Although I appreciated the force of Barry Hall's argument, I think his
analogy of a loud and unruly lout in a lecture hall is slightly mis-
leading. In the lecture hall, we couldn't prevent the offending sound waves
from reaching our ears, and even when concentrating on someone else's
voice the background shouting would be a distraction.
In an electronic forum, we have more choices. My first two interchanges
with Jones suggested that his opinions were not worth my time, so I stopped
reading the postings that carried his name in the header. I suggest that
others do the same, rather than resorting to threats or coercion.
It would help if we all tried to make better descriptive titles (I have
sometimes given vacuous or misleading titles to my postings in the past,
but I usually try to make them informative of the content).
This strategy will only fail when a newsgroup becomes crowded with opinions
that one does not care to hear, and most of one's time is spent sorting
out the bad apples. When that happens, its time to through out the whole
barrel, install a moderator, or institute censorship.
With respect to the (most likely) differing opinions of others that
participate in bionet.molbio.evolution,
Arlin at ac.dal.ca
disclaimer: my views only