I know that it's not necessarily off topic, but these types of questions (ie questions asking how a science fiction trope would work in real life or how the logic works behind a certain idea in a work) seem to not be considered interesting.

Should a section explaining the suspension of disbelief be added to the FAQ in order to avoid these types of questions? Maybe even a link to Skeptics.SE for people looking for fictional science rather than science fiction?

  • Maybe even a blog post about it. Aug 17, 2011 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


I think it's a bit of a bridge. Some questions in this category are extremely interesting. Here's a few good ones:

But, there is definitely a point where things aren't so clear, and do seem to be poor questions.

It seems to me that the trick is to ask a question with direct details, in an open ended sort of way, but be willing to admit that at some point, things might just not be quite real.

  • 1
    I think that there should be a section, maybe just before or just after the open ended questions part, where it says that questions pertaining to the suspension of disbelief, or lack thereof, are on topic, but kinda iffy; and that they should be avoided unless there's other interesting information in the question other than asking how something would work in the real world, etc. Aug 18, 2011 at 3:31
  • @Oghma: It was the second most popular category in the question to figure out what is on topic. See meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/350/… Aug 19, 2011 at 13:29
  • It seems like specificity and presentation matter a lot. An interesting device in a particular story can be the focal point of interesting, cool, and awesome discussions. I imagine even just fixing the presentation of the first poor question to "Is telekinesis possible?" would have made it more addressable.
    – rsegal
    Aug 9, 2012 at 17:10

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