Jul 07 2014

9/11 Conspiracy Debate – Part IV

This is the final installment 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. My first response is here. Michael’s rebuttal is here.

_____

Part IV: Rebuttal to Michael Fullerton

by Steven Novella

I was disappointed to read Michael’s rebuttal last week, as we had agreed to a respectful exchange, but Michael apparently felt the need for juvenile insults of not only me but my readers. I also found it difficult to follow his logic, and specifically to understand what his position actually is.

In this rebuttal I must speculate to some extent about what it is, exactly, that Michael claims happened to the WTC 1 and 2 on 9/11. Other than that controlled demolition was used, he has not presented a coherent narrative for what took place.

He has also completely failed to address my actual position. Instead he has relied upon trumped up fallacies and attacking straw men of his own imaginings.

I will first lay out again my position and the supporting evidence. I will then address what I infer to be Michael’s position, or address his possible positions. He is welcome to correct any errors in the comments by clarifying what it is he claims occurred.

There are two components to the collapse of the towers that we can discuss: the first is the initiation of each collapse, and the second is the subsequent complete collapse of the towers down to the ground. At no point does Michael directly address the initiation of collapse, but neither does he explicitly concede my position. What is incontestable is that commercial jets fully loaded with fuel struck each of the towers in a deliberate act of terrorism. The jets damaged outer supports at the site of impact, the jet fuel exploded, and the buildings caught fire.

There is compelling evidence that the initial damage combined with weakening of the steel columns from the heat of the fires caused the floors at that level to sag, pulling in the outer walls until they were no longer able to bear the load, initiating collapse. It is most obvious in the South Tower that the outer columns failed on one side, causing the top portion of the building to fall to that side, distributing extra load to the remaining columns until they failed, resulting in the collapse of that level.

The only point of this that Michael contests is the evidence for the South Tower falling to one side. He writes:

“Also, the upper portion looks more like it is involved in a roll at its initiation rather than a fall to one side. A fall to one side would have the upper portion falling off the building not rolling within the building’s footprint.”

This is where Michael consistently gets into trouble – he is making analogies to much smaller buildings. The fact is, there is no precedent for a building as large as the towers coming down, by deliberate controlled demolition or by damage similar to the crash of the commercial jets. He naively states that if the outer columns failed on one side of the tower the top portion would have fallen off to the side, rather than falling down into the lower portion of the building. He cites nothing to support this statement. He ignores two factors – that the other walls quickly failed because of the extra load, and that the building lacked the strength to support the lateral forces necessary for the top portion to fall off one side.

In my first response I cited a reference (Bazant and Zhou) that addressed this exact question. They wrote:

Since the top part of the South Tower tilted, many people wonder: Why didn’t the upper part of the tower fall to the side like a tree, pivoting about the center of the critical floor? To demonstrate why, and thus to justify our previous neglect of tilting, is an elementary exercise in dynamics.

They followed with calculations showing that the structure of the towers could not support the horizontal forces necessary for the top portion to fall to the side. Michael does not address this careful analysis, and instead relies on his gut feelings guided, apparently, by motivated reasoning.

The evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that the collapses initiated due to structural failure from damaged and weakened columns, not from sudden and controlled demolition. Let’s move on to the next component, the subsequent collapse of the towers below the point of collapse initiation. Michael maintains that there is no evidence for the NIST version of events and that I am committing simply the logical fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc.

This is one of Michael’s many fallacy fallacies. I am not simply assuming cause and effect because one event follows another. As Spock famously said,

“If I let go of a hammer on a planet that has a positive gravity, I need not see it fall to know that it has in fact fallen.”

In other words – if it can be demonstrated using principles of physics and engineering that the lower part of each tower must collapse following the failure and collapse of one level, then it is not a fallacy to conclude that this is the likely cause. Bazant and Zhou nicely demonstrated, using such principles, that the fall of each upper portion of the towers not only would have collapsed the entire tower below that level, but the cushioning effect of the lower floors would have been minimal – slowing the free fall of the tower by only around 6%.

The reason collapse is inevitable is due to the difference between static load and dynamic load. The towers were constructed so that each floor could hold the weight of all the floors above them, as long as the whole structure was holding together. This is static load. The falling upper part of each tower impacting the next level below would produce dynamic load, which is a much greater load on the lower floors. Bazant and Zhou calculate this dynamic load would be 90 times greater than the static load, vastly exceeding the load bearing ability of the level below (even assuming all the columns were cold). This is why the cushioning effect was so minimal.

Michael does not address these calculations, except to say that the Bazant and Zhou paper has been criticized. Of course it has, by 9/11 truthers. But the physics and engineering community generally accepts their conclusions, even if you can quibble about some details. They would have to be off by two orders of magnitude in order for the towers to not have fully collapsed, and no one has successfully demonstrated that they were off by that much.  Michael keeps claiming that there is no evidence for the manner of the lower tower collapse, but he does not say what form that evidence should take. Just as with the falling hammer, physics makes the fall of the towers unavoidable.

Michael does bring up a series of specific claims that he says are evidence for demolition. The big one is the manner of the collapse of the towers. As he mentioned in his initial post, the symmetrical and rapid manner in which the towers fell he feels are evidence for controlled demolition. He now also adds the lack of a “jolt” – why did the upper tower not visibly slow when it impacted the lower tower? I already addressed this above, the cushioning of the lower towers would have been minimal, far too small to cause a visible jolt. Michael here is substituting his gut feelings for specific calculations and physics.

The same is true of the symmetrical and rapid fall of the towers. Bazant and Zhou also demonstrated, as I mention above, that the towers were far too weak to handle horizontal forces. In other words – they could collapse in no other way except straight down. That rapid collapse also results from the minimal cushioning.

In place of actually examining the physics of the situation, Michael continues to make the argument that the symmetry and speed of the collapse is evidence for controlled demolition. He never addressed my criticism of this logic, however – that these features are not specific. Essentially Michael is relying upon his naive sense of what the tower collapse should look like, and also on the precedent of how buildings behave during controlled demolition. However, no building the size of the towers has ever collapsed before, by controlled demolition, deliberate terrorism, raging fires, or whatever. How smaller and differently constructed buildings look when they collapse may not accurately inform our sense of what should happen with such large structures.

Very large buildings push the limits of engineering. Dropping an ant from the relative equivalent of 1000 ft. does not predict how a human will react to being dropped from 1000 ft. Scale matters.

The physics clearly predicts that the towers should have collapsed from the dynamic load of the upper portions, they should have fallen at near free fall, and they should have collapsed straight down (lacking the strength to fall to the side). Michael simply dismisses this argument by saying it’s not “evidence,” but he is making a category mistake. Physics predicts that this is the way the towers should have fallen.

My other major criticism of Michael’s position, that of controlled demolition, is that there is no specific evidence of controlled demolition. This is where Michael gets the most squirrelly – he does not explicitly state a specific narrative for what type and how the controlled demolition was used, nor cite any evidence to support that specific narrative. Instead he anomaly hunts, and uses transparent special pleading.

The most damning evidence against a controlled demolition is the lack of explosions. Demolitions using explosives are easy to detect, there is a characteristic loud and obvious explosion at one or more levels just prior to collapse. We have copious video, audio, and seismic recordings of the collapse of the towers, and no recorded evidence indicated explosions. Michael does a bit of the kettle defense, arguing that explosions are not necessary, but some witnesses heard explosions. The eyewitness testimony is clearly trumped by the recorded evidence, and it is easy to see how many people would use the word “explosion” to describe the loud noise of the towers collapsing. Yet Michael is bizarrely arguing that using unreliable and vague eyewitness testimony trumps recorded evidence, and that this is more “scientific.”

To wiggle out of this damning lack of evidence for his controlled demolition position Michael invokes, as do many 9/11 truthers, the mysterious nanothermite. He writes:

Other technologies like energetic nanocomposites could also have been used for example. Even if some of these thermitic devices did ignite, their reactions would go largely unnoticed as such reactions produce only heat, white smoke and molten iron. The documented presence of such thick white smoke and molten metal the color of molten iron is further evidence of CD.

This position is not tenable, however. Michael is arguing that the towers were rigged with theoretical nanothermitic devices capable of cutting through the support columns. No evidence of such devices was found in the rubble of the towers. These devices would have to be large and shielded. The amount of thermite necessary to bring down each tower would have been huge. Michael does not even address the fatal flaw of how the towers were rigged without anyone noticing.

There is another fatal flaw in the thermite hypothesis – Michael is essentially arguing that the columns in the lower part of the tower were destroyed in careful synchrony with the tower collapse. This would require split second timing. However, such timing is simply not possible with any similar method. The only method of controlled demolition that allows for such timing is explosives, which clearly were not used.

To summarize, Michael is arguing that controlled demolition was used to bring down the towers, and that such demolition was silent, invisible, installed without anyone noticing, using devices not found in the rubble, and with timing that is simply not possible. Readers of Carl Sagan will recognize the invisible, floating, heatless dragon of special pleading when they see it.

Michael uses other anomalies as alleged evidence, specifically video showing what appears to be molten metal flowing from one of the towers. This, he says, is evidence of thermite melting. He also begs the question by stating that it was the color of molten iron, and later simply assumes the metal was iron. However, that could have been another type of metal, such as aluminum. Any metal at the same temperature would glow the same color. Also, what we don’t see are multiple such streams of molten metal just prior to or during the collapse.

Conclusion

Therefore, the evidence all points in the direction of one conclusion – the collapse of the towers was initiated by structural failure, and proceeded in accordance to what physics and engineering principals would predict. There is no evidence for controlled demolition, and there is no plausible scenario in which controlled demolition could have been used.

Because Michael has no actual evidence to present in favor of his unlikely hypothesis, he spends much of his time tying himself up in logical knots and insulting those who disagree with him. His logical shell game is hard to follow at times, and a thorough deconstruction would put me over the word limit we agreed upon for these exchanges. Let me give a couple examples, however. He writes:

An adequate operational definition is already implied: any building that comes down as fast (sic) the slowest CD collapse and as symmetrically as the most asymmetrical straight-down CD is a CD. All Novella needs to refute this definition is any example of a total natural collapse that was as fast and as symmetrical as any known successful straight-down CD collapse.

First, he clearly does not understand what an operational definition is. I invoked this concept to criticize his statement that the collapse of the towers was symmetrical. My point was that he needs to define how symmetrical. Now he gives us, sort of, a parameter – as symmetrical as the most asymmetrical controlled demolition. This is an odd definition, though. What if a controlled demolition was slightly off in its execution and was asymmetrical as a result?

Many commenters pointed out that Michael is committing a formal logical fallacy here, affirming the consequent – because CD collapses are symmetrical, all symmetrical collapses are CD. This is simply not valid. It also does not make sense from the point of view of physics. The towers collapsed essentially straight down because of the physics involved, which Michael did not even address. 

Michael also gives us gems such as this:

Note also that Novella claims that I said the Towers did not descend at free fall. I did not say this. What I said is that I did not say that they descended in free fall. Simply not stating something is not the same thing as stating the inverse!

Why go out of your way to indicate that you are not saying the towers fell at free fall if it is not your position that they didn’t fall at free fall (sorry for the multiple negatives)?  This is behavior typical, in my experience, of the conspiracy theorist – don’t let yourself get nailed down to one position you might have to defend. Simply throw up as much doubt about the official version of events as possible.

I would like, for example, for Michael to state explicitly what he thinks happened on 9/11. What I infer is that he thinks the towers were rigged with massive amounts of explosives, or perhaps thermite, without anyone noticing. Then, on 9/11, agents flew commercial jets into the towers, either into predetermined floors or at random, meaning that the entire towers were rigged for CD to accommodate wherever the towers were struck. Then, just as the tower collapses initiated due to structural failure, the controlled demolition was set off in a precisely timed and coordinated way (using theoretical technology), without producing any visible evidence, to ensure that the towers fell in a manner consistent with controlled demolition. Otherwise, of course, they might have fallen in a manner consistent with structural failure (a manner Michael never bothers to define or defend). Michael might also believe the controlled demolition was used to ensure the towers did fall, which means whoever engineered the event predicted the initiation of collapse but couldn’t do the calculations to know that full tower collapse was inevitable.

When you lay it all out it becomes obvious why Michael doesn’t.

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521 responses so far

521 Responses to “9/11 Conspiracy Debate – Part IV”

  1. fullermon 07 Jul 2014 at 9:12 am

    Thank you for the debate Dr. Novella. I am willing to go another round if you agree. Otherwise I will be responding to your last piece here in the comments.

  2. AmateurSkepticon 07 Jul 2014 at 9:27 am

    Thank you Steven.

    Game. Set. Match.

  3. Steven Novellaon 07 Jul 2014 at 9:35 am

    Michael – I think at this point it’s best to continue the conversation in the comments.

  4. mumadaddon 07 Jul 2014 at 9:40 am

    FullerM,

    Good to hear that you’ll be sticking around to answer questions. Here’s one for you: aside from way the towers collapsed, what else supports your position that 9/11 was an inside job?

  5. carbonUniton 07 Jul 2014 at 9:52 am

    I’d like to see another round if Michael will use it to lay out his case without all the irrelevant noise of how to debate. Yes, PLEASE give us a coherent narrative of what happened:
    - where were the explosives (at only impact floors? throughout the building?)
    - what was the timing? (did they initiate the collapse? were additional charges set off to help the collapse along?)

    I’d be quite happy to see just the above explained, but for extra points:
    - how did they get there?
    - who was running them?

  6. Gallenodon 07 Jul 2014 at 9:54 am

    Mr. Fuller,

    A third round will only be useful if you can introduce hard evidence or new insight into the debate. As your second essay largely echoed your first without substantively addressing Dr. Novella’s actual positions from his first entry, it seems unlikely that a third attempt will be any more convincing.

    And responding in the comments will likely result in this becoming less of a debate with Steven and more of a discussion with the commenters, who would rapidly resemble sharks in a feeding frenzy.

    Bon appétit, mes amis.

  7. carbonUniton 07 Jul 2014 at 9:57 am

    Even without evidence, just a coherent telling of his theory would be illuminating. But he hasn’t even done that, much less back it up with anything.

  8. thetalkingstoveon 07 Jul 2014 at 10:36 am

    What would the purpose of the controlled demolitions even be?

    If the conspiracy is that the U.S. staged 911 as it wanted justification to invade Iraq, then surely planes being flown into the Twin Towers is enough? Did the conspirators think there was a certain death toll that had to be reached to give the attack enough credibility?

    Or, conversely, why even bring in the plane element? Why not just a massive bombing by itself – much simpler, surely?

  9. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Okay Michael Fullerton, here’s your big chance (yet again), to defend yourself (or perhaps even to actually make your case for the first time). In all of these years, you have failed to deliver a “scientific” and fallacy-free case for a controlled demolition (in the JREF forums, in the Skeptic forums, in Shallit’s comments, on reddit, on your own platforms, and now here). You have had two opportunities to present your pièce de résistance here on Neurologica. You have had hundreds of opportunities to address the commenters. Do not commit further fallacy errors, and do not resort to the ad hom insults- restrain yourself from the name calling. You have had your debate, per your own demands. Any further tantrum-gauntlet throwing will be seen as hinderance.

    Have at it; show us your stuff…

  10. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 1:07 pm

    If I may:

    Time to put up or shut up.

    -Fullerton, last week

  11. steve12on 07 Jul 2014 at 1:28 pm

    “Okay Michael Fullerton, here’s your big chance…”

    I’m sorry TDGB, but you’re being silly. Michael only engages with others at his level – i.e., other scientists. He’s not going to cavort with the commentariat riffraff whose anonymity precludes proper credentialing!

  12. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Drat! Foiled! Yes, his single, mighty, BS from UCalgary qualifies him as a proper scientist, somehow, according to him. We’re all uncredentialed fools, or are otherwise too frightened by his mighty logic, or we’re simply shite driveling morons. It’s his world, we just “cower” in it.

  13. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 1:54 pm

    (we’re of course ridiculing Fullerton’s previous threatening remarks in the other threads)

  14. LCon 07 Jul 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Contrary to my opinion at the start of this debate — that the entire thing would be a waste of time — I’d actually be interested in seeing one more round (four posts total). Not that it would change the outcome, or change anyone’s opinion, but for the benefit of any fence-sitters still out there:

    1. Steve asks Michael specific questions that Michael must directly answer.

    2. Michael provides those answers.

    3. Michael asks Steve specific questions that Steve must directly answer.

    4. Steve provides those answers.

    I think this would be useful, not only in getting Michael to address the actual points that Steve raised, but to get Michael to think cogently in formulating his own questions.

  15. pdeboeron 07 Jul 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I understand the tactic Michael took in Part I.

    Going on the defensive immediately and making no assertions, only denial, gives him the heir(sp?) of victimization. Then immediately poking holes in the “official” story also puts him on the offensive, but before he gave his story of events.

    He raised his shield and thrust his spear, but there is no one in the armor to attack.

    A perfect strategy if you like having no body.

    And so the whole thing clatters to the ground.

  16. tryptophanon 07 Jul 2014 at 4:11 pm

    The more I read Fullerton’s responses the more I think he’s the biggest troll the internet has ever seen.

    Can anyone truly believe the nonsense he is spewing? It makes me feel deeply sad for the man and I question his mental health (Seriously. I don’t mean to be insulting).

  17. ScubaSharkyon 07 Jul 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Dr. Novella, why on Earth did you cite Judy Wood on the issue of molten aluminum? Are you simply unfamiliar with her work? She is a PROPONENT of controlled demolition via a ‘directed energy weapon’. See: http://www.drjudywood.com/articles/DEW/StarWarsBeam1.html

    This is the second time this week I’ve found a skeptical source referencing a crank in defense of science. Skeptical Science, in one of their many articles on climate change, referenced Natural News concerning aquifer depletion (they kindly removed the reference when I pointed out to them the many instances where NN promotes AGW denial). In some cases, crank sites may actually get the facts right, but I’m sure you can appreciate the damage you do to the skeptical position when you use them as a reference.

  18. Steven Novellaon 07 Jul 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Scuba – thanks for pointing that out. I just needed a picture of molten aluminum. I replaced the link with another neutral source.

  19. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 4:57 pm

    FFFFffffffffalicy!!!

    Spock fallacy! That’s a Spock-Man. Invoking fictional characters to support your something something is a fallacy… Something something FALLACY!

    (Fullerton drinking game; everytime he abuses logic or declares a fallacy fallacy, everyone has to take a drink)

  20. Eliot89on 07 Jul 2014 at 5:11 pm

    crickets chirping; well done Novella.

  21. Beerceon 07 Jul 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Hi all,

    As much as I enjoy reading them, since Fullerton has agreed to further discussion here in the comment section, I personally think it’s best to avoid flooding it with jokes and sarcastic remarks. As someone accepting a public debate he should be able to filter this stuff out but I think it’s evident that it will only distract him from answering the direct questions.

    We are all asking Fullerton to present evidence and answer the criticisms, so I suggest we try to leave the comment section for this post as clean as possible (at least until the discussion between the debaters comes to and end). I for one would like to see him focus on the questions being asked and Dr. Novella’s comments and I think it would be prudent for us to try to refrain from distracting.

    As an aside, and as someone else pointed out in the comments on part III, flaming and insulting here only provides something for the cranks to later point to and claim skeptics are angry, childish, condescending, etc. or spin in some other manner.

    It’s often hard, but I think it’s best to remain professional and avoid diluting the relevant content.

    Just my 5 cents (we don’t use pennies in Canada anymore).

  22. The Other John Mcon 07 Jul 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Dr. N: “My point was that he needs to define how symmetrical. Now he gives us, sort of, a parameter – as symmetrical as the most asymmetrical controlled demolition. This is an odd definition, though.”

    Yes it is odd, because Michael’s operational ‘definition’ is circular: as symmetrical (not defined) as the most asymmetrical CD (the opposite of symmetrical, which he left undefined). Almost there, but like Dr. N pointed out, Michael wants to avoid specific claims because they can be easily refuted…it’s just easier to try to poke holes in others. Lazy lazy lazy…

  23. The Other John Mcon 07 Jul 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Me, in regards to Michael: “Lazy, lazy, lazy…”

    I didn’t mean that as an insult Michael, sorry, it was just an operational definition.

  24. JPeezyon 07 Jul 2014 at 5:40 pm

    I would also like to hear the responses from Mr. Fullerton without the clatter of the jokes and flames.

    Thanks, all.

  25. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 5:46 pm

    @Beerce, while I appreciate the point you are making, and if this were a situation in which we could expect an individual to engage and behave civilly or honestly on any level, then sure- for serious. However, if Fullerton’s online history is any indication, and I believe that it is, derision, humor, and snark will be the least offensive things to emerge from these comments (for reference, see the links grabula, mumadadd, and I were discussing in Part III). I would actually like to see a sober and serious attempt from Fullerton, but as we’ve been witnessing (insults and abuse of logic), this really becomes a matter of diminishing returns.

  26. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Basically- Fullerton has focused his effort into insulting the readers and commenters, i.e. ad homs at us instead of addressing our points. So, benefits of the doubt ran out due to abuse, of us, and of logic.

  27. BoringKittenson 07 Jul 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Hopefully this debate will have even a tiny impact in spreading awareness of critical thinking. While we point out how absurd this particular conspiracy theory is, it’s also this type of thinking and fear mongering which makes paranoid people more paranoid, and psychotic people want to do harm to the government and government employees. So from my perspective there is also a very damaging aspect to this kind of rhetoric. And when you have zero evidence to back up this rhetoric, maybe it’s time to give it a rest.

  28. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 7:30 pm

    @JPeezy

    I would also like to hear the responses from Mr. Fullerton without the clatter of the jokes and flames.

    Here you go:

    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/911-conspiracy-debate-part-iii/#comment-80009

  29. motieoneon 07 Jul 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Let me add my voice to those requesting a suspension of derision and snarkness. At the very least, if we comport ourselves professionally we rob Fullerton of one of the main points he has been made. At best we show the ‘lurkers’ that we can demonstrate the intellectual honesty of our convictions on how we should behave in these discussions.

  30. JPeezyon 07 Jul 2014 at 8:12 pm

    @tdgb, I guess I was meaning anything more. I have read all 4 parts already. Though, hoping for something that doesn’t exist is begging for disappointment.

    On a side note, I do enjoy the written debate format. It seems to me that any argument that lacks evidence, ignores facts and science, and is generally conspiratorial can never be convincing in this format. I think of presidential debates, or even the recent debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. I think when people have the evidence laid out in front of them, instead of being masked through logical fallacies, hyperbole, pivoting, or outright lies, the truth of the matter is very clear, as well as who the winner is.

  31. The Other John Mcon 07 Jul 2014 at 8:21 pm

    JPeezy – definitely agree regarding the written debate formats. I love reading the written debates and transcribed oral debates of Sam Harris — he’s such a good writer plus speaker plus debater (in my view) that we all should be morally obligated to steal a lot of his techniques.

  32. Beerceon 07 Jul 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Gummy Bear,

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, and my expectations of a serious and professional attempt from Fullerton are obviously low. That being said, and regardless of what the odds of a coherent and polite argument are, I still think it is proper etiquette to allow it to carry on with as little interference/distraction as possible.

    The other point I was trying to make is that it’s about more than who might be debating or their past history or even the current debate content. We (skeptical community) do ourselves a disservice by engaging in such behaviour regardless of the circumstances. Not to be interpreted as condescending (simply more professional), I personally like to see the scientific/skeptical community members “rise above” that sort of attitude and remain calm and professional.

    I can agree that it’s funny and most definitely tempting and I’m guilty of it myself sometimes, but it still reflects poorly. I thoroughly enjoy watching people (ex. Bill Nye) keep their composure during debates with raging AGW deniers or UFO proponents, etc.. I envy it and it just makes that person so much more boss IMO.

    I also try to think about possible newcommers to the site and people who might stumble across the debate or articles here and I would hate for them to be borderline joining our side (skeptics) and be deterred or lose interest (and miss all the amazing learning that comes with it) due to something as silly as unprofessional remarks or negative tone.

    The last thing I would want to do is lose a chance to gain a skeptic! It’s one of the things the world definitely needs more of.

    I’m not trying to be the humour police either. Rarely does someone have a more inappropriate, satirical and disturbing sense of humour than me!

  33. jwadamsonon 07 Jul 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Would be a shame if we did not get any answers from Fullerton.

    I would love it for hime to give a clear chronological narrative about what he thinks the events were; including but not limited to: the plane impacts, the fires, the visible warping of the structure, collapse initiation mechanism, methodology of CD used, timing and mechanism for CD initiation, and the total collapse mechanism.

    Icing on the cake would be a detailed hypothetical narrative and contrast with what events would have played out had CD not been employed and there was only the plane impacts and fires.

    I am hoping the hypothetical narrative would allow him to better illustrate what an uncontrolled* collapse would look like vs a controlled one.

    *I can not bring myself to call plane impacts leveling a building “natural”

  34. Beerceon 07 Jul 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Gummy Bear,

    FYI I think the Spock fallacy comment was great. “That’s a Spock-man” had me in lulz.

  35. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 9:57 pm

    The ol’ appeal to Spock. Get’s ‘em every time. Right in the Spock.

  36. jsterritton 07 Jul 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Beerce, I think you need to loosen up a little bit on this one. The only acts of outright flaming and trollery came from Fullerton, himself. First, he failed to deliver on his promise of a debate. He kept on threatening further evidence and action, only to disappoint on those fronts, too. Last we heard from him, he was pretty deep into the name-calling and goading. He even declared it was time to “put up or shut up” and in true form failed to do neither. Last we heard from him, he was calling us puerile sophists (and worse!) and railing, “I’ll debate you! I’ll debate you ALL!!!*”

    Crickets.

    Still crickets.

    * I might be paraphrasing…a little.

  37. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Yeah, I agree with jsterritt. I don’t personally hold any consequential opinions on tone-trolling (don’t take that the wrong way, it sounds worse than it is). You guys bring up Nye and Ham, and on that matter, I do have an opinion- I wish Nye hadn’t done it. What was accomplished? The Creation Museum made a fortune, and not a whole in the world happened beyond Ken Ham hitting pay dirt. As for debating… Well… Hitchens, imho, was a force of nature… And I cannot possibly begin to explain how enormously I miss him.

