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Wikipedia explains the term "straw man": A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not advanced by that opponent. One who engages in this fallacy is said to be "attacking a straw man". So, if one were to take the story ...


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Wow. I am normally in a distant timezone to the bulk of our users. This affords me the luxury of editing slowly. In this case, I was awake at an unusual hour. I didn't realise there would be so much activity! I was browsing on my phone, on the way to my desktop, when I first saw the question. I put the first version of the question on hold, and planned to ...


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When there is a dispute that a question is notable or not, there's always an easy way to fix it. If a claim is notable, many people believe it. If many people believe it, some will be repeating this claim on the internet or elsewhere. Find examples of people believing the claim you want to ask about, and quote them. This shows notability. Be careful though: ...


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Skeptics.SE has a rather unusual set of rules for what makes a question on-topic. Rather than limiting questions to "photography" or "software development" or some other specific domain, we take questions on pretty much any topic. However, the questions we take are still limited. They need to be "notable claims" - that is some sort of statement that someone ...


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The Bible involves miracles. Of course with miracles anything could happen. The Bible isn't claiming that Jonah could survive in a fish without a miracle for 3 days any more than it is saying Jesus could rise from the dead in 3 days without a miracle. It would make more sense to find a different reference that says someone did or could survive ...


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If a similar question were asked about Wikipedia, I think that question could have a definite fact-based answer. The question has been asked on Skeptics.SE. Is Wikipedia reliable? This question was asked in the first couple of months on Skeptics being created, before the community standards had been established. The top upvoted answer has a string of ...


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The question According to the banner, the question is locked because there's "dispute over the content". I don't see how it's possible that the question's content is disputed, because the question... References and quotes a notable claim Asks whether the claim is true ...and so I don't see how the content (or format) of the question can be disputed. The ...


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The question has already been reopened. We already have a rule not to put on hold questions which are obviously about notable topics, and to tell you more, "obviously notable" is defined as: "a quick Google search finds many results asserting the claim". Clearly the mod in question must have not found much. It happens. In these cases a couple of more users ...


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Unanswerable question Questions on Skeptics Stack Exchange must be answerable with hard facts. This question asks about intimate motivations, or is a purely philosophical question, or a question of faith. Questions such as these are explicitly off topic on this site.


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The opinion comes in when you ask "Does this sound like AUM?" Some people may hear a similarity, and others won't. Like I commented on the question, all three samples in the video sound very different to me, so I'm of the opinion that the answer is no. However, I realize that others may think it does. The question "Is this the sound of the sun?" could be a ...


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In this topic I asked whether it's necessary to post a reference with every question: Must every questioned 'notable claim' include a referenced citation with a quote? The accepted answer to that was "no": that a reference is often useful, but that sometimes there can be a (well-known) "notable claim" without any specific reference. I thought your topic ...


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So: I've reverted the original question to the original content. It's about motivation and it should (in my opinion) stay closed. since it has answers, it should not be dramatically changed. I've restored the question so the answers make sense with it! I've reopened the new version of the question, with the new content, since it's not a dupe anymore. I ...


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Chris, I personally closed it for lack of notability. I didn't see this as something widely believed to be an actual Peanuts comic by Charles Schultz. In all the instances of this picture being referenced, that was not the position held by people who were posting links or observations on this, but rather that these are words that should be put into the comic ...


3

A question should not be closed without a reason on any stack exchange site. Maybe people don't like it - I accept that - but then it is on them to explain why. Maybe there can be the exceptional case where the existing boilerplate reasons do not fit - there's always the chance to use a custom reason. Of course, if there is no clear harm done by the ...


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Not notable This question doesn't ask about a notable claim - i.e. a statement that is believed, or at least has been heard, by a large number of people. To allow this question to be addressed, please add a reference to examples where the claim has been made, and a direct quote of the claim. This allows us to focus our efforts and quickly clear up ...


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No Claim According to the help center, Skeptics Stack Exchange is for researching the evidence behind the claims you hear or read. This question doesn't appear to have any doubtful claims to investigate. Please edit it to reference a notable claim and flag for moderator attention to re-open (or get 5 re-open votes).


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Too localized: "I lived in the rural Sweden town of Åsele, it's a common myth about Korpjärven that eat little kids there, can anyone prove it wrong?" Not too localized: "I read about Korpjärven from Åsele on CNNs homepage link here, is it true it eat little kids and actually exist?" If you can find it on the internet, pretty much it's not too localized. ...


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I wasn't involved in marking it as a duplicate. I went and had a look. I would have closed the original question as unclear, so I am not ready to just reopen it myself. You don't have a notable claim for any of the three questions you eventually ask - and certainly not the very specific definitions you insist upon. The title is very vague, and needs ...


2

Biology's close reason was first used on Skeptics here: Personal medical questions and health advice are off-topic on Skeptics. We can not safely answer questions for your specific situation and you should always consult a doctor for medical advice." I think that works nicely. In addition, the reason "This question doesn't identify a specific notable ...


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So here is my suggestion for fixing this. The question is poor. True, but it's not irretrievable. So let's fix it. The question doesn't have to cover all possible interpretation of Obama's statement, just the ones the questioner find plausible. So let's discard the ridiculous "there has never been a mass shooting outside the US" interpretation and ask about ...


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To complete Larian's answer, I left the question open because I didn't check whether the claim was notable. I assumed it was a notable viral image. Given that our stance is to assume notability lacking an explicit Google search, I simply improved the question and moved on. Had I known that no one seems to take the claim seriously, I'd have closed too.


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The second was closed when it became about a non-existent claim: I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because there is no claim that it was written by a single team of engineers. – Sklivvz♦ Aug 7 '15 at 18:27 Before then, when it was about the caption, it was left open. It did contain, however, a lot of speculation about font size and other ...


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The reason the closed banner appears so uninformative to you is because, as part of changes made to the close banners network-wide, the full close reason is now only visible to the OP, and to users with the close/reopen privilege. I'm unsure of the exact reasoning behind this change, but what it means is that, since neither you nor I have the close/reopen ...


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Given what I just learnt from @F1Krazy's answer, let me offer this as a barely satisfactory work-around: I already try to comment on answers I close with more information about the reasons. This is a lot easier when I am using my desktop browser with helpful plugs to automate the most common comments, and decent keyboard to allow me to type custom ...


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Focus your question on a single well known claim. Usually our answers are thorough. For example: "is any known vaccine known to cause cancer?" seems to be more answerable than listing a series of ingredients for a few reasons: it deals with something that can actually be measured, it does not ask for the ambiguous "increasing risk" in favor of "causing", it ...


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I appreciate your effort but I do not think your question is easily salvageable. First of all, none of the examples you give claim that the stated goal of ISIS is "to recruit disenfranchised Muslims by first triggering an over-reaction". That is your interpretation, or as we call it, an "inferred claim". All that their magazine says is that their actions ...


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I got what I wanted out of the question. Moderators have already edited the question, so I am comfortable with any moderator editing the question in a way they deem acceptable where they would open the question again. I expected an argumentative discussion since the topic is so complex, but I got what I wanted from the answers and comments: a few views of ...


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The article you link already presents a lot of evidence, and some expert opinion. It does not take a very strong position on the matter, besides stating that each media is different. The other sources you present are simply comments of people debating the article. There seems to be no specific claim to address: people debating in comments are not notable ...


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I agree with this: This is however not true in case of "motivation" of larger organization, where decision making is not contained within individual's head. There is communication, leaving possible document trail, intercepts or witnesses. Therefore they should usually be on-topic. For example, "why did the government enact this law?" would usually have ...


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