Skeptics, our tags need your attention!

There are a few tags which are vastly misused and need cleaning up. These tags are quite invariably being used as meta-tags or have such a generic meaning that are being clearly misused or overloaded.

Please we need you to:

  1. go through the list of questions
  2. remove these generic/misused tags from all questions and
  3. add the correct tags
  4. answer this question with the tags you are handling so we know it's done.

This will ensure that we get rid of ambiguous tags which are clearly misused by the community, especially newbies.

Good retagging!


See also: Too broad tags like science and pseudo-science, List of bad tags, Can we burninate the science tag already?

  • Tried looking at [human] but couldn't work out what the criteria for inclusion should be, so I left it for someone else. – Oddthinking Jul 10 '14 at 13:35
  • @Oddthinking inclusion? – Sklivvz Jul 10 '14 at 13:35
  • Space could also become space-explotation, for questions about voyageur, etc.. what do you think? – user5582 Jul 10 '14 at 13:56
  • health should also be there, also @Articuno, did you mean space-exploration? – SIMEL Jul 10 '14 at 14:04
  • @IlyaMelamed Yeah, health is pretty ambiguous too, especially when used alone. Feel free to add it in, but maybe let's leave it for last because it looks like a bit hairy. – Sklivvz Jul 10 '14 at 14:18
  • @Articuno dunno, use the tags you think are appropriate for each question and add new tags if you are going to use them substantially. – Sklivvz Jul 10 '14 at 14:20
  • Got it. And ya, I meant exploration – user5582 Jul 10 '14 at 14:31
  • Er...what's wrong with pareidolia? Doesn't seem to fit the description of the problem... – Nick Stauner Jul 12 '14 at 7:50
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    @nick it's more of an answer than a tag. One should not know beforehand. – Sklivvz Jul 12 '14 at 8:49
  • Since all the tags are done, shouldn't this get the "status completed" tag? – SIMEL Jul 17 '14 at 20:03

Went over and removed/replaced it from all questions

Went over and removed/replaced it from all questions

Went over and removed/replaced it from all questions

Went over and removed/replaced it from all questions

  • it should be removed from all questions, can you take care of it? – Sklivvz Jul 10 '14 at 13:14
  • The questions where I left the tag are in (my view) appropriate as they ask specifically about the field of science, whether it's gender representation in science, the effects of economy on science, or the contribution of monks to technological and scientific advancement. – SIMEL Jul 10 '14 at 13:24
  • I realize that, but the problem here is that a tag with the name "science" is ambiguous. If we remove it from all questions, it will stop being available for "abuse" by new users. If we leave it even on one question, then any user will be able to use it, and since it's ambiguous... we did the same for "medicine", people were using it for both medicines and medical science, so we nuked it from everywhere! – Sklivvz Jul 10 '14 at 13:34
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    @Sklivvz, fine, you win, there are no more questions with the science tag, one of them was replaced with scientific-research – SIMEL Jul 10 '14 at 13:48
  • Thank you a million Ilya!!! – Sklivvz Jul 10 '14 at 13:48

The tag is all gone.

The tag is all gone.


I've deep-6'd:

As a bonus, I also threw out , , , and ! Next, we really ought to do something about ...Also, some synonyms to reconsider:

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    I've actually changed death to mortality, death being more generic and less precise. I've done so with an alias, so death should be gone for good. – Sklivvz Jul 12 '14 at 10:46
  • @Sklivvz: Saw that; nice move. – Nick Stauner Jul 12 '14 at 10:47
  • Those seem to be candidates for synonyms, can you open a separate question for those, because it's better if we discuss -- none of those tags seems to be necessarily more precise than the other. – Sklivvz Jul 12 '14 at 12:41
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    drugs is different from pharmaceutical because (in my mind) drugs is related to illegal drugs or mind altering drugs, while pharmaceutical is for drugs which are manufactured and sold by pharmaceutical companies, so questions about grass and cocaine are drugs and questions about penicillin and Viagra are pharmaceutical. There is an area where they overlap, like in the case of Vicodin, but then it's a matter of the content of the question, and maybe a case where both tags are appropriate. – SIMEL Jul 12 '14 at 13:48
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    @IlyaMelamed We have recreational-drugs for illicit drugs. – Sklivvz Jul 12 '14 at 18:34
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    @Sklivvz, then drugs should indeed be removed and be put under recreational-drugs or pharmaceutical. – SIMEL Jul 12 '14 at 20:43
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    @IlyaMelamed I agree, I was suggesting a separate question to give a little more visibility so to get feedback from the community/explain the correct usage to the community. – Sklivvz Jul 12 '14 at 20:52

I'm a little surprised pareidolia was treated as a meta-tag.

When asking whether the Face on Mars was made by aliens, it'd be more of an answer than a tag, which would be bad. The tag would be saying "The structures there doesn't bear a close resemblance to a human face, people only mistakenly think it does, therefore there's nothing for the aliens to create."

But when asking whether people mistook sea cows for mermaids, it's a description of the question. It's asking "Did sailors at sea suffer from pareidolia?"

  • In the mermaids example, pareidolia is only one reason that they may have mistook sea cows for mermaids. The questions that I think would be appropriate use of the tag would be more like "Does pareidolia happen in the inferotemporal lobe?" or "Does taste Pareidolia exist?". – user5582 Jul 12 '14 at 11:52
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    It has an overloaded meaning: describing the answer and describing the question. No tag, in isolation, is 100% meta: it's the ambiguous usage of it that makes it so. There could be valid questions about statistics (e.g. "Is Bayesian statistics predictive?"), but the problem is that people use it to tag sociology questions; on the other hand, it's a perfectly fine tag on maths. – Sklivvz Jul 12 '14 at 12:13
  • is gone, but there were 3 or 4 question I've had to tag for lack of a better idea.
  • is gone. this was a big change (150 questions) so I've blacklisted it as well.
  • is gone. It was one of our long-standing problem tags, and it was another 100 question change. I've blacklisted it to make sure it doesn't come back.
  • is gone. I've created for specific questions and retagged the others.


  • is also gone, retagged with a claim specific tag (ghosts? esp? sound?)
  • You really don't like statistics do you. I've added a defence in the thread about it. And, even if you think it is a meta-tag, there are still plenty of questions where it is the main topic that can't be well tagged without it so you have done a disservice to us by blacklisting it. – matt_black Jul 12 '14 at 14:45

I think having a tag about science or scientific process is valuable.

Tagging: "Can up to 70% of scientific studies not be reproduced?" with "scientific process" makes much more sense than tagging it with "news" and "media". The question is about science itself and it's useful to have a bag for question on that meta level.


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