Human Evolution?

He wasn’t banned for being wrong, he was banned for being insulting. The fact that he was consistently, objectively wrong simply meant that we weren’t losing anything of value when we threw him out for consistently violating board rules.

He is, absolutely, allowed to discuss the possibility. Just not in that thread.


This sounded unlikely to me, so I checked the thread for edited posts by Colibri. There were three: one was edited to fix a typo, and the other two were edited to include stronger language in his instructions to mla1. In no case did he remove any content from his posts.

So, it your characterization of Colibri’s moderation seems to be… somewhat inaccurate.

You can circle the wagons if you want, but I read the thread as it was happening and I felt that mla1 was not being treated entirely fairly and certainly wasn’t being treated with anything resembling hospitality. It’s a big old ugly Internet I suppose.

Now I see that when Colibri was conferring with other moderators all he was really doing was checking to make sure he had cover.

I did not participate in the other thread and only just today read it, and I do not see that mla1 was persecuted even a tiny bit. He was wrong, aggressively so, and on such basic elements of genetics that it called every statement he wrote into question. It was as if he were talking about the history of the United States and consistently and determinedly asserting that Christopher Columbus led the colonial forces at Valley Forge.

Honestly, I do not object if someone as aggressive in his wrongness as mla1 hates this board so much that he determines never to come back. I am not one of those posters who thinks the SDMB’s purpose is to fight ignorance (it’s to be entertaining), but I do feel that doing so is the purpose of General Questions and Great Debates. If someone is so beholden to his or her opinion that she or he will neither admit to being wrong or allow correction, and further persists in posting in threads in those two forums in such a way, then unfuck 'em.

He was not a genius - that mla1. I can’t really stand behind what he said because it seemed, at times, to demonstrate a serious misunderstanding of the basics of genetics and the language that he used was perhaps insensitive with racial overtones - or at least some may have read it that way - but if you took the time to parse his comments I think you would not come away with the conclusion that he was expressing opinions about any particular race.

But it says “Fighting Ignorance” at the top of my browser window, not “Banning the Ignorant”. Cites can be provided. Things can be explained. Analogies can be drawn. Logical conclusions can be spelled out.

I didn’t really see that dynamic at all. I saw a dynamic that was more along the lines of “mla1, you’d better shut up if you know what’s good for you.”

Actually, I do publish in scholarly journals as well as in books; not on human evolution per se but on topics related to genetics, such as descriptions of new species. (I recently coauthored a description of a new species of bird.) And part of my current job as a science writer is to review articles on human evolution.

Are you seriously saying that you think that people who are experts in the field shouldn’t post on this board? I do it for recreation, when I want a break from writing. I’m sure a lot of others do too.

People regularly say interesting things on this board; we have an amazing range of expertise here. On a recent poll, at least 38 people indicated they had Ph.D.s, plus many more with other advanced degrees. We also have lawyers, M.D.s, engineers, and many others. This is one of the great values of this particular board.

It’s not a bannable offense simply to be wrong. mla1, however, was insistently and persistently wrong. Anyone who says things so spectacularly ignorant in GQ is going to have them hotly disputed; this is not “running him off the board.” And in any case, he was not banned for being wrong; he was banned for repeatedly insulting other posters and for disobeying moderator instructions. He also tried to return as a sock, which put the final nail in the coffin.

That’s a very narrow and self-serving interpretation of what he said. Once again, no one prevented him from discussing the topic. I just told him to take it to another thread. He wasn’t interested.

We did. That’s why he was banned. He was arrogant about his own ignorance, unwilling to learn, and unwilling to follow the rules of the board.

Oooooh! We’ve had to deal with persistent returnees who are a lot more capable and knowledgeable than mla1, and they’re usually banned again almost instantaneously. We’re not going to refrain from banning people just because it might make them mad.

Once someone plays the “circling the wagons” card - especially when only two moderators have posted (you can’t really circle two wagons) it’s clear that they are not really interested in a serious discussion. I’m bowing out of this unless some other point is raised that I think needs to be addressed.

I was following in real time as well and we will have to disagree on how mla1 was being treated. This wasn’t his first thread where he ran into trouble like this, and he was just dialing things up worse as the thread continued. He was being treated fairly, but he was being corrected and people were attempting to steer him in the right direction. He failed to listen - it wasn’t rocket science to see that he wasn’t going to last. Had he listened the incident would have been written off as learning the ropes.

This isn’t supported by any evidence. I have no idea where you came up with this one.

He didn’t need cover. Everyone who responded to Colibri’s email about the situation supported banning mla1. He lasted 10 days here and got himself warned four times, which is a pretty good sign someone is just not cut out for this board. Maybe he’ll find another forum that’s a better fit. We always want new people here, but that doesn’t mean we want every person who signs up and doesn’t care about the rules.

You know, you called me out on this a few weeks ago. Seeing it from this side I can see how absurd it is. I was absolutely interested in a serious discussion, but I definitely see how it can be infuriating.

Nope, just lousy genetics :smiley:

Never seen Blazing Saddles?

They were circling one wagon.

samjones: You joined this MB last month. I can only assume that you don’t fully understand what GQ is. It’s a forum where people pose questions and other posters respond with factual information. We have other forums for debate and discussion and opinion. When someone insists on posting factually incorrect information and can’t even accept that the cites he gives to back up his claims actually disprove his claims, then I’m at a loss to understand what that person has to contribute to this board. On top of that, the person insults those trying to correct his errors, and I say good riddance.

I just read the thread and support this banning* - honestly, I’m surpised how many argumentative, idiotic, and insulting posts mla1 made before being suspended.

  • yes, I realize that no one particularly cares

This needs to be said again. He was banned for refusing to follow the rules, not just once, but repeatedly. He insulted other members, and he insulted the moderators, and he came back as a sock. He didn’t think the rules applied to him. He was wrong.

The vast majority of posters here don’t get even a single warning. Some posters get a warning or note or two, but take the warnings or notes to heart, and try to change their ways. However, this guy managed to get more warnings in ten days than most posters get over ten years. And he wasn’t INTERESTED in trying to behave better, and that’s why he was banned.

He brought nothing of value to the message board. Yes, we need fresh blood, but we don’t need sewage.

Saying “Circling the wagons” = “I concede defeat.”

For someone who signed up less than a month ago, that’s one hell of an axe you’re grinding.

It’s pretty clear what happened: The mla1 species tried to expand into an environment for which it was not adapted. It failed to evolve to survive in that environment, and is now extinct. It does, however, continue to survive in other environments where its behavior is not suicidal.

Another victim of Charles Darwin and his Chainsaw of Natural Selection.

I’m pretty sure that this thread is where someone fell to the chainsaw of natural board selection.