I propose making questions about counterfactual history (e.g questions of type "Suppose that such-and-such development in the history of science and math did not happen. What would be the ramifications?") of Science and Mathematics explicitly off-topic here, as it is done in History Stack Exchange. Questions on counterfactual history almost inevitably lead to opinion-based answers.

Edit. I did not think I had to spell it out, but given the current answer, I think, I should: There are general Stack Exchange guidelines against "opinion-based questions" which is explained for instance here

primarily opinion-based — Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.

This does not meant that opinion-based questions are bad per se, they are just are a bad fit for Stack Exchange sites (in contrast, for instance, quora has plenty of these).

There were many proposals for having some kind of "parallel" SE sites for subjective questions. They were shot down, see for instance here and here.

(To the above, has various caveats, such as "metas" in SE are designed for collecting users opinions. But I am not writing a legal document here...)


2 Answers 2


I think questions about counterfactual history should be directed to the world-building stack exchange. I'm not a member of that community, but my gut feeling is that they would belong there.

Of course, if you are thinking of posting such a question, please read the scope guidelines for the site before posting!

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    $\begingroup$ In my understanding about that site, it's off-topic there as well. The question is still opinion-based. The accepted questions are more like "how to justify a different world", i.e. what rules of physics I need to bend to make that world possible, not if I bend this rule, what would be a possible world $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Aug 18, 2021 at 4:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Ooker Good point. World building is more about alternative physics and less about alternative history. $\endgroup$ Aug 19, 2021 at 21:27

I don`t understand what is wrong with stating an opinion. It seems to me some opinions get tagged as opinions only when the opinion rubs someone the wrong way.

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    $\begingroup$ There is nothing wrong with stating opinions and, in general, I agree that opinions should be refuted on factual basis, not rejected because they "rubs someone the wrong way." However, SE was designed to avoid opinion-based answers. See the edit above. $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2021 at 15:45
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    $\begingroup$ Every question is posed by questioner, and since a questioner has a point of view on a subject every question is unavoidably "subjective". Therefore if a good or bad question is more like a good or bad work of (subjective) literature it might be smarter to rate questions with a star system instead of an up or down vote system. $\endgroup$ Aug 3, 2021 at 14:51

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