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Appropedia:Rigor

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A:RIGOR
This is a proposed Appropedia policy. You can edit it, or discuss it on the talk page or at the Appropedia policy discussion page.
For now, this should be considered an essay by one or more Appropedians, and not as a policy or guideline.


Appropedia is about change - real change. While we are open to contributions from all, we are determined to be rigorous and factual as far as possible.

Our basis is scienceW and the scientific method.W However, there is room for dispute and uncertainty within science, and we will represent that as appropriate.

Relative value[edit]

We also want to put things in perspective. Some changes are much more important than others - making houses more energy efficient is much more important than working out how to recycle the plastic in dental floss. To that end, we will develop tools and policies to assess what is most important, and focus attention on them.

Falsifiability[edit]

FalsifiabilityW is an essential element of science, a key distinction between science and pseudoscience.W Claims which are not falsifiable should be identified as such - or if they are not notable in any sense, they can be removed (preferably to the talk page, with an explanation).

Healthy skepticism[edit]

Marcello Truzzi said:

"In science, the burden of proof falls upon the claimant; and the more extraordinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded. The true skeptic takes an agnostic position, one that says the claim is not proved rather than disproved. He asserts that the claimant has not borne the burden of proof and that science must continue to build its cognitive map of reality without incorporating the extraordinary claim as a new "fact." Since the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything. He just goes on using the established theories of "conventional science" as usual. But if a critic asserts that there is evidence for disproof, that he has a negative hypothesis—saying, for instance, that a seeming psi result was actually due to an artifact—he is making a claim and therefore also has to bear a burden of proof." - Wikipedia: Marcello Truzzi #Pseudoskepticism.

(The term "pseudoskepticism" was popularized by Marcello Truzzi in response to skeptics who, in his opinion, made negative claims without bearing the burden of proof of those claims.)

Frank but friendly[edit]

Please note that being rigorous does not excuse users from being civil to others. Robust debate and honest direct comment is expected (so don't take offence) but we don't engage in ad hominemW attacks and respect others as human beings even if you think they're completely wrong or acting inappropriately.

Templates[edit]

Some templates which help in addressing these questions are:

{{fact}} - verification needed.
{{sp}} - suggested project, when a literature review, experiment or other research is needed to get the facts. {{fact}} and {{sp}} overlap to an extent.
{{questions}} - for a page section seeking answers from the Appropedia community of editors and readers.
{{disputed}} when an article or section is believed to be misleading - this requests community discussion of the matter.
{{rigor}} to highlight where greater precision is needed.
{{details}} to highlight where vague or broad statements are made.

When you see such a notice and you wish to contribute, you can add appropriate information to the article, comment on the talk page, or carry out a project which you write up on Appropedia and reference from the original page.