Archive for Michael Fullerton

September 2014

Skeptopathy_Sep14.min

Articles

Are You as Smart as a Fifth Grade Science Student? The 9/11 Test

Shows how the official 9/11 story violates the scientific method taught to elementary schools students.

A Scientific Theory of the Twin Tower Collapses

Outlines a scientific theory for the Twin Tower collapses on 9/11 2001.

The 9/11 Consensus Argument

All competent scientists implicitly agree the Twin Towers were controlled demolitions.

Is Building 7 a 9/11 Honeypot?

The case for the WTC 7 bait and discredit trap.

9/11: Journalistic Fraud of the Century

How the mainstream media is aiding and abetting the 9/11 fraud.

The [Not So] Great 9/11 Debates

How I survived debates with two official 9/11 story believers.

Michael Fullerton

Michael Fullerton

BSc Psychology/Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1995. Member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.

More Posts - Website

The 9/11 Consensus Argument

scientific consensusDid you know that 100% of competent honest scientists have formed a consensus that the official story of what happened on 9/11 is entirely unsupported pseudo-science nonsense? It’s true. The problem is that very few of those scientists publicly proclaim their position. We can infer that position however by examining the facts.

Most people are conformists. They tend to go along with the group. This is particularly the case when the group is headed by experts. If you can say you have a scientific consensus for example, the bulk of the population will tend to support you, even mainstream “skeptics”. Let’s face it. Not all of us have the time or expertise to evaluate all claims. In order to get our daily tasks accomplished and enjoy life we need to take the word of experts on certain things. The problem occurs when we forget that a consensus can only help with decisions and not establish facts. A consensus does not guarantee truth.

With 9/11 we have what might first appear as a consensus of scientists that support the official story of what happened. However, upon examination what we really have are a handful of scientists and sciencey experts claiming to support the official story with the vast majority of scientists remaining silent. If the official story really were true or even likely, scientists would be out in droves trashing 9/11 skeptics like myself. They aren’t though. Why? The most likely explanation is that these scientists do see the gaping problems in the official story but remain silent to protect their careers. They saw what happened to Kevin Ryan who lost his job at Underwriter’s Laboratory for defending his company from the fraudulent NIST report.[1] They saw how Dr. Stephen Jones was strongly persuaded into early retirement for daring to question to official story.[2] They see how others are ridiculed simply for applying the scientific method and critical thinking to the 9/11 event. They probably assume some similar retaliation would befall them if they said anything. Who really can blame them? The fact is though that these scientists are definitely not defending the official story in droves. This supports the notion that they actually don’t accept the official story. The scientific consensus then is with those that rightly see the official story of what happened on 9/11 as entirely unsupported pseudo-science nonsense.

The fall of the twin Towers is the most important and fundamental event within the entire happenings of that day. This event more than any other is permanently burned into the consciousness of every US citizen that observed it. It involved iconic landmarks, the Twin Towers, and took place in New York City, the hub of the US economy. The vast majority of deaths occurred at this event. For all these reasons the attack and fall of the Twin Towers was the most traumatic event that forever changed the American people. Despite the fact that it was the most important event on 9/11 there is absolutely no valid scientific support for the official explanation of how the Twin Towers fell to the ground.

There is not one scientist anywhere in the world that has been able to produce any valid scientific evidence whatsoever that supports the official story of how the Twin Towers came down. In science, possibly the absolutely most elementary concept is that a scientific explanation must have supporting evidence. But by far the most important event within the entire day of 9/11 has absolutely not a single shed of valid scientific evidence.

Another elementary scientific concept is that an explanation must account for all observations. This is part of the scientific method taught to fifth grade elementary students. Observations that do not fit the explanation cannot be ignored. The explanation must be changed to accommodate the anomalous observation. If the explanation cannot be changed it must be discarded. No scientist anywhere in the world has ever been able to scientifically show how multi-ton pieces of structural steel could be hurled horizontally at speeds up to 70 MPH without help from explosives.[3] This fact alone proves the official 9/11 story is complete pseudo-science nonsense. Yes this is just one of many such facts.

No bona fide scientist is an imbecile. Some might be liars and some even psychotic but certainly none of them are stupid. Because there is no valid scientific evidence to support the official 9/11 story and because the official story cannot explain key evidence, no competent scientists would actually believe the official story of 9/11. We in fact have a unanimous consensus among the world’s competent and honest scientists that the official story of what happened on 9/11 is entirely unsupported pseudo-science nonsense. We have a unanimous consensus among the world’s competent scientists that the Twin Towers came down as a result of controlled demolition. We have that consensus because only that explanation has scientific supporting evidence and can explain all available observations. I urge everyone to seek out prominent scientists and ask them either how this argument is flawed or if it is in fact correct why they don’t speak up.

Notes

1. Kevin Ryan, “U.L.’s testing procedures helped make that possible”, Dig Within, March 19, 2011 http://digwithin.net/2011/03/19/u-l-s-testing-procedures-helped-make-that-possible/
2. Steven E. Jones, “BYU and Prof. Steven Jones revisited”, 911blogger.com, May 9, 2010 http://911blogger.com/news/2010-05-09/byu-and-prof-steven-jones-revisited
3. David Chandler, “High Speed Massive Projectiles from the WTC on 9/11″, April 27, 2010 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHnLlwqiu0A&list=UUxvGFyCUkbMk4pB0C-AUJwQ

Michael Fullerton

Michael Fullerton

BSc Psychology/Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1995. Member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.

More Posts - Website

Is Building 7 a 9/11 Honeypot?

HoneypotIn 2011 two of among the most respected members of the scientific 9/11 truth community, David Chandler and Jonathon Cole, issued a joint statement relating to the damage incurred to the Pentagon on 9/11, 2001.[1] They eloquently made the case that officials hold all the cards on the Pentagon so that there can never really be a true understanding of what occurred there. They suggest that the Pentagon might be a honeypot. A honeypot is a trap that is used to attract initial interest only to be discredited at a later time. This in term discredits all those that were manipulated into expending time researching and drawing attention to this event. This raises the question, could WTC 7 be a honeypot trap?

Any reasonable person that sees Building 7 (WTC 7) fall thinks that it looks just like any other controlled demolition they have witnessed. Only the truly delusional, which coincidentally includes all mainstream “skeptics”, could ever believe the official story of how it fell down. As I’ve written before, the only “evidence” for the official story of how WTC 7 fell is a computer model that looks little like what it is supposed to be modelling and cannot be verified by independent researchers.[2] In my writing I also showed that the controlled demolition hypothesis for WTC 7 has extensive supporting evidence. All competent conscientious scientists then should favor the controlled demolition explanation for WTC 7 over the official story.

