In the first article we showed that Learned Doctor Matt Strassler is not qualified to write as an expert in traditional philosophical problems and his opinions on the divisibility of electron is merely his opinion as a layman and carries no scientific weight; in the second article we exposed the three sophistries Strassler squeezed in one sentence to save his physics faith and in the third article we exposed how Strassler uses the sophistry of accent to deceive his readers with his claim that the electron is indivisible.
Next we will analyze Strassler’s philosophical sophistry (presented as an experimental fact) on the indivisibility of the electron. But first let’s look one more time at the statement that Strassler uses as the seed for his philosophical sophistry. We want to look at the statement more closely and show that each relevant word in the sentence is a meaningless word carefully selected to save the sacred doctrine of physics. Strassler writes a meaningless sentence composed of meaningless words but all his readers believe they are reading a true scientific statement. This is the art of sophistry at its best.
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This is the sentence Strassler uses as seed for his philosophical sophistry:
Electrons are the quintessential examples of (apparently)-elementary particles.
As a faithful physicist Strassler must save the fundamental physics doctrine of atomic materialism against any contradictory observations by using sophistry and casuistry. Atomic materialism postulates a matterful nature made of ultimately indivisible units. Physicists turned this postulate into their faith. This is the faith every physicist must believe without questioning and if experiments contradict the faith the physicist must use sophistry and casuistry on the experiment to save the faith. This is what Strassler is doing here. Every physicist, including Strassler, will categorically deny that he is a faithful believer in the atomic materialism citing some philosophical sophistry about particle/wave duality which of course assumes atomic materialism.
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Let’s look at each of the five relevant word in Strassler’s sentence which are,
In physics, “electron” is a meaningless word because it’s a loaded word that physicists defined multiple times and read it case by case. Strassler uses at least two contradictory definitions of the electron throughout his blog casuistically. According to Strassler the electron is both “an object” and “not an object” as the case may be; Strassler will state that electron has no size and then he will claim to measure the radius of the electron. The electron in physics is the quintessential sophistry. Electron was invented by physicists as a dormitive virtue and then corrupted into a casuistic sophistry.
The word quintessential as used here is nothing more that a rhetorical flourish and Strassler’s usage is grammatically wrong. In this sentence “quintessential” is the only word Strassler could not load and corrupt but he manages to use it wrongly. Quintessential already includes the word “example” since it means “typical example”. The correct usage is “electrons are the quintessential (apparently)-elementary particles.”
This word means “in appearance only” but Strassler corrupts even this simple word and uses it as the premise to claim that electron is elementary. According to Strassler the electron cannot be resolved by current tools physicists use therefore the electron must be indivisible. But “(Apparently)-elementary” means that electron only appears elementary; it does not follow that the electron is elementary. But Strassler asserts that the electron is elementary because he stated that the electron is only “apparently-elementary”.
Since the readers of Strassler’s blog buy Strassler’s obvious sophistry as a scientific argument we say that Strassler is a great salesman and a Grand Master of Sophistry.
If someone tried to sell you an used car by using the same sophistry you would see through it and you would not buy the car. Because a car has been running for a year without servicing does that mean that it will run forever without ever needing servicing. Of course not. You see why we call Strassler a Grand Master of Sophistry. He fools you by using masterfully an obvious sophistry that you will never be fooled if used by someone else who is not a physicist.
Strassler uses the word “elementary” as a synonym for “indivisible”. Elementary in Strassler’s sentence simply means “indivisible”. Anywhere we see the word “elementary” we can replace it with “indivisible”. Why is it that Strassler chooses to use “elementary” when he really means “indivisible”? One reason is that Strassler must conform strictly to legal physics party line. In legal physics the electron is an “elementary” particle not an “indivisible” particle. More importantly, Strassler is a master in the art of sophistry and will never use a word in its original meaning while he can load the word with his preferred meaning. Sophistry is the art of confusing the reader by using loaded words.
Just like the “electron”, the word “particle” is also a meaningless word because it can mean anything a physicist wants it to mean case by case. Strassler uses the word particle as a synonym for a spherical ball with finite radius, a mathematical point with zero radius, a wave with wave properties, a wave with particle properties, a probability wave, a statistical bump and combinations of these as necessary. So, you will never know what Strassler means when he writes “particle”. But none of Strassler’s readers ever questions the meaning of this corrupt word in physics. No one asks “Strassler, what do you mean by particle?”
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Strassler writes a sentence with five relevant words and four of the words are loaded and meaningless words and the fifth word is a meaningless rhetorical flourish that adds nothing to the sentence. It takes a Grand Master of Sophistry to write a five-word sentence with five meaningless words that appears to make sense.
This sentence is the proof that Strassler is really the Grand Master of Sophistry. He writes a sentence where five of the five relevant words are junk words yet his readers perceive the sentence as a perfectly meaningful sentence. This is the art of sophistry at its best.
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Next we will look at the philosophical sophistry Strassler writes on this sentence which reads, as corrected,
Electrons are the quintessential (apparently)-elementary particles.
Quintessential here is nothing more than a rhetorical flourish and we can simplify the sentence by eliminating it:
Electrons are (apparently)-elementary particles.
This sentence too can be simplified further, we don’t need to qualify the meaningless word “electron” with another meaningless word “particle” and the sentence becomes:
Electrons are (apparently)-elementary.
But since Strassler means “indivisible” when he writes “elementary” we make the substitution and the sentence becomes
Electrons are (apparently)-indivisible.
But this is in fact two sentences, because we know that the sentence is a textbook example of the sophistry of accent. The two sentences are
1. Electrons are divisible.
2. Electrons are indivisible.
These sentences are two possible answers to the old philosophical question of Does the indivisible exist? But instead of first asking the question and trying to answer it, Strassler secretly assumes that the indivisible exists and claims to resolve the problem by sophistry and casuistry. Why? Because the existence of the indivisible, also known as the doctrine of atomic materialism, is the official faith of physics.
Next we will look at Strassler’s philosophical sophistry camouflaged as an experimental fact.