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I had an answer deleted with the reason given that it "didn't answer the question" which I disagree with. Is there a way I can respond/chat with the person who deleted it to question their reasoning? Comments are disabled.

The question I attempted to answer has two parts: is "this data correct" and "does it contradict a belief". If the answer to the first part is 'no' then the second part is irrelevant. All the answers I saw address the first part (one stands out) and say basically 'yes'. None seem to address the second piece. They more or less just say "no" without explaining why the fact that data doesn't contradict the belief. This is a logical question and it's not clear to me what kind of references are relevant to a logical argument.

  • Well, you could make your case right here in this question. Very likely the moderator who deleted the answer will see this and be able to respond accordingly. But it would really help if you explained your position. (My snap judgment: your answer doesn't seem to help me evaluate the claim in question. It seems more conversational than a good answer on this site usually is.) – Jon Ericson Nov 16 '16 at 19:44
  • @JonEricson Thanks for the reply. On a little further research I guess it's following the rules of the site. The problem I see is that the 'allowable' answers (which are useful, no doubt) don't really address the question. For that specific issue, the facts are (more or less) correct, the flaw is with logic: it's a non sequitur. Would referencing a page about logical fallacies be acceptable? – JimmyJames Nov 16 '16 at 19:52
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I am not the mod ...in question, but I can probably give you my impression on why your answer was deleted.

On this site we have basically two major problems that we need to solve in order for the community to be functional:

  1. We need questions to be based on specific, evidence based, largely believed claims

  2. We need answers to be based on evidence.

The first requirement is to avoid wasting time, but also to avoid "how many angels can fit on a pin" kind of questions. Many controversial topics are controversial because they are hard to debate, and because the debate becomes an argument on personal values and beliefs and not on measurable facts.

Requiring the questions to be about factual, disprovable claims allows a fair way of judging answers -- by requiring them to present evidence, we can judge how convincing that evidence is, instead of focusing on the pure "truthiness" of the answer, which in many cases is a matter of opinions.

In this particular case, I agree that the claim is pointless: showing high CO2 in the past is irrelevant, it's cherry picking. But -- is it also a lie? That's what the question is about, the facts. A perfect answer would bring in evidence that the facts are true, but also that their truthiness is irrelevant, not because of logic, but bringing in the climate science context that shows their irrelevance. At a minimum, though, we expect a verification of the facts asked about -- your answer did not do that, but delegated it to DavePhd's answer and added common-sense based commentary to it.

This seems to be a valid reason to remove it, given how the site works.

  • I appreciate the feedback. I added a comment to DavePhd's answer referencing the logic issue. I'll leave it at that. Your response leads me to a different question. Is there an issue with the question? It follows the form of this argument: "is square of i a real number and if so, does that prove that pi is not irrational"? The question wasn't "is the scientific consensus on climate change wrong" it was "does this evidence show it to be wrong". This is a question of logic, not evidence. In other words, whether not climate change is actually caused by humans is irrelevant. – JimmyJames Nov 16 '16 at 20:30
  • @JimmyJames I can see how the question can be seen as a matter of logic. I think it can be answered with evidence though -- by showing why the experts consider that carbon value irrelevant to climate change models. Keep in mind though, that the question itself was closed and had to be hugely changed to make it fit the site, and we reopened it as soon as it was viable, so I realize how it could get to be this confusing. – Sklivvz Nov 16 '16 at 20:36
  • I see the question has been changed since I answered it. Thanks for helping me better understand the standard here. – JimmyJames Nov 16 '16 at 20:49

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