Consider this scenario. Because of this extremely strong case, the number of people realizing that there is something not right with the official story will eventually reach a head. There will be a lot of anger and protests. At a certain point US government authorities will be forced to admit that WTC 7 was indeed a controlled demolition. However, they may have at the ready an entirely believable narrative as to why Building 7 had to be demolished and why they had to lie that it came down from natural causes. If this cover story is convincing enough, the masses will fall for it just like they fell for the overall official 9/11 story. For example, authorities could easily make the case that the building was unstable and to prevent further loss of life it had to be demolished. Remember when Larry Silverstein said something just like this?[3] Many would then possibly see those 9/11 activists that expended so much time on WTC 7 to have foolishly squandered their time on a non-issue. After all the building was badly damaged. Also, no one died when WTC 7 fell presumably because emergency personal were actually expecting it to come down.[4]

The Twin Towers however could never have a convincing explanation as to why government forces had to demolish them with almost 3000 people still inside. Doing something like that would be absolutely cold-blooded. Only a cadre of conscienceless psychopaths could deliberately demolish buildings with so many innocent people inside. The controlled demolition of the Twin Towers then could never be a honeypot. Officials may however give up WTC 7 in order to continue hiding the controlled demolition of WTC 1 and WTC 2.

I hope I’m wrong and WTC 7 is not being used as a honeypot trap. At any rate it seems the scientific 9/11 community should be concentrating their efforts on the Twin Tower falls. These events were by far the most traumatic. This is where the vast majority of deaths occurred that day. This is the event that so thoroughly traumatized the US people and indeed people all around the world. Yes it’s much more difficult to get people to question this event but it is also impossible for the Twin Tower controlled demolition theory to ever be a honeypot that could be used to discredit and immobilize the truth movement.

Notes

1. David Chandler and Jon Cole, “Joint Statement on the Pentagon: David Chandler and Jon Cole”, 911blogger.com, January 7, 2011 http://911blogger.com/news/2011-01-01/joint-statement-pentagon-david-chandler-and-jon-cole
2. Michael Fullerton, “A Scientific Theory of the WTC 7 Collapse” Foreign Policy Journal, February 14, 2011 http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/02/14/a-scientific-theory-of-the-wtc-7-collapse/
3. Eli Rika, “FAQ # 10: Did WTC 7 Owner Larry Silverstein Admit to Ordering the Controlled Demolition of the Building?” http://www.ae911truth.org/news-section/41-articles/696-faq-10-did-wtc-7-owner-larry-silverstein-admit-to-ordering-the-controlled-demolition-of-the-building-.html
4. “Point WTC7-7: Foreknowledge of the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7″ http://www.consensus911.org/point-wtc7-7/

Michael Fullerton

Michael Fullerton

BSc Psychology/Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1995. Member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.

More Posts - Website

The Mainstream Media: Aiding and Abetting the 9/11 Fraud

The Evil Spirts of the Modern Day PressGenerally speaking, journalism is supposed to follow certain ethical standards when gathering news and dispensing that news to the public. These standards involve the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability.[1][2][3][4] Does the mainstream media’s treatment of 9/11 uphold the above-mentioned ethical standards? I have asked several members of the mainstream media (NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, The New York Times, CBC, CTV, Global, City, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, BBC) the following question:

I am currently writing an article for Skeptopathy Magazine on the journalistic fraud perpetuated by the mainstream media in relation to the events of 9/11, 2001. I would like to ask all the journalists and editors at [NewsOrg] a simple question. Are you smarter than a fifth grade science student?

What you might know is that as early as kindergarten, students are taught that the best explanation for something is the explanation that has the most supporting evidence. What you possibly know is that the scientific method is taught starting at least in grade five. What you probably don’t know is that a fundamental part of the scientific method taught in grade five is that facts that an explanation cannot account for prove that the explanation is wrong. What you should know is that for the main event of 9/11, the fall of the Twin Towers, there is not a single solitary shred of valid scientific evidence to support the official story of how they came down. All models and analyses concocted to date to support the official story of the collapses cannot provide scientific evidence-backed explanations for many key observations such as the explosive dust ejections (often referred to as “squibs”) or the multi-ton sections of structural steel ejected laterally at up to 70 MPH. In other words, the official story cannot explain key evidence and therefore ignores that important evidence.

Grade five students are taught that severely incomplete explanations like the official 9/11 story of the Twin Tower falls are crackpot pseudoscience. Grade five students should know that the official story is currently purely faith-based nonsense. Why don’t you know this? If you do know the official story is false why don’t you report on it?

Can I get an official response as to why [NewsOrg] steadfastly refuses to fairly and objectively cover the pronounced scientific problems with the official 9/11 story? Can I get an official response as to why [NewsOrg] refuses to entertain the controlled demolition explanation for the Twin Tower falls which is the only science-based explanation available that can explain all known evidence?

Not surprisingly I didn’t get a single response. And why would they respond? Criminals don’t tend to admit to their crimes if they think they can get away with them. The fact is that the official 9/11 story is a gigantic fraud. Anyone who understands science at a fifth grade level and actually looks at the available evidence should be able to figure this out for themselves. 9/11 has been used to start several wars making the people behind certain large companies extremely wealthy. 9/11 has resulted in a massive security state providing other companies with tremendous profits. It has provided certain countries with extensive military and economic advantages. Why would the media not report on such a massive and blatantly obvious fraud? One reason could be that they are part of the fraud. Maybe their task is to ridicule and marginalize those that are attempting to tell the truth. The media’s task then would be to hide the truth behind certain extremely profitable issues, not expose it. For all other matters of little concern to these corporate interests, mainstream journalism follows the ethical principles as usual. This is the only way the deception could be maintained without the general populace easily becoming wise to it.

An independent impartial media is crucial to a free democracy. The trouble is that the US (probably like most other democracies) is actually an oligarchy. This idea is supported by the recent paper from Princeton and Northwestern Universities.[5] In an oligarchy, government policies cater to the wishes of a small group of extremely rich and of powerful people, rather than the wishes of the common people. These few powerful people are those that control the largest corporations. Six of these large corporation control 90% of the US media.[6]

Now if democracies are really oligarchies that would mean the governments and their agencies would really be working for the wealthy and powerful. So would the media including their journalists and editors, whether they liked it or not. Is there evidence for this? Well we do have a lot of evidence of journalists working closely with government agencies. Take the CIA for example. The CIA has had a long history of working with mass media. In the 1950s and 1960 the CIA along with the Ford Foundation created and funded the Congress for Cultural Freedom whose purpose was to counter communism.[7] In the 1970s the Church Committee found that “Full-time foreign correspondents for major U.S. publications have worked concurrently for CIA, passing along information received in the normal course of their regular jobs…CIA acknowledges that ‘stringers’ and others with whom the Agency has a relationship are often directed to insert Agency-composed ‘news’ articles into foreign publications and wire services. U.S. intelligence officials do not rule out the possibility that these planted stories may find their way into American newspapers from time to time”.[8] This activity continues to this day as the case of former Los Angeles Times reporter Ken Dilanian shows. Dilanian’s close relationship with the CIA in 2012 allowed them to insert false information into his articles in order to manipulate his audience.[9]

I’ve had some of my own personal experience with extreme bias in the media. It was with a publication on vice.com called Motherboard. They had picked up on the recent debate I had with Steven Novella and wrote a shockingly distorted one-sided portrayal of that debate.[10] Now Vice is not mainstream media but it is a quickly growing company with increasing ties to Big Media. Last year for example, Rupert Murdoch’s corporation 21st Century Fox acquired a 5% stake. Just last month A&E Networks acquired a 10% stake. I guess Vice is letting Big Media know it’s ready to play corporate friendly pseudo-journalism.

Now the truly bizarre aspect of the Motherboard article was it was entitled “Are 9/11 Truthers Still Science-Proof?” as if 9/11 skepticism is thoroughly unscientific. Yet in the first paragraph it is implied that the official 9/11 story is gospel and debate about it is not appropriate. But anyone who understands science knows that science is not about this sort of blind dogmatic belief. Instead it is precisely about questioning things. In turn, real journalism is about reporting about events of importance to the people. This would include questioning the motives of those in positions of power and how they use that power to benefit themselves at the expense of the common people. Ben Richmond, the writer of this article and Motherboard its publisher, strangely don’t seem to understand both elementary concepts yet feel inclined to write about them. What Richmond was entirely disinclined to write about were my main points: that there was no valid evidence for the official 9/11 story and that the official story ignores key pieces of evidence that the official story can’t explain. Two of these pieces of evidence are referred to in my question to Big Media above. Both points prove that the official story is pseudoscience. In the course of the debate, I had introduced further evidence: eyewitness testimony of explosions, the missing jolts, the South Tower roll, copious thick white smoke and molten iron. Despite this obvious evidence Richmond in his peculiarly pronounced scientific illiteracy believes that I had presented no evidence for my side in the debate. He doesn’t say why my presented evidence doesn’t constitute actual scientific evidence. Dr. Novella similarly did not explain why it was not evidence. Richmond like Novella simply pretends that evidence which proves false their beliefs doesn’t exist. I don’t know about you but that sounds like neither science nor journalism.

More clues to Richmond’s scientific illiteracy show themselves in how he characterizes my position. He claims I attempted to “explain why it was really controlled demolition that brought down the Twin Towers” and that I “conclude it was controlled demolition”. These are false statements. This was supposed to be a scientific debate and in science there are no absolutes. All explanations are tentative. What I was arguing, that should be clear to anyone who can comprehend English, was that to me the controlled demolition explanation was more scientific because only it has valid scientific evidence and only it can explain all observations. So we have to ask ourselves, why is someone like Richards writing about such an important scientific topic when he appears to neither understand basic science or even elementary English comprehension? Why does he refuse to practice fair journalism by accurately getting both sides of the story? Why would Motherboard employ such a seemingly incompetent journalist as an editor? Perhaps the incompetence is just an act. Perhaps he is simply sucking up to the corporate media teat, blathering on about what they want to hear in the hopes of advancing his career. Truth be damned.

Richmonds makes the odd case that nothing could ever convince 9/11 skeptics like me of the truth by stating: “You’d think having the whole thing on tape, in the most populated city in the country would’ve been enough.” He seems to be claiming that I believe the towers did not fall down or maybe that I believe no planes hit the buildings when in fact I stated this was a definitive fact. Another fabrication of Richards was that I insulted Novella’s readers as a key part of my defence. In fact I merely stated a concluding fact that there was “copious posting of puerile sophistry from his unwavering uncritically thinking followers”. Anyone can read these comments for themselves to verify the undeniable truth of that statement. While you’re looking at those comments, note that a very high percentage involve actual insults to me personally. Why would he falsely claim that I insulted others but overlook Novella’s followers that viciously insulted me en masse? Are Richmonds investigative skills really that shoddy or is he just hoping no one will take the time to verify his pronouncements and uncover his seething bias?

This is not to single out Richards or Motherboard. Any mainstream media source would only write a similarly one-sided deceptive hit piece. Propaganda, that’s their job. Sure they’d probably use a more intelligent and careful approach, with the possible exception of Fox News of course. The fact is that the mainstream corporate media along with the mainstream alternative media is complicit in keeping the official 9/11 story fraud alive. When you are complicit in a crime you will tend not to admit your guilt but instead attack those attempting to expose your crimes. The mainstream media may be smarter than fifth grade science students, they’re just pretending that they aren’t.

Notes

1. IFJ (International Federation of Journalists) – Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists http://www.ifj.org/en/articles/status-of-journalists-and-journalism-ethics-ifj-principles
2. “ASNE (American Society of Newspapers Editors) – Statement of Principles”.
3. “APME (Associated Press Managing Editors) – Statement of Ethical Principles”.
4. “(Society of Professional Journalists) – Code of Ethics”. SPJ. R http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
5. “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” http://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materials/Gilens%20and%20Page/Gilens%20and%20Page%202014-Testing%20Theories%203-7-14.pdf
6. “These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America”, Business Insider, June 14, 2012. http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6
7. “Modern Art was CIA ‘Weapon'” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html
8. “The Select Committee’s Investigative Record”. The Village Voice. February 16, 1976. p. 88.
9. Andrew Emett, “LA Times Reporter Caught Falsifying Articles with CIA”, NationofChange , September 8, 2014 http://www.nationofchange.org/la-times-reporter-caught-falsifying-articles-cia-1410186373
10. Ben Richmond, “Are 9/11 Truthers Still Science-Proof?”, Motherboard, July 8, 2014 http://motherboard.vice.com/read/are-911-truthers-still-science-proof

Michael Fullerton

Michael Fullerton

BSc Psychology/Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1995. Member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.

More Posts - Website

How I Survived Debates with Two Official 9/11 Story Believers

debateThis spring I was able to secure two online debates with official 9/11 story believers. One with Dave Thomas of New Mexicans for Science and Reason starting in April[1] and the other in June with Dr. Steven Novella of “The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe” podcast[2]. Both debates had key similarities but also several differences. I learned a good deal during these debates and thank both Thomas and Novella for the opportunity. Both debaters had the tendency to commit logical fallacies and in particular engage in the false accusation of fallacy which is also fallacious. Both also relied on sketchy “evidence” to support their shaky beliefs

In each debate I was subject to certain inequalities that resulted in an unlevelled playing field. The unlevelness was especially apparent in the Novella debate. In both debates it was suggested it best that I go first. Going second in a debate gives an advantage (in staggered debates) anyway because you know exactly what your opponent’s position is and what arguments they have used. You can then tailor your response to give yourself an advantage. When you go first, you have to guess what your opponent might argue. Your opponent also gets the last word. Anyway that’s not such a big deal. This was really the only disadvantage in the Thomas YouTube debate which I found to be the most fair. The Novella debate was an entirely other matter. It was suggested it take place on Novella’s blog with comments on. Naively I assumed that although things would be very biased, the discussion would remain fairly rational. I was a bit unprepared for monumental onslaught of puerile sophistry that awaited me. I did occasionally notice a few thoughtful intelligent comments but any others would be awash amid the broiling fetid sea of unbridled stupidity, raving insanity and Machiavellian psychopathy. From the outset too, this debate was spun away from the science and towards the emotionally loaded term “conspiracy”. You can see in my opening statement that for me this was a “debate on which explanation of the collapse of the World Trade Center Twin Towers (WTC 1 and WTC 2) on 9/11 is more scientific, the official US Government explanation or the controlled demolition explanation”. Novella instead labelled it the “9/11 Conspiracy Debate”. This is what is referred to as poisoning the well or presenting adverse information in order to pre-emptively discredit the opponent. This works for “skeptics” because they “know” that all conspiracies are false and all “conspiracy theorists” are crackpots even though the official 9/11 story involves a monumental highly intricate conspiracy by members of al Qaeda to demolish buildings by ramming planes into them. These are the sort of underhanded tactics serious 9/11 skeptics like myself have to contend with. Typically the only way we can garner high profile debates is on such unlevelled playing fields.

First let’s start with the good things. I did learn a few things which did surprise me. I think Dave Thomas really wins here. He actually did some interesting experiments and even made a model to support his position. From Novella I became better acquainted with the important notion of special pleading. I now see more clearly how special pleading is a huge part of what pathological skepticism is all about: demanding the use of the scientific method and critical thinking for unpopular claims but ignoring it for the consensus claims they unquestioning subscribe to. Now, Novella didn’t really seem to understand what special pleading was and he bandied it about assuming no one would notice. In session IV he claimed that I had engaged in special pleading twice.[3] The first time he merely proclaims this without explaining how. The second time he uses a staccato of pronouncements and appeals to incredulity: “Michael is arguing that controlled demolition was used to bring down the towers, and that such demolition was silent, invisible, installed without anyone noticing, using devices not found in the rubble, and with timing that is simply not possible.” I never argued the controlled demolition (CD) was silent or invisible. If it’s Novella that believes it would have to be he is not supporting his beliefs. Why could CD devices not be installed with no one noticing? He doesn’t say, preferring to appeal to peoples’ inability to imagine otherwise. Similarly why was the timing impossible? We only get faith-based pronouncements. Why would CD devices be found in the rubble if virtually everything but the structural steel was pulverized into ultra-fine dust? If the buildings came down like the official story claims there would be telltale evidence on the structural steel. Why were no columns with such evidence found in the rubble? I think you can see where the special pleading is really occurring.

On to the bad surprises. Although I constantly experience it I’m still always surprised how mainstream skeptics have such a flimsy grasp of logic and in particular logical fallacies. Thankfully it seems both Thomas and Novella have a fairly good understanding of ad hominem so I saw no real attacks from them on me personally, just my arguments. Many of Novella’s rabid foaming-at-the-mouth commenters are another matter. Both debaters though clearly still haven’t mastered the notion of a straw man. Much of their arguing involved subtly misrepresenting my arguments so that they could be more easily attacked. In particular, they seemed very fond of misrepresenting my arguments as containing logical fallacies.

A really big surprise was that Dr. Novella apparently doesn’t even seem to understand what a fallacy actually is. You can see that in one of the comments he made where he states that informal fallacies “are not strictly invalid”.[4] He also claimed here that the appeal to authority fallacy is not invalid “if it is a broad consensus of a scientific community hammered out with evidence and debate arriving at a confident conclusion”. In fact, in logic a fallacy is always a failure in reasoning that renders an argument (not the conclusion) invalid. In other words, contrary to Novella’s belief, fallacies always involve invalid arguments. With formal fallacies the argument is wrong due to a defect in form or structure. Informal fallacies are arguments that have a flaw in content. So again, despite Novella’s belief, an appeal to authority fallacy is always an invalid argument no matter which or how many authorities are involved. Novella’s support for his belief is another fallacy: appeal to consensus. Claiming something is true because a consensus of experts says it is true is always an invalid argument. We know this because history shows us that the consensus of experts is wrong time and time again. Just one example, the consensus once believed that butter was bad for your heart and margarine was far better. Now the consensus is that the hydrogenated oils used in margarines are many times worse for your heart than butter ever was. Again this sort of highly flawed understanding of valid argumentation is a big clue to pathological skepticism and the pathological skeptic’s tendency towards scientism. I suspect all mainstream skeptics tend to see appeals to authority and appeals to consensus to be entirely valid. You continually see that theme in debates such as these. Because they cannot defend against the science, they must always resort to the same logical fallacies over and over.

What was no surprise was that neither debater actually dealt with my core argument. How could they? It’s the simplest argument you could imagine. There is no valid evidence to support the official story. What they have are “evidencey” “sciencey” analyses that contain serious flaws and cannot explain key observations. Any analysis of an event is a proposed explanation or hypothesis. To be scientific these hypotheses must follow the scientific method. But according to the scientific method taught to grade five students, if there are observations that your explanation cannot explain or do not predict, this proves your explanation is wrong. They don’t deal with this damning point for the same reason criminals tend not to admit to their crimes.

In conclusion, I think these two debates were extremely important. They show us how official story believers ignore evidence and the scientific method in order to maintain their comforting but illusory belief system. We see how they rely on specious “evidence”, evidence that at first seems valid but on careful inspection is entirely baseless. We see how they “debunk” evidence-backed explanations by providing more prosaic but evidence-less explanations. We see how they attempt to manipulate the observers’ understanding by continually engaging in deceptive logical fallacies. I hope you see how vitally important it is to confront and expose pseudo-science like the official 9/11 story which continues to cause such horrific damage the world over.

