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154
votes
1answer
7k views

FAQ: Welcome to New Users

I am a new user here on Skeptics.SE. What do I need to know?
118
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
78
votes
2answers
2k views

I'm resigning as a moderator

As a moderator, I have to help this community thrive and also to represent it towards Stack Exchange. I am convinced that many of SE's recent choices: ads, CoC changes, license changes, are actively ...
61
votes
5answers
929 views

Remove number of links restriction for new users

New users with less than 10 reputation can only add one link per post. As we want to encourage users to cite their claims, this restriction can be counterproductive sometimes. It would be nice if ...
54
votes
4answers
3k views

FAQ: When is it appropriate to “be a dick” on Skeptics?

There has been a long-standing issue in the Skeptics community that has been recently re-raised and re-branded by Phil Plait's TAM8 talk. It concerns traditionally hostile and/or mocking responses to ...
44
votes
3answers
2k views

How to proceed when implicit and explicit claims diverge

I have seen a number of instances of the following pattern. Someone says something that absolutely explicitly states X and also clearly implies Y. Y, of course, is more outrageous than X. In typical ...
43
votes
3answers
3k views

FAQ: Must all questions be notable?

One of the key themes of Stack Exchange right from the start has been that you can't have a site about everything. Each SE site has a topic, users who are devoted to that topic, and who will ...
35
votes
4answers
629 views

Is there *really* a reason why so many questions *really* need to include the word 'really'?

This issue has been pointed out before--someone noted in a comment that any question can be made into a "skeptic's" question with the inclusion of "really". Right now, in the list of the 15 active ...
32
votes
3answers
460 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)...
32
votes
1answer
831 views

List of useful sources for Skeptics.SE

The goal of this post is to contain a long number of sources, sorted by topic, to help users find sources for their answers. It's Community Wiki so that everyone can edit add new sources.
31
votes
9answers
469 views

Do you guys think “Citation Needed” would be a great name for this site?

During private beta, many of us realized that Citation Needed would make a really awesome name for this site. It illustrates well out desire for evidence, our affinity with references, and it's a ...
30
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a 'notable' claim?

Throughout the Skeptics.SE site, there are demands for claims to be 'notable'. For example: in Close Reasons, and in several places in the FAQ. 'Notable' isn't a common word and isn't always clear. ...
29
votes
5answers
577 views

Site design updates are live!

Based on the recent design pitch and your feedback, site design updates are now live. Along with the new design, we've made other less apparent changes that allow us to: update the site's CSS to a ...
29
votes
0answers
246 views

sceptics.se should redirect to skeptics.se

The URL http://sceptics.stackexchange.com (currently dead) should redirect to the page http://skeptics.stackexchange.com; all /path URLs should likewise redirect. (Sceptics is the Commonwealth ...
28
votes
3answers
1k views

Should off-the-cuff claims by Donald Trump be considered notable without evidence that people actually believe them?

At the risk of offending EVERYONE of all political spectrums, should we really accept tweets by Trump as "notable" without explicit evidence that people actually believe them and don't just treat them ...
26
votes
1answer
404 views

Diamond moderator closehammers should override the rest of the community only in exceptional circumstances

As much as possible, closing of questions should be done by the community in general contributing one closevote each, rather than diamond moderators using their closehammers. (When I say "closehammers"...
26
votes
0answers
332 views

Oddthinking has 100k reputation!

We've just reached a milestone: User Oddthinking has reached an incredible 100k reputation! I would like to congratulate Oddthinking with this major achievement and his unparalleled contribution to ...
24
votes
1answer
4k views

FAQ: Must all answers be referenced?

How strict should we be about references? When someone makes a claim, should we require them to support that claim with a source? If so, to what extent should we go? Must all claims be referenced or ...
24
votes
1answer
528 views

What is “No. 79378”?

The new site design1 has as part of the background image this: It appears just to the left of Questions, Tags, Users, etc., at least for me. It appears to be a hand-written case-number or something ...
23
votes
10answers
306 views

In the spirit of the holidays

I've noticed a few threads have become a little heated as of late. Since the days are getting shorter up here in the northern hemisphere in preparation for all the solstice themed holidays, and a few ...
22
votes
8answers
544 views

Is “alt-facting” less defamatory than “lying”?

In a recent question, the questioner, the answerer and a commenter all used variants of a new coinage: "alternative fact-ing", "altfacting", "alt-facting". That posed a challenge. If they had said ...
22
votes
5answers
412 views

Do we want hats?

Last year around Christmas time arQAde had an awesome promotion in which they awarded hats for gravatars for completing basic tasks around the site. If you don't remember it, here is a link the promo ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

How much can we trust peer reviewed scientific literature?

One of the distinguishing characteristics of skeptics.SE is that we expect answers to be referenced preferably to peer reviews scientific publications. But do we also need to differentiate among good ...
22
votes
2answers
331 views

Do we really want titles like this?

