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So my question on the CIA's activities with respect to drugs and South America was migrated to Skeptics with out much discussion. It seems to me that the line between Skeptics and History is pretty blurry, so why don't we spend some time trying to make it a little clearer.

What belongs on the Skeptics SE and what belongs here?

At what point does something for which there is evidence become history? Would a COINTELPRO question belong on History? Or is that still Skeptics? Is there a point where it's too modern to be History?

How about ancient history that still has a lot of questions hanging around it (Stonehenge, for instance), where do questions about that belong?

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I'd say that anything which has numerous concrete sources, which have been verified and agreed upon as the main historical record is something that belongs here. Although, you'd have to determine at some point where something is historical record, such as Stonehenge being built in Salisbury plain and used by ancient peoples, and where something is then not quite historically documented, such as Stonehenge was a landing pad for alien races. Where there is still debate, and no clear evidence, I'd say Skeptics might be a better place to discuss and determine truth from conspiracy/conjecture.

I don't think this is an issue with modern or not but rather agreement on the historical record and source documents as being factual or not.

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  • I concur! SE sites are all about asking questions that can be decisively answered. If it results in speculation or opinion, then it isn't well suited. The Skeptics SE site is a bit of an anomaly in that it challenges people to prove or disprove the speculations or opinions. Jan 13 '12 at 17:15
  • Well, I think it becomes an issue with Modern History because there's more likely to be questions around which sources are valid and whether or not something has entered the historical record. Especially with something related classified government activities. For example, COINTELPRO (there's an entire court case supporting it, but still discussion of how far it went) or the CIA's activities (there are documents, but the CIA is officially denying it). Jan 14 '12 at 21:16
  • And with Stonehenge, rather than looking at clear example of where and when vs aliens look at how it was built and why. We don't really know, but this is definitely a historical question. What if someone comes in here asking whether or not Stonehenge was built as a lunar calendar? Whether it was built using [x] methods? Jan 14 '12 at 21:18
  • Just playing devil's advocate. Jan 14 '12 at 21:18
  • Devils Advocate is the best way to look at sources, especially modern ones. Although modern sources will often have multiple versions to review and either back up or put into question authenticity.
    – MichaelF
    Jan 17 '12 at 11:40
  • +1 we had a similar question meta.history.stackexchange.com/questions/131/…
    – Hauser
    Jan 17 '12 at 18:31

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