Wikiclaim:What belongs in Wikiclaim?
Wikiclaim is for claims. For our purposes, a claim is a statement which can be supported with empirical evidence, either directly, or through chains of claims.
A claim should be concise. Compound statements can be broken down into multiple claims. Also, a claim is not an argument.
We generally prefer a claim if
- It is useful to know the answer to
- It is fruitfully debatable
It is not exactly clear how to define useful. Wikipedia uses notability as its standard for inclusion of content, which may be a good option for us to use as well. However, a claim should not need to have references if it can be reasonably linked to other claims which have references.
Types of claims
There are several different types of claims. Some belong in Wikiclaim, some don't, and for some it is still to be determined. Since Wikiclaim is new we still need to work out the details.
|Example||Description||Belongs in Wikiclaim?|
|2 + 2 = 4; The Pythagorean Theorem; The Riemann Hypothesis||Mathematical||No|
|Shakespeare was gay||Speculative; Notable; Trivia||Maybe?|
|Conan O'Brien has red hair||Trivia fact||Probably not|
|The San Francisco homeless shelter system does not have enough beds||Benefits from empirical studies and data||Yes|
|The Earth's climate is warming||Benefits from empirical studies and data||Yes|
|God is real||Religious; not well defined; can't apply empirical evidence||No|
|Politician so-and-so did such-and-such||Political; personality based||Probably not|
|My friend Joe is a jerk||Not notable; Not useful||No|
|Bowling is a sport||Purely semantic||No|
Currently our criteria for a claim to be included in Wikiclaim are:
- The claim is clearly formed so that can be argued for/against, with empirical evidence.
- If a claim depends so much on semantics that its meaning would change significantly from applying a Rationalist Taboo, it does not belong in Wikiclaim.
- The claim is not completely mathematical or logic based
- Such claims fit better in the domain of a pure logic system, not one based on empirical evidence. See Proofwiki.
- We prefer claims that are not purely trivia (this restriction might be relaxed later)
- We prefer not to cover urban legends and rumors such as covered on Snopes.
- We cover statements, not their political proponents. (Compare The United States has among highest rates of unintended pregnancy in the developed world to Politifact's coverage of a statement of a related claim (which is cited here on Wikiclaim!).
The idea is that the claim is useful to know the answer to, and it is a fruitfully debatable claim.