Is, "I learned [x] in school, is it really true" on topic or does there have to be a notable claim. Sometimes the things we learn are based on just A.) The half-informed understanding of our teachers of B.) the half-comprehending ability of ourselves.

So I'd like to know if just challenging the things I assume to be true because I learned them in school is good fodder for this site. I asked one question before and it was closed - but I wrote 'I was just wondering' which apparently is a keyword for destruction (which I heartily respect).

Would saying, I learned this in such and such a school and I'd like to know if it's BS be OK? Does it matter whether it was learned at a university or elementary school?

1 Answer 1


It doesn't matter where the claim comes from, however:

  • 1
    +1, although notability is hard to demonstrate for some specific claims made by teachers unless the OP does a lot of research upfront. Jul 19, 2011 at 16:22
  • @kon: not really. "My teacher says that homeopathy is real medicine, is it true?" :-)
    – Sklivvz
    Jul 19, 2011 at 16:25
  • Counter-example: my (otherwise great!) biology teacher said (on the topic of evolution, which he otherwise avidly defended) “there are still some developments which cannot be explained via evolution alone and which require new theories.” He was not intending this as a sneaking attempt to introduce creationism into the classroom. He just sucked at evolutionary biology. Now, this isn’t a notable claim that I know of, but I still think that it’s a common misconception among lay people and would be suitable on this site. Jul 19, 2011 at 16:30
  • @Konrad: On the other hand, the current evolution theory does not explain "everything", therefore there IS still a need for new theories (just like Newtonian or even relativistic physics do not explain everything and there is need for new theories), therefore I would call such claim not false, but rather tautological.
    – Suma
    Jul 20, 2011 at 7:16
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    @Suma His example was the transition from water dwellers to land dweller and the development of lungs. This is completely explained by evolution. In fact, I don’t know of anything in evolution that cannot be explained by it (this may sound tautological). Either way, I think your claim that “the current evolution theory does not explain ‘everything’” is a bit misinformed as well – while there are certainly gaps in understanding (e.g. the role of epigenetics), nothing suggests that fundamental new theories not compatible with currently known evolutionary mechanisms is required. Jul 20, 2011 at 7:25
  • This looks like a small misunderstanding between us around the word theory. I am not claiming what is needed are "fundamental new theories not compatible with currently known evolutionary mechanisms", just that there are still some unexplained areas ("gaps"), which need "new theories". I expect those new theories will be most likely be well compatible with current theories.
    – Suma
    Jul 20, 2011 at 8:19
  • @Suma My explanation was crap. => please read my explanation in the chat. Jul 20, 2011 at 8:53

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