Jun 23 2014

9/11 Conspiracy Debate – Part II

This is the second of a four part written debate between myself and Michael Fullerton, who believes that the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11 was not due to the official story of damage from the impact of commercial jets, but rather the result of a controlled demolition. His initial post is here. This is my first response. Another round will follow in the next two weeks.
_________
Part II – The Collapse of the Twin Towers was the Result of the Commercial Jet Impacts

by Steven Novella

When Michael first contacted me he challenged me (as he apparently has other skeptics before me) to a live debate on the topic of the collapse of WTC1 and WTC2 on Septermber 11, 2001. I offered instead this written debate, as I feel the written format is better suited to a technical debate, where references and facts can be checked.

Let me begin my first response by reviewing what appears to be the common ground between our two positions. Michael and I both agree that commercial airliners struck each of the Twin Towers on 9/11, resulting in explosions, burning jet fuel, and structural damage to the towers. We also agree that some time following these impacts, each tower collapsed.

We disagree on the best scientific explanation for these collapses. Michael supports the controlled demolition hypothesis. I accept the consensus of expert opinion that the collapse of the towers was due to the structural damage and weakening of the steel supports caused by the impact of the jets, the burning of the jet fuel, and the subsequent fires that burned through the buildings.

Michael characterized this position as the “official US Government explanation,” meant to emphasize the government’s role in investigating the collapse and downplay the independent scientific investigations and reviews. The National Institute for Standards and Technology gives this summary:

Based on its comprehensive investigation, NIST concluded that the WTC towers collapsed because: (1) the impact of the planes severed and damaged support columns, dislodged fireproofing insulation coating the steel floor trusses and steel columns, and widely dispersed jet fuel over multiple floors; and (2) the subsequent unusually large number of jet-fuel ignited multi-floor fires (which reached temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius, or 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit) significantly weakened the floors and columns with dislodged fireproofing to the point where floors sagged and pulled inward on the perimeter columns. This led to the inward bowing of the perimeter columns and failure of the south face of WTC 1 and the east face of WTC 2, initiating the collapse of each of the towers. Both photographic and video evidence—as well as accounts from the New York City Police Department aviation unit during a half-hour period prior to collapse—support this sequence for each tower.

The American Society for Civil Engineers agrees.

While I appreciate Michael’s primer on logic and “the scientific method,” I think he is misrepresenting both the process of science and its specific findings in this case.

He states:

“The official story of how the towers fell on 9/11 does not have a single solitary piece of supporting scientific evidence.”

He addresses the NIST report by stating: “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.”

This is a bit of misdirection, or at least sloppy arguing. The “official story” includes the initiation of the collapse. Michael cannot dismiss evidence for the initiation of the collapse because it does not address how the towers fell after the collapse began. In fact the controlled demolition hypothesis is also about collapse initiation, so let us focus on that point.

There is, in fact, plenty of scientific evidence to support the NIST conclusion. As we can see in these images, there is photographic evidence that the damaged floors were progressively sagging prior to collapse. There is also evidence that these sagging floors were pulling in the outer walls of the towers. These in turn are evidence that the ongoing fires were sufficiently hot to compromise the structural integrity of the steel supports, which include the core columns.

Given all this evidence, it would be difficult to make a case for how the towers could have avoided collapse.

Michael presents no real evidence to support the controlled demolition hypothesis. Some evidence is conspicuous in its absence. Despite the copious video recordings of the beginning of the collapse of each tower, no video shows, and no audio records, the explosions that would be required in a controlled demolition.

Michael’s core argument seems to be this:

“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. 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 second sentence does not follow from the first. He assumes that a scientific explanation requires a prior event. Let’s say for arguments sake that there has been one and only one mass extinction on Earth due to an asteroid impact. It would still be possible to test the impact hypothesis and demonstrate it is the best explanation to a high degree of reliability, even without any prior impact-caused mass extinctions as a model.

Further, Michael’s argument seems to reduce to – the Twin Tower collapses were likely caused by a controlled demolition because they look like a controlled demolition, but he only gives two criteria for looking like a controlled demolition: rapid fall and symmetrical fall. Neither of these criteria are operationally defined – how symmetrical or how rapid? Without some technical evidence-based criteria, these are just subjective impressions.

Let’s take, for example, the notion of a symmetrical fall. As you can see in the image of the South Tower, the initiation of the collapse of this tower was not what can reasonably be called symmetrical. The tower collapsed on one side and the upper tower fell significantly to that side. This, of course, initiated a full collapse – once one part of the structure gave way, the load that was being distributed to the rest of the structure greatly exceeded tolerance levels and collapse was inevitable.

Michael tries to wiggle out of this point by writing: “Further, no controlled demolition is perfectly symmetrical either. However, all successful controlled demolitions are generally very symmetrical.” But “not perfectly symmetrical” doesn’t cover it. This tower is falling to one side. I certainly wouldn’t call it “very symmetrical.” If Michael is to allow this degree of falling to one side to count as “symmetricalish,” then that criterion loses all meaning.

Once the full collapse of the tower was under way, of course it is going to fall straight down. A structure of that size and nature would not have the strength to fall to the side (beyond what we see with the initial collapse). Once the structure failed there was nothing keeping the upper part of that building up. It would have to fall straight down, forcing the collapse of anything below it.

Michael agrees that the tower did not fall at free fall, which is easily verifiable in the many videos. Michael simply implies that it fell “too fast” for a collapse due to structural failure – but how fast is too fast? What is that based on? I have never seen anything to suggest that such a judgement is based on anything but naive guessing. No hard numbers.

There is, however, a detailed analysis showing that the towers would fall at near free fall. The weight of the falling upper part of the tower would so greatly exceed the load capacity of the lower floors that the collapse would hardly be slowed at all. Bazant and Zhou write:

Its integration shows that the time that the upper part takes to fall through the height of one story is, for cold columns, only about 6% longer than the duration of a free fall from that height, which is 0.87 s. For hot columns, the difference is of course much less than 6%. So there is hardly any ‘‘cushioning.’’ It is essentially a free fall.

Ironically, many proponents of the controlled demolition hypothesis use video evidence of controlled demolitions to bolster their case, even though they weaken it. Michael provided links to videos showing top-down controlled demolition. In these (and other) videos we see that taking out the supports of a single floor toward the top of the building can indeed cause the progressive collapse of the entire building below it.

Isn’t that exactly what happened with the towers? It doesn’t matter at all if the supports were exploded or if they were simply weakened by fire past the point that they could bear the weight of the floors above them. Once the tower started to collapse, no matter what caused it, it would pretty much look the same.

Really what we are looking for is evidence for how the collapse initiated. We have evidence of floor sagging, pulling in the outer supports, leading up to each tower collapsing on one side, then collapsing straight down. All these details support the NIST reconstruction, not controlled demolition.

Further we lack specific details that would indicate a controlled demolition, such as explosions.

Michael specifically claims there is no computer modeling of the collapse, but this is demonstrably wrong. I easily found computer modeling analysis, such as this one, which concluded:

This study showed that the combined effects of the aircraft impact damage to the structure and fire-proofing insulation, and the subsequent intense fires, caused the tower collapses.

Conclusion:

Michael provides no actual evidence that the collapse of either tower on 9/11 was initiated or at all affected by a controlled demolition.

He claims there is no evidence to support the standard theory. He apparently does not count the facts that jets did indeed plow into each tower, causing structural damage, with exploding jet fuel, leading to fires that burned for 56 minutes in the South Tower and 1 hour 42 minutes in the North Tower. The fires would plausibly weaken structural steel, reducing its ability to bear load. This results in the floors on the burning levels sagging, buckling the outer walls.

This sagging and buckling progressed until each tower looked as if it were about to collapse. Right at that moment, Michael would have you believe, each Tower was brought down by controlled demolition. The explosions were apparently invisible, silent, and coordinated so that the collapse would appear to begin at the exact level of each tower where the jet and fire damage was maximal. The explosives must also have survived without exploding prematurely, despite the raging fires.

Michael’s core logical error in making his case is depending on the claim that the towers fell in a manner that looks like controlled demolition, in that they fell fast and mostly straight down. These are not, however, features specific to controlled demolition. They would be true regardless of what initiated the collapse of such structures. In other words, Michael is relying on non-specific features with lots of wiggle room, and ignoring the absence of specific features – floor sagging and wall pulling favoring structural failure, and the absence of explosions arguing against controlled demolition. This is like diagnosing a rare infection by the presence of fever alone, and dismissing the absence of the characteristic rash that normally defines the infection.

Michael himself ironically provides evidence that initiating a collapse near the top of a building can still cause it to collapse all the way straight down to the ground. Here is another example.

To summarize, Michael claims:

There is no evidence to support the NIST model of collapse initiation. This is false. There is evidence of damage from the initial impact, fire damage, floor sagging, pulling in the outer walls, and the tilting of the upper section consistent with the columns failing on one side. This is all compelling evidence of structural failure sufficient to make total collapse inevitable.

There is no computer modeling of the collapse. This is false – computer modeling supports the conclusion of structural failure.

Prior history of controlled demolition is evidence that the towers were brought down by controlled demolition. This is false. The collapse of WTC 1 and 2 resemble controlled demolition in only the most superficial way, and not in any details specific to controlled demolition. The initiation of collapse was not symmetrical, but each tower tilted in a manner consistent with the failure of one side. Further the speed of the collapse is perfectly consistent with what would occur following failure of one floor in the upper part of each tower, regardless of the cause of that failure.

“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.” This is irrelevant, since commercial jets loaded with fuel were never flown deliberately into buildings similar to the Twin Towers before. Further, Michael does not operationally define “similar manner,” rendering his point worthless. The extent they are “similar” is superficial, as discussed above.

Michael is trying to argue that the NIST model is an extraordinary claim because it has never happened before, but that is not reasonable. Rather, multiple independent analyses by experts indicate that the collapse was not extraordinary, but inevitable. It would be extraordinary, given the condition of the towers and the evidence presented, if the towers did not collapse due to structural failure.

Therefore, the evidence overwhelmingly supports the NIST theory of collapse, while there is no evidence in favor of controlled demolition.

 

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196 responses so far

196 Responses to “9/11 Conspiracy Debate – Part II”

  1. carbonUniton 23 Jun 2014 at 9:22 am

    Where does Michael claim the explosives were?

    If on the impact floors, then the problems would be:
    - Damn precise suicidal/robotic piloting needed to hit the right floors of each building
    - How did the explosives avoid going off early amidst the firestorm?
    - Why weren’t blasts seen on those floors just BEFORE the collapse started?

    If they were above/below the impact floors:
    - their blasts would have been all the more visible
    - the building would have started to collapse at those floors
    - if they were there to ‘help’ the initial collapses at the impact floors, they were totally unnecessary.

  2. tmac57on 23 Jun 2014 at 9:43 am

    Steve- When I tried to go to the link following your sentence : “Michael specifically claims there is no computer modeling of the collapse, but this is demonstrably wrong. I easily found computer modeling analysis,…” My anti-virus program flagged it as containing a virus and blocked it (using Avast)

  3. regexpon 23 Jun 2014 at 11:16 am

    When someone says “there is -no- evidence for the prevailing theory” you know their theory is bunk. Even the weakest theory’s have evidence to support them.

    But I have a more pragmatic issue with the long debunked “controlled explosives” argument. And that is to pull it off requires a lot more engineering work than learning how to fly a plane and bypassing weak airport security. To do so requires a lot of modifications to the buildings. Which requires a lot of people going in and out of the place with heavy tools. That simply isn’t feasible by any stretch of the imagination in the vast majority of buildings out there without someone noticing. Oh wait … perhaps the thousands of support and maintenance people who worked supporting that cluster of buildings were all part of the conspiracy!

    meh.

  4. Nomædon 23 Jun 2014 at 11:18 am

    Part I sounded both incoherent, insufficient and unconvincing.
    Part II is a well written, coherent and detailed rebuttal to a very weak attempt of debate from Michael Fullerton’s side.

  5. jsterritton 23 Jun 2014 at 11:26 am

    Dr Novella:

    Your response begs the question: why?

    Why bother with this? Why another round of debate? Even your response seems unnecessary, given Fullerton’s utter dearth of evidence and his clear inability to argue his (now entirely demolished) point? I don’t feel sorry for Fullerton, necessarily, but whipping this dead horse seems pointless. Unless Fullerton takes the debate in a new direction — say, an engaging, target-rich conspiracy theory — I think it’s well past time to stick a fork in this.

    My 2 cents.

  6. Steven Novellaon 23 Jun 2014 at 11:33 am

    There are two points. The first is that there are many people who remain uninformed about the 9/11 conspiracy, and articles like this one give them concise accurate information to deal with it.

    The second is to analyze exactly where people go wrong in their thinking. Michael clearly thinks he understands logical fallacies and scientific thinking, but he doesn’t. His main error – using non-specific and open-ended criteria – is a very common one that many people make frequently. Seeing a blatant example of it helps to understand this flawed reasoning, and hopefully improve critical thinking skills.

  7. steve12on 23 Jun 2014 at 11:39 am

    jsterritt:

    “Why bother with this? Why another round of debate?”

    I’ve always been sympathetic to this POV re: many conspiracy theories or science denial. But I’ve changed my mind:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polls_about_9/11_conspiracy_theories

    Same goes for creationism or Holocaust denial. Look at some polls and you see the dismal reality. As absurd as it seems considering the evidence, large swaths of the population are swayed by charlatans. If skeptics and science educators don’t speak up as forcefully as the the other side, the truth suffers.

  8. Steve Crosson 23 Jun 2014 at 11:49 am

    Dr. Novella,

    As a medical doctor you seem to be misunderstanding the engineering aspects of the problem, so please let me use a medical analogy.

    Suppose you encountered a dead person with a massive hole in the middle of their head. Clearly the cause of death would be massive hemorrhage. A layman could be excused for jumping to the conclusion that a gunshot was the probable cause of death, but as a doctor you would realize that the Ebola virus causes death by massive hemorrhage and was therefore the most likely scientific explanation for death.

    It doesn’t matter that no hemorrhage was present anywhere else on the body, or indeed, even that the subsequent autopsy discovered no trace of the virus, the ONLY thing that matters is that Ebola causes hemorrhaging and the person died of a massive hemorrhage.

    There you go — science and logic all rolled up together!!

    I shouldn’t have to mention this, but since I’m new here, I hope that everyone realizes this is snarc.

  9. tmac57on 23 Jun 2014 at 11:56 am

    If people who are on the fence, or are just disengaged from this debate don’t see any push back or counter arguments against the very motivated and passionate 911 truthers,then they might ,by default,be swayed by their arguments.
    It is much,much more difficult to change the minds of the true believers,but all it might take to convince a bystander,is a good solid,logical argument.
    Conspiracy theories thrive in a vacuum. Challenging them is a tedious game of whack-a-mole and unsinkable rubber ducks,but unlike dental hygiene, if you ignore them,they will not go away.

  10. jsterritton 23 Jun 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I am convinced. The comments section illustrates perfectly how your readers are learning to better understand flawed reasoning and improve our critical thinking skills. Have at him!

  11. Dr Doomon 23 Jun 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Good stuff Steven. Up until about two years ago, I was caught up in the conspiracy theory vortex. That’s when I found the SGU podcast. I feel embarrassed about some of the things I would say to people about 9/11. I watched and read a lot about 9/11 and other conspiracies and at the time it all made sense.

    I think part of the draw is the feeling like you belong to some inner circle of people that know the “TRUTH”. You feel like you know secrets others don’t.

  12. Arkonison 23 Jun 2014 at 1:23 pm

    This has been interesting for me as I was someone that had believed in the conspiracy angle. So, thank you very much, I was one of those people living in a vacuum! ;p That being said I looked forward to this second part and was extremely disappointed. For someone claiming the other party has no evidence, I was expecting an argument filled with technical details and links I would have to decipher, instead Steve has provided us with only really one circumstantial detail that remains largely unexplained and gives no technical information to back up his argument. From this article alone, I doubt my mind would have been swayed… thankfully there were some videos that appeared below last week’s article that had enough detail for me to reconsider my position. I’m assuming there is a sense of community on here, with all the back slapping and name calling from the peanut gallery in the comments section… I can only hope these opinions are informed from other sources and not based solely off of this fluff… this would perhaps explain such attitudes somewhat. If this is skepticism, I remain skeptical of its merits.

  13. wood757on 23 Jun 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Dr. Novella is correct in engaging Michael Fullerton if only to show others the illogical nature of 9/11 conspiracy claims.

