Hot answers tagged

52

Then do us the same courtesy If you don't care about our political opinions (and you shouldn't; this isn't Politics.SE!), then please ensure that we're not being asked to care about (or silently tolerate) yours. This answer makes a good case in point. A diamond mod has: Taken it upon themselves to completely rewrite the original (and already accepted) ...


35

I just wanted to add a counterpoint to the other answer: I think the moderators have been doing an exceptional job keeping things on track under difficult circumstances. (I do not envy them this job.) Thanks, mods.


14

Here's how personally I see it: We have a range of sources of information, in which we put a differing amount of trust. Here is a rough ordering. (I am sure it could be debated and enhanced, but it is just for illustration.) Systematic reviews Multiple meta-analyses Meta-analysis Accepted Text-books Several peer-reviewed, properly-blinded experiments with ...


13

The general rule for answers is that: Every answer should be suitable for review and voting by our community of experts in evaluating evidence. Answers which require non-trivial specialist expertise or are anecdotal in nature are not acceptable due to the nature of this community. One of the premises of skepticism is the application of the scientific ...


9

The general rule for answers is that: It is up to the answerer to provide valid, verifiable and potentially replicable evidence, and to show convincingly that it is relevant to the question. Every answer should be suitable for review and voting by our community of experts in evaluating evidence. Answers which require non-trivial specialist expertise or ...


7

Answering your own questions is perfectly fine and even encouraged. But in addition to the general SE position on this, most communities are more critical of self-answered questions than otherwise. Self-answered questions are expected to conform to a higher standard, they should be about something interesting you discovered and want to share. Posting ...


7

For "absence of evidence" answers, we generally don't accept "Hey, I googled it, and I couldn't find anything relevant." because we can't tell if you searched for the right terms, or maybe the answer is in a book, or in a foreign language, etc. That makes it very tricky to answer, and this is a quandary frequently faced. The compromise we have reached, ...


7

I am going to start with an aside. Writing a good "no-one knows" answer is tricky. We sometimes get people giving non-answers that boil down to "I don't know" or "I couldn't find the answer", which is very different to "no-one knows". This issue is addressed here: What makes a good "the answer is unknown" answer? So, if the answer is not a good "...


6

Some people have been known to frame their questions in such a way that it shows a clear preference for one answer rather than the other - and then immediately provide a rather dubious answer supporting that position (and in some cases do it repeatably, giving no indication that their prior beliefs are vulnerable to the evidence provided). Questions should ...


6

If your answer is the best one, accept it. It doesn't give you reputation, however.


6

Yes. Sometimes that’s the best there is. Other times, on the other hand, a single source is trumped by multiple, aggregated results. Use judgement.


6

Your question asks if Twitter has a double standard. The substance of the deleted answer was some details about a research project nicknamed "Truthy" from Indiana University, that tried to detect misinformation on Twitter. It had nothing to do with Twitter's moderation policies. The answer in no way addressed the question, and off-topic answers aren't ...


6

I was not involved in the act, however I want to publicly support it. The post was not answering the question, at least not directly. Maybe the OP wanted to show evidence that Truthy had an influence on Twitter and that the influence was statistically significant, and that there are no other similar "influencers" with different political biases compensating....


5

An old latin name for this combination of name calling and being told you don't know the answer is argumentum ad hominem From Wikipedia:ad hominem: An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant ...


4

We should use the units more familiar to an international audience. Wikipedia claims "SI is the world's most widely used system of measurement" However, units in quotations from other sources should be left alone to preserve their integrity. Conversions to metric units can be provided outside the quotation.


4

My point on this is slightly different from Oddthinking and Borror0, although my feeling is that we all agree and are trying to describe the same idea from different angles. Quantity ≠ Quality First of all, net number of studies is completely, absolutely an irrelevant and basically wrong metric. The number of studies does not tell us anything on the ...


4

I'm so torn over this issue. Firstly, you are right. You are absolutely right that science doesn't pivot around a single study. The meaning of confidence limits and statistical significance means we should expect incorrect results to be published occasionally, and that is only one possible source of error. Where there is more than one study available, we ...


4

It was made community-wiki by being edited 10 times, I've removed the community wiki status from the post again.


4

Well, there are three problems here: That is not an answerable question. It's based on a claim that claims nothing (yes of course they may - just as dentists may stroke out and drive the pick through your tongue and jaw during a routine cleaning, it is well within the range of possibilities) and instead of using that claim to support a stronger and more ...


4

There are a number of problems with this answer. It isn't well-known who proved Fermat's last theorem. It certainly isn't well known that he or she took walks. That needs a reference. Even then, that is still an anecdote, and is not evidence. If it is known that mathematicians and physicists take walks to think at a higher rate than the general population, ...


4

Let's get our terms straight: Everyone is biased, but people have different biases. It's impossible to avoid biases. which is why we want objective sources. If an answer lacks sources, especially in its main point, then notify the author in a comment, flag the answer for moderator attention and (if you want) downvote it. Then move on. Moderators review ...


4

I agree that the answer is of poor quality. However, I don't think mods should delete poor or wrong answers arbitrarily, as long as they attempt to answer the question and provide some form of evidence. Other steps can be taken to fix that answer (assuming the OP won't fix it): Try to edit the question and add better links Vote according to the quality of ...


3

Anyone with at least 15 rep can "nominate" a post for deletion by flagging it. Mods won't necessarily oblige, but for truly abysmal answers it's a fair bet they'll at least take a hard look. Flags become part of an author's permanent record on the site - too many, and moderators may take action beyond just deleting bad posts. Anyone with at least 50 rep can ...


3

I am limiting my discussion to answers posted on the main site. Answers posted on Meta, and questions on the main site having different meanings for downvotes. I don't have a strong opinion on this matter, but there are a few caveats that should be considered when evaluating the proposal above. Punitive to OP versus Warning to Others There is an ...


3

I really like this idea (I liked it when it was first suggested); as a way to clear up the broken windows as well as a way to promote and encourage new interesting questions it's even better. If this gets more community support I'm definitely in!


3

"Is it true that there is valid, scientific evidence for the claim that..." and variations. Question titles should be easy to read, and quickly give people a clear idea of whether they want to read a particular question and its answers. Practically all questions on Skeptics.SE are asking about the truth of a claim, with valid evidence. Asking for that in ...


3

"Personally", "In my opinion", "In my experience" We are trying to find conclusive, empirical answers to questions of fact. Personal opinions are irrelevant distractions and personal experiences are unsatisfying anecdotes. Example: Personally, I don't believe water could be toxic. In my experience, I have never been sick from water. Sometimes, they may be ...


3

As you yourself supplied, it is okay in terms of how StackExchange is structured. However, there is a certain amount of integrity and intellectual honesty that must be applied when selecting the answer as the one which will be given the distinction of being the accepted answer at the site. Just because a question receives answers, and the answer receives ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible