[asa] List guidelines/policies

From: Terry M. Gray <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
Date: Fri Sep 25 2009 - 15:42:47 EDT


In light of the recent discussion, I thought it would be helpful to re-
post our rules/guidelines. As the guidelines themselves suggest,
please send your comments to moderators only (Ted Davis, Randy Isaac,
and myself) if you have questions.

Here is from the mail that everyone gets when they join the list. The
most pertinent is the first paragraph. This focus limits (and always
has) the skeptic. While we are all sympathetic with inquirers, it
simply is not the primary purpose of the ASA to engage and to answer
the skeptic's challenges.


This list seeks to complement and expand the work of the Americian
Scientific Affiliation, Box 668, Ipswich MA 01938. While membership
in the
ASA and affiliated organization the Canadian Scientific & Christian
Affiliation is not essential for participation it is understood that our
purpose is congruent with the goals of these organizations.


To subscribe to this list send email to majordomo@calvin.edu with the
words "subscribe asa" (no quotes) in the body of the message.

To terminate your subscription send email to majordomo@calvin.edu with
the words "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) in the body of the message.

A help document for Majordomo software can be obtained by sending email
to majordomo@calvin.edu with the word "help" (no quotes) in the body
of the

Posts to this list should be sent to asa@calvin.edu.

An archive of this list is available via World Wide Web at the URL:


Terry Gray in the Chemistry Department at Colorado State University is
managing this list. He can be contacted by email at grayt@lamar.colostate.edu



Information from the ASA office

        *announcements of meetings, local, national of ASA and related
        *information concerning ASA related projects such as AISRID,
ECHO, etc.
        *communications from the ASA Director and the Executive Council

Discussion of ASA matters

        *ideas for future projects
        *questions on ASA policies/practices

Positions open/Job Seekers

Discussion of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith articles

        *gently! we do have sensitive authors as well as those with
hard shells
        *this is the place to get it off your chest without waiting 6
              for a letter to the editor

Discussion of other relevent science-religion issues

Discussion of science-religion courses in church/high-school/college

Since the interests of members of the ASA span a broad range of topics
of which may not interest every reader, we such that posts to this group
have an category in the subject line so that readers not interested in
area can quickly pass over that particular post. Here is a list of
recommended categories:

ASA -- announcements and discussion of ASA policies
JOBS -- announcements of positions available and jobs wanted
ORIGINS -- creation/evolution discussion
ETHICS -- discussion of medical and other ethical questions raised by
            modern science
BIBLE -- discussion of exegetical/theological issues related to
ENVIRON -- discussion of environmental issues and ethics
SOC/PSYC -- discussion of Christianity and psychology and the social

A subject line would look like this:

ETHICS: Y chromosomes and behavior

and then a reply

Re: ETHICS: Y chromosomes and behavior.


Originally posted June 24, 2002. At that time the list was formally
moderated. We have since stopped
moderating most participants. Whereas before we wouldn't allow a post
to come through if rules were
violated, now we will remind the list (or an individual member) of
violations, and if uncorrected, we will
place them on "read-only" status. Note again rule #3 with respect to
questions and discussions that are
not in accord with ASA policies and character.


As of the Spring of 2002 this list became a moderated list. Every post
to the
list is approved by the moderator. This allows for more control over
spam and
unruly contributors and promotes general good order. In general, the
will not filter posts based on their content (except as outlined
below), but
rather based on their character. Since every message must be manually
inspected, there may be a delay between the time a message was posted
to the list and the
time it actually appears on the list.

1. Posts at all times must be courteous and demonstrate a general
charity and
respect. This does not mean that there cannot be disagreements or
devastating critiques of different viewpoints. However, it is possible
disagree without being disagreeable and to have a devastating critique
being harsh, rude or disrespectful. While not everyone agrees as to what
constitutes harsh, rude, or disrespectful behavior, there does seem to
be some
consensus based on the history of this list. The moderator will not
messages deemed to be of this character. Ordinarily, the message will
be sent
back to the person who posted the message with a request to repost the
after eliminating the offensive language.

2. Quips, one-liners, thank you's, messages that say nothing more than
"I agree"
or "I disagree", and other "chat room" type exchanges are discouraged.
these messages will not be posted and no explanation will be given.

3. Posts that attempt to undermine the policies and character of the
ASA will not
be approved. Decisions not to approve such posts will be made in
consultation with
the ASA executive director.

4. There is no promise that all posts will be of interest to all
members. You
should try to give your post an informative subject line using the
outlined above (or something similar) in order to help readers judge
or not a post is interesting. Users not interested in a particular
subject are encouraged to ignore and delete such messages. This should
considered the normal way to handle posts that you are not interested

5. Occasionally, list participants engage in the proverbial "beating a
dead horse".
Similarly, some discussions may get to a point where only one or two
members are
interested or are participating. Any list member who feels that this
the case may
suggest that the discussion of a topic be discontinued. List members
may also
request that those who are interested continue the discussion in private
correspondence. If insufficient interested in continuing the
discussion is
demonstrated by the list membership, the moderator will suggest that
discussion of the topic be discontinued. If those few members persist in
discussing the topic against the wishes of the group as a whole, the
moderator will "not
approve" messages pertaining to that subject. This option should be
used sparingly so as not to
hinder free discussion of ideas of interest to some list members.

6. People new to the list (or lurkers who have never posted before)
are encouraged
to tell the list a bit about their scientific interests and expertise
and something about where they are spiritually (theological or church
influences, etc.). While we don't want to get bogged down with
biographical information, such
information is usefully background to understanding one another.

7. Ordinarily, the decision of the moderator not to approve a post
will be final.
If you feel that you have been unfairly "not approved", explain your
reasons in
a message directly to the moderator and, if the decision was
questionable, he or
she will get an appropriate third party involved to mediate.

Originally posted July 6, 2002 and pointed to several times since then.

No more than four posts a day will be allowed from any single list
member. Members are encouraged to create substantive responses to
related post in a given thread (perhaps cutting and pasting relevant
sections from the posts to which they are responding). This policy 1)
prevents only a few individuals from dominating the list; 2) helps
restrain members who feel the need to respond to every post; 3)
requires members to be more selective in what they respond to; and 4)
encourages more substantive posts.

Somewhat related to this rule is this additional rule:

Quote only parts of the message that are relevant to your response.
Messages that unnecessarily include large portions of a previous
message will not be posted or will be edited by the moderator.
Archives of the ASA list are immediately available at
http://www.calvin.edu/archive/asa/ if you need to see the history of
a given thread. These are arranged by date and time posted, author,
and thread.
Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri Sep 25 15:44:38 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Sep 25 2009 - 15:44:38 EDT