    As for Bill Nye vs anti-science everything these days, I think what John Oliver did on his new show (in a bit with Nye, the recent climate science bit) is GIGANTICALLY more effective than just being “polite” in a debate, or in Nye’s case, representing reality and everything since the Enlightenment on 50% of the screen, as a stark raving loon shouts crazy on the other 50% of the screen.

    As an aside, I don’t think there is much of a point maintaining too much composure in the face of someone rubbing poo in their hair. Composure is overrated.

  38. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Here, this is why I think debates aren’t really (without a Hitch) worth too much time and energy. The John Oliver/Bill Nye bit:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjuGCJJUGsg&feature=kp

    Personally, I think crazy is better dealt with, and more effectively defeated, through forms of comedy. There is a Python sketch for everything (and we’ve had some good times with some at fullerm’s expense).

    (apologies if HBO isn’t allowing non-U.S. IPs to view)

  39. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jul 2014 at 10:50 pm

    ^NSFW

  40. hippiehunteron 07 Jul 2014 at 11:06 pm

    I think Fullerton may have realised he is in over his head here OR….. men in black have taken him captive and are currently interrogating him in an effort to discover how he saw through their cunning plan.

  41. jsterritton 07 Jul 2014 at 11:34 pm

    His day-long absence is typical: he said he would “be responding to [Dr Novella's] last piece here in the comments.” That was 9:00 this morning. Fullerton’s MO is to promise, threaten, rebuke, sputter, and bail. As long as he keeps us in anticipation, yet remains mute, we can by definition only talk about him behind his back. When enough of us do, he will swoop in with complaints about being ganged-up on and cries of “unfair!” He is only happy when being ill-used, since, having nothing substantive to say, but wanting to be important somehow, he can only play the martyr or victim, persecuted by those who refuse to listen to his “truth.” This, of course, is insanity, since all we want to do is listen Mr Fullerton. We’ve been waiting a long time, in fact, to hear from him. But he doesn’t like what we might say back, so he bobs and weaves and ducks and evades, threatens and rails, sputters and bails. I hope this doesn’t go on too much longer. I would put this whole sideshow behind me, but Dr Novella and others of us here in these pages won’t brook Mr Fullerton’s re-christening of his well-deserved and thorough wuppin’ as some bastard “win” — which is what Fullerton will do the moment our guards are down. Sigh.

  42. Robneyon 07 Jul 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Mr Fullerton,

    How do you think this went for you? If you did it again would you change your strategy at all?

    I sent this series of debate articles to a few friends who don’t identify as skeptics (one of them is even a creationist and a couple are into alternative medicine). All of the are quite apathetic politically and certainly none of them are particularly invested in the ‘official story’ regarding 9/11. You must have known you wouldn’t win over Novella’s regular readers but do you, my friends were unanimous in their judgement that Novella won the debate. They all independently agreed that you failed to present any evidence, that Novella clearly showed what claims you did make were baseless and that your writing and logic was hard to follow. Wheras they all agreed that Novella was clear, concise and easy to understand and an effective communicator. I know this is a small sample (7 peope in fact) but I think its fairly suggestive. I believe the reaction on Facebook and Reddit has been consistent with this (to the point where you resorted to linking yoyr own comnent under a different name on Reddit)

    You probably still hold your conspiracy beliefs but you must realise that you failed to communicate your arguments effectively. Put simply, even if you think you are still right you must concede that you lost the debate.

    what have you learned from this and what would you do differently in future?

    What would you do in future to better to communicate your ideas?

  43. the devils gummy bearon 08 Jul 2014 at 12:35 am

    You know, it bears repeating: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. We may grow tired of such Sagan-isms, but they are nevertheless BS-proof tools in evaluating claims and evidence.

    Fullerton continues to boldly state that his argument is the simpler one… It is not. In order for his argument to function, it requires a Rube-Goldberg machine, the size and scope are simply beyond the human imagination… Before it can even begin to become plausible explanation, as something that can occur in reality (nano-WiFi thermite paper and a conspiracies from beyond the rings of Saturn notwithstanding). This is all major unstated premise stuff, so it’s pointless.

    Fullerton is stuck in an odd form of pareidolia (I think). He presents zero evidence. He has come to a brain fight about logic and science with nothing but special pleading and motivated reasoning.

  44. Beerceon 08 Jul 2014 at 1:33 am

    Yes, Occam’s razor is a powerful tool and more or less singlehandedly settles this debate. At the very least it establishes that the burden of proof is on fullerm. The amount and quality of such proof then extends to the above Sagan-ism – extraordinary.

  45. Newcoasteron 08 Jul 2014 at 1:46 am

    My new five favourite words in the English language are ” This is the final instalment …”

  46. Robneyon 08 Jul 2014 at 5:18 am

    Steve, that last paragraph in your rebuttal is great because it reads simultaneously as an earnest attempt to summarise Fullerton’s position and a brilliant satire of it. Like some kind of facetious Poe’s law.

    According to Fullerton’s argument (as best as we can decipher it), the conspirators took extraordinary effort to make the collapse look like a controlled demolition to avoid a collapse that would have been equally dramatic, possibly more destructive (taking out more surrounding buildings if not the total destruction of the towers themselves) and avoid a more ‘natural’ looking collapse (at least as a natural collapse should look like in the minds of some).

    Ignoring all the physics, special pleading, fallacy fallacies, affirming the consequent, the logistical and impossibility of the controlled demolition and its subsequent cover up, Fullerton’s controlled demolition hypothesis is absurd on the face of it.

  47. Robneyon 08 Jul 2014 at 5:23 am

    By the way, should you read my comments, Mr Fullerton, I want you to know that I hold an honours degree in political science so I am both politician and a scientist (although my profession is neither).

  48. Bruceon 08 Jul 2014 at 5:35 am

    I can honestly say that the regular commenters here (and SBM) show amazing restraint and patience with people like Fullerton. If this debate had happened on any other forum on the internet not only would fullerm have been completely shouted down but Steve himself would have been blasted for letting him on here… or else it would have been a complete feeding frenzy of mockery with Steve egging people on.

    I would urge people who think that fullerm has been unfairly treated to go spend some time on other forums or even just facebook or reddit as mentioned above.

    On another note, I often wonder what the tone trolls would have made of Perry…

  49. Robneyon 08 Jul 2014 at 6:01 am

    I don’t know, some of criticisms of Fullerton on here have trodden a fine line with personal ridicule. I’ve been a little uncomfortable with some comments but I’ve probably been as guilty as anyone else.

    Has this debate had any coverage in the ‘Truther’ community? I’d be genuinely curious to,read their take on it. I suspect they would deride the ‘pseudo skeptics’ on here as closed minded ideologues but I think they would also be equally embarrassed by, or at least want to distance themselves from, Fullerton’s facile arguments and debating skills.

  50. Bruceon 08 Jul 2014 at 6:24 am

    Robney,

    I agree that there were perhaps times when people could have been a bit nicer at some points, but when you look at the history here (fullerm has been around for a fair while) and in the context of the way discussions happen on the internet as a whole he really can’t complain that commenters here have been overly antagonistic.

    It is interesting that this discussion is actually happening and that I mean skeptics looking at how they responded as a community and being quite self critical. I don’t want to be overly patty-on-the-backy but it is nice to see. Though, there is always the danger that the cranks will see this as another in and use it as evidence of their “victimisation”.

  51. mumadaddon 08 Jul 2014 at 7:07 am

    Yeah, I’m one of those who went overboard. It was an emotional reaction to watching videos of the actual events that day. The reality of the events that he’s raking up in order to push his nonsense, and the blatant factual errors in his description of the collapse really got to me.

    Having said that, I do stand by the sentiment of what I said. Throwing this kind of horrific event in people’s faces to grind your own axe without any kind of real case is a pretty rotten thing to do. What happens if people who lost friends or loved ones on 911 are exposed to this kind of rhetoric and actually start to take it seriously? Just to compound their loss they fall down the rabbit hole of grand conspiracy thinking and also lose trust in their own government.

  52. Robneyon 08 Jul 2014 at 7:08 am

    Personally, I think humor is a good way to expose the absurdity in pseudo scientific beliefs. We’ve all seen some meme brilliantly encapsulate and undermine a position more effectively than some thousand word academic deconstruction of it could ever achieve. But its easy for this to slide into name calling and pettiness and personal attacks.

    I think Novella attracts quite a polite audience generally because he himself is quite measured and polite but the skeptical community isn’t a monolith. The tribal vitriol on blogs like PZ Myers turns me off to be honest and I think its counter productive.

  53. Robneyon 08 Jul 2014 at 7:23 am

    I think part of the problem with the last blog post in the debate was that most comments, when considered in isolation, were quite reasonable. But when you have literally hundreds of comments ripping into an individual it can be perceived as mob bullying.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Fullerton was exposed and we warranted much of the criticism he received, but I think its good to discuss how we, as a community, approach these situations.

  54. Bruceon 08 Jul 2014 at 7:49 am

    “Throwing this kind of horrific event in people’s faces to grind your own axe without any kind of real case is a pretty rotten thing to do.”

    I think this is the key issue. This is not a debate about something that happened 200 years ago. There are people here who were quite close to the events and it must have been horrible for them. Fullerm using this still quite raw disaster to push his own agenda will stick in people’s craw and I think a lot of restraint was practiced when you consider that.

    It is difficult to say what we as a community could do, sometimes being overly polite just does not work and the flood of mostly reasonable comments is not something I would distance myself from as I think they served a purpose in that they were mostly trying to engage. Personally, I did not really add to it as I felt people were saying what I would like to say, but a lot more eloquently.

    Fullerm’s lack of engagement in any kind of real intellectual discussion is not something we can really address. Maybe we could recognise the kind of person he is sooner and just ignore him, but that is always difficult. How do we ignore the cranks while also engaging them to prove their arguments are wrong?

  55. tomsalinskyon 08 Jul 2014 at 7:53 am

    It seems to me that Michael’s whole argument boils down to “I know the Twin Towers fell as a result of a controlled demolition because it kinda-sorta looks like that.” And in both his posts, Steve Novella has done an excellent job at seeing past the hand waving and name-calling and long-word-using to show the emptiness of this claim, while walking us through the basic physics of the situation with admirable clarity,

    But you don’t even have to bother looking at the physics of the situation to know that the assertion that the Twin Towers fell due to a controlled demolition is absurd, if not actually insane. Anyone who wants to show that this is the case has some very, very hard questions to answer before they even begin to look at the physics involved. Let me show you what I mean..

    Controlled demolition requires explosives – in the case of a building the size of the Twin Towers, massive quantities of explosives, in all likelihood hundreds of pounds. We are not talking about one guy smuggling a briefcase past security, we are talking multiple individuals making multiple undetected trips into and out of the World Trade Center carrying not just explosives but detonators, wiring and other paraphernalia. There is simply no plausible way in which that quantity of explosives could have been smuggled covertly into the buildings, and no evidence that they in fact were. Among the variety of conspirators, deceased and living, on American soil and overseas, none has been identified as playing this role. Nor was any evidence of explosives found in the wreckage. And in all the documents we have regarding the planning of the 9-11 attacks, there is no mention of explosives. Hard question one: exactly how and by whom and when were the explosives introduced?

    Some might argue that given the planes and the burning jet fuel had already weakened the structure, less explosives would be required than if the planes had not struck, but this is a slippery slope to giving up the whole game. Once the stalwart Conspiracy Theorist has admitted that collision from a jet plane followed by raging fires burning for many minutes might weaken a building’s integrity, we have to start doing Hard Sums to figure out just how much it might be weakened, and as Steve has shown, the Hard Sums are not in the Conspiracy Theorist’s favour. But, as I say, we don’t need Hard Sums to dismiss this argument.

    Even given that explosives could somehow have been introduced into the buildings – hard question two: why the need for a controlled demolition? You are already crashing fully-laden jet airliners into the buildings, which is bound to cause a tremendous amount of damage and loss of life. Why should it be an essential part of the plan to cause those towers to definitely collapse utterly? Remember, that until the planes are minutes away from the World Trade Center, no-one in power will have the slightest clue what the target is. As a terrorist attack it is chillingly perfect, unstoppable. As opposed to spending weeks carefully smuggling explosives into the building, which as soon as they are found, the entire game is up. Why risk the whole operation in that way?

    But given that it is a fundamental part of the attack, for reasons unknown, to have the buildings not merely damaged beyond all likely repair but actually razed to the ground, why was the same approach not taken with the other two targets – the Pentagon, which suffered damage only at the impact site, and the Capitol building which was thought to be the target of the fourth plane? Neither of these exploded an hour or two later. Hard question three: why take one approach with one major American landmark and not take the same approach with either of the others?

    But, okay, let us grant that for these particularly demented terrorists, and/or their Shadowy Government Overlords, it is tremendously important that the Twin Towers be razed to the ground, and entirely unimportant that the Pentagon and the Capitol building be destroyed completely – it is sufficient to merely damage those. And let us grant once again that our terrorists have the means as well as the desire to covertly introduce, install and detonate at will the prodigious quantity of explosives needed to topple two of the largest buildings on earth in a controlled demolition.

    Hard question four: why bother with the planes? As noted, laboriously introducing package after package of explosives risks discovery far more, but if you already have the power to carry out such an operation, likely over several weeks, you now have the power to suddenly and terrifyingly wipe two buildings off the face of the earth. Why do you now bother attempting to hijack a couple of planes? At the very least, why not send them off to two further targets?

    Okay, okay, okay. Let us grant – and I’m not sure who still would at this point, but here we go anyway – that our terrorists absolutely must raze the Twin Towers to the ground (but not any other targets); this is such an important part of the plan that they have risked everything to ensure it will happen, and they also have the means to covertly introduce hundreds of pounds of explosive, accurately position it, and detonate it at will; and that it seems sensible to take effectively a belt-and-braces approach by first crashing a plane in to each building, and then setting off their explosives an hour or so later.

    Hard question five: why the delay? The purpose of a terrorist attack is to spread terror, to kill innocents and to make the government seem powerless. In the time which elapsed between the planes hitting and the buildings falling, many, many people were evacuated from the buildings and taken to safety. If the explosives had detonated immediately the planes had hit, the result would have been no less spectacular and far more fatal.

    Ah, but that might reveal the presence of the explosives. While those who obediently swallow the Official Story might be fooled by the towers collapsing after the fires had raged for an hour, they surely will detect the presence of explosives if the towers fall as soon as the planes hit?

    Which brings us to the hardest hard question. Hard question six: why continue to keep the explosives secret? Why on earth would Al Quaeda not be boasting about the bombs? How can it possibly ever, ever, ever advance their cause in any way at all to have secret bombs inside the World Trade Center? Even if the terrorists are acting in cahoots with the government (or secret world government or whomever) pinning the bombs on the terrorists makes their terror even more terrible, whereas keeping the bombs secret achieves nothing whatsoever.

    I know that the Twin Towers did not fall due to a controlled explosion because the very idea makes no sense on any level. Adding secret bombs complicates the plan, makes it far more likely to be uncovered, is not necessary, requires a mysterious unmotivated pause in the day’s action and would have been acknowledged by the terrorists, or pinned on them by the government.

    That the physics and the video evidence also supports this is welcome, but unnecessary.

    Overt planes but secret bombs. For fuck’s sake.

  56. Robneyon 08 Jul 2014 at 8:45 am

    While I agree that conspiracy theories about 9/11 are insensitive I don’t think free enquiry, debate and the exchange of ideas should be curtailed or restricted to only subjects that don’t potentially hurt peoples’ feelings. Else we’d have to pay undue reverence to a great many beliefs that as skeptics we are openly critical of.

    The problem as well is that from Fullerton’s perspective, the Truthers are fighting for for the truth which is a noble, albeit misguided, goal. If you are a true believer in a 9/11 conspiracy then blindly accepting the official story would be an equal betrayal of the victims.

    Not saying I think the ‘Truthers’ are right or that this wasn’t an ego exercise for Mr Fullerton but I don’t think debate can be closed off to protect the feelings of certain groups.

  57. mumadaddon 08 Jul 2014 at 8:55 am

    While I agree that conspiracy theories about 9/11 are insensitive I don’t think free enquiry, debate and the exchange of ideas should be curtailed or restricted to only subjects that don’t potentially hurt peoples’ feelings.

    This, of course, is true. I suppose all we can say is that while they have a right to say what they want, and no topic should be given special status or walled off from honest questioning, but if they can’t make a compelling case or answer legitimate criticism, they should expect some harsh criticism for both the poor quality of their case and the potential damage they are doing through spreading misinformation.

  58. Bronze Dogon 08 Jul 2014 at 10:54 am

    @Beerce:

    I can certainly understand wanting people to remain polite and professional. People who can maintain a very “Vulcan” tone are to be commended. In many instances, being consistently calm, professional, and analytic serves to highlight a crank’s lack of substance and the useless nature of the “filler” they try to substitute. The approach also tends leave a record of a clear and consistent position that can be pointed back to whenever cranks erect straw men. This often contrasts against their own vagueness and waffling.

    The problem is that even the “Vulcan” approach can backfire by giving the impression that the cranks deserve to be taken seriously, that the topic is taking place in an academic ivory tower and you need to be an egghead to understand it all, that the fact someone spent the time and effort to debunk them so thoroughly means they’re feeling threatened by them, or many other things. It may give the crank the impression that he’s doing something right if you give him a calm analysis of his absurdities because it gives him more things to nitpick and feel smug, while a well-timed belly laugh might put him on the defensive, needing to justify his laughed-at assertions, or it might shock people into paying attention to parts they didn’t previously question.

    There’s no one strategy that will always work.

    I’d also like to hear a coherent hypothesis with a timeline from Fullerton. I’d want it to start when the conspiracy started, or at least the first day they started installing demolition devices in the towers. I expect some kind of concrete specs for the demolition devices that includes enough information to tell us they perform as claimed without producing the telltale signs we expect from a CD, some idea of their number and locations, the steps involved in placing and hiding them, and the triggering method. I’d also like an estimate on the number of men involved, the man-hours of labor required for the setup, and an explanation of how they avoided detection or exposure while working.

    A detailed explanation of motive and an analysis of costs, risks, and benefits would be nice. Sure, the administration used the attack to extend its surveillance abilities, justify sending soldiers to the Middle East, and other bad stuff, but that doesn’t make it more probable that they set it up. The existence of opportunism seems the more parsimonious explanation to me, especially since I think it’d be easier and less costly to wait for such an opportunity than manufacture one in this Goldbergian fashion.

  59. BBBlueon 08 Jul 2014 at 10:58 am

    Mr. Fullerton,

    So what happened, you forgot to present your evidence in the first three rounds? The chance that a fourth will do anything other than satisfy your need for attention is about as likely as your CD theory.

  60. Gallenodon 08 Jul 2014 at 11:23 am

    “This is not a debate about something that happened 200 years ago. There are people here who were quite close to the events and it must have been horrible for them. Fullerm using this still quite raw disaster to push his own agenda will stick in people’s craw and I think a lot of restraint was practiced when you consider that.”
    – Bruce

    While eyewitness testimony can be unreliable, after being alerted to the first crash I watched the second airplane hit the South tower as it happened and I kept watching as the buildings caught fire and eventually collapsed. Yes, it was horrible. Those memories will never leave me.

    While I remain open to alternative ideas of how and why the Towers collapsed, it would take some fairly significant, undisputable evidence to convince me that something other than the plane crash, subsequent fire, and the inexorable force of gravity brought the towers down. Mr. Fuller didn’t even scratch the paint, let alone present any explanation or evidence that would dent the official explanation coupled with what I saw.

  61. BoringKittenson 08 Jul 2014 at 11:44 am

    I think the comments throughout this debate have generally been productive and thoughtful, and with good measures of humor. I don’t like hostile and out of control internet comments either, which is why I almost never read comments these days. Maybe it is due to the nature of Steve Novella’s audience as Robney pointed out, and also due to the respect we have for Dr. Novella that you have this level of discussion.
    Naturally in a situation like this, your attention does go to the character of the guy with the nonsensical conspiracy. You are willing to hear his ideas and how he makes his case. But soon you are desperately trying to understand why he as a human being is trying so hard to wildly manipulate a puzzle piece to fit into a space where it doesn’t belong.

  62. Bruceon 08 Jul 2014 at 11:59 am

    “Not saying I think the ‘Truthers’ are right or that this wasn’t an ego exercise for Mr Fullerton but I don’t think debate can be closed off to protect the feelings of certain groups.”

    I don’t think anyone here thinks any debate should be closed of because of feelings, but as mumadadd already said, if the topic is to be brought up then they need to make sure they have their facts right… or indeed any facts at all!

    Gallenod, indeed, I think all of us here saw the towers collapse “live” on tv and for most people there was nothing hinky about the way they fell. The investigations done since have all pointed in the same direction, so yeah, our eyewitness accounts don’t carry much weight as evidence, but they do back up the “official” story so he has an extra burden of proof in that regard.

  63. SteveAon 08 Jul 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Bronze Dog: “The problem is that even the “Vulcan” approach can backfire by giving the impression that the cranks deserve to be taken seriously, that the topic is taking place in an academic ivory tower and you need to be an egghead to understand it all.”

    I agree. A casual visitor seeing all this text might think there’s actually something to discuss. People like Fullerton use verbiage of this sort as ‘squid ink’: something to hide behind and avoid being pinned down. Still, these folk need to be challenged.

    Having said that…

    The only question I’d like answered is ‘Why bother?’

    Steve and others have asked it before, frequently, but: why bother with a CD of the towers when you’ve already crashed a couple of planes into them? What does a CD add?

    I’m not expecting an answer. I’m done with the subject.

  64. fullermon 08 Jul 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Dr. Novella claims I have insulted him and his readers. I don’t recall ever doing that. Perhaps this is due to a misunderstanding what an insult is as opposed to an accurate negative characterization. I have stated the fact the Novella engages in sophistry because he does. Sophistry is the use of reasoning that may at first appear to be reasonable but on analysis is found to be generally fallacious. Those who must resort to fallacious reasoning are engaging in uncritical thinking. In Part III I showed the many fallacies he has committed. He does not address these fallacies except to state that he finds it difficult to follow my logic. I suppose it’s only understandable that someone who thinks illogically will not understand someone that thinks logically. I referred to many of his followers as engaging in puerile sophistry, because they do. Most of the comments involve attacking me personally instead of any of my arguments. When my arguments are attacked this involves only unsupported pronouncements or severely flawed reasoning. In other words, puerile sophistry. These are accurate negative facts, not insults. If they were merely insults Novella would easily be able to address them directly instead of through hand-waving.

    Novella claims to not understand what my position is. I think that is very telling. From the outset I have been very clear as to my position. This debate was supposed to be about determining which position was more scientific, not which position was easier to believe. This debate was supposed to be about evidence, not having a detailed explanation of what happened. From the outset, this debate was spun away from the science and towards the emotionally loaded term “conspiracy”. These are the sort of underhanded tactics serious 9/11 skeptics like myself have to contend with. Typically the only way we can garner high profile debates is on such unlevelled playing fields.

    Novella states that I am acting “squirrelly” because have not presented a coherent narrative for what took place. That’s because unlike official story believers, I don’t pretend to know exactly what happened. I don’t know exactly what happened because there is not enough evidence to know exactly what happened. People of science are supposed to examine evidence not wildly speculate. They are supposed to withhold judgement and not simply believe what they want to be true. What evidence we have undeniably points to the notion that the Twin Towers were brought down with controlled demolition (CD). We don’t exactly how it was done because the evidence was mostly destroyed. The building steel would have had definitive evidence as to how the towers came down. However, the bulk of that steel was immediately removed and recycled. Such destruction of evidence is supposed to be a felony. Novella appears to be attempting to argue that a scientific explanation must be extensive regardless as to whether there is any evidence or not. Before you get to explanations you need evidence to support those explanations. Novella has no evidence and claims I have no evidence. This is the major point that needs to be addressed before detailed explanations are even considered. Why is Bazant’s highly flawed and entirely unsupported engineering analysis evidence and why is the trove of evidence I have presented not evidence?

    In Part III I disagree with Novella when he stated this about the South Tower: “The tower collapsed on one side and the upper tower fell significantly to that side”. I stated that the “upper portion looks more like it is involved in a roll at its initiation rather than a fall to one side”. Novella claims that I have trouble understanding this but then cites Bazant who explain why it didn’t fall to one side. It’s right there beside Figure 4.

    Novella claims that I did not address Bazant’s “careful analysis”. I did though. I called it “purely theoretical with zero evidence to support it” and “an entirely unsupported explanation”. Novella does not address the fact of missing evidence or why pure speculation is in any way scientific. How is this not relying on “gut feelings guided, apparently, by motivated reasoning”?

    In an attempt to sidestep his committing the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, Novella proclaims that Bazant demonstrated their belief as to how the upper blocks destroyed the lower buildings by using “principles of physics and engineering”. But they didn’t demonstrate, they speculated. Demonstration in science involves experimentation not speculation. If Bazant and Zhou want their proposal to be taken seriously they need a model. This will never happen because the official story is impossible to model. If it was possible to model, it would have been done a long time ago. If physics truly does predict this collapse it could be modelled. Until evidence is provided for the Bazant fairy tale or CD is scientifically ruled out, proclaiming that the falling upper blocks demolished the lower building is committing the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Until evidence is provided, the Bazant fairy tale has as much credibility as the existence of an invisible, floating, heatless dragon.

    Novella sidesteps the swathe of criticism of the Bazant report because it all comes from “9/11 truthers”. But his definition of “9/11 truther” is anyone that doesn’t buy the Bazant fairy tale. So what he’s actually saying is the critics are wrong simply because they are critics. Such circular reasoning is referred to as begging the question, another logical fallacy. Novella also claims that “the physics and engineering community generally accepts their conclusions”. First, that is not been shown to be true. Because few physicists or engineers speak out on something doesn’t mean they support it. So Novella is guilty of another fallacy here called appeal to silence, a conclusion based on the absence of statements rather than their presence. Second, as stated in part III, claiming something is true merely because a group of experts believe it is true is the appeal to consensus fallacy. A fifth grade science student requires evidence to support their explanations not fallacies.

    Novella continues to falsely claim that I have provided no evidence of CD. I have provided it though. He simply believes it is not evidence and keeps pronouncing this belief without providing any reasonable explanations as to why it does not constitute evidence. This tactic is what is referred to as a proof by assertion. A statement is repeated ad nauseum regardless of contradiction in the hopes that it will eventually stop being challenged. For example, as to the missing jolts, he claims “the cushioning of the lower towers would have been minimal, far too small to cause a visible jolt”. Where is the evidence for this statement? There is none. Vérinage collapses all show such jolts. Why then are the Twin Towers immune from experiencing jolts despite their far larger mass? The answer is special pleading.

