About this site….

My name is Elizabeth Liddle, and I started this site to be a place where people could discuss controversial positions about life, the universe and everything with minimal tribal rancour (pay no attention to the penguins….)

My motivation for starting the site has been the experience of trying to discuss religion, politics, evolution, the Mind/Brain problem, creationism, ethics, exit polls, probability, intelligent design, and many other topics in venues where positions are strongly held and feelings run high.  In most venues, one view dominates, and there is a kind of “resident prior” about the integrity, intelligence and motivation of those who differ from the majority view.

That is why the strapline says: “Park your priors by the door”.  They may be adjusted by the time you leave!

I will start the blog off with a series of posts arising from some interesting discussions at Uncommon Descent, which were difficult to pursue because of the blog format over there.  I hope that the participants in those discussions will come over here where we can continue them without having to move from squat to squat on other threads, derailing them as we go.

I also hope that other people will join me in posting new OPs, so that it becomes a group blog, and that people will also offer to write guest OPs.

In the mean time, welcome to all, and have a free virtual beer on the house!




238 Replies to “About this site….”

  1. Mike Elzinga says:





    Editing shows the editor put the blockquote tags around everything.

  2. Mike Elzinga says:

    HTML editor without blockquote.

    HTML editor sentence in blockquotes

    No blockquotes on this sentence.

  3. Mike Elzinga says:

    I guess that is the way I have to do it with my browser (IE 8).

  4. Neil Rickert says:

    This is a line of notepad text that will be copy/pasted into the editor with the quotes applied.

    I admit that I am not using notepad (I use linux).  Maybe I’ll try tomorrow on Windows.

    To do what you described:

    Push the quote button.

    Enter text to be quoted.

    Enter a new line.

    Unpush the quote button while cursor is at the end (that new line).  Now paste in unquoted stuff as desired.

    It works for me with copy/paste from kwrite (similar to notepad).  I am using firefox, though I doubt that matters.

    If I have copied multiple paragraphs, then I have to put the cursor on the line between the paragraphs, and backspace.  That merges the paragraphs.  Then I hit enter to separate them again.  Then the software properly follows the paragraph breaks.  Otherwise it treats multiple (notepad-like) paragraphs as a single wordpress paragraph.

  5. Reciprocating Bill says:

    Now I’m getting a server error. Test…

  6. Mike Elzinga says:

    I’m not finding any difference between copy/pasting from Microsoft Word (which I use most often) or from Notepad.  I just tried out Notepad to see if there might be some formatting in Microsoft Word that was screwing things up.


    However, even when I enter stuff into the editor without copy/pasting from another source, I am getting the same problems.  I am doing exactly everything you do, but it doesn’t work most of the time.  It only worked once; and I don’t know what happened after that.


    The buttons are supposed to act in the same way that they do in Word; you press them and you are in that mode until you press them again.  But, for some reason, that isn’t the way they are behaving for my browser.


    I can live with the HTML editor if I want to write some math. I can do it in Word where I can see better, and then copy/paste.  I don’t need to write math here very often anyway.


    The HTML editor update button shows as a line below the Cancel button; but as long as I know what it is, I can use it.

  7. Flint says:

    When I hit the HTML button, I can edit all I want, but there is no update button, ONLY a cancel. Posting with the HTML window open doesn’t post what I wrote there. Closing that window eliminates the HTML, as does CANCEL.

    Pressing the quote icon puts the entire post into blocks instantly, no matter where the cursor is or when I do it. Unpressing that button takes the entire post out of block mode, no matter where the cursor is or when I unpress it.

    I have found that if I write and post a few characters, I have one hour to edit that post. The edit window allows HTML, and the SAVE button saves it, so that the post is modified to include the tags as intended. The downsides are, I have only an hour to do this, and I have to post something unintended in order to have access to the “edit this post” functionality.     

  8. Flint says:

    Now for some experimenting.

    <blockquote>This is quoted as a block</blockquote>
    And this is outside the block.  

    Aha, loading that into the edit window shows that the angle brackets have been replaced by “&lt” and “&gt” strings, which don’t work properly.

  9. Mike Elzinga says:

    Look very carefully around – and especially below – the Cancel button.  I found a short, somewhat thick line which I had overlooked earlier.


    Hovering your cursor over that line makes a pound sign appear on the lower left hand border of the edit window.


    Click on that line when the pound sign appears.  That is apparently the Update button squashed by our browsers.

  10. Mike Elzinga says:

    This is a quoted sentence in the HTML editor using blockquote tags.

    This sentence is not quoted. Hovering over the thick line just below the cancel button causes a pound sign to appear on the lower left hand corner of the border surrounding the edit window. Clicking it updates.

     Then you can post.

  11. OMTWO says:

    Ah, when you load it into the edit window it gets escaped the same way that somebody entering javascript into a comment would have it converted into harmless strings that can still be represented in the browser as “<” but don’t get executed as code. 

    I guess if you edit the html only in the html editor (right most icon) it should work.


