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The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Welcome to the Talk.Origins Archive

"What is the Talk.Origins Archive?"

The Talk.Origins Archive is a collection of articles and essays that explore the creationism/evolution controversy from a mainstream scientific perspective. In other words, the authors of most of the articles in this archive accept the prevailing scientific view that the earth is ancient, that there was no global flood, and that evolution is responsible for the earth's present biodiversity. For more information on the archive's stand on the issues see Frequently Asked Questions and their answers.

The archive was established in 1994 to provide easy access to the many FAQ (frequently asked questions) files and essays that were being posted regularly to the Usenet newsgroup Since that time, the archive has grown immensely. It now houses a "post of the month" feature, a local search engine, a user feedback page, and an extensive list of links to other web sites dealing with the creation/evolution controversy.

"Why doesn't the archive contain any articles that support creationism?"

The Talk.Origins Archive exists to provide mainstream scientific responses to the frequently asked questions and frequently rebutted assertions that appear in The archive's policy is that readers should be given easy access to alternative views, but those who espouse alternative views should speak for themselves. Hence, the archive supplies links to relevant creationist web sites within many of its articles. It also maintains a frequently updated and extensive list of creationist and catastrophist web sites so that readers may familiarize themselves with anti-evolutionary perspectives on scientific issues.

"What is and how do I read it?" is a "Usenet newsgroup." Usenet newsgroups are electronic discussion forums, hosted on the Internet, where people from all over the world can gather and carry on public conversations and debates. The newsgroup known as "" is dedicated to the discussion of biological and physical origins and was established primarily to keep the contentious creation/evolution debate out of other scientific and religious newsgroups. readers participate in Usenet discussions by reading and "posting" articles with special news-reading software. Examples of popular news-reading software for Windows and Macintosh platforms include Netscape Navigator news reader, Microsoft Internet Explorer news reader, Xnews, and Forte Free Agent. On Unix systems, "trn" and "nn" are popular news reading programs. Contact your system administrator or internet service provider to find out which software is best for you.

Before posting to, you are strongly encouraged to review the Talk.Origins Welcome FAQ and the Talk.Origins Archive's FAQ. If you post to with a question or challenge that has already been answered by one of the many FAQs, you will probably be met with scorn.

"But I tried to post to and it didn't work."

In early 1997, became a moderated newsgroup. This was done in order to prevent a serious problem known as "excessive cross-posting." Excessive cross-posting occurs when a large number of people simultaneously post articles to many different, and usually irrelevant, Usenet newsgroups. became overwhelmed by excessive cross-posting, so its readers voted to "robo-moderate" in such a way that articles cross-posted to more than 4 Usenet newsgroups would be automatically rejected. Robo-moderation is entirely content-neutral.

Unfortunately, robo-moderation has had the negative side effect of preventing some users from successfully posting to Usually the posting problem occurs because a user's system administrators have not yet updated their systems to correctly treat as a moderated group.

There are ways around this problem. If you are having difficulty posting to, you can either (1) use the web-based news-posting interface at Google, or (2) post via email. Instructions for email posting to can be found in the Moderation and Posting to Talk.Origins FAQ. You should also contact your system administrators to let them know that you cannot post to directly.

"How do I know the contents of this archive are reliable?"

As a general rule, you should never rely too heavily on anything you read on the Internet. Read the primary, reviewed literature before making up your mind on any topic. Most of the archive's essays provide references to primary sources to make it easier for you to do this.

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