 

Notes

1. “Intro: A Debate between Vernon 9/11 Truth and NMSR” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RO4uOE9R7s
2. Michael Fullerton, “9/11 Conspiracy Debate – Part I”, NeuroLogica Blog, June 16, 2014 http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/911-conspiracy-debate-part-i/
3. Steven Novella, “9/11 Conspiracy Debate – Part IV”, NeuroLogica Blog, July 7, 2014 http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/911-conspiracy-debate-part-iv/
4. Steven Novella, June 22, 2014 [7:44 a.m.] comment on Michael Fullerton, “9/11 Conspiracy Debate – Part I”, NeuroLogica Blog, June 16, 2014 http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/911-conspiracy-debate-part-i/#comment-78897

Michael Fullerton

Michael Fullerton

BSc Psychology/Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1995. Member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.

More Posts - Website

A Scientific Theory of the Twin Tower Collapses

scientific theory flowchartOfficial 9/11 story believers continue the odd tactic of demanding a thorough explanation from 9/11 skeptics as to what we think happened that day. I have attempted this previously for the WTC 7 collapse. Now I’ll attempt to do this for the Twin Tower collapses. What follows below is what I regard as the most scientific theory available for the Twin Tower collapses on 9/11. For this article I’ll call this theory the thermitic controlled demolition of the Twin Towers, or TCD theory for short. Note that this is not my theory. It is a theory developed over the years by several scientists, engineers and other technical people. I am simply doing my best to document it in terms most people can understand.

Many will claim that I should be calling this a hypothesis rather than a theory. However, let’s look at how others define a scientific theory. The United States National Academy of Sciences says:

The formal scientific definition of “theory” is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics)…One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed.[1]

The American Association for the Advancement of Science says:

A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of biological evolution is more than “just a theory.” It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact.[2]

From the first definition, the sticking point may be the “vast body of evidence”. However, the official story has 0 scientific evidence, as we will soon see, and the TCD theory has considerable evidence. So comparatively speaking the TCD theory does have a vast body of evidence. For the second definition, the sticking point would be the “facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment”. Again, the official story, which is regarded as fact by believers, is based on models and analyses that are either unverified, do not model significant aspects of what they are supposed to be modelling or ignore key evidence. So the official story has zero confirmation through observation and experiment. The TCD theory is based on the observations derived from decades of building controlled demolitions. Other more unique aspects of the theory have been replicated though experiment and have not yet been refuted by anyone. By both accounts then, calling the TCD explanation a theory seems sound enough. Any disparagement would seem to derive from prejudice rather than any true scientific basis.

Note that both definitions exclude string theory which has 0 observational support. I think this shows both definitions are lacking. Really, a theory is simply a comprehensive explanation for something. String theory is extremely important because only it can unify the four fundamental forces (weak, strong, electromagnetic and gravitational) into a unified whole. The explanation is more important than evidence. However, if there is evidence, the explanation definitely does need to explain all this evidence.

The first step in providing foundation for the TCD theory is to dispense with alternative theories. The main contender for the TCD theory is the official story. The main problem with this explanation is that as explained before, it has no scientific evidence to support it. The 9/11 Commission Report contains no technical data whatsoever.[3] The NIST report on the Twin Tower collapses provides sketchy evidence only for the collapse initiations and not the falls of the twin towers themselves.[4] Assuming that the NIST explanation is correct as to how each upper block of the buildings started to fall onto the lower buildings, there is no evidence whatsoever that the falling blocks actually destroyed the lower structure. All that NIST references for this event is the purely theoretical Bazant/Zhou paper.[5] This paper also contains 0 evidence for its explanation. Some official story believers like Steven Novella have claimed that the Bazant/Zhou study is a mathematical model which then constitutes evidence by itself[6]. Assuming it’s true that the Bazant/Zhou explanation counts as evidence, then that evidence must survive scientific scrutiny. That evidence must be verified by others and if it is a model, it must be accurate.[7] It must explain all observations not just those they choose. If other researchers find serious problems with a model, the model has not been verified. The Bazant/Zhou analysis has elicited much criticism that has yet to be challenged.[8][9][10] So the analysis has been shown to be unverified. The Bazant/Zhou explanation, as with all other published analyses, also does not explain a great many observations seen. For example, as Crockett Grabbe explains,[10] because Bazant/Zhou relied on 1D equations they cannot account for any horizontal effects such as the rapid focalized gas ejections (“squibs”) seen or the rapid horizontal ejections of large sections of structural steel. No experiments have been conducted nor have any computer models been built to support the idea that these phenomena could have resulted from any other means than explosives. So like all other analyses supporting the official story, the Bazant/Zhou explanation cannot account for key observations. As per the scientific method taught to fifth grade schools students, official story believers must either fix their explanation to account for the missing observations or reject it. Proclaiming that the “squibs” are due to air pressure from the falling building or that the horizontal ejections of large sections of structural steel resulted from bouncing doesn’t cut it. They need evidence to support their explanations not idle speculation. As it stands the official story of the Twin Tower collapses is 100% pseudo-science believed only by those that don’t understand science at even a fifth grade level.

The only credible alternative to the official 9/11 story is the TCD theory. The TCD theory states that thermite-based incendiaries along with traditional explosives were used to bring down the towers on 9/11. Thermitics would be ideal at removing the redundant structure to weaken the building before demolition. Thermitics are far quieter than traditional explosives which make them ideal for a covert demolition.

A good theory is supported by evidence. The easiest to understand evidence is the speed and symmetry of the collapses. Every time in the history of modern human civilization when a skyscraper has come down in a similarly rapid and symmetrical manner as the Twin Towers, it has been a controlled demolition. All straight-down CDs have a similar degree of symmetry that natural collapses have never ever exhibited. The rapid fall times and highly symmetric descents of the Twin Towers then are currently only scientifically explainable by the use of some form of controlled demolition. The symmetrical and rapid nature of the Twin Tower collapses are indeed, at the present time at least, features specific to CD and only CD. If they weren’t specific to CD official story believers would be able to cite a situation where they occurred without CD. This speed and symmetry observation then constitutes evidence that supports the controlled demolition explanation of the twin towers. The entire history of building controlled demolition supports the notion that these buildings could have come down by controlled demolition. There has never ever been a case where a skyscraper has come down in a similar manner as the Twin Towers without using some form of controlled demolition. Note that a great deal of observational support for the theory of evolution comes from precedence, the patterns found in the fossil record. Those that claim that the precedence of CD does not count as real evidence for the TCD theory must also believe that the patterns in the fossil record are not real evidence for the theory of evolution as well. Official story believers that don’t like this precedence evidence can easily falsify it. All they need to do is find an example of a total natural collapse that was as fast and as symmetrical as any known successful straight-down CD collapse. All they have to do is create a valid verifiable scale or computer model of the Twin Tower collapses.

