The Dysology Hypothesis

Letting scholars get away with publishing fallacies and myths signals to others the existence of topics where guardians of good scholarship might be less capable than elsewhere. Such dysology then serves as an allurement to poor scholars to disseminate existing myths and fallacies and to create and publish their own in these topic areas, which leads to a downward spiral of diminishing veracity on particular topics.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Ratortunity Myth: Criminology 101

Introduction to causality and explanations for crime: for Crime Opportunity Theory, Routine Activities Theory and Situational Crime Prevention

The Crime Opportunity Theory (Routine Activities Theory, Situational Crime Prevention and Crime Science) notion of opportunity (ratortunity) as a cause of crime is 100 per cent wrong because, unlike ratortunity, good scientific explanations of the physical world are (1) easy to refute (2) difficult to vary. And (3) the ratortunity explanation for crime is a mere truism. I have demonstrated point (3) in my peer-to-peer paper Opportunity Does Not Make the Thief

Crime Scientists, having abandoned social science and criminology, claim now to be natural scientists. I think, therefore, they should perhaps take a look at what scientific reasoning actually is. Oxford scientist and expert in quantum computing, David Deutsch, has recorded a superb video lecture where he explains that easy to vary and impossible to refute thinking such as ratortunity is no better than saying about crime "a wizard did it" because it does not tell us how crime happens with a theory that is either true or false. Ratorunity, therefore, is a hopeless post-hoc explanation that tells us nothing more than that crimes happen because they can    and the classic RAT crime triangle, which is a description of the essential elements of a successful crime in commission, amounts to a useless causal explanation that every crime caused itself to happen. Crime opportunity theory (ratortunity), which underpins Crime Science, is not about opportunity, it is not a theory, it cannot rationally be a cause of anything - never mind a cause of crime - and it certainly is not scientific.
Combined with Karl Popper's definition of pseudoscience as being something underpinned by theories and hypotheses that are irrefutable, Deutsch's own unique reasoning about good explanations being those that are difficult to vary allows us to demonstrate quite clearly that ratortunity (Crime Opportunity Theory) most certainly cannot be a cause of crime. Because the only way that ratortunity could be refuted for crimes in everyday life    is if guardians could be both present and capable of preventing crimes that, somehow, happened anyway.
Criminology students, criminal justice students, crime science students, policy makers   and police officers - this video is essential viewing for you, your professors, and those pseudoscientists that you are paying to play around with inefficient rule-of-thumb crime reduction and policing models    based upon demonstrably irrational premises.