Talk:DNA/Archive 5

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This Page Should Be Protected 14 february 2004

Can this stop being reverted, or does it need to be locked? Pakaran. 01:11, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It needs to be protected and locked. Lirath Q. Pynnor

[P0M]: It needs to be protected and locked because of Lir's interference.

Unfortunately, it's now been protected and locked in 168...'s version by 168..., which is a rather significant breach of sysop good behavior. In theory I could still revert it to the version that was worked out here on talk:, but only by sinking to the same level. An interesting if frustrating situation. Bryan 01:32, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Yes, a valuable lesson in the intrinsic absurdities of the system we have here.168...|...Talk 01:34, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The only problem I have with the system we have right here is that it hasn't stripped you of your sysop status more quickly. Not only is it immensely complicating stopping this edit war in an acceptable manner, you're also giving us a horrible reputation in the process. Bryan 01:38, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

That's the only problem you admit to, at least. BTW, what reputation am I giving you? 168...|...Talk 01:44, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Bryan looks much better to me than people with the back panels of their long johns down. P0M

Sound like a koan. The sound of one panel flapping?168...|...Talk 01:57, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

See m:The wrong version? However, it's never a good idea to use, or to be seen to be appearing to use, your own sysop powers in an edit conflict one is involved in. I've found that asking others to act as sysops in this situation helps, even if I know my opinions are the only right and proper ones. -- The Anome 02:15, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

168 has been temporarily de-sysoped. Considering that I've been uninvolved in the edit war until just a few hours ago, would it be reasonable for me to revert the article's intro back to the consensus version that was hashed out here on talk:? I think it's a good intro, but I didn't have any hand in writing it so hopefully that leaves me "untainted." :) Bryan 02:31, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I wouldn't have a problem with trhat. I'd been meaning to just hand-add a msg:protected to the top of that old version, when the whole 168 headache started I didn't ever get around to it. Pakaran. 02:33, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)
You have my support too. Stewart Adcock 02:50, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Since what 168... did was counter to policy I fully support such a change. --mav 02:51, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Done. I left the page still protected, though; I somehow doubt this matter is completely and totally resolved now. :) Bryan 02:59, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Somewhere in here, possibly under The Role of the Sequence, a mention should probably be made of the existence and importance of Introns and Exons. For instance, some people think substitution of Exons are the likely units for evolution. See: Why Genes In Pieces?, by Walter Gilbert, Nature. 1978 Feb 9;271(5645):501. It is easy to show that the common notion of evolution through random base changes can not be correct, and the persistence of this simple minded notion causes a lot of problems for the acceptance of the theory of evolution.

Just curious...why is that page protected ? 01 of march 2004

Since there hasn't been any discussion of this article in over 2 weeks in spite its having been protected all this time, are we just leaving this protected semi-permanently? I'm not aware of what the issues currently are here. Can someone advise? Jwrosenzweig 17:58, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

[Peak:] Welcome to the New Wikipedia! This page has gone through several protection/unprotection cycles, with no agreement possible amongst the warring parties. Several of us have tried to alert the Wikipedia community to the problems that the current "rules of engagement" entail in the presence of persistent subvandalism. In this case, the outcome is the alternative: either Page Protection (and therefore, according to current rules, no changes allowed!), or a whole lot of wasted time. Besides this Talk page, two entry points to further details are:
Peak 18:17, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Other long comments from february to march

I find it shocking that certain people can't behave in a civil manner in the public forum that is Wikipedia. We all realise that some of us have issues with various portions of this article. 168..., you had the opportunity to involve yourself with the final, productive, discussions but you chose not to. I'd like to suggest that you play your silly games elsewhere. Your personal crusade against Lir might very well be warranted, but it is clearly detrimental to progress on this article. You are welcome to suggest changes to that first passage, here, just like everybody else. Lir, you say, "Its pointless for me to discuss the 2nd disputed portion when what goes in the rest of the article depends on what is at the beginning." The first part has been decided, you are welcome to discuss the second passage or not, it is up to you. However, I think it is fair to say that the rest of us will continue to iron out problems with the second passage with or without you.

