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I am trying to improve my question asking ability after my last question wasn't very well received. Also I think that this would be a relevant guide to point to when it comes to some of the evolutionary and societal questions on here. Maybe not now but in the future.

So what I mean by "divergent evolution" is questions that go in the vein of "Everyone was the same until X event happened. Then group 1 went one way, group 2 a different way, ad nauseum. Is this realistic?" When should someone split those into individual questions based on group 1, group 2, group 3, etc? And group could easily be redefined as responses to an event, etc.

As an example, I am working on a question about angels and demons evolving from the same race. However some went to heaven, some went to hell, and they evolved from there. Do I split this into two questions, because angels and demons have different fundamental physiology and evolved in different environments? Or do the go into the same question based on the fact that they evolved from the same species but X event caused them to go one place or another?

In short, where do we draw the line on questions based on divergence?

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    $\begingroup$ It's great to see people who genuinely want to improve the way they are asking questions. We all start out somewhere; no one is born knowing how to ask great questions. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Aug 20 '17 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ We, users below 10k, cannot see deleted posts. If you want input on your questions, go ahead and post it in the Sandbox. Of course, you can also post screenshots of your question here, but I don't feel it's right to do that here. $\endgroup$
    – Vylix
    Oct 14 '17 at 18:39
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Summary: ask questions based on the expertise(s) they require and anticipated answer size. It's ok (and not uncommon) for a single set of starting conditions to lead to multiple questions. The more you pile into a single question the harder it is for people to fully answer.

In your angels/demons example, it sounds like you have two questions of the same form: Given these starting conditions and this environment, how would {angels, demons} further evolve? (That sounds too broad, but I assume you have more-specific questions.) That the starting conditions are the same for both doesn't mean they should be one question. Perhaps somebody is capable of answering the demons question (expertise in thermodynamics and related fields) who wouldn't be able to address the angels question. If you make them separate questions you get an answer about demons; if you combine them, you don't get an answer from that person.

It's ok to have families of related questions; that's not unusual here on Worldbuilding. Try to scope your questions to require a "reasonable" amount of expertise; the more fields someone needs to be fluent in to answer your question, the lower your odds are that such a person will see and answer your question. You also want to scope them so that they can be reasonably and fully answered in the space of an answer post; if it would require a book (or even a sizable chapter) to answer, that's too broad for this platform and you should break it up.

Sometimes it makes sense to ask things together; if you were asking about the effects of a certain environment on plant life you probably don't want to ask separately about grasses, flowering bushes, fruit trees, evergreens, and so on. So yes, there's a balancing act and I don't have concrete guidance for that. Our community generally does a good job of helping people to refine questions, and if you'd like some help before posting the question on main you can use the sandbox or ask for help in chat.

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  • $\begingroup$ I feel like this is the perfect answer to this particular issue that I have imagined. If you did a tl;dr type of forward I think it would be THE answer. Although now I wonder if this was only an issue for me. $\endgroup$
    – Jake
    Aug 20 '17 at 4:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Jake you are not the only person who's run into this issue. Thanks for asking on meta! I've added the summary you requested. $\endgroup$ Aug 20 '17 at 4:17
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome. I will let this question percolate for a while to see if it gets more answers. But this is a prefect answer. $\endgroup$
    – Jake
    Aug 20 '17 at 5:06
  • $\begingroup$ I updated the question looking for some input. $\endgroup$
    – Jake
    Oct 14 '17 at 4:59

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