An Update about Peaceful Discourse

Peaceful Science is a diverse community that encourages open dialogue on a wide variety of subjects that people are sometimes passionate about and personally invested in. Recently, we, the moderators, have been notified of several posts in a thread which crossed the line from strong criticism to attacks on personal character.

While we wish to promote the free discussion of ideas and topics from all community members, in order to keep our community healthy we feel that some common ground rules around respecting each other’s voices need to be reiterated:

  • It is fine to point out errors etc. in people’s scientific work. However, please be reasonably gracious about it and make sure that the error etc. in question is relevant to the discussion.
  • This forum does not tolerate the attribution of nefarious motives to any figure in the origins debate (whether a public figure or a fellow participant).
  • This forum does not tolerate excessively aggressive and/or gratuitous criticisms of a public figure or organization.
  • These offenses are defined at the discretion of the moderators.

Guidelines for peaceful discourse

  1. Focus on ideas, don’t make it personal
  • OK: “What you’re saying seems inconsistent to me, can you explain how that answers the question?”
  • Not OK: “You’re being an idiot, answer my question!”
  1. Don’t use abusive language
  • OK: “I strongly disagree”
  • Not OK: “You’re an ignorant moron”
  1. Don’t assume motives
  • OK: “Tell me more about why you think that”
  • Not OK: “You’re just saying that because …”
  1. Don’t engage in endless exchanges that simply repeat statements. Sometimes the best idea is to take a break and come back later.
  2. Flag posts that are spam/abusive/inappropriate, don’t engage or respond. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t be a troll.

As we have reminded people several times, PM the moderators privately if you wish to contest a moderating decision. Do not reply on the thread itself, or create a new thread for this.

The @moderators at Peaceful Science.



I like your posting on PS protocol.

I would like to inquire about the phrase “You’re just saying that because …”

If that would be the most aggressive thing in a posting, it would be most impressive!


I wrote that bit, I’m sure a better example could be found. I wasn’t focused on the aggressiveness of the phrase, rather trying to find some generic way to represent when people assume the motivation behind why people say stuff. For instance, I’ve seen quite a few posts that jump to conclusions based on the author being an ID proponent or atheist. I think we need to try to focus on the statements at hand. Does that make more sense?



It does make more sense.