Schmidt-Nielsen also gives the evidence for the 3/4 power law of body mass to give total-body (not specific) metabolic rate across species (though interestingly enough, it tends to be 2/3 within a species, as for example between breeds of dogs). And he gives various interpretations of this, including the one about what happens if you can vary insulation between species, which tends to make the exponent in the power law for total metabolic rate closer to 1.0 (see my note above). SBHarris 18:13, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Let's take action[edit]

I read the article and I came to the same conclusions. Too few references, too much opinion and indeed it sounded like someone trying to get a scientific article published. I see in the Talk Page that this has been observed long ago and it is important that something will happen soon. If knowledge or time is lacking to rewrite it properly, parts of it could easily be deleted. Expendable parts are Concept of metabolic efficiency and Current debate, which only continues the talk about ME.

I also agree that the biography should be moved to Max Kleiber's own page.

Well, it's been a few years, and this article is still just as hiliarously bad as the above comments describe. Here's my favorite piece of prose:
Attention to fundamental principles of the electrochemical nature and dependence of biomass, is deflected in favor of continuing disputation about the equation's relevance, the appropriateness of Euclidean considerations in a fractal world of capillary fluid dynamics, and the whispered depths to its secrets with regard to aging and to cancer, secrets unattainable so far.
MillingMachine (talk) 16:47, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

something about the subject, not the article[edit]

Extended content

Kleiber's 3/4 ratio has been proven and it's deviations can be explained. Paper will come soon. August 29, 2017. Ryan M. Latterell — Preceding The key is that you just have to use the animals layers of tissue as concentric layers for heat loss and resistance. The geometry of heat transfer is not the same in less spherical ("more limbed") animals, and tends to go more to 3/4 because of this. If you look at a rabbit, and that's about as spherical as I can think of right now, you will see something closer to the 2/3 line, but maybe not all the way. Putting a blue whale on the graph was a poor choice because the thermal conductivity of water is not the same as air. -Ryan L again, let me know if i missed something

And again please focus on the effect of concentric layers of heat resistance when you're doing your calculation to prove this one. The math can be a bit tricky if you're not through a few levels of calculus yet. I will return and await egg on my face if I haven't put this to rest unsigned comment added by 2601:449:8200:A430:D133:A463:5DD3:3A24 (talk) 01:38, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

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