    Like so

  12. Flint says:

    Experimenting with the thin gray line under the cancel button.

    Now I’m going to hover over the line and clickblockquote Then I’ll exit the HTML source editor.

  13. Flint says:

    Interesting. It honored the

    opening blockquote, but ignored the closing




    Probably I made a typo.

  14. Thorton says:

    <a href=http://themescompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2538699.jpg>test link</a>

    OK, that didn’t work. How do you post links in the new format?

    test link 2

  15. Reciprocating Bill says:

    This is plain text.

    This is quoted text.

    This is plain text.

  16. Reciprocating Bill says:

    This is plaintext

    This is quoted text

    This is plaintext

  17. petrushka says:

    I can’t get quoted text to work, and I can’t post at all from my tablet.

    These problems are new.

    The tablet no longer sees input forms as input forms. Posting is completely disabled. 

  18. Allan Miller says:

    URL test link

  19. petrushka says:

    I cannot post at all from a tablet, and using Chrome on a PC, I have lost all html functionality. I cannot even do blockquotes, and the published text does not bear any resemblance to the WYSIWYG editor.

    For me the site is nearly unusable. At least the simple editor allowed me to insert blockquotes. 

  20. OMTWO says:

    I’m directly editing the HTML if doing anything other then a plain post. Can’t see to work out quoting etc in the actual interface. 

  21. petrushka says:

    Can I once again submit my complaint about the posting form?

    I cannot post at all from a tablet. The box simply doesn’t allow text entry of any kind.

    My main browser is google chrome, and the formatting tools simply don’t work.

    So I am mostly unable to post, and when I do, I cannot use any formatting. 

  22. Elizabeth says:

    Yes, sorry.  I just haven’t had time to spend on trying to sort this out without risking breaking it.

    It’s nearly at the top of my to-do list.

  23. BioTurboNick says:

    Not sure where else to post this… the domain homepage (http://thesketpicalzone.com/) is giving me a php error:

    Warning: require_once(/home2/qfycpamv/public_html/../seagull/lib/SGL/FrontController.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home2/qfycpamv/public_html/setup.php on line 98

    Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required ‘/home2/qfycpamv/public_html/../seagull/lib/SGL/FrontController.php’ (include_path=’.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php’) in /home2/qfycpamv/public_html/setup.php on line 98 

  24. petrushka says:

    In my experience the site is slow and sometimes times out.

  25. keiths says:


    I see that problem also. My workaround was to bookmark theskepticalzone.com/wp .

  26. Toronto says:


    You typed   (http://thesketpicalzone.com/)

    instead of (http://theskepticalzone.com/)

  27. Lizzie says:

    The forum thingy I originally plugged in to this site (the Penguin Colony) is no longer functioning, not just because of the hack (I also stopped my subscription). However, the occasional Disturbance in the Force you may be experiencing here right now is because I am trying to set up a more integrated phpbb forum, which might make life more comfortable for discussion without losing the benefits (which I think there are) of blog format. I’ve backed everything up in case I booboo, but if you come here and find things are looking odd, it’s probably because I miscoded something at the back end of the phpbb, and will fix.

  28. davidkavanagh123 says:

    Reader via the Archbishop Cranmer site. Finally got around to ‘registering’ with this site. Took about half an hour to figure despite setting up a wordpress account, I also needed to register with this site. Oy Vey, the joys of internet discussion forums!

  29. Alan Fox Alan Fox says:


    Welcome David. All first comments are automatically held for moderation. Any further comments will appear immediately. Not sure what difficulty you encountered registering,

  30. David Kavanagh says:

    Nah, it was me not getting to grips with WordPress you see, as I’m a bit of a technophobe, like having ‘123’ after my name. I’ve got rid of that and made a comment on a thread below, so I guess that will need moderating as my profile doesn’t have 123 on it anyone.

  31. Neil Rickert says:

    David Kavanagh: so I guess that will need moderating

    I’ve approved that, so it should now be visible to all. And welcome.

  32. David Kavanagh says:

    Neil Rickert: I’ve approved that, so it should now be visible to all.And welcome.

    Great & thanks for the welcome. (:

  33. flame30 says:

    ah, it was me not getting to grips with WordPress you see, as I’m a bit of a technophobe, like having ‘123’ after my name. I’ve got rid of that and made a comment on a thread below, so I guess that will need moderating as my profile doesn’t have 123 on it


  34. J-Mac says:

    Am I allowed to post on this blog? I have a few pretty interesting themes that could possibly become interesting discussion subjects… I hope …

  35. Mung Mung says:

    J-Mac: Am I allowed to post on this blog?

    Everyone should be able to create an OP.

    Look for the + New in the title bar and when hovering over it click on Post in the dropdown menu.

  36. J-Mac says:


    Helpful…at least once…and that would be it for now…

  37. Neil Rickert says:

    J-Mac: Am I allowed to post on this blog?

    Yes. But you might find that you need help publishing what you prepare. If that happens, post a brief note in the moderation thread.

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