Since you have been so forthright with me, I will confess to you that I too find your process a silly game, and an insidious one too. Your vote took place despite my opposition and has not placated Lir, which was the whole reason for it in the first place. Voting also is far from the established procedure here, where anybody anytime in the future can come and change anything. Voting is particularly problematic in the case of this article, with which lots more people would be involved and around to vote if the proceedings on this page were not try ing to the patience of saints. What I am advocating, and indeed trying to force with my reverts, is reasoned discussion. In contrast to votes, reasoned discussion has ample precedent at Wikipedia, and is I believe both the preferred and predominant procedure. There is nobody here more committed to reasoned discussion than I. Nobody. My passion for reasoned discussion is so great that I can tell when someone is not practicing it or is incapable of it. That's why I won't discuss things with Lir. I would be very surprised if anybody else here did not agree at this point agree that Lir is incapable of reasoned discussion. I am shocked that you, Stewart, should seem to be able to feel so righteously that it is I who should go along with your plan and not the other way around. The strategy of the advocates for voting seems to be: hold a vote so that you can either protect the article against Lir or ban him if he doesn't go along with it. I think that is narrow minded (only about this article), oriented toward the short-term (only about the first paragraph and ignoring the likely resumption of protection) and probably more doomed to fail than my strategy (because Lir has never been banned over his many many similar editing disagreements). Everybody here would be more true to their beliefs and would better serve both this article and Wikipedia generally if we were to get together and take a united stand against Lir, get rid him, and go back to discussing the article like the reasonable people all of the rest of us are. Instead, it seems, people would rather portray me as a crank and help to get me banned instead of Lir. I will continue to do what I have been doing until people either join me or ban me. 168...|...Talk 01:12, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

If anyone wants to contribute to this article in a constructive way, without getting drawn into this quagmire of flames and personal agendas, please consider writing the section currently entitled, "More on DNA replication". Stewart Adcock 23:53, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Except, the thing is, the first part has not been decided. You have expressed your opinion, and now after we have discovered that we agree on one point, you refuse to discuss the second and third points. You are free to spend as much time looking at the second paragraph as you wish, when you are done -- I will be happy to continue discussing the first paragraph; after which, I will want to move on to the second paragraph. Lirath Q. Pynnor 00:12, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Okay. If you think you can convince other people to agree with you, please clearly state your issues with the first part along with your suggested changes and we can all consider them. In the meantime, the rest of us will carefully digest the contents of the next disputed paragraph. Stewart Adcock 00:18, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

[P0M:] I'm thinking of archiving some of the really old stuff currently on this talk page. It won't be "disappeared." It is becoming a bit difficult to follow comments because some recent comments have been added near the top. There's nothing wrong with doing that except that I noticed elsewhere that I would sometimes miss entire range wars that went on in the upper 40000. P0M 10:35, 6 Mar 2004 (UTC)

unprotected on the 7th of march

After two weeks of protection, I took the initiative and unprotected this page. Please be considerate to one another. Please be cordial. Please review Wikipedia:Wikiquette. Work together. Find compromises. Hash it out in the TALK arena.

The reason for my decision is that protected pages are a hindrance to the wikipedia project. Other people should have access to changing this article. I hope it does not spiral into another edit war.

Sincerely, Kingturtle 00:34, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It already has. --mav 01:00, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I see that. :) Can you please refrain from reverting? :) Kingturtle 01:01, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
How about we go with the three-revert rule instead? Last I saw the consensus on which version of the intro was preferred was quite clear, and I don't believe that 168... should be able to force a different version out of sheer bloody-mindedness. Bryan 01:07, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Please, let's refrain from bandying about terms like mindless. We are trying to move forward with a sense of cooperation. Rather than revert, let's have detailed conversations in TALK about edits. Kingturtle 01:10, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I didn't use the term "mindless", I used the term "bloody-mindedness". I think that this is a quite reasonable term to use to describe a situation where a user keeps on reverting an article to the version he prefers despite anything that's being said about it on talk:. Bryan 01:14, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Nevertheless, language like that hurts what we are trying to do here...which is to move forward and to collaborate. We must find a way to have the DNA article exist without protection. We all need to find ways to help :) Kingturtle 01:19, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I reverted once. My last edit was a merge of 168...'s best sentence. I think the merged version is superior to both individual versions. --mav
The merging is quite good. Thank you for that prop Mav.
Thanks Ant. --mav

Before we merge, could we please, as I have asked many many many many times, discuss the merits of the voted-for phrases vis-a-vis the long-standing, brilliant-prose elected first paragraph of yore. e.g. I don't think "nucleic acid" is important enough to deserve mention in the first paragraph outside of its appearance in the word "Deoxyribonucleic acid." The term appears in the history section. It could appear higher too, but I don't think it belongs in the intro and I am happy to repeat my reasons why, which people did not bother to respond to.168...|...Talk 03:13, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

