An international, interdisciplinary discussion list aimed at cosmologists, biologists, philosophers, systems theorists, complexity theorists and other scholars interested in exploring and critiquing models, hypotheses, questions, and speculations relating to the evolution and development of the universe as a system. We also use this list to discuss EDU conference, journal, wiki, and community activities. Please read list rules and recommendations before posting. On occasion, subject to discussant approval, discussion excerpts may be posted to the EDU wiki. EDU-Talk is an admission-moderated private list. Please ask potential new members to complete the brief EDU-Talk subscription form.
There is also a moderated public list, EDU-Notices, for news of the EDU community, and posting notices on EDU themes.
This list is for information sharing, discussion, and civil debate among scholars. Please be:
- 1. Courteous and Professional. We are all students, and a few of us occasionally teachers, on this list. Every member is a host of the community, so please be a good host. Try to state common ground when you disagree. Many of us are specialists using different assumptions and frameworks, even different meanings for the same words. Don't be afraid to respectfully critique other's ideas, but please don't be dismissive or arrogant. No personal attacks, insults, rants or diatribes. Be open to occasional conjecture and speculation (part of the mission of the list). Use special courtesy and reservation (non-extremism) when discussing emotion-provoking or controversial topics. Please minimize personal ego, showboating and irrelevant detail. Exercise care in grammar and spelling.
- 2. Concise. Few long posts or interminable discussions. If you are among the most frequent posters, ask yourself whether reducing your frequency might be of benefit to the group (less cognitive overhead, higher quality posts, more room for others to "talk"). Posts of five paragraphs or less, and discussions that wrap up quickly (there are many readers) are ideal where practical. When sharing commonly available material (e.g., news) of longer than a few paragraphs, please try to post a brief excerpt (what you found most valuable) and a link to the rest. Paste in the whole text only if: A) you think it is relevant and may expire from public availability, or B) you're going to intersperse your comments throughout it.
- 3. Thread-using. Please use and respect the threaded topic structure of the list, so that members may skim the list posts and read their topics of interest. When you find the topic of a discussion drifting, please start your post as a new thread with an appropriately descriptive title. And if you are in an existing thread, try to keep to that threads original topic, until it has been 'talked through' and it is time to start a new thread. When any member looks at the list archive, they should see the major discussions within the community organized by topic threads, which makes it very easy for them to browse and post appropriately.
- 4. Info/discussion balanced. Please limit new information (notices, as opposed to discussion) posts to at most one a day per member. Please also strive to keep a balance between new information posts and discussion/feedback posts. Thank you for making an effort to occasionally share your personal feedback, appreciation, or insights with respect to others informational or discussion posts. A little validation and recognition goes a long way to building both our personal and community effectiveness!
- 5. Naturalistic and Evidence-based. This list is open to discussions of objective and subjective, collective and individual, reason and emotion, but always within a frame of naturalistic and evidence-based scholarly inquiry. Please avoid discussion of such topics as intelligent design, supernaturalism, theology, science and spirituality convergence, and non-naturalistic teleology or metaphysics. Such topics are outside the scope of our community. If discussing transcendentalist topics, please keep a naturalistic relation between the mental and physical, and please seek to ground your discussion in empirical/measurable/testable implications.
- 6. Privacy-respecting. This list follows the Chatham House Rule, encouraging private, not-for-attribution discussion of speculative and controversial topics with regard to evolutionary and developmental processes. You are free to publicly use any scholarly information discussed in EDU-Talk, but neither the verbatim quotations of participants, nor the identity or affiliation of group members (attribution) may be disclosed outside the group without explicit consent.
These rules may be adjusted over time. Those not following them will be warned and may be suspended.
Additional optional recommendations for your posts:
- 1. Contextualizing. When you post a news item to EDU-Talk, feel free to add a few sentences on what you think it portends or questions it raises, to stimulate discussion. General announcements not intended for potential discussion should be posted to EDU-Notices instead.
Thank you for bringing your insight and inquisitiveness to our community!