Human Evolution?

So, I guess it’s fair to say that mla1 and JustAnotherDeaf are not perfect posters, but it really appeared to me that Colibri had their number from the start in that thread.

He was bullying mla1 from the beginning and Colibri came off pretty arrogant in a few of the posts, which I’ll have to admit he has mostly edited by this time. I guess I’m probably setting myself up for the same kind of repraisal that they faced, but I would think that the board would be better served if mla1 could say what he had to say about Neanderthals and JustAnotherDeaf could say what he had to say about deafness.

I’m getting the impression the Colibri feels like he’s the only one who has a right to speak about human biology and if other people don’t like it then he’ll bring down the moderator hammer.

From the outside, it looks to me like he ought to cool his jets.

Can we trouble you for a link to the thread in question?

I can’t really defend mla1’s comments about Africans and Downs Syndrome - but in fact I think that mla1 was being sincere and was not really intending to insult either African people or people with Downs Syndrome when he made the comment. Isn’t it enough for all of us to just end with “I know what you’re trying to say” every once in awhile?
In the meantime, JustAnotherDeaf was in fact given a few insults and he was punished, essentially, for daring to respond.

This was disappointing to me because I grew up next to a state school for the deaf and I was unable to communicate with these people all around me, but here online I can.

Or at least I can if Colibri doesn’t decide to be heavy handed.

Can we trouble you for a link to the thread in question?

When you quote a Rhymer directly you’re supposed to make an extremely lame joke at the same time. It’s a board rule. I have reported you directly to Unca Cecil.

It’s there, but he already edited most of his posts so I don’t really see how you’re going to know what happened.

Which is how this goes, I guess… same thing every the time. THey want the situation to be one where they do whatever they please you don’t dare look sideways and there’s nothing you can do about it.

I just didn’t think it was very fair. Whatever he thought of mla1 and JustAnotherDeaf and whatever may have happened in other threads ,they were only contributing to the conversation as best they could and I felt that it was a distasteful mix of unfair and unfriendly for Colibri to drive them away like that.


That poster was posting factually incorrect stuff in that thread, saying that blue eyes were being bred out of our species. A bunch of us corrected him, and he wouldn’t let it go. He asked, with a lot of snark, what Colibri’s credentials were, and **Colibri **responded appropriately. We were being somewhat patient with that guy, but he wouldn’t stop posting crap.

If this had been a thread in IMHO, I’d agree. But **mla1 **was posting factually incorrect info in a GQ thread. **JAD **went off on a personal tangent about deafness that was completely irrelevant to the thread.

BTW, the idiocy starts at post 68 in that thread.

From the outside it didn’t look like you were being patient. From the outside it looked like you were pouncing on him - but I have to admit mla1’s facts did seem to be wrong. He posted cites and sources and even if he misread them and misinterpreted them, why not just deal with the matter as a dispute of facts and claims? It is true that mla1 asked for Colibri’s credentials, but the thread had degenerated by that point and when Colibri provided his credentials that only made matters 10 times worse.

You didn’t really give him a chance to defend his claim. Right or wrong, everyone deserves a chance to do that.

There were a number of people repeating the easily disproved blue eye-recessiv/brown eye-dominant myth before, during and after the mla1 debacle and you didn’t pounce on them and Colibri didn’t ban them.

I’m not trying to go to battle with this Colibri guy, but he seems to be overzealously moderating everywhere he goes and unnecessarily singling people out. I have to wonder how this serves the interest of the board.

Here’s a link to the thread in question.

General Questions is intended for factual information. When a poster persistently posts misinformation, or worse, makes stuff up off the top of his head, even after he has been corrected by other posters, this is detrimental to GQ.

I wasn’t the only one correcting mla1; several other knowledgeable posters were as well. The issue about Neanderthals was only one of several. The worst one was his insistence that a recessive gene means one that is declining in frequency in a population, which showed a lack of even elementary knowledge of genetics. And he kept restating it, even after he had been told this was wrong. Regarding his statement about Neanderthals, although one part of it was true (that Neanderthal genes have been found in European populations), the rest of it - that Neanderthal genes preferentially mutate to cause defects like Down Syndrome - was directly the opposite of what was stated in the links he himself posted. Genes associated with Down Syndrome are associated with genes found in modern humans, not Neanderthals.

The main problem with mla1, though, was his behavior. If he had supported his points with links and cites (those that actually supported them, that is) as I instructed him to do he would have had less of a problem. But he was also engaged in behavior such as insulting other posters.

In addition, this wasn’t the first time mla1 had had a problem in GQ. When he first arrived, he received a warning inthis thread. He was already on notice to be on better behavior.

I’ll also mention that I corresponded with mla1 by PM after his first warning, and also throughout that thread, trying to get him to dial it back. He refused to listen.

Regarding justanotherdeaf, the discussion of eugenics and deafness was a hijack that was not really appropriate to a general discussion on evolution. I took no moderator action against him, other than to ask him to start another thread on the subject in GD. He apparently didn’t have enough interest to do so.

I take exception to this. I didn’t edit any of my remarks to appear less arrogant. If anything, I edited them to be more arrogant.:wink:

He was wrong. We corrected him, and he refused to accept the correction. This isn’t a matter of interpretation. If someone posts 2+2=5, we don’t need a discussion to determine that he’s wrong. It was that cut and dry.

This guy had also received a warning previously for posting BQ in GQ.

As I said, justanotherdeaf was not punished in any way. He was merely asked to start another thread. And I didn’t see any insults against him, merely criticism of his position by a few posters.

Oh, how I wish I hadn’t skipped that thread. It’s comedy gold.

We have this type of topic pretty frequently in GQ, and everyone thinks he’s an expert at genetics. It really gets tiresome having to correct all the BS that gets posed in those threads. We’re supposed to be fighting ignorance here, not spreading it.

Yes, it happens a lot. mla1 was just particularly persistent in making up pure bullshit, and repeatedly restating it as fact even after being corrected, while at the same time being condescending and insulting to the posters who actually had their facts right.

I’m not sure. He’s not the one who initially said that recessive genes are genes which are declining in frequency. He said regressive, and it was other people who assumed that he meant recessive, then challenged his arguments on those grounds.

Blue eyes are, in fact, becoming less common (at least among white Americans.) The guy said regressive… maybe he actually meant regressive.

He was posting links to his sources. So - I can tell you one thing. If you have something to say about human evolution and you have 38 years of study and a Ph.D to back it up then you best not be saying it here on the StraightDope message board. You might want to see if you can find some kind of scholarly journal to publish in.

It’s very, very unlikely that anybody is going to say anything too interesting on any of these message boards. Someone asks a question - 5 people look it up on Wikipedia. I don’t see why it would be a bannable offense to simply be wrong. Regardless of what mla1 may have said in some other thread, in this thread it appears that you were ganging up on him and trying to run him off the board. He wasn’t a genius. So what?

That’s a very narrow and self-serving interpretation of what he said. What he said was that he could imagine the deaf living in an isolated group and their offspring might eventually lose the ability to hear? Possible? I don’t know - but I don’t see why he shouldn’t be able to discuss the possibility.

Boy am I stupid. Found this:


Fresh blood is really important for a message board. When you start persecuting new posters for things that other people did before they ever arrived on the board, that’s not usually a good thing.

What I might propose is that you re-read the thread and think about how mla1 saw things. I know that you think that you would never be as dumb and wrong as him. Think of it as a Gedankenexperiment. One thing I can tell you - wherever he is, right now he hates this place and if he ever returns it’s only going to be to seek revenge.

How does that help the board?