    Beyond 9/11 Truthers’ logical fallacies is the issue of the psychology of motivated reasoning and methodology of denialism. That Michael Fullerton could repeat the same debunked claims almost 13 years after 9/11 is quite incredible, but all too common.

    I spent years arguing with 9/11 deniers on online forums without convincing anyone who engaged with me of the nonsensical, illogical nature of their claims (in that exercise I learned how to avoid making logical errors myself.) I expect Michael Fullerton will completely ignore and deny Dr. Novella’s rebuttal, and will be surprised if he doesn’t.

    Trying to shift the burden of proof is a key part of all conspiracy theories, and so it is with Michael Fullerton’s claims. My approach online was to challenge 9/11 Truthers to see what would have to be true IF there conspiracy theories were to be treated as plausible and valid. When presented with necessary facts that would have to be true – including the vast numbers of people who would have to be “in on it,” as well as others knowing something was wrong after the fact – I was met with the same evasion repeatedly: “It is not up to us to explain that – that’s why ‘we’ need a new investigation.”

  14. Fair Persuasionon 23 Jun 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I think we have the mastermind as a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. Do we ask him on what his destructive initiations were based?

  15. Sylakon 23 Jun 2014 at 1:54 pm

    And How hundred of workers placing explosive could have done it: piercing trough walls, destroying concrete to place the explosive etc, all that for during multiple days, without nobody noticing it. Of course, you could say that the thousands of people inside the towers were all part the conspiracy. that’s it right there, it is a proof that it is impossible. the more people invole the less it become a conspiracy

    Steel can lose something like 70-90% of his integrity over 900 degree Celsius. In fact A lot a steel structure collapse when there is a fire. They often say that not skyscraper ever collapse because of fire, and this was the first, But it is far from the first Steel structure to collapse because of fire.

    I don’t need hundred of page of proof to be convince by the “official” version, because it is the more likely and the more realistic with the law of physic, and you don’t need thousands of people to be involve. Only couple of ready to die men, who can discretely do what they planned to do.

    Like my brother, who is a Architect and architecture teacher, told me once about the group of Architect and Engie believing the conspiracy: “If there is Indeed 900 architect or engineer who believe in this stuff, it is not too bad, it means there’s only 900 incompetent Architect and engineer In the US.”

    Anyway good job Dr Novella. But I think there is no debate to be done, since the reality and evidence for the “official” version are much more compelling and in greater number. It is like debating with climate change denier, and anti-vaxxer, they are just science and reality deniers.

  16. Pugg Fugglyon 23 Jun 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Steve, I think this is a cool experiment, and I’m looking forward to Michael’s response. Thanks for taking this time to cover the issue so thoroughly.

    I’m surprised the phrase “anomaly-hunting” has not come up yet. Isn’t that where it all starts?

  17. Steven Novellaon 23 Jun 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Arkonis – I think I may see your problem. The underlined and colored text are links. If you click on them, they will take you to the technical references I am discussing in the text.

    Here they are again:

    NIST report: http://www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies/wtc/faqs_wtctowers.cfm
    ACSE report: http://www.asce.org/Content.aspx?id=25300
    Bazant and Zhou technical analysis: http://www.civil.northwestern.edu/people/bazant/PDFs/Papers/405.pdf
    Published computer model: http://www.structuremag.org/article.aspx?articleID=453
    Evidence showing bowing and pulling leading to collapse: http://www.debunking911.com/sag.htm

  18. steve12on 23 Jun 2014 at 3:56 pm

    “The underlined and colored text are links. ”

    hillarious…

  19. RickKon 23 Jun 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Dr. Doom said: “Up until about two years ago, I was caught up in the conspiracy theory vortex. … I think part of the draw is the feeling like you belong to some inner circle of people that know the “TRUTH”. You feel like you know secrets others don’t.”

    Let me just highlight this post and compliment you Dr. Doom on your willingness to be truly open-minded, to take in new data, and to change your views based on the evidence. But most importantly, thank you for your candor in pointing out the motivations that drove you and that drive others to stick to grand conspiracy theories in defiance of evidence and common sense. Your honesty and constructive self-awareness make the world an objectively better place and set an example for others (like Arkonis) to follow.

  20. jsterritton 23 Jun 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Arkonis is being a little coy and crafty. The burden of proof does not lie with Dr Novella, but with Fullerton, who is making outrageous claims. If you are genuinely interested in informing yourself on the subject, this debate is just a tiny part of the overwhelming consensus on what toppled the towers on 9/11, but I suspect you are being disingenuous, whether you know it or not. Shifting the burden of proof is a cornerstone of conspiracy thinking (as Wood757 remarks above). Fullerton cannot supply a cogent and logical argument in support of his views; Novella can and does. If Fullerton intends to disprove the theory of gravity, he’s going to need impressive, airtight, and overwhelming apparatus with which to do so. Novella just has to drop a pencil.

  21. grabulaon 23 Jun 2014 at 8:44 pm

    @DR. Doom

    One thing to keep in mind that many non skeptics/true believers miss is that many of us started from a similar point you were. We believed in things that had no evidence to support them, or bought into current lines of thinking on medical modalities and so on that just don’t work. Where most of us parted ways, as have you, is that once we realized the errors we’re making, we move on. I’d give kudos to anyone who can admit they have held crazy beliefs at one time or another, most of us have, and admit they were wrong.

  22. grabulaon 23 Jun 2014 at 8:49 pm

    @arkonis

    ” I’m assuming there is a sense of community on here, with all the back slapping and name calling from the peanut gallery in the comments section… I can only hope these opinions are informed from other sources and not based solely off of this fluff… this would perhaps explain such attitudes somewhat. If this is skepticism, I remain skeptical of its merits.”

    Dr. Novella has already pointed you to the sources he used as links in the text. He doesn’t need to provide an exhaustive list to support his argument, those should lead anyone to find more and more evidence to support it.

    As for the rest of your snarky comments…those skeptics who frequent the comments in this blog share common ground in reason and rational thinking. We’re assaulted everyday by true believers, believers in woo, and whatever else you want to call or label them who often imply we’re too stupid to understand their particular beliefs, too close minded to consider they’re ridiculous positions and the list goes on and on and on. Some of them, like Fullerton are just here to get some attention his short history here showed he wasn’t interested in engaging anyone, just working to get Dr. Novellas attention. Visit the life after death thread as holding a plethora of examples of the kind of ridiculous people we have to deal with on a daily basis and you might start to understand some of the attitudes here. Many of the people on these boards have mounds of patience when it comes to trying to engage the fallacious thinkers who visit here on occasion.

  23. BoringKittenson 24 Jun 2014 at 12:22 am

    Well done, as always, Steve.
    I’m always fascinated by the psychology of conspiracy theorists. I would imagine there are both elements of excitement that evil villains exist in the world who could successfully carry out plans like this particular one and also elements of extreme mistrust. It’s helpful to critical review the evidence that Dr. Novella very thoughtfully put together here, but when you really think about what Michael is arguing for, It is the dumbest possible thing someone has ever thought of.
    You’ve got the planes flying into the building, check. Now Michael’s part, the government – I’m assuming? – laid down explosives so the buildings would also be assured to come down amidst the chaos of the planes crashing. Obviously this would be an astronomically dangerous plan to be caught in the act of for a government, so it must be absolutely necessary. And absolutely no evidence can be left behind and no one involved can ever speak of the issue ever. So you’d have to imagine they would privately have a conversation (or two) asking the questions, do we need to take the extra measure of the explosives? Also, what if the planes make the buildings come down anyway and then we’ve planted the explosives for no reason? And why do the buildings have to come down again? Assuming they already have awareness of the plane situation, what is the purpose of the extra risks? Michael gives our sloppy government such an extraordinary amount of credit for pulling off something which you can argue against using evidence or a couple seconds of reasoning.

  24. kylebon 24 Jun 2014 at 3:02 am

    Dr. Novella,

    You suggest videos Fullerton linked among others show “that taking out the supports of a single floor toward the top of the building can indeed cause the progressive collapse of the entire building below it”, but I’ve not found anything which accomplish as much in the videos presented here or elsewhere, so would you please link whichever video you believe best substantiates your assertion?

  25. RickKon 24 Jun 2014 at 6:25 am

    jsterritt asks “why bother?”

    You’re right in thinking that Fullerton is not worth the effort. He’s thoroughly invested in his self-aggrandizing fantasy. He deserves little more than the Buzz Aldrin treatment.

    Steve isn’t addressing Fullerton, he’s addressing all those people new to the discussion who’ve only seen the endless youtube videos and websites created by energetic if misguided conspiracy theorists. Steve is just trying to add another voice of reason in response to all the noise.

    On a side note, if you haven’t seen it I can’t recommend highly enough the movie “9/11″ by Jules and Gedeon Naudet. They are two French documentary film makers who happened to be doing a piece on NYC firemen near the WTC. Their’s is the only footage of the first plane, and their coverage of the event and the story of their firehouse is astounding.

  26. BuckarooSamuraion 24 Jun 2014 at 7:02 am

    Hi Steve,

    Just thought I’d add something the World Trade Center are no longer the only buildings to fall symmetrically due to uncontrolled fires. A steel constructed building in Sweden had a fire in a portion of their building that resulted symmetrical near free fall for the portion that was afflicted.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVWPslI1Mg0

    I highly recommend this series as its is a detailed respectful rebuttal to AE 9/11 Truth and some of the more “evidenced” based conspiracy assertions, if you can even call it evidence instead of anomaly hunting.

    Also in my hometown in the Bay Area a steel cement constructed overpass completely fell under its own weight in a symmetrical fashion due to a tanker truck overturning an subsequently catching fire. The fire took very little time to cause the overpass to lose load bearing integrity and fell under its own weight. I know there is very little similiarity however it does illustrate that little more than a fuel fire does indeed have the potential to cause structural collapse in steel construction.

  27. Bronze Dogon 24 Jun 2014 at 9:09 am

    Well written, Steve. I spent a bit of time arguing with twoofers myself, but I hadn’t taken notice of sagging floors and walls being pulled inward. I think it’s going to be one of my favored arguments now because it’s a simple detail that points towards the inevitability of the collapse, robbing the conspiracy of any need to plant explosives.

    It would have been nice to see a nod to the logistical absurdities of a controlled collapse, but I think I can see the point of focusing on the solid evidence in favor of the airplane-based collapse. I suppose you’ll get to the absurdity sooner or later.

    On the wishful thinking front, one theme I’ve often sensed is racism mixed with jingoism. Conspiracy theorists just refuse to accept the notion that dark-skinned foreigners could be competent to pull off such an attack, even though it didn’t really require that much talent. So they rationalize the only thing that could hurt America was our white-dominated government, the Illuminati, or whoever.

    It’s much like the JFK assassination conspiracy theory. A lot of conspiracy theorists bought into it in part because they didn’t want to accept that some lone gunman could kill someone they considered the most powerful man of the most powerful country on Earth.

  28. TheFlyingPigon 24 Jun 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I have no idea how Michael Fullerton could possibly respond to this. Is someone running the odds of whether we’ll get a new post next Monday?

    The thing that is counter-intuitive to me about how the towers collapsed is the floor-by-floor pancaking… it just doesn’t seem like a building should be able to fall like that. But those videos of buildings collapsing due to damage to a high floor prove my intuition wrong and look eerily similar to the collapses of the WTC towers.

  29. TheFlyingPigon 24 Jun 2014 at 6:56 pm

    kyleb,

    Top-down building collapses:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prwvj-npt5s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY3nj728WPY

    The buildings, of course, aren’t nearly as tall as the twin towers, but it sure looks like a similar phenomenon.

  30. tmac57on 24 Jun 2014 at 7:45 pm

    TheFlyingPig- I seem to recall that the initial “pancaking” hypothesis was abandoned for a more dynamic process that involved shock waves rippling through the structure down and reflecting back up again,basically shattering/weakening the remaining supports within seconds after the initial collapse initiated. I don’t recall where I saw that though,so take that with a grain of salt.

  31. grabulaon 24 Jun 2014 at 8:46 pm

    “The thing that is counter-intuitive to me about how the towers collapsed is the floor-by-floor pancaking… it just doesn’t seem like a building should be able to fall like that.”

    I’ve actually never really understood what was counter-intuitive about this. If you have a large amount of weight that falls onto a floor not designed to hold the weight of several floors falling on it, you’re going to get a collapse. While we don’t hear much about pancaking anymore, I think the concept still stands.

  32. string pulleron 24 Jun 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Flying pig- I agree re: Fullerton’s reply. Waiting with bated breath.

  33. TheFlyingPigon 24 Jun 2014 at 9:13 pm

    grabula,

    The counter-intuitive bit for me is that those lower floors were meant to hold up the entire building above them… so they should be very strong. I understand that the momentum of the falling building adds a lot of force, but much of the material fell to the sides and wasn’t directly impacting the lower floors. It’s not that it shouldn’t have collapsed, it just collapsed so damn fast. The study Steve cites claims that the lower floors couldn’t have slowed the collapse to much less than free-fall speed… that’s amazing. I guess that other people find this amazing too, and might explain some of the doubts that it could happen that way.

  34. grabulaon 24 Jun 2014 at 9:29 pm

    @theflyingpig, I guess that makes sense. I think for me I’ve always thought of the debris that fell outside as being incidental to most of the weight falling.

    Besides which it appeared initially that each building failed several floors from the top, which means you’ve got much more weight and momentum to contend with, as obviously the structure is designed to hold that weight statically. Ultimately they found it was much more complicated then that but still.

  35. RickKon 24 Jun 2014 at 11:27 pm

    @theflyingpig People and objects in the building were crushed with such force that they simply ceased to exist. There were entire floors from which nothing recognizable was found.

    I think people simply don’t think about the forces necessary for that to happen. How much explosive is needed to reduce entire floors of a large office building, and all their contents, to an unrecognizable paste of matter?

    If the force of falling building could do the same (or greater) damage to objects and people that a very large bomb could do, then who needs the bomb?

  36. kylebon 25 Jun 2014 at 2:09 am

    TheFlyingPig,

    I’m familiar with those videos, and while they do look similar to what happened to the towers in some regards, neither of them support Novella’s claim “that taking out the supports of a single floor toward the top of the building can indeed cause the progressive collapse of the entire building below it” as both show two floors of supports being taken pulled rather than just a single one. Furthermore, the first is simply part of the building being sheered off rather than the collapsing of an entire one, and while the second is a whole building collapsing it starts more towards the middle than the top. Best I’ve been able to tell there is no evidence to support Novella’s claim, neither in the form of a real world example nor even that of a simulation, is there?

  37. grabulaon 25 Jun 2014 at 2:44 am

    @kyleb

    are you arguing the semantics of the claim or the veracity?

    In this link Fullerton provided you see several buildings collapse when supporting members are pushed out of alignment – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwFHEoiUZ7o

    as far as I can tell it appears that these members are pushed on a single floor, and the following collapse destroys the building.

    Most of them ARE towards the middle but this is neither here nor there when you consider it only takes a couple of floors worth of material to cause structural failure. It appears to me in the picture above in Dr. Novellas argument that several floors are collapsing down into the rest of the tower. In those videos you also see several floors collapsing down onto the floors below and completing the destruction of the buildings.

    Don’t mistake ‘near the top’ for not low enough…

  38. grabulaon 25 Jun 2014 at 2:49 am

    Each tower was 110 stories. The north tower was struck between the 93rd and the 99th floor (leaving 10 or more floors above the failure point) and the south tower was struck between the 77th and 85th floors, leaving 25 or more floors above the point of failure. In both cases this appears to be equal to or more than several of the buildings in those videos.

  39. RickKon 25 Jun 2014 at 7:12 am

    “Best I’ve been able to tell there is no evidence to support Novella’s claim, neither in the form of a real world example nor even that of a simulation, is there?”

    Novella’s claim?

    You mean the explanation supported by the American Society of Civil Engineers?

    How many years ahead of 9/11 did the conspiracy start infiltrating the ASCE, kyleb? Any ideas? How many guards and administrative staff at the WTC were involved in inserting the explosives? With the horror of watching people jump to their deaths to avoid the fires causing such emotional distress, why did the conspirators not wait longer before blowing the buildings? We could have had a whole day of such images before the buildings “collapsed”. When do you think they got to that French filmmaker who was filming near the lobby when the first tower was “blown” to make sure he deleted his recording of the demolition charges? Since any one of the conspirators and any of the people paid/threatened to cover up evidence could achieve instant fame and fortune by stepping forward with proof, why have none done so?

