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On the "Is the Earth 6000 years old?" question, there are a few deleted answers which, while wrong, are, technically speaking, supported by references.

The issue is that they are supported by unreputable references and that they are consequently heavily downvoted.

The intent in deleting them is to avoid promoting the sites they link, however there's also value in showing both sides and letting people judge.

Please share your thoughts below, thanks.

Here is the list of the ones I'm talking about:

  1. this needs the whole "questions for evolutionists" section removed if undeleted
  2. not sure because it doesn't really explain anything
  3. this should be OK as is
  4. this probably needs a little more explanation
  • What is this site's list of banned sources? – user30557 Jan 24 '16 at 16:55
  • @Dawn it's a judgement call, there is no list. There is some discussion around this here: meta.skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/132 and here:meta.skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/3449 – Sklivvz Jan 24 '16 at 17:03
  • Since it's a judgement call, it would make the question clearer or more neutral if you said that the answers are "supported by what I consider unreputable references", or "supported by what [insert name] consider unreputable references". – user30557 Jan 24 '16 at 18:13
  • All of your links point to the same place, with no deletions. – user30557 Jan 24 '16 at 18:59
  • @Dawn they don't, but you don't have enough reputation to see the difference. – Sklivvz Jan 24 '16 at 20:59
  • 2
    When I first read this on my phone, I was excited, because I thought it was one of the trusted users challenging the (admittedly old) decisions of moderators, which I see as a sign of a mature and health SE site. Then I saw it was only Sklivvz :-( – Oddthinking Jan 24 '16 at 22:48
  • @Oddthinking I should get myself a sockpuppet – Sklivvz Jan 24 '16 at 22:50
  • @Oddthinking I'd like to weigh in, but it'll be a long time before I'm at 10K rep. – fredsbend Oct 15 '18 at 20:55
3

To answer this meta-question, we have to avoid considering whether the deleted answers are "correct", and look to see if they have a substantial argument.

Answer #1

This answer has four parts:

  • Claim that evolution is not scientific. (Note: Not merely that it is wrong, but it isn't scientific.) Provides no evidence. This section should be removed as opinion.

  • Link to a web site that is now defunct. Unfortunately, the answer did not quote from the site or give a reasonable summary of its arguments, so this also needs to be removed. [Quote from your sources, kids.]

  • A link to an unpeer-reviewed article by an MD, with a claim that it supports a 6,500 year old Earth. I have NOT read this article. I tried skimming it, and it is poorly structured so it is difficult to immediately see if it actually supports this argument. [Quote from your sources, kids.] This section could plausibly remain, but hopefully someone with more time will go through and confirm whether it does support this argument.

  • Questions for Evolutionists, which should be removed.

So, if this answer is to be saved, it should be edited down to two lines (and then heavily downvoted into oblivion; one unpublished paper isn't enough to overturn the consilience.)

Answer #2

This answer provides three links to creationist sites, without explaining their argument or suggesting where in these large sites we should look. This is equivalent to linking to Wikipedia and saying "look for it in here."

There is no substance worth saving.

Answer #3

This provides four arguments:

  • An absurd (unreferenced) statement suggesting that we should expect written chronologies from 25K years ago. This is a strawman argument - no theory of an old earth predicts old writing, and there is plenty of non-linguist evidence of older civilisations. This should be removed.

  • A link (with little context) for Helium evidence. It is debunked in the comments, which is fine.

  • A claim about global flood myths in "all ancient cultures" which needs a reference (and confusingly must include those cultures older than 6,000 years to be true!) If this remains, it should be marked as needing a reference.

  • A claim that the moon is young, which we have already covered ourselves. I guess that can remain, but we should have a comment referring to the fuller argument.

Answer #4

This is the bizarrest answer of all. It argues that, rather than created 6,000 years ago, or evolved 200,000 years ago, Humans have been around for millions of years. This would probably make an interesting Skeptics.SE question by itself.

Unfortunately, the evidence isn't presented in the answer; it gives no reason to believe it. I don't think it contributes to question very much.

0

I can't see 'em, but your basic arguments are sound.

Deleting answers should not be done to censor dumb answers. The only answers that should be deleted are those which do not meet the object criteria of the site (which is a pretty high bar).

I'm a high-rep user on Christianity.SE and see a lot of stuff get deleted because it's coming from a completely contrary viewpoint - and that's OK because it's not supposed to be a popularity contest. We don't want opposing viewpoints to doctrinal questions because they are not solvable by up votes. There's a 30:1 Protestant to Catholic ratio on the site and a 100:1 Protestant to JW ratio; nothing would be accomplished by letting any answer though.


Here, I think you want to stay stay viewpoint neutral, but it seems as though there is an orthodoxy in all the answers and every answer has a totally obvious abstract answer.

Your conspiracy is wrong and this is why

or to be even more concise

Occam's Razor - +1 accepted

So, in effect, you are obliged to delete any answers that would seem to support crackpottery, not because they are always the wrong answer but because their premise (that the most obvious solution is not always the right one) is inherently off topic.

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