Thank you Ruth! Hope you're having a great week. ;-)
Here's the previous encounter that I was referring to, about Tom's attack on the Big Bang model of cosmology, by the way. You can see the pattern that I was referring to.
Tom: *ballistic attack of subject*
Me: Huh? Could you give me a link so I can see what you're talking about and have a reason to take you seriously?
Tom: *storms off after insulting me*
Humorously, what Tom did could be considered a bit of an ad hominem, if you stretch the meaning a little. It isn't the classic form of the fallacy, but there are elements of it.
I dunno, calling the standard model pseudoscience, saying that the LHC fails every time, and accusing everyone who supports the Big Bang theory of selling propaganda to the media and ignoring the published literature ... seems pretty ballistic to me.
He's attacking the ideas at the beginning there, not me ... thus the part where I stated "ballistic attack of subject." The insult at the end is the part that is a form of ad hominem. "You just want to believe, so I'm not going to waste my time giving you any evidence for my claims," is essentially an attack on my intellectual rigor, and he explicitly refused to address the actual subject. What would you call that, other than an ad hominem attack?
I called him out on storming off in a huff and refusing to address what I said, after he stormed off, in this most recent exchange about him not understanding what words mean. That's not an ad hominem against him, since he refused to provide me with an argument to address ... which was my point, after all.
And sure, Tom is argumentative. No problem there. The problem is that he regularly displays some of the worst intellectual cowardice that I've encountered on here. I've talked to several other people on here who have had the same sorts of problems with him, in regards to both his anti-Banger crusade and other subjects.
Tom is/was (he's retired) a freaking engineer, which he seems to think makes him an authority on theoretical physics, such that he doesn't have to back up his hyperbolic statements with material from people who actually know what they're talking about.