    Novella claims that I “anomaly hunt” and use “transparent special pleading”. As usual, no evidence or explanation is given to support these beliefs. Personally, I think the notion of anomaly hunting is largely bogus. In science when an observation comes along that doesn’t fit the theory you are supposed to change the theory to accommodate the anomaly. People like Novella seem to believe discovering such anomalous observations involves specifically hunting for them, with phenomena he doesn’t want to accept at least. Whether a scientist uncovers anomalies by accident or by actively looking for them is irrelevant. What is relevant is if the anomalous observations are valid or not. What Novella is using this concept for is to divert attention away from the gargantuan flaws of his arguments. “Anomaly hunting” is a red herring.

    Novella continues with the odd canard that CD implies use of explosives. He also adds a new argument, that the lack of seismic spikes proves no explosives were used. However, it would be very unusual for seismographs to detect CD explosions. This is because such explosions are small, usually staggered and happen above ground.[1] Further, the sounds of these small explosions would be undetectable amid the roar of the falling building. Explosions do make themselves known however, by the rapid release of gas. We see that in the squibs observed as the Twin Towers come down.[2] Note that these squibs are seen in the corners of the buildings too where there are no windows and could therefore not be “dust puffs” due to air pressure from the falling floors. More evidence for CD.

    Novella bizarrely claims that nanothermite is somehow mysterious despite the fact that many NIST scientists are quite familiar with it.[3] He claims no nanothermite devices were found in the rubble. There was also no evidence found in the rubble that the buildings came down from the upper blocks falling onto the lower buildings. I guess you can’t find something if you don’t look for it. He claims these devices would be large and unwieldy but gives no evidence to support this belief. As shown in one of the videos in Part III, nanothermite can in fact be painted on and would be very effective at removing the redundant structural support which is normally cut by hand in overt CDs. Small timed kicker charges could cut the remaining support to get the building moving. The Twin Towers could easily have been rigged during the many wiring, elevator and insulation upgrades taking place before 9/11. Every perimeter column was accessible through the removable ceiling panels. Every core column was accessible from the elevator shafts. Fatal flaws my eye.

    Novella makes the ridiculous claim that the molten metal seen dripping form one of the towers could be aluminum. To get the color seen you must reach the melting point of iron which is 1,538 °C (2750°F). Yes aluminum could be heated to that temperature to get that same color but how on Earth could that happen in the Twin Towers? When anyone can think of a non-crackpot explanation please do tell. In the meantime, those of us that prefer scientific evidence-based explanations will assume a thermitic reaction.

    In Part II Novella asked for an operational definition of CD speed and symmetry. I gave it. Now he wonders what will happen if a relevant CD comes along that is less symmetric than the previously least symmetric CD. Why, the definition now changes to accommodate the outlier of course. Problem solved. Will Novella finally now admit that the speed and symmetry is now scientific evidence, not definitive proof, but evidence of CD? If not, will he finally answer why the patterns in the fossil record count as scientific evidence but not the patterns of CD?

    Next Novella trots out the half-baked affirming the consequent argument several commenters have falsely claimed I had committed. As a brilliant but humble Reddit poster has shown, this is a straw man. False fallacy fallacy to be precise. I never stated that because CD collapses are symmetrical, all symmetrical collapses are CD. I stated something more along the lines that because all rapid straight-down CD collapses are rapid, symmetrical and vertical; a rapid, symmetrical, vertical building collapse is evidence, not definitive proof, of CD.

    So once again there is absolutely no supporting evidence for the official fairy tale of how the Twin Towers came down. There is only support by logical fallacies. There is growing evidence for CD: the rapid and symmetrical nature of the collapses, audio[4], visual and eyewitness testimony of explosions, the missing jolts, the South Tower roll, copious thick white smoke and molten iron.

    Notes

    1. http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/668-why-popular-mechanics-cant-face-up-to-reality.html
    2. http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/585-faq-8-squibs.html
    3. http://911blogger.com/node/21695
    d. http://www.ae911truth.org/news-section/41-articles/574-faq-7.html

  65. the devils gummy bearon 08 Jul 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I would hold off on the self-congratulatory back slapping on matters of politeness and composure until after we hear from Fullerton (we’ve been burned more than a few times). Again, if history is any indication… Let’s hope he surprises us.

    @Bruce

    On another note, I often wonder what the tone trolls would have made of Perry…

    He would have given as good has he got. And I have a feeling he would be here, heaping on the funniest ridicule of all…

    Which reminds me; this also bears repeating:

    Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them…

    It also doesn’t help that fullerm only shoes up in these comments to call everyone a shite driveling moron, lunatic, blowhard, etc., etc., etc., between his long bouts of deafening silence. Without speaking to his preposterous treatises for a moment (only focusing on fullerm); we’ve had nothing but downtime between his ad hominems. Derision is what happens when you carpet bomb a room, insult everyone, pull out a sockpuppet after demanding everyones’ names and credentials… What we’ve seen is boorish schoolyard bully stuff, before he completely BAILS, leaving the threats empty and the insults ringing…

  66. the devils gummy bearon 08 Jul 2014 at 2:30 pm

    (posted too soon… did fullerm’s comment just come out of moderation? How on earth did I miss it? Well, while I’m on the subject, in for a penny in for a pound)

    Perhaps this is due to a misunderstanding what an insult is as opposed to an accurate negative characterization.

    Perhaps… But not in the way you think.

    These are accurate negative facts, not insults.

    You’re really gonna try to wiggle out of this, huh? Last week you said:

    I will debate any one of the delusional blowhards here

    Hmm…

    Well if you’re (sic) claims are not idiotic driveling shite Dr. N. should include them in his rebuttal. Funny he mentioned none in round 2. Maybe he’s just smarter than you all put together.

    Comments are a bitch, aye? I love “accurate negative characterization”. I’m going to use that.

    If I call you a moron for committing a fallacy I’m stating a fact not committing a fallacy.

    Classy. These types of comments are the lion’s share of your comments, Michael.

  67. Steven Novellaon 08 Jul 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Regarding “squibs” – the video evidence is quite clear. The debris blowing out the side of the tower as it fell look nothing like squibs, are not timed as squibs would be, and are not accompanied by explosions. It’s very telling that you would count this as “evidence.”

    The fact that you are citing the symmetrical and rapid collapse as “evidence” rather than “proof” does not save you from the affirming the consequent fallacy. You continue to entirely miss the point – those features are not features specific to CD. You can’t just reverse the arrow of logic. You have not provided a compelling case for why the towers would not have come down rapidly and symmetrically just because of physics and gravity.

    You also continue to make the category mistake of asking for evidence that the towers came down due solely to structural failure, and yet still have not stated what this evidence might be. You don’t need to explain everything, but you do need to have a coherent hypothesis that makes specific predictions.

    You also continue to dismiss an analysis of the physics as “wild speculation.” This is a transparent dodge, and I don’t think anyone is buying it.

    FYI – I am on my way to TAM, so I will have little time to monitor this thread over the next week, and will be slow to moderate comments.

  68. seeferon 08 Jul 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I’m left wondering why Michael does not seem to put much stock in the evidence given by independent parties who have taken the time to provide physics calculations that counter his beliefs?

    These calculations are part of the body of math behind the very structural engineering responsible for the fact that we can build such towers in the first place. No one can deny the towers existed can they? They’re certainly not constructed using methods and techniques born of gut instinct. To dismiss the validity of the very physics being used as evidence against his claims is to dismiss the fact we are able to live and work in such structures in comfort and safety.

    I’m always amazed by those who belittle, dismiss or are outright suspicious of science and yet blithely go through their life relying on and using the very things that science delivers them. Imagine the uproar if we demanded that such people hand back their mobile phones, are denied hospital treatments when ill and are prevented from making use of planes for business travel and holiday destinations.

  69. Cursorycombon 08 Jul 2014 at 3:37 pm

    “I don’t pretend to know exactly what happened. I don’t know exactly what happened because there is not enough evidence to know exactly what happened.”

    “What evidence we have undeniably points to the notion that the Twin Towers were brought down with controlled demolition (CD). We don’t exactly how it was done because the evidence was mostly destroyed”

    “Until evidence is provided for the Bazant fairy tale or CD is scientifically ruled out”

    “Before you get to explanations you need evidence to support those explanations.”

    “But they didn’t demonstrate, they speculated.”

    Why don’t we all hold ourselves to the same standards. Lets say that Novella is just speculating based on his interpretation of the visual events.

    Both Fullerton and Novella look at the same event. Novella uses analysis from a person versed in the physics of structural analysis that says the results are consistent with what we’d expect to see from an multi floor impact of a jet liner followed by internal fires.

    Fullerton *speculates* his own theory using his own speculation to infer what cased the collapse.

    At best Fullerton has to expect a stale mate here. How is it his speculative theory, using evidence that doesn’t fit into his own definition of evidence (that you need to demonstrate using a model and can use not one bit of speculation or conjecture), is more scientific, in his view?

    I don’t pretend to know, but its undeniable. You don’t have evidence and you’re only speculating unless you have a model. Comparing a video isn’t a model. Fullerton needs a model that says how much of the magic explosion cream, where it needed to be placed, how it was triggered, how it was coordinated, how it went unnoticed. He needs to model everything and then he can say its more scientific. He’s speculating. I don’t get how he doesn’t see that.

  70. Toxicdogon 08 Jul 2014 at 4:01 pm

    In an attempt to sidestep his committing the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, Novella proclaims that Bazant demonstrated their belief as to how the upper blocks destroyed the lower buildings by using “principles of physics and engineering”. But they didn’t demonstrate, they speculated. Demonstration in science involves experimentation not speculation. If Bazant and Zhou want their proposal to be taken seriously they need a model. This will never happen because the official story is impossible to model. If it was possible to model, it would have been done a long time ago.

    But using mathematics to explain the collapse of a building is not “speculation.” A building the size of the towers had not been made up to that point in time. They used mathematics to calculate construction of the building, etc. All things in life must obey these physical properties. No model is necessary because mathematics/physics IS the model.

  71. carlweathers4prezon 08 Jul 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I really enjoy that Newtonian physics, the thing that makes it capable for us to build a structure this large (and how it would react in a dynamic situation) is “purely theoretical with zero evidence to support it” that when applied to the falling building makes it “an entirely unsupported explanation.” These are formula that are taught to Sophomore level Engineering students, and used to design just about anything that moves (and are backed up by their predictive power).

    After reading his post, it seems like the only evidence he’d accept is if we rebuilt the twin towers, and crashed 2 planes into them, to “replicate” the result and perform the scientific method.

  72. pendens proditoron 08 Jul 2014 at 4:02 pm

    However, no building the size of the towers has ever collapsed before, by controlled demolition, deliberate terrorism, raging fires, or whatever. How smaller and differently constructed buildings look when they collapse may not accurately inform our sense of what should happen with such large structures.

    When I was a kid (perhaps a 5th grader) I couldn’t figure out why I could throw a toy car across the room without it being damaged, while real cars would get all banged up just from bumping into something. I didn’t understand that they weren’t truly to scale. If a real car were made like a toy car, the metal shell would be six inches thick and weigh tens of thousands of pounds. It would be like driving around in a bank vault. For all I know, the metals that give you that kind of tensile strength at that scale might only exist in laboratories.

    A skyscraper built at the scale of a toy car would practically be made of tissue paper. It has to be built differently from a ten-story apartment building; the physics demands it. I’m not sure what it would even take to build a skyscraper *exactly* as you’d build an apartment building — bricks comprised of single carbon molecules?

  73. BoringKittenson 08 Jul 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Fullerton is correct in that it is difficult to follow his logic, since this is a new kind of neo-postmodernist logic we’ve never seen before.

  74. Waydudeon 08 Jul 2014 at 4:17 pm

    “I stated something more along the lines that because all rapid straight-down CD collapses are rapid, symmetrical and vertical; a rapid, symmetrical, vertical building collapse is evidence, not definitive proof, of CD.”

    This is the “All Dolphins are whales, but not all whales are dolphins” fallacy. Or, also, since all PB and J sandwhiches are made with two slices of bread, therefore anything with two slices of bread is evidence of a PB and J.

  75. the devils gummy bearon 08 Jul 2014 at 4:20 pm

    First paragraph- all nonsense. Clear example of the level of maturity we’re coping with.

    Second paragraph:
    “Novella claims to not understand what my position is…”
    This is a mischaracterization. We still don’t actually know what you think happened on 9/11. While you’ve been blunt in your apse fixits (which are fallacies btw), this claim that you believe that a controlled demolition took place, you have neither explained how this is possible, and you have failed to produce any kind of evidence to support your claim.

    This debate was supposed to be about evidence, not having a detailed explanation of what happened.
    You forgot to bring evidence. You also failed to bring a simple explanation.

    From the outset, this debate was spun away from the science…
    This is true- right from the outset you spun hard to get away from proper science

    …and towards the emotionally loaded term “conspiracy”.
    So, when you invoke “emotionally loaded” insults, you are simply stating “accurate negative characterizations”, but you take umbrage at being accurately described as a conspiracy theorist? This is silly.

    “Typically the only way we can garner high profile debates is on such unleveled playing fields.”
    i.e. if you want to be taken seriously, you have to abide by the “unleveled playing field” of providing evidence, utilizing coherent logic, showing your work, presenting scientifically literate arguments.

    Third paragraph:
    “People of science are supposed to examine evidence not wildly speculate.”
    This is accurate. As is this:
    “They are supposed to withhold judgement and not simply believe what they want to be true.”
    So why do you, Michael, speculate wildly and believe what you want to be true.
    And where is Michael’s evidence? Conviently spectral (nonexistent due to alleged nefarious removal of evidence)

    “Novella appears to be attempting to argue that a scientific explanation must be extensive regardless as to whether there is any evidence or not.”
    No. This doesn’t even require any attention. A scientific explanation simply needs to be scientific, Fullerton.

    “Before you get to explanations you need evidence to support those explanations.”
    At least you’re addressing, in your way, the your lack of explanations and your lack of evidence.

    “Novella has no evidence and claims I have no evidence.”
    Novella has produced significant and exhaustive evidence. You have produced no evidence.

    “…why is the trove of evidence I have presented not evidence?”
    Trove, eh? This is ridiculous. You have failed to produce a scrap. We’re getting back into your “opposite-day” semantic games.

    Paragraph 5:
    You did call it that. You call things things often. But that is all you do. There are meaningful distinctions between calling things things, and actually addressing them.

    “Novella does not address the fact of missing evidence or why pure speculation is in any way scientific.”
    The opposite of this is true. More “opposite-day” stuff.

    Paragraph 6:
    “In an attempt to sidestep his committing the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy…”
    You refuse to learn what a post hoc ergo proper hoc fallacy is.

    “This will never happen because the official story is impossible to model.”
    False. You have been given models.

    “If it was possible to model, it would have been done a long time ago.”
    As they were. You are in denial.

    “Until evidence is provided…”
    It has. With cherries on top. Stuffing up your ears and declaring such nonsense while going “lalalalala” makes you look the fool.
    Bazant apse fixit fallacy (there will be more). Comparison of Bazant and Zhou to the The Dragon in the Garage is nonsense- further abuse of logic.

    Paragraph 7:
    This paragraph is an encapsulation of the trouble Fullerton has in his corn maze of logic- fallacy incompetence. Concluded with Fullerton’s trademark fallacy; the argument from sixth grade.

    Paragraph 8:
    “Novella continues to falsely claim that I have provided no evidence of CD. I have provided it though.”
    You have indeed failed to provide any evidence. You are drowning.

    “A statement is repeated ad nauseum…”
    Interesting, as this constitutes your favored tactic.

    he claims “the cushioning of the lower towers would have been minimal, far too small to cause a visible jolt”. Where is the evidence for this statement? There is none.
    This is a lie. You have been provided with this.

    “The answer is special pleading.”
    Everything proceeding this is fallacious, thus is this fallacy fallacy.

    Paragraph 9:
    “Novella claims that I “anomaly hunt” and use “transparent special pleading”. As usual, no evidence or explanation is given to support these beliefs.”
    It has been established that you do indeed anomaly hunt, and invoke special pleading. Special pleading, is in fact, what you are presenting instead of evidence. As usual, evidence and explanations in support of this have been provided. Further, your own writing stands in judgement and cannot be redacted. You have nowhere to wiggle.

    “What is relevant is if the anomalous observations are valid or not.”
    Yes. However, the “gargantuan” mistakes are your own. No red herrings. (someone else will need to do the fallacy fallacy count of Fullerton’s post).

    Paragraph 10:
    So now we’re getting somewhere. You believe explosions were used. You believe these explosions were undetectable. You claim you can in fact detect these explosions. Your special and solitary gleaning constitutes proof, as you assert.

    Paragraph 11:
    So, was it explosives or magic nanothermite? Or both? I suppose anything is possible at this point. Nanothermite paint now? Please produce evidence, if you wouldn’t mind. This paragraph is a very clear demonstration of Michael Fullerton’s problem with special pleading. Again, special pleading in lieu of evidence.

    Paragraph 12:
    QED anomaly hunting and special pleading.

    Paragraph 13:
    “In Part II Novella asked for an operational definition of CD speed and symmetry.”
    No, you didn’t. Don’t make me link to the Python argument sketch. The scientific evidence for your pet “free fall” is actually not on your side. You have been given thorough documentation regarding this.

    Paragraph 14:
    “…half-baked…”
    No. You’re goose is cooked. Additional false fallacy fallacy failure.

    Paragraph 15:
    Conclusion in more fallacy errors.

    Well Michael, it’s been real. I have skimmed over many of the other errors and issues in your assertions, there is only so much time in the day, after all. I will leave it to my esteemed colleagues to deconstruct your fallacy errors. The next time you pick a brain fight (about evidence, logic, and science), I suggest you bring a brain (in addition to evidence, logic, and science).

  76. the devils gummy bearon 08 Jul 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Apologies- I forgot some quotation marks around some of Fullerton’s statements.

  77. the devils gummy bearon 08 Jul 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Fullerton is correct in that it is difficult to follow his logic, since this is a new kind of neo-postmodernist logic we’ve never seen before.

    Funny because it is true.

    Sorry about my rash and hasty typing above, I’m on a train on tapping on my phone and am struggling with spell correct and clumsy thumbs. I personally don’t want to waste any more life on this guy’s schtick, so I’m just shooting out the first draft impatiently, though proofreading would have prudent step later in the day… I’m just not coming back to this. Done. Ugh.

  78. Robneyon 08 Jul 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Mr Fullerton, you contradict yourself in the same paragraph.

    You say;

    ‘Novella claims to not understand what my position is. I think that is very telling. From the outset I have been very clear as to my position.’

    Then say almost directly afterwards;

    ‘This debate was supposed to be about evidence, not having a detailed explanation of what happened’

    This last sentence shows exactly why your position is unclear. You have provided no details for how the towers were demolished and the practical improbabilities of controlled demolition remain not addressed. Yes we understand that you believe the towers collapsed due to controlled demolition but beyond that claim everything else that would be required to,support such a conclusion is utterly vague and non specific

  79. ehunnellon 08 Jul 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I was disappointed (but not surprised) that Michael did not present a logical alternative (the one he claims to support). He did a lot of hand waving and criticizing. But I saw almost zero evidence of any logical alternative and even less of what that alternative was other than just saying it was CD. For me to believe anything other than what Steve said, I need a logical case and evidence. Michael did not provide either.

    Eddie Hunnell

  80. plumbranoon 08 Jul 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Listen Fullerton, I just signed up to this blog to tell you that I have my own personal doubts about 9/11; I mean the govt. is sketchy, whatever.

    But I came on here to read some new, refreshing take on the 9/11. Mainly I came here to read new evidence, expert opinions in your favor, youtube links, photographs, diagrams (which your opposition did have). But you didn’t really bother with that. You kind of did in the beginning, but then your rebuttal was to dissect Novella’s argument. All you did was attack your opposition and manipulate Novella’s syntax to make it sound like his statements were flawed. Granted he did that to you but at least he was smooth about it.

    As a matter of fact, in this last response all you did in the comments section was talk about Novella. I don’t care about Novella as much as I care about getting some really solid evidence that supports your opinion.

    So yeah if you have anything more to say I suggest it be evidence.

  81. jwadamsonon 08 Jul 2014 at 5:47 pm

    “This debate was supposed to be about evidence, not having a detailed explanation of what happened”

    I think this one of his most telling statements. Scientific evidence is only meaningful when it is considered within the framework of a a reasonably detailed scientific hypothesis. Without a hypothesis, you don’t have scientific evidence, just a body of anomalies.

    Fullerton’s statement comes about as close as I have seen to conceding he doesn’t have a scientific hypothesis for his position. Therefore there is nothing to attempt to either refute of confirm.

  82. MaoJinon 08 Jul 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Fuller

    Can you provide some peer reviewed research in reputable journals instead of AE911 pages? It would make your statements more credible.

    As I stated in the last part AE911 consists of a very small minority of scientists in the relevant fields and there’s no evidence to imply that these signatures are genuine. And some may even be fabricated as demonstrated in my last comment. While selling coffee mugs and shirts they appear to do no research themselves at all.

    Institutions like the American Institute of Architects reject affiliation with AE911 [1], and most other institutions openly support NIST on the issue while institutions like FEMA, SEI, ASCE, SFPE, NFPA, AISC, CTBUH, and SEAoNY assisted in the official report.

    And of course according to several researchers the consensus is clear. [3][4] So where is the peer reviewed evidence to the contrary? (not counting pseudo journals like “Journal of 9/11 Studies”)

    [1] http://www.architectmagazine.com/architecture/architects-shy-from-truther-conspiracy-theory.aspx
    http://books.google.com.br/books?id=s7YbPRRrRwkC&pg=PA126#v=onepage&q&f=false

    [2] http://www.civil.northwestern.edu/people/bazant/PDFs/Papers/466.pdf

    “As generally accepted by the community of specialists in
    structural mechanics and structural engineering though not by a
    few outsiders claiming a conspiracy with planted explosives, the
    failure scenario was as follows: … ”

    [3] http://www.civil.northwestern.edu/people/bazant/PDFs/Papers/00%20WTC%20Collapse%20-%20What%20Did%20%26%20Did%20Not%20Cause%20It.pdf

    “Universally though has the foregoing explanation of collapse been accepted by the communities of structural engineers and structural mechanics researchers, some outside critics have nevertheless exploited various unexplained observations to disseminate allegations of controlled demolition.”

  83. Fair Persuasionon 08 Jul 2014 at 5:49 pm

    @fullerm, Your comments about 9/11 imply a CD conspiratorial tribe working in the towers. Frankly, we know this is not possible. There was active surveillance. Security planners were aware that there was definitely going to be another attempt on the World Trade Buildings. In fact, a British American veteran of multiple wars led weekly mandatory evacuations of the Towers to ensure his company’s safety and the safety of others. This freedom-loving gentleman died for England and American unity on September 11th. He disregarded his own safety and led out groups of survivors without stoppage until the buildings collapsed on him.

    Your comments about it being a felony to remove debris is meant to be amusing. It seems that your comments were shared by some Assyrian Americans when they ate lunch with me during the 9/11 week. Amongst their laughter were heard the statements “That’s a lot of garbage! Now what are they going to do with it?” Just for the record, some of the debris has been removed to U.S. military bases for museum displays as a reminder of our need for preparedness.

  84. jwadamsonon 08 Jul 2014 at 5:56 pm

    From part i: “Dr. Steven Novella has graciously agreed to a debate on which explanation of the collapse of the World Trade Center Twin Towers (WTC 1 and WTC 2) on 9/11 is more scientific[...] I will argue that the controlled demolition explanation is more scientific.”
    From part iv comments: “This debate was supposed to be about evidence, not having a detailed explanation of what happened”

    Fullerton must have discovered a new branch of science which does not explain things.

  85. Sylakon 08 Jul 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I don’t know why the believers in 9/11 conspiracy have to make a whole mega conspiracy with controlled demolition. they could Just say ” US gouverment Payed bin laden to make it happen”. It’s still dubious. But at least only couple of persons are in the Knows that way, like a CIA high ranked agients, or army general, I don’t know. You can still believe the us government like to kill his own people, but you don’t need to build this over the top crazy, and implausible idea Of a CD that will need thousands of persons to pull it off. That is still Crazy and ridiculous, nut it more consistent with reality.

    Yeah I’m giving them idea I know. But when I was younger, when I first heard about the conspiracy I was a little less skeptic, and more “us government is evil” SO, I just heard the first time that it was a inside job, I was skeptical of it, But I told myself, If this is true it must be That ( the theory I just told). But then I heard about the whole control demolition, I was like ” ok this is BS, come on” The only fact I needed was that it would be impossible for the hundreds of person needed to make, and organize a CD to sneak in, and do it without leaving any clue.

    M. Fullertone provide nothing, only weak assumption and no logic.
    It was interresting thought
    Good Work Dr Novella and thanks.

    Wow some crazier one thinks about direct energy weapon? we are not in Halo guys.

  86. laserfloydon 08 Jul 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Official story: Fully fueled passenger plane impacts north and south tower. Structural damage is sustained but not critical, although office fires have broken out. The fires are unchecked/can’t be contained. Fires weaken structure further. Load shifts to remaining columns however as time passes the load reaches capacity. Critical failure occurs. Tens of millions of pounds of building (upper block) is now set into motion – the momentum creates a load that far exceeds the limit for subsequent floors. Complete structural failure is imminent. Nature of collapse ejects debris onto nearby buildings destroying or severely damaging them.

    ——

    Conspiracy theory (take a deep breath):
    Days/weeks/months ahead of time, demolition crews were hired to place some method of CD devices into the buildings. Some say explosives. Some say thermite. We’ll also leave out how to hire several demo crews and have them all swear to secrecy. Crews come in at all hours of the night in the dark of night and cut holes into walls, ceilings, etc. This goes on for several days/weeks without the slightest suspicion by anyone be they tenants, law enforcement or passersby. Crew also knows exactly where plane will hit ahead of time – damn they’re good – so they know which floors to place charges/thermite/fire unicorns (ok I made that up) on. Charges are wired with a special physics proof wire. Charges are also placed in magic containers that a) can not be destroyed by a plane traveling at 650ft/s and b) disappear once the contents are detonated.

