I am asking about this kind of question : Must we believe in a hidden variable for quantum indeterminacy? . It has been put on hold as "unclear what you are asking", while with this formulation, the question asks for a yes/no answer. I tried to answer it, along with another user, and in the comments, both answers have been pointed out as "not answering the question". Both answers do (both argue in the favor of "no").

I get why this would seem unclear to someone not really interested in quantum mechanics, and I know most people are not.

Are all questions meant to a small audience off-topic because they are unclear to most users ?

It would seem rather odd to me to rule out questions on the basis of their small audience, since some others about specific topics can be found (finance, savings, translations, specific schools of islam, ...)


This particular question:

I voted to reopen. (Although, at the time it was closed, I was in agreement.)

In its current state, it's a reasonable enough question, essentially asking In order for quantum indeterminacy to be compatible with Islamic beliefs, must we believe in a hidden variable?

However, it wouldn't hurt to define in the question what those terms ("quantum indeterminacy" and "hidden variable") mean.

There's a misunderstanding in the question (the idea that people are somehow required to believe in mathematical models of physical properties), which you address in the new addition to your answer. Over at math.SE, we came to the conclusion that questions which indicate misunderstanding were fine---the answers can correct the misunderstanding.

Narrow fields being off topic:

I would think this would be best addressed case by case. I don't think this is sufficient alone to justify closure.

I don't think this question was closed because it was about a narrow topic. It started off as completely unresearched, and was attracting poor answers (in my opinion).

(Nor do I think of quantum mechanics as a narrow topic.)

Unilateral moderation:

On other StackExchange sites, moderators can close questions unilaterally without it being a big problem---if the community is strongly against it, someone votes to reopen, and it enters the review queue where it gets further reopen votes, and gets reopened.

Here, people don't upvote as much, so there are few users who can cast reopen votes (requiring 500 points during beta [158 users currently, if I counted correctly]) and access the review queue (requiring 350 points during beta). This stymies our ability to self moderate, and diamond moderators are forced to make on-the-fly unilateral judgement calls.

Don't like it? Then upvote good questions and answers.

According to Quantcast, in the last 30 days the site received 324.5K unique viewers. (4.5M in 2016 for Islam.SE compared with 7.4M for Christianity.SE.) This is consistent with the Area51 page, which gives an average of 12,586 visits/day. We have plenty of visitors, but few active participants.


There's nothing wrong with asking about narrow fields. However, it is important to remember that we are Islam—Stack Exchange: Questions and answers are expected to be about Islam, not about whatever niche topic Muslims happen to be interested in.

When I closed the question in question, it wasn't clear exactly what the questioner was even looking for that they would be asking here instead of, say, Physics—Stack Exchange. Obviously I was not the only one who missed that because the existing answers had pretty much no Islamic perspective in them at all, focussing entirely on just explaining quantum mechanics itself.

We as a site are poorly equipped to handle such answers, or questions which should be answered by such answers. If users are coming to Islam—Stack Exchange for an expert explanation of theoretical physics, they are in exactly the wrong place.

I'm sure there's plenty of valid questions in that intersection of theoretical physics and Islam; I'm not even saying that this question wasn't one of them, but it needed more clarity and focus so it wouldn't just attract more answers that, quite frankly, had no place here.

  • you should not punish questions for answers. i do not think it needed more clarity. are you sure? but it could have links to wikipedia etc, but in other hand users can just google the terms, and links can be added further by editions. i do not think that answers did not have anything about islam in them. i just forgot to say "as i know there is nothing contradicting it in quran", but i can add it later. this question is quite normal but maybe he should say that maybe there are some ideas of fate in islam that contradict that. – qdinar Jan 9 '17 at 10:31

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