How does one inform readers of a question with answers that there are serious mathematical problems with the answers?

In Wikipedia, if an entry does not come with references to works such as texts or journal articles, it is flagged as not being approved by Wikipedia but still allowed there perhaps edited by someone knowledgeable and if references are given warnings are removed. That is not the case on this board. But now I am in the midst of a situation that I feel is based on mathematically unjustified assumptions, and all my attempts to straighten things out have seemed to just increase the false assumptions.

My question is, how should I have handled this situation and, more important, how should the board as a unit handles situations like these?

• Looking at the thread, I think you should also consider the possibility that your answer is the one that makes no mathematical sense. – Michael Greinecker Feb 22 '13 at 21:51
• Moderators are users with the ♦ character next to their names. Here is the list of moderators, and their role is described in A Theory of Moderation. – Rahul Feb 22 '13 at 22:23
• Wikipedia on Topological Spaces defn 1.2 says "Given such a structure, we can define a subset U of X to be open if U $\cdots$. I do not know of any definition of a topological space $Y$ that does not require that open sets be subsets of $Y$. Wikipedia on Metric Spaces "If $M$ is a metric space and $X$ is a subset of $M$, then $X$ becomes a metric space by restricting the domain of $d$ to $X\times X$. Again one only looks at points in the subset $X$. Yet answers using elements **not in ** $\mathbf Y$ can be used to show that $2$ is not contained in any open set of $Y$. Downvote Wikipedia! – Barbara Osofsky Feb 22 '13 at 22:54
• @BarbaraOsofsky The topological space (metric space, actually) in that question was $X$, not $Y$ which was simply a subset. Nothing in the question indicated that $Y$ should be topologized in any way. But meta is not for mathematics questions. – Michael Greinecker Feb 22 '13 at 23:32
• For what it's worth: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interior_%28topology%29#Interior_point is a wikipedia page containing the definition of interior point of a subset that the OP is asking about. The OP, a veteran research mathematician, is more than qualified to appreciate the mathematical issues here...by at least a factor of 1000. I would only recommend that she step back from the situation a bit and not try to draw any broad conclusions about the math.se community from it. – Pete L. Clark Feb 24 '13 at 4:24
• A meta-meta-comment: this being meta.math.se, please try to avoid discussing Mathematics here. If you have comments about the question and answers referred to by OP, please leave the comments on said question and answers, and not on the Meta thread discussing how the site functions. For one thing, such mathematical discussions is off topic for Meta; for another, these discussions are much more useful for other users if they are placed in their proper context. – Willie Wong Feb 24 '13 at 7:50
• @PeteL.Clark What do mean by "broad conclusions about the math.se community"? You seem to imply that the community reactly in an inappropriate way. Could you please clarify your statement? – Michael Greinecker Feb 24 '13 at 11:58
• @Willie: In this case I mentioned mathematics briefly because it seems relevant to the meta-mathematical (sic!) issue at hand. I don't really view "absolutely no mathematics on meta.math.se" as being a divine doctrine, but if you want to explain to me the error of my ways (probably best done privately), please feel free. – Pete L. Clark Feb 24 '13 at 18:52
• @Michael: I did not mean to imply that at all. My comment was intended to request that the OP consider backing off of the statement "Mathematics on this board is by majority vote, not what external sources in the mathematical world might think." – Pete L. Clark Feb 24 '13 at 18:52
• @Pete Thanx for the clarification. – Michael Greinecker Feb 24 '13 at 18:55