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Moderators cleaned up four answers on the Was the Earth one big ocean once? question after leaving a few days to the authors for fixing.

While these answers were interesting and sometimes highly upvoted, they did not conform to the standards required on this site and have been removed according to policy.

I'm opening this meta question to provide context, document the reasons for deletion and allow community discussion.

If you are one of the authors and want to fix your answer: do so and then flag; we will reopen answers which are fixed.

Here goes:

  • fredsbend's answer only referenced the top answer as a valid source. It also had a link to an answer on Christianity, but it was about what waters mean in Genesis. Neither the original, nor the current version of the question referred to the Genesis at all. He made it clear he suspected that part was off topic: "the theological aspect of the question [...] may be off topic here". However simply removing that part would have just left a link to the top answer.

  • Bart's answer was a theoretical answer about how the Noah's ark story does not make sense. The theory presented is that disproving Noah's ark means that the Earth was not covered by oceans. This would be on topic if the question was about the ark, but unfortunately the question has always been about the oceans. Neither the original, nor the current version of the question referred to the feasibility of Noah's ark at all.

  • David Culp's answer relied on the "snowball Earth" hypothesis. This would have been a great answer, albeit a bit of a stretch, if that hypothesis was backed by evidence. Unfortunately, as the author also mentioned in the answer ,"this theory is unproven".

  • LCIII's answer was about the Genesis again. It is repeating the claim without giving evidence, as it did not have any reference.

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    Thank you for the explanation. I appreciate the transparency and do believe that you and the other mods are only acting in the best way you believe represents the site policies. For me, however, I find the interpretation that "skepticism" is nearly synonymous with "empirical data" both a mischaracterization and off putting. I likely will not answer again in the future. – fredsbend Apr 16 '16 at 20:37
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    Shouldn't "If you are one of the authors" and below be in an answer, since it answers the question in the title? – user56reinstatemonica8 Apr 16 '16 at 23:18
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    @user568458 I'd thought I leave the answer space for the eventual discussion. Including everything on top increases the chances of a more informed discussion. – Sklivvz Apr 17 '16 at 10:44
  • I suppose I more answered the question "Why did the pastor say that?" instead of "Was what he said true according to popular science?" – LCIII Apr 21 '16 at 18:56
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    @LCIII The question was "My pastor said that the Earth once have been one big ocean but is that true? If this is true what age was the Earth in this point?". His pastor might have come for coffee, and might have been speaking about a geology book he read. We can't know why he said that without any context. – Sklivvz Apr 22 '16 at 8:08
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    The claim that neither the original, nor the current version of the question referred to the Genesis at all is blatantly false. Look at the links in the question. The first is to a Mormon (Latter Day Saints) site that explicitly references Genesis. Two of the other four links (the anti-UX labels "here", "here", "here", "here") also explicitly references Genesis. The other two are to answers.yahoo.com and some random site that makes answers.yahoo.com look sane and reasoned. – David Hammen May 18 '16 at 12:07
  • @DavidHammen I made that edit... which includes a disclaimer to ignore the sources as religious. The original version of the question had no sources at all. – Sklivvz May 18 '16 at 12:08

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