I am a moderator on Skeptics.SE. Normally, I would direct this question straight to the moderators of History.SE, but they haven't been decided yet...

We occasionally get "Did X really say Y?" questions on Skeptics (e.g. Aurelius).

They are in scope, but it has been suggested they might get better answers if they were migrated to literature.SE or history.SE.

Are these question in scope? Are they the sort of questions you would like to see? Are they the sort of questions you are likely to be able to give high-quality answers to? If the answer to all of these is yes, I think the Skeptics.SE would be happy to have a policy of migrating them to you.

I would invite you to answer not here, but on the original meta-question.

  • As an FYI, as per the last META post, there are now Mods Pro tempore. And thanks for following up on my Q :)
    – DVK
    Dec 12, 2011 at 17:31
  • Sadly, Literature.SE goes bye-byte in a few days, so you will no longer have that outlet.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    May 2, 2012 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


A necessary question as there is some serious overlap between those 2 sites. I will try to formulate my answer in way, so we can use it as list of criterions for migrating from one site to the other.

Basic problem:

You could be skeptical about everything in history. "Did this really happen?" "Is it true that...?" Often answerable by Wikipedia/other sources. History.SE is about explaining developments, of course proving and gathering facts is the main work of a historian, but not his final goal. Historians try to see the bigger picture.

Also, I think both sites would profitate from each other, if questions/answers link to each other for explaining developments vs. proving single facts.

Reasons to migrate to Skeptics.SE:

  • Proving/Disproving of facts, existence of historical proofs (Did Holocaust really happen, Did people really walk on the moon, 9/11...)
  • Questions about statements of single persons (which mostly do not cause/start/influence historical(politcal/social) developments, perhaps some notes/book written by this person does, but then, just read that book, e.g. Karl Marx)
  • the answer will likely be mono-causal, a single but important fact often debunks a conspiracy theory

Reasons to migrate to History.SE:

  • the question asks about historical developments/situation (thats what historical science is about, explaining and understanding coherently developments on time scales of years and generations)
  • the answer has not to prove/disprove facts, but to name all significant ones & put them in a correct chronological order, explaining development based on a historical(social/cultural/economical) context at that specific time
  • the answer will be multi-causal and rather tries to explain rather than to prove, as historical sciences often deal with incomplete information and have to use plausibility and exclusion methods

If most agree with my rough points (not covering every special case), I would suggest to make this community wiki, so everybody can add further points.

  • Excellent plan! (disclaimer: I am the original asker of the question on Skeptics Meta)
    – DVK
    Jan 26, 2012 at 19:35

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