Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Difficult Questions

  1. Jan 5, 2010 #1

    Here is a question from a newcomer to this forum, in need of advice on what best to do about a certain type of questioning. I've fouled up handling this, and would rather not repeat that mistake.

    The problem begins when someone asks something on a topic which he or she appears to have little knowledge of. On receiving a reply, the original poster raises objections to the answer, based on arguments that do not agree with accepted ideas on the subject in hand. The argument continues as they proceed to ask - or demand - answers to further questions, always in line with their eccentric ideas about the subject. It seems quite difficult to avoid this sort of thing turning into a slanging match - how best to proceed?

    I would be grateful for your comments.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2010 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    One thing that helps is if you can give them a link or two to further (mainstream) reading on the matter. Then it's not just you giving the answer. Also, definitely use the Report button if a thread has problems or is degrading. The mentors will take a look and see if anything should be done.
  4. Jan 5, 2010 #3
    You got me interested so I looked through your posting history and saw the crazy repeating key thread. When you're dealing with someone like that, just shrug it off and walk away. The guy didn't even realize that what he considered the answer had already been said by someone in prose form. That's the kind of situation where it doesn't really matter what you put down, 'cause the poster wanted someone to give him a cookie cutter solution he could run off and try.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  5. Jan 6, 2010 #4
    Thank you Berkemann,

    I suppose that there comes a point when it's best to stop replying. There is a temptation to have the last word, - to be resisted, I guess.

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook