I was reading 2-year old meta post here, and it seems most of the answers saying that it should be on-topic (as theoretical physics) as science should answer non-mainstream questions to avoid censorship.

However it's still not clear for me and I know that there was some long debate on this and many people left. So to simplify this, what's the current status of this topic on this site? If not, why?

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    $\begingroup$ If you want to ask a technical question about possible physical interactions involved then I guess that would be fine. If you want to ask why cold fusion was suppressed by the CIA that's less acceptable. $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2015 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie well the latter is not even a physics question ;-) $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Mar 26, 2015 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


Cold fusion, to my knowledge, is and should not be treated differently than any other topic on the "fringe" of mainstream science.

In general, questions about non-mainstream science are off-topic. It should be stressed that this does not imply that non-mainstream theories are entirely without merit (though they very often are), it merely says that we as a community do not want to have such debates on this site, as they are contrary to the Q&A formula of SE sites where it is expected that question have at least one correct answer based in currently accepeted expertise.

So, for example, asking whether X is possible within currently accepted physical theories, or what things forbid X from happening is on-topic. Presenting your own personal theory about X and asking for comments is off-topic, as well as questions asked in bad faith where it is evident that the asker will just keep moving the goalposts so that no answer is ever satisfactory, as well as questions of the kind "Isn't physics wrong about X?" or similar.

It doesn't matter what kind of "non-mainstream" science X is here.

  • $\begingroup$ With due respect, in paragraph 3, while I buy the first sentence completely, I feel it is necessary to point out that in sentence 2, lines could always blur. (Felt I should say this because the answer is sitting at +7 and hence, can be taken as the official stance.) $\endgroup$
    – 299792458
    Mar 27, 2015 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ @TheDarkSide: I agree that "bad faith" is not a clear cut and objective definition - by the nature of the closing system, this will always be decided by at least five people agreeing in a particular case. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Mar 27, 2015 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ That's a valid point. Agreed :) $\endgroup$
    – 299792458
    Mar 27, 2015 at 16:24

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