The "How to Ask" has "Is your question about scientific skepticism?" (as does the default for the question title), and the FAQ has "Skeptics - Stack Exchange is for skeptics, rationalists, free thinkers, or anyone who questions pseudoscience.".

However, the only answer to Is Skeptics only for pseudoscience, or for pseudohistory and the like? argues that all crackpot theories, including pseudohistory, are on-topic for the site.

Should the "How to Ask" and the FAQ be edited?

  • Interesting point.
    – Sklivvz
    Apr 22 '11 at 17:03

You're misreading it.

It's meant as "the scientific process of skepticism" not "skepticism about science".

See the /faq which has clarifying text.

  • The FAQ only refers to the field of science, not other fields of knowledge (such as history). Apr 23 '11 at 14:15
  • 2
    @andrew history questions can be answerd through the scientific process of skepticism. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method "To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning" Apr 23 '11 at 20:45
  • 1
    I'm pretty sure the FAQ is at least partially referring to the field of science, not just the methodology of science, because it refers to physics and nutrition (sub-fields of science) and "research-level science", and it mentions pseudoscience. Apr 24 '11 at 15:08

I think we should change "scientific skepticism" to just "skepticism".

"scientific skepticism" as Jeff explains it is not a standard phrase and I think most people will read it to mean only questions in the domain of science are welcome.

It is implied in the ideology of a skeptic that the scientific method is followed, and this is further clarified in the FAQ.

Stating in a few places that questions should relate to "scientific skepticism" is poorly worded and potentially going to turn away new users.

I think there is nothing to be gained from keeping it as "scientific skepticism" but potentially something to be lost.

  • 2
    I think you make a good point that the term scientific skepticism may not be well understood. I think the goal is to distinguish what we do from other forms of skepticism, such as academic skepticism or Cartesian skepticism. How would you suggest we do that?
    – Oddthinking Mod
    May 12 '12 at 18:45
  • @Oddthinking I feel that the skepticism we do is somewhat obvious, just as it is with many skeptics clubs or organizations around the world. For people not familiar with what a skeptic in this sense is, the FAQ imo does a good job of clarifying. May 13 '12 at 0:16

You must log in to answer this question.

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