Centauri Dreams publishes selected comments on the articles under discussion here. The primary criterion is that comments contribute meaningfully to the debate. Among other criteria for selection: Comments must be on topic, directly related to the post in question, must use appropriate language and must not be abusive to others. Civility counts. In addition, a valid email address is required for a comment to be considered. Centauri Dreams is emphatically not a soapbox for political or religious views submitted by individuals or organizations.

In addition, please note that UFOs are not a topic I deal with on Centauri Dreams. This is not out of lack of interest in the possibilities but because of two facts:

1) There are many sites on the Internet that specialize in the subject, so I leave it to them, and:

2) Past experience has shown that when the discussion turns to UFOs, it quickly evolves — no matter what the original topic was — into arguments over the existence of UFOs, arguments that are all too often counterproductive and take us far off topic.

Centauri Dreams is not about the existence of UFOs, nor about alien abductions, ‘ancient astronauts,’ electric universe cosmology or other New Age talking points. It is a review of peer-reviewed research. I have no idea what UFOs are. Because the evidence is anecdotal and non-reproducible, the Tau Zero Foundation chooses to leave their study to others. I note with approval what Tau Zero Foundation director and founding architect Marc Millis has to say:

“Tau Zero does not study UFOs. The topic is too mired in anecdotal, perception-based evidence rather than on irrefutable physical evidence. Additionally, a fair and impartial study would have to include a significant investigation into psychology and sociology. Such excursions are beyond the scope of Tau Zero.”

And also beyond the scope of Centauri Dreams.

Finally, let me quote Sean Carroll’s blog policy on comments, which more or less parallels the policy here:

“This blog is not a free-speech zone; the internet as a whole is, but this blog is my personal space and I treat it accordingly. It’s an interesting-amusing-constructive speech zone. I don’t have time to do serious moderation, nor explain to commenters what they are doing wrong. Comments may — or may not, depending on how I’m feeling — be deleted for being off-topic, rude, boring, repetitive, or generally annoying. Commenters may be banned likewise.

“I love comments, and I’ve learned a lot from them, especially from people who know something I don’t or disagree in constructive ways. My goal in pruning comments and commenters is not to stifle debate, it’s to help ensure that it is informative and respectful.”

Well said.