Inspired by this question on the parent site.

Somewhat related to this meta question, but people who ask ill-founded questions are not necessarily cranks.

People will continue to ask questions like "how do I prove X?" for false statements X. What is the best way to deal with such questions?

They should be answered with a proof or explanation of why X is false/unprovable.

They should be closed as "not a real question," because they demand the impossible.

  • 2
    I'd say answering in the comments is best. If the question was well-thought out and well-written, I'm sympathetic; in this case, since there is no motivation for the question, my inclination is to close it. – Akhil Mathew Jul 29 '10 at 1:41

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