Joined: May 2002
Wes has kindly made me a moderator on this forum. I'd like to briefly mention a few things for background's sake. As other things come up they will be added to this thread (or the thread can be bumped if someone needs an introduction).
First, the title of the forum. Here is the reference (from Wes):
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to speak of many things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings."
-- Lewis Carroll
1) This is a public-viewing, but restricted posting forum. Posting access is granted by (I think) either Wes or me, basically if we feel like the poster will contribute to the purpose of this particular forum, detailed below.
2) The purpose of this forum is to give ID skeptics a place to gather references, citations, bits of arguments, etc., in one place, either just for reference, or for a possible future article or FAQ.
The idea is to do things on a thread-specific basis. A random example thread title might be "Examples of co-option in evolution", and the person who starts the thread says something like:
"I would like this thread to focus on well-documented examples of cooption in evolution. The reason, of course, is that antievolutions frequently assert, without documentation, that change-of-function is a very low probability event, and use this pseudo-argument to brush off the "what about cooption?" objection to the arguments of Behe and Dembski regarding the nonevolution of functional complexity.
The best way to rebut the IDists' assertion is simply to list the numerous examples of cooption in evolution, with references. So, if you come across a good example, mention it and if possible cite what references you have; others may be able follow up suggestions of places to look, e.g. "I think I read an essay by Gould on this once".
Additional things worth posting in a thread like this:
- links to other threads discussing cooption
- links to high-quality webpages
- links to the Pubmed abstracts of specific papers
- references on the topic generally, e.g. papers on the topic of the fate of gene duplications, for example.
- images and highly relevant quotes can be posted also
Both molecular and macro cases are welcome, part of the point of this thread is to show that the same process occurs commonly in both realms."
See how this would work? The potential topics are endless, but hopefully when you run across something, e.g. "Hey, a new article on the evolution of blood-clotting!", you can check the forum to see if there is already a thread on blood-clotting, and add the reference there.
3) Discussions of the above are welcome in this forum, however if very long-winded debates develop they are better put in the general ID discussion. Also, active debates with internet IDists should be conducted in the general ID discussion (where they have a chance to fight back); I think a good policy would be to stick a link to a debate thread in the relevant thread here. The main focus here is on "collaborative informational resource gathering/displaying" -- hopefully it will develop into a high-quality resource for ID skeptics across the net.