This question If evolution is not about increased complexity, why does so much complexity evolve? made the SE hot list and generated a lot of answers (including one by me). It's not a great question, largely because the OP is working under a number of patently false assumptions about biology. But then again, that's true of most non-biologists and I believe there is value in us helping people with the groundwork of their understanding, especially on topics like evolution.
There have been a number of comments on the answers to this question to the effect of "you should give references". It would seem that several downvotes to answers have also been given for the same reason.
Now, as a former biologist, I understand the desire for references. I have read this meta question Should we [always] ask for references? and I agree with a lot of it. The examples given there are answers which make a lot of detailed claims to technical questions and fail to back them up. That's bad.
However, it strikes me that there is little to be gained on insisting for the same standards for more basic questions. On the essentials of evolution, for instance, I imagine I could put any undergraduate level textbook as a "reference" and find that it did indeed support my claims. That alone makes a mockery of the idea that it's worth putting in the effort to find and quote a specific reference.
Not to mention that doing so could even be offputting for people asking questions at that level, while being useless to already education biologists. The site ought to be a resource for people operating at all levels, as Physics SE and Chemistry SE seem to manage to be.
To downvote on the basis of not providing references to such questions therefore seems taking good advice too literally. Surely there's a balance to be struck here? And if so, surely we can find better rules to support it?