4

Following a discussion in the comments for the answer to the Is the Earth 6000 years old? question, I asked https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/8833/is-understanding-of-chemistry-entirely-dependent-on-the-age-of-the-earth to clarify the subject I have no expertise in.

My question was first edited to change its scope and then closed as not notable by the same person in what I perceive as a conflict of interest. How can I dispute that decision through a community process?

  • About your two posts: Claims here should be notable, and I'm not sure one answer on this site does make it notable. If you have an issue with an answer comment to it (as you did), use the chat room or meta, or post a better answer by yourself. There you can (briefly) point out what's wrong with the other one. You should not have posted two almost identical questions in within five minutes. I don't think we need questions about answers of other questions, at least not in this form. You are however right to criticize answers you think can be improved. – Martin Scharrer Apr 11 '12 at 10:35
  • @MartinScharrer Sklivvz already cleared up that his answer does not qualify as a notable claim, and I accept the decision to close the questions on that ground (as it seems to be a community consensus, mediated by admins). I'll be on the lookout for similar blanket claims that I might reference to re-open the question. As an explanation for my actions, I posted two questions because I viewed them as two separate claims. – ipavlic Apr 11 '12 at 11:15
  • Um, one, they're moderators not admins, two, you're already in the place to do it. – casperOne Apr 27 '12 at 11:48
3

You're in the right place, if you want to reach the community of this site and the other moderators. Posting here on meta is the preferred way of dealing with moderation disagreements.

If you want to complain directly to the Stack Exchange team you can write a mail to the address linked in the site footer (team@stackexchange.com).

  • Thank you. No, I don't want to complain to the Stack Exchange. I might be in error and would like to hear the opinions of other users to correct me. – ipavlic Apr 10 '12 at 7:43
  • @ipavlic: Have I got this right? Your question is "How do I discuss/complain this issue?" Fabian has said "Preferably, post a meta-question here, or else email the Stack Exchange Team." Based on your response, sounds like the former is ideal. – Oddthinking Apr 10 '12 at 10:03
  • @Oddthinking Yes, you got it right. I agree, the former options is ideal. I'll accept the answer. – ipavlic Apr 10 '12 at 10:06
  • One way to avoid the impression of moderator abuse is that an possible biased moderator asks a different moderator to execute the action in question (here closing the question), e.g. in form of a flag. I did this once on TeX.SE where I'm a moderator. This way there is a second opinion and some community control, in form of a second moderator. – Martin Scharrer Apr 11 '12 at 10:43
  • @MartinScharrer agreed, and that's what I did for the second question. However, I think that's evident to everybody that there was only good faith involved here. Finally, we have a meta question on moderator's conflict of interests. 3 out of 4 mods are top 5 users on the site, so that's why we can get involved in this more often that one thinks. – Sklivvz Apr 11 '12 at 16:32
2

This was going to be a comment but it's too big.

Notability requires a large amount of people. The reasoning behind it is, in part, that we don't want petty discussions to happen here.

In your case you are claiming I am a notable source of the claim: this is doubly wrong. I am not notable and I am not making that claim.

Unless you find a real, external claim, and make your question about a genuine curiosity, as opposed to a question on another post, on a non-otherwise-notable wording, then your questions should stay closed.

  • 1
    Thank you for you clarification of notability! I disagree with you on you not making the claim, but agree with upholding the notability rule if you are not a notable source. – ipavlic Apr 11 '12 at 8:00
0

This should be a comment, but it as it is quite long, I am writing it here.

As a summary

  • I think some claims in original answer are unsubstantiated.
  • I am quite skeptical about them, even though they are purportedly scientific.
  • It feels natural to ask for the skeptics community to weigh them.
  • I don't see how they are not notable - they were brought up right here, from a very reputable member.

My actions

So what I did first is:

  1. Tried helping improve the answer with comments
  2. Provided an alternative answer

Motivated by FAQ: When is it appropriate to "be a dick" on Skeptics?

If you want to make unsubstantiated claims, expect to be called on it. But just as equally, if you want to rant and rave and do a bunch of hand-waving as the skeptic, expect to be EQUALLY be called out about it as well. Otherwise, this site will fail.

