What is it that's meant by "scientific skepticism?" Do you mean skepticism about what are supposed to be scientific facts, or do you mean skepticism which is in some sense "scientific?"

If the latter is the case, can someone cite some examples of scientific and non-scientific skepticism? I have never heard of "science" being used as an adjective for skepticism.

If the former is the case, can someone explain how questions about whether Trump ordered tear gas to be used fits this site?

  • Letting you know your question has been migrated to the meta site, where we discuss site policies.
    – user11643
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 0:20

1 Answer 1


The site tour uses the term scientific skepticism. Presumably this is the source that you are asking about.

The Tour points to the Welcome to New Users FAQ question.

The Welcome to New Users FAQ question expands the meaning:

Scientific skepticism?

This site is about applying scientific skepticism. We only accept answers based on independently verifiable applications of the scientific method ("facts").

In other venues, people can get lost in long discussions about what should theoretically happen — think about questions such as: "Will you get more wet if you run or walk, in the rain?" —, but not here. We don't allow such speculation, we expect only scientific trials of these matters to be discussed, and answers to be fully based on those.

Please be very aware of the difference between theory and practice, because users will challenge you on this!

It points to the Wikipedia definitions of scientific skepticism:

Scientific skepticism or rational skepticism (also spelled scepticism), sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry, is an epistemological position in which one questions the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence. In practice, the term most commonly references the examination of claims and theories that appear to be beyond mainstream science, rather than the routine discussions and challenges among scientists. Scientific skepticism differs from philosophical skepticism, which questions humans' ability to claim any knowledge about the nature of the world and how they perceive it, and the similar but distinct Methodological skepticism, which is a systematic process of being skeptical about (or doubting) the truth of one's beliefs.

The proposition of whether Trump ordered tear gas can be established through empirical evidence, and it is a widely-believed claim, so it is on-topic here.

The proposition of whether Trump ordered tear gas for a particular reason cannot be established through empirical evidence, so it is off-topic here.

  • Empirical eveidence can theoretically be used, but the likelihood of ever obtaining that eveidence is so remote as to make it impossible for all practical purposes. Who would provide that evidence, do you think? To claim it is possible is only a smokescreen to allow pure speculation here that puts Trump in the worst light possible. Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 0:43
  • 4
    I don't know how presidential orders work, but I imagine there is paperwork. As explained, we don't allow pure speculation here. As explained, it is very difficult to establish motivation, so your claim that this is the reason for the question is unreasonable.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 1:21
  • It may be unreasonable, but it does not make it untrue. Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 13:52
  • @DeWittShank But it does make it less believable.
    – user11643
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 19:10
  • 1
    @DeWittShank: It used to be more explicit in the Code of Conduct, but you should bring an initial assumption other users are acting in good faith. You are accusing another user of acting in bad faith with zero evidence. That isn't acceptable.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 20:15
  • 1
    I think I have spent enough time on this now.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 20:15
  • Look, you folks seem intent on being blind to what is obvious political propaganda designed with one purpose in mind. Have fun with that. I'm outta here, much to you snowflakes pleasure. Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 3:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .