This question is inspired by the following question:
The question I put in the title is in part rhetorical, for I am sure that there are many users on this site who would agree with its sentiment, a conclusion I reach from seeing the great deal of loving work many users put into their answers, particularly to answers that are patently almost ridiculously well within the writer's level of competence.
So if people agree that the answer to my question is "yes", then why do people vote to close questions like the one I cited? Is there something in this site's policies that I am overlooking? It's not simply about this question: I cite it only as an example. Let me list what it is about this question that is important for this post:
- It bespeaks a reasonably intelligent user with a smattering of knowledge about physical science and who is speculating with this knowledge to reach conclusions that are clearly wrong and patently so to someone with a physics background;
- A google or Wikipedia search would not readily show why these conclusions are wrong - at least from the standpoint of a reasonably intelligent person without a physics background;
My cited question is clearly not someone seeking to publish their pet, peer-review-less theory on this site. There are two very fundamental reasons why the answer to the question is no: firstly that (1) we have no way of encoding the complex quantum state of something like a cell or a brain in the interactions between photons, aside from by turning the quantum state into a colossal document and sending it by digital communications and secondly that (2) "quantum teleportation", as I understand it, so far has the highly specific meaning of quantum state transmission from one system to another of the same kind: e.g. atom states are "teleported" to states of the same kind of atoms through entanglement combined with classical information transmission. So there are two key pieces of knowledge here:
- An understanding of the idea of state;
- A rough knowledge of the kinds of quantum teleportation that are actively researched.
My point here is that it is hard for someone not of a physics background to latch onto these two concepts as search terms for google and Wikipedia. If one looks at the quantum teleportation wiki without a good understanding of QM, I can well imagine that once could read this article and not see any obvious reason why Star Trek teleportation won't work, at least as far as we know.
So, given my title of this question, what is wrong with dispelling someone's ignorance and giving them a few pointers to their future research? Some will find such questions irritating, but surely the dispelling of ignorance that a good answer to this question is a win for science. I despair these days at the lack of scientific literacy throughout society, and this lack is positively dangerous when it underpins appallingly ill informed policy decisions of powerful entities like governments and influential corporations.
So now I'll stop banging on: I guess a reader can guess that I'm pretty passionate about not closing this question and shall keep applying the principles stated in my future reviews. I'll sign of with an exhortation: if a question is not showing obvious laziness, please try (1) to imagine things from the standpoint of someone not as skilled as you in physics and ask yourself the question (2) is an well placed answer a chance to dispel ignorance and further the scientific literacy in our world? before voting to close and repeat my question: what are the main reasons why people do vote to close these questions and how can we better apply the principles of spreading our knowledge around if people agree that such an endeavour is important.