    I’m teetering between thermite/explosives because to some both were used or only one. Just trying to be fair.

    On the day of the event the planes (if they even existed – yes that’s a theory too) and impact the buildings spot on where the demo crews worked. Demo crew is instructed to wait an exact amount of time or a minimum amount of time before setting charges off. That or they are charged with watching the building like a hawk and as SOON as they see if give, set the charges off to make sure it’s complete – as if hundreds of millions of pounds of building would have trouble.

    Either way, the charges are set off. Oddly enough some charges (squibs) were placed on lower irrelevant floors. Maybe for effect? The buildings come down and the job is done. All evidence of a controlled demo vanishes from the site because did I mention they’re good?

    —-

    I dunno about you but which of those stories is more plausible in every single aspect? CD also leaves questions like:

    Why not just blow the building when the plane hit? You’d have gotten a considerably large death toll. I mean you’re out to create terror right?

    Why even use a plane? Just blow the building all at once Die Hard style. Maximum terror.

    I mean go even further and stage a hostage situation and have the terrorists send messages to the public. I mean go all out. I guess passenger jets and building collapses are more subtle?

    Give me a break.

    The conspiracy theories vary wildly so much that they contradict each other. The official story is told the same way over and over. Plane>Building>Damage>Fires>Collapse

    The other stories just require way too much suspension of belief.

  87. hammyrexon 08 Jul 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I was initially dubious of the appropriateness of this debate, but now that it’s settled I have to admit I found it to have merit. Fullerton’s inability to create a coherent scientific narrative, his complete reliance on a narrow body of sources and references, and his lapse into immature tantrums in response to criticism – in contrast to Dr. Novella’s “just the arguments, please” style – serves as an illustrative example of how differently the two communities have approached the topic of 9/11.

    It’s really easy for Truthers to create their own narrative and dismiss the official story in an ‘us vs. them’ mentality, but in a debate format where exchanges are back-and-forth with appropriate time allotted for basic fact-checking you can see the contrast of approaches up-front and the pathology of motivated reasoning displayed.

    My only concern is that, unaware of Fullerton’s history, I naively believed this was going to be a “best of the best” by the Truther community and perhaps this debate would serve as an opportunity to examine only the most compelling evidence to date for their claims and be useful as a more academic resource in the future; as a result of this obviously not being the case, one has to be curious if this comes off to the Truther community as skeptics only being interested in engaging “easy” intellectual targets in debates.

  88. roadfoodon 08 Jul 2014 at 6:48 pm

    It seems to me that Fullerton’s entire position boils down to this: There is no evidence for the official story. Everything that is presented as evidence for it is just speculation without basis (i.e. a model). The collapse looks like a controlled demolition. The lack of any evidence for the official story is evidence for a CD. That it looks like a CD is even more evidence. Therefore, it’s a CD.

    I am compelled to repeat my question from the other comment thread: Mr. Fullerton, do you see anything about the collapse that is not consistent with the hypothesis that there was no CD, that the collapse was due entirely to damage from the plane impact and weakening from the subsequent fires?

    Since you’re fond of invoking fifth grade science, any fifth grader would understand this: An event happens. You have two hypotheses (call them A and B) that might explain that event. You show that everything about the event is consistent with B. It does not follow, then, that A can be ruled out. You must also ask if there is anything about the event that is not consistent with A. If you can show one thing that is not consistent with A, then you can rule out A. But if everything about the event is consistent with A, as well as consistent with B, then you have made no progress.

    I contend that while you have shown (if only for the sake of argument) that everything about the collapse is consistent with the CD hypothesis, you cannot rule out the official story hypothesis until you show something about the collapse that is inconsistent with it.

  89. Jack R.on 08 Jul 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Why would the symmetrical collapse of the towers be indicative of a controlled detonation anyway? When professional demolitionists collapse a building, they’re generally trying to avoid damage to surrounding structures, and to keep the debris in one area, so they drop the structure in place. And that takes lengthy, meticulous prepation and precision timing.

    Why would the supposed conspiracists have a need to drop the structures in that way? Wouldn’t any old direction meet their needs?

  90. Khym Chanuron 08 Jul 2014 at 7:02 pm

    @thetalkingstoveon:

    If the conspiracy is that the U.S. staged 911 as it wanted justification to invade Iraq, then surely planes being flown into the Twin Towers is enough? Did the conspirators think there was a certain death toll that had to be reached to give the attack enough credibility?

    I’ve seen some people argue exactly that.

  91. Chevexon 08 Jul 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I was really looking forward to this debate when I heard about it on the podcast. After reading through it I kind of want the last 30 minutes of my life back. What a joke. Steve’s responses were the cogent rational responses I expected, but the arguments made by Michael were just mind-bogglingly moronic. When Steve quite calmly address his points he immediately moves to being butthurt and accusing Steve of all these imaginary fallacies. I thought for once someone might pull out some real counter-facts and scientifically demonstrate a plausible demolition hypothesis, but alas it was just another conspiracy theorist substituting “gut instincts” for evidence.

  92. Beerceon 08 Jul 2014 at 8:10 pm

    “Why even use a plane? Just blow the building all at once Die Hard style. Maximum terror.”

    This.

  93. the devils gummy bearon 08 Jul 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Why even use a plane? Just blow the building all at once Die Hard style. Maximum terror.

    Because that wouldn’t make sense, laserfloyd. You obviously don’t understand what a Rube Goldberg machine is (the invisible/spectral ones are super-duper nefarious, it’s so obvious man, the more convoluted, the more impossible they are to detect, the more perfectly terrifying they become- false flag, gentlemen).

  94. Beerceon 08 Jul 2014 at 9:11 pm

    “I was initially dubious of the appropriateness of this debate, but now that it’s settled I have to admit I found it to have merit. Fullerton’s inability to create a coherent … serves as an illustrative example of how differently the two communities have approached the topic of 9/11.”

    Unfortunately, regardless of this the believers and even plenty of fence sitters (if there are still any) would read Fullerton’s posts and think “Ya! omgawwwwl he’s right!” due to the all-too-common inability to understand the scientific method and differentiate between proper evidence (and its quality and reliability) and speculation.

    The necessary complexity, number of unknowns (admitted to by Fullerton), and near zero plausibility of the CD theory alone should raise serious red flags for any semi-intelligent person from the start.

    Landslide victory for Novella.

  95. NeuroNovaon 08 Jul 2014 at 10:01 pm

    About the affirming the consequent fallacy, I want to play Devil’s advocate for a second:

    Suppose you spent three hours in a movie theater and wanted to know if it rained while you were inside. What sort of evidence might you look for? I would probably look at the ground first. If it rained, then the ground outside would definitely be wet. (If p then q.) But of course there are other reasons that the ground might be wet. Maybe passersby were having a massive squirt gun fight, maybe someone spilled a giant bucket of water, etc. But if you walked out of the theater and found the sidewalk soaking wet, wouldn’t that serve as some degree of evidence for the hypothesis that it just rained, even though the consequent wouldn’t necessarily prove it? And if someone cited the wet sidewalk as evidence for rain, would it be inappropriate to demand an operational definition for sidewalk wetness before we accepted it? If so, then wouldn’t the symmetry and speed of the falling towers serve as some degree of evidence for the CD hypothesis?

    Even if it did, I think this evidence would be really weak, considering the lack of other consequents (audible explosions, bomb remains, etc.) and the compelling evidence on the other side (including mathematical models, which Fullerton doesn’t seem to accept as evidence). So I don’t think it would help Fullerton’s argument very much. I’m just trying to figure out exactly where the difference lies in the logic.

  96. the devils gummy bearon 09 Jul 2014 at 12:19 am

    pendens proditor says it, above:

    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/911-conspiracy-debate-part-iv/#comment-81383

    ^This is key.

    This is a fundamentally profound point to make (and a really rather excellent analogy, pendens), to people (like Fullerton) who do not appreciate materials science, structural engineering, or physics.

  97. Stormbringeron 09 Jul 2014 at 1:32 am

    There have been many good post made on this subject here. Michael Fullerton says that the twin towers falling looks like a controlled demolition, the problem is that no buildings of the size of the twin towers have been brought down using CD. So to say that they fell in the same manner is speculation. So here is an opportunity for him to use his position. There are many companies that do CD and they have ways to model up how a building will react when imploded and the amount of equipment and materials needed.
    What if the twin towers had to be removed for construction reasons and the only way to get the job done was to use a CD method. Using 2001 technology what would it of taken to bring the building down? What would of been the characteristics of the event? The full report and data needs to be available afterwards for everyone review, but once we have this baseline we will be able to say how much the towers falling compared to a CD implosion.

    While I agree that degrees and jobs are not critical to this discussion I will give some of my background so it clearing why i think the above is important. I spent 7 years performing automotive crash tests, some of the work was accident reconstruction. After that I move to my current job of testing tools. It is my job to break tools to understand their failures and to find ways to improve them. One of the important parts of my job is to develop tests that recreate field failures. I am also working towards a mechanical engineering degree and what I learned in statics and kinematics is sufficient to work out the falling of the towers. It would just take a lot of paper and time, there is nothing special about how it fell just many components.

    One thing to correct is that gravity is what made the towers fall, their structure and material is what was preventing that from happening.

  98. falloonacyon 09 Jul 2014 at 2:04 am

    As usual, I’m late to the party and am likely oversimplifying, but what I really see in a nutshell is:

    SN: The collapse of the Twin Towers occurred as a result of science/physics/evidence/etc.

    MF: I don’t agree with you, so you’re wrong.

    Or did I completely miss the mark here?

  99. the devils gummy bearon 09 Jul 2014 at 2:35 am

    Or did I completely miss the mark here?

    Basically no.

    There was a lot of this, however: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbd4t-ua-WQ

  100. mumadaddon 09 Jul 2014 at 4:21 am

    SN:

    FYI – I am on my way to TAM, so I will have little time to monitor this thread over the next week, and will be slow to moderate comments.

    So don’t say fu*k or bug*er!

  101. Bruceon 09 Jul 2014 at 5:39 am

    Oh my…

    One of Fullerm’s pieces of ‘evidence’ for CD I missed first time is:

    “copious thick white smoke”

    … what…? like the kind of smoke you get from a massive fire? Or is he going to claim that the smoke that he sees in the video looks like smoke from a CD so must be CD smoke and cannot in any way be smoke from a jet fuel fire?

    Honestly though, does someone who has a solid argument from the truther community not want to come forward and present something a bit more substantial than this fallacy waving? Is this the best they have? There must be some solid evidence somewhere for people to clutch so desperately to this idea.

  102. The Other John Mcon 09 Jul 2014 at 7:29 am

    Fullerm:

    “If Bazant and Zhou want their proposal to be taken seriously they need a model. This will never happen because the official story is impossible to model.”

    It would be useful here to specify what is meant by “model” exactly, as this term could literally mean just about anything. Then maybe Michael could specify what types of models, and what features of such models, would satisfy him.

    The physics described by Bazant and Zhou is absolutely and unequivocally, 100%, undeniably, a model. I can’t emphasize how wrong you are on this point Michael, and it may be causing you some serious confusion. They have provided a model, you are basically lying (or perhaps misunderstanding) by claiming otherwise. Please explain why their model is insufficient to demonstrate their key points, which easily demolish most of your key arguments.

  103. Bill Openthalton 09 Jul 2014 at 7:58 am

    The other John Mc –
    It’s not a model because it’s just mathematics. Where is the computer animated model tower?

  104. Mostly Ignoranton 09 Jul 2014 at 8:07 am

    Michael Fullerton must be constantly amazed at all of the towers and bridges etc. that are successfully constructed from plans that are purely theoretical, unsupported speculations that are not in any way scientific (aka based on our understanding of physics).

  105. mumadaddon 09 Jul 2014 at 8:16 am

    I suppose it’s only understandable that someone who thinks illogically will not understand someone that thinks logically.

    When my arguments are attacked this involves only unsupported pronouncements or severely flawed reasoning.

    Astounding.

    My suggestion to Michael would be to rewrite his arguments but substitute the specific content for something else. It could be something he knows to be false, or something true, but it needs to be something he is not so emotionally invested in. He should then look at both the structure of his arguments and the type of evidence he’s presenting and rejecting, and see if he still thinks his screed valid and compelling.

  106. The Other John Mcon 09 Jul 2014 at 8:38 am

    Bill O — I was hoping HE would say that ;-) . That way I could point out that such computer animations are quite literally made entirely out of mathematics, with pretty pictures added on at the end.

  107. Bronze Dogon 09 Jul 2014 at 9:02 am

    hammyrex:

    …[O]ne has to be curious if this comes off to the Truther community as skeptics only being interested in engaging “easy” intellectual targets in debates.

    From what I’ve seen, every twoofer who gets subjected to debunking is low-hanging fruit. Given Fullerton’s reluctance to clear up what his alternative hypothesis is (and with it, no basis for evaluating evidence), I won’t be surprised if someone comes in to declare us cowardly for debating an obvious counter-intelligence PsiOp agent instead of a True Truther(TM).

    It’s their version of Poe’s Law and No True Scotsman. We’re given no consistent criteria for determining the difference between a sincere twoofer and a counter-intelligence parody. It saves them from doing the hard work of forming a consensus on anything while feeding a persecution narrative.

    Sylak:

    Wow some crazier one thinks about direct energy weapon? we are not in Halo guys.

    Yup. The first one I met argued for holographic planes, too. Used it as a rationale why the building fell faster than freefall, presumably parroting that then-popular line, rather than consider the possibility that his fellow twoofers did their math or measurements incorrectly. In that instance, I have no complaints about dismissing ‘no-planers’ as low-hanging fruit. But they can be good for a laugh.

  108. The Other John Mcon 09 Jul 2014 at 10:20 am

    Fullerm: “Vérinage collapses all show such jolts. Why then are the Twin Towers immune from experiencing jolts despite their far larger mass?”

    Parse the logic here Michael: Verinage collapses are CDs, and they show jolts. The Twin Towers did not show jolts, which we all seem to agree on. Therefore this proves that Twin Towers are CDs? You are contradicting yourself at every turn, gotta do better than this!!

  109. TsuDhoNimhon 09 Jul 2014 at 11:15 am

    “Why didn’t the upper part of the tower fall to the side like a tree”

    To get a tree to “fall like a tree” you have to work at it by using guide ropes or notching the base in the direction you want it to fall, or both. The natural tendency is for the tree to pivot around its center of gravity at the cut, using the remaining uncut part as a hinge, and “kick back”, landing with the trunk on top of the stump or unfortunate logger.

    The same pivot as you explained here.

    ==========
    And, forget the physics, let’s talk process problems:

    I’ve seen buildings getting prepped for implosion … how the heck could all that have been going on in an occupied building?

    Do we posit a horde of ninjas?
    And no one notices all the explosives being installed?

  110. _Arthuron 09 Jul 2014 at 11:24 am

    Fullerton has done this before, using mutually contradicting statements:

    “The best proof that WTC collapse was caused by demolition explosive, is that it looks *exactly like* verinage demolitions as shown on YouTube”, using the eyeball mark I caliper.
    then: “The explosives used, their emplacements would have been utterly unlike any known demo technique.”

    or: “The hallmark of controlled demolitions: they are completely symmetrical”
    Dr. Novella: The South Tower collapse was not symetrical when it began
    Fullerton: “CDs can be slightly out of true when I need them to be…”

    Sigh…

  111. Vendetta88on 09 Jul 2014 at 11:50 am

    Its like 12 paragraphs of Tu quoque.

  112. the devils gummy bearon 09 Jul 2014 at 12:03 pm

    mumadadd:

    My suggestion to Michael would be to rewrite his arguments but substitute the specific content for something else.

    This would require work, critical thinking, and the examination of logic… Things outside this guy’s wheelhouse.

  113. JDunhamon 09 Jul 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Fullerton claims he has presented “growing” and “copious” evidence for CD. Well, mainly for my own sake, I’ve tried to quantify all the evidence presented keeping as open a mind as possible. Let’s see how it stacks up.

    Fullerton’s Thesis: There is “no evidence for the official story” and “growing evidence for CD.” Therefore “the controlled demolition explanation is currently the most and only scientific explanation available for explaining the Twin Tower collapses.”

    Fullerton’s Evidence:
    –Part 1, Evidence against the official story:
    • Lack of evidence for the official story: “The official story of how the towers fell on 9/11 does not have a single solitary piece of supporting scientific evidence.” [not objectively true, as demonstrated in this very debate]
    • Lack of evidence for collapse initiation due to plane impact and fire: “There is absolutely no evidence however, that this damage [from the planes and fires] resulted in the falls of both towers.” [validity debatable, but Novella provides specific evidence, so saying "absolutely no" is objectively untrue]
    • Lack of a jolt in the collapse: “the Twin Tower collapses show no jolt when each upper portion hits the lower building.” [Irrelevant - the official explanation does not predict a jolt]
    • Failure to model collapse by other means: “A valid computer model or scale model for example will do. Why has no one ever produced a valid model? Presumably because the official story is impossible to model accurately.” [Hinges on “valid”—such models exist, but Fullerton dismisses them as “speculation.”]
    • Consensus on official story is not real: “No poll has been conducted to provide evidence to support this statement. The fact that 2200+ architects and engineers question the official 9/11 story[1] seems to throw cold water on this “consensus”.” [Experts may disagree on what percentage of agreement constitutes consensus.]

    –Part 2, Evidence for CD:
    • Collapse resembled a CD, therefore we should assume it was: “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. This observation then constitutes evidence that supports the controlled demolition explanation of the twin towers.” [Not evidence for CD, but evidence that asking the question of CD is worthwhile.]
    • Photographic evidence of white smoke, puffs of smoke, and molten material. [Non-specific; could support either hypothesis.
    • Anecdotal evidence of explosions: “CD does not require explosives. But in fact there were extremely credible eyewitness reports of explosions in the Twin Towers before collapse.[2] This evidence also supports the CD hypothesis.” [Weak evidence for CD – anecdotes are notoriously unreliable, especially when the contradict objective records]

    Novella’s Thesis: “The evidence overwhelmingly supports the NIST theory of collapse, while there is no evidence in favor of controlled demolition.”

    Novella’s Evidence:
    –Part 1, Evidence against CD:
    • Lack of specific predictions implied by any specific method of CD: “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.” [Does not rule out a CD despite being a conspicuous absence]
    • Implausibility of CD: “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.” [Explains why Fullerton’s assertion of CD is extraordinary as currently framed.]

    –Part 2, Evidence for the official explanation:
    • Expert consensus within the relevant fields: “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.” [Consensus indicates that people familiar with the details do not find them suspicious]
    • Photographic evidence: of sagging floors, twisting of the outer walls, and collapse initiation from the point of the fires. [As predicted by the “official” story]
    • Mathematical calculations showing that the collapse of the top of each tower would result in the type of fall observed, regardless of how the collapse was initiated. [Does not rule out CD, but does show that official explanation is equally plausible solely in the manner of collapse.]
    • The collapse as officially described would not result in a “jolt”: “the fall of each upper portion of the towers not only would have collapsed the entire tower below that level, but the cushioning effect of the lower floors would have been minimal – slowing the free fall of the tower by only around 6%.” [shows that the collapse as observed is consistent with the official story]

    Analysis of Fullerton’s claims:
    –Even without any rebuttal, Fullerton has not provided viable evidence of a CD. His arguments against the official story call that explanation into question, but do not support a CD. His only three specific claims regarding a CD are the symmetrical collapse, the observation of smoke and molten material, and anecdotes of explosions. The first does not support a CD because they are consistent with alternatives (such as the official story) that would produce the same result. The smoke and molten material are insufficient for the same reason. The anecdotes of explosions are therefore the only specific evidence of CD, and they conflict with objective recordings. Despite claiming to have provided evidence, Fullerton avoids specifics in most respects, arguing instead that his doubts about the official story should be sufficient to justify his “undeniable” alternative hypothesis. At no point does he question his own evidence.

    Analysis of Novella’s claims:
    –Novella’s evidence shows that the manner of collapse observed is consistent with the official explanation. Mathematical modeling shows that the fires and structural damage are sufficient to explain the observed result. Photographic evidence shows secondary characteristics that are expected given this explanation, including twisting and sagging floors and outer walls. A great majority of experts in these areas agree that this evidence is sufficient. Novella also points to the absence of any specific predictions of a CD, which does not rule it out, but diminishes its likelihood. Novella avoids speculation about what one might see in a CD and instead focuses on making a positive case for the official account. He addresses questions about his evidence specifically and directly.

    Conclusion: Given the evidence presented, I can find no reason to accept–or even continue to consider–Fullerton’s position. Novella has presented a clear and compelling case, and Fullerton appears unwilling or unable to support his hypothesis.

  114. mumadaddon 09 Jul 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Jdunham,

    Very nice summary. Thanks.

  115. falloonacyon 09 Jul 2014 at 2:32 pm

    In the simplest of thoughts (because I only have a few minutes and type slower than fullerm’s responses)… the Twin Towers were 110 stories each. To place the alleged charges, numerous workers had to surreptitiously and unobtrusively access critical load-bearing beams on each floor without drawing attention to their activities.

    Let’s say, for the sake of simplicity, these sneaky people only placed 8 charges per floor. That’s 880 explosives per tower, and we haven’t event touched on WTC7. Again, all of this activity completely unnoticed and/or unassuming. Soooo… plane hits, charges are set off on each floor in proper sequence, without duds, and it all falls to the ground.

    Despite the sheer size and scope of preparation, the collapse occurs without a hitch… twice.

    The thing I can’t really wrap my head around is that this is assumed to be the actions of a government that, 13 years of improved technology later, can’t produce a working website.

  116. Todd W.on 09 Jul 2014 at 2:57 pm

    @falloonacy

    The thing I can’t really wrap my head around is that this is assumed to be the actions of a government that, 13 years of improved technology later, can’t produce a working website.

    That’s because we’re primarily good at bombs. Controlled demolitions? Bombs. Web site? Also a bomb.

    @JDunham

    Very nice summary. Fullerton’s argument is so vague as to be worthless. His “evidence”, such as it is, is not specific to only CDs. I also find it odd that he seems to argue that the weight of the upper portion falling onto the lower portion would not result in the collapse of the whole tower when it’s the result of a plane crashing into the building, but it is sufficient if it occurs as a result of a controlled demolition.

  117. the devils gummy bearon 09 Jul 2014 at 3:05 pm

    FM’s notion = house of cards

  118. Ori Vandewalleon 09 Jul 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Beyond the poor evidence and bad logic used by Fullerton, there’s a central flaw in his argument that renders everything else essentially moot. His claim is that there is no evidence for the official story and some evidence for controlled demolition, thus rendering the controlled demolition hypothesis more scientific.

    Let’s say we grant his claim about the weight of evidence (none for official story, not none for CD). Even in this case, the rational choice is to accept the official explanation. Why? Because the CD claim requires extraordinary evidence, whereas the official story requires almost none. An example might better illustrate this point.

    You’re a farmer. One night, you see strange lights in the sky: a UFO. The next morning, you find crop circles in your fields. This is all the evidence you have. You concoct two hypotheses. The first is that the crop circles were produced by humans, possibly teenagers trying to pulling a prank on you. The second hypothesis is that aliens did it as some strange and inscrutable method of communication.

    Now, what evidence do we have for these hypotheses? Well, there’s no evidence that teenagers did it–nothing was left behind, you didn’t hear any teenagers, etc. But for the alien hypothesis, you do have one piece of evidence–the UFO you saw! Therefore, because the alien hypothesis has at least one piece of evidence and the teenager hypothesis has no evidence, the alien hypothesis is the most scientific one!

    Except that’s clearly not the case, because one hypothesis is an extraordinary claim and requires extraordinary bla bla bla. Even with no evidence to support humans as the cause of your crop circles, that should be your default position because of the inherent implausibility of the alternative hypothesis.

    The same holds true for the towers. The official story requires very little in the way of explanation, whereas CD posits a number of extraordinary claims that we have no reason to believe a priori.

  119. the devils gummy bearon 09 Jul 2014 at 3:08 pm

    MF, not FM.

  120. the devils gummy bearon 09 Jul 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Let’s not use the language of the truthers, aye? It isn’t the “official story” (this is junk-rhetoric Fullerton CONSTANTLY resorts to). What we are talking about is the null hypothesis, i.e. what happened in real life. There isn’t an official story any more or less than there is a moon in the sky.

  121. Ori Vandewalleon 09 Jul 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Just pretend I typed “official story” 17 times.

  122. JDunhamon 09 Jul 2014 at 4:00 pm

    [quote]Let’s not use the language of the truthers, aye? It isn’t the “official story” (this is junk-rhetoric Fullerton CONSTANTLY resorts to). What we are talking about is the null hypothesis, i.e. what happened in real life. There isn’t an official story any more or less than there is a moon in the sky.[/quote]

    Valid. I was trying to start from a position of impartiality, but as you observe, that was actually a concession to Fullerton’s position rather than an impartial center point.

  123. BassClefon 09 Jul 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I think, Michael, you’re trying to logic your way through a science debate. The problem with using logical fallacies is that you have to hold yourself accountable your logic is inconsistent with the facts. It’s easy to twist yourself into a knot, pointing out straw men and “false fallacy fallacies” wherever you think you see them, but it doesn’t always get you to the truth.

    You’re a computer guy, so you understand that no matter how good you think your logic is in a program, if you compile and run it, and get an unexpected result, your logic has to be wrong. That’s where the science comes in – testing results and running experiments.

    You say:

    “…because all rapid straight-down CD collapses are rapid, symmetrical and vertical; a rapid, symmetrical, vertical building collapse is evidence, not definitive proof, of CD.”

    That’s not correct. Rapid, symmetrical, vertical collapse is not evidence of CD. It’s consistent with CD, but you need to show that it’s INCONSISTENT with the accepted story for it to be evidence of CD. Using science. Steven spent much time showing that rapid, symmetrical, vertical collapse is consistent with the accepted story, so the debate is at a complete standstill otherwise.

    And logical fallacies gymnastics can’t help you anymore.

  124. jsterritton 09 Jul 2014 at 6:53 pm

    “Dr. Novella claims I have insulted him and his readers. I don’t recall ever doing that.” – Michael Fullerton (see above).

    “This event is taking place on my opponent’s blog with copious posting of puerile sophistry from his unwavering uncritically thinking followers.”

