This upvoted answer consists entirely of a quote from this Physics.SE answer. While I certainly don't doubt the correctness of the answer, does it meet the Skeptics requirement of providing answers with well-referenced sources?

(See also: Is a highly upvoted question discussed and answered on another SE enough to show notability?)


1 Answer 1


As long as it is a primary source, and depending on the context, I don't see why not. It is one of the few ways in which we allow theoretical answers to be posted. Of course, we expect the answer to be highly upvoted and not controversial on the site of origin.

Clearly any allowed source is not automatically a good source. The correct action is to vote or flag based on the quality of the evidence, as any other answer.

In this particular case and in my opinion, the issue was that the question was theoretical and the only way to answer it was equally theoretical. Of course this meant that any answer was never going to be satisfactory to our standards. The cause of it was not the source, it was the badly posed question.

  • The "reason why not" is that, presumably, a post on 'Yahoo answers' or similar site is not acceptable? So what's the difference between that and StackExchange: is it just that SE supports voting? Is a post on reddit (with upvotes) considered acceptable evidence? How about a post on Facebook (with 'likes')?
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 11:35
  • 1
    Clearly any "acceptability" depends on what is being linked. As I've mentioned, the site is not a clear-cut, unique criteria. A Facebook post by Mark Zuckerberg is relevant evidence for a question about what the CEO of Facebook has posted on it. A highly voted post on a reputable physics site is valid evidence for what physicists deem valid about a physics topic. Evidence has to be relevant. Yahoo answers are valid reference if they are qualitative. One could post a peer-reviewed paper on Yahoo answers, this would not disqualify the paper -- even though we would ask to use the original source.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 11:40

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