6

Ooh, tricky one! Let's go back to our motivations for the rule here, to see if they help. One reason for asking for notability references is to demonstrate it isn't just a speculative idea of the poster from the equivalent of a drunk discussion in a bar. The problem with those types of questions is: (a) there is an infinite supply of them. If we accepted ...


6

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 ...


6

Skeptics is not really about finding the truth, but examining the evidence. In other words, we rely on available evidence, and the scientific method, to approximate the truth, with varying levels of confidence. This is the expected outcome of our scientific approach. A court of justice tries to reach a verdict, which is not necessarily the truth either. ...


5

I care, but my flags are not followed up by actual close votes from non-peons. I suggest that any question regarding the 2020 US presidential election and questions related to the respective parties primary elections should be off-topic by definition, until long after the election is over. Only then will it be possible to have all the data vetted by third ...


5

I find questions about topics that are under the jurisdictions of courts to be troublesome. I don't believe I have ever used that as an excuse to close them, but I have got myself on the wrong side of OPs by challenging them, and I tend to avoid trying to answer them. To address why, let me take a tangent. There are many different systems used by people to ...


4

It depends on the question. I'm no expert but maybe miracles have two components: Divine cause Material effect The former is off-topic and the latter isn't; for example: "My cancer is in remission. Is that a miracle?" -- Off-topic because it's asking about divine cause. "Is it true that people who go to Lourdes are cured?" -- On-topic because it's asking ...


3

The intent of restricting questions to fewer claims is to limit the effort needed to give a complete answer, as the Stack Exchange system has a single accept and requires one answer to be the better one to work fully. As long as the effort required is reasonably limited, I personally see no issue in having more than one claim. The more closely related the ...


3

Let's note that "miracle" does not necessarily mean "the work of God" but simply a very unlikely phenomenon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle): There are many aspects or versions of a "miracle" question: The religious side: "Does the Catholic Church consider the apparition of the Virgin Mary at Fatima a miracle?" is on topic as long as the claim is ...


3

They are certainly not off topic as long as they are notable - believed by a lot of people. There is nothing preventing those claims to be relevant enough to be interesting here. The comment was a pseudo-answer and I deleted it - comments should not attempt to answer the questions, of course.


3

While it may be fun, I don't think it serves the purposes of this site. I enjoy humor tremendously, but like most everything in life, it has its place. I particularly enjoy going to skeptically themed comics when I want to cross the skepticism and humor streams. Here is a small list that may help you: Carbon Dating Ape, not Monkey Saturday Morning ...


2

Tricky one. I'll start by addressing the examples you gave. The first question you list (https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/15082/are-there-any-experiments-that-prove-evolution) was a bit vague. It didn't ask for a notable claim (presumably some aspect of evolution) to be demonstrated to be true or false. It asked for help with lesson plans - ...


2

In my opinion: One. Two at the outside, if they are closely related. The StackExchange system seems to work best when you only have one question. The difficulty is you can have an excellent answer with fantastic references that definitively addresses one of the claims, ... but nothing on the other claims, so your answer can't stand by itself. If the same ...


2

If the claim involves victim blaming (eg "this assault victim was a slut who had sex with six other men the previous night"), then I'd look at the question very closely before deciding whether we want it or not. However, the question referred to doesn't really engage in victim blaming. You could argue that it's saying that the women chose a bad boyfriend/...


2

I think you misunderstood that clause: there are claims that are potentially verifiable but we have no clue whether they are verified. Your example is one. Sure -- we have not dug 10km under Giza, but there are other ways of investigating what's under it, including using geological tools or historical analysis. In other words, we might clearly not have the ...


2

It sounds like the question would be acceptable on both - but only some of the potential answers would be acceptable here. (Anecdotes would not be.) (I wrote this as an answer so I could give you some tips about quoting a single specific claim, with references to show that people believed it, but then I noticed your rep and question history, and realised ...


2

I can't see any reason why such questions wouldn't be on topic. We might well ask the questioner what sort of evidence it would take to convince them that the place or object was or wasn't haunted, which may help them to understand why it might be difficult to answer, and allow the question to be more focused on an claim that is addressable with empirical ...


1

If you doubt whether he killed Jones, the trial is strong evidence and we can't simply discard it. It's one of the strongest possible pieces of evidence. Further trials and revisions would probably be admissible but I don't know there are any in this case. If you doubt the trial itself, who is claiming that it is? Is that notable? If it is, then some ...


1

[Note: This is just one opinion - it is the community's choice.] I am in this to be a soldier in the fight against misinformation being foisted upon an undeserving public. I am in this to help push toward a world where people aren't casually lied to to push a product or a political party without any fear of consequences or backlash. I am not in this to be ...


1

Generally, no. Skeptics.SE is different than other Stack Exchange sites in that it requires questions to be "notable" enough, and answers to be referenced. See: FAQ for New Users FAQ: Must all answers be referenced? FAQ: What constitutes original research? Meta: Is anecdotal evidence sufficient for answers? All meta questions tagged "FAQ"


1

Done Thanks for the suggestion (and thanks @Sklivvz for doing the work).


1

If a topic is truly notable, the cat is out of the bag. People are already talking about the claim and clarifying the truth makes things better for everyone. There is no violation of privacy or sensationalizing. On the other hand, the problem of that question is that it was about a non-notable claim, and it was closed as such. Therefore, I do agree with ...


1

The claim has to be notable. So, if you are a presidential candidate, and your speculations are published in the newspaper, then this workaround may be very successful, but if all your have is a Twitter account with 3 followers, the question based on the claim will be closed because it fails to meet our notability requirements.


1

Are questions about the existence of repeatable, scientific experiments to validate a hypothesis on topic? If you mean that the claim is that there are no repeatable scientific experiments on a topic then we ask: that the claim be believed by a significant amount of people that the topic is well-defined topic that the question be completely answerable in a ...


1

I think it's off-topic, because the 'danger' in the claim results from the Catholic belief that it's "dangerous" to be open to associating with "the devil". I.e. part of the claim is that the devil is dangerous (other parts of the claim are that some Halloween celebrations are devil-oriented and/or open people to devilish influence). IMO the question "is ...


1

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 ...


1

Questions about motivations should still be off-topic in any case. A motivation is an opinion/speculation. The problem with the Ukranian claim is that a large part of the theory is unprovable. What we can do is look at its plausibility, in other words, are the factual statements in the press release compatible with evidence? If the question is rephrased to ...


1

The other answers here are great, but Sklivvz made an answer to one of my questions that I believe is applicable here: If you doubt whether he killed Jones, the trial is strong evidence and we can't simply discard it. It's one of the strongest possible pieces of evidence. Further trials and revisions would probably be admissible but I don't know there are ...


1

Such questions can be (but, are not necessarily) on topic; for example I asked a question about Nelson Mandela: which was popular and (perhaps more importantly) answerable. As is usual for any answer here, the evidence (i.e. references) presented in those answers came from the public record: they included references to the statements and judgments made in ...


1

It seems to me that answerers have made a decent stab at what was not a well-asked question. The question does easily read like: "what evidence is there for evidence-based medicine?" (EBM), as Brightblades says in the comments. And Matt Black's answer, answers that very well, and provides good content. (also, the first sentence in your question, "In ...


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