The Adventures of Captain Aspie – Part 1: Science, Truth and Arrogance.

This is a new series for me. My “Care and Feeding of Your Aspie” series is designed to take topics and explain autistic perceptions in reference to the topic. The Adventures of Captain Aspie is different. Instead of taking a broad topic and explaining it in a way that NTs and Aspies alike can learn from it and forming a frame of reference for all involved, this series is going to be my personal experiences… conversations on social media, my interpretation of current events, etc….

Today, on a social media site the following exchange happened.

Original Poster: It’s 29 degrees and raining. At what temperature does the rain turn into flaky stuff?

Bad Science Responder:  It’s too wet…air has to dry up a bit 1st like filling water into an ice cube tray…doesn’t automatically turn to ice cubes as soon as you put it in the freezer…has to dry up or dehumidify 1st. No worries though, it’s coming!

This bothered me a bit. This was flawed science and reasoning. As an Aspie, truth is important… regardless of situation. Her science was flawed, and as such I had a driving need to correct it. Let’s just start with the simple fact that ice is water in a different phase of matter. If it dries, there is no water to become ice.

Captain Aspie: ummm… no… ice does not dry up…

I will admit that I handled that wrong… I was just so surprised by this wrong science explanation that I could not form a polite or cogent response.

Bad Science Responder:really?never seen an old ass ice cube in a tray? looks pretty dried and shrunken to me! 

This was another example of bad science… As I said, I responded badly before, but following bad science with more bad science to prove your point is a losing strategy. So, I presented fact. Bad science cannot stand – especially when it is presented as fact and in a manner that is antagonistic. Antagonism, while childish and intentionally baiting, will lure the best of us into bad behavior at the best of times.

Captain Aspie: That is called sublimation. When a substance goes from a solid to a gas without passing through the liquid state… It can snow with a relative humidity of up to 100%… 

I presented this temperature versus relative humidity chart of corroborating evidence.

 At this point, the Bad Science Responder, as opposed to acting in a logical manner, defaulted to what seems to be the normal mode of operations for Neurotypicals. She responded with snark.

Bad Science Responder: Thanks Bill Nye. Consider me schooled.

Me: Thanks snarky person… I will

Isn’t that the proper response to snark? More snark? Long story short, the original poster got upset with me. Evidently, I had snarked at her boyfriend’s mother. She reprimanded me for it on the thread… NTs, as I have observed, are weird. The original poster and I talked about it in private and it was all good… until the Bad Science Responder decided to continue the conversation.

Bad Science Responder:  It’s ok. I was snarky…in response to his condescending arrogance. I’ll try to control myself next time. No promises though. 

This statement… This statement PISSED ME OFF. Here is why. Condescending is to condescend…

con·de·scend  [kon-duh-send]
verb (used without object)
1. to behave as if one is conscious of descending from a superior position, rank, or dignity.

And arrogance –

ar·ro·gance  [ar-uh-guhns]
offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.

Both of these things, condescension and arrogance are both matters of intent. And the pursuit of truth, when that is the only reason for the comments, is not arrogant or condescending. HOWEVER… I personally feel that spouting bad science (with NO SUPPORTING EVIDENCE) as if it were truth IS arrogance, especially when it is obviously flawed (water changing phase requiring it to “dry up” is just silly, and flawed on the most basic of logical levels).

When confronted with fact, being demeaning to another person (by calling names and expressing obvious distaste) is condescending arrogance. Which is what she did. I am confused by these behaviors in NTs. Often, they will react badly and then accuse the other person of the behaviors they, themselves, are engaging in.

So… I don’t get it, really… but NTs need to understand that the pursuit of truth has nothing to do with a position of superiority or self-importance… It has to do with the importance of what is correct. When presented with facts that run counter to our intellectual position, we will often accept it, adjust the paradigm and move on. BUT if you are going to spout bad science, stand by your statement with faulty information and a flawed understanding, and then get bitchy/snarky when someone presents you with facts…perhaps the flaw is on your end, not the Aspie’s

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