    And why is it that 9/11 truth displays never include images of the top of the South Tower clearly tipping over, or of the external steel bowing and warping before collapse? Why are they so afraid of showing all the evidence? What do YOU. Think of those pictures, kyleb?

  40. RickKon 25 Jun 2014 at 7:25 am

    Interesting. I just read a piece in Veteran’s Today presenting irrefutable evidence that the destruction of the towers was a low-yield nuclear event. One major piece of evidence is the fact that material didn’t all fall straight down – much was ejected sideways destroying the Winter Garden.

    So which is it? Material fell too straight, as Fullerton says, so it must have been a carefully controlled demolition? Or it didn’t fall straight enough so it must have been a large explosion?

    What do think of the nuclear angle, Fullerm?

  41. SteveAon 25 Jun 2014 at 8:01 am

    “The underlined and colored text are links. ”

    What?

    The years, the years I’ve wasted…

  42. BoringKittenson 25 Jun 2014 at 8:01 am

    Hey – did anyone notice the huge AIRPLANES which flew into the buildings? I think that might be what caused the collapse. The enormous airplanes.

  43. BillyJoe7on 25 Jun 2014 at 8:01 am

    kyleb,

    “while the second is a whole building collapsing it starts more towards the middle than the top”

    What matters is how many stories there are above where the collapse starts.
    Think about it.

    In one of those videos, there were only 4 stories above where the collapse starts, and the weight of those four stories was sufficient to collapse the whole building. In the twin towers, there were 10 and 25 stories above where the collapse started. If 4 stories can collapse the whole building than surely 10 and 25 stories can actually do it much more effectively.

  44. BillyJoe7on 25 Jun 2014 at 8:03 am

    “Hey – did anyone notice the huge AIRPLANES which flew into the buildings? I think that might be what caused the collapse. The enormous airplanes”

    Actually…it was the fuel.

  45. Bill Openthalton 25 Jun 2014 at 8:08 am

    TheFlyingPig –

    The counter-intuitive bit for me is that those lower floors were meant to hold up the entire building above them… so they should be very strong.

    Think hammer.

  46. Willyon 25 Jun 2014 at 11:52 am

    A prediction: Not only will Mr. Fullerton make his second post, he will mock Mr. Novella’s explanation and he will still be convinced that he owns the “truth”. I’d love to be wrong…

  47. the devils gummy bearon 25 Jun 2014 at 12:05 pm

    So, what you’re saying, BillyJoe7, is that the planes were the delivery mechanism for the fuel? I’ve got your number.

  48. the devils gummy bearon 25 Jun 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Willy, (and flyingpig) we should put up a poll somewhere, and vote on what tactic(s)/series of fallacies Fullerton will respond with. Winner gets an internet cookie or something.

    Fullerton has been dissing the commenters here, check out his Google+. One dumb turn deserves something something… (losing train of thought).

  49. mumadaddon 25 Jun 2014 at 12:38 pm

    DGB,

    Thanks, I just looked him up. He has his own blog, you know. I’m just reading this pearl, ‘The No God Delusion:

    http://skeptopathy.com/wp/?p=71

    Here’s a quote:

    Complex matter is simply created over time by arranging simpler forms of matter. Why shouldn’t we assume then that the capacity for complex thought is similarly composed of simpler thinking components. I mean we do acknowledge that our own complex thoughts are made of many smaller thoughts…..

    …..With mental states we can’t see the progression yet but we should assume it happens the same way: systems with simple mental capabilities combine to form complex systems with complex mental capabilities.

    Off topic, I know, but entertaining stuff.

  50. mumadaddon 25 Jun 2014 at 12:44 pm

    And this, then I’ll stop posting off topic:

    Since an atheist does not believe any type of God exists, including the pantheistic conscious Universe, the atheist must believe that thoughts magically arise out of nowhere. The only way for thought to not magically arise out of nothing is if thought is a fundamental property of the building blocks of matter.

    He seems to subscribe to a lot of non evidence based theories. Crank magnetism perhaps?

  51. Karl Withakayon 25 Jun 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I was going to write a reply to TheFlyingPig discussing how when studying engineering in college, you start out learning Engineering Mechanics: Statics, and the next semester you proceed to Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics, and how a structure (say the supports of a floor in a building) designed to bear a relatively static load (say the 10-25 stories of building above it) may not be capable of bearing/ withstanding that same load falling onto it from a height of 1 story…

    and then Bill Openthalt goes and says, “Think hammer.”

    …nevermind.

  52. the devils gummy bearon 25 Jun 2014 at 1:18 pm

    mumadadd, I’ve been reading some of his musings too, he’s on a few different things outside of his blog. Fella’s got his beak in bushels of “stuff”. Nothing really remarkable, pretty standard portfolio for conspiratorial-ists. Par for course; the self-proclaimed polymath type.

  53. steve12on 25 Jun 2014 at 1:52 pm

    http://skeptopathy.com/

    The Dunning-Kruger is strong in this one. I mean, he actually refers to himself as a scientist and he’s quite confident that he understands all sorts of phenomena that he simply doesn’t understand.

  54. the devils gummy bearon 25 Jun 2014 at 2:10 pm

    We should start using do not link, instead of direct links to kooky town; no need to boost their search rankings when we can link to them through donotlink.

    I say this because I keep getting the sense that this guy is a massive self-aggrandizing/self-promoter.

  55. the devils gummy bearon 25 Jun 2014 at 2:12 pm

    href links don’t really show up great in these comments, so here it is straight up:

    http://www.donotlink.com

  56. jsterritton 25 Jun 2014 at 2:13 pm

    DGB: I bet everything on shifting the burden of proof. Fullerton will bait Novella (and us), goalposts on wheels, until critical mass of evidence has been reached for the anomaly-hunting to begin. Novella is wise to let Fullerton define the playing field and then confining his refutation to the narrowest parameters. I hate to stoop to such wordplay, but Fullerton will collapse under his own weight and the cause will be clear as day.

    mumadadd: thank you for the off-topic quotes. I have just opened a new file to collect the awesome pseudoscience I’m coming across thanks to this comments section. M_Morgan is my new God, but I have room for Fullerton in my “pantheistic conscious Universe.”

  57. kylebon 25 Jun 2014 at 7:23 pm

    grabula,

    It’s a matter of veracity. The claim of videos which show “that taking out the supports of a single floor toward the top of the building can indeed cause the progressive collapse of the entire building below it” currently unsubstantiated here, and arguments for disregarding the differences between that assertion and what the videos which have been presented show do nothing to change that. So if you or anyone else can actually present a video which conforms to the specifics of the claim, please do so, and please forgive my lack of interest in arguing anyone’s reasons for believing the claim absent such evidence.

  58. BoringKittenson 25 Jun 2014 at 7:42 pm

    These types of people are all stuck in this orgasmic purgatory, where there are always just a moment away from their conspiracy being proven true, or the aliens and reptilians displaying themselves, or their diety coming back to earth. At which point they will finally be thrust over the edge into explosive bliss and raging laughter at all the fools who didn’t believe them. But… it never happens, ever.
    So… they resort to pot and booze and Libertarianism.

  59. jsterritton 25 Jun 2014 at 10:13 pm

    kyleb: look up “straw man.” Also “arguement from pigheadedness” and what I’ll call “argument from the cold shoulder*,” because of your unwillingness to engage “in arguing anyone’s reasons for believing the claim absent such evidence,” i.e., until your straw man has been somehow satisfied (an impossibility, I’m afraid). You can’t just freeze us out until logic and reason whither in our desire to please/appease you.

    *I’m coining some good b-list fallacies here :)

  60. the devils gummy bearon 25 Jun 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Armchair YouTube clue-gleaning in lieu of competence: Check. What an age we live in.

    When did the toofers start hopping up and down with these proclamations of “fallacies” at the sane world? Fullerton included his figure, showing his “commandments”… He even declared that no logical fallacies would be tolerated, moments before launching into about a half dozen of them… And then later, in the comments (to Part I), fullerm kept issuing more astonishingly un-ironic proclamations about what logical fallacies/valid arguments are. He lacks a functioning understanding, but man alive; He sure does like to make declarations regarding logic/arguments. Jeesh.

    boringkittens and I were talking about a jref (ugh) post earlier, titled I Was a Truther… What Brought Me Back to Reality?:

    http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=234770

    It’s probably relevant to you, kyleb, unless I’m completely missing where you are coming from. Interesting that the author discusses how, in going back to college (and it sounds like he was doing WGU), the amount of work he had to do, the rigorous standards in scholastic writing and research papers, and all of the academic standards he was being trained in… Sort of made him realize the truther thang was just a bunch of know-nothings touting shit video, and not much else… Except motivated reasoning rooted in conspiratorial psychology.

    I can’t remember if I pulled that link from mumadadd, or someone else, or maybe I stumbled on it while going over Fullerton’s schtick (I’m blanking out, so I apologize if someone here mentioned the jref post earlier).

  61. BillyJoe7on 26 Jun 2014 at 12:50 am

    kyleb,

    I see. What you want is a video of a 110 storey buiding of the same type as WTC, being hit by a plane full of fuel between storeys 10 – 25 and collapsing to the ground.
    In other words, you’re incapable of coming to a logical conclusion from the available facts.

    Guess what, kyleb, that is your loss, not ours. (;

  62. grabulaon 26 Jun 2014 at 1:15 am

    @Kyleb

    “So if you or anyone else can actually present a video which conforms to the specifics of the claim, please do so, and please forgive my lack of interest in arguing anyone’s reasons for believing the claim absent such evidence.”

    Kyleb, I’m not going to engage in silly detail hunting. If you don’t understand the science behind the videos already presented to you and how they provide some evidence for the claims, then you’re probably either too lazy to try to understand it or are willingly being obtuse about the facts. This is effectively what the truthers have been reduced too, claiming that if we don’t’ provide extremely specific and explicit evidence than they can’t buy it. That’s intellectually lazy and disingenuous.

  63. grabulaon 26 Jun 2014 at 1:30 am

    @boringkittens

    “So… they resort to pot and booze and Libertarianism.”

    Woah woah, let’s not equate the tastyness of booze and the soporific of pot to libertarianism! I love the first two, the third is a childish fantasy.

    @jsteritt

    ” You can’t just freeze us out until logic and reason whither in our desire to please/appease you.”
    Unfortunately he can and most likely will. As with Fullerton we will present all the eveidence a rational person would need to parse the argument but they will continue to move goal posts, argue from ignorance and find those gods in those gaps to maintain their belief.

    @devils gummy

    “When did the toofers start hopping up and down with these proclamations of “fallacies” at the sane world?”

    It’s an increasing popular tactic to mimic skeptical tools and processes in order to lend their particular sacred cows some ‘beef’. It often shows a pathetic misunderstanding of how those tools are ACTUALLY applied but it’s gaining increasing popularity amongst the woo crowd. This discussion and perusing even briefly fullertons blog shows he likes to throw around the words ‘logical’ and ‘fallacy’,often tied together to form a message, but he has no real understanding of how they work.

  64. grabulaon 26 Jun 2014 at 1:32 am

    Ultimately I sympathize with Dr.Novella on his reasoning for having this ‘debate’ but I think Michael Fullerton might have been the wrong choice. For one, his arguments are vacuous and lack any real substance, it’s almost too easy. Second, I think he’s here to generate interest, he’s revealed that pattern being unwilling to engage us in comments on multiple threads in the last couple of weeks. I believe he’s here to declare a ‘win’ against a well known skeptic. In fact I believe he’s already declared his win, because no amount of actual evidence and sound reasoning will budge him.

  65. the devils gummy bearon 26 Jun 2014 at 3:02 am

    grabula must made me kiss my computer screen on the mouth:

    “Woah woah, let’s not equate the tastyness of booze and the soporific of pot to libertarianism! I love the first two, the third is a childish fantasy.”

    But I gave up drinking, and pot gives me panic attacks. All three of those things are hospital trips for me, Boringkittens (the third is the asylum for me). The berts and Bertism, relative to a (my) life of chronic alcohol abuse, the Berts have done the lion’s share of brain my damage.

    “This discussion and perusing even briefly fullertons blog shows he likes to throw around the words ‘logical’ and ‘fallacy’,often tied together to form a message, but he has no real understanding of how they work.”

    He actually seems to lack a sixth grade science education. Pile on some skepti/trending-science-y sounding gimmickry… And… Well…

    Okay, I’m just gonna ask… Not to overgeneralize, but what’s the deal with IT guys and 9/11?

    I went back and watched the video he was advertising in his first post as fullerm, in the comments on the 9/11 anomaly hunting post. He’s one of these guys who thinks saying things slowly and firmly over and over, AND OVER AND OVER, more aggressively, OVER AND OVER, condescendingly over and over, forcefully over and over is… somehow… Effective? I don’t know. But if you want a preview for what next Monday’s essay will be, it’s all right there. It’s a script. He doesn’t deviate. He just reads the same lines. Over and over and over.

    My Monday money is on: start essay by dumping some poison in the well, ridicule Novella’s faith-based rejection of all that is well and true, dismiss outright all evidence and reasoning Novella discussed (except for maybe a thing to go off on a tangent about) butcher the crap out of some more logic, and just read the lines, read the lines, read the lines. If you watch his youtube video, you see him actually reading the lines, his eyes slowly going from one side of the screen to the other. At an agonizing slow pace. As he recites them. At an agonizingly slow pace.

  66. grabulaon 26 Jun 2014 at 3:12 am

    @devils’ gummy

    “Okay, I’m just gonna ask… Not to overgeneralize, but what’s the deal with IT guys and 9/11? ”

    I can speak for most of the IT guys I know (I’m in IT) in saying that most of us are ok with truth and evidence. I think there’s just so many of us you get a few bad eggs in the lot. Also consider that most IT jobs allow for plenty of internet cruising time and that can lead to dark dark places. In my case it’s led me to mostly naked, naked places.

    I tried to peruse his blog but it makes me want to comment and I don’t want to fall into that trap lol. Like my prediction on this ‘debate’, I suspect any attempt to inject reason on his blog would only lead to him smugly proclaiming he’s got you beat.

  67. Bill Openthalton 26 Jun 2014 at 3:41 am

    The Devil’s Gummy Bear –

    Okay, I’m just gonna ask… Not to overgeneralize, but what’s the deal with IT guys and 9/11?

    I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating:

    50% of the population is below average, and that applies to IT people as well.

  68. grabulaon 26 Jun 2014 at 3:50 am

    The IT industry has taken the place of heavy industry, especially in the US. Many of the people I work with – not all but many – would have worked factory floors a few decades ago. I find a blue collar attitude to the ‘rich and powerful’ and a lot of people working jobs who’ve in a lot of cases not bothered to educate themselves extensively. These are of course generalizations but I’ve been in the IT industry for going on 25+ years and it’s been my experience.

  69. kylebon 26 Jun 2014 at 3:53 am

    jsterritt,

    I’ve presented no straw man, but rather simply stated my interest in seeing what Novella asserted is evidenced in videos. Had I added qualifications like the number of stories and such as BillyJoe has somehow imagined, that would be a straw man, but I’m not asking for anything beyond what was claimed to be evidenced here. As for my cold shoulder towards the arguments made in place of such evidence, it’s not an attempt to get anyone to appease me, only a lack of interest in attempting to appease a crowd of people defending their beliefs through assertions rather than evidence.

  70. grabulaon 26 Jun 2014 at 4:10 am

    @kyleb

    “I’ve presented no straw man, but rather simply stated my interest in seeing what Novella asserted is evidenced in videos. Had I added qualifications like the number of stories and such as BillyJoe has somehow imagined, that would be a straw man, but I’m not asking for anything beyond what was claimed to be evidenced here. As for my cold shoulder towards the arguments made in place of such evidence, it’s not an attempt to get anyone to appease me, only a lack of interest in attempting to appease a crowd of people defending their beliefs through assertions rather than evidence.”

    I see you come from the same school of ‘thinking’ fullerton came from. So evidence is given to you, in the form of several videos and you ignore it, and continue asking for evidence. Your ‘cold shoulder’ is cold feet, unable and unwilling to address the very specific evidence provided to you. Like Fullerton you won’t back up your own claims with evidence, you’ll just continue moving goalposts as evidence is presented. You’ve revealed yourself as a true believer by doing so…you can move along now, nothing to see here…well, nothing you’ll admit to seeing.