    “I will debate any one of the delusional blowhards here that have falsely claimed that I have committed any logical fallacies in this debate (including false accusations of fallacy). It’s easy to spout BS but not so easy to back up your statements.”

    “So no one here can debate me on the logical fallacies I’ve supposedly committed because either: 1) none of the blowhards here have a science degree or 2) they’re too frightened to use their real name or 3) ?”

    “Well if you’re [sic] claims are not idiotic driveling shite Dr. N. should include them in his rebuttal. Funny he mentioned none in round 2. Maybe he’s just smarter than you all put together.

    “If I call you a moron for committing a fallacy I’m stating a fact not committing a fallacy.”

    Posing as mild-mannered, disinterested, third-party “cmatrix” on reddit, Fullerton also had this to say: “No wonder no one has the courage to debate the supposed logic errors, they’d be ripped to bloody shreds. I hope Novella has more sense than to take any heed of the gibbering imbeciles commenting on his blog.”

    I would also like to applaud Fullerton for taking to a new height his contempt for the graciousness Dr Novella showed him by agreeing to this FOUR-part written debate: his hafta-get-that-last-word-in FIFTH part in these comments. Please keep them coming — you’ll dig yourself out of this yet!

  125. Lorenon 09 Jul 2014 at 7:42 pm

    “Novella claims to not understand what my position is. I think that is very telling. From the outset I have been very clear as to my position.”

    OK, so what’s your position as to what happened, then?

    “That’s because unlike official story believers, I don’t pretend to know exactly what happened.”

    So…you don’t *have* a position as to what happened?

    “This debate was supposed to be about determining which position was more scientific, not which position was easier to believe. This debate was supposed to be about evidence, not having a detailed explanation of what happened.”

    Alright then, so if this isn’t about the validity of your overall position, but rather about discrete bits of evidence, then what’s your evidence?

    “I don’t know exactly what happened because there is not enough evidence to know exactly what happened.”

    Wait…you don’t have that evidence *either*?

    “From the outset, this debate was spun away from the science and towards the emotionally loaded term “conspiracy”. These are the sort of underhanded tactics serious 9/11 skeptics like myself have to contend with.”

    Funny thing: the use of “9/11 Conspiracy” in the title of the blog post is the ONLY use of “conspiracy” in Steve’s entire first rebuttal. It doesn’t appear at all in the body of the post.

    In fact, out of the nearly 5,000 words that Steve wrote across two blog posts, he only used the word “conspiracy” ONCE, and that was in the second to last paragraph of the above, final post. And that usage was “This is behavior typical, in my experience, of the conspiracy theorist – don’t let yourself get nailed down to one position you might have to defend.”

    That sounds familiar.

  126. locutusbrgon 09 Jul 2014 at 8:32 pm

    M fuller- I am not an expert I don’t widely speculate.
    “That’s because unlike official story believers, I don’t pretend to know exactly what happened. I don’t know exactly what happened because there is not enough evidence to know exactly what happened. ”

    I am enough of an expert to say that is clearly controlled demolition.

    I am enough of an expert to say that all evidence has been removed from the site.

    I am enough of an expert to know that nanothermite can be painted on.

    I am enough of an expert to identify squibs by video

    I am enough of an expert to know that structural collapse should be horizontal

    I am enough of an expert to know that controlled detonations are possible after 20 minutes of fire burning on several floors.
    ETC.

    So are you an expert or aren’t you?
    1. you are enough of one to dismiss the evidence of the official story but not enough of one to generate a specific scenario.
    2. Frankly the thought of an inept federal government and lucky terrorist is far more likely a story than a top secret multi level hush hush program with slaying civilians and perfectly detonating the buildings like a controlled demolition.
    3. If they are so secret awesome why not make it look like a building failure and complete the artificial scam job. Why do a controlled demolition since they clearly wanted building 7 down anyways. Why not make the buildings fall over to wipe out all the evidence. IF they were that good and timed and evidence free why not?
    but of course I am not an expert. It is all just wild speculation.;)
    I am sure there is some conspiratorial theory why it is was a mistake to let people know of some such or other.
    Either offer a concrete scenario that can be verified tested or explored. Stop dancing around with the “I’m no expert BS.” you sure come off like you think you are.

  127. grabulaon 09 Jul 2014 at 9:31 pm

    went off for the weekend and forgot there was a final part to this debate – maybe because it was over before it began.

    I however will not apologize for my behavior towards fullerton, he’s done nothing but earn it. His pattern is the same everytime – challenge to debate, state some vague argument, ad hominem, ad hominem, bail.

    Certainly I could be the better person but that’s not me, I’m kind of a jerk. Specifically I get pretty jerky when it comes to people who don’t deserve the respect. Respect is like a bank in my opinion. You start out with a 0 balance, meaning you get as much respect as anyone human being strange to you should get. As you move along you deposit or withdraw. Fullerton is so in the red it would take a supreme act by a non existent being to pull him out of his nose dive. There’s enough evidence of that here, but feel free to follow his argument around the internet for a while.

  128. grabulaon 09 Jul 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Robney said:

    “I think Novella attracts quite a polite audience generally because he himself is quite measured and polite but the skeptical community isn’t a monolith. The tribal vitriol on blogs like PZ Myers turns me off to be honest and I think its counter productive.”

    Most of the commentator’s here on this blog are generally polite enough, especially at first. Others can be kind to a fault, humoring people well past the point I think it’s reasonable – take a gander at the ‘brain is not a receiver’ thread to see some perfect examples of that. I don’t fault those guys for attempting to be nice but after a grand of posts explaining to several woo believers where they’ve gone wrong, and having the same arguments rehashed over and over again obviously because these people aren’t bothering to understand the evidence being spoon fed to them it get’s ridiculous.

  129. leo100on 09 Jul 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I am sorry you feel that way Grabula and unlike the so called inside job of 9/11 that Fullerton mentions that is overwhelming evidence for the brain being a receiver/filter/blocker of consciousness.

  130. grabulaon 09 Jul 2014 at 10:10 pm

    @Fullerton

    “Dr. Novella claims I have insulted him and his readers. I don’t recall ever doing that. Perhaps this is due to a misunderstanding what an insult is as opposed to an accurate negative characterization”

    In case anyone has any doubts why this guy deserves to be ridiculed,more evidence as follows:

    “Most of the comments involve attacking me personally instead of any of my arguments.”

    Most certainly, but only after a couple of attempts, including your first appearance on this blog to engage you in ACTUAL discussion. It turned out – as your internet history shows you are not interested in atual discussion. In fact I submit that you are incapable of it. You show no understanding of logic, physics, science, scientific method, discussion, logical fallacies, opinions, or in general how to behave like a human being.

    “Novella claims to not understand what my position is. I think that is very telling. From the outset I have been very clear as to my position.”

    Then why Fullerton, after reading your ‘debate’ here as well as in other locations can none of us figure out exactly what your argument is? You are as incapable of building a coherent argument as you are of understanding a logical fallacy.

    This:

    “I don’t pretend to know exactly what happened”

    “What evidence we have undeniably points to the notion that the Twin Towers were brought down with controlled demolition (CD)”

    You’re an idiot. But in case someone isn’t following my line of reasoning for this conclusion:
    This:

    “Novella claims that I did not address Bazant’s “careful analysis”. I did though.”

    Followed by this:

    “I called it “purely theoretical with zero evidence to support it” and “an entirely unsupported explanation”.”

    You’re idiocy is confirmed.

    “But his definition of “9/11 truther” is anyone that doesn’t buy the Bazant fairy tale.”

    Interesting,I thought real scientists didn’t speculate yet, here you are, wildly speculating.

    “Novella continues to falsely claim that I have provided no evidence of CD. I have provided it though.”

    Must have been on another thread somewhere? Maybe another popular internet forum you’ll claim a victory from? It’s not here, that’s empirical.

    Quick contest for our listeners, anyone know who this describes to a T?:

    ” A statement is repeated ad nauseum regardless of contradiction.”

    “This is because such explosions are small, usually staggered and happen above ground.”

    I forgot all those buildings were floating in mid air.

    “1. http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/668-why-popular-mechanics-cant-face-up-to-reality.html
    2. http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/585-faq-8-squibs.html
    3. http://911blogger.com/node/21695
    d. http://www.ae911truth.org/news-section/41-articles/574-faq-7.html

    I guess it takes an idiot to use idiots as a source for all his arguments.

    Fullertons arguments aren’t worth attacking, he has none. He’s repeating arguments that have been technically dismantled for years. At this point I’m only interested in attacking his method and ridiculing his attempt to be taken seriously.

  131. grabulaon 09 Jul 2014 at 10:48 pm

    @DGB

    “Comments are a bitch, aye? I love “accurate negative characterization”. I’m going to use that.”

    Keep in mind Fullerton shows he’s been dealing with the same kinds of attacks fro a couple of years now. He’s shifted from arguing his technicl points (few and far between even a few years ago) to attacking the argument and the argumentors themselves. He’s literally taken every attack made on him and attempted to turn it around to fit into his bizarre world view. This guy has painted himself into a serious corner.

    “We still don’t actually know what you think happened on 9/11″

    But we do, he’s tipped his hand. I won’t quote mine but he definitely believes in CD, and he uses Truther websites as resources to support his argument. That to me is indicative of his argument – he believes there was a conspiracy to destroy several buildings on US soil, using explosives, airplanes and killing thousands of people.

    @seefer

    “I’m left wondering why Michael does not seem to put much stock in the evidence given by independent parties who have taken the time to provide physics calculations that counter his beliefs? ”

    They don’t support his argument, therefore must be on the other side.

    “I’m always amazed by those who belittle, dismiss or are outright suspicious of science and yet blithely go through their life relying on and using the very things that science delivers them.”

    In this case I’ve never seen a more thorough misunderstanding and characterization of science and the scientific method. It’s delusional.

    @Bruce

    ” Is this the best they have?”

    I’m tempted to believe even Truthers won’t go near fullerton. I’ve seen dozens of arguments, discussions and debates on this from both sides and in 13 years, Fullertons is the worst on just about all counts.

    @Other John MC

    “That way I could point out that such computer animations are quite literally made entirely out of mathematics, with pretty pictures added on at the end.”

    Keep in mind this guy is supposed to be a scientist (self proclaimed) and at least hols a BS in Computer Science. I too hold this degree (though I’m not a scientist, just a fan of science) and even I understand this basic principle.

  132. Ekkoon 09 Jul 2014 at 10:48 pm

    ROFL. Leo! Get back in your cage! “Overwhelming” indeed….

  133. grabulaon 09 Jul 2014 at 11:01 pm

    @Ekko

    lol, wrong thread possibly?

  134. Ekkoon 09 Jul 2014 at 11:13 pm

    @grabula,
    I wish – look closer…

  135. grabulaon 09 Jul 2014 at 11:33 pm

    lol, I saw it after I posted. I guess Leo’s in a playful mood.

  136. Robneyon 10 Jul 2014 at 12:20 am

    JDunham,

    Brilliant summary.

    Reading it really helped me put Fullerton’s arguments (or non arguments) into context.

  137. Robneyon 10 Jul 2014 at 12:22 am

    Is anyone aware of this debate getting any coverage in the Truther community?

    I would find it hilarious if even they were critical of Fullerton’s performance.

  138. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 12:34 am

    He’s posted nothing but links to this debate (his side only) on his google+, not even a mention on his blog.

    I can’t remember the link to his trophy page so not sure if he’s tacked this on to his “impressive” wins category or not yet. Technically I guess he can claim 2 wins, one against Dr. Novella and one against us squeebs in the comments section. I mean, anytime he opens his mouth he wins right?

  139. Robneyon 10 Jul 2014 at 1:06 am

    Strange he wouldn’t put it on his blog. You’d think he would want to drive up traffic. Not even Cmatrix could bring himself to comment there.

    I have no doubt that Fullerton will consider this debate a victory for him (he dismissed all of the evidence cited by Steve and rejected all of Steve’s criticisms and arguments – he didn’t budge an inch) so it will be interesting to see whether he claims it as such on his blog.

  140. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 1:29 am

    Cmatrix or any of his other personalities.

    He doesn’t update his blog much it seems. While his message is consistent, he doesn’t seem to be able to consistently stick with communicating in any particular forum. His pattern is sort of an extended hit and run. He spends a couple of days tops ‘defending’ his arguments but disappears shortly after. I can only speculate that it’s because he never receives much of a warm reception.

    With his inability to form a coherent argument or argue genuinely I don’t see him sticking around to discuss anything with anyone who doesn’t agree with him. He’s got no patience and doesn’t seem interested in communicating anything of substance.

    I know a lot of new or infrequent commentators came to this debate to comment but he showed up on an earlier thread challenging Dr. Novella to dispute this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9lsNFYt5Ik

    A couple of us pointed out – respectfully – that there was really no message in the video, it’s mainly just an opinion piece and vague. We attempted to engage him in a discussion on his thoughts but he had shown up really just to get Dr. Novellas attention for this whole debacle.

  141. Robneyon 10 Jul 2014 at 2:51 am

    Yeah, it is a strange strategy. He claims that all criticism of him is puerile and fallacious but he doesn’t really make any effort to explain how. His assertion is apparently enough.

    Just reading his single comment again and I noted this unintentionally ironic sentence;

    ‘Novella claims that I did not address Bazant’s “careful analysis”. I did though. I called it “purely theoretical with zero evidence to support it” and “an entirely unsupported explanation”.’

    That’s not really addressing it, is it. It’s like saying;

    ‘Novella claims that I didn’t address Bazant’s analysis but I totally did, I said it was wrong!’

    I don’t know why I’m bothering but I’ll ask any way.

    Mr Fullerton, what specifically is wrong with Bazant’s analysis? Please explain what factual and calculative errors invalidate it?

    Please don’t make vague claims like that it is ‘speculative’ or that it doesn’t contain a ‘model’ or play semantic games by claiming it has no supporting ‘evidence’.

    I suspect you don’t have the expertise or ability to answer this question in which case why should I listen to anything you have to say on the matter

    Please show me that I am wrong.

  142. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 3:55 am

    @Robney

    “Just reading his single comment again and I noted this unintentionally ironic sentence”

    His stuff is full of irony, he blows irony out of the water really. He’s attached himself to a couple of 10 cent words and the names of logical fallacies and throws them around like they’re going our of style. What’s ironic is that he comes into a place like this with his terrible understanding of these fallacies and commits them left and right.

    If you spend any time around here take a look at the difference between this discussion and many of the others. We’re mostly happy as skeptics to attack the argument, in detail. You’ll see lot’s of posted links and references, and in some cases some of the bigger brains will discuss in depth key concepts for any given article. In response to Fullerton, it almost instantly went to his ridiculous methods for ‘debating’. He can’t build a coherent and technical argument so he spends most of his time attacking the attacker. He only superficially attacks the argument with again, his terrible understanding of logic.

    He basically represents the worst in just about any definition of true belief. He can’t put together an argument. He wants badly to turn the finger around on his attacker but doesn’t understand the logic, or the science. He’s infantile, belligerent and demeaning.

    What kills my irony meter every time this guy speaks however is the fact that he almost literally deconstructs his own arguments when he accuses his opponents of whatever he feels like accusing them of at the time.

  143. fullermon 10 Jul 2014 at 8:06 am

    Dr. Novella, I agree that the evidence regarding squibs is quite clear. They are currently only scientifically explainable by use of explosives. They look everything like squibs seen in other controlled demolitions (CDs). They do appear to be timed. They’re certainly not random. They’re occurring at regular intervals beneath the destruction zone. They are extremely rapid releases of gas (160 to 200 feet per second), IOW explosions presumably from blasting caps. Again, official story believers have never shown how these squibs with all their unique characteristics[1] could have come from any other means than explosives. No experiments have been conducted nor have any computer models been built to support such a non-standard explanation. No evidence, no science just hand-waving. So currently these squibs are strong evidence of CD and only CD.

    The symmetrical and rapid nature of the Twin Tower collapses are indeed, at the present time at least, features specific to CD and only CD. This is the devastating point you continue to fail to understand. If they weren’t specific to CD you would be able to cite a situation where they occurred without CD. You can’t because no such counter-examples exist. I do not have to provide a compelling case for why the towers would not have come down rapidly and symmetrically just because of physics and gravity. You are the one that must provide a compelling case that they did come down rapidly and symmetrically just because of physics and gravity. You are the one making the extraordinary claim without any evidence whatsoever. The burden of proof is on you not me. Citing a purely theoretical highly flawed paper with zero observational support is not in any way producing evidence. String theory is purely theoretical and no scientists in their right minds would claim that this theory has any evidence to support it.

    I may not have specifically stated what evidence I would accept that would show that the towers came down due solely to structural failure but I have certainly strongly implied it in Part I as well as in my first reply to Part IV. All I need is an accurate independently verifiable scale or computer model. This hasn’t happened yet presumably because it is impossible to create such a model.

    I have already provided a hypothesis, controlled demolition. However, here’s a bit more detail. Based on the evidence, my hypothesis is that key perimeter columns and all core columns on at least every few floors had bands painted with nano-thermite under the guise of applying fire-resistant primer paint. When activated this would remove the redundant structural support which is normally cut by hand in overt CDs. Every perimeter column was accessible through the removable ceiling panels. Every core column was accessible from the elevator shafts. Small timed kicker chargers were also installed perhaps under the guise of installing network switching equipment. The charges cut the remaining support to get the building moving. The charges were possibly wired with cable that looked indistinguishable from network cable. The people performing this work may not even have been aware of what they were installing. The charges were possibly controlled by computer software to modify their sequencing based on where the planes ended up hitting the buildings. The planes also may have simply hit predetermined points of the buildings. This hypothesis predicts the existence of the following evidence buried at Fresh Kills landfill: unreacted nano-thermite chips, massive amounts of iron-rich microspheres, either tiny bits of det. cord and regular detonator parts or wireless detonator parts. It predicts that the structural steel would have eutectic formations caused by intergranular melting. It predicts molten iron streaming down the building and pooling underneath. It predicts copious production of dense white almost odorless smoke before and after building destruction. It predicts many rapid releases of gas “squibs” during demolition. It predicts a high temperature fuming demolition pile for months afterwards.

    Notes

    1. http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/585-faq-8-squibs.html

  144. mumadaddon 10 Jul 2014 at 8:30 am

    They are currently only scientifically explainable by use of explosives. They look everything like squibs seen in other controlled demolitions (CDs). They do appear to be timed. They’re certainly not random. They’re occurring at regular intervals beneath the destruction zone…..So currently these squibs are strong evidence of CD and only CD.

    I had written this offline before Fullerton’s last post, but I’m incorporating the above quote because it’s yet another example of exactly what I was going to point out. After how ever many thousands of words, Fullerton’s one valid point comes down to this: the collapse of the towers is consistent with CD. That’s it. The rest is just bluster, hot air, hand waving and misfired logical fallacy accusations.

    He’s failed, as has already pointed out here, to demonstrate any aspect of the collapse that is inconsistent with NIST’s account. The quote above is just another example of this. Seriously, dust clouds shooting out of windows in sequence with the collapse is consistent only with CD? It is consistent with CD via explosive charges, I’ll give him that, but with thermite? Come on… he’s equivocating like m*thafu**er (channelling Bubs from The Wire) between these two methods, choosing which ever best suits the point he’s trying to make at the time.

    The thing that I’m left pondering now is why? Why after several years of peddling this silly argument and having it ripped to shreds, does he persist in making a show of challenging skeptics to debates? Why is he seemingly unable or unwilling to see the gaping holes in his own arguments? Why does this matter to him so much?

    And this is just priceless:

    You are the one making the extraordinary claim without any evidence whatsoever. The burden of proof is on you not me.

  145. mumadaddon 10 Jul 2014 at 8:38 am

    They’re occurring at regular intervals beneath the destruction zone…..So currently these squibs are strong evidence of CD and only CD.

    Michael, a little experiment for you to run. Open an externally facing window just a crack, and in front of that window (on the inside) place a pile of dust, or flour, or chalk powder, whatever. Now go and open the door to that room really quickly and see what happens to the pile of dust.

    Now imagine that same effect scaled up, with lots of dust and debris, and with 20 storeys of skyscraper barrelling down, quickly compressing the air and shooting it out the window.

    You dufus.

  146. Steven Novellaon 10 Jul 2014 at 8:46 am

    Michael,

    I would like you to clarify that point. If the puffs of smoke are squibs (which they clearly are not), then that means explosions. But no explosions were seen or heard. You say that explosions were not necessary, your scenario involves nanothermite, and yet you cite the squibs as evidence of explosions. So which is it?

    This is exactly why no one here takes you seriously. This is the kettle defense – I never borrowed the kettle, it was already broken when I got it, and it wasn’t broken when I returned it. Very transparent.

    You still have not addressed the many valid points that demolish your position. The Bazant paper is a model, it doesn’t matter that it was not simulated in a computer. You are moving the goalpost. You cannot dismiss it as “speculation” – mathematical modeling using proven laws of physics is not speculation. This is a fatal flaw in your argument.

    The bottom line is that your thermite hypothesis is simply unnecessary. Ockam’s razor slices it away. The towers would have fallen as they did without any CD, just by gravity alone.

    Another inconsistency – you demand an example of a building like the towers collapsing from structural failure and falling in a similar manner. There is no such example, of course, because it never happened before. But you don’t apply this to yourself.

    Give me an example of a building as large as the towers being brought down by CD in anything like the manner you describe. An example of a building brought down by nanothermite. An example of a building rigged for CD while occupied. An example of a building rigged for CD that burned for an hour before demolition. etc.

    Your blatant self-contradictions and internal inconsistencies doom your position to laughable folly.

  147. scpecoraroIIIon 10 Jul 2014 at 8:46 am

    Fuller, you are supposed to start with that, not end with it in the comments section weeks later. Stating your hypothesis this late in the game almost makes it seem like you are making this up as you go along.

  148. mumadaddon 10 Jul 2014 at 8:51 am

    “Your blatant self-contradictions and internal inconsistencies doom your position to laughable folly.”

    Nice – pithy.

  149. SteveAon 10 Jul 2014 at 10:12 am

    Well, I said I was done with it, but here I am…

    mumadadd: “The thing that I’m left pondering now is why? Why after several years of peddling this silly argument and having it ripped to shreds, does he persist in making a show of challenging skeptics to debates? Why is he seemingly unable or unwilling to see the gaping holes in his own arguments? Why does this matter to him so much?”

    I think it makes him feel important.

    I once saw a documentary about truthers where an engineer or architect (I forget which) was giving a presentation to a group of believers in the meeting room of some Mid-Western hotel. I was wondering why anyone would risk their professional reputation by getting involved with these crackpots when it struck me that he probably didn’t have much to lose in the first place (from what I could tell he was stuck in a dead-end job designing farm buildings and the like).

    But of course the truthers were delighted to have someone on their side with bona fide qualifications to their name and treated him like a hero. So, one minute he’s a bitter 9 to 5 schlub churning out blue-prints for grain silos and wondering where it all went wrong; the next, the silver hat brigade are hailing him as a champion and inviting him to give lectures, shaking his hand, slapping him on the back…

    Finally he was someone. Someone to listen to. Someone to adore. They might be morons, but he was their king.

  150. mumadaddon 10 Jul 2014 at 10:25 am

    Steve A,

    My own formulation is: Fantasy prone personality + Dunning Kruger effect (also know as arrogance of ignorance, pretty apt). This feels to be lacking something though, and I think you’re right.

    Fantasy prone personality: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy_prone_personality
    Dunning Kruger: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

  151. hammyrexon 10 Jul 2014 at 10:35 am

    “I may not have specifically stated what evidence I would accept that would show that the towers came down due solely to structural failure but I have certainly strongly implied it in Part I as well as in my first reply to Part IV. All I need is an accurate independently verifiable scale or computer model. This hasn’t happened yet presumably because it is impossible to create such a model.”

    It doesn’t matter what the claim is – sea monsters, aliens, government conspiracies, medical mysteries – there is always some practically attainable threshold of evidence the skeptical community is willing to request, which can be used to assess the validity of such claims.

    Fullerton essentially stating that no level of evidence for structural collapse could ever change his mind (short of literally rebuilding the towers and crashing planes into them) reveals this “discussion” is meaningless except perhaps as an extended version of “name that logical fallacy”. Most damning, Fullerton’s position is not mutual – Dr. Novella has made it quite clear that CD, while implausible given the evidence we do have, could none-the-less be the case if specific evidence emerged.

  152. jsterritton 10 Jul 2014 at 10:43 am

    “The symmetrical and rapid nature of the Twin Tower collapses are indeed, at the present time at least, features specific to CD and only CD.”

    Fullerm: you are 100% wrong in this assertion. It is groundless, baseless, with NO facts to back it up. You are begging the question and affirming the consequent. Get it through your thick head: symmetrical and rapid collapse are features of both CD and the collapse of the WTC towers. The only thing you can say that is even vaguely “scientific” is that tall buildings usually collapse this way. Your statement is a bald-faced lie, an empty claim, with no logic or even common sense to support it. This has been soundly and thoroughly shown to you — again and again — yet you continue to repeat this lie. Clearly you won’t concede the fact and live in a closed-off, delusional world where “facts” are manufactured and tailored to your liking by you and are impervious to reason and logic.

  153. Bruceon 10 Jul 2014 at 10:46 am

    SteveA,

    I think you hit the nail on the head there. Being a pretty anonymous agree-er with the consensus doesn’t make us stand out from the crowd, or show us as the all important individual that disney would have us be. By being that bit of a rebel and questioning “The Man” people make themselves stand out and feel important. The special snowflake effect in full flow.

    Would Steven have given any of us who are pretty much in agreement with much of what he says a whole two posts on his blog? Nope, and not because we have nothing useful to say, but that simply put we would just agree with him and while it might make a good conversation in person it makes for pretty boring blog-fodder.

    This brings up the old, should we give cranks a voice or not debate… but that is for another day.

  154. BassClefon 10 Jul 2014 at 1:01 pm

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

    You’re working backwards here. These are just things that people claim to have found or seen. Your hypothesis hasn’t predicted results before they were found. Also, many of these things are internally inconsistent, highly questionable as evidence (nano-thermite chips), or explainable with the accepted story.

  155. mumadaddon 10 Jul 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Oh yeah, forgot about nanothermite chips. Nanothermite has chips?

