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11
votes
4answers
623 views

Prevent 101 rep users from voting and commenting until 105 rep

The problem As a site, we slightly diverge from the SE standards: We have unique rules regarding voting, for example unreferenced questions should be downvoted to zero no matter how much we agree ...
11
votes
1answer
555 views

[donald-trump], you're fired!

Questions should not be tagged based on the claimant, i.e. the person or organisation making a claim. It's not possible to have expertise on claims by a certain person. To be an expert on claims by ...
11
votes
3answers
443 views

Are magic tricks in scope?

Background It is common to get questions related to magicians and magic tricks, both by self-described illusionists and scammers. These come in diverse forms: Questions about whether "magic is real"...
11
votes
3answers
249 views

How can we get users to write more elaborate questions?

We have a large amount of low quality, one paragraph questions: Will the comet Elenin cause significant disruption to life on Earth? Why was Andrew Wakefield's Paper retracted by The Lancet? Crystal ...
11
votes
6answers
486 views

Should we limit [quote] questions?

I'm tired and grumpy, but not sleepy. Probably not a good time to exercise mod powers. So, instead, I will have a bit of a whinge here, to see if anyone else agrees with me, or has suggestions on ...
11
votes
1answer
204 views

Should we stop adding [fluoride]?

Should we get rid of one of fluoride and fluoridation, and if so, which one? fluoridation has a tag wiki and has 20 questions, while fluoride lacks a wiki, and has 6 questions. Of the six questions ...
11
votes
1answer
228 views

How to cite books?

In this question, my answer references dead tree books. In at least one important case, the book is listed on Google Books with no preview. In all cases, the author and title will be enough to ...
11
votes
3answers
195 views

Can a certain numbers of “likes” or “shares” establish a notable claim (or: Are memes notable)?

The question Is the crime rate for undocumented immigrants “considerably lower” than that of Trump campaign staffers? has received a close vote with a comment saying that likes on Facebook do not ...
11
votes
1answer
179 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
337 views

Is Media Bias Fact Check a reliable site?

I use Media Bias Fact Check very often to check articles and their sources when I find them on social media and generally when I'm reading news or doing "whatever" research. I find it to be ...
11
votes
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
119 views

Not a Question: Popularizing Skeptics Stack Exchange

I had the good fortune to attend TAM2012 this year. A noted skeptic by the name of Tim Farley (who runs http://whatstheharm.net as well as a few other skeptical web resources) gave a talk. The JREF ...
11
votes
1answer
128 views

Another Moderator Pro Tempore fresh from the fryer

Throughout the beta, we need members from the site whose focus is to engage the community, both in community-building issues and site management. That's why we select a few members from each community ...
11
votes
1answer
183 views

On Not-Safe-For-Work images

This is just an FYI to avoid the appearance of censorship. I am happy to hear feedback if you think I handled this incorrectly. Recently, a question was asked about diseased scrotums. The question ...
11
votes
3answers
324 views

Two Wrong Posts Don't Make A Right

I have noticed on a number of occasions that people complain that their question or answer has received attention from people asking them to fix it up, when there are other questions that are just as ...
10
votes
6answers
378 views

US Election 2012 & Skeptics. We need your input!

Stack Exchange is thinking about rolling out a US Election 2012 site, and I'm trying to gauge the level of interest for such a site here at Skeptics, the site that most resembles what we're trying to ...
10
votes
3answers
407 views

Is the new design a keeper?

There have been some fairly negative comments on the new design, some constructive and some less. I think the following purely aesthetical question is therefore warranted: Do you like the new design?...
10
votes
4answers
650 views

Math does not need to be cited or sourced

In this answer: Is one in two hundred men a descendant of Genghis Khan? The OP is simply trying to establish a mathematical basis for the credibility of the assertion in the question -- a "back of ...
10
votes
5answers
222 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
212 views

Should we ask questions that don't have answers?

Our FAQ states: You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Yet there are many questions that fall into our domain whose correct answer is: there is ...
10
votes
1answer
131 views

Should I ask a question if I am already highly suspicious of the source?

Someone linked this article on facebook today. Looking at it I think it is very likely bunk (also called woo, apparently?), and not just because it links the Daily Mail as its one-and-only source. ...
10
votes
4answers
211 views

Promoting Skeptics.SE

After the public beta begins, we should promote this site to increase our number of experts and get some more traffic. A good starting point would be to promote the site to skeptical bloggers and on ...
10
votes
4answers
288 views

Under what conditions is “original research” problematic on community-mediated sites?

Wikipedia (strongly) and Skeptics.StackExchange (weakly) have adopted a policy of "no original research" for their articles; since this is a policy, one would assume that original research is ...
10
votes
2answers
246 views

How should we deal with users showing signs of mental illness?

