I am sharing a screen shot of a question I found on biology.se some time back requesting the name of the TV series from the OP's description of animated characters.

the screenshot

I was expecting this question to be closed as not belonging to biology as science. But on the other end, this question was well received with a good enough number of upvotes in quite a less time as I had observed and it was answered at the end.

This begs me to the question, Am I missing something obvious as to why this question was not closed and if I am, Can some explain me what is it?

This question is found here on bio.se webpage, if someone needs. Thanks for the time.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I agree. It is off topic. $\endgroup$
    Mar 30, 2017 at 7:40
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG thanks for clarifying. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2017 at 8:35
  • $\begingroup$ By a stretch - this might be seen as a question about teaching biology, which may be on-topic. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2017 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater Thanks for the comment and I gladly agree with your opinion on "how to teach specific concepts in a field" type of questions as most users of the community belong to academia and can give their best opinions/advices in those matters. But this particular question as you said is quite a bit of stretch from that. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2017 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ It is off-topic. I, personally, avoid closing questions that have a good answer, but that's certainly not the norm here. $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Mar 30, 2017 at 15:11

2 Answers 2


I answered that question as I think it serves an educational purpose on Biology and I think it is therefore on topic here.


The description of this site states:

Biology Stack Exchange is for people studying biology at any level. Questions are from students, academics and active researchers in biology and closely related fields, including:

• general questions about biological concepts

• questions about the biological mechanisms behind medical conditions

• questions about techniques in a biological or biochemical laboratory

The devil, unfortunately, is in the ‘including’, which means these are just examples, allowing the subjective interpretation. I think that shown by @AliceD is overtolerant, but that is just my subjective opinion. Clearer guidelines would be good, but I don’t imagine we are likely to agree on them.


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