Questions tagged [answers]

This tag is for questions about answers: how to answer, whether specific answers are appropriate, and so forth.

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-3 votes
2 answers
152 views

Premature comment deletion on a non-answer exacerbating HNQ-badness; mods seem to refuse to act upon answer quality despite terrible content, again

Again we see the HNQ issues on a 'popular' Covid question without any proper answers. Is there an unusual distribution of adverse events by lot number for COVID-19 vaccines? And the comments under ...
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  • 42.9k
0 votes
1 answer
88 views

Why would pointing out that there is no evidence offered in a claim considered "opinion"?

The question was "did X do this?" In my answer, I pointed out that the referenced claim offers no evidence of any kind of involvement by X. Answer was deleted by Oddthinking as opinion and ...
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  • 9,389
14 votes
3 answers
403 views

Unpinning the accepted answer

It seems that Stack Overflow is getting a change and is no longer going to pin the accepted answer at the top and will now default to sorting by post score alone. In the post announcing this they ...
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  • 2,479
13 votes
0 answers
540 views

Some basic skepticism tips when reading the news, and applying this to answers

I've railed against politics questions on this site in the past. I ran for moderator partly on the promise to address the issues with politics specifically. Mostly, my ire is toward the answers, that ...
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  • 10.4k
3 votes
1 answer
81 views

How do I counter inadequacies in answers to my question if more than a comment is needed?

This concerns answers to my question Biden 'fake' interview: video of Biden's hands appearing the wrong side of microphones The most up-voted answer gives as evidence a Snopes article Was ...
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2 votes
1 answer
70 views

If a question may not have much direct research, are answers that infer from related evidence acceptable?

In a recent question, I left a comment saying that the actual topic of the question probably doesn't have much direct research, but that answers which provide research in similar areas could be ...
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  • 11.4k
5 votes
1 answer
106 views

Why do I have a question ban after posting a well reccived question?

I recently had a question ban, because I asked two poorly formulated questions. I waited until the ban had expired, and then asked another question. This was relatively well received, with quite a few ...
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1 vote
1 answer
93 views

Why do we lose a reputation if we down-vote a not-useful answer to our post?

I have read somewhere (I don't remember where) that the OPs lose a reputation if they down-vote a bad answer to their post. Why should it be in this way? A low-quality and sometimes incorrect answer ...
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1 vote
1 answer
69 views

Why was this answer converted into a comment?

About an hour ago, an answer was posted to this question by a 1-rep user. It wasn't the best answer, but to me it clearly was an attempt at answering the question. While it referenced the existing ...
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  • 3,193
0 votes
1 answer
56 views

Are answers based on personal (but documented) experience acceptable on skeptics?

I would like to know if I could contribute by either asking questions or supplying answers that are based on my personal but documented experience. Obviously, I cannot prove anything scientifically, ...
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  • 1,030
1 vote
1 answer
55 views

Are people with the trusted users privilege allowed to vote to delete unreferenced answers?

Diamond moderators regularly delete answers on the grounds that they are unreferenced. (Ironically enough, I can find a FAQ stating that answers must be referenced, but couldn't find any post saying ...
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  • 38.4k
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

Is creating a figure based on referenced data original research?

I was thinking about creating and adding a figure to one of my answers. I'd use data from a referenced source to create that figure, which would probably take the form of a bar chart or something ...
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  • 8,466
11 votes
1 answer
187 views

Accepting "we don't have enough research to know" answers

I asked a question last week, and the only answer so far gives a summary of "[t]his is emerging science, and it is too soon to know one way or the other". It is a well-written answer which lays a lot ...
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  • 1,207
4 votes
6 answers
1k views

Answering "Can you achieve immortality through yoga?"

Re: Can you achieve immortality through yoga? One approach to answering this question is to use the statistical evidence regarding the Maximum Reported Age at Death (MRAD): https://www.nature.com/...
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3 votes
2 answers
165 views

Answer moved to comment by mod

I joined a community today because I had something unique to add to a question. There already was a decent answer, but mine was talking about points not mentioned in it. While my answer was a bit ...
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  • 101
0 votes
0 answers
54 views

Interpretation, misleading claims, and literalism [duplicate]

I have looked through the various questions and answers on meta regarding this, and have not found anything solid. The nearest can be found here, and the mod's answer is at odds with the highest-voted ...
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  • 2,150
1 vote
1 answer
30 views

At which level of digging do we decide that a source is acceptable?