We already voted that word in. The class of biomolecules that DNA belongs to is an important thing to mention in the lead section - which should be able to stand alone as a concise article in its own right. --mav

The vote, as you pretend to understand it, did not take place. What did take place was not approved by concensus and is non-binding. 168...|...Talk 03:20, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Very little is "binding" on Wikipedia. There did seem to be a widespread agreement on what the opening paragraph should be like, though, however "official" a vote it may have been. Perhaps you could set up a new poll if you think it would show otherwise? Bryan 03:32, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
People should go to Talk:DNA/archive_4#Voting_on_February_5_Version and decide for themselves (vote if you like as well). Just because 168 refused to participate does not mean that the vote was meaningless or did not take place. The purpose of the vote was to find out what people who have edited this page think the lead section of this article should consist of. --mav

[P0M:] Kingturtle is right, but the problem is that everybody's ego-interests are on the line. As long as people cannot put their egos aside, the quest for vindication will continue. P0M 01:27, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The problem, or one of them, is that people have short memories and that lots of people who were not around during the discussions long ago think they understand what is going on and they don't. Zen and pop psychology don't trump ignorance.168...|...Talk 03:13, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I agree that is a big problem. Why dont you make it easier for everyone to understand what you are trying to do by reverting this page as opposed to editing it? Bensaccount 04:06, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Before we merge, could we please, as I have asked many many many many times, discuss the merits of the voted-for phrases vis-a-vis the long-standing, brilliant-prose elected first paragraph of yore. e.g. I don't think "nucleic acid" is important enough to deserve mention in the first paragraph outside of its appearance in the word "Deoxyribonucleic acid." The term appears in the history section. It could appear higher too, but I don't think it belongs in the intro and I am happy to repeat my reasons why, which people did not bother to respond to.168...|...Talk 03:13, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Repeating the same thing over and over again and trying to mask reverts by marking them as minor edits will not work 168. That was your 5th revert of the day, BTW. --mav
What am I left to do but repeat when people don't read or believe what I write? Mav your counting is as faulty as your judgment and sense of fair play.168...|...Talk 04:24, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I count five as well; 17:09, 20:03, 20:17, 21:15 and 21:17. Bryan 04:27, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
You're being liberal then. Apply the same counting principles to Mav and see what you come up with.168...|...Talk 04:36, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I count only one revert; 14:40. He also made two attempts at merging your changes while restoring previous versions, at 18:06 and 20:07, so if you count those too that's three. However, using the same counting principles as I did with you, I wouldn't count those as reverts myself. Bryan 04:43, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I count three for you:
  1. (cur) (last) . . 20:16, 6 Mar 2004 . . Bryan Derksen (undo 168's reversion.)
  2. (cur) (last) . . 19:22, 6 Mar 2004 . . Bryan Derksen (In that case, I'll step in. Restoring Maveric's compromise version.)
  3. (cur) (last) . . 18:40, 13 Feb 2004 . . Bryan Derksen (reverting page back to the version that was worked out on talk:. Note that I'm reverting a protected page, which may be controversial, but which under these circumstances I believe is warranted.)
I think you are counting fairly, in the sense that I believe you are looking at my changes and Mav's with the same single set of criteria in mind: It is true that Mav made what have the appearance of substantive edits in his mergings. But their effect was a) to bring back, in various ways, the same old contentious material and b)to perpetuate and promulgate the view that I have no legitimate grounds for contesting their implementation without discussion and c)to continue ignoring my call for discussion. By a not unreasonable set of criteria different than yours, they were reversions, and they were antagonistic. 168...|...Talk 06:48, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Not to mention now he's protected the page again after reverting. Looks like the same situation we had before is happening all over again. Bryan 04:22, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Looks like the same mob lynching is about to recur under the same unrepentant leadership.168...|...Talk 04:26, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I haven't had time to read through the entire article but I don't see any reason to revert. There is vast amounts of correct information on DNA so the only reasonable things to do are add information or move information into a correct subcatagory. Bensaccount 01:35, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

[P0M:] Smarting a bit after 168's remarks that seemed to include me among "people who were not around during the discussions long ago [and] think they understand what is going on and they don't... [and should take it to heart that] Zen and pop psychology don't trump ignorance," I went back and read through the archives. I think it is clear that Lir has achieved a stunning victory against all others by playing "let's you and him fight," and I can understand why 168 does not like to be in the position of dealing with his victory. I don't think anybody else should be happy with that victory either. If anything has emerged from these discussions its seems to be a consensus regarding Lir's edits. That consensus should not, IMHO, argue in favor of any of the other candidate passages. P0M 06:14, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Request for comment Lir (Peak, 9 of march)

