This question is in regards to this post, and more specifically, the answer provided by @Remi.b. I'm not quite sure where to begin (this is my first post in a meta.*.SE site), so I'll just start by expressing my perspective of the question/answer, and then I'll explicitly state my concern/curiosity afterwards...
So, the OP begins by pretensing their question with, what comes off to me as, a seemingly narrow assessment of how much cats do/don't like water, based off their personal experiences with their own two cats. Yes, it is a commonly accepted belief that cats aren't too fond of water, but, for all anyone knows, this could really just be a fallacy (like so many other common beliefs are). That being said, the question doesn't seem to be based on anything definitive, scientific or research-based, and really could just be birthed from perpetual confirmation bias. The OP also asks for "interesting theories" instead of hard science, but that's more of a side note (but may still suggest that the OP knows there is no hard science to make any kind of conclusive statement, and decided to ask anyway).
In an attempt to answer this question, I initially performed a few searches and came across this page, which seemed to directly address the OP's concern. The problem with the page though is that there is literally no scientific basis for their statements; nothing, at all. It's all personal opinion, and has no reliable basis whatsoever. Because of this, I chose to keep searching for other, more credible sources, but I had no luck and decided that someone else may be able to produce better sources in their answering.
Now, when considering Remi.b's answer, it is almost exactly the same as what was stated on the page I just mentioned (here), however, Remi.b claims that their answer is acceptable because they're presenting it in the context of it being a "hypothesis", and because this question is asked so often that it can be answered without supporting evidence. My issue with Remi.b's answer is the following:
- There is literally zero scientific evidence for their proposed "hypotheses".
- The hypotheses aren't of their own, but in fact are almost verbatim of what the forementioned site contains.
- The answer does not provide a link to any of the sources from which they copied so much (claiming that they gathered their hypotheses from three sites).
- There is no originality in the answer, since the hypotheses were truly the ideas of the author from the other site (Jet Perreault), of whom has also authored articles such as, "Best Grooming Tables for Small Dogs", and, "Renaming a Pet After Adoption: Good or Bad?" (which clearly isn't scientifically related).
With all of this in mind, I ask the following:
- If there are no scientific findings available that address the concern(s) of an OP, is it okay to then provide nothing but opinion based answers?
- If a source is (heavily) used and not directly quoted, shouldn't a link be provided?
- Is it acceptable to "bend" the guidelines of Biology.SE if a question can't be answered with a scientific basis, just because a specific question is asked quite frequently?
Lastly, I will say.. I know that a great majority of the answers that are provided are in fact basically copy/pastes from credible sources, however, these kinds of formatted answers generally contain sources that are much more technical than the actual answer provided, and so, it seems to me that the function of the "answeree" is to translate the technical information into a more understandable format and verbage, but then making sure to provide a link to the study/article/research. However, in this case, there was no technical information, and the answeree didn't need to "dumb down" anything.
Collectively, these are my concerns, and I am posting this in attempts of getting a better idea of what is or isn't acceptable when providing an answer that can not be supported by scientific evidence, since there just isn't any available, and, at what point is an answer considered to be plagiarized (to the point that it's not an acceptable answer).
Thanks in advance.