  156. Kathleen Mon 10 Jul 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I thought they were the chips that were a few scoville units up from the Habanero flavored chips.

  157. BassClefon 10 Jul 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Oh yeah, forgot about nanothermite chips. Nanothermite has chips?

    Ranch flavored.

    The “chips” are meant to prove that nano-thermite paint was used. Very poor evidence. Read here:

    http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2009/08/23/more-bad-science-surrounding-the-nano-thermite-red-herring/

  158. The Other John Mcon 10 Jul 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Those must be spicy chips!

  159. the devils gummy bearon 10 Jul 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Okay guys, let’s tone it down.

    No, wait. I mean the opposite of that.

    I wrote this last night, before this SN and MF exchanged.

    @grabula:

    But we do, he’s tipped his hand. I won’t quote mine but he definitely believes in CD, and he uses Truther websites as resources to support his argument.

    Indeed, indeed. His coyness before these comments has been commented on (MF going to enormous pains NOT to state anything of consequence- because his reckoning is really a house of cards, and he’s obviously aware that the more detail he divulges, the more preposterous it seems. Our WiFi nanothermite is now paint, and explosives were used but also not used, and were entirely undetectable, except to MF’s keen YouTube gleaning).

    On tone trolling; I’m with grabula (and jsterritt) on this matter. I mean, I’m likewise unapologetic about everything I said in Part III*. grabula’s respect/bank-balance analogy is basically how I approach everything and everyone under the sun. I gave our tone trolls a wide berth yesterday because they asked nicely (and also because I had to get on a flight, strangely enough, to BC). I don’t agree with their position, not even a little. Bronze Dog’s points about 1) the Vulcan thing backfiring, and 2) it taking all kinds/not a one size fits all approach are apt. I would add that tone trolling can backfire as well.

    An friendly FYI, something we’ve noticed previously- MF is only going to engage SN. Don’t waste too much effort (or life) expecting (is this expectation trolling???) MF to be cordiall or respectful (or honest). grabula can speak to this as well… grabula and I may be tied for life units wasted reading this guy’s _____________ (i couldn’t think of a non awaiting moderation series of words), out on the intertubes. So, you know, it’s all in vain- trying to communicate with him.

    He might show up to hurl a molotov cocktail or two or three, and maybe another sermon in his “101 fallacy” series (unsure what is more offensive). One thing he will not do is engage with us… But he’s not above pulling out sockpuppets to deal with us. He’s hitched his shit on a star, and he ain’t got time (read brains) for the fray.

    So what do you think, grabula? He’ll pop in a few more times to do his mighty-hubric feats of “logic” with SN? And then the bail? Perhaps an ad hom or two at the civility of the commenters here. Did I say civility? I meant to say sophistry

    *Guys, at some point (a point we passed a month ago), we have to stop being polite about the guy rubbing shit in his hair. We’re way past being polite about that, but dude’s been flinging poo all over the place for the past several weeks. People gave this guy a chance in Part I.

    (see jsterritt’s compilation of Fullterisms above. This is the level of maturity we’re dealing with, ON TOP of his preposterous anti-science nonsense, on top of his butchery of logic and reason, on top of his hubris- once you get past all this, all Fullerton has are toxic insults)

  160. The Other John Mcon 10 Jul 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I love how Fullerm moved the goalposts round and round, and now is saying that his damning evidence is the squibs. What about all the other evidence you claimed to have there, kiddo? Where’d it go?

  161. string pulleron 10 Jul 2014 at 2:57 pm

    fullerm is so deep into his delusion that nothing will ever bring him out. It’s sad, but nothing new or unexpected.. there is no believer like the true believer.

    It’s a great feeling knowing that anyone in the future who is genuinely curious about these arguments can see this exchange.. It deserves a Middle Earth style song of remembrance.. although that might give fullerm too much credit since he was such a feeble adversary.

  162. the devils gummy bearon 10 Jul 2014 at 3:01 pm

    MF seems to believe the technology in the Mission Impossible franchise exists in our reality. His speculation of events is essentially an MI-like caper. MF, you watch too many Tom Cruise action movies. They’re not documentaries.

  163. Vendetta88on 10 Jul 2014 at 3:10 pm

    So because nobody has made a cute little computer model for Fullerton to watch the physics calculations are “hand waving”?

    Does he think the computer calculates physics differently than physicists?

  164. the devils gummy bearon 10 Jul 2014 at 3:17 pm

    So because nobody has made a cute little computer model for Fullerton to watch

    If it’s not a YouTube video, it isn’t evidence (I wonder why no wants to make an animated cartoon about 9/11)…

  165. Stormbringeron 10 Jul 2014 at 3:23 pm

    On Youtube there is a video “CDI – The Art of Demolition” it is about 10 minutes long and show some very interesting implosions. What is interesting is that some are symmetrical and come straight down, but most are not. Many of the implosions either twist in on themselves or some very tall thin structures fall over like trees. One other thing to point out is the amount of time between when the charges fire off and when the structures start to collapse.

    Fullerm keeps saying that the buildings came down straight because of CD but as I pointed out earlier gravity is what brought the tower down, the material and structure of the building is what was preventing that. Matter moves based on what vectors of forces are applied to it. Gravity is applying a downward force on everything, so Mr. Fullerm for the building not to of fallen straight down there would of had to have been an addition vector on the building. Since there was no other vector outside of some local once created by the buildings structure, the buildings were going to fall straight down controlled demolition or not. So your proof that is was a CD because if fell straight down is wrong.

  166. Gojira74on 10 Jul 2014 at 4:06 pm

    “Gravity is applying a downward force on everything, so Mr. Fullerm for the building not to of fallen straight down there would of had to have been an addition vector on the building.”

    Hold on now. This is at least 8-12 grade physics. I’m pretty sure we are restricting the discussion to what a 6th grader would know ….. /sarcasm off

  167. Stormbringeron 10 Jul 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Sorry one more thing, nano-thermite, love the concept of having molecular sized reactive agents next to each other. I am not quite sure how you would layer them effectively to get the most energetic reaction and keep them that way in a liquid suspension. Maybe they are quantum bonded to carbon nanotubes.

    The problem with thermite paint is that when reacting the energy goes in all directions. To have an effect on the steel on one side of the paint the other side of the paint would have to be against something denser then the steel.

    Now cutting charges use a shaped explosion to create a shock wall that the cutting charge bounces off of it and often use a material as copper to cut the steel. So they do not need a backer to be effective.

  168. Robneyon 10 Jul 2014 at 4:41 pm

    ‘The people performing this work (rigging the entire Twin towers with explosive and nano thermite) may not even have been aware of what they were installing’ Michael Fullerton, 2014, Truther

  169. Robneyon 10 Jul 2014 at 4:45 pm

    His latest comment is very different in content and style. He finally fills in some of the details we’ve been asking for makes lots of specific claim and even tries to frame is a scientific theory with (retrospective) predictions.

    This may be a bit of a stretch but I get the impression he realised his argument was lacking and hit up a load of Truther websites to try and counter some of the criticisms here. Probably interpreting things too much but his last post is different than his usual.

  170. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 5:04 pm

    @fullerm

    “This is the devastating point you continue to fail to understand.”

    Yes, HE’S the one failing to understand.

    “You are the one making the extraordinary claim without any evidence whatsoever.”

    “Based on the evidence, my hypothesis is that key perimeter columns and all core columns on at least every few floors had bands painted with nano-thermite under the guise of applying fire-resistant primer paint. When activated this would remove the redundant structural support which is normally cut by hand in overt CDs. Every perimeter column was accessible through the removable ceiling panels. Every core column was accessible from the elevator shafts…”

    @mumadadd

    “The rest is just bluster, hot air, hand waving and misfired logical fallacy accusations.”

    His arguments have been taking a part already, dozens of times in some cases. In others it’s so ridiculous I don’t think anyone would bother. For example, consider the burn rate of thermite, painted on in bands is not enough to burn through a steel column, never mind the issues with gravity. Atleast he’s finally come out and outlined what he actually believes, all of it ridiculously preposterous.

  171. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 5:09 pm

    @hammyrex

    “Fullerton essentially stating that no level of evidence for structural collapse could ever change his mind (short of literally rebuilding the towers and crashing planes into them) reveals this “discussion” is meaningless except perhaps as an extended version of “name that logical fallacy””

    He revealed this sort of arrogance with his “challenge” on his website. He came out and said there’s no way anything but CD can be proven so anyone who accepts the challenge has lost before they’ve begun. This is what makes his rants on skepticism so ironic. He rails on and on about what skepticism is supposed to be and then shuts the door on any possibilities other than his fantasy.

  172. RickKon 10 Jul 2014 at 5:11 pm

    I’m one of the people who attacked you personally. I accused you of exploiting this event to stroke your own ego, and I still believe this. And I believe your self-supporting sock puppetry reinforces my belief.
    Putting that aside, let’s address the arguments.

    You claim your position is more scientific. Yet your position is premised upon an absurdity.
    That someone removed the fire-protective coating from the building’s iron supports, painted them with an astounding new explosive so powerful that a thin layer can cut through steel beams, then replaced the fireproofing, then triggered the explosive right at the point of impact of the two planes in such a way as to be visually undetectable is an absurdity.

    The SCIENTIFIC approach is to look at each of your pieces of evidence and see if there are explanations for them that don’t require invoking an absurdity.

    1) The symmetrical nature of the building collapse: First, it wasn’t perfectly symmetrical – nobody disputes the upper portion of the South Tower tipped over as it collapsed. Second, you have failed (not attempted) to disprove the simple premise that a 100-story building built like the WTC collapses relatively symmetrically. Conclusion: the floors and debris of a collapsing 100-story WTC-like skyscraper fall straight down. This conclusion doesn’t require your absurdity.

    2) “Explosions”: Even some of the witnesses you link to admit that they realized, when they looked up, that the explosions they were hearing were the sounds of the collapse starting. Conclusion: Dropping a 20-story building on top of an 80 story building makes an explosive sound and causes debris to shoot out the sides. This conclusion doesn’t require your absurdity.

    3) “South Tower roll”: I’ve looked at many videos of the initiation of the collapse. It tipped and collapsed, as if support gave way unevenly at the airplane impact point. Conclusion: The airplane attack caused the supporting structures to give way unevenly and the upper portion tipped before collapsing entirely. This conclusion doesn’t require your absurdity.

    4) White smoke: On the wikihow page giving 3 ways to create white smoke, the first method listed is to burn paper. Conclusion: Paper burned in the WTC. This conclusion doesn’t require your absurdity.

    5) Molten iron and thermite residue: Thermite is made from any one of several mixtures of very common elements and compounds. Finding a mixture of metals in Ground Zero that coincides with one of the thermite blends is a near certainty because a lot of stuff mixed together under tremendous force and heat. And the “molten iron” evidence is (a) weak and (b) explainable by any number of reactions possible when you violently collapse a 100-story building full of flammable materials. Conclusion: Both are explainable by non-extraordinary scenarios. This conclusion doesn’t require your absurdity.

    Your approach of (1) concocting an impossible premise and (2) clinging desperately to whatever anomalies you can find to criticize the official explanation is not scientific. It is absurd.

    Please, find another way to feel special that doesn’t require this exploitation of a national tragedy.

  173. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 5:24 pm

    @DGB

    “An friendly FYI, something we’ve noticed previously- MF is only going to engage SN.”

    I think he’s basically done. He’s spent his load so to speak revealing his crackpot ideals. His pattern at this point is to engage a single individual in actual debate, all others are beneath him though he’ll go out of his way to ad hominem the periphery, then he’ll bail.

    As you say he won’t engage with anyone else and if he does I’d be shocked. There’s nothing really to engage him on in any case. The reasonable concepts he believes in have already been addressed ad nauseum, he’s refused to accept the evidence. The rest of his argument is just preposterous. I mean the guy believes in radio controlled (maybe not the evidence could point to radio or non radio apparently) nano-thermite paint requiring squibs all planted by men going in and out of a populated building under the guise of installing a network (shame no you here fullerton, the one area you should know something about and you’re using it for evil.).

    I can’t express enough how uninteresting his argument is. It’s all rehashed garbage that was debunked YEARS ago by actual scientists. You literally just have to link to half a dozen sites on any claim he makes to refute just about all of them.

  174. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 5:30 pm

    @stormbringer

    “The problem with thermite paint is that when reacting the energy goes in all directions. To have an effect on the steel on one side of the paint the other side of the paint would have to be against something denser then the steel. ”

    This is all elementary and yet he misses this simple point. The Truther movement has some models for how thermite could have been used but would require way more work then just painting a little thermite on a steel column. Again, as their story grows, it becomes mroe complex.

    @Robney

    “This may be a bit of a stretch but I get the impression he realised his argument was lacking and hit up a load of Truther websites to try and counter some of the criticisms here. Probably interpreting things too much but his last post is different than his usual.”

    He rolled out the litany of truther excuses. NONE of this work has been done by Fullerton, it’s all Truther stuff that’s been generated for years, much of it long before Fullerton seems to have got involved. I know he’s passing a lot of this off as his own genius but it’s all rehashed, there’s not one moment of creativity on the part of Fullertons story.

  175. Stormbringeron 10 Jul 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Mr. Fullerm here are two ideas that might help make things clear. Take your hand and put it palm down on a table, take a hammer and put the striking face on the nail of one finger gentlely, put the other end on the table. Your finger can hold the weight of the hammer with no discomfort. While leaving the end on the table lift head of the hammer a couple of inches, let the hammer fall. If you noticed a difference in the feeling then you realize that motion matters.

    Now to understand the roll of the building go into your yard and do a standing long jump. Repeats it once more but stand on a couple of 8 inch brick placed on its small end. Could you jump as far?

  176. Beerceon 10 Jul 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I think what amazes (read: annoys, irritates, frustrates) me most is his complete misunderstanding of the burden of proof. I cannot fathom how it makes sense to him that the CD theory, with the elaborate and complex details that are required to make it work (some of which he has just described) is not the one with the lower prior plausibility and the one making the extraordinary claims… Just blows my mind that he thinks the burden of proof in this case can be shifted.

    Just a sample of (what I would consider) extraordinary claims that come to mind:
    1. No one (rescue crews, fire dept, police dept, civilians, waste disposal, volunteers, etc.) finding any evidence of explosives at the scene.
    2. The number of people who would need to be silenced regarding “the plan.” i.e. the scale of cover up required.
    3. Application of a questionable technology in explosives never before practically seen.
    4. Those installing the explosives not knowing what they’re doing (highly improbable given the complexities of a regular CD let alone one using questionable technology).

    I’d also like to add that “under the guise of fireproofing” makes no sense. Fire resistant primer wouldn’t be painted in “bands” it would be painted all over otherwise there’s no point.

    If the CD theory were true, I would also expect there to be a traceable paper trail of some sort for example:
    - The purchase of the large amount of explosives required. The materials would have to come from somewhere and they surely wouldn’t be free.
    - Maintenance schedules or change of personnel who enter and exit the building. There would need to be some documentation of who is doing the maintenance work, how many hours are spent, how many people, which contractors, etc.

    On the second bullet above, I would like to see a calculation done of how much explosives would be required and how long it would take for this to be installed. How much access would they need to the elevator shafts and ceiling panels? Does that time agree with the normal time required for regular maintance? This is just one example of yet another feature of the CD theory that needs even more explaining.

  177. mumadaddon 10 Jul 2014 at 6:50 pm

    RickK,

    Slam dunk, sir.

  178. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 6:52 pm

    @Beerce

    “I think what amazes (read: annoys, irritates, frustrates) me most is his complete misunderstanding of the burden of proof. ”

    It’s his pattern, he doesn’t understand really any of it. He’s attempted to turn all of the arguments he’s had to face to defend his stance for years, around on those who attack his ideas. The problem is just turning them around doesn’t make an argument and that’s where he goes wrong. It’s evident in every part of his argument – from his accusation of logical fallcies (fallacy fallacy) to his in ability to understand burden of proof.

  179. mumadaddon 10 Jul 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Take your hand and put it palm down on a table, take a hammer and put the striking face on the nail of one finger gentlely, put the other end on the table. Your finger can hold the weight of the hammer with no discomfort. While leaving the end on the table lift head of the hammer a couple of inches, let the hammer fall. If you noticed a difference in the feeling then you realize that motion matters.

    Now to understand the roll of the building go into your yard and do a standing long jump. Repeats it once more but stand on a couple of 8 inch brick placed on its small end. Could you jump as far?

    Genius. It’s a fifth grade explanation so he should be able to understand it. Oh wait, he’s smater than a fifth grader so he can’t understand it. Which way does time go again?

  180. mumadaddon 10 Jul 2014 at 6:59 pm

    D’oh! *smarter*

  181. JDunhamon 10 Jul 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Mr Fullerton: a minor writing tip–adding adjectives (“undeniable,” “devastating,” etc) does not make your assertions more believable.

  182. Robneyon 10 Jul 2014 at 8:18 pm

    But it makes him sound so authoritative. Don’t take that away from him. Empty rhetoric is all he has.

  183. the devils gummy bearon 10 Jul 2014 at 8:32 pm

    …of installing a network (shame no you here fullerton, the one area you should know something about and you’re using it for evil.)

    I see what you did there ;P Maybe he’s just shit at his day job- assuming he has one, but given that cmatrix was trying to get his CV submitted to reddit a few weeks ago… All we can say for sure is he thinks Mission Impossible tech is for realz, and he is terrible at IT. The one thing he says he has a degree in.

    So, I was cycling around Stanely Park today in Vancouver… And I ended up behind this guy on the bike path for quite a while:

    http://postimg.org/image/3p22cxaa9/

    Twoofers in BC… WTH guys?

  184. Shelleyon 10 Jul 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Hey, I might just be very simple about the whole thing, but, leaving the physics aside (yikes!) I cannot imagine the absolute silence (crickets chirping) of all the hundreds and hundreds of conspirators (vendors, painters, terrorists, plumbers etc) necessary in fullerton’s scenario, nor can I imagine that no one would take credit for it. It absolutely defies logic (okay, I see my mistake now), But, even if one were to argue that ‘the government did it and swore everyone to secrecy’, someone, somewhere would say something.

  185. BoringKittenson 10 Jul 2014 at 9:41 pm

    As a society we should certify people as bozos after they’ve ignored facts and reason for a prolonged period of time. Some sort of notification, like a (B) next to their name, so one would know to avoid engaging them.

  186. Robneyon 10 Jul 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Come on, we’ve all done it. Who hasn’t innocently installed in a computer network and accidentally set up the building to collapse with experimental controlled demolition technology.

    Honestly, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.

  187. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 10:09 pm

    “As a society we should certify people as bozos after they’ve ignored facts and reason for a prolonged period of time”

    This I think is the point about being civilized to people like this. I’m personally willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt – a lot of people walk around not thinking much about what’s going on around them. Typically you engage those people in conversation about something they’re confused about and they come around.

    Then there are people who just want to believe something and ignore the evidence. They’re pretty easy to spot and mostly I just keep moving.

    Fullerton is one of those rare individuals who’s taken it to a new level. Not only is he ignorant of the facts, he chooses to ignore what is basic physics and basic evidence gathering. Then he ups the anti on his stupidity and challenges level headed rational thinkers to these debates making a fool of himself every step of the way. Finally he takes that leap off the cliffs of stupid by not learning a thing about literally anything that get’s pointed out to him about anything ever.

    Fullerton is a genuine black hole of intelligence and credulousness. Skepticism, is by far not his forte

  188. fullermon 10 Jul 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Dr. Novella, the “squibs” (rapid gas ejections) are evidence of explosions. Since these gas releases are seen, explosions are seen. As I have already discussed, they are not heard because they are drowned out by the overwhelming sound of the collapsing building. You seem baffled that nano-thermite could be associated with explosions. The whole reason nano-thermite was developed was to exploit the explosive properties of thermitics mixed with organics. At any rate as I have said, I suspect that nano-thermite was used only to weaken the redundant structure and small conventional explosive charges were used to knock out the remaining structure. Why is it you believe the two technologies could not be used together? In reality I used no kettle defense; you simply believe what you want to believe about what I write to prop up your ridiculous crumbling belief system. This is why you generate the plethora of fallacies you do. I recommend you start comprehending what I actually write instead of just imagining what you want me to have written.

    I asked for a valid accurate model. Bazant’s analysis is neither. The fatal problem being that it egregiously violates basic laws of physics. Remember those papers you didn’t read because they were from “9/11 truthers”? Maybe you should start reading them. Your confirmation bias is showing, and it’s not pretty.

    My thermite hypothesis is absolutely necessary. It’s necessary because only it can explain all the observations. This is the gaping chink in your armour. Your horrendously flawed hypothesis can’t explain the vast majority of the evidence so you wave your hands and claim it doesn’t exist. That’s right, the evidence you can’t explain you ignore. What does the scientific method taught to fifth graders say about hypotheses with pronounced observational anomalies?

    Finally you admit that there has never ever been an example of a building like the Twin Towers collapsing from structural failure and falling in a similar manner. Now though you are bizarrely claiming that no buildings have comes down as quickly or as symmetrically as any known CDs. Every successful rapid straight-down CD in the history of mankind has come down in a similarly rapid and symmetrical manner as the Twin Towers. Why am I experiencing deja vu? Someone is continually succumbing to self-contradictions and internal inconsistency but it’s certainly not me.

    You can cite Occam’s razor all you want but it’s only useful when choosing between equally sound hypotheses. How is it that you don’t know this? In fact, Occam’s razor is all but useless in science. What is extremely useful in science is the notion of falsifiability. Every hypothesis must predict observations that would prove it false. The official story predicts jolts when the upper blocks engage the lower buildings and a slow asymmetric collapse. It predicts no molten iron, no iron-rich microspheres, no unreacted nano-thermite chips, no eutectic formations, no squibs and no explosions. All this evidence that you ignore, proves your hypothesis to be crackpot pseudo-science. No wonder you ignore it.

  189. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 11:07 pm

    @Fullerm

    Please just stop. You apparently have no idea how much of an idiot your’e making of yourself:

    “Dr. Novella, the “squibs” (rapid gas ejections) are evidence of explosions”

    In your tiny little mind maybe. To mathematicians, architects and physicist it’s an indication that the building was collapsing on the inside as well as the outside and as would be expected, lighter material is being expelled. It’s that simple.

    “Why is it you believe the two technologies could not be used together?”

    Strawman. I won’t go into detail, you can’t fathom the mistake anyway.

    ” you simply believe what you want to believe about what I write to prop up your ridiculous crumbling belief system.”

    Hello Pot! I’m kettle!

    “The fatal problem being that it egregiously violates basic laws of physics.”

    You have to have a basic, let’s say 6th grade (since that when I took my first physics class) understanding of physics in order to make this sort of claim. Since you don’t, it’s invalid.

    “Your confirmation bias is showing, and it’s not pretty.”

    No kidding, 8 years of having it pointed out to you and you’re still at it!

    “My thermite hypothesis is absolutely necessary”

    It isn’t YOUR thermite theory, you have less of an understanding of how it operates than those who DID propose it. It’s not necessary either, that’s all been pointed out to you though.

    ” Your horrendously flawed hypothesis can’t explain the vast majority of the evidence so you wave your hands and claim it doesn’t exist.”

    You’ve yet to provide any so we have to assume it’s out there floating around somewhere else?

    “Finally you admit that there has never ever been an example of a building like the Twin Towers collapsing from structural failure and falling in a similar manner.”

    aaaaaaan your idiocy rears it’s ugly head. YOU’VE been demanding a replication of the incident as proof. WE know this has never happened before. The other thing we KNOW is that physics and the material sciences explains everything that happened just fine, no magical radio controlled squib bombs necessary.

    “Someone is continually succumbing to self-contradictions and internal inconsistency, it’s certainly me”

    FTFY

    “You can cite Occam’s razor all you want…”

    He should, you seem to have a hard time understanding the concept. For example – large fast moving plane hits building. Damage and fire ensue, physics takes over OR hundreds of individuals over an extended period of time sneak thousands of lbs of explosives in a busy building in one of the busiest cities in the world. They orchestrate the hijacking of 4 planes, two of which crash into these buildings, no incidentally setting off the explosives on those floors, the buildings burn for a bit and then and some mysteriously designated time, they perfectly demolish two 110 story buildings but make it appear as though the airplanes were the cause.

    “The official story predicts jolts when the upper blocks engage the lower buildings and a slow asymmetric collapse.”

    It doesn’t

    “It predicts no molten iron”

    It does

    “no unreacted nano-thermite chips”

    There are none

    “no squibs and no explosions”

    All in your head.

    “All this evidence that I ignore, proves your hypothesis to be scientific. No wonder I ignore it.”

    FTFY, your welcome.

  190. Robneyon 10 Jul 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Fullerton,

    Yes, squibs are evidence for controlled demolition but in this instance they are equally congruent with the consensus explanation for the collapse. Therefore squibs can’t be used as evidence in favour controlled demolition over the consensus explanation.

    Your argument that explosives cause squibs and that squibs were observed therefore explosives must have been used is affirming the consequent – AGAIN! The squibs observed are equally consistent with the consensus explanation of the collapse. And as Novella pointed out, the pattern of squibs was not consistent with what is typically observed with a controlled demolution.

    Your explanation that the noise of the collapse drowned out the noise of the explosives makes no sense. If the explosions caused the collapsed then then the explosions, or at least some of them, would have preceded the collapse therefore there would have been no noise from the collapse to drown out the noise of the explosions.

    You claim now that both nanothermite and conventional explosives were used in combination so were you therefore not using a kettle argument however you did not clearly state this in your opening blog posts – hence Novella explaining that it was difficult to determine exactly what your hypothesis is.

    Novella criticised your demand of requiring a precedent of a collapse like the Twin Towers because there is no precedent for your controlled demolition hypothesis either. You go back to saying that symmetrical controlled demolitions set a precedent for your hypothesis completely ignoring that your hypothesis resembles nothing like the controlled demolitions you are citing. Your hypothesis postulates a method of controlled demolition that has never been used before so there is no precedent for it. Falling back on symmetrical collapses prove controlled demolition is affirming the consequent – AGAIN

    Your logic is going around in circles.

  191. Robneyon 10 Jul 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Grabula;

    ” Your horrendously flawed hypothesis can’t explain the vast majority of the evidence so you wave your hands and claim it doesn’t exist.”

    You’ve yet to provide any so we have to assume it’s out there floating around somewhere else?