The other evidence is extensive but includes: eyewitness reports of explosions, eyewitness reports of molten metal, photographic evidence of molten metal the color of molten iron, highly focalized ejections of gas and dust, lateral ejection of multi-ton steel sections and unreacted nano-thermite chips in the WTC dust. All this evidence and more is documented in the film “9/11 Explosive Evidence Experts Speak Out”.[11]

A good theory makes testable predictions. The TCD hypothesis predicts the existence of the following evidence buried at Fresh Kills landfill: unreacted nano-thermite chips, massive amounts of iron-rich microspheres, either tiny bits of detonating cord and regular detonator parts or wireless detonator parts. It predicts that the structural steel would have eutectic formations caused by intergranular melting. It predicts molten iron streaming down the building and pooling underneath. It predicts copious production of dense white almost odorless smoke before and after building destruction. It predicts many rapid releases of focalized gas (“squibs”) during demolition. It predicts a high temperature fuming demolition pile for months afterwards.

Many like to claim that it would be impossible to prep the buildings demolition without anyone noticing. But key perimeter columns and all core columns on at least every few floors could have had bands painted with nano-thermite under the guise of applying fire-resistant primer paint. When activated this would remove the redundant structural support which is normally cut by hand in overt controlled demolitions (CDs). Every perimeter column was accessible through the removable ceiling panels. Every core column was accessible from the elevator shafts. Small timed kicker chargers could also have been installed perhaps under the guise of installing network switching equipment. The charges would cut the remaining support to get the building moving. These charges were possibly wired with cable that looked indistinguishable from network cable. The people performing this work may not even have been aware of what they were installing.

Another possible criticism is that the heat from the fires would set off the explosives or ignite the thermitics. However, explosives can be engineered to withstand extreme heat or encased in protective shields.[12] Even if some of these thermitic devices did ignite, their reactions would go largely unnoticed as such reactions produce only heat, white smoke and molten iron.[13]

Some express incredulity that the planes could hit precisely where the explosives would be set off to initiate the demolition. Others wonder why the planes would even be needed. It is entirely possible that wireless CD devices were positioned all over the building and controlled with a computer program that could be easily reconfigured in a very short time frame to start where the planes hit the buildings. Anyway, if a pilot could easily perform the insanely complex maneuver of hitting the Pentagon why couldn’t they also hit pre-determined positions of the Twin Towers? Why were the planes needed? The planes were necessary for diversion and to make the official story believable. If no planes hit the building and the buildings simply fell down everyone would be incredibly suspicious.

As to the supposed dearth of explosions, there were extremely credible eyewitness reports of explosions in the Twin Towers before collapse.[14] Some claim that the lack of seismic spikes proves no explosives were used. However, it would be very unusual for seismographs to detect CD explosions. This is because such explosions are small, usually staggered and happen above ground.[15] Further, the sounds of these small explosions would be undetectable amid the roar of the falling building. Explosions do make themselves known however, by the rapid release of gas. We see that in the “squibs” observed as the Twin Towers come down.[16] These releases have been clocked at 160 to 200 feet per second. Note that some of these “squibs” are seen in the corners of the buildings which consist of two box columns bolted together. So there are no windows or vents in the corners and the dust ejections could therefore not be “dust puffs” due to air pressure from the falling floors. We’ll notice about these “squibs” that they have only ever been seen in explosive controlled demolitions. Non-explosive demolitions such as Vérinage never exhibit this sort of behavior.

Some may claim that since no thermitic devices were found in the rubble no such devices could have been used to bring the buildings down. There was also no evidence found in the rubble that the buildings came down from the upper blocks falling onto the lower buildings. I guess you can’t find something if you don’t look for it.

Some claim that the molten metal seen dripping form one of the towers could be aluminum. To get the color seen you must reach the melting point of iron which is 1,538 °C (2750°F). Yes aluminum could be heated to that temperature to get that same color but there is no conceivable way such a thing could have happened in the Twin Towers. The only scientific evidence-based explanation for this molten metal is a thermitic reaction.

Many claim that rigging the Twin towers for CD would involve a grandiose conspiracy with thousands upon thousands of conspirators. It would be impossible to keep quiet. Someone should have talked by now. There is no evidence that a multitude of people would have to be involved. This would have been a military operation. All large covert military operations use the tactics of compartmentalization and need to know. Every complex operation is split up into a series of subtasks. The people performing their specific task do not necessarily know what others are doing or even what they themselves are really doing. For example, someone is tasked with spraying on nanothermite but is told it’s simply a new form of fireproofing primer paint. This person has no idea what they are actually spraying on. So for all we know only one person at the very top would have known the full plan for the tower demolitions. Anyone who claims that official 9/11 story skeptics are conspiracy theorists is therefore making a purely faith-based evidenceless claim. The believer who makes a claim has the burden of proof to support his claim not the skeptic.

As to who and why were the twin Towers demolished that is not a question for science. That is a question for law enforcement agencies, security agencies and journalists. If there is any question to be asked regarding this it is why are these groups not doing their jobs?

Science is science. Science took us to the moon. Science allowed us to build the computer you are reading on right now. Science allowed us to build the Internet that allowed you to access this website. Science is telling you that the Twin Towers could only have come down by controlled demolition. The US Government, the mainstream media and mainstream “skeptics” are all trying to manipulate you into believing that the official story is correct. They aren’t using science for this though. They are using ridicule, empty unsupported pronouncements and pseudo-science. In other words, propaganda. If you can put aside the intense desire to believe the comforting but false official story and you can force yourself to think at the level of a fifth grade science student you can see past the psychopathic lies and accept the ugly terrible truth.