  71. mumadaddon 26 Jun 2014 at 4:15 am

    Hey, BJ7,

    I’ve just noticed your smilies are back to front. Is that because you’re upside down? ;)

  72. the devils gummy bearon 26 Jun 2014 at 4:52 am

    Dark places, getting naked in dark places…. Add some slime and Charlie Day… Something something Always Sunny.

    I was an IT guy, for a while. Even went to school, even loaded up on certs. I realized I couldn’t do it while remaining sane, not for much longer anyway, because the dark side compels me, and working in a repair shop in piles of broken things, or as an admin in something… I found my mental health deteriorating. Wrong career path for my temperament and shortcomings. I pulled the cord while I could… And the libertarianism I was submerged in, AND the final straw that did me in was an IT gal I was dating… The woo, it burnt… Sometimes, I find it amusing to generalize the “types” you find in different walks of life, and why sometimes there is a prevalence of a “thing” or a predisposition for a flavor of woo in a group or profession.

    I have to go watch the World Cup with a whole bushel of anti-GMOers tomorrow. Great joy. Great joy…

  73. kylebon 26 Jun 2014 at 5:07 am

    kyleb,

    I’ve not ignored the videos presented, but rather reviewed those videos which I’d seen many times before, and I’ve taken the time to note the differences between what is actually is actually evidenced by those videos and what Novella claimed. That’s not shifting the goal posts, they remain right where Novella placed them. As for your charge of me not backing up my own claims, please quote a claim of mine here and I’ll be happy to provide evidence which substantiates it.

  74. grabulaon 26 Jun 2014 at 5:31 am

    @Kyleb

    You’re not watching the same videos we are. A couple of us have already pointed out why the videos show what is being claimed – demolition of a single floor causes other floors to collapse down on the rest of the building, destroying it to completion as they say. It’s simple physics, I mean real high school level stuff. YOU need to see, as BillyJoe7 already pointed out, an exact duplication of the events of 9/11 to satisfy your demand and predictably, you’d continue to deny deny deny. It’s a pattern we’ve seen hundreds of times since the event occurred – not too mention all the other events true believers flock around.

    It’s not even a great effort. The evidence has literally been handed to you by a fellow true believer and you deny it. You’ll need to work harder at it kyleb.

  75. Bruceon 26 Jun 2014 at 5:31 am

    “I’ve not ignored the videos presented, but rather reviewed those videos which I’d seen many times before, and I’ve taken the time to note the differences between what is actually is actually evidenced by those videos and what Novella claimed. ”

    Kyle,

    I am interested to know what you see as what is evidenced by the videos and how they differ from what is claimed.

  76. mumadaddon 26 Jun 2014 at 6:48 am

    Kyleb,

    Okay, so, on the basis of lack of compelling (to you) evidence, you’re rejecting the hypothesis that the towers fell due to the collapse of single floors caused by weakening of the steel structure by fires.

    Fair enough.

    I reject the controlled demolition hypothesis on the same grounds – my null hypothesis when this is put forward is the position stated above, the ‘official explanation’.

    Out of interest, what’s your null hypothesis?

  77. Bill Openthalton 26 Jun 2014 at 7:51 am

    mumadadd –

    Out of interest, what’s your null hypothesis?

    Hmmmmm… Lemme guess.

    Dubya conspired with Bubba who consipired with Senior (and so on, starting with Tricky Dicky who was in power when the Towers were built) to destroy the Twin Towers to make it possible to create the Department of Homeland Security and Gitmo. And to benefit Halliburton of course (they are obviously all lackeys of Big Time). They managed to get people willing to die for them by flying planes into the Twin Towers, equipped at construction time with revolutionary explosive charges that explode without noise and leave no traces. In all likelihood, there are darker motives than those outlined above — who knows what the Illuminati are up to.

  78. mumadaddon 26 Jun 2014 at 8:35 am

    Bill,

    and so on, starting with Tricky Dicky who was in power when the Towers were built

    So that’s how they were able tp lay all the explosives without anyone noticing! They did it when they built the damn thing.

    The conspiracy must, in fact, go back even further in order for the CIA to have set up a construction company full of sleeper agents, then rig the bid so this particular company won.

  79. mumadaddon 26 Jun 2014 at 9:09 am

    And that’s also how they managed to make sure the explosives were on the floors the planes hit – the tricky bastards had all the floors rigged with explosives, so it didn’t matter. So the towers were built for the express purpose of this false flag operation. I know this would seem like a lot of forward planning, but the orchestrators are all Reptilians, and they live for centuries, so to them this was hardly any time at all.

    I still haven’t figured out why there was no visible or audible explosion, but I’m pretty sure they used alien technology, recovered from the Roswell incident and developed at Area 51.

  80. Bruceon 26 Jun 2014 at 10:53 am

    “I still haven’t figured out why there was no visible or audible explosion, but I’m pretty sure they used alien technology, recovered from the Roswell incident and developed at Area 51.”

    You joke, but my brother would say this completely credulously!

    And his evidence for Area 51? The SR-71… don’t. even. get. me. started.

  81. jsterritton 26 Jun 2014 at 10:55 am

    kyleb…

    As far as I can tell, you think you’ve backed Novella into a corner about a niggling detail that is merely a distraction from the focus of the argument. Most likely, you are choosing to be obtuse. But even if Novella (or one of us in the comments) misspoke or failed to speak in grammatically airtight sentences, your ceaseless harping about — and refusal to move past — this one tiny sticking point of your manufacture is indeed a straw man, a red herring…a straw herring of some stripe. You argue from ignorance, pigheadedness, incredulity. You keep speaking of “your interest” and what you are “only interested in” and stand on some imagined right to have these interests indulged to your satisfaction. If your demands are not met, you refuse to further debate (at which point you will surely declare the debate over, christen the “forfeit” a win for your side, and go on believing what you believe without ever having to scrutinize those beliefs or have them challenged to your disliking). You are reducing and misrepresenting the entire argument by defining it by your sticking point (your demand), then clutch your pearls when your straw man gets called a straw man. You are still arguing from the cold shoulder in that you refuse to debate anything until your demands are met, but sadly you won’t shut up entirely.

    Beyond the formal and informal fallacies of logic that you think you understand, there are rules — or at least guidelines — to having discussions. Co-opt the terms and dress it up however you please, but you and Mr Fullerton are using negotiating tactics (like stonewalling), not logical argument. It’s bad manners.

  82. tmac57on 26 Jun 2014 at 11:39 am

    kyleb- Did you completely read and thoughtfully consider the point by point faqs at the link that Steve Novella provided here: http://www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies/wtc/faqs_wtctowers.cfm

    If so,then what part of it has you still uncertain,other than the assumption that it is a coverup or possibly you just don’t understand the meaning of the text?

  83. Steven Novellaon 26 Jun 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Yes, in that video it does appear that they took out 2 floors, not 1. This is completely irrelevant to my point – the fact remains that the upper part of the building fell straight down through the lower part of the building, destroying it completely, and not slowing down appreciably.

    WTC 1 and 2 were much larger buildings that any of the demolition videos. The dynamic loads were much greater.

    So, Kyleb, is your position that if a single floor of either tower collapsed that this would not cause the progressive collapse of the entire tower? I linked to an analysis that showed total collapse could not be avoided in such a situation. What have you got?

  84. tmac57on 26 Jun 2014 at 12:25 pm

    It has occurred to me that maybe some people have just seen the final NIST report,and found it lacking in detail (although it is a lot to wade through). But what might have escaped their notice is all of the separate reports and materials that the final report was summarizing.
    So here is the list of all those sources:

    http://wtcdata.nist.gov/index2.htm

    There is enough material there to keep an honest seeker of the truth, that still has doubts, busy for an extremely long time,if they indeed have the skills to truly comprehend it all.
    My guess is that no ‘truther’ has ever gotten through it all.

  85. TheFlyingPigon 26 Jun 2014 at 4:37 pm

    kyleb,

    I’m curious to know where you’re coming from. Steve’s quote you want evidence for was: “that taking out the supports of a single floor toward the top of the building can indeed cause the progressive collapse of the entire building below it”

    And you say the videos don’t demonstrate this? What’s missing? What’s wrong with the videos?

    Is it that you see one video where two floors are taken out instead of just one, and another video where it’s a middle floor instead of near the top? If that’s your objection… I guess we can deal with it.

    I think what everyone’s saying to you is that the videos show the principle behind the collapse of the WTC towers even though they don’t match in all the details. Why do you think those videos fail to demonstrate the principle behind the WTC towers’ collapses?

  86. kylebon 26 Jun 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Dr. Novella,

    While the analysis from Bazant you’ve cited does suggest one floor of failure towards the top is all it took to bring down the towers, it’s it doesn’t rightly show as much itself, and rather would have to be followed through with an experiment to substantiate the hypothesis. Nor has any alternative example been presented to demonstrate as much in the case of any building, hence my position here is one of skepticism towards the general notion that removing the supports from only a single floor towards the top of a building can destroy it entirely, be it a building like the towers or otherwise.

    As for the loads in the case of the towers being much greater than that of the other buildings discussed here, of course they were, but so were the towers built to endure much greater loads. Furthermore, the number floors of support taken out along with how high up the building they are is relevant in respect to the fact that force is the product of mass and acceleration. Less unobstructed distance for the upper section to accelerate results in less force on impact, as does less mass in the upper section. So while for example a 10 story building being demolished with just the 7th floor taken out would prove my skepticism unfounded, examples where more floors are taken out all fall short, particularly not in instances where those floors are taken out further down the building and/or only part of a building is sheared off.

  87. mumadaddon 26 Jun 2014 at 6:33 pm

    While the analysis from Bazant you’ve cited does suggest one floor of failure towards the top is all it took to bring down the towers, it’s it doesn’t rightly show as much itself, and rather would have to be followed through with an experiment to substantiate the hypothesis.

    Sooo…. exact replication or bust?

    I wish I hadn’t, ahem, ‘sold’ all those extra twin towers and passenger jets I owned (aside – the gubmint took them off me to practice blowing up the ones in NY), otherwise I’d have donated them to science just to prove you wrong.

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding you though, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt; what kind of experiment would convince you?

    And again, what’s the null hypothesis here?

  88. mumadaddon 26 Jun 2014 at 6:57 pm

    And, did you actually read this: http://www.structuremag.org/article.aspx?articleID=453…?

    That’s one of Steve’s links. I’ll fully admit that I haven’t read the whole thing, but you have to have already concluded that the gubmint was responsible, or at least complicit, to ignore passages like this:

    After the unprecedented events of September 11, 2001, questions were raised about the safety of tall steel buildings during fire. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) embarked on a comprehensive study to reconstruct the collapse of the towers and to determine, among other goals, how did the aircraft impacts and subsequent fires contribute to their collapse, and are there parts of current building and fire codes or practice standards that warrant revision?

    NIST retained Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (SGH) to develop computer models that would simulate the structural response of the towers to aircraft impact and subsequent fires. Several existing studies, conducted by NIST and its consultants, provided input for the SGH study, including aircraft impact analysis, fire dynamics and heat transfer models. NIST also conducted tests on structural steel recovered from the WTC site to determine its mechanical and metallurgical properties including temperature-dependent thermal expansion, modulus, plastic flow, and creep properties.

    SGH first developed models of components, connections, and subsystems of the WTC towers and studied their structural response to the fire-induced temperatures over time. Using the results of such studies, SGH then developed computationally efficient global models of the towers and performed FE analyses from initial impact through the collapse of each tower.

    I trust Steve’s commentary on the findings of this investigation, for reasons beyond the fact that I have no axe to grind, and no emotional investment in this; no dog in the fight, really, as I’m from the UK and the whole thing was just a weird, distant spectacle that occurred in my late teens. But I can imagine how incredibly insulting your vague rhetoric is to people who do have an emotional connection.

    Why don’t you put forward an alternative hypothesis? Build a case for some other chain of events… present the evidence. Or at least come up with a better objection.

  89. tmac57on 26 Jun 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Kyleb- Let me get this straight:

    You believe that building engineers were expert enough to design a building to withstand loads much greater than what you believe to be the dynamic loads imparted on the WTC towers that day,after they had sustained significant impact damage,followed by intense fires on multiple floors,but you refuse to believe that building engineers are not expert enough to access the aftermath of an unforeseen catastrophic event after the fact and come to the expert opinion that the MOST likely cause of the collapse was,by all available evidence,exactly what the investigators agreed was the case?
    What possible set of skills do you possess to make such an assertion…assuming that is what you are trying to get us to accept?

  90. the devils gummy bearon 26 Jun 2014 at 7:07 pm

    kyleb, these word salads of yours are barely comprehensible. Can you please write more succinctly?

  91. tmac57on 26 Jun 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Kyleb-

    As for the loads in the case of the towers being much greater than that of the other buildings discussed here, of course they were, but so were the towers built to endure much greater loads. Furthermore, the number floors of support taken out along with how high up the building they are is relevant in respect to the fact that force is the product of mass and acceleration. Less unobstructed distance for the upper section to accelerate results in less force on impact, as does less mass in the upper section. So while for example a 10 story building being demolished with just the 7th floor taken out would prove my skepticism unfounded…

    From The NIST faq question 12 (sorry for the long text paste)

    12. Was there enough gravitational energy present in the WTC towers to cause the collapse of the intact floors below the impact floors? Why weren’t the collapses of WTC 1 and WTC 2 arrested by the intact structure below the floors where columns first began to buckle?
    Yes, there was more than enough gravitational load to cause the collapse of the floors below the level of collapse initiation in both WTC towers. The vertical capacity of the connections supporting an intact floor below the level of collapse was adequate to carry the load of 11 additional floors if the load was applied gradually and 6 additional floors if the load was applied suddenly (as was the case). Since the number of floors above the approximate floor of collapse initiation exceeded six in each WTC tower (12 floors in WTC 1 and 29 floors in WTC 2), the floors below the level of collapse initiation were unable to resist the suddenly applied gravitational load from the upper floors of the buildings.
    Consider a typical floor immediately below the level of collapse initiation and conservatively assume that the floor is still supported on all columns (i.e., the columns below the intact floor did not buckle or peel off due to the failure of the columns above). Consider further the truss seat connections between the primary floor trusses and the exterior wall columns or core columns. The individual connection capacities ranged from 94,000 pounds to 395,000 pounds, with a total vertical load capacity for the connections on a typical floor of 29,000,000 pounds (see Section 5.2.4 of NIST NCSTAR 1-6C). The total floor area outside the core was approximately 31,000 square feet, and the average load on a floor under service conditions on Sept. 11, 2001, was 80 pounds per square foot. Thus, the total vertical load on a floor outside the core can be estimated by multiplying the floor area (31,000 square feet) by the gravitational load (80 pounds per square foot), which yields 2,500,000 pounds (this is a conservative load estimate since it ignores the weight contribution of the heavier mechanical floors at the top of each WTC tower). By dividing the total vertical connection capacity (29,000,000 pounds) of a floor by the total vertical load applied to the connections (2,500,000 pounds), the number of floors that can be supported by an intact floor is calculated to be a total of 12 floors or 11 additional floors.
    This simplified and conservative analysis indicates that the floor connections could have carried only a maximum of about 11 additional floors if the load from these floors were applied statically. Even this number is (conservatively) high, since the load from above the collapsing floor is being applied suddenly. Since the dynamic amplification factor for a suddenly applied load is 2, an intact floor below the level of collapse initiation could not have supported more than six floors. Since the number of floors above the level where the collapse initiated exceeded six for both towers (12 for WTC 1 and 29 for WTC 2), neither tower could have arrested the progression of collapse once collapse initiated. In reality, the highest intact floor was about three (WTC 2) to six (WTC 1) floors below the level of collapse initiation. Thus, more than the 12 to 29 floors reported above actually loaded the intact floor suddenly.

  92. the devils gummy bearon 26 Jun 2014 at 8:23 pm

    And kyleb’s nit to pick is….

  93. TheFlyingPigon 26 Jun 2014 at 9:43 pm

    kyleb: “So while for example a 10 story building being demolished with just the 7th floor taken out would prove my skepticism unfounded”

    I’m estimating here, but in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prwvj-npt5s it’s about the 10th and 11th stories being taken out in a 14 story building… and the building is totally destroyed. How is this fundamentally different from your falsifying example? It’s actually closer to the situation in the WTC than your falsifying example.

