How is it that all of these proposals are still open on Stack Overflow? Most, if not all of these proposals, are pseudoscience, on-topic somewhere else (Skeptics) or extremely dubious.

I mean, look at:

The answer: You don't, alchemy isn't real. How does this have so many upvotes?

I've flagged some of these proposals for moderator attention weeks ago, and the flags haven't been attended to yet.

Do people just not downvote or closevote at Area 51 anymore, or is Area 51 seriously letting in anything and everything now? If that's the case, can I make a Unicorns proposal?

Well, if you're going to downvote, at least explain why you disagree so I can see where you're coming from. – LittleBobbyTables Jun 25 '14 at 14:27
-1 "<subject> isn't real." this is often dependent on time, geographical location, and/or personal belief. A thousand years ago in Europe, they thought it was, real and now you don't. I am guessing that pretty much everyone can point to at least one existing group in Culture / Recreation that they feel "isn't real.". If you, me or anyone else personally believe that a subject is real, or not has no bearing on if a site should be created. Can it be defined to fit the SE model, will it have a enough content to be viable, that is all... – James Jenkins Jun 25 '14 at 14:37
@JamesJenkins - Fair enough, although personally I think you're far too lax when it comes to proposals here. My problem is that I think that the whole Stack Exchange system is fairly well-thought of and respected, especially Stack Overflow. I'd hate for the people's opinions of the Stack Exchange system to drop because of proposals like the ones I listed. I know I'm starting to take the site a lot less seriously. – LittleBobbyTables Jun 25 '14 at 14:40
They are just proposals... You are arguing to remove a proposal about alchemy on an existing page in the SE family named Area51. If you are really opposed to it, just ignore it... – James Jenkins Jun 25 '14 at 14:47
Actually transmutation of lead into gold is possible, although questions on the subject would probably be best answered on Physics.SE. – PeterJ Jun 26 '14 at 0:48
Alchemy is real, but the science is immature yet. Nanotechnology is just started and it's slowly crawling. – kenorb Jun 27 '14 at 17:02
The Universe has been transmuting elements since the beginning of time. All of the heaver elements are produced from hydrogen and helium as described here unless you are a creationist, in which case the FSM did it. – James Jenkins Jun 27 '14 at 18:12
What about Pastafarianism and Flying Spaghetti Monster. Does it count as X-Files?:) – kenorb Jun 29 '14 at 11:40
Pastafarianism is parody, and they know it. – Nick Stauner Jul 9 '14 at 21:43
I think your discussion essentially boils down to "I don't like this thing, please remove it". But this is not how this place works. I don't like a user on SO, but thats really my problem. So I ignore him. Similarily if you think Alchemy isn't real, you can ignore it. Its your problem. Cheers! – Awal Garg Jul 11 '14 at 16:25
All of these sites are being closed or are closed. Your point is invalid. – Elliot A. Dec 29 '15 at 11:19
This is quite an amusing question, given the connotations of "Area 51". – ruffle Mar 27 '16 at 11:03
@LittleBobbyTables - Add this to your list: – JohnP Apr 13 '16 at 22:07

The simple answer is that wherever possible, we don't want to be THE Authority on what ideas/suggestions people are allowed to make here, especially in cases where proposals may change direction, improve, etc. Will any of these improve to that point? Probably not, but it likely won't matter since they almost certainly won't attract enough interest to move forward.

So when proposals aren't obvious jokes or offensive/dangerous/etc., we've learned to just… relax — people acting in good faith are allowed to make suggestions we are not personally interested in. If you don't like the ideas being offered here today, I'd just move on. There will be more tomorrow. That's how this works.

Proposals are not sites. None of the ideas you linked have gained widespread support. That's okay; even if they did, they will be handled in their own good time.

Proposals in Area 51 get closed when they break something. If they fail to gather support, they are abandoned and removed. But the rest will be allowed to develop until we've explored all the contingencies. If the example questions are already well-covered elsewhere, the proposal will be closed as a duplicate. The community team evaluates proposals that make it through that far. And even if a proposal goes on to become a site, it still has to go through a private beta to see how it will work in actual practice.

I don't have to love (or even believe in) an idea for it to exist here. But I am not going to declare that someone's idea should not exist at all simply to satisfy my sense of order and tidiness. Much as I'd like to some days…

You make it sound like there's a dozen or so warlords going around trolling Area 51, smiting everything in sight. I was just asking why such far-out topics were still around, when, for example, the Foot Fetish proposal (which, by the way, I also thought was borderline-creepy and narrowly-scoped) was promptly removed. It seems very strange and arbitrary what you guys choose to remove. Whatever, it's your site, have fun with it. – LittleBobbyTables Jun 25 '14 at 15:33
That proposal was deleted by the original author. I didn't have high hopes for it myself, but I did not "promptly remove" it on that basis. That is sort of the point. – Robert Cartaino Jun 25 '14 at 15:41
@LittleBobbyTables, while that example may not apply (due to self-deletion), you raise a fair point - we DO sometimes close sites early, but it's generally when they're clearly deliberate jokes or offensive/unhelpful/very yucky etc. But for sites that aren't likely to upset anyone, when possible, it's a lot better to let the community vote with their feet - why be heavy-handed in judging sites where the lack of interest will achieve the same thing through less dictatorial means? – Jaydles Jun 25 '14 at 15:53
@LittleBobbyTables We'd never let this place become something that most reasonable people would be embarrassed to show to a friend. There's some 'far out' stuff in basically any place you can visit on The Internet. We had a big problem with completely legit proposals being sunk before the folks behind them could even show what they wanted to do with them, and we can't allow that to happen, even at the expense of some things that probably won't make it lingering longer than they otherwise would. – Tim Post Jun 25 '14 at 15:54
@Jaydles "...let the community vote with their feet" on a foot fetish site? <hits drums> Ba-Dum-CH! – Robert Cartaino Jun 25 '14 at 15:59

To be honest: I don’t see how SciFi and the mentioned proposals would match up.

See, things like “Ancient Alien Theory” are no more or less SciFi than Christianity, Islam, and co. To some people it represents a form of belief that explains where we come from… somewhat like the Bible claims we were once molded out of nothing and put in a magic garden underneath an apple tree where a snake convinced us to ruin our happy life for a snack.

Think about it: as there’s a lack of scientific proof that any Gods exist or ever existed, we would also need to merge Islam, Christianity, & Co with SciFi if we would follow your lead. In the end, it’s all just a matter of perspective… Is it really religion? Or maybe SciFi? Or simply Fantasy? Or a special form of Pseudo-Science?

Who are we to decide anyway?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not breaking a leg for some religion or any of the mentioned proposals… because personally, I’m more of a general non-believer. But as an individual, I do believe we should try hard to differ between personal opinion, and the strong belief of specific groups of people.

Just because something doesn’t rock my personal boat, doesn’t mean the rest of the world has to share my non-believing points of view. In fact, most don’t share my views – but I would never even think about throwing their beliefs, their sciences, and/or their (pseudo-)sciences into a SciFi bucket where they simply don’t belong.

Besides, it would neither be fair to those who have strong views and beliefs in their individual area, and it would certainly not be fair to SciFi-lovers like me either… as SciFi definitely differs between books like “I, robot” and the Qur'an/Bible/WhateverOtherReligiousBookYouMightKnow.

It might be hard to understand, but to some people – like von Däniken for example – things like the “Ancient Alien Theory” are more a fact than the life of Mohammed or Jesus would ever be. Does that make sense? I don’t know… but that’s not important because: who are we to judge? And why would you even think about re-classifying such things under SciFi just because you think that’s where they belong? If that would make any sense, you might as well continue and reclassify all the “we worship something” (a God or whatever) sites and proposals.

But let’s be honest: fact is that it doesn’t make any sense to reclassify the things you (or me) don’t believe in or are critical about. I mean, what would you say if I would propose to classify your argumentation here to be nothing more than SciFi or Fantasy? Exactly… and that’s what I’m pointing at.

Even when some things don’t make as much sense to me as they seem make sense to some other people, I tend to respect the opinions and beliefs of others. Maybe you should also try that perspective for a change… just in case something like Karma really exists. ;)

Nota Bene:

When you write downvoting, I sure hope you don’t mean you’re actually downvoting questions to express the fact you don’t like the related proposal… because that’s not how Area51 works! If you don’t like a proposal, simply ignore it… but don’t go around destroying questions just to express your personal opinion. Area51 is a constructive area, not a place where you can start abusing the system with a question-downvote frenzy to please your ego and/or to force your personal opinion upon the masses because you don’t recognize the motivation behind individual proposals, or can’t grasp what they’re about in the first place.


Consider that the following communities already exist in the StackExchange network :

If these are suitable topics for a separate community within in the StackExchange, I don't see why the same shouldn't apply to New Age, Metaphyics, UFOs, etc. if there's a large enough user base that shows interests in these topics.

Having said that, the fact that this community you're in right now is called Area 51 may result in this community attracting a disproportionately large number of people interested in fringe topics (= the "X-Files crowd") in comparison with other communities, as Area 51 is a term associated with UFO-related conspiracy theory, which is often considered a fringe topic among fringe topics.


The answer: You don't, alchemy isn't real. How does this have so many upvotes?

There are many things that are not real, and still get successful SE sites. See the Christianity, Islam or Mi Yodeya. They all flourish.

If people want to learn how to pray for prosperity or which spells convert iron into titanium, why stops them from that? It brings traffic to the SE community, and traffic brings gold, and gold is used to keep the more useful SE's running. In end effect, we all profit.

Check the scope of Christianity and all the religious sites, they are all about the interpretation of the texts. Questions about angels and demons, outside of those texts are almost universally off topic, but questions like - "when were angels mentioned in X", or "could Angel X in story A have also been Angel Y in story B?". There is a big difference. – user88642 Jun 26 '14 at 2:32
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are all quite real. Whether you believe any of their religious views is entirely different. – warren Jun 26 '14 at 15:50

Just vote to close the as the duplicates of Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Oh, sorry, you can't. SE has removed that feature. They [don't] handle that themselves.

Hmm well than feel free to create as many proposals as you can just to show the point that change was wrong.

Maybe it's just what's happening?

On topic at SF&F? None of those strike me as clearly within the scope over there, but I'm not hugely active so I could be wrong. LittleBobbyTables wouldn't have had enough reputation to cast a close vote anyway – JohnB Jun 25 '14 at 14:05
Unicorns, alchemy, aliens are the popular topics of SciFi and Fantasy literature. So if someone want to discuss about House Elves rights, Harry Potter tag in SciFi sound the best choice. Site proposal 'House Elves in Technology' isn't really a good idea, no matter how underrepresented they are. – Donaudampfschifffreizeitfahrt Jun 25 '14 at 14:51
I don't think that's a valid example applicable to these proposals. You're not making a good case for bringing back proposal close voting by asserting these should be closed as duplicates of SF&F. The action you're suggesting is exactly why it was removed. – JohnB Jun 25 '14 at 15:17

As far as I know The X-Files is an American science fiction horror, so I don't see any connection here.

Everybody is seeying the reality in different ways and it's matter of different point of view and what we think we call reality is just majority acceptance (mainstream science/media) at the given time/space (some time ago majority believed that Earth is flat or it's in central of Universe).

Another example, Holographic principle theory (the most probable version of our Universe accepted by mainstream science) states that there is no matter as we think and all is made of electromagnetic waves (vibrations) and everything is just empty space. Or the double-slit experiment proves that light can be both wave and particle depending how you measure it which gives some controversy about Quantum consciousness (you can't prove it or disprove it). So how do you define the reality then?

In summary. If group of people believe certain theory/ideology, that's how they perceive the reality with theirs internal/external senses which are tuned to interpret our reality and will subjectively perceive themselves as existing in a physically 'real' world.

My point is that no single person can say what's real or not.

I you don't believe in Alchemy, disprove it first, as there are people who claiming they know how to do it and they did it.

Exopolitics is more real as you think it is. There are professional entities (institutes, government organisations, etc.) which are dedicated to the study, promotion and support of exopolitics. One example is where Reinstated Kingdom of Hawaii which opened this year The Star Visitor Sanctuary. There are real people who are dealing with it. Check and watch also Sirius Disclosure before making any negative comments about it as these topics are well known by high class government professionals who swearing on their lives that it's real. The topic was discussed also on US Citizen Hearing. See also released documents by official governments, FBI, NSA, CIA and other documents.

If you grasp the topic a little bit further, you'll get to the point of Metaphysics and Astral. U.S. interest in the phenomenon dates back at least to WWII, CIA funded a research at SRI called Stargate project - 20 million dollar project which studied RV for over 20 years. It's good to note that retired US Army General Stubblebine confirms the stunning success of US Army. And the official CIA statement says:

It was then "without my knowledge" that the head of the CIA (Adm. Stansfield Turner) turned to a woman reputed to have psychic powers. As told by Carter, "she gave some latitude and longitude figures. We focused our satellite cameras on that point and the plane was there."

Please don't be misleaded by Wikipedia articles which provides only the neutral point of view and doesn't take any sides. The reason why it's not accepted by mainstream science, is because all of breaking-through research papers are classified and it's simply about the power, otherwise countries would spy on each other using psychic detectives.

Secondly how do you use scientific physical instruments to measure the non-physical aspects of reality to prove that something is real? It simply doesn't make sense. Even if you do, there is problem of demarcation which takes a very long time to prove and accept new ideology and shift the old scientific paradigm by broad agreement on the so-called parapsychological or psi phenomena.

If you're more interested about this topic, check the site at Cognitive Sciences Laboratory and their academic publications.

Read also: What makes people easily subscribe to pseudoscientific theories?

And regarding New Age, there are tons of books and scientific research done in this area (call it pseudo, sceptical science, New Age science or whatever you want). But check for example the controversial experiments done by L/L Research group since '60 e.g. Introductions to The Law of One from 1981 (read Session 1) which are very consistent with completely different New Age authors such as Amorah Quan Yin, Barbara Hand Clow, Barbara Marciniak and many more.

It still doesn't make it worse than other popular SE sites such as: Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Biblical Hermeneutics, Pastafarianism, etc.

If one can't grasp it, just simply ignore it (it doesn't hurt) and please leave to the people who are expertise in these topics. Nobody knows everything, that's why we are in need of asking the questions, what's all about, right?

-1 for using the word 'science' – Citizen Jan 2 '16 at 7:55

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