    It’s probably a Youtube video

  192. Beerceon 10 Jul 2014 at 11:27 pm

    I just squibbed…

    Which reminds me: Don’t you think with the amount of explosives necessary to take down those buildings, it would have been very easy to smell them after the blasts? I don’t know about nanothermite, but conventional explosives have a pretty obvious smell.

  193. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 11:29 pm

    @Robney

    “Your logic is nonexistent.”

    FTFY Robney, I didn’t want anyone falsely accusing Fullerton of anything

  194. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 11:32 pm

    @Robney

    “It’s probably a Youtube video”

    I probably stand corrected.

  195. grabulaon 10 Jul 2014 at 11:39 pm

    @Beerce

    “Which reminds me: Don’t you think with the amount of explosives necessary to take down those buildings, it would have been very easy to smell them after the blasts? I don’t know about nanothermite, but conventional explosives have a pretty obvious smell”

    Not sure if that would be the case. For one, what amount of explosives would it take? In the retarded version above it takes nano-thermite paint, and other small explosives hiding as your basic internets to bring the buildings down – notice that tellingly he never talks about the plane impacts, hard to hand wave away two hundred tons of plane slamming into a building I guess.

    With all of the material coming down and being spread out, I would be dubious of anyone who claims they smelled explosives. First of in my time in the army explosives have different smells that can sometimes be altered by context. I’ve never been around a controlled demolition of a building so don’t know if you can smell it downwind but I assume in those cases there’s a good chance since the buildings have been stripped and an obvious amount of explosives used (you know, since you’re not trying to hide it as part of your conspiracy).

    It’s the same problem as claims of hearing or not hearing explosions. The sound of a building that size coming down is tremendous, listen to any of the video as it happens. I’m sure large explosions could be picked out but you don’t hear anything of the sort, we only get anecdotal evidence “Something like an explosion” type claims that instantly led the idiocracy to the concept.

    Ultimately, you don’t even have to go far to understand there are no explosions involved outside of the initially impacts of the airplanes. Sometimes physics is hard however and people can get confused.

  196. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 12:29 am

    I would like to see a calculation done of how much explosives would be required and how long it would take for this to be installed.

    i.e. work. Twoofers are allergic to work. Science is hawd.

    Come on, we’ve all done it. Who hasn’t innocently installed in a computer network and accidentally set up the building to collapse with experimental controlled demolition technology.

    I can’t even begin to tell you how many explody gallons of paint I’ve slapped on my client’s buildings, and forget about all the explody networks I’ve rigged up over the years, after I got of explody construction and into explody IT.

    MF lives in a scary world of EXPLODING CONSOLES OF DOOM!

  197. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 12:38 am

    Squibs? “Rapid gas ejections”? Evidence of explosions?

    Pressure system(s), guy. Someone else already pointed out to you, you dolt, what happens when pressure shit shifts (actually goes out the window) in an enclosed-ish space. This is powerfully stupid, guy. Powerfully… Wow. Just wow.

  198. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 2:14 am

    Fullerton vs logic/special pleading. Two enter, only one can leave… The Fuller-dome!

  199. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 2:39 am

    It’s slowly occurred to me what the real problem here is. It’s been sort of hazy for me the last couple of weeks but it’s finally come into focus. Essentially, the issue isn’t that you can’t argue against Fullerton’s own argument, you can. In fact, it’s too easy, especially 13 yrs after the incident with a ton of professionals doing the heavy work.

    The problem is you can’t debate FULLERTON. You cannot get him to move on any of his points, even though many of those have been dealt with in detail already. You cannot get him to see his logical errors. You literally can’t get him to shift at all. This is why I think it was a waste of time for this debate to even occur. I know in general debates just go that way but I think Fullerton is more entrenched than more sophisticated debaters. Take any number of creationist/evolution debates. Often times those for creation will concede small points here and there. Ultimately it doesn’t make then any less wrong, but it shows they might not be completely intractable.

    Fullerton’s methods are so off base that attacking his arguments really is a waste of time. You can’t attack his method since he won’t budge on even the smallest, most obvious pieces.

    I think this is what’s ultimately the biggest let down and frustration. This guy came at Steve so confidently I thought for sure he was going to have something, anything to make it interesting. Ultimately even reading through a recent critique of Loose Change has been more entertaining.

  200. Beerceon 11 Jul 2014 at 2:48 am

    For me, “rapid gas ejections” are not evidence of an explosion – at least not the kind we’re all talking about: It could be evidence of an upcoming (and sometimes imminent) bowel movement. It’s worth noting that this type of rapid gas ejection typically occurs before the “explosion” itself but can occur during and after as well.

    Hey, at least this theory makes predictions and is falsifiable…

  201. jasonnybergon 11 Jul 2014 at 2:56 am

    Wow, this was an entertaining thread… I must add my two cents:

    Was it or was it not the goal of the supposed “CD Agents” to make it look like the towers were dropped by the effects of airplane impacts?

    If so, why did they make it look obviously and exactly like a controlled demolition instead?

    Is Fullerton really just criticizing the Agents’ “performance”, like someone at a movie whining that the special effects look fake, because _they know_ what an exploding space battleship _really_ looks like?

    If only the CD Agents had been a little crazier with their “demolition”, even Fullerton himself might have been fooled and they’d have gotten away with it…

  202. Robneyon 11 Jul 2014 at 3:00 am

    I think his inability to to admit even the smallest possibility that he might be wrong, as well as his unwillingness to refine his arguments when obvious flaws have been pointed out to him are what betrays him as a true believer and not a skeptic.

    His misunderstanding of logical fallacies would be forgivable if upon correction he refrained from incorrectly accusing others of using them.

  203. Robneyon 11 Jul 2014 at 3:06 am

    @ Jasonnyberg,

    The funny thing is, if the conspirators had arranged the collapse so that the building snapped in half and fell to the side, we would be the ‘Truthers’ arguing that the collapse should have looked more like a controlled demolition.

  204. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 3:08 am

    Dr. Novella, the “squibs” (rapid gas ejections) are evidence of explosions.
    No, they are not. What you are seeing were extremel;y rapid pressure changes.

    I used no kettle defense…
    Untrue. You did, and do.

    …you simply believe what you want to believe about what I write to prop up your ridiculous crumbling belief system.
    You are now borderline-parody of an insane person.

    This is why you generate the plethora of fallacies you do.
    Mmm. Pathetic. Really pathetic.

    I asked for a valid accurate model. Bazant’s analysis is neither.
    Nope. This is 100% factually untrue.

    …it egregiously violates basic laws of physics.
    It most certainly does not.

    Maybe you should start reading them.
    We have. We actually have.

    Your confirmation bias is showing, and it’s not pretty.
    Sure.

    My thermite hypothesis is absolutely special pleading.
    FTFY

    Your horrendously flawed hypothesis can’t explain the vast majority of the evidence so you wave your hands and claim it doesn’t exist.
    Neener-neener, I’m rubber and you’re glue, what bounces of me, blah blah blah. LITERALLY fifth grade shit here.

    What does the scientific method taught to fifth graders say about hypotheses with pronounced observational anomalies?
    Mmm… More of this shit fifth grade science schtick? You really are too stupid to understand the irony here, aren’t you? We are laughing at you, a grown man who is too stupid to get fifth grade science right… And yet chooses the “fifth grade science” he’s getting so very wrong as his hill to die on.

    Someone is continually succumbing to self-contradictions and internal inconsistency but it’s certainly not me.
    Oh you poor fool, it most certainly is you.

    What is extremely useful in science is the notion of falsifiability. Every hypothesis must predict observations that would prove it false.
    This is good, this is good… You finally looked up the definitions of the words “hypothesis” and “falsifiability”. Now parse.

    …predicts jolts when the upper blocks engage the lower buildings and a slow asymmetric collapse.
    False. As are the further claims in this last paragraph.

    …no unreacted nano-thermite chips,
    Again, the Mission Impossible movies are not documentaries. Until you can provide the world with one of these magic chips, you can piss off. Put up or shut up, guy. Put up or shut up. Again, after all of this, MF presents ZERO evidence. Zero. Remarkable. Utterly amazing.

    this evidence that you ignore, proves your hypothesis to be crackpot pseudo-science. No wonder you ignore it.
    Again, ZERO evidence. Again, you (MF) do not have a scientific hypothesis (to begin with), thus you are beyond crackpot pseudoscience. One does wonder. One does indeed wonder…

  205. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 3:25 am

    @jasonnyberg

    “Was it or was it not the goal of the supposed “CD Agents” to make it look like the towers were dropped by the effects of airplane impacts?”

    I’ve always kind of wondered that too. Fullerton fails to discuss it in anything I’ve been able to track down but he actually talks very little about the planes and their impacts. I have to wonder if he’s a no-planer.

  206. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 3:28 am

    “His misunderstanding of logical fallacies would be forgivable if upon correction he refrained from incorrectly accusing others of using them.”

    what’s the old saying again ‘know one knows how stupid you are until you open your mouth’

  207. Bill Openthalton 11 Jul 2014 at 3:33 am

    grabula –

    Please just stop. You apparently have no idea how much of an idiot your’e making of yourself:

    The trouble with this world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

    – Bertrand Russell.

  208. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 3:38 am

    I wondered at first why Fullerton had no audience, I no longer wonder. It would appear, even for truthers, this guy is nuts. BUT, before you get to the core of dim insanity, you have to go through these layers of repulsion (just basic interpersonal life skill things, he can’t manage). Like human repellant. seems every person this guy meets is turned immediately into an enemy due to his sheer offensiveness and toxic demeanor.

    And one has to wonder: is this boorishness a result of a life of losing the fights he picks? Or did he start out this abhorrent? Did something happen to his head at some point?

  209. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 3:44 am

    I have to wonder if he’s a no-planer.giggling to tears…

  210. Robneyon 11 Jul 2014 at 3:52 am

    Fullerm,

    I’ve asked you a few questions directly and you haven’t provided any reply. I find it not a little unfair that you have indirectly labelled me a coward for not debating when I’ve tried several times.

    I have a question, how confident are you in your conspiracry theory? As you know, science doesn’t deal in certainties but rather degrees of probability.

    If on a scale of 1-10, 10 is certainty in the ‘official story’ and 1 is certainty in the controlled demolition explanation (5 being undecided), where is your belief on the spectrum?
    I would say I am reasonably confident in the ‘official story’ but I have held conspiracy theories in the past and I allow for the possibility that I am wrong so I would myself somewhere between 8 and 9.

    If your belief is less than certainty, what evidence would cause you to change your mind

  211. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 3:57 am

    @DGB

    “his sheer offensiveness and toxic demeanor. ”

    Toxic is a good word for it. Someone higher up already pointed out that fullerton makes the mistake of lacing his commentary with emotionally laden absolutes. If I had to guess or speculate I’m betting he’s always been boorish but found some connection in the fringe and so pursed it. I’m willing to go out on a limb on this because the evidence seems to point towards the fact that he seems to have very little support. In all of the threads I read relating to him and his crackpot theory (see what I did there) I’ve seen very little in the way of support except for the occasional ‘just asking questions’ from a random.

    Generally it seems when a true believer comes out of the woods one or two of his fans or cohorts show up to back him up but this is conspicuously lacking with Fullerton. He has one, really off the wall guy commenting on his blog occasionally but beyond that it seems Fullerton is mostly on his own. I suspect he’s alienated most of the people who would be his peers, it’s why I also suspect it’s his personality that’s the source of the toxicity. His argument is all the oldies and goodies from the truther movement so you know there are others who believe the same things, they’re just not interested in associating with Fullerton apparently.

  212. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:00 am

    This guy can’t be for real.

    grabula, we can’t seem to find this guy pre-2010? He just sort of came out of woodwork and hasn’t garnered an audience of any kind in these few years? This is a long shot, but do you think it is it at all possible that this character is actually a character? Like a side-project someone’s doing in their spare time…

    Or, is this seriously happening?

  213. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:01 am

    @Robney

    “I find it not a little unfair that you have indirectly labelled me a coward for not debating when I’ve tried several times”

    He definitely shows intellectual cowardice. He’s not interested in the real evidence and generally won’t address it. In fact, it’s taken us almost a month, and some investigation work to figure out how deeply down the rabbit hole he’s gone – deep!

    He refuses to debate online in an open forum with multiple people. I’m sure you’ve already seen his challenges to debate ONE person over and over again but it’s his pattern from the last couple of years he’s been pestering people. However he’s fine with hurling insults at the masses.

    I’d be afraid if I were him and my argument was so poorly put together. Look what’s happened to him here on almost all levels, he’s been torn to pieces.

  214. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:08 am

    @DGB

    “grabula, we can’t seem to find this guy pre-2010? ”

    I haven’t been able to trace him past around 2010. I’m not sure how old he is, looks to be in his early 30′s maybe. My guess is that he has been a true believer for much longer but recently started putting his argument together to his satisfaction.

    He doesn’t show any particular ingenuity when it comes to his arguments and all of them are classic truther claims, most of which I know for fact were never originated with him.

    I’m guessing he got into a few online discussions, got torn to pieces, came back fighting and has built himself up to be a hero in his own mind. Even if you look at his arguments in 2010, they’ve altered over time. His main focus used to be WTC7 – a classic because it wasn’t directly hit by an airplane, therefore CD. Over time he’s moved to the towers, but even more so, to just making vague statements and then attacking someones verbiage and logic (poorly). I said it before but I really think he’s chosen this tack because it was his weak spot int he first place. He hasn’t learned anything, he’s just shifted his tactics to mimic skeptical and rational minds.

    Delusional is the best word that comes to mind. I’m not a psychiatrist or a psychologist so I can’t prescribe him anything but just take for example his trophy page. I read the two “wins” he claims (of three, everyone else fears his intellect) and he’s taken apart as handily there as he has been here.

  215. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:15 am

    If Fullerton WEREN’T a coward, he’d engage we skeptics in a real debate. I mean point by point instead of vague allusions.

    That’d be my challenge to Fullerton to counter his ‘there can be only one’ format. Post here, one piece of evidence at a time so we can discuss in detail, and go point by point.

  216. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:15 am

    I can’t imagine it’s the same person, but the first thing that comes up when you google Michael Fullerton “brain damage” is an author of the same name who writes apparently not really well written books on sciencey stuff and also one on schizophrenia(???). What am I saying? I need to get some sleep. Common names, coincidences, etc… But I just had this moment…

    Anyway.

    I will say this; reading Michael Fullerton’s writing (the fullerm/cmatrix we know and love), if you spend enough time reading this stuff, you do begin feeling as if you are losing your mind. I’m not being hyperbolic at all when I say this; You start loosing your sanity. You start staring at your screen crooked, wondering how insane what you’re reading actually is, how deep does this go?

    I said I was done, but here I am. This character is fascinating for reasons I cannot explain. His arguments are terrible and uninteresting, but the person making them is… You end up wondering an awful lot.

  217. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:18 am

    Robney,

    Your argument that explosives cause squibs and that squibs were observed therefore explosives must have been used is affirming the consequent – AGAIN!

    Oh….M….F….Ghhod. He bloody well did it again didn’t he?

    1. If P (explosive charges) then Q (squibs: gas jets)
    2. Q
    3. Therefore P

    This is napalm grade stupid. No wait, that doesn’t cut it – nuclear level stupid. No… still not enough. Ah, supernova level stupid.

    And what is this tactic he seems to be employing? Just act like you’ve won the debate, so the casual reader might be fooled by the tone and claims of superiority into thinking he’s actually won?

    I think we might be being punked.

  218. Bruceon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:21 am

    Or, when almost everyone is pointing out where you have gone wrong and are trying to get some sense out of you, claim you are being ganged up on and insult everyone who disagrees with you.

  219. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:21 am

    I haven’t been able to trace him past around 2010. I’m not sure how old he is, looks to be in his early 30′s maybe.

    Claims to have graduated UCalgory in 92, which would put him well into his 40s if he had been a traditional student, and he looks about it too (from his youtube video this year).

  220. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:27 am

    Punked for a little social experiment or the like? Or… Ugh… Is this for real?

  221. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:29 am

    @DGB

    If he had wrote that book you’d definitely see it on his website and so on. When I first googled Michael Fullerton I got a ton of hits, seems to be a common name.

    “I will say this; reading Michael Fullerton’s writing (the fullerm/cmatrix we know and love), if you spend enough time reading this stuff, you do begin feeling as if you are losing your mind.”

    I get bored, legitimately bored. Keep in mind for me personally 9/11 and specifically the Loose Change video were what really kicked off my dive into skepticism. A buddy sent it to me and was like, dude, you gotta watch this. It grabbed me at first, but it didn’t take more than a few minutes in before I was already starting to doubt the sincerity of the film makers (turns out it ‘started out’ as a fake film, I suspect these guys got caught in an avalanche of publicity they weren’t prepared for and got sucked into their own fantasy). So, for that reason the Truthers and their wackiness sort of hold a special fascination for me, my first real lucid moment of skepticism, and a modern and blatant conspiracy easy to follow up on. I can read most truther nonsense for days just to understand the psychology.

    Fullerton has done something no one truther so far has accomplished for me and that’s to bring about boredom. It was interesting at first and I think if I’d have found posts by him going back further it would have held my interest but the guy is seriously monotonous. His favorite tactic is just repeating his beliefs over and over again as if saying it enough refutes others claims. He’s predictable.

  222. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:31 am

    “Claims to have graduated UCalgory in 92, which would put him well into his 40s if he had been a traditional student, and he looks about it too”

    Could be true, I have a mild case of prosopagnosia so judging ages can be entertaining.

  223. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 4:40 am

    Irrefutable proof that buildings don’t collapse the way the towers did: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ami6pRz1IWg

    Devestated!

  224. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:06 am

    Being punked would be better than how sad the truth actually is. My doubts about who he says he is aren’t meaningful or relevant, and are about as mundane and uninteresting as the Cyber Matrix Corporation inc website Fullerton claims some association with. Who knows. Who cares? I’m not serious. I spent about 10 minutes going down the cmatrix hole on reddit the other week, and went back and compared cmatrix’s writing to fullerm’s, as it was blatant. And cmatrix is Cyber Matrix, so one way or another, one of us was going to notice it at some point. At least the sockpuppet was a dimension, for a moment, in otherwise one dimensional monolith of madness. A kind of depth, for lack of any kind of depth.

    I have a Michael Fullerton “hypothesis”…

    (thin at one end, much, much thicker in the middle. And then thin again at the far end)

  225. Robneyon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:09 am

    Its worse that, Mummadad

    explosives makes explosive noise. Explosions were heard therefore explosives were present

    Nano thermite cause white smoke. White smoke was observed therefore nano thermite

    nanothermite melts metal. Multan metal was observed therefore nanothermite.

    Explosives cause squibs. Squibs were observed therefore explosives.

    Controlled demolition collapses are symmetrical and near free fall. Collapse was symmetrical(ish) and free fall(ish) therefore controlled demolition.

    controlled demolition collapses don’t jolt. No jolt observed therefore controlled demolition.

    have I missed any?

  226. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:10 am

    I think I missed his Cyber Matrix shenanigans in reddit. I saw the link where he talks to himself for a few posts.

  227. Robneyon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:11 am

    Molten*

  228. Robneyon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:13 am

    Regardless whether cyber matrix is a real company I know one thing, I won’t be using Fullerton to install any networked computer equipment in my home.

  229. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:15 am

    Robney,

    “have I missed any?”

    I don’t think so. The arrow of logic well and truly reversed. Wow.

    Grabula,

    “I think I missed his Cyber Matrix shenanigans in reddit. I saw the link where he talks to himself for a few posts.”

    Oooo, please share!

  230. Robneyon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:17 am

    I’m starting to feel bad again now. I should be above this.

    I will say one thing, in many ways Fullerton has shown amazing restraint. He must read these comments and be annoyed by many of them. He hasn’t come in this tine insulting us all.

  231. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:18 am

    If you ever again make me watch a Michael Bay scene, grabula, I will find you, I will hunt you down and threat.

  232. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:22 am

    I’m starting to feel bad again now. I should be above this.

    It’s okay, we are resigned to our fates as delusional blowhards.

  233. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:23 am

    @Robney

    don’t feel bad, he’s been asking for it since at least 2010. I don’t think it’s about restraint. I think he surfs the comments looking for Dr. Novellas stuff and limits his responses to them, mostly. I could be wrong but he has the same sort of laserbrained focus in some of the forums he has swopped in on and swooped out of again.

    @DGB

    Evidence dude, you’ve been devastated

  234. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:27 am

    @mumadadd

    I thought it was in the 3rd part of this ‘debate’ somewhere but can’t find it. I’m pretty sure someone linked to a reddit thread where he’s outed as two different people in the same thread. I could be imagining it though, my brain trying to make this more entertaining.

  235. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:32 am

    I won’t be using Fullerton to install any networked computer equipment in my home.

    Cripes! I wouldn’t trust him to paint my chicken shed. Last thing I need is a yard full of molten chicken.

    Okay, again… Radio-controlled/networked possibly 801.11 (who knows, who cares) magic paint, both explody paint and nano-thermite paint, that the painters didn’t notice they were painting with (more special pleading for these figment laborers who couldn’t tell the diff between Dupont and unheard of T-1000 type paint from a science fiction future), that can slice through I-beams like CG in a summer blockbuster.

    My god.

  236. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:37 am

    @mumadadd
    I thought it was in the 3rd part of this ‘debate’ somewhere but can’t find it. I’m pretty sure someone linked to a reddit thread where he’s outed as two different people in the same thread. I could be imagining it though, my brain trying to make this more entertaining.

    Oh, that was me, here:
    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/911-conspiracy-debate-part-iii/#comment-80611

    Scroll around that general area, mumadadd. It’s terribly uninteresting.

    If you look at cmatrix’s history on reddit, you’ll find a hilarious bit where he gets into a tantrum with a reddit employee (Fullerton sent in his CV to reddit, you have to take it in to fully appreciate the exchange).

  237. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:42 am

    http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/28034h/employers_of_reddit_what_is_the_most/ciabxbf?context=3

    Just let that wash over you… A sub reddit of reddit employee’s talking about horror stories of the CVs they get sent… And in comes Fullerton with his 9/11 stuff on his CV… The exchange between “deleted” and “cmatrix” is HILARIOUS!

  238. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:47 am

    I’m still curious how he figures ‘nano-thermite paint’ whatever that is, weakened beams before the teeny tiny explosives destroyed them entirely – not to mention this scheme was pulled off nearly perfectly.

    This should be fun, let’s break it down

    The theory he is foisting on us is that:

    1 – Nano-thermite is painted on beams to weaken and /or melt them
    2 – Radio controlled mini explosives are used to finish the job the thermite started (hidden as wap/weps

    He doesn’t address a couple of key issues:

    1 – Why bother with the planes? Terrorists came after the towers with bombs before, why not just use the same MO but more successful this time?
    2 – Who did all this painting/planting? We have to assume a couple of hundred beams would have to be rigged, how did they do this under cover?
    3 – Why haven’t any of those people come forward to confess to the horrors they contributed to?

    I’ve seen official truther explanations for some of these, I”m curious what Fullerton would say on these.

  239. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 5:48 am

    LOL:

    “Looks like you have trouble believing anything obvious”

    It took that guy 3 replies to figure Fullerton out.

  240. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:11 am

    @grabula

    “Evidence dude, you’ve been devastated”

    My ridiculous faith-based belief that Bay is a pleasant person who makes solid movies is pitifully crumbling.

    “I’m guessing he got into a few online discussions, got torn to pieces, came back fighting and has built himself up to be a hero in his own mind.”

    You’ve been bringing this up recently, and this has been echoing my own thoughts: he keeps getting pwned, so he begins mimicking the words and the seeming tactics of those who pwned him. Tonight he bothered to figure out what the words falsifiability and hypothesis actually mean, things I’ve been egging him on about for a week or two. I’ll admit I’ve been trying to egg him on a bit, but not for ignoble purposes (I’d like to be surprised by a coherent argument at least).

    @Robney

    “He hasn’t come in this time insulting us all.”

    Well, he didn’t really have much of a choice did he? SN wouldn’t expand the debate, so MF had to enter into the comments, not on his terms, to continue his stunt-hubris at SN. Anyway, if you really feel above this, rise above it. Or have a laugh. Or call it for what it is. Or talk amongst ourselves. One reason we wind up talking about MF as often as we do is because MF thinks he’s above us. Which is funny. He doesn’t communicate with us. He reads us, but for reasons known only to him, he can’t be bothered. If MF had engaged the commenters AT ANY POINT in any meaningful way, the derision wouldn’t have started. See jsterritt’s compilation above. It’s hard to get any lower than what MF has laid on us.

  241. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:23 am

    @grabula,

    The theory he is foisting on us is that…

    we’re through the looking glass here people…

    http://www.break.com/video/ugc/saucer-people-1961302

  242. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:27 am

    @DGB

    “You’ve been bringing this up recently, and this has been echoing my own thoughts”

    You can see it in his history. I can only speculate why his target shifted but at some point I think he just got tired of being attacked in a certain way and decided to try to turn it around. We know in general the woo community has begun moving in this direction, painting themselves as rational, reasonable I guess Fullerton is an early adopter. All he really proves though is that a (very) little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    I just got done reading through an article that takes a part the Loose Change guys and their theories (I don’t even know if those guys are still around?) and I noticed some similarities. They accuse people who buy into the official story occasionally as being ‘faith-based’ for one. I haven’t seen that put forth before Fullerton but I can guess where he got it since this was back in 2006.

  243. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:40 am

    I wonder why he went from high school (on Shallit’s comments not too long ago) to fifth grade recently… I still get a kick out of how he shows up somewhere, to fake-praise one of his high profile targets. That’s how he opens his challenge… Usually.

    I found this Shermer swing and miss on FB the other night (at the bottom); https://www.facebook.com/Michael.Brant.Shermer/posts/10150975123601386?comment_id=22632474&offset=0&total_comments=10

    But I get the sense he’s been after Shermer for quite a long while.

  244. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:46 am

    LOL, I guess he doesn’t understand the difference between hyperbole and logical fallacies. Ugh, at the risk of inciting his logical ire, Fullerton is a nutter!

    Of course he’s going after Shermer, that’s his new schtick. He attacks the leaders of the skeptical movement as it were in the hopes of getting some screen time ‘devastating’ and ‘utterly destroying’ their arguments.

    The fallacy thing is getting a little old though. It’s like hearing nails on a chalkboard.

