Friday, January 15, 2016

Analyzing the "Rational Scientific Method"

Having argued with Rational Scientific Methodists ("RSMists") on Facebook for about six months, and having been thrown out of several of their Facebook groups for asking questions they don't like, it seems to be time to write an analysis of what I learned about RSMism.

First of all, RSMism is not "rational," it is not "scientific," and it's not even a "method."  What they seem to believe to be "rational" is actually something they RATIONALIZED, i.e., it is something they twisted and distorted to make it fit their beliefs.

Secondly, there is absolutely nothing "scientific" about their actions or their beliefs.  They seem to be thoroughly ANTI-SCIENCE.  They believe the great scientists like Einstein, Bohr, Oppenheimer and Feynman are "idiots."  RSMist beliefs have almost nothing to do with science.  It is really all about SEMANTICS.  They have created some bizarre word definitions which are at the core of their belief system.  They seem to believe that their WORD DEFINITIONS control the universe.  Anything that conflicts with their word definitions is deemed "impossible."  Any attempt to discuss science with them turns immediately into an argument over word definitions, and only their definitions are considered valid.  Until you accept their definitions as the only valid definitions, you are not even worth talking with.

Lastly, here's what one of the originators of RSMism, Monk E. Mind, provides as his description of their "method":
The Rational Scientific Method is how intelligent beings can objectively and rationally explain phenomena and arrive at rational conclusions about reality. Using this method is how we can achieve an understanding of the world around us.
But, first you have to accept their word definitions as unambiguous gospel.  If you don't, the method turns into nothing but endless arguments over word definitions.  Here are the definitions of some key RSMist words:

        Universe: matter (atoms) and space (nothing)
        Concept: the relationship between two or more objects
        Object: that which has shape
        Space: that which does not have shape
        Exist: matter + location
        Location: the set of static distances from one to all other objects
        Motion: Object + 2 or more locations

Their philosophy says that everything must be either an object or a concept.  RSMists also have a pathological aversion to ambiguity, so those definitions must apply universally.  There can be no 
alternative or secondary definitions.

It wasn't long after I began arguing with them that I concluded that their name should really be "Rationalized Semantic Methodists," since they just argue about word definitions while acting like members of a high school clique who not only claim to be superior to all others, but who also verbally attack anyone who does not believe what they believe.

Since it seems clear that they are also anti-authority, I asked one of them if he also believed in a number of conspiracy theories.  He believed in some (9/11, JFK, MLK, Sandy Hook) but not in others (the moon landing "hoax" and the theory that the International Space Station doesn't exist).  I was going to ask others if they also believed in various conspiracy theories, but they don't like any definition of the term "conspiracy theorist," so I was never able to get a discussion going on that topic.

 They do not believe in evidence.  They declare so emphatically.  Evidence can be ambiguous, and anything that can be ambiguous is something they don't want to have anything to do with.  That is why they created their supposedly "unambiguous" word definitions.

But, it's very clear that it is all just a cover for the fact that they do not understand science, and they cannot accept that others understand science, since the experts themselves state that they do not understand it!  RSMists seem to believe that anyone who admits to not understanding something is a total idiot.  Albert Einstein admitted there were many things about the universe that he did not understand, so, in the eyes of RSMists, that makes Einstein an idiot.  If everyone would just use their word definitions, there would never be anything that you do not understand.  Here are some of their arguments:    

A hole does not "exist," i.e., it does not consist of matter at a location, therefore Black Holes are impossible. They cannot exist.  So, there's nothing about them to not understand.

The Big Bang never happened, since the universe consists of atoms and space, and you cannot create something out of nothing.  So, there's nothing about Black Holes to not understand.

Gravitation and quantum mechanics are theories that cannot be reconciled, so they are just temporary theories that might be invalidated tomorrow.  So, there's nothing about them worth knowing.  

Aging and decay are not physical objects, therefore they must be only concepts, i.e., they are just in the mind of the observer.  So, there's nothing about them worth knowing.

What all this means is that there is no way to have an intelligent conversation with an RSMist.  RSMists believe that their word definitions supply all that anyone needs to know about the universe.  They believe that discussing their word definitions IS real science, and what scientists do is nonsense.

What they are really doing, of course, is mental masturbation.  Here are some definitions of "mental masturbation":
1. In academics it is the practice of using faulty premises to draw a conclusion.

2. The pretense of superior knowledge or intelligence by claiming conjecture, theory, feeling or opinion as fact.

3. Intellectual activity that serves no practical purpose.  

4. The act of engaging in intelligent and interesting conversation purely for the enjoyment of your own greatness and individuality.

5. The act of engaging in useless yet intellectually stimulating conversation, usually as an excuse to avoid taking constructive action in your life.

6. Overly intensive self gratifying procrastination, thought and contemplation for a subject not necessarily warranting such effort.  

It's a shame that RSMists will just change the subject or run away when confronted with questions they do not like.  For example, if the universe consists of only atoms + space, what is light?  Is light an object or a concept?  What is heat?  Why can we see through glass but not through steel?  What is sound?  Do electrons exist?  I'd still really like to have them answer those questions. 


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