When examining a claim, you must understand the claim and the sources. You must then research the sources, see if the claim is skewing those sources or if those sources are themselves faulty. You must then present your review of the evidence in a manner that can be digested and itself refuted.

As noted by the number of closed questions and negative answers, this isn't always easy. We must be careful to avoid making original research. We must avoid ignoring claims because they don't fit our ideology. We must find a way to research our material the way it was originally presented. And so on.

If I have a question about how to do any of these or if I keep encountering a problem during my research that prevents me from crafting excellent answers, where can I ask these questions?

It appears questions specifically about argument debunking are not on topic because this site is dedicated to "examining the evidence behind claims" and not "examining claims". But my question is about becoming better at finding or examining that evidence.


1 Answer 1


It depends on what exactly you want to ask. The main site is not for questions like this. You can try here, on meta, questions about how to formulate an answer and/or how to improve an answer are on topic here. General question that are related to the site could also be on topic, depending on the question.

For everything else there is also the chat.

  • 2
    Why is the main site not for questions like that? Every other "special" site like puzzling and code golf allow questions about the art as well as the actual material. Why doesn't Skeptics?
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 15:38
  • We are special. The format of this site is different than other sites. I'm not familiar with all of the SE sites, but in Math.SE and Physics.SE questions about latex, which is needed to write formulas in answers, are not on topic, but can be asked in meta. The same with English, a question about how to use the dictionary, or what dictionary to use will be (I think) not on topic, but is suitable for meta. On SO a question of "How to become a better programmer" will probably be not on topic on both meta and main site, but "What is the best resource to learn about multi threads in C" is on topic
    – SIMEL
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 15:50
  • You dodged the question. You brought up LaTeX - SE made a new site so those questions would have a home. Same with Programmers (or whatever it's called these days.) What you didn't do was talk about this site and why those questions are worse for the site than they are better for the site.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 21:04
  • @corsiKa, It's hard for me to understand your meaning. Can you please give an example of a question that should be on topic but isn't. (Please not another question about Trump). Also, each site has its own rules, I gave you an example of SE sites where questions about the "art" are off topic.
    – SIMEL
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 21:37
  • Sadly, Skeptics is not a site intended for discussion about skepticism. I wish we had such a site. This exchange does have a very valid purpose, but I wish it was called something else... 'skeptical claims', 'fact-checking', or something like that. Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 22:32
  • @kbelder, can you give an example for a question about Skepticism that is off topic on Meta?
    – SIMEL
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 6:04

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