Questions tagged [discussion]

The question you're asking is designed to solicit opinions or best-practices on a particular topic, with the goal of reaching community consensus.

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3
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1answer
199 views

What constitutes non-trivial analysis of available data?

If a question asks whether A is bigger than B, and someone posts reliable sources that provide the size of A and the size of B, and says that since the source for A provides a larger number than the ...
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6answers
310 views

How do you skeptically investigate Hitler's religion?

I ran across the following question on main: https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/1821/hitlers-religion On one hand, the question is formally a skeptical question, on the other how can one ...
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1answer
108 views

How pedantic should we be?

When I've come across a question that either requires or makes certain assumptions, I generally request the OP to clarify their question so everyone is on the same page. For instance, a recent ...
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4answers
155 views

Is it ok to ask a question and provide your own answer?

Is it ok to ask a question that you already know the answer to, or plan to research the answer to? The only discussion I found was old, and possiblly out of date. Newer comments in multiple threads ...
2
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1answer
118 views

Revisiting the “no theoretical answers” rule: how does Skeptics SE define “theory”?

Just now an answer of mine was closed with reference to the "No theoretical answers" rule. I have a big problem with that, because this implicates that Skeptics SE operate on the on the "It's just a ...
2
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1answer
46 views

What qualifies as “extended discussion” needing moving to chat?

After flagging this answer (I flagged the answer, not the comments, and wasn't complaining about the comments), the comments were moved into chat with the message "Comments are not for extended ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Is Penn Teller's Bullshit a reliable source?

I love James Randi, The Skeptics Guide and Penn Point about as much as Bullshit!. And I love how on the last one they pick very heated topics to mostly defend their own (and maybe just apparently) ...
2
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3answers
176 views

Should we allow unreferenced answers as comments?

Lately, I have increasingly seen this behavior on the main site: some users, especially high reputation ones, posts pseudo-answers as comments on questions. Is this something that we want, as a ...
1
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1answer
59 views

is Skeptics for specific claims only, or about learning about skepticism?

I didn't see a tag for research or other terms I tried. Can I ask how do you research claims via search engines if the sites I know about like Snopes doesn't have it? I won't go into it further ...
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3answers
239 views

Are allegations of infamous crimes off topic for Skeptics?

This question was inspired by Did Michael Jackson sexually abuse children? as some moderators discussed the question with the OP in comments and suggested that perhaps Skeptics can not replace the ...
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5answers
310 views

Closing of questions which don't clarify what they are asking for

The question about correlation between penis size and race does not clarify what is meant by 'race'. Such vague questions need clarification, or should be closed. It the answer doesn't clarify the ...
1
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3answers
176 views

Policy on profanity

I just noticed that we have no meta question about profanity yet. We have strict rules about attacks or insults on other users here. But what about general use of profanity and insults against other ...
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3answers
121 views

In what manner are/n't questions about Logic or Logical Fallacies on-topic?

Culling the definition questions on Area 51, I just noticed there are no questions involving logic or fallacies thereof. Nonetheles, we have one. Should questions involving logic be considered on ...
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3answers
128 views

Should questions try to be unbiased? [duplicate]

Should questions be unbiased? For example, is it ok to have "and I know it is" in Lifehacker insists it's fake, and I know it is, but I figured it'd be a useful one to have someone explain the ...
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2answers
44 views

Are citations to whole books which don't list page numbers acceptable as references?

Clearly, the gold standard in citing printed material exists, and that gold standard includes a page # for where the citation is taken from (especially large books). ... provide a specific pointer ...
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1answer
51 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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2answers
64 views

How do we handle new data

This question on cellphones and cancer was recently asked. Now it's clearly a duplicate of this question, which was very well answered and accepted, and ordinarily the new one should be closed as a ...
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3answers
85 views

Posting etiquette

This is my first time posting on skeptics.se, I am a frequent poster on math.se, I was wondering if I could get more information on why the question is considered off-topic? And how(if) it can be ...
-1
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1answer
66 views

When should a closed question be reopened?

The closure rate of questions is seem as a problem by some on Skeptics.SE. The answer usually given (link usually and given to past questions) is that a question being closed is a "pause" state, so ...
-3
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1answer
124 views

How about a firm minimum threshold for notability?

This question was originally just idle curiosity, without any reference to a claim being made. I flagged this as non-notable, and 3yahoo answers were added as references to the claim, which seems to ...
32
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3answers
464 views

How much trust can we put in an answer on a website where people vote on the answers?

For example, imagine Skeptics StackExchange existed 500 years ago and the question was asked: "Is the heliocentric model correct?" I'd imagine that the answer "No it's false (and here's my reasoning)...
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5answers
288 views

Too much power given to the moderators on Skeptics

Why are the moderators doing waht they want? E.g. the delete 4 paragraphs of my question, remove youtube link and after pointing at that wrong behavior they put the url back and write their own ...
9
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5answers
205 views

How does the StackExchange model work for Skeptical Analysis?

I feel like there might be a fundamental issue with the format of this website. Overview The StackExchange model works well for subjects where the question is posed for the purpose of helping the ...
12
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3answers
381 views

Answering one's own question for reference purposes?

What's the community's take on asking a question in order to answer it so that it will serve as a future reference? This might be tied to the meta question, Should we expect original research to occur ...
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2answers
248 views

How should I answer a question about the authenticity of a quote?

One recent question was asking if a quote is authentic: Did Gandhi say "The most violent weapon on earth is the table fork"? If I could find a reference for this quote then life is perfect....
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6answers
193 views

How to bring up the “questions per day” metric?

According to Area51, the number of questions per day for Skeptics is 3.9. The comment says it all: Needs Work – 15 questions per day on average is a healthy beta, 5 questions or fewer per day needs ...
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4answers
248 views

Are moderator decisions too hard to challenge?

2 hours ago, Joel Spolsky closed a topic. If you look at his profile you see, that he never asked a question, never answered a question. He has 99 reputation points, voted once up and two times down. ...
21
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1answer
253 views

Skeptics.SE now an unofficial URL Shortener

There is no doubt that them term skeptics.se, which stands shortly for Skeptics Stack Exchange (skeptics.stackexchange.com) is very commonly used on this site, many times I have typed skeptics.se on ...
17
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3answers
4k views

Does MythBusters count as a credible scientific source?

I see several answers here use MythBusters as a reference, but Adam Savage himself has said: We will absolutely revisit when we think we screwed up the results. We won't stand by our results—you ...
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8answers
508 views

Where is the skepticism?

Skepticism is supposed to be about challenging truth and dogma. Applying a critical eye. Yet looking at the site I see. lots of snopes style questions. answers challenging dogma are ...
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3answers
340 views

What is the difference between Skeptics and Snopes?

If this is a duplicate, let me know but I looked around Meta and couldn't quite find this exact question. When I first dropped into this site, I was unsure of what it was. Then I started reading some ...
12
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4answers
332 views

Design ideas for Skeptics

After 90 days in beta, Stack Exchange Inc. takes evaluates our site's performance. If they think we're ready for graduation because we meet the right metrics, then we get out of beta. When that ...
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2answers
169 views

Should we undelete these answers?

On the "Is the Earth 6000 years old?" question, there are a few deleted answers which, while wrong, are, technically speaking, supported by references. The issue is that they are supported by ...
10
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5answers
220 views

Should comments be respected and kept as much as possible?

Everyone came to this site with expectation, and if he/she leaves, there must be something disappointing here, albeit other positive things exist as well. In most cases, when one leaves a comment, it ...
9
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1answer
210 views

How to deal with the “decline effect”?

How do we reliably identify the decline effect and bring its implications to bear on existing Q&A on this site? I would think maybe the answer is almost too obvious: write an updated answer. But ...
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0answers
243 views

Why were some answers deleted on the question about Earth being covered by oceans?

Moderators cleaned up four answers on the Was the Earth one big ocean once? question after leaving a few days to the authors for fixing. While these answers were interesting and sometimes highly ...
9
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2answers
112 views

Censure vs. Assist

I choose to use this question as an example arguing for assistance. We're a relatively small community and I think we may be at risk of driving off people who will be productive users by being too ...
8
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1answer
479 views

Should suicide be a taboo topic?

To date, we don't have any taboo topics - subjects that may not be freely raised and discussed. (Sure, we have rules about how the questions are asked and answered, we expect questions to be asked ...
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4answers
117 views

Skeptics.SE Literature Reviews

As Skeptics.SE grows, there are some topics that clearly cause concern and have been richly mined with questions and answers. While tags link many of these questions together, it can be difficult to ...
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2answers
107 views

Tags for medical/health questions

I've asked a few medical questions, those have been kindly retagged with health or medicine. Those terms certainly don't mean the same thing, but I think there is a significant grey area between them. ...
7
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4answers
402 views

Better term for “Gish Gallop”?

The term Gish Gallop has been used a few times on the site, including by me. It is a useful term to describe a style of debating or writing that is troublesome to skeptics because it takes a lot of ...
7
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5answers
143 views

Effective solutions to persistent bad content in an otherwise good answer?

Situation: You see an answer The answer is generally good. Extensive research, in-detail review of the claim topic, references, etc... However, one small aspect of the answer is awful - doesn't have ...
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2answers
377 views

2012 Community Moderator Election

The 2012 Community Moderator Election is now underway! Community moderator elections have three phases: Nomination phase Primary phase Election phase Most elections take between two and three weeks,...
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2answers
110 views

Why are we converting “uncited” posts to community wiki?

I see from this search: https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/search?q=%2B"Please+help+improve+this+article"+is%3Aanswer We are apparently now adding faux wikipedia style editorial messages to answers ...
6
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0answers
95 views

Please flag trollish questions

Skeptics.SE, along with some other stack exchanges such as history, receives some trolling questions, generally in the form of holocaust denial. They're by users with only 1 reputation, and they're ...
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12answers
245 views

What’s the “elevator pitch” for our site?

From The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta: Imagine you’ve just gotten on an elevator with a friendly stranger. You have precisely one floor to describe your community to them. What ...
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0answers
163 views

2012 Moderator Election: Town Hall Chat - Friday the 4th at 0:00 UTC / Thursday the 3rd at 8pm EDT

In connection with the moderator elections, we will be holding a Town Hall Chat session with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the ...
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2answers
114 views

Was this question downvoted because the asker is perceived to be a creationist?

The question What medical treatment advances have cited the theory of evolution as being necessary to make the advance? has received 5 downvotes, and 4 close votes. By contrast, Does the theory of ...
3
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1answer
79 views

Should FAQ topics be tagged as discussions?

[Triggered by a mild protest by another user over at a meta-question which was uninvolved in this issue.] All meta-questions must be tagged one of: bug feature-request discussion support FAQ ...
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2answers
193 views

Why was my answer deleted as original research whereas the other one stands?

Putting aside my questions regarding the original research policy, both answers to this question present a lot of original research. The only difference I can see is that one answer requires logical ...

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