I was surfing though our questions this morning, and came across this one:


It caught my eye because it had a different and more eye-catching title ("interruption" instead of "infant exposure"). That's probably an alternate name for the practice, or perhaps he mistranslated "abortion", but it made it look like the question would be about interrupting other people's conversations, rather the practice of abandoning unwanted babies as a matter of social practice.

The problem I have here is that the question was closed without comment. If I can, I'll add a comment in such places where the reason seems fairly obvious to me, but here it doesn't. The given close reason ("about social sciences other than history") is so vague I can't really get a grip on it. If I had to take a guess myself, I'd guess that most of the closers were a combination of people who misunderstood the question due to the title (like I kept doing), and people who thought it was likely a veiled anti-Semitic attack.

If I weren't a mod, I'd probably vote to reopen. But I can't vote and I'm not going to overrule the community. So I'm asking here: what exactly is the principle behind this closure? Was it a mistake, or are ancient population control practices, and what peoples may or may not have practiced them, really considered off-topic? Can it possibly be salvaged with an edit?

2 Answers 2


I've edited the question to focus on Israelite culture, which is more accurately what the question is about. I considered reopening the question if only because I have an answer for it. But, like you, I don't fully understand the close voters' reasoning, so I will wait.

I could see the question being asked on Mi Yodeya, but:

  1. It's already, sorta, been asked.

  2. It would need some thoughtful editing.


Even as it is now, its an archaeological and theological question, not a historical question.

History is the study of the documentary records of the past. The use of the old testament documents to hypothesise history is commonly associated with theological and religious studies due to their expertise in interpreting these particularly difficult documents. The question regarding ancient israelite society is best answered within archaeological methods.

We could barely answer questions regarding early greek exposure, and even then we'd be reliant on classicists.

Strong documentary records surviving is the basis of particularly historical engagement with the past.

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