EvC is an interesting forum. I think it may be one the best on issues concerning science, philosophy, society, religion, etc. I especially like the quality of most writers here. In fact Ringo and Quetzal have helped to clarify and correct my thinking on several issues. You donâ€™t get away with very much careless or unpopular thinking around hereâ€¦UNLESS you happen to be a member of the Chosen Few.
May I ask respectfully, How are the Chosen Few chosen? Do you have to be a member of a special clique or pass a certain personality test to be one? And how are the forum Admins selected? Furthermore, what criteria are used to admit members into the Showcase forum?
A case in point: Admin Wounded. What qualifies this individual for administration status? And why was he admitted into the Showcase forum? I have argued with Wounded King on several threads (see, for example, â€œThe origin of new allelesâ€ and â€œRandom mutations shot down on this site,â€ both under the Biological Evolution forum), and I have observed that he relies more on forceful opinionation than on objective reasoning to deal with the issues at hand. Furthermore, Iâ€™ve noticed from my experience with him this he seldom adheres to rules 4 and 5 of the Forum Guidelines:
quote:4. Points should be supported with evidence and/or reasoned argumentation. Address rebuttals through the introduction of additional evidence or by enlarging upon the argument. Do not repeat previous points without further elaboration. Avoid bare assertions.
5. Bare links with no supporting discussion should be avoided. Make the argument in your own words and use links as supporting references.
I have asked WK several times to provide links and references in support of his opinions. But instead of doing that he has issued more opinions and accused me of â€œdragging down the standards of scholarship.â€ Was he given Admin status as a guardian of â€œthe standards of scholarshipâ€?
Having said all that, I still enjoy Wounded King's posts, and I respect him as a scientist.
Percy seems to be top dog (or cat) around here. Does Percy rule over all Admin decisions? How does the system work, really? I donâ€™t think the system is wrong at all; I just want to know if this forum regards itself as being autocratic, democratic, or somewhere in between. Personally, I like this forum for whatever it is. I just donâ€™t know for sure exactly WHAT it is in terms of power brokerage.
I feel as though I could get whacked with the red negative sign for simply asking these questions. (Stalin used to have the intellectuals shot for doing about the same thing.) So go ahead and whack me if you need to. Iâ€™ll get over it.
Can you show me a single instance where I have done this in either of those threads?
How can you argue that I fail to support my arguments with references/links and at the same time that I post references/links without any associated argumentation?
I can understand that you might consider some of the statements I have made as part of my argumentation to be bare assertions, though I would contend with that, but I really don't see what you think could have possibly infringed rule 5.
How can you issue such self-contradictiory remarks? Check out your message 61 of the "Random mutations shot down on this site" (Biological Evolutin forum):
And, btw, why haven't YOU posted some relevant literature to defend your position on drift v. selection?
Eh? That isn't how it works. You make a contentious claim about what the paper meant and I asked you to substantiate it, the relevant literature to support my position is the same paper because what we are disagreeing on is what that paper says. You say it says something about drift causing speciation and I say that it doesn't except in as much as it estimates a time of divergence for the two species.
That's one time where I asked you for references in support of your argument concerning selection vs. drift. I never got them. I did however get a lot of OPINIONS from you...and a little taunting, too:
Isn't it time for you to change your woad underwear?
Your performance in that thread was extremely poor both from a scientific and a debate standpoint.
After reviewing that thread agian I find no serious basis for your opinion. My confusion about microevolution, macroevolution, and speciation is no greater than others hereâ€”even Harvard's Wilson and Mayr disagreed on the definitions of these terms. It is obvious to me now that many contributers here on EvC must either suck up to admin opinionation or leave.
Edited by Hoot Mon, : Lingering disappointment with EvC
As to the RoyBean Effect, I'm not sure I agree that it represents a decrease in tolerance. It may be more related to an increase in vigilance. The mod team seems more active now that it has typically been in the past - more mods, more interventions. That may just be my biased opinion, however. Do you notice something specific, or is this just a general impression?