I'm getting tired of the clickbait titles when users ask questions about quotes from famous people. Current examples from the front page: Did Paul Offit, MD, write or say this exact quote? Did Martin ...
22
votes
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 ...
22
votes
1answer
198 views

Support for citations

One feature that I would like to see on this site would be some explicit support for citing scientific papers in the markdown syntax. In the simplest form this might be something like footnotes, in a ...
21
votes
4answers
742 views

Non notable claims, made only on hate and or conspiracy sites, should be deleted

The question Did Benjamin Netanyahu say this about Christian Zionists? cites as the sources of the claim sites/blogs which are straight up from the darkest corners of the web. All those sites are ...
21
votes
3answers
347 views

Is “stealing land” a question of fact? [closed]

There is a question about whether Israel "stole" land: Did Jews "take over" 73% of their land from Palestinians? I propose to close this question as off-topic, but (at the time of writing) ...
21
votes
3answers
615 views

Downvoting is good for you (and for the site)!

High quality answers are the life and blood of our site. If we continually produce high quality content, we'll attract more experts who will want to help fellow skeptics. On the other hand, if low ...
20
votes
1answer
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?
20
votes
1answer
360 views

Choice of colours in the new design does not represent our brand

Any colour palette should respect the following principles: Be functionally appropriate and support UI usage Increase legibility Support brand values I realise that I am making an aesthetic ...
19
votes
5answers
379 views

Claims involving personal information about notable people

This is relevant to the question https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/31738/does-emma-watson-have-adhd I don't dispute that this is a claim made by an notable source, and that Emma Watson is ...
19
votes
0answers
576 views

Can we enable TeX?

Please feel free to edit this question! At current this question needs examples of existing posts and how they could be improved. Additionally, more links to related resources could be helpful. ...
18
votes
9answers
811 views

Skeptics Brand Concept and Site design

my Name is Sean Gallagher and... I am the Art Director that works with Jin @ Stack Exchange, and I'm excited to announce the Skeptics brand and site design, done while quietly observing the community ...
18
votes
2answers
470 views

Too much censorship in this community?

I was very excited with the quality content of the questions and answers when I first looked at this site, referred to me by a friend. I love the broad subjects discussed and the level of academia. ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Pseudo-answers are the enemy

From time to time, the best answer will be decent, but not outstanding. It answers the question, but the question could have been answered in much greater depth. That's alright. You can't win them all....
18
votes
5answers
329 views

Skeptics — Top User Swag!

If you can find your name on the first two pages here (top 72 users, that is), I have some good news for you — this is not a hoax, believe me! Note: This page is completely unrelated to what you're ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

If a claim is commonly accepted, does questioning it require a notable counter-claim?

When there is no doubt that a claim exists and is widely accepted/believed is it necessary to find an example of a notable counter-claim to question it? For example, it is widely accepted and ...
18
votes
9answers
658 views

Handling news questions about current events

We keep on getting asked questions on ISIS. I have no problem with the subject, but most of these questions are about current news, have little-to-no evidence and are all around receiving weak or ...
18
votes
6answers
445 views

Site design updates are on the way!

My name is Kurtis and I'm a product designer at Stack Exchange. Recently, as we prepared to convert the Skeptics site to a new LESS framework, we conducted a design review based on all of your ...
18
votes
1answer
271 views

New Skeptics.SE Podcast

Wouldn't it be nice to have a bi-weekly podcast in which to chat about this site and its great answers? It would be nice, indeed! Larian and I are creating a podcast for skeptics.se. It will be ...
18
votes
0answers
109 views

High rep users should be able to add and remove post notices

As you know we use a lot of post notices on this site. I think they are very useful and work very well, but only moderators can add and remove them. I see no reason why that should be the case. I ...
17
votes
11answers
426 views

New Skeptics Design Has Launched!

Welcome to the new Skeptics site! I've had an awesome time learning and designing for you! Thanks for all of your feedback and communication. :) If you're still seeing the old favicons, please load ...
17
votes
1answer
334 views

Should doxxing be allowed here?

In the comments of this question, the poster gave what he seems to think is the real name of one of our moderators. Personally, I'm not terribly well hidden here, but pseudonyms are allowable, and ...
17
votes
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
248 views

Is the “Citation Needed” name off the table?

We've had a discussion about the site name a long while ago, and the favorite of quite a few people was "Citation Needed" (see also Do you guys think "Citation Needed" would be a great name ...
17
votes
1answer
192 views

Add a review queue for posts with a “citation needed” notice

We're using the "Citation Needed" notices a lot since they were introduced, but there is no really efficient workflow for removing them later. We rely pretty much on the community to flag posts that ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How should unfalsifiable claims be handled?

Sometimes claims are made that are unfalsifiable. Evidence could conceivably produced to show the claim is true, but no meaningful test could be produced to show the claim is false. A silly example ...
16
votes
3answers
242 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
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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