Recently, I heard a lecture about education in which the speaker went on for a few minutes about what he described as an historical mathematical controversy, involving (among others) Einstein and Newton.
The entire thing didn't sound right to me, but I like to learn and so I tried to research it. I couldn't find anything on the topic, and since "History and development of mathematics" is one of the topics of discussion here at math.stackexchange.org, I decided to ask here.
Within minutes of asking the question it was downvoted and closed, and the best I can gather is because the speaker's assertion, that I originally thought "sounded wrong," was indeed wrong.
However, I'm at a loss as to why simply asking if such a controversy existed or not was a bad question. If I knew ahead of time that it was an invalid historical claim about math, I would not have asked. When we hear a lecture about something, we're only allowed to ask about if it we already know it's correct? That's the message I'm getting here.
I genuinely don't understand why my question was not a valid historical question ("is this something in math history?"). How could I have written my question to be on-topic?
When composing my question I thought about saying something like "this seems highly dubious" or "this doesn't make sense to me," but I went out of my way to try and sound as neutral as possible, and just see what more knowledgeable people than me had to say about the topic. It wouldn't be the first time that I just wasn't aware of something, or didn't understand something on the first explanation.