Skip to main content


  • ElkArte - Just Installed!

Topic: Vision for the Skeptical Forum (Read 521 times) previous topic - next topic

  • stcordova
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
Vision for the Skeptical Forum
This sort of encapsulated how I thought of using the TheSkpeticalForum and its relation to TheSkepticalZone blog.  My view certainly may not reflect the view of others.

Alan Fox,

Thank you for setting up the experimental forum  Whether it prospers, only time will tell.

Just to clarify matters, I presume you are the owner of that forum, and you are experimenting with ways to run and invite discussion.

UD was an advocacy blog, it wasn't an environment that invited dissenting views.  I found that out the hard way.  Panda's Thumb is an advocacy blog as well, imho, but doesn't have thought policing like UD.   TSZ on the other hand is more a debate venue that invites conflicting views to argue their case.  That is highly valuable, and that is the niche it fills on the internet landscape. The people here have advanced a lot of my personal knowledge and clarified my understanding of the topics.

A blog however, with the posts being on the front page for a limited time isn't amenable to issues that take a long time to explore.  For example, it may take days to get a data run or find a literature reference, and then days more to pursue it.  That just isn't mechanically compatible with a blog format as it would be with a forum format.  Also forum formats allow more branching off into to other topics without being disruptive to the front page (since there really isn't much of a front page).

I would like to make it possible for people to criticize (and thus clean up technical mistakes) in my published work.  On the other hand, I don't want to clog up the TSZ blog with my editorial sessions.   

Your moderation has been excellent, and I especially welcome criticism from people like Allan Miller, Rumraket, John Harshman, Tom English, Joe Felsenstein, Faded_glory, etc.  That sort of criticism won't be easy to solicit if I have my own creationist forum, whereas I'll at least have a chance to do so by using TheSkepticalForum.  I may advertise (like say in Sandbox) any topics I'm actively trying to get comments on.

One of the most successful discussion for me personally at TSZ was the Nylonase discussion.  Another was the Drifting Weasel project that went through several incarnations over a few months.

I'm mentioning that here since I will be migrating some of my discussion at TSZ over there.

I can't thank you enough for your tireless efforts, Alan.  Thanks for all of your efforts.  I hope you will find some interesting reading in TheSkepticalForum.  God bless you.