I don't know if periodic nuts and mod vigilance are the only reasons for this apparent decrease in tolerance. I suspect a demographic effect, owing to a sometimes broad disparity of age. This forum has a lot of hot heads, hot bloods, and hot crotches, which I attribute to the blazing furnace of youth. Has anyone ever determined the age distribution of EvC posters? My guess is that most of them are <40, and probably even <30. (When you're >60 you'll know how little you knew at 30.) There ought to be a thread just for old people like me; then you would see how civilized and sweet we really are.
Don't know where to put this reply to Percy's Message 301. It was blocked when the AdminQuetzal closed the thread (per my request).
Crash and myself and others are trying to make sense out your posts that often appear to include both insight and confusion, and if you're actually a publishing scientist in the field of biology this makes it all the more perplexing. Something just doesn't add up, at least not for me.
Well, I never said I was a professional evolutionary biologist. Can you cut me a liitle slack? I'm still seaching for answers, just like you and others here. Pardon me for all the grievous errors, as you see them. But I have to ask you: Is everyone here on this forum expected to be perfect all the time? You've made errors, too, bad ones, but I'm not banging the gong over them all the time.
The biggest problem with the question "What exactly is natural selection and precisely where does it occur?" is agreeing on key definitions. We still seem to be miles apart. Maybe we need another thread to get at those definitions, one way or the other, possibly titled: "Why can't we agree on the meaning of natural selction?"
I have a quibble with AdminNosy. In Message 86 he issued me this warning:
This is a stupid attack on WK. His comments were about the details of your description of the protein synthesis process. He then pointed out exactly where you were, in his opinion, in error. I suspect that you shouldn't be mouthing off -- for two reasons:â€¨1) it will get you suspended.â€¨2) I think WK actually knows what he is talking about and you will look fooish when he points out (again) where you are wrong.
My quibble is about an Admin combining an administrative warning with a private opinion. WK has not â€œagainâ€ made me look fooishâ€”or even foolishâ€”not in my opinion. But his insults seem to be quite OK. Is it because heâ€™s an Admin, too?
I believe AdminNosyâ€™s warning was fair. And I will comply, even if he allows Wounded King his insulting remarks and voices his agreement with them.
It may be time for you both to start backing up your assertions with references to some literature. When all that is done we will see who does and does not know what they are talking about.
I'm sorry to see you say this. You obviously have not followed my arguments. I have backed up my assertions with references more often than most other posters here. Your admonition is quite misplaced in that regard.
Nosy, what I really cannot understand is why certain posters on this forum are so opposed to putting concepts to the test, especially their principles and assumptions. How better to understand the robust meaning of a concept than to kick the stuffing out it. There are conservative mindsets on this forum who don't like their concepts kicked around. But I think concept kicking is a fair sport. And there's lot of stuffing around here that needs to be kicked out and seen for what it is. One example is the stuffing in the concept that natural selection is the master-force of evolution. Another is the concept that has sexual selection as being different from nonrandom mating. And yet another concept views sexual selection as a feature of natural selection.
Concept kicking is a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it.
Your posts continue to drag discussion to the level of extreme silliness. You can take a 6 hour break to see if you can think through what you post.
AdminNosy sends Rob to the cloakroom for 6 hours after the poor boy is forced to defend himself in Message 153 from Chiroptera's chipping at him and calling him a "dick":
That pretty much makes you a dick, then, doesn't it?
I am detecting gender bias in the room. But my wife would concur very frequently.
I assume you believe the opposite quality (dickless) to be more reflective of the 'actual' nature of man?
As it is, there is nothing 'wrong' with being a 'dick' as it is purely the survival instinct vying for political advantage.
there are much bigger 'dicks' here than I, and you seem to tolerate them well enough. I suppose the political ends and means has more to do with your bias than gender or logic.
If you think I am a 'dick', wait until your face to face with reality. Now that's dicky...
Why didn't Chiro get suspended instead? This seems arbitrary and capricious to me. There's a lot of elitist Admin attitude around here that I don't understand. Lotsa fiery egos flaming with impunity. Not nearly enough cool guys like me.