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I recently wrote an answer to "Did people and dinosaurs see each other?" that got deleted, with the note that if I wanted to write an additional answer instead I ought to undelete my first answer (and perhaps edit that). This note incorrectly presumed that my first answer was deleted by me; instead, my two answers were both deleted by moderators.

I have worked to address the comments that came up and to clarify or improve things in my answer (the first one) brought up by people, and also to refrain from engaging in conflict with commenters who I judge aren't exactly seeking to improve my answer.

It is unfair for the "here's why it was deleted" note to tell me to undelete my previous answer when I didn't undelete it. I'm sorry that the answer is accumulating flags, but without explaining to me what the flags are all about it's hard for me to address them.

  • Sorry about the assumption you self-deleted. – Sklivvz Jan 9 at 13:16
  • @Sklivvz, I appreciate that. You guys do a great job moderating--- this was definitely the exception rather than the rule. – elliot svensson Jan 9 at 15:58
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  • Your answer wasn't deleted for having downvotes. Your answer was deleted because it didn't answer the question. After edits, it still appeared that you were not going to answer the question. It received flags because it wasn't answering the question ("Not an answer").

  • The way to dealt with mod-deleted answers is to edit and flag for reinstatement. Not an ideal system, but the alternative of letting trolls (not you!) just repost terrible answers would mean that deleting had no effect.

  • "commenters who I judge aren't exactly seeking to improve my answer" - I would try to assume good faith. I think the comments were trying to show the flaws in the answer.


Generally, before you try to answer again, I would encourage you to avoid getting bogged down in philosophy. This is a question where there is overwhelming evidence in one direction. Trying to balance to give each side is a false equivalence.

Stephen Jay Gould said:

In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

It is a scientific fact that non-avian dinosaurs and humans did not live on Earth at the same time. The consilience of evidence supports it. The absense of evidence to the contrary is evidence of absense in this case, because evidence would be predicted by the counter theory.

Yes, the acceptance remains provisional, but if you want to argue it should be rejected - or even that each side has a case, you better be ready to meet the Sagan standard, and your old answer did not.

  • Extended discussion about whether William Lane Craig's arguments overcome the Sagan Standard have been moved to chat. – Oddthinking Jan 17 at 21:59

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