Notes

1. “Science, Evolution, and Creationism”, National Academy of Sciences, 2008. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11876&page=11
2. AAAS Evolution Resources http://www.aaas.org/news/press_room/evolution/qanda.shtml
3. “9/11 Commission Report” http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf
4. “Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Final Report of the National Construction Safety Team on the Collapses of the World Trade Center Towers” (NIST NCSTAR 1), December 0, 2005 http://www.nist.gov/manuscript-publication-search.cfm?pub_id=909017
5. Zdenek P. Bazant et al., “Why Did the World Trade Center Collapse?—Simple Analysis”, March 2002 http://www.civil.northwestern.edu/people/bazant/PDFs/Papers/405.pdf
6. Steven Novella, June 22, 2014 [7:44 a.m.] comment on Steven Novella, “9/11 Conspiracy Debate – Part IV”, NeuroLogica Blog, July 12, 2014 http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/911-conspiracy-debate-part-iv/#comment-81666
7. S.V Hoover and R.F. Perry, 1989. Simulation. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 696 pp.
8. Steven E. Jones, “Why Indeed Did the World Trade Center Buildings Completely Collapse?”, Journal of 9/11 Studies, Volume 3 – September 2006
http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200609/Why_Indeed_Did_the_WTC_Buildings_Completely_Collapse_Jones_Thermite_World_Trade_Center.pdf (section 9)
9. Gordon Ross, “NIST and Dr. Bazant – Simultaneous Failure”, Journal of 9/11 Studies, Volume 11 – May 2007

http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/NISTandDrBazant-SimultaneousFailure-WTCCollapseAnalysis2.pdf

10. Crockett Grabbe, “Discussion of ‘Why the Observed Motion History of World Trade Center Towers is Smooth’ by Jia-Liang Le and Z.P. Bazant,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics, October 2012. http://www.sealane.org/writings/Bazantrpy.html
11. “9/11 Explosive Evidence Experts Speak Out” http://911expertsspeakout.org/
12. “Frequently Asked Questions: Controlled Demolition”, 911research.wtc7.net http://911research.wtc7.net/faq/demolition.html#positioning
13. “WTC – Super Thermite liquide paint”, August 1, 2010 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPs25Jj8_As
14. “Reports of Sights and Sounds of Explosions in the Oral Histories”, 911research.wtc7.net http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/evidence/oralhistories/explosions.html
15. ”
Debunking The Real 9/11 Myths: Why Popular Mechanics Can’t Face Up to Reality – Part 6″, Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth, September 28, 2012 http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/668-why-popular-mechanics-cant-face-up-to-reality.html
16. “FAQ #5: What Caused the Ejections of Dust and Debris in the Twin Towers?”, Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth, December 8, 2011 http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/585-faq-8-squibs.html

Michael Fullerton

Michael Fullerton

BSc Psychology/Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1995. Member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.

More Posts - Website

Are You as Smart as a Fifth Grade Science Student? The 9/11 Test

elementary science studentsAre you smarter than a fifth grade science student? Starting in kindergarten, students are taught that the best explanation for something is the explanation that has the most supporting evidence. When you have two competing explanations you are supposed to favor the explanation which has the most supporting evidence. Students are taught that an explanation with no supporting evidence is an explanation you cannot ever accept as true. Up until grade 12 students are taught a progressively more complex version of this important concept. The scientific method itself is taught starting at least in grade five. They learn that you must have evidence before putting forth an explanation for a phenomenon. They learn that if you start with only a belief you are not doing science. They learn that if you ignore evidence that does not fit with your belief you are not doing science. In fact, a fundamental part of the scientific method taught in grade five is that facts that an explanation cannot account for actually prove that the explanation is wrong. Not understanding these elementary scientific principles makes you science illiterate. Portraying something as science when it is not, is pseudo-science. People that claim to follow the scientific method but do not are pseudo-scientists.

Let’s apply these principles to the 9/11 event. For the main and most horrific event of 9/11, the fall of the Twin Towers, there is not a single solitary shred of valid scientific evidence to support the official story of how they came down. All models and analyses concocted to date to support the official story of the collapses cannot provide scientific evidence-backed explanations for many key observations. Two examples of the many such observations are the explosive dust ejections (often referred to as “squibs”) and the multi-ton sections of structural steel ejected laterally at up to 70 MPH. In other words, the official story cannot explain key evidence and therefore ignores that important evidence. Note that this ignoring of disconfirming evidence is an egregious violation of the scientific method. The scientific method is telling us that the official story is false.

The controlled demolition hypothesis can explain these two observations and every other observation that exists. If explosives were used in the Twin Tower destructions they would produce a very strong force that could propel the large sections of structural steel latteraly. Currently this is the only known way that such heavy pieces of steel could behave this way. As for the explosive gas releases, many of these releases look very similar to the gas releases in explosive controlled demolitions (CDs) that are caused by explosives.[2] Some of the releases also look very similar to the effects created by Jonathon Cole’s thermate experiments.[3]

Grade five students are taught that severely incomplete explanations like the official 9/11 story of the Twin Tower falls are crackpot pseudoscience. Grade five students should know that the official story is purely faith-based nonsense. All mainstream skeptics believe unquestioningly in the official 9/11 story which as we clearly see is horrifically unscientific. These “skeptics” wholeheartedly believe in and portray a wholly non-scientific explanation as scientific. All mainstream skeptics are therefore, at least with 9/11, seemingly science illiterate pseudo-science advocates.

Earlier I asked you if you were smarter than a fifth grade science student. Which explanation has more evidence? The official story with only highly flawed incomplete analyses to support it or the CD hypothesis that has actual scientific evidence? Which explanation gathered data first before producing a hypothesis? The official story which was pronounced immediately and which never ever had any evidence or the CD hypothesis which was introduced only after evidence was found that the official story could not explain? Which explanation can explain all available evidence with actual scientific support as opposed to entirely unsupported pronouncements and other logical fallacies? Which explanation does not ignore evidence it cannot account for? If you can honestly answer all these questions with the CD hypothesis you too can be as smart as a fifth grade science student.

Notes

1. “FAQ #5: What Caused the Ejections of Dust and Debris in the Twin Towers?”, Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth, December 8, 2011 http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/585-faq-8-squibs.html

2. JohnSmithFunnny, “Building Collapse Only in 5 seconds”, Sep 30, 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_2_XgTicAo

3. physicsandreason, “9/11 Experiments: The Great Thermate Debate”, November 10, 2010 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d5iIoCiI8g (11 min. mark)

Michael Fullerton

Michael Fullerton

BSc Psychology/Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1995. Member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.

More Posts - Website

February 2014

Skeptopathy_Feb14b

Articles

Séralini Study Fuelling Fear of ‘Frankenfood’ Retracted

Exposes the pathological arguments of apologists for the retraction of the Séralini study which showed the toxic dangers of Monsanto’s GMO maize.

Thought Terminating Trolls

Shows how accusing people of Internet trolling can be a form of trolling itself which is meant to halt discussion of heretical ideas.