I then:

  1. Asked for a skeptical examination of the claims in the answer with two questions (https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/8834/are-there-any-20th-century-physics-hypotheses-independent-on-the-age-of-earth and https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/8833/is-understanding-of-chemistry-entirely-dependent-on-the-age-of-the-earth)
  2. Tried improving my question when met with constructive criticism

Reactions

My question was edited to change its scope, and then closed by the OP. In the meantime, my other question was closed as not notable by another administrator. I still don't feel comfortable with the situation. Everybody will be unhappy sometimes, and community cannot go out of its way to please individuals. I understand that and will not pursue this question any further.

Edit to address comments

There are two underlying problems: 1) Claims must be notable and 2) You are not really being skeptical of the claims of my answer. In other words you seem to be rephrasing my answer in a different way, but by doing so you are taking a defensible claim and make it into something completely indefensible. I know that this is not at all what you meant, however that is the reason why we acted upon your question. – Sklivvz♦

If you have a specific doubt about a specific, verbatim sentence in my answer, please comment on the answer and I will try to address it – Sklivvz♦

I tried addressing 1) with

I don't see how they are not notable - they were brought up right here, from a very reputable member.

I might be very mistaken here - I am quite new to Skeptics.

As for 2), I'll use your other comment to provide you with material you requested.

In Is the Earth 6000 years old? you write

If the Earth were young, it would imply that All XX century physics is very wrong

I am of opinion that this is a hasty generalization. In https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/23548/8575 you write

There's surely a bunch of physics which does not depend on QM or relativity, BUT I think it's reasonable to say that all the major (theoretical) physics that was done in the XX century does depend on one of these.

As an analogy, let's say I claim that:

  • most of Skeptics active members are agnostics or anti-religious
  • therefore all Skeptics members are agnostic or anti-religious

That is clearly faulty reasoning (never mind the premises or the results). But you even claim that you deem reasonable that there is "a bunch of physics that does not depend on either QM or GR" and maintain a weaker statement that it is reasonable that major theoretical physics (a subset of all physics done in the 20th century) depends on either QM or QR. If I understand your writing, that would imply you are generalizing.

Physics is one of similar statements you made (that I might have misunderstood). Other examples are:

  • [If the Earth were young, it would imply that] We have no clue about why chemistry works
  • [If the Earth were young, it would imply that] We don't really understand modern medicine
  • [If the Earth were young, it would imply that] All modern biology is wrong

Of those claims, the modern biology one seems plausible to me. Modern medicine and chemistry claims do not. I maintain my skepticism of your claims.

  • There are two underlying problems: 1) Claims must be notable and 2) You are not really being skeptical of the claims of my answer. In other words you seem to be rephrasing my answer in a different way, but by doing so you are taking a defensible claim and make it into something completely indefensible. I know that this is not at all what you meant, however that is the reason why we acted upon your question. – Sklivvz Apr 10 '12 at 20:43
  • If you have a specific doubt about a specific, verbatim sentence in my answer, please comment on the answer and I will try to address it. – Sklivvz Apr 10 '12 at 20:44
  • @Sklivvz I addressed your comments in an edit. My first action was commenting on your answer. – ipavlic Apr 11 '12 at 7:33
  • I really see no difference here. Look at the links on "all xx century physics": they point to the specific branches. Your argument doesn't amount to much more than a debate on wording, which is frankly uninteresting. – Sklivvz Apr 11 '12 at 7:39
  • Furthermore, points 1 and 2 refer to your closed questions, not your answer. To be more specific, I do provide a diagram on the answer pointing to the specific branches and specific principles of physics. This is why I make point 2. Point 1 is either caused by point 2, because I am certainly not making those claims, but also stands in its own. My claims are not notable enough. – Sklivvz Apr 11 '12 at 7:44
  • @Sklivvz That's exactly the point: the links point to specific branches, yet you claim all physics would be wrong which is a hasty generalization. As for your other comment, let YC = [If the Earth were young, it would imply that] We have no clue about why chemistry works and UC = Understanding of chemistry is entirely dependent on the age of the Earth?. To me, YC→UC is not unreasonable. – ipavlic Apr 11 '12 at 7:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .