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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112 views

Help me edit my recent question, please

My recent question was received with mixed feelings: Why do children commit mass murder in their schools? It has a +3/-3 score, and it was even closed, reopened, and now has three new close votes. ...
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What does an answer to an “Economics” question look like?

Occasionally we get questions about whether a model or estimate proposed by an economist is accurate. Here are some examples: Do US Pharma firms have an incentive to develop useless cancer drugs? Do ...
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458 views

How to handle these answers based upon a perverse interpretation of the claim? [duplicate]

I'm not a Skeptics user, but I click through from the Hot Network Questions section on Stack Overflow. Twice now, that I can recall, I've come across a question where the following are all the case: ...
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69 views

What should I do about a huge compiled list of claims?

So, I just read an article (on cracked.com) that has between 20 and 100 claims, depending on how granular one goes, most of which at first glance seem interesting enough to want to test them for ...
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1answer
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Are doubts about news about future plans of companies on-topic?

The question Is Microsoft going to produce an operating system based on Linux? asks whether Microsoft plans to develop a Linux-based operating system. It references an article from source that appears ...
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1answer
38 views

Is indirect notability important?

A recent question can essentially be reduced to "Is the claim made in this BBC article true?" In particular, a BBC article included a claim about something that Linus Pauling allegedly said. An edit ...
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2answers
116 views

How to give the answer “There is no evidence for that, and it seems impossible”?

Here we go again: we have another question of the sort "Is this claim true, or a myth", where the answer is "No evidence for its truth, and theoretically impossible". The question is: Does stacking ...
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1answer
86 views

About the claims about MH370

Regarding the question Does Google Earth show missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 with “bullet holes”? Sklivvz, even if I did edit the other answer I could not vote to have it undeleted because ...
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1answer
41 views

What to do with off-topic answers?

This question is about Russia's chemical weapons in general. However, its highest-rated answer specifically talks about the Novichok nerve agent, even though that is not mentioned at all by the asker. ...
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1answer
109 views

Is the question “Is Gina Haspel wanted in Europe?” sufficiently improved to re-open?

The question Is Gina Haspel wanted in Europe? was closed for lacking a notable source. I've edited it to trace how the claim in question came to my attention. Is this sufficient to get the question re-...
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83 views

How am I supposed to improve this question?

THis one, put on hold currently: Does decline of mainstream Christian beliefs correlate with the rise of superstitious, magical, neopagan or New Age practices? I get it that it is not considered a ...
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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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35 views

When a edit is rejected, is a reason provided?

Reading this question Approve edits that only add a conclusion? I thought that if someone proposes an edit to a question and that edit is rejected after peer review, a reason for the rejection is ...
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1answer
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How are we to discuss improvements when comments on contentious posts are being “nuked without warning”?

A recent question on whether videogames cause US school shootings seems to have caused quite a row, as the sole comments on the question and most highly voted answer are moderator notes with this ...
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65 views

Why was my comment asking for clarification of data in an answer deleted?

Though it's a niggling thing, it seems so out of the blue that I'd like to know why. I commented on this answer to this question asking for clarification about the time frame some of the graphs ...
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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 ...
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1answer
209 views

Should we get rid of the tag [sex-perverts]?

The tag sex-perverts has recently been created. Should we get rid of it? From a purely classification point of view, it’s hard to agree upon what is or is not perverted. On a more serious note, the ...
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1answer
128 views

I do not like some uses of [Facebook]

Some questions tagged with facebook are merely tagged that way because the claim is being spread via a Facebook meme or picture, such as Is this a photo of a rough sleeper who froze to death? . As per ...
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1answer
54 views

Answer stated question but deleted by mod

My question was deleted by a mod for not answering the primary question. Access to water It is the last question and has a question mark. How is it not a valid answer to address that point?
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1answer
38 views

Are questions about claims that can be empirically verified, but not at this time, on topic?

One of the basic requirements on this site is that questions must be empirically verifiable. If a claim is notable, and could in theory be subject to empirical verification, but the likelihood of ...
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3answers
109 views

Community Promotion Ads - 2018 [duplicate]

It's almost February in 2018, which isn't supposed to be the proper time to cycle these, but for this year it'll be once again, so we'll be refreshing the Community Promotion Ads for this year now! ...
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85 views

Theoretical answers: Where to draw the border? [duplicate]

According to this meta post, it is community consensus that theoretical answers should be deleted as off-topic. The reasoning is that [o]ne of the premises of skepticism is the application of the ...
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0answers
50 views

Are claims made by product advertisements on-topic?

I saw Do Tide Pods laundry detergent have 10 times the cleaning power of other liquid bargain brands? and it got me thinking about this. As is the case in that question, advertisements making dramatic ...
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4answers
320 views

Someone deleted all but one answer to my question

I asked my first question last night, Are 19.6 pounds of CO2 produced from burning a gallon of gasoline?, which has gotten quite a response. I'm really grateful to everyone who contributed. This ...
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0answers
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How specific do claims have to be?

