In addition to Peter's timely reminders, I would suggest two additional guidelines:
1) Messages to only one person that do not advance the discussion (like "Thanks for that insightful comment" or "Are you the John Smith my brother went to college with?") should be sent by private e-mail and not copied to the entire list.
1a) If somebody sends you something by private e-mail, do not copy your reply to the entire list.
2) Let's remember that this list is for discussing the issues around which the ASA is organized, integrating science and Christian faith. It is inevitable and OK that sometimes discussions will drift into topics that are outside that area. A good example is the current discussion of doctrines of original sin, which I consider OK because it has a significant impact on science/faith discussions. But extended discussions on topics pretty much entirely unrelated to science/faith issues (important though the topics might be) should stop. My opinion is that the recent discussion about compassion, welfare policies, etc. is in this category. We should also resist if we are tempted to take an on-topic discussion off into such a direction.
Allan Harvey, email@example.com
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