I am referring to this question. It has to do with digging into the original source of a claim. I don't understand why the mod put the question on hold.

Shouldn't this question be opened? After all, there are already a few such questions that are opened and are receiving good feedbacks from the community:

  1. Did medieval Russia reject Islam because of its prohibition against alcohol?
  2. Did chess not appear until after the death of Mohammad?

I got the above examples by doing a less than 3 minutes search, so I can infer that investigating the origin of claims should be a very integral part of skeptics.SE.

1 Answer 1


No it shouldn't, at least not in the form that you asked.

Many times we are "researching" the origin of a claim, but, we are never asked specifically to find the origin of a claim, but rather are asked if a claim is true. When a claim is true, many times in order to prove a claim we will find the original source. A very good example for this is Did Einstein say "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.", which is also a "did Einstein say this" question. The answer finds the original source for the quote, and since we are unable to determine it's reliability, each reader is left to judge on their own.

However, this is not the same as asking us to find a source for a claim. If a question can be answered without looking for a original source of the claim it's an accepted answer. For example:

The question Was Einstein's riddle (the zebra puzzle) created by Albert Einstein? is answered by "We have a reputable source saying that he didn't."

Asking us specifically to find the source of a certain claim is asking us to do original research that is not necessarily needed to check a claim.

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