“The Panda’s Thumb” is many things…

First, it is an example of jury-rigged evolutionary adaptation made famous by the late Stephen Jay Gould in an essay of the same name. Second, it is the legendary virtual bar serving the community of the legendary virtual University of Ediacara somewhere in the Ediacaran hills of southern Australia, growing out of the lore of the Usenet talk.origins newsgroup. And now it is a weblog giving another voice for the defenders of the integrity of science, the patrons of “The Panda’s Thumb”.

Much as in any tavern serving a university community, you can expect to hear a variety of levels of discussion, ranging from the picayune to the pedantic. The authors are people associated with the virtual University of Ediacara (and thus the talk.origins newsgroup), and various web sites critical of the antievolution movement, such as the TalkOrigins Archive, TalkDesign, and Antievolution.org.

So, here’s a virtual pub crawl that you might actually learn something from. We hope you find your time spent here pleasant and rewarding.

Panda’s Thumb Comment Integrity Policy

As a place to meet and share opinions, the Panda’s Thumb encourages a wide range of comments. In order to be clear about what patrons may expect concerning comment text they leave here, we state the following policies: As far as possible, the integrity of comments will be respected, with the following exceptions.

  1. Illegal, offensive, and spam comments may be removed in their entirety. The management has the sole privilege of determining whether a comment requires removal and whether a repeat offender should be banned.

  2. Superfluous comments may be removed without notice, as in talk between contributors concerning board layout, duplicate comments, or other meta-site issues.

  3. Broken links or other formating problems may be revised by the management to improve the utility of a comment, at the management’s sole discretion.

  4. Entry post authors and the management may move comments that are deemed inappropriate to the topic of the entry post, excessively inflammatory, or otherwise disruptive of substantive commentary to the Bathroom Wall. Repeat offenders may have their comments restricted to the Bathroom Wall or disemvoweled.

  5. The management is not responsible for factors beyond their control that may interfere with comment integrity, such as software glitches, hardware failure, and problems with Internet connectivity.

  6. Posting under multiple identities or falsely posting as someone else may lead to removal of affected comments and blocking of the IP address from which those comments were posted, at the discretion of the management.

Simply put, don’t make a jerk out of yourself. This policy may be revised as future conditions warrant.