I am not a mental health expert. I am not qualified to diagnose people. If I was, I would never do it based on a short piece of text on a web-site. But, because I am not, I can freely say: We ...
10
votes
5answers
365 views

ElectionCheck: A Political “subsite” - A mockup! [closed]

Update: After careful consideration and difficulty securing a partner, it was decided we would not move forward with this initiative for the 2012 election. Thanks for your input and effort trying to ...
10
votes
1answer
157 views

What's the flying saucer image on the Skeptics.SE error page?

Through this meta question I discovered that there's a funny picture of a mock flying saucer crash scene on this site's error page: I'm guessing the Stack Exchange design budget doesn't stretch as ...
10
votes
3answers
434 views

Do we apply scientific skepticism at Skeptics.SE?

There was a lot of vigorous debate in the comments on a recent meta-question. A substantial part of it seemed to be arguing about a particular sub-question. This is an attempt to draw out the sub-...
10
votes
1answer
93 views

Quality of answers

I have to say I am very disappointed with the quality of the answers on this site, even those that are upvoted. I see a lot of questions asking "I heard this, is this true?". However the answers don't ...
10
votes
2answers
125 views

Moderator Pro Tem Announcement

Throughout the beta, we need members from the site whose focus is to engage the community, both in community-building issues and site management. That's why we select a few members from each community ...
10
votes
2answers
609 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. † ...
10
votes
3answers
359 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
115 views

What should be done about posts autoconverting to CW?

As you might know, posts autoconvert to community wiki when they are edited many times by the owner (among other conditions). Normally this is set to 10 edits, however there have been multiple cases ...
10
votes
1answer
198 views

Should “actually” and “really” be blacklisted in titles?

See also "Is there *really* a reason why so many questions *really* need to include the word 'really'?" for the reasons why using these two adverbs is not good for this site. I periodically ...
10
votes
1answer
129 views

Can the quality of a question be judged by the first word in the title?

Summary I did an experiment, using the Skeptics.SE question database, to test a conjecture. I made a claim in a comment to a newbie about the sorts of questions that work well here. I decided that I ...
10
votes
1answer
73 views

“Explain to me” questions are not on-topic here

The following passage from the Skeptics FAQ has always bothered me: However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain __ to me”, then you are probably OK. While that's perfectly ...
10
votes
1answer
163 views

Answering unanswered questions

Recently, we've been doing outstanding. The traffic is stellar, the quality of questions is impressive and increasing day by day, bad posts are being marginalized, etc. There is however one place ...
9
votes
10answers
243 views

404, Error, and Captcha Images: Suggestions Welcome

In response to Sklivvz request, we can update the 404, Error, and captcha images as part of site update, but I could use some help brainstorming images that better represent the community. Please post ...
9
votes
3answers
95 views

What resources would you use to determine if something's real or woo?

If you've been told about something for the first time (for example ice circles from William Shatner's "Weird or What?"), what resources (eg specific websites) would you use to determine if it's real ...
9
votes
6answers
592 views

Should we expect original research to occur on this site?

Is it acceptable for users of this site to post un-referenced responses to questions which can be answered objectively? That is, are responses along the lines of "based on my experience and research, ...
9
votes
2answers
331 views

How to confront meaningless woo?

I've been active on a couple of questions where "science woo" claims are being challenged. The trouble with this kind of woo is that so many of the claims don't mean anything. Does a vortex affect ...
9
votes
1answer
248 views

2013 Community Moderator Election

The 2013 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,...
9
votes
2answers
888 views

Handling claims that are implied, rather than explicit

If a claim is implied, rather than explicitly stated, is it acceptable to ask about the claim on Skeptics.SE? In the question Is a giant wolffish the result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident? ...
9
votes
3answers
338 views

Is writing code to parse data original research and therefore inappropriate as an answer?

This answer includes a Python script to parse data. The data source itself is linked. The answer is getting upvoted, presumably because people view it as a helpful contribution. The relevant help ...
9
votes
2answers
293 views

Why a question regarding whether mom's genes solely affect son's intelligence gets closed for being “unclear”

I am referring to this question: Do the mother's genes almost exclusively determine the sons' intelligence? This question currently garners 9 votes, 1.3K++ views, which shows that this is a good, ...
9
votes
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
112 views

Is user translation of Non-English languages considered Original Research?

This question is being asked on behalf of @lvc, who had the concern triggered by a question where another user helpfully improved a machine translation. Back in 2012, I gave this answer to a question: ...
9
votes
2answers
197 views

Does Skeptics.SE have more answered questions than Snopes?

I was thinking of doing a short talk about Skeptics.SE at a local Skeptics event, and a question occurred to me: Does Skeptics Stack Exchange have more answered questions than Snopes? I suspect the ...
9
votes
5answers
146 views

Are political questions on-topic?

We just got the question "Is Obama going to shutdown the internet?" and despite the title there is a more or less objective question in there, namely if there are any plans to create a "kill-switch" ...
9
votes
2answers
113 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 ...
9
votes
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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