    Side note: Several of us have fallen victim to this phenomenon: http://xkcd.com/386/ Why is this psychological oddity so damned compelling?

    Side note2: Please people, stop with the bashing of libertarian ideology and pigs. As a pig, I find this sort of thing somewhat disconcerting… I know we’re delicious, but it’s a sensitive (and grim) matter for us. As a libertarian, it rings of an unhappy level of group-think and a bothersome willingness to attack “outsiders” willy-nilly.

  94. kylebon 26 Jun 2014 at 9:54 pm

    mumadadd,

    Yes you’ve wildly misconstrued my position here with your “exact replication or bust” quip. As I explained further into that post which you quoted from, “for example a 10 story building being demolished with just the 7th floor taken out would prove my skepticism unfounded.” Regarding the article you quoted, if you set your trust for a moment and go looking for the “FE analyses from initial impact through the collapse of each tower” it claims was produced, perhaps then you might better understand my skepticism towards such assertions. As for presenting an alternative hypothesis, I’ve never seen any good come from offering such to those who’ve already chosen to embrace a conclusion on faith.

  95. grabulaon 26 Jun 2014 at 9:54 pm

    @kyleb

    “So while for example a 10 story building being demolished with just the 7th floor taken out would prove my skepticism unfounded, examples where more floors are taken out all fall short, particularly not in instances where those floors are taken out further down the building and/or only part of a building is sheared off.”

    This is a strawman. Because some buildings don’t completely collapse due to top down demolition, atleast not the way you assume they should, doesn’t mean those few examples stand for all examples. There are plenty of examples in those videos of buildings losing a single floor with the result that the entire structure is demolished. It shows a measure of ignorance that you would even attempt to build an argument on a small number of cherry picked examples against overwhelming evidence.

    @Tmac

    I’ve heard all of that put succinctly as the floor below the failures received 30+ times more weight/force than they were ever supposed to be able to maintain.

  96. grabulaon 26 Jun 2014 at 9:56 pm

    @Kyleb

    “As for presenting an alternative hypothesis, I’ve never seen any good come from offering such to those who’ve already chosen to embrace a conclusion on faith.”

    That’s why I know you and fullerton move in the same circles – but I guess the truther circles are dwindling these days, you know, because of all the evidence. You both seem to misunderstand what ‘faith’ means and what supporting evidence means. One does not equal the other.

  97. the devils gummy bearon 26 Jun 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Libertarian ideology is fair game. Ideologies get the bashings. As for group think, pig, how do I phrase this.. Bertism is disproportionately prevalent in the skeptical scene, so it’s not really a matter of attacking outsiders, it’s a matter of in-house lambasting…

    Mmmm… Lamb basting… Your pork was undamaged in this comment.

  98. grabulaon 26 Jun 2014 at 10:21 pm

    “Please people, stop with the bashing of libertarian ideology and pigs. As a pig, I find this sort of thing somewhat disconcerting… I know we’re delicious, but it’s a sensitive (and grim) matter for us. As a libertarian, it rings of an unhappy level of group-think and a bothersome willingness to attack “outsiders” willy-nilly.”

    As long as pigs continue to be the sole source of bacon then the war will continue.

    I’m not politically affiliated with any single group. I tend to look at all candidates as getting my potential vote. The reason is simply because most political parties LEAD to group think that I’ve never been a fan of. Sometimes democrats are right, sometimes libertarians are right, and so on. I have a problem with the libertarian movement because so far my experience has been one of two kinds when it comes to libertarians – the first have come to believe recently that libertarianism is the fix to all things because freedom. The second believe they should be left alone in their dark corner of the world to do whatever they please without intervention. Generalizations as usual but so far I’ve been as unimpressed with libertarianism as I am with right and left.

  99. the devils gummy bearon 26 Jun 2014 at 11:03 pm

    kyleb said:

    As for presenting an alternative hypothesis, I’ve never seen any good come from offering such to those who’ve already chosen to embrace a conclusion on faith.

    Ooooookay then.

    I’m just gonna stop being stunned now. The Fullertons are reminding me of $cienos- in that they are deliberately using the most inflammatory anti/contradictory rhetoric- basically meaning “oppisite-day” speak.

    And to add to what grabula previously said- they are using skepti-sciency pigeon speak, mostly because it sounds authoritative/comprehensive.

    kyleb and fullerm don’t seem to care or understand that they are literally speaking gibberish.

    Getting really fed up with cargo-skeptisism BS. Between the cargo cults, and (sorry pig) the berts, and a whole lot of other stuff too… Oh jebus, hate to say it, but PZ has pretty much pushed me over the fence on skeptical “movement” stuff. It’s one thing to have these berks appropriate/misappropriate skeptical soundy language, but it’s another thing to now be associated with a variety of science denialism (and a whole lot of other crap too) by the broader population. Skepticism is becoming, in the vernacular, a word that is meaning more and more; science/reality denial… Because of Team Fullerton and their ilk.

    Grrr….

  100. TheFlyingPigon 26 Jun 2014 at 11:27 pm

    @Grabula – To the war… our first step is creating Omega-3 rich bacon, thereby forcing Jay Novella to consume… what was it?, 100 pounds of bacon? Upon Jay’s inevitable rapid death, Steven Novella will become distraught and will no longer be able to maintain this anti-pig blog… the first minor victory in our grand plan. If my references are more obscure than “Bertism”, I’ll eat myself (yum!). Seriously, I googled “Bertism” and can’t find a consistent definition that makes any sort of sense. Or was that the point?

    If you’re not interested in my ramblings about politics, especially since it’s irrelevant to the issue at hand, feel free to stop reading right………….. NOW!

    Let me offer you my version of libertarianism, if it is that. Start with Penn Jillette’s idea of, when confronted with a problem, trying to solve it with more freedom rather than less freedom. Then pile on loads of doubt that any sort of political system is extremely harmful and that anarchist philosophy seems unimpeachable… except that maybe humans nature is as incompatible with anarchism as it is with communism. Blech, I don’t know. But, as far as US politics goes, I’ll give in to almost everything except a couple issues, because I think if we do them right, our technological advancement will make all else “mostly harmless”. First, cut the military by a huge percentage… 90% seems about right… we can defend ourselves well enough with that. Second, end the war on recreational drugs completely; our prison system is overflowing with non-violent drug offenders and it’s a crime against humanity, it has caused the militarization of police (police become a threat rather than protectors), and, much less importantly, it’s expensive. Oh, and maybe get serious about global warming, because that’s going to do enormous harm.

  101. TheFlyingPigon 26 Jun 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Oh, I mis-googled. So “bertism” is short for “libertarianism”… sometimes I miss things that are obvious. Thanks the devils gummy bear, for helping me figure this out.

  102. grabulaon 26 Jun 2014 at 11:41 pm

    @theflyingpig

    …all I can say is, when pigs fly!

    As for the rest, libertarianism, like most political parties has some good seeds. Unfortunately I think they’re mostly represented by some more extreme thinkers. I tried to explain to a friend of mine who’s running for senate that for an outlier like me, anti-government rhetoric wasn’t going to get my vote, and probably not many others out there either. I differ most on things like socialized medicine and education (I think it should be, but I also believe in paying for ‘options’ if you want to). One of the latest hot button topics is whether to force vaccinations. I don’t think they should be forced, but I’m certainly for not allowing unvaccinated children and people (medical exceptions to made of course) to participate in public forums where they pose a risk, like schools for example. In essence, I believe some regulation is necessary, a free market is dangerous (we can barely contain our market now) but smaller governments would be nice if reasonable. I live in colorado where they’ve legalized pot and I think it’s a good move. I’ve never had any of it myself but I’ve also never understood the argument against it. Anyway, I digress.

  103. the devils gummy bearon 26 Jun 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Every single thing Jillette has been assbackwards wrong on, and remains assbackwardly on, is directly, DIRECTLY, rooted in his zealous political ideology, i.e. libertarianism at right angles to the world and humanity and reality.

    I see this problem everywhere. From global warming “skepticism” to Team Fullerton. A theme, if you will. Ideology trumping reason and logic, which is problematic when American libertarians keep going for the patent on reason and logic. An embarrassing problem. Penn is a very good example (and cautionary tale) of what happens when rational thinking slams into a heavily entrenched anti-reality ideology.

  104. grabulaon 27 Jun 2014 at 1:12 am

    @devils gummy

    I think you’re being unfair. I definitely do not agree on everything that Gillette buys into but he comes around on most things given evidence. For example they did a BS episode on climate change but since then he’s come around.

  105. jsterritton 27 Jun 2014 at 1:39 am

    kyleb…

    I seriously can’t believe you are still here making demands. Now you want some kind of video or other evidence of, specifically, “a 10 story building being demolished with just the 7th floor taken out.” That’s quite a demand. And if met, you will then — and only then — manfully reconsider your “skepticism?” Then what, move onto the next Savile Row bespoke demand? What do we get for that — another crack at plucking the sweet flower of your incredulity? You left the realm of logical argument long ago. Then you abandoned your poorly-disguised negotiating tactics. Now you’re just a tease and a bad extortionist. Kindly stop grifting us. And please take your strawman down off the goalposts — he’s getting motion sickness!

  106. the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 1:51 am

    My point remains: every time he is wrong dot dot dot. Cato Institute something something. At least Shermer and Randi tone it down, or at least try to go where the science is, and not get consistantly pwned by their bert value systems (more often than not anyway). I’m prone to hyperbole and snark, but I make no apologies for my anti-libertarianism stance. Overall, Berts are mostly a liability for skepticism, in skepticism. Others can disagree or take issue, but my opinions and thoughts don’t matter, and really don’t deserve the effort.

  107. grabulaon 27 Jun 2014 at 1:57 am

    I still think he deserves a fair shake. Certainly he let’s his political views and moral judgments color his views, who of us doesn’t? He certainly comes off occasionally as an idiot when he’s waxing political but frankly, most people do, because it’s almost all subjective. I’m ok with anyone who keeps a clear enough mind to consider the evidence most of the time and I think he does that.

    Anyway, this is a digression. I understand how you feel about libertarianism, I generally feel the same way about most political parties. It seems the minute human beings unite under a political cause things get retarded.

  108. kylebon 27 Jun 2014 at 2:35 am

    jsterritt,

    I’m simply expressing my doubt exactly what Novella claimed is evidenced by videos, “that taking out the supports of a single floor toward the top of the building can indeed cause the progressive collapse of the entire building below it”, and I offered the example of “a 10 story building being demolished with just the 7th floor taken out” as one of many scenarios which would evidence that claim. There’s no demand, straw man, or shifting of goal posts in any of that, though one needn’t look further than the responses to my skepticism here to find plenty of each.

  109. grabulaon 27 Jun 2014 at 2:58 am

    @kyleb

    “There’s no demand, straw man, or shifting of goal posts in any of that, though one needn’t look further than the responses to my skepticism here to find plenty of each.”

    As with ‘faith’ you mistake what that word skepticism means kyleb. Just asking questions isn’t skepticism. Is green really green? Is the sky up? Ask all the questions you want but when it crosses into the unreasonable then it’s not skepticism. That’s the problem with you guys. As more evidence get’s presented, you guys find little gaps, mostly semantics or irrelevancies and pretend like you’ve found a chink in the armor.

    Out of curiosity kyleb, what’s your assumption for the destruction of the towers? CD? Something more nefarious?

  110. Bill Openthalton 27 Jun 2014 at 3:36 am

    It occurs to me we could have the “truther” approach to the sinking of the Titanic. Given the fact the ship was build to be unsinkable, but it did sink, there must have been a conspiracy (apologies to Clive Cussler — I really liked “Raise the Titanic” and was sorely disappointed to find out in reality the Titanic did break in two).

    Seriously — it is not because engineers design something to withstand plane impacts, fires, or icebergs, it actually does perform as designed. These designs are based on models, assumptions, calculations and extrapolations, and the results are an amazing testimony to our knowledge of the physical properties of the world.

  111. grabulaon 27 Jun 2014 at 3:43 am

    @Bill O.

    It was MADE to look like it broke in two. Explosives were planted at several critical bulkheads, in the same exact spot that the US torpedo launched from a US SUBMARINE struck the ship to sink it. Those explosives were set off nearly simultaneously so as to make it appear as though the titanic just naturally broke in two as it sank. I dare you to provide evidence THIS didn’t happen.

    Before you even begin linking videos of other ships that sank and broke in two, know that I’ve seen them all and NONE of them break in two like the titanic did, therefore you evidence is already terrible.

  112. mumadaddon 27 Jun 2014 at 3:43 am

    Kyleb,

    As I explained further into that post which you quoted from, “for example a 10 story building being demolished with just the 7th floor taken out would prove my skepticism unfounded.”

    Ah yes, how embarrassing, sorry about that.

    As for presenting an alternative hypothesis, I’ve never seen any good come from offering such to those who’ve already chosen to embrace a conclusion on faith.

    I love it when true believers say stuff like this. Is it faith to reject the notion that 911 was some grand conspiracy orchestrated by the US govt? And that the subsequent investigation was also complicit? All the independent analyses by structural engineers are somehow part of it too?

    You’re not being skeptical, you’re anomaly hunting to prop up an ideology. It’s like pointing to epigenetics and claiming it disproves evolution.

  113. the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 3:53 am

    (editing my rant down to something not insane- bottom lining it, as I see kyleb is expressing “skepticism” cough cough, and I don’t actually want to derail crap off into libertarian land).

    grabula- Maybe I’m being unfair… Maybe my patience ran out. The climate science denial (let’s not mince words) was what really drained me over the course of a decade. So Jillette “came round” on some things. Why does it take these guys so long? A fair shake? I accept late assignments, but there’s a limit (and deductions), but being decades late due to ideological zealousy; while ranting and raving like a loon and embarrassing everyone else in class? Okay… I can give a fair shake- Is it going to be a one time thing that won’t happen again? Or is the ideological obsession going to continue causing problems or continue embarrassing us? A fair shake? How about too many free passes. For a pro-science click, our (skeptical movement) track record with science is tarnished. The elephant in the room stinks of ideology, and I for one am tired about being polite about the smell.

    @kyleb- did you or did you not read tmac57′s comment?

  114. grabulaon 27 Jun 2014 at 3:58 am

    @devil’s gummy

    fair enough!

    “@kyleb- did you or did you not read tmac57′s comment?”

    It’s not something kyleb wants to focus on. As is typical he’ll answer only what he wants, as long as it’s convenient to his argument. He hasn’t addressed my pointing to his buddies videos as evidence for single floor, top down demolition either. He’ll keep repeating the gap he found as ‘evidence’ that something weird is going on and will deny anything we offer to him to make the point.

  115. the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 4:38 am

    I can’t decipher 80% of what kyleb writes.

    Between fullerm and kyleb, the “communication” is… I don’t know how to describe it, so I’ll just quote Fullterton in his own words:

    [crickets chirping...]

  116. SteveAon 27 Jun 2014 at 7:36 am

    Laziness seems to be an inherent part of the ‘Truther’ mind-set.

    ‘It is not MY job to think, research facts and evidence, and develop detailed scenarios that might support MY view. It is YOUR job to convince ME. Run around, little man and do my bidding. Once the evidence I have demanded is placed upon the plate before me, I may deign to consider it.’

    Lasy

    Lay-zee.

  117. RickKon 27 Jun 2014 at 7:55 am

    Kyleb said: “As for the loads in the case of the towers being much greater than that of the other buildings discussed here, of course they were, but so were the towers built to endure much greater loads.”

    The load bearing capability of a 100-story building is MUCH more reliant on the strength of relatively light-weight steel, and much more sensitive to any weakening of that steel, than a 10-story building. Your 10-story building example is not a valid test because the load and support and material ratios are different. A better test is an accurate computer simulation, which was done.

    This does not take faith:

    Large planes hit the buildings. Fires burned, weakening the load-carrying capability of the affected floors. The building sagged visibly at the weakened floors, then collapsed, from the top down.

    This also does not take faith: Hiding a massive demolition operation across 3 (and only 3) of the WTC buildings while half the eyes of the world were watching, then covering up all evidence after the event, is impossible.

    Only those who are intentionally blind cannot see this. Whatever you may say to yourself, Kyleb, you are not a better skeptic, you do not have superior knowledge, you’re just wrong.

  118. Karl Withakayon 27 Jun 2014 at 10:47 am

    kyleb et al,

    I’m a little unclear of what specific point you are disputing here.

    The discussion of whether taking out the supports of a single floor toward the top of a building like the WTC towers can cause a progressive collapse of an entire building below it seems to be an interesting diversion from the claim of a controlled demolition.

