Anthropologists, others in evolutionary sciences, vow to move to more left-friendly platforms like Mastodon and Tribel Social

Tribel SocialAnthropologists, archaeologists and evolutionary science professors who use Twitter are in a quandary. Should they stay or should they go.

A great many leftist and left-leaning paleo-anthropologists, biologists, evolutionary scientists and archaeologists have announced they are leaving Twitter these past few days. At issue, Twitter CEO Elon Musk opening up the platform to formerly banned right-wing activists and politicians.

Like many others on the left, they have made passionate and even dramatic farewell remarks. But the number of followers who remain on Twitter, complicates their switch to new platforms.  There is an added difficulty that has emerged.  Mastodon the preferred destination for unhappy leftists has proved to be user un-friendly.

From NPR, Nov. 19,

Elon Musk allows Donald Trump back on Twitter

Rebecca Wragg SykesMusk polled Twitter users on Friday and Saturday asking them whether Trump should be reinstated, and a narrow majority voted for Trump. On Saturday evening, Musk tweeted, “The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” The Latin phrase means “the voice of the people is the voice of god.”

Twitter has become the first to reinstate the former president’s account, giving him access once again to the powerful megaphone he used for years to attack political enemies, whip up fans and drive daily news cycles, as well as reach an audience of nearly 90 million followers…

Other conservatives and libertarians have been reinstated by Musk, including the hugely popular LibsofTikTok account, the right-leaning satire site Babylon Bee, investigative journalists at Project Veritas, and Canadian right-philosopher Jordan Peterson.

From Breitbart, Nov. 21,

Elon Musk’s Twitter Reinstates Project Veritas

Project Veritas was banned in 2021 after multiple exposés embarrassing establishment institutions, including media companies like CNN and tech companies like Twitter.

In 2018, Veritas used undercover reporters to catch numerous Twitter employees on camera admitting to anti-conservative bias, including one who admitted to classifying discussion of “god, guns and America” as bot-like behavior.

Dr. Rebecca “Becky” Wragg Sykes, author of the best seller Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art, was one of the first out the gate, cheering on Twitter’s demise.  She Tweeted on Nov. 18:

AnthropologistsIf Twitter goes extinct, just like the Neanderthals, its genetic legacy will live on inside this community as we go forward to connect and build elsewhere.

Notably, Professor Alice Roberts Univ. of Birmingham anatomist and BBC evolutionary science presenter, Re-Tweeted her friend Becky Wragg Sykes’ Tweet to her 374,000 followers.

Roberto Rocco (bio), of the Defts University of Technology, an expert in demographics, urban planning and spatial planning joined in, Nov. 19:

In the name or ethics and truth, I am seriously considering leaving Twitter if Trump is reinstated.  The platform is being overcome by fake news and hate speech.  Who wants to hang around climate science, and democracy deniers?

Andrew Maynard (bio) is a physicist and a professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University in Tempe.  His articles frequently appear in Nature.   He wrote on Nov. 18:

Barbara J. KingNot leaving Twitter (yet) but I have made the jump to Mastodon — find me at

Maynard also had numerous other Tweets in succession snarking over Musk’s takeover and the “Vox Populi,” Voice of the People. The Tweets included a poem – The Day Twitter died.

Biological Anthropologist and Jane Goodall devotee Barbara J. King (YouTube conversation on ethics, evolution and animal cognition) Tweeted on Nov. 18:

And so Twitter survived the night… sort of.  It’s been a deep pleasure for me to connect with all of you around animals, animal rights, anthropology… an I hope to see many of you at Mastodon.

“Good night everyone.  I really did love this place…”  — Archaeology Prof. Barbara Parcak

Barbara Parcak (bio), is a researcher and professor of archaeology and Egyptology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  She is also a self-styled female Indiana Jones and space archaeologist.   She has appeared on numerous NPR documentaries and late night talk shows.  She has been a featured lecturer for TED. On Nov. 17, Parcak made her farewell Tweet:

ArchaeologistsGood night everyone.  I really did love this place, and you.  Be at peace and may you find joy and love every day.

She then Tweeted out a story on Nov. 18, of a Disney fiasco in 1940 at the premiere of Pinnochio involving drunken, naked dwarfs, with the comment:

Siri, show me Twitter’s last day.

Note – as of November 21, Parcak is still Tweeting on average 5 to 6 times a day.

Tom Higham is a professor of Archaeology and Evolutionary studies at the University of Vienna in Austria.  He specializes in Neanderthals, and is a world-renowned expert on bones, anatomy and radiocarbon dating.

His blog is PaleoChron.  In 2020, Higham released his book, “The World Before Us: The new Science behind Evolution.”  The book has won wide acclaim among his colleagues, and Higham’s has been featured on a number of  on-line interviews.  See “Dragon Man of China: Dating Expert Tom Higham alarming find – Likely Denisovan.” here at Subspecieist, Oct. 2021.

Higham has nearly 8,000 followers on Twitter.  For days Higham has been Tweeting out snarks at the “Insurrectionist-in-Chief” Donald Trump and at Elon Musk at Twitter headquarters in San Fransciso.  On Nov. 20, Higham Tweeted out:

Follow me on on Mastodon.

Note – Higman has since Tweeted comments on Football matches at the World Cup in Qatar.





Author Eric

FSU grad, US Navy Veteran. Houston, Texas

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Erik says:

    Why would a “Real Scientist,” of all people, want to deny anyone else the right to freedom of speech?

    What “Real Scientist” puts politics before Science?tte

    Anyone who favors censorship, is a hypocrite, with something to hide, that they don’t want exposed.

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