I recently asked a question about the accuracy of the popular origin story of a myth, but it has been flagged as a duplicate of the question that asks if the myth itself is true. The user who raised the flag has a track record of solid judgment (at least in my eyes, as a frequenter lurker), but I'm having difficulty understanding how my question is contained in the "original" question, other than that they are both related to the same myth.

Can anybody explain why my question would be considered a duplicate here on Skeptics (I know our standards for questions/answers are different than many other SE sites), or point me in the direction of a suitable meta post?

As a general rule of thumb, should questions about the origin of a myth be relegated to the question about the myth itself, rather than asked as a separate question?

This answer from 5 years ago might be a good starting point for the discussion, but doesn't address this particular question: Should Skeptics SE questions include the origin of claims?

  • 1
    Sometimes a duplicate isn't that they are the same question, but that the two questions have the same answer.
    – user11643
    May 14, 2019 at 18:06

2 Answers 2


Have you read the actual answer to the question in this case? It basically consists of an excerpt quoted from Snopes claiming the origin of the myth.

Should the same poster post the same answer to your question?

Also see the comments on the previous question. While the question text itself doesn't cover the origin, the comments and answer do.

  • The question about the myth itself can be answered by finding a study that tests it scientifically.
  • The question about the origins of the myth can be answered by finding an old enough newspaper article repeating the claim.

Neither of these answers would be an answer to the other question. Although the Snopes article could answer both, the questions should be kept open so that better answers can be posted, even if they only address either the myth or its origins but not both. (After all, the Snopes article has no good sources.)

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