    Whether the collapses were the result of the plane crashes and subsequent fires (as the evidence and detailed engineering analysis show) or controlled demolitions (as is being claimed by some), the collapses of the buildings are entirely consistent with the collapses (due to whatever cause) of single floors toward the tops of the buildings resulting in the progressive collapses of the entire buildings below.

    It’s one thing to claim that the crashes and fires could not result in the failure of the floor supports; it’s another to say that such a failure of floor supports (whether due to controlled demolitions or airplane crashes and jet fuel fires) could of result in the total collapses of the buildings as observed.

    If you are disputing that a loss of the supports of a single floor toward the top of the building did (or could) cause the progressive collapse of the entire building below, please enlighten us, what method of controlled demotion was used to produce the observed result?

    (Is anyone claiming controlled demolitions involving more than just taking out the supports on individual floors towards the tops of the buildings that nonetheless made it appear as if the buildings collapsed due to the collapses of single floors toward the tops of the buildings resulting in the progressive collapses of the entire buildings below???)

  119. Karl Withakayon 27 Jun 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Typo in the above. The middle section should read:

    It’s one thing to claim that the crashes and fires could not result in the failure of the floor supports; it’s another to say that such a failure of floor supports (whether due to controlled demolitions or airplane crashes and jet fuel fires) could not result in the total collapses of the buildings as observed.

  120. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 12:40 pm

    “The tower collapsed on one side and the upper tower fell significantly to that side. This, of course, initiated a full collapse – once one part of the structure gave way, the load that was being distributed to the rest of the structure greatly exceeded tolerance levels and collapse was inevitable.”

    The photos of the top parts of both buildings being off kilter as the collapse started are new to me. How were they supposed to have demolished the building beneath if they were off center? There was no “load being distributed to the rest of the structure” – the load would have been on the structure beneath the portion of the building the top was leaning towards. The load would have been lightened on the side it was falling away from. The asymmetry is problematic for me.

    Also, in the case of the North Tower (and also the South, though harder to observe) by the time the top portion disappears into the cloud of debris, there’s nothing left of it. This supports vérinage to a certain extent – the top is crushed upward as the bottom is crushed down. But vérinage doesn’t explain the collapse of the towers. At least in the North Tower, the collapse would have decelerated and the debris fallen away midway down the bldg unless the supports beneath were removed. Vérinage demolitions decelerate as they proceed, and the top is crushed upward (roughly) equally to the downward crush. Demolition experts are able to calculate for completion of the process. In the case of the towers, the top parts were demolished well before the entire tower was destroyed – so how did the crushing proceed?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiHeCjZlkr8

    I don’t see that the NIST report really addresses the total collapse. It explains how the initiation could have begun, and then apparently we’re supposed to assume the rest is supportable by physics. (of course I could be wrong on what it says – it’s a daunting document)

    My personal, non-expert opinion is: based on the photos and videos I think the vérinage theory doesn’t work. Physics doesn’t support the total collapse of the tower due to gravity. After a certain point there was no mass/momentum at work. A portion of the tower would have been left standing.

  121. tmac57on 27 Jun 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Mlema-

    My personal, non-expert opinion is: based on the photos and videos I think the vérinage theory doesn’t work. Physics doesn’t support the total collapse of the tower due to gravity. After a certain point there was no mass/momentum at work. A portion of the tower would have been left standing.

    Thanks for your “personal,non-expert opinion” I think (my opinion) that about says it all.No further response necessary.

  122. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Because you’re not interested in addressing the physics – just like the NIST report.

  123. kylebon 27 Jun 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Karl Withakay,

    Your assertion that “the collapses of the buildings are entirely consistent with the collapses (due to whatever cause) of single floors toward the tops of the buildings resulting in the progressive collapses of the entire buildings below” is exactly the point I’m disputing here. Absent an example which meets your stated criteria, either in the form of a real world example or that of a simulation, such claims are simply conjecture.

    As for those who’ve insisted I’m ignoring examples which meet the aforementioned criteria, if you provide a link to a specific example I’ll be happy to address it, but vague allusions to such evidence I’ll generally continue to ignoring.

  124. tmac57on 27 Jun 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Melema- I believe that the NIST investigation did indeed take the physics into their calculations. Did you explore the supporting documents from the NIST report that I linked to above? The argument from incredulity cannot fly here if you don’t have the expertise to evaluate the findings of actual experts.
    Have all the opinions that you want,but don’t expect the rest of us to take them seriously,when you have already admitted that you don’t have the background to challenge them in any sort of rigorous way.

  125. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 1:52 pm

    tmac57 – Can you give me a rough idea of where in the NIST report the experts put forth their theory as to how the falling top portion of the North tower was able to crush all the building beneath it? I admit I haven’t read it word for word, but where is the total collapse addressed? I supplied a physicist’s objection to the idea of a vérinage-type collapse. What is your response to the physicist? If you want to simply rely on “experts said so” – then what can I say? I’m trying to address the physical possibility/impossibility of the theory that other non-experts who have commented have put forth. If you say this is in contradiction to the theory of experts, you have to at least grant me: what exactly is the theory of the experts as to how the North Tower completely collapsed? thanks

  126. steve12on 27 Jun 2014 at 2:16 pm

    kyleb:

    “Your assertion that “the collapses of the buildings are entirely consistent with the collapses (due to whatever cause) of single floors toward the tops of the buildings resulting in the progressive collapses of the entire buildings below” is exactly the point I’m disputing here. Absent an example which meets your stated criteria, either in the form of a real world example or that of a simulation, such claims are simply conjecture.”

    Are you for real, or are you just messing with us?

    In the initial post by Fullerton, he says this:
    ” The Vérinage technique used in France, for example, typically removes a single floor of support about half way down the building.”

    and at the bottom he links to a compilation of this technique:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwFHEoiUZ7o

    Steve referred to these videos in his reply. Single floor, building down.

    But for good measure, he linked to this video showing the removal of a floor *near the top* demolishing the building:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prwvj-npt5s

    How do these videos not answer your objection? Please be specific.

  127. steve12on 27 Jun 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Mlema:

    “tmac57 – Can you give me a rough idea of where in the NIST report the experts put forth their theory as to how the falling top portion of the North tower was able to crush all the building beneath it? ”

    Because buildings aren’t designed to handle the load of the top floors crashing onto the bottom.

  128. steve12on 27 Jun 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Mlema: please tell me that you are not a truther…

    (I erroneously put this in the part i thread)

  129. steve12on 27 Jun 2014 at 2:28 pm

    # the devils gummy bear on 26 Jun 2014 at 11:52 pm

    After catching up on some comments, I feel the need to say Bravo cubed re: this one.

  130. tmac57on 27 Jun 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Mlema- Read my comment @ # tmac57on 26 Jun 2014 at 7:59 pm

    If you need more detail see the referenced “(see Section 5.2.4 of NIST NCSTAR 1-6C)”

    I cannot make you drink.

  131. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Steve12 –
    “Because buildings aren’t designed to handle the load of the top floors crashing onto the bottom.”

    That’s not enough to explain how the weight of the upper potion of the North tower, falling through the (generously) empty space of the burned floors, was able to crush the entire building beneath it. Especially in light of the fact that there was little left of the upper portion by the time the collapse of the lower portion began, and, more importantly, the resistance of the lower portion would have caused deceleration as the collapse continued (no deceleration was evident)

    And, I’m happy to tell you I’m not a “truther” :)

  132. winstonon 27 Jun 2014 at 2:50 pm

    The evidence that WTC 1 2 & 7 were brought down with preplanted explosives is based on a large body of mutually supportive evidence, analysis, and studies. Some of those facts are detailed on this page: http://smu.gs/19q1JlM

    Many of the claims attributed to the “9/11 truth movement” are speculative, irresponsible, and downright false. This does not change the fact that there is a huge body of legitimate evidence.
    No other hypothesis even begins to satisfactorily account for what we know occurred that day and in the weeks and months that followed. How and where the explosives were put into the buildings, and/or what types of explosives were used, all fall a distant second in importance when compared to the fact that only explosives can account for how they came down, the molten steel and iron, the wildly excessive temperatures recorded by Bechtel and others, WTC 7′s implosion, the 1100 missing bodies, 100 day fires, what remained of all three towers afterwards, and so on.

    “..fire and the structural damage . . . would not explain steel members in the debris pile that appear to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures.” -Dr. Jonathan Barnett, Professor of Fire Protection Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute [Glanz. New York Times, November 29 2001]

    Kevin Ryan has an excellent piece called, How To Debunk WTC Thermite: http://digwithin.net/2013/12/08/thermite/

  133. the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Oh dear lord. Mlema, scroll up. For Pete’s sake, scroll up.

    Here, I’ll help:

    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/911-conspiracy-debate-part-ii/comment-page-3/#comment-79487

    You want to go to there.

    This is embarrassing.

  134. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 3:08 pm

    tmac57 – that little bit is irrelevant. It talks about floor connections separate from the support of the core or perimeter supports. It says “This simplified and conservative analysis indicates that the floor connections could have carried only a maximum of about 11 additional floors if the load from these floors were applied statically.” None of the floors were expected to support the floors above them on the strength of their connections. The fact that they could support 11 additional floors on those connections is astounding to me. This looks like it would support the pancaking theory. But I must be misreading it since I know the NIST report doesn’t support pancaking right? What I’m looking for is an explanation of how the falling weight, even if it’s generously conceded that fire removed all obstruction for the floors affected by fire, would have been sufficient to crush the entire remaining building beneath it – which apparently happened with no resistance based on the speed.

    And I don’t think anyone’s even saying that the fire completely removed all obstruction. Instead we see the outer supports bowing, and the disappearance of the floors which are supposed to be the crushing weight. If you look at the video at 3:38
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiHeCjZlkr8
    you’ll see that the lower portion isn’t being crushed at all – the top portion is somehow dissolving, and accelerating into the top of the lower portion. This doesn’t support a gravity-driven floor collapse able to crush the rest of the building.

    DGB – don’t be embarrassed! :)

  135. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 3:09 pm

    The Nist report only addresses the initiation of the collapse and shows how it might have occurred due to fire.

  136. the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 3:16 pm

    “…that little bit is irrelevant.”

    No, it is not irrelevant.

  137. Karl Withakayon 27 Jun 2014 at 4:24 pm

    kyleb et al,

    Thanks for the reply, but please answer the question:

    If you are disputing that a loss of the supports of a single floor toward the top of the buildings did (or could) cause the progressive collapses of the entire buildings below, please enlighten us, what method of controlled demotion was used to produce the observed results?

  138. Karl Withakayon 27 Jun 2014 at 4:36 pm

    It is relatively clear that the collapse of each tower began with the top portion of the buildings above the crash/ fire section falling into the buildings below them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fg1jmr3n6w
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smreRx51cus

  139. steve12on 27 Jun 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I’m confused Mlema. How does

    # the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 2:56 pm

    not answer your question?

  140. steve12on 27 Jun 2014 at 4:54 pm

    I do find the notion that buildings would be designed to have small buildings dropped on top of them to be sort of a funny idea.

  141. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 5:08 pm

    steve12 – I tried to say why in my reply to tmac57
    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/911-conspiracy-debate-part-ii/comment-page-3/#comment-79619

    The NIST report puts forth how the collapse of the upper portion could have been initiated due to fire. It doesn’t explain how the collapse of the upper portion onto the lower portion could crush the totality of the lower portion of the building. The resistance would have caused a deceleration which would have increased as the downward crushing continued. There wasn’t enough mass and velocity to overcome the opposing forces of the intact lower structure and crush it at what amounted to free fall speed completely to the ground. The upper portion continues to accelerate after it starts to fall – meaning there was no resistance.

    The buildings weren’t designed to have small buildings dropped on top of them, even from the height of several floors. They would be crushed as in vérinage demolition. But that collapse would follow the laws of physics as vérinage collapses do – which would mean deceleration and upward forces roughly equivalent to downward forces for as long as there continued to be an upper mass which was pushing down due to gravity.

  142. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 5:16 pm

    DGB – how is it relevant?

  143. the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 5:43 pm

    How is it relevant?

    It doesn’t explain how the collapse of the upper portion onto the lower portion could crush the totality of the lower portion of the building.

    It most certainly does explain ^this. You are being stupid.

  144. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 5:46 pm

    OK. Thanks.

  145. the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Milema, are you saying you are not reading what you have been given, right here, right on this page, posted by tmac57?

    Yes or no?

  146. tmac57on 27 Jun 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Mlema- Sooooo…we are back to argument from incredulity,since you just cannot conceive that the damaged buildings could not have supported the dynamic weight of the 11 to 29 stories from above,as described by professionals and experts in evaluation of the evidence?
    And we should listen to your doubts because….?

  147. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I’m NOT saying that the North tower should support the dynamic weight of 11 stories crashing down. I’m saying that 11 stories crashing down wouldn’t have crushed the 90+ floors below. The physics doesn’t support it. Some number of floors would have been crushed. The amount that was equal to opposing the downward force of the mass times the acceleration of the upper portion.

  148. kylebon 27 Jun 2014 at 7:29 pm

    steve12,

    All of those examples show two or more floors of support displaced to initiate the demolitions, the second video being simply the last of the examples in the first video. Novella has already acknowledged regarding that example with his reply “Yes, in that video it does appear that they took out 2 floors, not 1″, but here’s a screenshot with the displaced floors of support labeled on the left to highlight that fact:

    http://i.imgur.com/9Z3gaXC.jpg

    If you’re having trouble seeing more than one of the floors of support being displaced in any other of the demolitions you’ve referred to, just specify one and I’ll be happy to highlight the displaced floors on a screenshot of it.

  149. the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 8:48 pm

    “The physics doesn’t support it.”

    False.

    This is pointless.

  150. the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 8:57 pm

    kyleb, you’re talking to scientists and engineers. We’re several degrees beyond screenshots and armchair conjecture. You do not understand this clue-gathering you do on youtube, and this screenshot world-view of yours is not up to the challenge of any introductory first-year science course’s rubric.

  151. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 10:08 pm

    DGB – sorry. I should have said the physics DON’T support it.

  152. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 10:11 pm

    actually no – I checked that. It just sounds weird. But physics is singular.

  153. the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Well, at least you’re thinking through your own grammatical construction. That’s something.

  154. Mlemaon 27 Jun 2014 at 10:39 pm

    LOL!

  155. tmac57on 27 Jun 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Mlema-

    I’m NOT saying that the North tower should support the dynamic weight of 11 stories crashing down. I’m saying that 11 stories crashing down wouldn’t have crushed the 90+ floors below.

    Help me out here.
    Wouldn’t the subsequent collapse of the floors below the 11 stories (which you appear to concede would occur) just add to the weight and dynamic forces imparted by the initial collapse,leading to an ever increasing dynamic load,and catastrophic global collapse?
    Does that seem counter intuitive to you,taking into account the massive amounts of weight of those 11 stories multiplied by a dynamic amplification factor for a suddenly applied load factor of 2 ?

    What source says otherwise? And not just some random video,but a publication and author that has some semblance of integrity,relevant expertise,data,mathematical analysis,computer models,materials analysis,and coherent alternative theory and evidence of what did cause the collapses.

  156. the devils gummy bearon 27 Jun 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Now comes kyleb with a screenshot.

  157. steve12on 28 Jun 2014 at 12:32 am

    “All of those examples show two or more floors of support displaced to initiate the demolitions,”

    So if Steve said two instead of one, you’re completely OK? Is that right?

  158. steve12on 28 Jun 2014 at 12:32 am

    kyleb:

    that last post is for you, btw

  159. steve12on 28 Jun 2014 at 12:43 am

    Mlema:

    “The resistance would have caused a deceleration which would have increased as the downward crushing continued. ”

    How are you calculating this?

    “I’m saying that 11 stories crashing down wouldn’t have crushed the 90+ floors below. The physics doesn’t support it.”

    How are you calculating “the physics”? We know empirically that buildings are brought down exactly this way! If the physics doesn’t work, you need to explain how all those controlled demolitions happened.

    I think what you’re really saying is that you’re intuitive sense of how physics works doesn’t match what happened. Mine doesn’t either, TBH. At the time that this happened, I was flabbergasted! Shouldn’t the falling portion have hit the remaining tower and stop at some point shy of the ground?

