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The following questions have been identified as possibly unfalsifiable. How should we handle them?

Instructions

  1. One unfalsifiable question per answer
  2. Include the question link and a short sentence describing why you think it's not falsifiable and what should we do (epic edit or delete).
  3. If you think the question is improvable through a simple edit, then do it instead of putting it up here.
  4. If the question needs an epic edit, post it here first.
  5. If the question is not salvageable, put it here.

Please only post questions that you do NOT want on the site

  • Have you looked at the answers to this question? It seems your position that unfalsifiable questions are not on topic was the most supported. – user5582 May 21 '13 at 16:36
  • @Sancho I've deleted a bunch of your answers (sorry!!!) because if you think that a question should be left open, it doesn't belong here - otherwise we'll end up with a million cases where we all agree! – Sklivvz May 21 '13 at 17:49
  • I thought you wanted a bunch of possibly unfalsifiable questions on here. I generally only included ones where the accepted answer stated that the question was unfalsifiable. Part 2 of this question asked for "what should we do", and for many of the possibly unfalsifiable questions, I thought they should be kept open. Sorry, I didn't understand what you were asking for. – user5582 May 21 '13 at 17:51
  • @Sancho: thanks, sorry for the confusion! If anyone thinks they should be closed, then it's worthwhile discussing them. – Sklivvz May 21 '13 at 17:53
  • If a question is unfalsifiable, we can't answer it, so what's the point of keeping it? – Sklivvz May 21 '13 at 19:23
  • "If a question is unfalsifiable" it still might be provable as true. Therefore it can be answered. And is not "there is no evidence for this claim" just as valid an answer as "yes" or "no"? – Jonathon Sep 7 '15 at 15:26
  • @JonathonWisnoski you may want to take a look at the concept of falsifiability (it's not as trivial as it sounds). An unfalsifiable claim is not testable scientifically. "Proving" an unfalsifiable claim is the definition of "pseudoscience". – Sklivvz Sep 7 '15 at 21:52
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https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/14359/can-humans-eradicate-all-known-life-on-earth

This question asks us to look into the future or at a hypothetical that has not been realized.

This question should be closed.

  • It's a what-if question, we should close it as not constructive. – Sklivvz May 21 '13 at 17:51
1

Will the Affordable Care Act negatively impact radiologists in America?

This question asks us to look into the future.

This question should be closed.

  • This is answerable by economical modeling of the form routinely used to do economic projections. – user5341 May 24 '13 at 14:32
  • So we can do original research here? – user5582 May 24 '13 at 15:46
  • Or are you saying relying on somebody else's economic modeling? – user5582 May 24 '13 at 15:47
  • The second . :) – user5341 May 24 '13 at 17:51
  • Ah, I agree. Although, the question would then be better phrased, "Is it predicted that the Affordable Care Act will negatively impact radiologists in America", rather than "will the ACA negatively impact..." – user5582 May 24 '13 at 17:56
  • that's why they pay you the big bucks (+2rep) for editing :) – user5341 May 24 '13 at 18:06
0

https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15699/could-north-korea-really-build-a-working-nuke-in-a-year

This asks us to look into the future and have knowledge of North Korea's current plutonium stores and nuclear capabilities.

This question should be closed.

  • 1
    Borderline imo. One could make an economical argument. – Sklivvz May 21 '13 at 17:52
  • That doesn't prove falsity, and the argument would likely have to be original research. – user5582 May 21 '13 at 17:52
  • Some economist could have published a paper proving they don't have the money, thus making it non-original. E.g. "building a bomb costs 20x their GDP". – Sklivvz May 21 '13 at 17:56
  • So, if it's possible that somebody could have published a paper asserting a negative, then the claim is falsifiable? Then, in that case, almost nothing is unfalsifiable. – user5582 May 21 '13 at 17:57
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Do minimum wage laws disproportionately harm black employment?

It's not really clear to me how it is possible to answer this beyond a simple correlation. Also, like many of macroeconomic question, it's basically impossible to test.

Let's close it.

  • IMHO, You should start a discussion about closing ALL macroeconomic questions rather than singling out this one (as it doesn't seem very majorly different from the rest of the lot). – user5341 May 24 '13 at 14:33

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