BAD SCHOLARSHIP, WEIRD BELIEFS AND STRANGELY UNEXPLORED AREAS OF RESEARCH

Identifying strangely neglected areas of research, understanding why orthodox research scholarship and 'knowledge' becomes lopsided, revealing and understanding the reasons for the creation, dissemination and widespread belief in academic and policy oriented research frauds, lies, deceptions, hoaxes, fallacies, myths, braced myths, errors and irrational policymaking.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Etymological Origin Halloween

Halloween Pumpkin
Today (31 October 2015) is Halloween. And so, from that cause, I deployed my Big Data ID method, which is - see Sutton 2014    - the same that debunked Charles Darwin's self-serving lie that no naturalist had read Scottish horticulturist Patrick Matthew's (1831) prior published full hypothesis of 'the natural process of selection' before he replicated 27 years later, to discover the first publish use of the word Halloween.
What did I find?

Another new discovery

The powerful ID method enabled me to originally discover that what appears to be the earliest currently known printed origin of the word 'Halloween' - or more precisely 'Hallow E'en' - is 1724. Moreover, the Scottish poet Robert Burns appears to have been first into print in 1786 the modern appearance of the word 'Halloween' in the poem he penned of that name in 1785.
Prior knowledge
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(C) Mike Sutton. All Rights ReservedUsed only with express written permission
Halloween Witch on the Prowl in Our House!
At the time of writing, Wikipedia    and seemingly countless other websites vaguely have it that the earliest known usage of the word is "about 1745". The Online Etymology Dictionary    makes the same conveniently vague claim, as does the mighty Chambers' Dictionary of Etymology. What about Chambers?
Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (2012) p 462:
'Halloween or Hallowe'en about 1745, Scottish shortening of Allhallow-even'.
More precisely, the ID method enables is to pinpoint the first - to date - discoverable use of the word 'Hallow E'en' to be 1724. on page 22 of a book by Alan Ramsay entitled The Teatime Miscellany:   
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Hallowe'en
Incidentally, the same Big Data ID method uniquely discovered that the Chamers Dictionary of Etymology founder, Robert Chambers, author of the Vestiges of Creation, correspondent and associate of Charles Darwin, had earlier read and then cited Matthew's (1831) book in 1832 (see Sutton 2104a   )
Back to Halloween, and curiously, we see from Ramsay's prose that there appears to have been an apparently well-known tune of the same name. Further research reveals this song was published n 1726. (More on Ramsay himself: here   ).
In 1786, we find what to date appears to be the earliest discoverable use of the unhyphenated word Halloween, and it is in a book authored by none other than the great Scottish poet: Robert Burns (pp 101-102   ).
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Did Robert Burns first coin the word Halloween?

The trusty ID method strikes once again!

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Nullius in Verba
For more examples of the power of the new research method, check out the free to view Chapter Three in Nullius In Verba: Darwin's greatest secret    at Amazon books - which contains my A-Z of originally busted myths.
If you want to know the real origin of the Easter Bunnie?Here it is.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Crimes Fairystories: The Wolf and Three Little Pigs Re-Told - or Felson's versus Sutton's Crime Opportunity Explanations



An opportunity cannot exist for you unless you personally perceive it as the coming together of a set of fortunate or otherwise potentially beneficial circumstances/events upon which you can choose to act. So the entire definition of a personal opportunity is based on the premise that benefits and a person's (or animals/plants) capabilities to secure them are in some way perceived by them. And perceived opportunities are always subject to expected or unexpected beneficial or detrimental contingencies. Where crime is concerned, a potential offender can have a pre-crime accident, get injured or otherwise thwarted during a criminal attempt. The capabilities of any guardian can never be fixed (known) in advance of a crime happening. Even the little piggy in the house made of sticks might have leapt out of his demolished house at the very last minute and poked the wolf in the eye with a broken twig. Check out the hundreds of newspaper stories of have-a-go heroes if you doubt this.


And the wolf coming down the chimney in the house made of bricks could have spotted the boiling turpentine and braced his legs above it, bounded over it and ate the piggy. The piggies guardianship capabilities and the wolf's capabilities can never be known (fixed) in advance as the RAT model would have it. They do not exist in a fixed position, like a mountain or a home, until the crime is completed (including the crime of criminal attempt). Criminal opportunities cannot exist unless perceived and are contingent on both the expected and unexpected.



Felson's paradigm of crime opportunity is a mere description of the data of a successfully completed crime or completed attempt. Descriptions can not explain themselves. For that, we need a testable hypothesis that is either right or wrong. Felson's theory s a mere truism masquerading as causality.

Just as even the most elegant description of a fossilized dinosaur found in the geological strata cannot explain why it is there, neither can Felson's RAT model of opportunity explain successful crimes, failed criminal attempts and prevented crimes.

To explain dinosaurs we have Patrick Matthew's theory of macro organic evolution by natural selection (the one Darwin plagiarized). To explain crimes in terms of opportunities, we need a similarly potentially refutable and - if refuted - hard to vary theory. Felson's theorem is not refutable because it's a mere truism in the form of a mere description. In terms of the potential of natural selection to be refuted, we need to find only one case of (for example) a human in the strata below a dinosaur. It's bold ability to be so easily refuted is what makes it such a powerful theory and good explanation.

A barrier to more effective crime reduction knowledge progression has been thrown up by two criminology theories/approaches: Situational Crime Prevention (SCP) and Routine Activities Theory (RAT). The problem is caused by the policy-oriented popularity of SCP and RAT that is likely due in no small part to their simplistic and easily comprehendible, compelling, yet ultimately illogical weird focus upon describing the data of crime in ever more complex ways so that simple truisms about the scenes of successfully completed crimes and failed attempts (crimes of attempting to commit a crime) are placed in the spotlight and presented as a root cause of crime. Felson's simplistic notion of opportunity is, in fact,merely the very data that a true testable theory of causation could explain. 

Click here to read my online article that explains why.

My explanation for why the RAT notion of opportunity (Ratortunity) is a mere truism masquerading as causality is published in a peer-reviewed essay (here).
Felson's theorem is not the opportunity it claims to be.

This is merely a description of some elements of a completed crime. 
Descriptions of things cannot explain themselves. 
 For that, we need a theory, which is capable of being disproven and
that is hard to vary when so disconfirmed by the evidence.
Sutton's Opportunity Hypothesis allows for offender and guardianship perceptions
and for expected and unexpected contingencies at the pre-crime scene and the scene
of attempted crimes