Questions that can be verified yes or no (inclusive) make perfect Skeptics questions because an answer can definitively answered one way or the other. The evidence decides; the answer is accepted; everyone is happy.
- Was Einstein a poor student?
- Have several hundreds of thousands of people died because of the Chernobyl disaster?
Questions that only have one verifiable answer don't seem to be a problem as long as that answer ends up being correct. We get a definitive answer; the answer is accepted; everyone is happy.
- Is it possible to fly 4 helicopters anywhere in a country without official knowledge?
- Death by lack of sleep — is it possible?
But what happens to questions where there is no definitive match to the only verifiable case? As in, if I ask "Did X happen?" and X never happened so no one can provide evidence for X happening and no definitive answer is posted... what now?
In the event that some expert somewhere decided to go out and study that particular case and came up empty, that expert could be used as a reference and that seems good enough. But what if the topic just... isn't that interesting?
Some examples of referenced experts:
- Spontaneous human combustion, is it possible?
- Does polyphasic sleep work? Does it have long-term or short-term side effects? (sort of)
Examples of questions that seem stuck in the undeniable but unprovable bucket:
- Has Go ever been used to decide a war?
- Do antivirus vendors write viruses for profit?
- Did the CIA sell drugs in the US?
Short of finding a specific war, virus, or CIA file, how would these questions ever get answered? It seems likely that someone has studied the CIA's drug habits; an expert may exist. But how are we supposed to verify that Go was uninvolved in every war on Earth? How are we to know the history of every virus written?
The actual question: How do we answer questions that have a reasonable conclusion drawn from lack of evidence but that have no available reference? Should these questions even be answered? How is the person asking the question supposed to know whether the question is answerable?