    But that’s the thing about physics: it isn’t always intuitive. You simply cannot say that the physics doesn’t work w/o the MATH. Your intuitive sense (and mine!) is essentially worthless unless some truly gross law of physics is violated (i.e., the building floats up). Then sure, something’s weird.

  160. the devils gummy bearon 28 Jun 2014 at 1:59 am

    Fullerton (via Google+) Jun 16, 2014:

    Yale professor Dr. Steven Novella of the New England Skeptical Society and Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry has also agreed to debate me on 9/11. I hope he does a far better job than the puerile fallacy-laden comments my first post has generated from his followers so far.

    Meh.

    Fullerton (via Google+) Jun 27, 2014:

    And he doesn’t. My brutal rebuttal should be published on Monday.

    Sure. “Brutal”… Totally. I’m sure you’ll nail it, Fullerm. Unlettered and borish- [sarcasm]Surprise[/sarcasm]… I haven’t been this thoroughly underwhelmed since that Dave and Dan Reebok ad campaign for the 92 Olympics.

    Going down his list/links of “articles” on his Google+ page, fella seems to have developed something of an obsession with Novella in the past six months or so. Kinda creepy, this recent raptor-like focus on Steve. I also can’t help but notice a sorry lack of audience or comments in any of his platforms. There is obviously some wagon hitching going on here.

  161. BillyJoe7on 28 Jun 2014 at 2:13 am

    Mlema,

    Is this what you are saying:

    If the 90th floor of a 100 floor building is taken out, the 10 floors above the 90th floor will crush into ten floors below the 90th floor causing the mutual detruction all 20 floors and leaving the remaining 79 floors of the building intact.

    If so consider this:

    There are now 21 floors of rubble accelerating down onto those 79 floors.
    (Okay somewhat less than that because some of the rubble fell down outside the walls of the building)
    What do you think would be the effect of 21 floors of rubble accelerating down onto those 79 floors?

  162. steve12on 28 Jun 2014 at 2:19 am

    “I haven’t been this thoroughly underwhelmed since that Dave and Dan Reebok ad campaign for the 92 Olympics.”

    Ha! You’re dating yourself, but you’re killing me! They had every other commercial starting in January.

    Fond remembrances of Pablo Morales’ 100 fly GM.

    Or, for our friends down under (BJ7), Kieran Perkins distance dominance.

  163. mumadaddon 28 Jun 2014 at 5:09 am

    Mlema,

    I’m NOT saying that the North tower should support the dynamic weight of 11 stories crashing down. I’m saying that 11 stories crashing down wouldn’t have crushed the 90+ floors below.

    Thing is though, it did; you can watch the countless videos of this happening. I can’t really work out where your line of doubt is heading. Are you saying that the the verinage effect isn’t an adequate description of the physics of the collapse, or are you questioning the fact that the impact of the planes and subsequent fires caused the collapse?

    In the latter case, there isn’t really anywhere to go but grand conspiracy, in which case, you then have to come up with some way of collapsing the towers and deal with all the objections already raised against this.

  164. Steven Novellaon 28 Jun 2014 at 6:42 am

    kyleb – but you are not addressing the point that many have raised here. It doesn’t matter. The towers were much larger. Also, to add yet another point, the fires were burning on multiple levels, which means the floors around the one that collapsed were significantly weakened from the heat. Even without this – even assuming intact supports on all other floors, collapse would have still occurred, but the weakened adjacent levels makes it all the more inevitable.

    Until you address these points, you are just engaging in special pleading and no one is buying it.

  165. Steven Novellaon 28 Jun 2014 at 6:49 am

    I also just want to point out that I linked to a paper doing the math and demonstrating that the resistance of the floors below the collapse would have only slowed the acceleration due to gravity by about 6%, which is negligible. Unless you can point out where the calculations in the paper are incorrect, I don’t see why I should take any objections seriously.

  166. Bronze Dogon 28 Jun 2014 at 12:05 pm

    I think what you’re really saying is that you’re intuitive sense of how physics works doesn’t match what happened. Mine doesn’t either, TBH. At the time that this happened, I was flabbergasted! Shouldn’t the falling portion have hit the remaining tower and stop at some point shy of the ground?

    But that’s the thing about physics: it isn’t always intuitive. You simply cannot say that the physics doesn’t work w/o the MATH. Your intuitive sense (and mine!) is essentially worthless unless some truly gross law of physics is violated (i.e., the building floats up). Then sure, something’s weird.

    Well said. I’ve watched a lot of documentaries about building collapses, plane crashes, shipwrecks, and other disasters happening to large structures and objects made of materials I consider “solid.” What I’ve learned from those shows is that my basic intuition is crap at that scale, so I had to develop a very different mental framework for thinking about large scale disasters. Everything breaks, bends, or warps, it’s just a matter of how much is force, which directions, area of impact, how long the force is applied, and the material’s strength against that particular type of stress. These things can all be measured, and the properties of building materials are well-known. Designing a skyscraper is hard because it’s counter-intuitively easy to destroy things at that scale.

    It’s the same basic idea behind the square-cube law that tells us giant insects would collapse under their own weight, why the military won’t be developing 60 foot bipedal mecha, and why elephants can’t jump. It’s also why I once facepalmed at a twoofer trying to make an argument for the impossibility of the collapse using a hastily constructed Lego tower.

  167. BillyJoe7on 28 Jun 2014 at 6:25 pm

    I dunno, to me it’s counterintuitive that skyscrapers don’t collapse under their own weight, and that planes can actually fly.

  168. kylebon 28 Jun 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Dr. Novella,

    What exactly are you referring to with the pronoun in your assertion “It doesn’t matter”?

  169. tmac57on 28 Jun 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I think we have reached this level of discourse now (maybe we actually stared here):

    http://youtu.be/RDjCqjzbvJY?t=1m15s

  170. grabulaon 28 Jun 2014 at 9:12 pm

    @Mlema

    Is there any insanity you won’t buy into?

    “My personal, non-expert opinion is: based on the photos and videos I think the vérinage theory doesn’t work. Physics doesn’t support the total collapse of the tower due to gravity. After a certain point there was no mass/momentum at work. A portion of the tower would have been left standing.”

    Yes, and as you’ve shown your understanding of physics is definitely enough to take you opinion seriously on this matter. For example:
    “the load would have been on the structure beneath the portion of the building the top was leaning towards. The load would have been lightened on the side it was falling away from. The asymmetry is problematic for me.”

    The load, once the floor collapse is strictly downward, that’s simple gravity. If it’s estimated that the force put on the floors below the collapse was around 30 times what they were built to handle, then possibly for a moment, the load on the side it’s tilting away from is only 20 times what the floor below it was built to handle. However, once failure pulls all of that extra load down, failure of the floors below it is academic. There’s no reason any part of the building should be left standing after this, though for a short time there was.

    More importantly, verinage is just an example of how the failure of one floor can demolish a building. Unless of course now you’re insisting the technique was literally used on the towers (CD)?

    “And, I’m happy to tell you I’m not a “truther””

    “which apparently happened with no resistance based on the speed. ”

    uh huh…

    “The resistance would have caused a deceleration which would have increased as the downward crushing continued. ”

    Physics is hard so let me break it down barney style for you mlema – 11+ floors is enough to crush a floor below it, now you have 12+ floors collapsing into the floor below that, now 13+ and so on, as more floors fail more material is added to the downward thrust.

    http://www.911myths.com/WTCREPORT.pdf

    http://www.debunking911.com/freefall.htm

    “The physics doesn’t support it. Some number of floors would have been crushed”

    It does support it, it’s been shown thoroughly already. It’s literally not even a question of IF anymore. The only valid argument these days, from an engineering point of view is how exactly the collapse progressed. That’s it, there is no controversy otherwise.

    Steve N said: “I also just want to point out that I linked to a paper doing the math and demonstrating that the resistance of the floors below the collapse would have only slowed the acceleration due to gravity by about 6%, which is negligible.”

    I’ve seen 6-8%, and as you say, every engineer seems to agree slowing would be negligible under the circumstances.

  171. grabulaon 28 Jun 2014 at 9:12 pm

    @kyleb

    “As for those who’ve insisted I’m ignoring examples which meet the aforementioned criteria, if you provide a link to a specific example I’ll be happy to address it, but vague allusions to such evidence I’ll generally continue to ignoring.”

    Examples have been provided, you’re failing to acknowledge them does not an argument make.

  172. grabulaon 28 Jun 2014 at 9:13 pm

    @Devils gummy

    “I haven’t been this thoroughly underwhelmed since that Dave and Dan Reebok ad campaign for the 92 Olympics.”

    I don’t think we can stress enough how UNDERWHELMING fullertons argument really is. These days at least most truthers are attacking their gaps understanding when it comes to engineering. Fullerton hasn’t even bothered to go that deep.

    “Going down his list/links of “articles” on his Google+ page, fella seems to have developed something of an obsession with Novella in the past six months or so. Kinda creepy, this recent raptor-like focus on Steve. I also can’t help but notice a sorry lack of audience or comments in any of his platforms. There is obviously some wagon hitching going on here.”

    I called this in the first 9-11 thread he posted in. He all but ignored our pointed criticisms of his video. It was obvious he was just jumping around int he front row with his hands up saying pick me pick me! I still think debating Fullerton is a mistake. I get why Dr. Novella has chosen to do it but there are other ways of addressing this conspiracy and it’s followers. I think any number of individuals would be a better choice for a debate. Fullertons ‘slam dunk’ video literally has no data in it whatsoever, just some vague speculation based primarily on opinion. I tried to address this directly with him the first time and got no response

  173. BillyJoe7on 28 Jun 2014 at 9:14 pm

    kyleb,

    I suspect SN was using his ipad and that his ipad incorrectly corrected a typo which he didn’t catch (happens all the time!) and that “It doesn’t matter. The towers were much larger” should actually have read “It doesn’t matter that the towers were much larger”.

    Let me explain.

    This is what SN intended to type:
    “It doesn’t matter that the towers were much larger”
    But the ‘a’ key is right next to the capslock key, so it’s easy to hit the capslock key (especially on an ipad) when you intend to hit the ‘a’ key. Here’s how that would come out:
    “It doesn’t matter th[capslock]t the towers were much larger”.
    Which comes out as:
    “It doesn’t matter thT the towers were much larger”.
    The ipad can’t make sense of ‘thT’, so it ignores it while retaining the fact that he hit the capslock key:
    “It doesn’t matter [capslock] the towers were much larger”.
    Which comes out as:
    “It doesn’t matter. The towers were much larger”

    Of course, this is probably just one big conspiracy to prevent the truth from getting out!

  174. grabulaon 28 Jun 2014 at 9:17 pm

    “Of course, this is probably just one big conspiracy to prevent the truth from getting out!”

    There are no videos directly supporting your theory therefore, false.

  175. grabulaon 28 Jun 2014 at 9:41 pm

    @winston

    “Kevin Ryan has an excellent piece called, How To make up stuff and ignore actual evidence to show WTC Thermite: http://digwithin.net/2013/12/08/thermite/

    FTFY winston.

    “The evidence that WTC 1 2 & 7 were brought down with preplanted explosives is based on a large body of mutually supportive evidence, analysis, and studies. Some of those facts are detailed on this page: http://smu.gs/19q1JlM

    It also includes primers on just about any conspiracy you want to believe in.

    “Many of the claims by the “9/11 truth movement” are speculative, irresponsible, and downright false. This does not change the fact that there is a huge body of legitimate evidence they chose to ignore.”

    FTFY as well.

    ” all fall a distant second in importance when compared to the fact that only explosives can account for how they came down,”

    Accept for all the evidence that shows no explosives were needed or used.

    ” the molten steel and iron”

    http://www.debunking911.com/moltensteel.htm

    “the 1100 missing bodies”

    http://tinyurl.com/k63t66c yep, no way to explain that!

    Quoted from the motlen steel article above for emphasis: “Anyway, physicists aren’t supposed to know these things. I will give Jones the benefit of the doubt and say he and the other “Scholars for truth” may not know how to use Google.”

  176. the devils gummy bearon 28 Jun 2014 at 11:02 pm

    tmac57, for the past few days, I’ve had the Pepperpots Penguin sketch stuck in my head… This bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k1ccguXiws&feature=youtu.be&t=4m19s

    But good god tmac57; the Argument Sketch! I’m in stitches. I never thought I would live to see life imitate art so precisely.

  177. tmac57on 29 Jun 2014 at 11:23 am

    the devil’s gummy bear- Ah yes! I remember that fondly,and it made me think of this one that has a surprisingly relevant skeptical bent to it (also with an incongruous tennis theme for some reason):

    http://youtu.be/JL-SmhFlFoQ

  178. Mlemaon 29 Jun 2014 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for the feedback on my comments. I just don’t agree with you (plural) on this one. Now, fortunately I don’t have to disagree with NIST, since they had no theory how an invisible pile driver could manage to destroy the North tower, and they abandoned the pancake theory because it didn’t account for the core or perimeter supports. They simply proposed a scenario which could initiate the collapse. They’ve left the physics of total progressive collapse to people like Bazant and Zhou, whose paper is full of contradictory assumptions and inaccurate observations. Not surprising since it looks like he wrote it within 48 hours of the collapse (? check me?). Also, in a later paper i found, Bazant says “”Although NIST did not analyze the overall process of dynamic progressive collapse below the fire zone, it verified a sequence of effects that triggered the collapse…” So what? Collapses don’t inevitably crush entire buildings. There are plenty of videos of that too.

    If you’re saying pancake – what about the core (progressively stronger towards the ground) and the perimeter (a meshwork which also supported the weight and suffered little damage from a 767 at high speed?) If you’re saying pile driver – where is the mass? and how do you account for Newton’s second law (the falling mass against the structural resistance in light of the speed – as in verinage)? And remember – it takes an incredible amount of energy to pulverize. twist and snap everything in that building. This goes to the verinage – how much mass was spent in doing so? It would appear that the building was disappearing as it came down near free fall – turning into a dust cloud. The idea of falling floors, continually adding weight and snapping supports at near free fall speed, doesn’t explain how the supports were bent and broken without resisting (based on speed) shooting out at up to 60 miles an hour (from what I can find) – the progressive collapse would have taken longer time.

    And I apologize, I know I’m asking questions and you will oblige by answering, because that’s what we do as a community – but to save you the effort (if you don’t wish to) – I’m not willing to defend my points further, and will instead allow anyone else the last word. What I’ve realized in looking into this is – the same conversation has been had many hundreds of times over on the internet – by people who know more and are smarter than I. But the point is, this is one of those issues that people don’t’ resolve this way. I can’t provide any conspiracy theories – I’m just saying I don’t think the floors that could have collapsed due to fire could pulverize the rest of the building. Bazant doesn’t convince me – he seems to be saying that the upper part must have “wedged” in the lower part. There’s no evidence of that.

    first debatable point:
    “loss of the protective thermal insulation” – I think that’s been shown to not be the case as extensively as Bazant is relying on it. But we can let that go.

    “For a short time after the vertical impact of the upper part, but after the elastic wave generated by the vertical impact has propagated to the ground, the lower part of the structure can be approximately considered to act as an elastic spring”

    Then, he seems to be saying – stretches of the perimeter and the core would have bent out or in successively, and broken in the core and perimeter support of the cold floors.
    Where is the evidence of a vertical impact and an elastic spring? There are many videos of the collapse – none show such phenomenon. The top part seems to dissolve into the lower part with no slowing – and the lower part continues to self-destruct. Also – although the pancaking floors wouldn’t add much time, the structural resistance of those internal and external supports, which were progressively stronger, would have slowed the progress by requiring the energy needed to snap hundreds of thick and thicker steel girders – and would have countered the force of the falling weight.

    “For our purpose, we may assume that all the impact forces go into the columns and are distributed among them equally. ”

    How? The floors were suspended, not resting on top of the columns.

    “Unlikely though such a distribution may be, it is nevertheless the most optimistic hypothesis to make because the resistance of the building to the impact is, for such a distribution, the highest.”

    OK – this goes back to the tipping of the top portion. How is it more optimistic to say that a uniform downward fall evenly distributed would offer the best resistance to crushing? The best resistance would be for the top portion to have unevenly distributed it’s weight – falling off center and allowing the supports which were relieved of weight to continue to support whatever the static weight was in that case (which would have been decreased by the degree to which the building tipped off center.) If the weight of falling floors can snap the perimeter and core supports – then certainly the off-center falling weight of the entire upper portion could snap those same structures and the top could fall away to one side – crushing some number of floors on one side or corner before it fell.