Some newcomers may also not realize that time and again, seemingly everyone who has had to deal with Lir on Wikipedia has sooner or later come to the conclusion that it is pointless to engage in dialog with him. Volumes of testimony to this effect have been written, but an introduction may be found at Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Lir. User:Eloquence also made some insightful remarks at User_talk:Eloquence#obstructionism. Peak 04:16, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

You know, this is really rude. Would you please refrain from making deragatory personal attacks. Lirath Q. Pynnor

== Is this page protected from editing ? 07 march 2004 ==

From today, this page is only partially protected.

The DNA page has been protected for many days since the beginning of 2004, due to an edit war on the overview part. The issue is still unsolved, and the last (very temporary) unprotection (5 to 7th of march) resulted in a new edit war. However, many users find unappropriate that the whole article be protected for so many days, with no one being able to improve other parts of the article.

To avoid this page being blocked for days in a row, the page has been unprotected; However, only part of it may be edited.

The overview passage is protected and must not be edited. To discuss this overview passage, see below.

The rest of the article is open for edition.

Any edition of content of the overview part may result in a immediate soft ban of 24 hours.

User:Anthere 13:34, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Note : entry points to further details are:

Summary of events 07 march 2004

The majority vote

The introductory passage (the first two paragraphs) passage is highly controversial.

Disagreement over it occured between 168 and Lir.

A vote was held to decide on a version that was acceptable to the majority. A particular passage was selected by everybody except Lir and 168... This passage was crafted to take into consideration in particular Lir opinion.

Today, Lir is not participating to the discussion any more. Each time someone tries to insert the alleged majority approved passage, 168 reverts it.

What is consensus

I do not think an article should ever be written per majority opinion. But rather by consensus. In consensus decision making, there is something called veto. The veto is used when a decision is taken, while at least one person is absolutely opposed to the decision chosen.

I believe that when one of the most proeminent and recognised editor of an article opposes a veto to a solution voted by other editors of the article AND by people who have not participated in the discussion really, there is a problem, and the problem must be adressed.

I do not think repeating ad nauseam that the right solution is the decision voted by the majority is gonna improve anything here. Better assume that the solution chosen by the majority is not acceptable, since there is a veto on it, and try to move on to another solution, that maybe will not suit the majority as well, but which at least will not encounter a veto position.

If not, I suggest that we open a discussion on what consensus really means for you.


Since there is a strong veto over the vote approved text, I suggest that we just drop that text, and try to work on a new one entirely.

I would first like all parties to suggest a text that would suit them personnaly. This text shoud not be the voted text. This text should not try initially to fit one or the other of the disputant opinion, just yours.

Yes, I know, it sounds a bit like "doing it all over again". Well, yes :-)

FirmLittleFluffyThing 14:28, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

More explanations

here FirmLittleFluffyThing 15:03, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Update on the 8th of march

This I said above stays valid as far as I am concerned for a few days, in case 168 is back after some wikivacations. That means no edition will be acceptable on these two paragraphs for a little longer FirmLittleFluffyThing


Any contributor to this page who reverts it for more than three times in a row will be banned for 24 hours.—Eloquence 18:31, Mar 7, 2004 (UTC)

any contributor who will edit the top of that page, even once, will be banned for 24 hours. Any of the cases will be done either by Erik or by me. FirmLittleFluffyThing

Thank you. I assume there is a prominent warning at the beginning of the article itself. P0M 18:37, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

There is no such policy. Kindly stop inventing new policies, particulary doing so without seeking community consensus. Jamesday 00:15, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Revert.—Eloquence

Still a guideline proposal on the talk page, not a policy yet. It does look as though it's going to be policy quite soon... but that's still not today, so we suffer a little longer. Hopefully there soon will be banning or similar for periods of time to end the silliness. Jamesday

It's a policy - it has received consensus, what more do you want? What is still not decided if there can be 24 hour bans to enforce it. This is a special case, though -- see also Anthere's proposal, which is not exactly standard procedure either.—Eloquence 02:17, Mar 9, 2004 (UTC)
my proposal is not standard procedure, agreed. FirmLittleFluffyThing 06:31, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The Wrong Version (thanks Angel) FirmLittleFluffyThing

Reversion by peak 15/03/2004

This section is about the reversion to the oldest version from the newest version by user:Peak. (According to this discussion page the article is no longer protected.) Bensaccount

The opening section is protected. Lirath Q. Pynnor

Hey, Lir - we're on the same page!!!! Now, if you'd just add one more ~ to your edits, we might really make some progress :-) Peak 07:07, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Look at the protection as of March 9. (above) It is not. Bensaccount 23:23, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I feel like my words have not been understood. I wrote

no encyclopedic article is "done" on Wikipedia, and that no vote made a couple of weeks ago by 5 people, justify that a preambule stays frozen for the months to come. The discussions below suggest me, that some editors do not perceive the current "community" version as necessarily the best ever.

