Open thread: questions and explanations

Over on the T-urf13 thread we had a request for an open thread for questions and answers. In the spirit of the holiday season, I’m happy to oblige. However, let’s make this an experiment in attempting to increase the signal-to-noise ratio in blog comments. I suggest:

  1. This thread is not for arguing, it is for explaining.

  2. Thus the issue is not whether or not person X believes viewpoint Y, the only issue is to understand/explain the science relating to Y.

  3. Typically, these will be about evolution, but I imagine some people may have itching questions about climate science, given the recent denialgasm that’s been going on in the wingnut-o-sphere, found in some its most extreme, pitchforks-and-torches forms on the blogs of the Discovery Institute (there goes Casey Luskin’s attempt at pro-environment credibility, by the way) and William Dembski

  4. Don’t insult honest questioners who come to the thread. Give people the benefit of the doubt.

  5. Questioners: don’t take statements like “you really aren’t getting it” as insults, and don’t take “you need to read this reference” as a brush-off – learning requires effort and looking stuff up, particularly learning complicated science-y stuff.

  6. I will delete noncompliant posts in a fairly arbitrary and dictatorial manner, and I will take suggestions, since I don’t have time to monitor the thread constantly.

Like I said, this is an experiment – go to it!