Consider the following, if given as evidence in an answer: In a 2005 Example.com interview of renowned ornithologist George Credibleopoulos, George explicitly stated that snipes do indeed migrate ...
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  • 1,182
5 votes
1 answer
266 views

What makes a good "the answer is unknown" answer?

In some cases the status of a claim is objectively unknown, e.g. if research indicates that we definitively do not know the answer, or if research leads to no information one way or the other (these ...
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  • 1,182
137 votes
2 answers
9k views

Sorry, but we don't care about your political opinions

This is a reminder of an issue that has come up before - around the last US election: Are political comments a problem? If your comment is little more than tribal markings to indicate the US ...
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  • 132k
-1 votes
2 answers
239 views

Answer on my post should not have been deleted

I posted this question: Does Twitter censor content with a double standard? To which K Dog answered. There's reasons to down vote the answer, but it was a legitimate answer nonetheless. Though it is ...
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  • 10.4k
1 vote
1 answer
50 views

Answer was deleted - how can I challenge the reason?

I had an answer deleted with the reason given that it "didn't answer the question" which I disagree with. Is there a way I can respond/chat with the person who deleted it to question their reasoning? ...
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1 vote
1 answer
60 views

What should we do when the accepted answer is incorrect?

I was lurking around Skeptics.SE recently, as I usually do, and I found a question that triggered some thinking on my side. Let me put out a (not-so-much) hypothetical question. Let's suppose we ...
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  • 145
0 votes
1 answer
66 views

Are questions about Hillary, Bill and Donald considered off-topic, at the moment?

I saw some contentious activity (questions, comments) earlier today, e.g., a user that wanted to verify the taped conversation of Trump's words about what he did / does to women because of his fame. ...
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4 votes
3 answers
304 views

Citing holocaust denial sites in answers is regarded as acceptable by moderators

This answer cites the Institute for Historical Review, a holocaust denial organisation. I flagged the answer, and got declined - a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it ...
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  • 38.4k
3 votes
1 answer
224 views

How should we handle claims that are strictly true but generally misleading?

This site is built on testing the referencable accuracy of specific claims. And it does a good job. But I was recently prompted to consider whether strict accuracy is the same as truthfulness. Two ...
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  • 54.7k
1 vote
2 answers
94 views

Can a negatively voted down answer be checked as the right one by the owner?

This question is answered by the same OP and although it is negatively voted down, the owner has accepted his own answer! Can these type of answers be removed or deleted even though the owner has ...
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  • 22.4k
1 vote
1 answer
111 views

Is saying “Woo!” makes apples falling from the sky? (what is the right answer to the groundless hypothesis?)

Is saying "Woo!" makes apples falling from the sky? This is obviously the wrong assumption, but most likely you will not be able to find any direct and trusted references that it does not. How the ...
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  • 127
1 vote
0 answers
44 views

Do We Answer Claims or the Arguments They Come From?

I'm new to Skeptics.SE, coming from other .SE sites. Questions here often seem to have two components: a broad argument and a specific claim. My understanding is that a good answer authenticates or ...
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10 votes
3 answers
376 views

How should "conspiracy theory" claims be addressed?

(Related, but not quite the same as, How should unfalsifiable claims be handled?) What standards should be used when attempting to debunk "conspiracy theory" claims? Consider as an example Has the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
58 views

Bannered answer clean up (2011-2012)

I've deleted the following old answers as unreferenced as abandoned. I've only removed answers which had absolutely no references, or completely inadequate references (e.g. "the sun is yellow [ref: ...
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  • 78k
3 votes
1 answer
232 views

What claims can be debunked or confirmed by pure logic or theory?

Following Do we apply scientific skepticism at Skeptics.SE? I'm left with a curiosity, but I'd like to learn more. Can you help me out? According to some we are not using all tools allowed in ...
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  • 78k
1 vote
1 answer
67 views

Have quality standards for answers been increasing over time?

Have the quality standards for answers been increasing over time? I'm not so much referring to the average quality of what gets posted as an answer (there's no stopping for new inexperienced novice ...
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  • 38.4k
-1 votes
1 answer
108 views

What is the stance on biased answers?