I do not think this can be interpretated as

per Anthere's directions not to change preamble without agreement on Talk page.

FirmLittleFluffyThing 05:25, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

[Peak:] In the article, Anthere wrote:

-- WARNING : the first two paragraphs below are NOT OPEN TO BEING EDITED. THEY ARE VIRTUALLY PROTECTED. These paragraphs caused significant debate. Instead, suggest any putative changes on the talk page.

And in the Edit Summaries, we were told:

14:11, 7 Mar 2004 . . Anthere (reversion of the article. Please do not edit the first two paragraphs)
13:50, 7 Mar 2004 . . Anthere (I will soft ban any editor who will edit the first two paragraphs. I am serious. The other paragraphs are open for edition )
This was written when the preambule was frozen to edition. FirmLittleFluffyThing

If Anthere is now saying that the preamble is a free-for-all, then she may as well say: "Let the edit war begin (again)!" Please clarify, Ant. Peak 07:01, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

[P0M:] See above, before the heading "Edit boldly where angels..." Anthere's words were: "If you find a better phrasing or content for the preamble, just do it."

[Peak:] Those words by Anthere were extremely ambiguous. ("Better" by whose standards? What does "do it" refer to?) In trying to interpret them in a way that was consistent with her other injunctions, and being mindful that she is not a native English speaker, I interpreted them to mean something like: "If you find a formulation which you and others here are agreed is better, then make the change." It could have been interpreted in many other ways, e.g. "If you find a phrasing which you believe to be better, then propose it on the Talk page." Peak 09:00, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Where we are at (mar 15)

Actually, until someone disagrees with the current proposed version of the preamble, the idea of which ideas need to be conveyed is now clear. Bensaccount 23:34, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
[P0M:] The above declaration is a non sequiter.
Ok it may not be 'perfectly clear', but it is the clearest and least disputed version as of yet. Bensaccount 00:24, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It does not follow logically from "nobody has disagreed with the current proposed version of the preamble" that "the idea of which ideas need to be conveyed is clear", nor does it follow that "the idea of which ideas need to be conveyed is relatively clear." P0M 00:50, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
[Peak to Bensaccount:] "Current proposed version"??? I see many proposed versions. I also see much disagreement. And lest there be any doubt, I strongly disagree with the version that Bensaccount installed as of 17:40, 14 Mar 2004 UTC. Peak 07:26, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I took out the namecalling and stuff that belongs in the reversion by Peak section. Bensaccount 16:04, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

If you follow the heading you will see that all of the proposed intros were posted and people commented on them and based on the comments a new intro was created.

This would normally occur directly on the article but since the passage is so much disputed, all the changes were listed and room for objections was left open.

People should not change something that is controversial without giving a reason that is undisputed.

Peak, if you strongly disagree, why is this the first I hear of it? There was a section for comments right under it and I was the only one who put a comment there before you reverted.Bensaccount 16:04, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

[Peak to Bensaccount:] There has been too much moving of text around for me to follow the precise sequence of events, but one of the reasons I did not cite specific objections was that others had already done so, and so I was just waiting for things to stabilize to the point where some kind of poll or vote would be taken to determine whether there was general agreement, as per Anthere's instructions (at one point in time). By the way, the changes you seem to want are fairly large in relation to the alleged problems with the "near-consensus version." Have you considered proposing specific, incremental changes to the "near-consensus version"? Just a thought... Peak 23:55, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • There was a section for comments right under it and I was the only one who put a comment there before you reverted.
  • Yes every change I made was incremental and the reason was given and undisputed. (unlike your revert)Bensaccount 01:12, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

(This is in response to your above comment. If this was not why you reverted I will let it go.)Bensaccount 16:18, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

[Peak to Bensaccount: Which comment? Peak 23:55, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)]
See above a couple lines. Bensaccount 01:12, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)