House Rules

Welcome to Darwin’s Legacy, a forum for discussing public writing about issues related to evolution as it pertains to science, education, and American politics.  You do not have to be a member of our class to comment on the blog; after all, a blog is a public venue.  However, you do need to follow the house rules.

  1. Be professional.  This includes behaving with courtesy, avoiding name-calling and profanity, and proof-reading your contributions before you post them.
  2. Only write things that are true.  This is not an appropriate forum for playing devil’s advocate, sarcastically saying the opposite of what you mean, or intentionally fostering misinformation.  The goal here is to communicate as clearly and honestly with others as possible.
  3. What about information that isn’t “factual,” where there may be more than one possible approach, or where opinions may legitimately differ?  That’s not a problem, as long as you are supporting the opinions you actually hold.  Also, make sure that your opinions are grounded in some kind of evidence:  past experience, science, the advice of experts, logic—anything other than just your gut instinct or personal preference.
  4. Treat the posts as though you are the moderator.  If someone posts something crazy or inaccurate, correct them (politely, of course).  If you think someone has misunderstood some key point, look it up and clarify, or at least mention that you think this is a misunderstanding.  This is especially important when it comes to posts that you originate.
  5. You must absolutely positively read all the comments on a post before you post your own comment.  Why?  See the next two points.
  6. All of your posts should contribute something new to the discussion.  If someone has already made a point, you don’t need to reiterate it (unless you think you can express it more clearly, or add crucial details).
  7. Treat each post and its comments as a discussion, and respond appropriately.  If you are responding to a point that several other people have made, mention them, just as you would if you were in a class discussion:  “I agree with futureprez2032 that we need to consider parents’ opinions, but this shouldn’t be taken to extremes…”  Also feel free to refer to earlier posts or points from class.
  8. Links to outside material:  When you are the first one to reference a particular news story or YouTube video or other material, provide a link for it.  This is vital when you are the one originating a post.  You can also add links in the discussion, as long as you make sure to explain why the link is relevant.

Happy blogging!

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