About and Road Rules

About Miracle Girl

Miracle Girl is a soufflé of skepticism, science, and politics, served with a generous portion of satire and spiced with all manners of geekery. And it all began with a Miracle of God™.

You wouldn’t think God would save the life of someone the Washington Post later called, “Funny, profane and adamantly atheistic.” Stephanie Savage’s attitude is naturally born of a childhood free of religion. Indeed, her first published work appeared in American Atheist Magazine.

Yet, the birth of Miracle Girl truly began when Stephanie emerged from a series of strokes and a six-week coma to proclamations of a miracle. Since then, she has refocused her career from satirical fiction to secularist nonfiction, publishing an article in Skeptical Inquirer and multiple essays in Free Inquiry. If God saved her for a reason, he certainly does work in mysterious ways.

Road Rules

Let me say right off the bat that I have by and large a very respectful and informed commenting community. That’s why I took over a year to get around to penning a formal comment policy. But for those who don’t instinctively know proper comment hygiene, here are my guidelines.

1. Remember that you’re responding to fellow Homo sapiens. Even if someone seems to fail the Turing test, odds are the person you’re engaging with has real human feelings instead AI replicant programming. Respond accordingly. Ask yourself, what I would I say if we were face to face?

2. No ad hominem attacks. While we’re all hominins, ad hominems have no place in reasoned discourse between sapients. Counter their arguments, but don’t attack the arguer.

3. In case you haven’t picked this up by now, I’m a liberal. And as former-future paleontologist who was raised without religion, I have no respect for creationists. But Patheos is a religious and political cornucopia. I’m not going to say conservative and theistic commenters are welcome, but I resist censoring ideas I disagree with, as tempting as it can be. Speak your peace, if you’re respectful. But don’t keep hammering your position repeatedly, making the same argument over and over and over again to multiple commenters.

4. That goes for people who agree with me (and you), too. Counter arguments you don’t agree with, but try to remain respectful. The other person may not believe they’re a fellow upright ape, but treat them like one, anyway.

5. Sunlight kills trolls. If you’re a troll, consider yourself fried.

6. Don’t hurl insults. Banter is fun, friendly teasing is encouraged, and sarcasm is essential to sanity, but nasty invective is best left to Donald Trump.

7. A further note on sarcasm. Sarcasm is the life’s blood of the internet. I won’t ban people for sarcasm; I’m a smartass myself. But it can be a fine line between sarcasm and insult. If I think a sarcastic crack goes over the line, I’ll issue a warning. Take the hint.

8. I always appreciate when readers correct me respectfully. Really. Site the error and the evidence proving it, and I will thank you and fix it. Point out the typos. Show me my brain farts. While my brain wasn’t in fact profoundly brain-damaged, my ADHD-addled brain is always a misfired synapse away from a screw-up.

9. The running theme in these rules is R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Now you’ve found out what it means to me.