I recently posted a question that references what I believe to be a commonly held belief based on numerous variations of it that I've heard people throughout the US and Western Europe make. Because it'...
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1answer
178 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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1answer
51 views

Is an answer that shows there is a peer-reviewed study that makes a claim satisfactory as an answer to whether the claim is credible?

This question has emerged again: Will global warming reduce available oxygen?. The accepted and significantly upvoted answer basically concludes that the claim has been made in a peer review journal. ...
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1answer
87 views

Are answerable claims about political questions harder than other controversial topics?

So I asked this questions: Do voters refuse to believe accurate accounts of Republican tax plans? It was very rapidly put on hold as: "Please focus this down to a specific claim and quote it. ...
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1answer
62 views

Houston, we have a problem with [anatomy]

The tag anatomy refers to astronomy (which already has the tag astronomy), rather than the discipline of medicine or biology. Unfortunately, I can't blank out the description (the site doesn't allow ...
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1answer
64 views

Answer 16 minutes after the question was closed?

How is this possible?
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1answer
65 views

Why was this question deleted?

My question was not extremely off topic nor rude, and thus, although I understand why it was closed, it should not have been deleted. This was my question: https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/...
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3answers
312 views

Should standard, or non-standard vocabulary take precedent, neither?

Given any question/answer is it not important to use standard language? This question relates to the following question/answer exchange : Does the fossil fuel industry benefit from trillions of ...
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2answers
182 views

What's a good way to determine if a journal is reputable?

I'm (probably pointlessly) trying to persuade an antivaxxer that vaccines do not cause autism. They pointed to this link that references "OVER 50 PEER REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC Studies from the US National ...
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Speaking at CLSxItaly

I will be speaking as part of a panel on how to moderate online communities at CLSx Italy on November 25th. If anyone is interested in attending, I have a discount code just for Skeptics.SE. Please ...
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0answers
35 views

Site's background causing strange effect on question title

I've opened this question, and I noticed a strange effect on the last two words of the title: At first I thought about a rendering glitch, but then I noticed the other marks and realized (at least I ...
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1answer
68 views

Why was my question about bitcoin closed?

The question was: Is the cryptocurrency Bitcoin a pyramid scheme? It was a re-work of another closed question: Is bitcoin a pyramid scheme? Pyramid schemes are defined quite well and have certain ...
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3answers
243 views

Can we have some moderation restraint, please?

When one down-votes or votes to close, you're supposed to offer a comment so people know why. Kind of a worthless request that people do so if the mods are just going to go and delete the comments ...
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1answer
102 views

Wash away the nutrients - is not a notable claim!

Why the question "Is drinking water during a meal bad for you?" wasn't closed as it doesn't offer any notable claim? Can someone explain why this question was so up-voted if it doesn't offer any ...
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1answer
44 views

Is migrating these kind of questions to other Stack Exchange sites a good idea?

In the question Did the murder of Ernst von Rath partly provoke the events of "Kristallnacht"? , it's being proposed to migrate the question to History.SE . This has happened already with at ...
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1answer
89 views

Is it acceptable to refer to people as “nutters”, in terms of the “Be Nice” policy?

I had a comment-flag declined, and thus I am posting on meta. With the "Be Nice" policy in mind, I flagged the following statement. Most conspiracy nutters neglect the fact that nearly 25% of the ...
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0answers
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Have we cottoned on to [organic-food] needing to be renamed?

organic-food should be renamed to organic-farming to cover farming that doesn't involve food, such as cotton farming. Previous meta questions about organic farming: Tag merge request: 'organic&#...
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Title shown in Google search is not complete

If I search Google for "apple cider vinegar for heartburn" or "apple cider vinegar for acid reflux", this question doesn't show up in any of the first 10 pages of Google results. If I search ...
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May I post a series of questions to fact-check a book by a supposed quack?

I am now holding the original, Polish edition of a book called "The Hidden Therapies - What your doctor won't tell you" authored by Jerzy Zięba, who is widely considered to be a quack by medical ...
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2answers
595 views

How should we deal with claims that only appear in article headlines?

A common occurrence that we commonly encounter on Skeptics† is when the headline of a newsaper or magazine article contains a claim that is not supported by the rest of the article. † ...
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2answers
115 views

Is the claim in the question that democrats watch more porn?

The question Do democrat voters watch more porn than republicans? is currently on hold. In the original question I assumed that clam in the title was what a typical reader would take from any of the ...
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Is it OK for tag-wiki excerpts to promote political bias

Currently two tag wikis are at odds because they want to transport a political opinion. The tag for circumcision reads: Use this for male circumcision. For female genital mutation, use "female-...
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1answer
41 views

Questions that start with good sources for a claim

I had a question put on hold. Did the Constitution of the Confederate States of America ban the slave trade? I provided some sources for the claim. Oddthinking replied "I went to include all of your ...
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1answer
61 views

Reopen “white people crimes” question

This question: "White people" crime? was closed as duplicate of this one: Are white people more likely to commit mass murder in the United States? They are clearly two very different ...
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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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3answers
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Should we have a question sandbox?

Some stack exchange sites, such as World Building, have question sand boxes where users may work on questions and get feedback before posting it on the main website. Given that several questions on ...