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Okay, so I asked this question about the plausibility of large hexapods on Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. Although it wasn't closed, several people pointed out that I was asking about too many things at one time. Therefore, I am thinking about splitting it into several smaller questions, each asking about one of the aspects of the topic.

However, I am unsure about the exact format this should be in. I think the general problem of splitting a broad question that has already been asked is relevant across many subjects, which is why I am asking for an answer here. I also know that it is generally advised that one question should be asked at a time, but my problem is that the broad question has already been written and posted. So, I am wondering - should I delete the original question and start completely afresh, or should I link to the original question in my new questions?

  • In this particular case, you can't delete the original anyway, and it's not proper to edit in such a way as to invalidate the two answers you already got, so you should leave it mostly alone and ask other linked questions. – Nathan Tuggy Apr 26 '17 at 6:33
  • Okay, but when you say 'linked,' do you mean put an actual hyperlink to the original question? – Inflationary_Bubble Apr 26 '17 at 6:34
  • Sure. Introduce it with something like "This is a specialization of the over-broad question XYZ". – Nathan Tuggy Apr 26 '17 at 6:36
  • Link: an example of my own. An example of a set of related questions. After a while you can make an index. – JDługosz Apr 27 '17 at 1:11
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Broadness isn't just about how many questions - but how much information is needed to answer it. In this case, yeah, you're asking for quite a lot of things but it is less many questions than one question that needs a small book worth of information.

That said I don't see any closevotes. There's nothing wrong with forking off related questions linking back to the original, but looking at the voting trends the community seems fine with the question as is. I'd take the comments in view for future questions.

I tend to think moving the goalposts once a question is asked isn't cricket. So leave it as is, but consider overall scope for an answer in future questions.

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Worldbuilding mod here. Good to see that you're working to improve your question.

In a situation like this, where you've asked an overly broad question, you have three basic options: Edit, delete, or break it up.

In this case, there are already two undeleted answers (and a deleted one), both of which seem to address your general issue. ckersch's answer also links to a paper with some numerical calculations, which should be helpful. Rereading both posts, it seems like that answer might actually give you most of what you need to know. At this point, making drastic edits would likely invalidate the current answers, which is usually frowned upon.

Deleting is usually only good if your question is new and has a fatal flaw that cannot be salvaged. That's definitely not the case here. Also, you literally can't delete it now. There's already an upvoted answer, so the system stops you from deleting it.

Your best option now is to break the question into sub-questions. That may be your safest approach here - certainly better than the other two possibilities-that-really-aren't-possibilities. One cautionary notice I'll give you is that rather than break your question up into a bunch of equally specific questions, leave this one as a sort of general one. For instance, keep it asking about evolution as a whole. Then you can write other questions about details, like numerical formulas and data (1), the extension to fins and aquatic appendages (2), and the additional energy needed (3). That's four questions total, each of which should be relatively narrow.

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