What is the purpose of such a thing, El? It seem very imposing for starters and I agree with Brennen- start your own board.
As a reasonably well read layman with no advanced formal education, but with great interest and desire to explore the many subjects presented in this Forum, the very fact that tangential arguments are introduced has helped me in my quest to acquire better critical thinking skills. Separating the chaff from the grain is in itself a useful learning experience. After all, epistomology is the foundation for all scientific inquiry.
This may be somewhat frustrating to the more learned and experienced participants here who want to stay on the straight and narrow, but it does afford participation by the less learned yet serious and sincere participants. My posts are usually based on intuitive and hopefully logical reasoning and I tend to present my thoughts in very basic concepts, in the hope that someone will see a grain of truth and respond with more advanced and pertinent information or references to useful links. I believe this structure has allowed me to expand some of my horizons in profound ways and, looking back, has greatly increased my critical thinking, as well as debating skills.
So far my experience has been that the moderators are allowing a free flowing debate, but will intercede with guidance, when need arises. I recall several times where a moderator has suggested to start a new thread, when an interesting but unrelated thread begins to develop within an existing thread or restored order when a discussion degenerates into an ad hominem sparring session.
I would hate to see this forum become so formalized as to preclude participation by people outside of the world of science and philosophy.