Faith-Based vs Evidence-Based Skepticism

Examines the difference between faith-based pathological skepticism and evidence-based healthy skepticism.

Is True Skepticism Possible?

Show the ubiquity of pathological skepticism and how the vast majority of us have limits to which of our beliefs we will objectively examine.

Reviews

Review: “Is There a Pseudoscience Event Horizon”?

Review of Steven Novella’s article on the characteristics of pseudo-science.

Michael Fullerton

Michael Fullerton

BSc Psychology/Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1995. Member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.

More Posts - Website

Faith-Based vs Evidence-Based Skepticism

500px-Belief_Venn_diagram.svgA good way to understand the difference between pathological skepticism and healthy skepticism is to look at it in terms of how the skepticism is based. Pathological skepticism is based on faith. Healthy skepticism is based on evidence. Evidence in turn can be faith-based or understanding-based. Faith-based evidence is evidence provided for from a trusted authority which is taken on faith. Understanding-based evidence is evidence that comes from truly understanding the factual nature of the evidence. An example of faith-based evidence would be accepting that the Earth is round simply because you were told it was round. An example of understanding-based evidence would be taking a sea voyage and performing the measurements that prove the Earth is in fact round.

Let’s face it, not all of us are experts in every field. So sometimes when making a decision we must look to authorities to help with that decision. We are simply trying to make the best decision based on what information we have on hand. However, it’s very important we always remember that these authorities could be wrong. The history of science is a history of the consensus being at least partially wrong. This trust in authorities becomes pathological when it is made absolute. Those that automatically believe something is true because of a scientific consensus are faith-based not science-based. An appeal to consensus involves faith in the beliefs of a group of others.

Take the issue of climate change. On both sides we have skeptics that appeal to authorities. Human caused warming proponents appeal to the consensus of climate scientists. Global warming skeptics appeal to a group of authorities who are mainly not climate scientists but do tend to have at least indirect ties to fossil fuel industries.

Like all large companies dealing in controversial commodities, oil companies engage in expensive and successful public relation campaigns to convince people that their product is safe.[1] They setup front organizations, like the Global Climate Coalition[2], to present a favorable image and counter negative information. They buy studies that show their products are beneficial and bury studies that don’t.[3]

Faith-based evidence only works when the authorities dispensing it are on the level. When their minds are distorted by arrogance or perverted by corporate interests they can’t be trusted. For that reason we can never assume a scientific consensus constitutes truth.

Notes

1. Stauber J. C., Rampton S. (1995), “Toxic sludge is good for you : lies, damn lies, and the public relations industry”, Common Courage Press

2. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Global_Climate_Coalition

3. http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries/case-study-polar-bear-junk-sc/

Michael Fullerton

Michael Fullerton

BSc Psychology/Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1995. Member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.

More Posts - Website

Review: “Is There a Pseudoscience Event Horizon”?

The_Scientific_MethodOn November 12 Steven Novella wrote an article on what he believes pseudo-science involves.[1] In the simplest terms though, pseudo-science is anything presented as science when it is not. Here is the single actual characteristics of pseudo-science:

1 – Pseudo-science does not follow the scientific method where observations are recorded, an explanation is proposed to explain the observations, the explanation is tested by obtaining further observations that either support or refute the explanation.

I would argue that something like string theory, which currently cannot be tested does not constitute pseudo-science because methods to test it simply cannot be thought of at this point in time.

Here’s what Novella believes pseudo-science involves:

  1. Hostile to criticism, rather than embracing criticism as a mechanism of self-correction
  2. Works backward from desired results through motivated reasoning
  3. Cherry picks evidence
  4. Relies on low grade evidence when it supports their belief, but will dismiss rigorous evidence if it is inconvenient.
  5. Core principles untested or unproven, often based on single case or anecdote
  6. Utilizes vague, imprecise, or ambiguous terminology, often to mimic technical jargon
  7. Has the trappings of science, but lacks the true methods of science
  8. Invokes conspiracy arguments to explain lack of mainstream acceptance (Galileo syndrome)
  9. Lacks caution and humility by making grandiose claims from flimsy evidence
  10. Practitioners often lack proper training and present that as a virtue as it makes them more “open”.

Let’s examine some of these characteristics one by one.

1 – Hostile to criticism, rather than embracing criticism as a mechanism of self-correction

This would seem to apply to the majority of scientists. Take for example just about any case where a scientist comes along with an explosive new idea that disrupts prevailing thinking. What tends to happen is that the upstart is ridiculed.[2] Presenting a new way of thinking is a form of criticism. It is saying “Hey you all seem to have it wrong.” Ridiculing that criticism is a form of hostility.

2 – Works backward from desired results through motivated reasoning
3 – Cherry picks evidence
4 – Relies on low grade evidence when it supports their belief, but will dismiss rigorous evidence if it is inconvenient.
5 – Core principles untested or unproven, often based on single case or anecdote
9 – Lacks caution and humility by making grandiose claims from flimsy evidence

I agree that the above are characteristics of pseudo-science. Interestingly enough though, Dr. Novella and every other mainstream “skeptic” wholeheartedly believes in a crackpot theory that exemplifies all of these characteristics, the official story of how the three towers fell on 9/11. The official story was concocted immediately after 9/11 happened. NIST was commissioned to find support for this theory (2) by fabricating evidence and ignoring evidence that would prove the hypothesis false (3,4,9).[3] Remember that never before had natural collapses ever looked anything like what happened to the Twin Towers and WTC 7.(5) Caution and humility would cause one to acknowledge evidence that conflicts with what the claimer wants to believe.(9)

8 – Invokes conspiracy arguments to explain lack of mainstream acceptance (Galileo syndrome)

This criteria is not in any way automatically indicative of pseudo-science. It is in fact entirely possible that a notion does not garner mainstream acceptance due to a conspiracy. Those that promote this conspiracy view must provide evidence to support it. Similarly, those that claim no conspiracy is involved must also present evidence to support this. Simply proclaiming that a claim of conspiracy is false without evidence is pseudo-science itself.

To summarize, people like Novella unnecessarily complicate the notion of pseudo-science. We have to question why. Perhaps it is a way to hide their own pseudo-science leanings. Pathological skepticism after all, like pathological science, always involves pseudo-science.

Notes

1. http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/is-there-a-pseudoscience-event-horizon/
2. http://skeptopathy.com/wp/?p=69
3. http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/09/10/911-pseudo-science-a-us-foreign-policy-built-on-fraud/

Michael Fullerton

Michael Fullerton

BSc Psychology/Computer Science, University of Calgary, 1995. Member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.

More Posts - Website