This question - Can science explain how bicycles work? - was based off of a claim made by Cracked.com a site for satire and humor. To me I would think it obvious that sites like Cracked and The Onion should not be considered notable with out some other source that backs them up as notable.


3 Answers 3


If a meme is generally circulated and is accepted as a fact or true by a significant number of people then, yes, it should be acceptable as a notable claim. For example, if Jon Stewart makes a joke about something on The Daily Show and the audience believes it, then it would appropriate for this site to have a question asking if that claim was actually true, regardless of the fact it was presented in a humorous or satirical fashion.

  • The (real) question is how do you show that "the audience believes it". Simply because they laugh at it doesn't seem convincing that they are taking the claim literally. Aug 24, 2021 at 17:57

I would say no, obviously not: if the claim isn’t serious, then neither is it notable.

But Cracked.com isn’t (solely) a website of satire and humor, and the claim is actually a serious one (and surprisingly at least partially true – see the comments). I wouldn’t say that a Cracked.com claim is necessarily less notable than from, say, Daily Mail.

  • I would argue that it is not really partially true though this is not the place for that discussion. The original post is intended as humor. I am simply saying I think it needs another source to back it up as a notable claim.
    – Chad
    Aug 9, 2012 at 13:54
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    @Chad “the original post is intended as humor” – I dispute that. It’s certainly intended to be funny, but that doesn’t mean that they mean it seriously at the same time. Aug 9, 2012 at 13:56
  • So scientists are essentially back at square one, as things such as steering geometry and the physics of stability are all going back to the drawing board. - You can not seriously expect us to believe they meant that as fact.
    – Chad
    Aug 9, 2012 at 14:10
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    @Chad I do. And as far as I know this is even accurate. Aug 9, 2012 at 14:12
  • @Chad not paying attention to the site and just reading the article the first time gave me no impression whatsoever that they were not being serious (could be a case of Poes Law tho)
    – Stefan
    Aug 16, 2012 at 14:27

I think in this case the OP just chose a bad notable claim, but the question is a valid one. Ive read enough pop sci books to know that the whole subject of bycycle stability is one that comes up time and time again.

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