Rules and policies

Quintessence of Dust is on a long-term hiatus, but I haven't closed it down just yet. I have some new writing projects in various stages of planning, in collaboration with some old friends. The description below applies to the blog as I created it in 2007.

Commenting policies

  • I use the Disqus commenting system, which gives me the ability to control spam and trolling. For now, all commenters are welcome and I don't require registration. Comments are not moderated on new posts. Spam is deleted, and I reserve the right to edit or delete comments of an extremely abusive or offensive nature. This is rarely a problem, at least so far.
  • Anonymous commenting is allowed, but it's not what I prefer.
  • Wildly off-topic comments or threads will be deleted after a clear and public warning from me. Trolling (defined as repeated off-topic commenting that is uninteresting, repetitive, or worthless in other ways) will result in a public warning followed by deletion of subsequent trolling comments by the commenter. Samples of the deleted comments will be displayed in the Troll Dungeon for the education of all.
  • After one month, commenting is closed. (Most comments on old posts are spam.) If you have something important to say about an old post, email me or leave a comment on a newer one and we'll see if it's worth taking up. 
  • I don't respond to all comments. Take it as a compliment if I do respond to you, even if I tell you that you don't know what you're talking about.
  • I reserve the right to intervene in any thread, but will publicly explain and provide ample warning before deleting comments or closing threads.
  • In summary, comments are welcome and are not censored. Strong disagreement is strongly encouraged.
Manners & expectations
  • Honest disagreement is always respected here. Those who prefer to postulate miraculous intervention to a much greater extent than I will never be criticized for that preference. Ditto for those who think that theism is ludicrous. No one will be abused for confessing that they find natural explanation unconvincing.
  • Honest questions will be given honest answers. Obnoxious questions will usually be ignored.
  • Dishonesty, in all its forms, will be directly criticized here. Such misconduct includes but is not limited to: quote-mining, cherry-picking, redirection and/or the use of red herrings, and of course outright lying.
  • Those who occupy positions of prominence or leadership, whether they are well-known scientists or widely-read Christian apologists, will be held to an appropriately higher standard than others. It's one thing for an anonymous undergraduate commenter to spout ignorance, and entirely another for the leader of a Christian media organization to do the same. You can expect me to be bluntly critical of public Christians who are irresponsibly careless. I will make every effort to be fair and (as of summer 2011) I will avoid passing judgment on morals or motives. Nevertheless, Christians who associate the name of Jesus with nonsense or dishonesty will be held accountable here, and whether their feelings get hurt is not my prime concern.
  • I don't respond to every critic. In some cases, the critic is a Culture Warrior or low-integrity mouthpiece who doesn't deserve a response. In other cases, the criticism has already been answered repeatedly (endless arguments from ignorance are a good example).
  • I reserve the right to quote any comment in full, even if you have deleted it or tried to delete it.
  • This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Please read the license before using my work for your own purposes.