    “If the building is found to fail under a uniform distribution of the impact forces, it would fail under any other distribution.”

    He hasn’t shown this – it’s an unsupported assertion. If you look at his figure – how can you maintain that this upper portion would hold together and act as a pile driver instead of falling off center?, and the edges sticking out over the perimeter would have been slowed even more. As I said – this sort of failure to collapse into the footprint happens in demolition when they’re badly planned or explosives fail – why would it be impossible here where nothing was planned?

    I think he addressed my objection in the last part of his addendum. It is apparently an objection that a number of people have made to his theory. honestly, I don’t understand his rebuttal. If someone can explain to me how to account for the “plastic deformations” of the supports while maintaining the free fall speed, I think that’s what I’m having trouble with. The body of the paper after his theory is set out at the start I didn’t get into too far because to me the major assumptions are contradictory – you’ve either got progressive collapse accounting for the deformation of the supports by slowing the rate of fall, or you’ve got pancaking, which would be fast, but wouldn’t account for the perimeter or the core.

    So, I’m sorry if I started a debate I can’t continue, but I would like to grant you all the victory by forfeiture in what apparently became an argument. (a good one – and thanks again) I have to say also, looking into these things brought back negative emotions from that time, and I don’t want to dwell on it long enough to sort all this out.

    I think building 7 provides more interesting questions as far as the speed and totality of the collapse. NIST can’t defend their claim that the building didn’t come down at free-fall speed. And if it came down at free-fall, how did that happen?

    Maybe another debate could be had on that topic. It’s not so oppressive as being reminded that human bone fragments were still being found on rooftops and in manholes many many months after the collapse. And of course, it’s difficult not to wander into the questions of evidence, and the other attacks – probabilities and so forth. But it’s just too much and beyond my interest for now. Thanks for the discussion. I will read your replies.

  179. wood757on 29 Jun 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Mlema,

    One of the favorite canards of the 9/11 Denial Movement was that since the actual “collapses” of WTC 1 and WTC 2 were not modeled NIST could not “prove” the collapses of the upper stories initiated progressive collapse.

    Never mind that no such computer models existed, that to even create such a model would take enormous effort and computer power, 9/11 Deniers only added this to their list of “suspicions” that NIST was hiding something. 9/11 Deniers will never except inconvenient physics, structural engineering expertise, or scientific consensus.

    There is no serious refutation of progressive collapse of the WTC towers or WTC 7. It is not a mystery. Not even the fringe 9/11 deniers that still exist, like Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, can come up with anything that demonstrates the conclusion they want to arrive at. They only repeat claims refuted over and over years ago, ignoring the answers.

    Is there any point in repeating it over and over again?

  180. the devils gummy bearon 29 Jun 2014 at 2:51 pm

    tmac, if we’re going to be getting into Australian academics, I’ll see your Waste of Time Theory sketch, and raise you a Woolamaloo Philosophy Department i.e. Bruces sketch; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f_p0CgPeyA

  181. kylebon 29 Jun 2014 at 3:03 pm

    grabula,

    Please link to one of the examples you’re accusing me of failing to acknowledge. Evincing a claim makes for a good argument, simply asserting one doesn’t.

    Mlema,

    NIST eventually did acknowledge WTC 7′s free fall as “Stage 2 (1.75 to 4.0 seconds): gravitational acceleration (free fall)” on page 45 of their finial report, page 87 of this PDF:

    http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=861610

    They also went on there to state that “The three stages of collapse progression described above are consistent with the results of the global collapse analyses discussed in Chapter 12″. What little video they’ve shown of that simulation doesn’t undergo any such stage of free fall acceleration though, and as long as they refuse to release the input data for their model such claims regarding it cannot be independently evaluated. So while NIST has claimed WTC 7′s free fall is explainable by the impact damage and fires alone, neither them nor anyone else has ever come anywhere close to actually evidencing as much.

  182. tmac57on 29 Jun 2014 at 4:46 pm

    OK…let us see:

    On the one hand we have Mlema asserting that the physics does not support the global collapse of the twin towers,despite admitting to not having any expertise to make that claim.

    On the other side we have NIST -

    NIST conducted an extremely thorough three-year investigation that included consideration of a number of hypotheses for the collapses of the WTC towers.
    Some 200 technical experts—including about 85 career NIST experts and 125 leading experts from the private sector and academia—reviewed tens of thousands of documents, interviewed more than 1,000 people, reviewed 7,000 segments of video footage and 7,000 photographs, analyzed 236 pieces of steel from the wreckage, performed laboratory tests, and created sophisticated computer simulations of the sequence of events that occurred from the moment the aircraft struck the towers until they began to collapse.

    But wait you say! Doesn’t that mean the NIST only explained how the collapse initiated,not why it progressed!?

    11. How could the WTC towers collapse in only 11 seconds (WTC 1) and 9 seconds (WTC 2)—speeds that approximate that of a ball dropped from similar height in a vacuum (with no air resistance)?
    NIST estimated the elapsed times for the first exterior panels to strike the ground after the collapse initiated in each of the towers to be approximately 11 seconds for WTC 1 and approximately 9 seconds for WTC 2. These elapsed times were based on: (1) precise timing of the initiation of collapse from video evidence, and (2) ground motion (seismic) signals recorded at Palisades, N.Y., that also were precisely time-calibrated for wave transmission times from lower Manhattan (see NIST NCSTAR 1-5A).
    As documented in Section 6.14.4 of NIST NCSTAR 1, these collapse times show that:
    “The structure below the level of collapse initiation offered minimal resistance to the falling building mass at and above the impact zone. The potential energy released by the downward movement of the large building mass far exceeded the capacity of the intact structure below to absorb that energy through energy of deformation.
    Since the stories below the level of collapse initiation provided little resistance to the tremendous energy released by the falling building mass, the building section above came down essentially in free fall, as seen in videos. As the stories below sequentially failed, the falling mass increased, further increasing the demand on the floors below, which were unable to arrest the moving mass.”
    In other words, the momentum (which equals mass times velocity) of the 12 to 28 stories (WTC 1 and WTC 2, respectively) falling on the supporting structure below (which was designed to support only the static weight of the floors above and not any dynamic effects due to the downward momentum) so greatly exceeded the strength capacity of the structure below that it (the structure below) was unable to stop or even to slow the falling mass. The downward momentum felt by each successive lower floor was even larger due to the increasing mass.
    From video evidence, significant portions of the cores of both buildings (roughly 60 stories of WTC 1 and 40 stories of WTC 2) are known to have stood 15 to 25 seconds after collapse initiation before they, too, began to collapse. Neither the duration of the seismic records nor video evidence (due to obstruction of view caused by debris clouds) are reliable indicators of the total time it took for each building to collapse completely.

    Who you gonna believe? Tough call I reckon ;)

  183. tmac57on 29 Jun 2014 at 5:13 pm

    TDGB- I don’t think them Bruces were even Aussies…they were drinkin’ Foster’s !

  184. BoringKittenson 29 Jun 2014 at 8:19 pm

    This debate was going very well for Michael Fullerton, up until the point he started the debate.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23C9xMRCOPY

  185. Mlemaon 30 Jun 2014 at 1:19 am

    tmac57 –
    (from NIST)
    “The structure below the level of collapse initiation offered minimal resistance to the falling building mass at and above the impact zone. The potential energy released by the downward movement of the large building mass far exceeded the capacity of the intact structure below to absorb that energy through energy of deformation.”

    Is there math which includes an estimation of the energy of formation present in the intact structure below as opposed to the mass times velocity of the upper portion (which they seem to be saying remained an intact unit of supports and floors which broke away from the warped supports of the fire zone?)

    “Since the stories below the level of collapse initiation provided little resistance to the tremendous energy released by the falling building mass, the building section above came down essentially in free fall, as seen in videos. As the stories below sequentially failed, the falling mass increased, further increasing the demand on the floors below, which were unable to arrest the moving mass.”

    I appreciate you finding this in the report. It’s a conclusion, together with the assertion from which it was drawn. It doesn’t account for how the 12 floors would have “mass far exceeded the capacity of the intact structure below to absorb that energy through energy of deformation.” – for 90 floors at free fall (where’s the math?) No mention of the core and perimeter steel and steel mesh structure and the energy of formation that would have to be overcome. They’re supporting pancaking and verinage together – when either one would rule out the other in providing an explanation of complete collapse of all supports and supported structures of 90 intact floors at free fall speed. This is a bait and switch – use pancake to explain the beginning of the collapse and its speed, but use an intact upper structure as a pile driver to somehow cause the total collapse of 90 floors (when there would have been deceleration without a weakening of the resistance structures).

    “”Who you gonna believe? Tough call I reckon ”

    You don’t need to believe me of course. And if you notice, there’s nothing for you to believe. I haven’t offered any explanations. And neither has the NIST report. NIST has offered their own beliefs (this is what they were tasked with doing), and I’ve got some objections. If you’re in a position where you need to believe something – then by all means believe NIST. I believe planes hit the towers. I believe the towers collapsed. I don’t believe the NIST story of how the top portion of the North tower caused the complete collapse of the lower portion and the upper portion at free fall speed. That’s it for me at this point. I don’t feel a need to believe anything for which I don’t have evidence or satisfactory explanation.

  186. the devils gummy bearon 30 Jun 2014 at 3:36 am

    kyleb, you’ve convinced me. I now see the truth for what it really is.

  187. Bill Openthalton 30 Jun 2014 at 5:17 am

    Mlema –

    but use an intact upper structure as a pile driver to somehow cause the total collapse of 90 floors

    The upper structure doesn’t need to be intact, only its mass needs to be there (and because it [the mass] couldn’t evaporate into thin air, it was there).

  188. Bruceon 30 Jun 2014 at 5:41 am

    “TDGB- I don’t think them Bruces were even Aussies…they were drinkin’ Foster’s !”

    But if you saw it in a video then it must be proof that being called Bruce means that I must be Aussie and drink Foster’s! My own expertise and experience in being a Bruce means nothing compared to the evidential smackdown of a youtube video!

  189. BillyJoe7on 30 Jun 2014 at 8:36 am

    BO: “The upper structure doesn’t need to be intact, only its mass needs to be there”

    That was pointed out to Mlema some time ago:

    “Mlema, is this what you are saying:
    If the 90th floor of a 100 floor building is taken out, the 10 floors above the 90th floor will crush into ten floors below the 90th floor causing the mutual detruction all 20 floors and leaving the remaining 79 floors of the building intact.
    If so consider this:
    There are now 21 floors of rubble accelerating down onto those 79 floors”

    Maybe he missed it |:

  190. Mlemaon 30 Jun 2014 at 10:13 am

    Bill O. BillyJoe –

    One scenario:
    The mass of the floors and the perimeter and core of the upper portion (intact or not) falls a specific distance onto the resistance of the structure of the remainder below. This is verinage, and the speed and extent of the demolition below can be calculated. – I’m saying it would decelerate and be incomplete.
    This is the scenario Bazant uses, he keeps the upper structure intact (i guess to prevent fall away and make it most like verinage)

    Second scenario:
    The floors of the upper portion separate from the supports of the perimeter and core, by breaking the connections, and fall onto the floors below. This places all the force on the floors. It would be impossible for the connections of the floors below to sustain, and all the floors would fall – at near free fall. This accounts for the speed, and completeness (as far as the floors) – but it doesn’t account for the resistance of the structure – the core and perimeter, which are the strength of the support of the entire building’s mass. Whatever part of this mass the falling floors were able crush would likewise not happen at free fall.

    We need a value for the resistance of the lower structure. You can’t just say it’s whatever static weight the floor connections will bear. When the mass of the upper structure falls, intact or not, it’s not just breaking the floor connections – it’s pulverizing the mass of the lower building. Either scenario above fails to account for the entire phenomenon of demolishing the lower mass while maintaining free fall speed.

    You can see for yourself in the video I provided that there’s not more than 12 floors of rubble by the time the upper portion has accelerated down onto the lower potion. The perimeter is still intact as the cloud of debris begins to obscure it. So right from the beginning the verinage scenario doesn’t match. And the fact that the perimeter and core are destroyed in free fall means that the scenario of successively falling, adding floors is incomplete.

    I think you need to think about what you’re including in each floor, when you say “floors” – you’re including the accompanying portion of the core and the perimeter – which had to be broken in some fashion. This would require energy and would cause deceleration. If the mass (which would be required throughout the fall – and couldn’t be because it would grow past the circumference of the building) is able to crush the entire building below (which is more than twice as strong at it’s base than it’s top due to thickening steel) – it wouldn’t happen at free fall. These are the facts of verinage – which you’re supporting (and which any sensible person would support imho) It’s not about how the upper portion is able to crush the lower – it’s to what degree and at what speed that would happen.

    Of course the mass of the falling floors, and steel supports was still there. And some portion of it was still exerting downward force. Just like the remainder of the building was still exerting resistance. So – what’s the mass after 20 floors – and what is the resistance it must overcome at that point – and how do those two relate with regards to speed?

  191. Mlemaon 30 Jun 2014 at 10:34 am

    I think Bazant theorizes an intact upper structure because that’s the only way to possibly account for more crushing than a few floors against the steel supports. The theory of intact upper structure (which would retain greater force by virtue of formation) helps counter the resistance of the lower structure to a certain degree – as in verinage. That’s what the game is for any physicist trying to explain the total collapse at near free fall speed – you’ve got to deal with the intact steel supports, not just the strength of the floor connections.

    This seems to be about explaining what happened without resorting to explosives. Very difficult to do. Adding explosives would explain everything except how that was done and why. Those are more difficult questions i would say. I don’t know what evidence there is in that area, but obviously there are thousands of people online arguing about that too. It comes back to: how much explanation do you want and can you get it? how much uncertainty can you live with, or how much belief do you need?

  192. R.Anthonyon 01 Jul 2014 at 6:48 pm

    If allowed I will just point to my blog entry http://ranthonysteele.blogspot.com/2014/07/and-now-for-rest-of-story-9-11-version.html and make a book suggestion of “Deadly Decisions: How False Knowledge Sank the Titanic, Blew Up the Shuttle, and Led America into War” if you read only one book on disasters, read that one.

    As I ended the blog article, all I really have to say on the subject of 9-11 is “Ultimately no one is to blame for the attacks on 9-11 beyond the 11 men who successfully hijacked the planes and flew them into the buildings, because they were the ones who took those actions.” If I say more than that, I’m sure I’ll either offend someone or say something stupid. Par for the course for me.

  193. grabulaon 01 Jul 2014 at 9:11 pm

    @kyleb

    Not only did I link them early on I’ve pointed out where they were provided in the first place.

  194. TsuDhoNimhon 09 Jul 2014 at 11:35 am

    Michael is trying to argue that the NIST model is an extraordinary claim because it has never happened before, but that is not reasonable. Rather, multiple independent analyses by experts indicate that the collapse was not extraordinary, but inevitable. It would be extraordinary, given the condition of the towers and the evidence presented, if the towers did not collapse due to structural failure.

    My SO was in a meeting with many other engineers when the planes hit, and their immediate conclusion as engineers was that if the fires weren’t extinguished damned soon, before the fire weakened the structure, the weight of the floors above the tower would overstress the weakened strike zones and the building would collapse.

    What direction? Gravity says “pretty much straight down”.

    To get any other direction of fall would require some sideways force strong enough to shove the top of the building against the downward pull of gravity.

  195. DLCon 15 Jul 2014 at 5:24 am

    I’m a bit late to the party, but — (among other points) It would not matter if every building in the history of construction that fell in on it’s own footprint were the product of systematic explosive demolition, as prior events do not constrain future events in any way.
    Second, a large building such as the World Trade Center would require several hundred pounds of explosives be planted, tied together with det cord and then set off on an exacting sequence. Further, several beams in each floor would have had to be structurally weakened in a very carefully planned and carried out way. This means hours, if not days, of cutting with torches or saws. So, are the conspiracy theorists demanding that we believe that the World Trade Center had demolition crews walking around in it for a month or so prior to the events of Sept 11 2001, and nobody noticed ?
    Wall board cut away, structural steel cut, det cord strung all over the shop, orders for nobody to use radios within close range of the explosive ? All this is to have gone on in secret ? Does this not stretch the limits of credibility a wee bit too far ?

  196. felipesabinoon 14 Aug 2014 at 8:55 pm

    The computer modelling of the collapse link is broken, here it is a working one https://web.archive.org/web/20131010024127/http://structuremag.org/article.aspx?articleID=453

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