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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 ...


11

It's important to give both versions (i.e. including the original non-English version) in an answer, when the answer depends on the exact meaning or exact phrasing: for example here, here, and here. It's harmless to give both versions, when the phrase being quoted is short (one paragraph or less). I'm not sure about longer quotes, though. I think the ...


11

You are correct that this site is not for learning about scientific skepticism. In fact it's a place to apply it. However, scientific skepticism is different from rational debate. It is a discipline based on examining evidence and balancing it against propositions. In a way, it is dissimilar from science because skepticism is not about discovering new laws ...


11

Title My first reaction on seeing the title 'Is there explanation other than “Satanic ritual” for the Gotthard Base Tunnel Opening Ceremony?' was that the form of the question in the title is not suitable for Stack Exchange. Yes, there are plenty of other explanations: Aliens. Drugs. Cultural gaps. Mass hypnosis. Illuminati. Parody. Prank. People not ...


9

At the moment of writing, the question has been reverted, with a couple of changes. I think the original question was poorly written - hence my extensive edits. I explain the process here: The original title (which hasn't been preserved) asked: "What happened to Black Tulsa? (aka Black Wall Street)" Black Wallstreet is a reference to the location of the ...


9

The question should stand. Its in scope and I can't support censorship just because a topic is potentially upsetting. See also the english.se policy on questions about profanity.


9

I think this is an example of a very bad answer. In my opinion, this questions is important and hard, so it requires hard data to back up the answer. I have seen no such data. This is why I criticize this answer: First of all it answers completely different question. OP asked Are illegal immigrants more likely to commit crimes. The first citation of the ...


9

The simplest option is to just write out the date as "[month name] [day], [year]" or "[day] of [month name], [year]", rather than following a standard that is ambiguous if you don't know the standard being followed. Standards are only useful if everyone uses that standard, and the first new user who doesn't use that standard will cause even more confusion ...


7

Apart from the normal requirements of a specific claim and notability (i.e. that many people believe the claim), we also have a restriction on events that are so recent that there has been insufficient time for journalists, officials and other investigative bodies to determine what happened. Sometimes, we just have to wait to find out what happened. This ...


7

Banning "Original Research" My impression is the community has (or should) scale back on the ban on "non-trivial" original research—it doesn't seem to be mentioned in the Help section, though there are previous questions that reference some guidelines (e.g. 1, 2). If such a prohibition is going to be enforced, there's really no excuse not to include it in ...


6

As the OP, I'll add my two cents. Sexual abuse is an unpleasant subject. It isn't the only unpleasant subject dealt with. For example, the holocaust has been the subject of some questions. If you strongly wish to avoid questions about sexual abuse, one partial solution would be to ignore the sexual-abuse tag. For more info on ignoring a tag, see What do &...


6

I agree with you. I also personally think the answers we have are of either of very poor quality and fundamentally wrong or not answers at all, or very incomplete. One says In summary, their conclusion was that the single greatest impact on crime comes from police on the street and that gun control accomplished nothing much which is simply not true. In ...


6

So, now we have an answer eviscerating the Olmsted article... that wasn't part of the OP's question. We, as a community, added an article for notability, focussed the question on that answer, and then shredded that article as nonsense, leaving the original question from the OP unanswered. When I answered the question I failed to look through the history of ...


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....


6

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: ...


5

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 ...


5

I'm going to answer a slightly different question. Not "Is this acceptable?" but "Why haven't I taken any moderator action to delete it?" The general policy on references is that they are required, they should be relevant. However, there is no policy on moderator action whether the references are "good" or "reliable". That is appropriate, because the mods ...


5

The serial downvotes have been invalidated.


5

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 ...


5

The programmer in me loves this answer. The skeptics mod hates it. You do indeed need to be an expert (in this case a programmer, and an expert on naming) to ascertain whether the method used is appropriate. In my humble opinion it is very much original research. Our post notice says as much This answer is based on original data analysis or non-...


4

Skeptics have been taking on claims of prophesy for years... The Million Dollar Challenge is one such challenge. The question itself wasn't closed because no one has ever refuted prophets, but because the question itself was poorly worded, as well as off topic. If you could perhaps approach the question in a more non-adversarial way, as well as make A ...


4

Given the current indecision on how to fix it, and that any choice will either invalidate some answers or invalidate some votes by changing its perceived meaning, I propose to close it as "unclear what you are asking" instead of editing. The OP can ask another, univocal question.


4

I wasn't a moderator involved - so I can't directly respond to motivations, but I can address some side issues. Was this "unilateral moderator action"? Well, in a way, all comment deletions are performed by one moderator - there is no voting involved, so it could be described that way. However, there was a system-generated flag warning all the moderators ...


4

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 ...


4

Apparently moderators don't object to the topic, so there's no use in flagging it. It's probably better to avoid closing topics for reasons that are idiosyncratic, especially without moderator support, because at best (which isn't good) that could lead to a close/reopen 'war' between voters. Using the "Ignored Tags" feature (available via the "Favorite ...


4

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 ...


4

I do not have an opinion on the question that triggered this meta question. Or, I do not wish to express an opinion on that here. I really do not have an opinion on the verity of the answer that triggered this question. I do have a slight opinion on the quality of the answer to that specific question, and that is being discussed well in some other answers ...


4

I'll put in my two cents here, or rather, xkdc's: I favor the iso standard for two reasons: It's ordered. Year is bigger than month is bigger than day. When ordering a list of iso formatted dates, the numbers evaluate naturally. No special regex or whatever needed. Any file naming protocol would wisely use it for this reason alone. It's entirely ...


3

Thanks for opening a topic on Meta to ask about this. Would you be able to reference/quote a single sentence e.g. the following ... white people [...] got airplanes and bombed people and killed hundreds - and some studies say up to four thousand - African Americans ... and ask whether that claim/quote is true? I guess that usually the site wants one ...


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