What is the stance of this website and community concerning answers that are 1. accepted and 2. biased? If the answer has no credible sources to confirm a claim then it is by definition a bias ...
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  • 958
2 votes
1 answer
116 views

To what extent can OPs discredit sources in advance?

Current policy is that the reference/evidence given in an answer should be 'better' than the reference/evidence being questioned. To what extent should an OP be allowed to discredit (in their ...
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  • 26.2k
1 vote
1 answer
37 views

What to do with an answer which is bad except for one line where it gives a good source?

In this answer everything is bad, everything except for the last line which is a link to a good source is unrelated to the question. The first part is a rant against the NRA, and the second part is ...
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  • 28.8k
2 votes
3 answers
56 views

In answers are there connections between formatting, content, and neutrality?

What do you think of, how do practice, using bold text in answers? Or even UPPER CASE text? Here are recent comments (the bold text formatting, added to them for emphasis, is mine): All I can say ...
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  • 26.2k
2 votes
1 answer
57 views

Is my answer acceptable?

I would like to know if my answer at https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/a/23856/21485 is acceptable for this site. This is the first post I have made here. I greatly appreciate the existence of this ...
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  • 1,182
22 votes
1 answer
3k views

FAQ: What are theoretical answers?

Answers which are wholly based on a theoretical model are generally downvoted and may be deleted. What are the characteristics that (dis-)qualify an answer as theoretical?
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  • 78k
0 votes
1 answer
117 views

Are answers relying on biased first-person supplied subjective information valid?

For a claim in the form of: Is the (potentially negative) fact F about a person P true? Is the following answer's conclusion considered valid? (and if not, what would be the conclusion that is ...
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  • 31.1k
2 votes
2 answers
79 views

Are answers about efficacy based on logic instead of efficacy testing valid?

For a question in the form of: Is XYZ effective in achieving goal ABC? Is it valid to post an answer in the form of: NO. This authoritative source lists N mechanisms (M1,... MN) for achieving goal ...
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  • 31.1k
17 votes
1 answer
1k views

FAQ: What constitutes original research?

Answers which are wholly based on "original research" are generally downvoted and may be deleted. What are the characteristics that (dis-)qualify an answer as original research? How should these ...
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  • 78k
1 vote
3 answers
89 views

What is the best answer to an unstudied "pseudo-scientific" claim?

Sorry if this one has been discussed before; if it has, I could not find it (although it is related to several previous discussions. If we get a question like "Does homeopathy work?", we can ...
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  • 3,564
3 votes
1 answer
77 views

Is Wikipedia a valid source? [duplicate]

For most professional citations, Wikipedia is frowned upon, but this answer defies all of those conventions.
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-2 votes
1 answer
70 views

Answer "deleted" on thread and would like to get it undeleted

This is the thread: Does standing as opposed to sitting or lying improve brain activity? Here is the edited answer: 0 down vote "Research suggests that walking may not make you a genius but it ...
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1 vote
2 answers
91 views

New User - I'm a bit unclear about anecdotal answers

I've lurked here quite a bit and have read Is anecdotal evidence sufficient for answers?. I've only answered one question, and I'm still not sure if my answer is appropriate for the site. So I'm ...
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2 votes
0 answers
26 views

Where's the link error from?

I've noticed several times that someone will post a poorly researched answer, and someone will leave a comment that says: (e.g. here,here ,here, here, and here). Welcome to Skeptics Stack Exchange! ...
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  • 4,930
5 votes
1 answer
99 views

Why my answer was deleted?

My answer has been deleted with a pretty strange reason: Did planes crash into the WTC on 9-11? This is a theoretical answer, but we expect answers to be based on facts - not to make a ...
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  • 3,759
0 votes
2 answers
70 views

Posting questions from answers written in Open Office

I have written a very nice answer to a question in Open Office and would now like to post it but the copy paste function does not work properly. I'm having problems with inserting tables. Any help ...
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  • 1,042
13 votes
5 answers
479 views

Can we stop being rude?

I gave a controversial answer to a recent question. In all response, in the comments, I have been: called a douchebag been insulted for being a SE employee been called out as "admitting I don't know ...
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  • 78k
6 votes
2 answers
315 views

May I cite a single article?

If I think a single research is meticulous enough to clarify a subject, is it right to only cite that one article? The one I'm interested in references previous work, so there would be different ...
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  • 1,496