  245. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:51 am

    The fallacy stuff is the equivalent of “stop hitting yourself, why are you hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself…”

  246. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:51 am

    the stop hitting yourself fallacy

  247. the devils gummy bearon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:54 am

    He probably knows he’s BSing his way through it, but it is hard to tell how aware he is of how little he knows. Dense black hole of unthinking, uncritical anti-thinking. Hard to tell.

  248. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 7:02 am

    Yeah I wonder how much of it is genuine BS and how much of it he actually believes. He seems pretty excitable about it so I’m apt to think he buys most, if not all of it.

  249. Robneyon 11 Jul 2014 at 7:35 am

    I didn’t mean to imply that I consider myself above you or even Fullerton for that matter.

    I think Fullerton’s deserves criticism I’m just uncomfortable being part of a group picking on an individual. At the same time, Fullerton’s hubris and terrible arguments are so compelling.

    If there was more than just one Truther on here I wouldn’t feel so relectant about it. Speaking of which, the truthers are conspicuous by their absence in here.

  250. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 7:42 am

    @Robney

    I didn’t think you were implying anything but what you said, np.

    “At the same time, Fullerton’s hubris and terrible arguments are so compelling.”

    He’s literally begging for it. His theories are ridiculous, which isn’t too big a deal if he just came in to chat about them. It’s when you add his belligerent attitude with his inability to understand the basics of anything that sets him in my mind, in the ridicule category.

  251. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 7:49 am

    “He’s literally begging for it.”

    And how. Most of his second to last post read like a legitimate criticism of his own poor logic and arguments, but flipped round and levelled at Steve. It was dripping with hypocrisy.

  252. SteveAon 11 Jul 2014 at 7:52 am

    Fullercrap: “Someone is continually succumbing to self-contradictions and internal inconsistency but it’s certainly not me.”

  253. SteveAon 11 Jul 2014 at 7:53 am

    Sorry, that should have been…

    Fullercrap: “Someone is continually succumbing to self-contradictions and internal inconsistency but it’s certainly not me.”

    - – sad trombone –

  254. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 8:01 am

    More (it’s actually harder to decide what to leave out than what to include, but it would be pointless just to quote his entire post):

    “you simply believe what you want to believe about what I write to prop up your ridiculous crumbling belief system.”

    “This is why you generate the plethora of fallacies you do. I recommend you start comprehending what I actually write instead of just imagining what you want me to have written.”

    “Your confirmation bias is showing, and it’s not pretty.”

    “This is the gaping chink in your armour. Your horrendously flawed hypothesis can’t explain the vast majority of the evidence so you wave your hands and claim it doesn’t exist.”

    “All this evidence that you ignore, proves your hypothesis to be crackpot pseudo-science. No wonder you ignore it.”

    “No evidence, no science just hand-waving.”

    “The burden of proof is on you not me.”

  255. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 8:10 am

    Oh man, here’s a post on Infowars debunking the nanothermite hypothesis. You know you’re talking crap when even Infowars debunks you.

    http://planet.infowars.com/science/911-nano-thermite-debunked

  256. jwadamsonon 11 Jul 2014 at 8:18 am

    “I asked for a valid accurate model. Bazant’s analysis is neither. The fatal problem being that it egregiously violates basic laws of physics.”

    @fullerm This is the second or third time you have casually (bare) asserted that the Bazant analysis is in error without any meaningful details. Since you seem to be familiar with the analysis of this, can you summarize in what manner it violates physics and link to one or more papers substantiating that analysis. Also, I hope you realize that it would be best if for any papers you linked you show they were 1) published in a peer reviewed engineering journal OR authored by a person with multiple other peer reviewed published papers 2) authored by a person with a Masters in Engineering or better from an accredited university.

  257. The Other John Mcon 11 Jul 2014 at 8:32 am

    jwadamson — yeah that will happen, I’m sure Fullerm will get right on that. I too enjoy how he just casually dismisses this research with unnecessarily descriptive adjectives: it “egregiously violates basic laws of physics.” Not just violates, but does so egregiously. And not just laws of physics, but the BASIC laws. Good try Fullerm, but try again.

  258. deadcowaromaon 11 Jul 2014 at 8:58 am

    I would also like to see Fullerm specify the errors in the Bazant analysis. Maybe of everyone speaks with the same voice, Fullerm will be forced to address the question?

    Anyways, great job Dr Novella and everyone else on here. It’s made for an interesting (although maybe a little frustrating) read :)

  259. jwadamsonon 11 Jul 2014 at 9:08 am

    @fullerm I apologize, perhaps not completely a bare assertion, but flimsy as it fails to meet my listed criteria. I went back to part three and you did provide 3 papers. Two are on journalof911studies a self-proclaimed peer-reviewed journal, not engineering. I can’t find much of anything out about Gordon Ross’s publication and eduction background (at most just that he has some level of degree in mechanical engineering). I would not qualify journalof911studies as reputable since it is a single-topic journal with a clear motivation and doesn’t even appear on any of the Impact Factor Ranking lists I could find.

    The third (sealane) would have been better if you had included the link to the Journal archive and not a personal website http://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/%28ASCE%29EM.1943-7889.0000198 I think this one may meet my criteria above. So I retract my critique above.

    That being said, it reads like a blog without any math or modeling. Mostly sounds like “hand waving”. Also is it really in the ‘Discussions & Closure’ section of the journal; meaning it isn’t as much a research paper as a “letter to the editor” level writeup; Grabbe even states in the refers to the item in the acknowledgement section that this “article” is a “comment”. Feel free to dismiss my superficial review with any combination of special-pleading, moving the goalpost, or bare assertion accusations.

  260. Tweederon 11 Jul 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Is there a point to any of this?

  261. Tweederon 11 Jul 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Grand 9/11 Controlled Demolition Conspiracy.

    Occam’s Meat Axe.

  262. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 12:59 pm

    @DGB,

    I missed those liknks of yours earkier, some how. The reddit one – what on earth was he going for there? Can’t jump to the comment you linked to from this blog from this phone but will check it out when I’m at a computer next. Is it what I think it is – him responding to himself through an alias?

  263. BoringKittenson 11 Jul 2014 at 1:31 pm

    “Oh man, here’s a post on Infowars debunking the nanothermite hypothesis. You know you’re talking crap when even Infowars debunks you.”

    http://planet.infowars.com/science/911-nano-thermite-debunked

    If your primary role is being a useful idiot for a guy like Alex Jones who is happily getting rich off of you, and even he is contradicting your theories…it’s time for some soul searching.

  264. Pugg Fugglyon 11 Jul 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I’m not going to link directly to any of this because it has a lot of personally identifiable info on Fullerton, including his resume. However, some basic googling turns up the fact that he’s had a web presence since at least 1997. The same basic googling verifies the fullerm/cmatrix/Cyber Matrix link.

    It seems Fullerton has been critical of the skeptical movement for a very long time. He says he coined the “skeptopathy” expression in 1994.

    Some bits of interest from his old website:

    To be a true skeptic is to be one who doubts the possibility of real knowledge of anything. True skepticism is about questioning and not accepting without sufficient evidence. Unfortunately, many people have a distorted view of what skepticism entails. For them, a skeptic is an extremely pig-headed individual who rejects and ridicules anything unusual. This is not skepticism but skeptopathy.
    Skeptopathy is the irrational belief that something is not true or is non-existent. The term was coined by me in the summer of 1994 while discussing the topic of “cold fusion” on the Usenet group sci.skeptic. Literally, the term skeptopathy, means pathological skepticism.

    Some examples of skeptopathy include: believing that “cold fusion” is bunk because of its early problems with reproducibility, believing no extraterrestrial life is visiting Earth because “they” have not yet presented themselves, believing “alien abductions” are not happening because the whole idea is just too absurd… See sci.skeptic and of course CSICOP, for many more examples.

    Unlike the skeptic who doubts everything, the skeptopath persistantly maintains a cast in stone belief that unusual phenomena are automatically bunk. The skeptopath has paltry evidence or no evidence at all to support hir irrational views.

    Skeptopaths often use highly illogical reasoning such as the odd appeal to science as religion. They will claim a phenomena is bunk because it appears to them to violate certain laws of science. This despite the obvious reality that scientific laws are by nature unproven.

    Ironically, the skeptopath is in actuality a true-believer, often having very much in common with the (often imaginary) subjects of hir pompous ridicule.

    Skeptic’s Corner

    Q: What’s the difference between a lunatic and a skeptic?

    A: A lunatic is convinced that 2 + 2 = 5. A skeptic knows 2 + 2 = 4,
    but it bothers him.

    “Doubt everything or believe everything: these are two equally convenient
    strategies. With either we dispense with the need for reflection.”
    — Henri Poincare

    “I am too much of a skeptic to deny the possibility of anything”.
    –Huxley

  265. jsterritton 11 Jul 2014 at 1:45 pm

    mumadadd…

    Fullerton posted as cmatrix on reddit about fullerm’s (i. e., his own) brilliant debate coup over here at neurologica, then posted a link here to his (i. e., cmatrix’s) post on reddit as proof of the support and solidarity he enjoys across the whole internet–from he to shining he. I guess he couldn’t find even ONE other person to have his back, so he did what he had to do and became that person. One man. 2 identities. Logical fallacies beyond count. Infinite jest.

  266. steve12on 11 Jul 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I was getting a little bored on this thread since Fullerton’s arguments are so piss poor, even for a truther.

    But the sockpuppetry has really made my day! He is so clearly SEETHING over the reaction here. And to get caught in such a boneheaded play – hi-llarious!

    Thans Mikey! errrr…Cmatrix.

  267. NeuroNovaon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Fullerton:

    Occam’s razor is all but useless in science.

    Look up the Principle of Parsimony in evolutionary biology.

  268. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Pugg,

    Do you have a link to share?

  269. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:34 pm

    My bad, sorry. Didn’t read it properly. My intentions were honourable though: I wanted to verify it before ripping in.

  270. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 6:46 pm

    That’s our boy. Definitely. Or possibly some clever imitation.

  271. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 8:35 pm

    This is the kind of thing that get’s me:

    ” …your ridiculous crumbling belief system.”

    Over the last 13 years actual evidence has grown more robust, as does our understanding of what happened. Meanwhile Truther stories have got more convoluted and labyrinthine.

  272. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 8:36 pm

    @Fullerton

    from jawadamson:

    “This is the second or third time you have casually (bare) asserted that the Bazant analysis is in error without any meaningful details. Since you seem to be familiar with the analysis of this, can you summarize in what manner it violates physics and link to one or more papers substantiating that analysis. Also, I hope you realize that it would be best if for any papers you linked you show they were 1) published in a peer reviewed engineering journal OR authored by a person with multiple other peer reviewed published papers 2) authored by a person with a Masters in Engineering or better from an accredited university.”

    just needed to be repeated.

  273. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 8:47 pm

    @Pugg Fuggly

    Great stuff here, I’m not interested in his resume and whatnot but if you have links to discussions going back a ways I’d love to see them.

    This dude is his own worst enemy:

    “For them, a skeptic is an extremely pig-headed individual who rejects and ridicules anything unusual.”

    “Skeptopathy is the irrational belief that something is not true or is non-existent”

    “The skeptopath has paltry evidence or no evidence at all to support hir irrational views.”

    “They will claim a phenomena is bunk because it appears to them to violate certain laws of science”

    “Ironically, the skeptopath is in actuality a true-believer, often having very much in common with the (often imaginary) subjects of hir pompous ridicule.”

    So he is a true believer – he appears to believe in just about every aspect of crankology:

    “Some examples of skeptopathy include: believing that “cold fusion” is bunk because of its early problems with reproducibility, believing no extraterrestrial life is visiting Earth because “they” have not yet presented themselves, believing “alien abductions” are not happening because the whole idea is just too absurd… See sci.skeptic and of course CSICOP, for many more examples.”

    He doesn’t even understand what being a skeptic is:

    “Unlike the skeptic who doubts everything”

  274. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 9:45 pm

    What’s this then?

    http://coldfusionnow.org/cold-fusion-and-skeptopathy/

    “Nice article, Brad.”

    Who’s this “Brad”?

    http://coldfusionnow.org/author/bradarnold8/

    Is this possibly his former partner in crime? Or another sock-puppet?

    Brad Arnold is a National Master at Chess and member of Mensa. He cares for three Doberman Pinchers, the legal limit in the Twin Cities, where he also attends University of Minnesota. Brad writes about technology with the view that LENR will drive innovative business opportunities that offer solutions to exponentially improve our lives. Contact Brad.

  275. Beerceon 11 Jul 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Ya wow, the information dug up on him is pretty extreme. He might fall under the actual definition of a lunatic. If he’s reading this now there must be some feelings of humiliation and regret happening.

    I suppose if you are just making up words you can define them however you like.

    Failerton [fay-ler-tuhn]: One who utterly fails in all aspects to grasp even the simplest of concepts. Often used in the context of science but not necessarily.

    Similar to, but not to be confused with:

    - “Pulling a Fullerton”
    - Committing a “Fullerism”
    - Being a “Fullerite”
    - “Fullering out” or “going full Fuller”
    - Activating “fullerm-ode” at any time

    Synonyms:
    Dud, moron, air-head, idiot, tard, tool, fool, imbecile, loser.

    Antonyms:
    Genious, expert, master, virtuoso, winner.

    P.S. For those who are tempted to call me a hypocrite, the real conversation is clearly over so ripping and satire are acceptable now :P

  276. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 9:56 pm

    @Mumadadd

    That article is to cogent to be Fullerton. It’s too bad I don’t live in the cities anymore otherwise I’d confirm it though having to speak to an admitted member of mensa might be as unpleasant as usual. Doesn’t sound like him though.

    I’m also dubious of the claim that Fullerton coined ‘skeptopathy’. I’m not saying it’s not possible, only that so far my experience of Fullerton has not shown that sort of creative potential.

    @Beerce

    “If he’s reading this now there must be some feelings of humiliation and regret happening.”

    Doubt it. I think he’s protected by his narcissism.

  277. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 9:58 pm

    He doesn’t even understand what being a skeptic is:

    “Unlike the skeptic who doubts everything

    To be fair, that’s true if you want to use the classical definition of the word.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01kblc3 (link may not work outside the UK, soz)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticism#Philosophical_skepticism (this one will)

  278. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 10:03 pm

    True but I don’t think that’s what the skeptical movement is about, especially not the spirit. For me, it’s not that I doubt everything but that I’m curious and interested in understanding the world around me. If something piques my interest or seems dubious enough I’ll look into it. Especially when it pertains to traditionally deceptive domains or extraordinary claims. Then I require evidence to buy in.

    I don’t doubt that if I drop a ball it will fall. I don’t doubt that I will wake up tomorrow. I don’t doubt that I will be hungry in a few hours etc…

  279. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Grabula,

    “That article is to cogent to be Fullerton. It’s too bad I don’t live in the cities anymore otherwise I’d confirm it though having to speak to an admitted member of mensa might be as unpleasant as usual. Doesn’t sound like him though.”

    Well, I certainly recognise this:

    Furthermore, I bet everyone is also under the impression that their claim had been discredited – wrong!

    I quoted it from ‘Skeptopathy’ a while back. I Googled ‘Brad Arnold MENSA’ – first hit is this:

    https://twitter.com/dobermanmacleod

    Very odd. An alter-ego? Or is it possible that Fullerton has just been pulling a Mr. Ripley?

  280. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 10:08 pm

    “True but I don’t think that’s what the skeptical movement is about,”

    Oh yeah, I absolutely agree. But that’s the origin of the term, like it or loathe it.

  281. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 10:14 pm

    haha that was the first quote I picked out too as a possible sign. I think they might or may have swam in the same circles.

    It’d be weird if it was him, like I said Brad seems to cogent, if not correct for Fullerton. He mentions being in mensa in all his profiles, I haven’t heard Fullerton mention it once – and if there’s one thing I know about members of mensa it’s that they cant’ stop talking about being in mensa.

    My dad’s a nationally ranked chess player, I shot him an email to see if he recognizes the name.

  282. mumadaddon 11 Jul 2014 at 10:18 pm

    So at this stage it seems equally likely that Skeptopathy is a joint venture or that Fullerton has committed identity theft. Either way, interesting.

  283. grabulaon 11 Jul 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Well Fullerton according to Puggs cutnpaste claims to have coined ‘Skeptopathy’ in a cold fusion usenet. I wouldn’t be surprised if the phrase, whoever coined it, took off with cold fusion proponents there and sort of spread. At some point Fullerton adopted it as his banner for his crusade against the skeptical community.

    I bet if you looked around at cold fusion related blogs/forums you’d see the word used commonly.

  284. Steve Crosson 11 Jul 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Wow … just wow!!

    Not only does fullerm fail to understand the fifth grade science he is so fond of, he can’t even recognize his own debating technique as the first grade style “I’m rubber and you’re glue” gambit.

    After many years on the intertubes, I thought that I finally had acquired an industrial strength irony meter, but my current model broke before I even made it halfway through his first installment.

  285. grabulaon 12 Jul 2014 at 12:29 am

    Fullerton is a clown. I can get into reading some conspiracy theories and woo and stay entertained for a while, if nothing more than to spot out where they go wrong and the psychology behind these beliefs. I’m just finding his postings mostly dull and repetitive.

  286. grabulaon 12 Jul 2014 at 1:30 am

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/sci.skeptic/0_QgmWQ0J-E1-25-false

    Second post and Fullerton is off and running!

  287. grabulaon 12 Jul 2014 at 1:46 am

    Seems that thread was from 94 so I think I’ve found Puggs secret stash of Fullerton content.

    It’s going to be interesting to see what his sacred cows were and if he’s evolved to defend them over time.

  288. grabulaon 12 Jul 2014 at 1:50 am

    Here’s a criticism of Fullerton by a member on that thread…see if any of it sounds familiar:

    “=In a preious post you wrote “I can not believe anything” – now that, I would
    =
    =suggest, is the voice of a skeptopath!

    No, no, no. You don’t understand. Mikey’s “disbelief” is quite selective.
    It’s a technique used to allow belief in whatever he wishes were true.
    Whenever there’s evidence against one of his pet wishes, he merely disbelieves
    the evidence, then invokes argumentum ignorantium (if you can’t prove it’s
    false, it must be true) to justify his belief.”

    20 years later…

  289. the devils gummy bearon 12 Jul 2014 at 2:56 am

    grab, that link isn’t working for me, dunno why.

    Eh boy, here’s our boy getting taken to the cleaners yet again: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/sci.skeptic/9yQdSvr5ie4/wXTvfvK1lCYJ

  290. the devils gummy bearon 12 Jul 2014 at 3:00 am

    HOLY CRAP, this is a Fuller-plex going WAY back, via (now) Google Groups.

  291. grabulaon 12 Jul 2014 at 3:14 am

    hmmmm, can’t figure out why that link won’t work, seems it drops you into the main page. At the top you can do a search for : “Books on “Cold Fusion” (or is it “Con Fusion”?)”, the top choice started by Travis Stone is the one.

    Seems not much has really changed. In that thread he attempts to support the idea that cold fusion is being taken seriously since the japanese at the time were allegedly supporting Fleischman and Pons in some of their research after they had been ‘debunked’. When he’s called on it he turns around and equivocates on what he meant. It’s a slightly more mild version of Fullerton in some cases but with the same basic tactics. He jumps almost straight to ad hominem for some of the others on that thread. He’s already at the time steeped in the concept of his war on skeptics, throwing around skeptopathy and accusing the skeptics of course of doing it wrong.

    He has similar issues then that he does now with getting his message across. When he’s called on it he attempts to spin spin spin.

  292. the devils gummy bearon 12 Jul 2014 at 3:42 am

    It’s cute, our MF, with a “E” in the middle, as a young pup. Starry eyed and wet behind the ears, way the F back in 92… Adorable.

  293. the devils gummy bearon 12 Jul 2014 at 3:44 am

    Oh Usenet…

  294. grabulaon 12 Jul 2014 at 4:51 am

    I got bored again. I think Fullerton’s the least entertaining truther I’ve come across so far. He’s certainly more wrong than most.

  295. BBBlueon 12 Jul 2014 at 11:55 am

    Finally remembered what this debate reminded me of…

    Mr. Fullerton: There, he moved!

    Mr. Novella: No, he didn’t, that was you hitting the cage!

    Mr. Fullerton: I never!!

    Mr. Novella: Yes, you did!

    Mr. Fullerton: I never, never did anything…

    Mr. Novella: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) ‘ELLO POLLY!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o’clock alarm call!

    (Takes parrot out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)

    Mr. Novella: Now that’s what I call a dead parrot.

    Mr. Fullerton: No, no…..No, ‘e’s stunned!

    Mr. Novella: STUNNED?!?

    Mr. Fullerton: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin’ up! Norwegian Blues stun easily, major.

    Mr. Novella: Um…now look…now look, mate, I’ve definitely ‘ad enough of this. That parrot is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not ‘alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein’ tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk.

    Mr. Fullerton: Well, he’s…he’s, ah…probably pining for the fjords.

    Mr. Novella: PININ’ for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got ‘im home?

    Mr. Fullerton: The Norwegian Blue prefers keepin’ on it’s back! Remarkable bird, id’nit, squire? Lovely plumage!

    Mr. Novella: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.

    (pause)

    Mr. Fullerton: Well, o’course it was nailed there! If I hadn’t nailed that bird down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent ‘em apart with its beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!

    Mr. Novella: “VOOM”?!? Mate, this bird wouldn’t “voom” if you put four million volts through it! ‘E’s bleedin’ demised!

    Mr. Fullerton: No no! ‘E’s pining!

  296. the devils gummy bearon 12 Jul 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I got bored again. I think Fullerton’s the least entertaining truther I’ve come across so far. He’s certainly more wrong than most.

    I have nothing nice or productive to say (or add) to this.

  297. cloudskimmeron 12 Jul 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I’ve been skimming comments for the last couple of days hoping for a response from Fullerton. It’s three so far, I think: one without much content, the last was quite angry and made more claims than either of his debate contributions. Ultimately it is boring because he has little to say and nothing to support it.

    The written debate format was good, though one-sided with the only real evidence provided by Dr. Novella. Congratulations to all who spotted “affirming the consequent.” It was hard to wait out the week for the next installment, and disappointing when Mr, Fullerton produced nothing of substance.

    Dr. Novella, what was your purpose in having this debate? What did you get out of it? Was it in some way a chance for you to test your readership?

    Because of this exchange I read the second edition of the Popular Mechanics book, Debunking 9/11 Myths, and also the NIST reports; all very interesting and I have learned a lot. I’ve also been dismayed at how many of my coworkers buy into these myths and hide behind the ‘just asking questions’ trope while repeating conspiracy talking points. It’s disturbing how many people watch and read conspiracy sites and films, but can’t be bothered to read the actual reports.

    As an antidote to Fullerton’s contribution, I enjoyed watching Myles Power’s series of 7 videos debunking 9/11. Probably most here know about them, but if you haven’t, they’re worth viewing : http//www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcIKuuE3KJDHEHIGtNKx-nQervL8OGjaD

    Another video is from 2006, a debate from “Democracy Now” between Loose Change’s Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas vs. James Meigs and David Dunbar from Popular Mechanics. Happily many of the comments are about the immature behavior of the filmmakers, which quickly loses the viewers respect. Meigs and Dunbar answer all the questions while Avery and Bermas have nothing of substance to say.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2006/9/11/exclusive_9_11_debate_loose_change

    It has been an education, and I appreciate this website for providing the motivation. It is also very telling and sad how little support there is for the 9/11 truthers case, and how poor they are about providing anything other than their fervent beliefs. It is also worrisome: a fervent belief that your government ruthlessly kills its own citizens can be a motivation to strike back, as happened in the case of Timothy McVeigh. I hope Mr. Fullerton won’t waste too much time on this topic and can turn his energies to a more worthy cause. Sometimes the attacks have been painful to read, though it’s frustrating when someone agrees to a debate and then won’t answer questions directed at him, not even the neutral ones about how he thinks the debate went for him.

  298. cloudskimmeron 12 Jul 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Sorry that link didn’t work. Just Google “Myles Power 9/11″ and they’ll pop up. There are seven separate videos, all taken from his visit to New York on an anniversary of 9/11.

  299. jsterritton 12 Jul 2014 at 6:36 pm

    cloudskimmer:

    “I hope Mr. Fullerton won’t waste too much time on this topic and can turn his energies to a more worthy cause.”

    I wouldn’t worry much about Fullerton’s stores of time and energy — he devotes almost none to the matter at hand. He’s certainly mad as heck, but I would never accuse him of working too hard. And god forbid he apply his work ethics, methods, and smarts to some other line of work. Would you hire him to fix a leaky sink or look after your goldfish? At the end of the day it’s probably best for all of us that he remains tucked safely away, talking to himself (or one of his sock puppet avatars), marginalized, it seems, even in the world of his fellow kooks.

  300. the devils gummy bearon 12 Jul 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Fullerton’s style continues to remind of the Sea Org in Clearwater, FL. The staff, handlers, and Org members are trained/drilled into provoking their targets using the most asinine and outrageous techniques imaginable, accusing their victims of being guilty of what the Org attackers/offenders are doing.

    Fullerton hasn’t been $cieno-trained to harass people, so I don’t know what his damage is. Just stupidity and bad manners, I suppose.

  301. Lorenon 12 Jul 2014 at 9:35 pm

    @fullerm

    “Dr. Novella, the “squibs” (rapid gas ejections) are evidence of explosions.”

    And these squibs are such good evidence of your theory that over the course of your two guest posts and the 4,000+ words contained in them, you mentioned said “squibs” a total of…gimme a moment here to count…ZERO TIMES.

    “My thermite hypothesis is absolutely necessary. It’s necessary because only it can explain all the observations.”

    So “absolutely necessary”, in fact, that out of those same 4,000 words, you mentioned “thermite”…once. Kinda. At the end of your second post, right before your conclusion, you wrote:

    “Other technologies like energetic nanocomposites could also have been used for example. Even if some of these thermitic devices did ignite, their reactions would go largely unnoticed…”

    You also don’t appear to have invoked thermite (or squibs) in any of your follow-up comments during the first three weeks of your debate with Steve. Only after Steve went to town on this off-hand comment in week four did you suddenly declare that thermite was, in fact, integral to your entire position.

    So even though you originally mentioned thermite only once, in passing, at the tail end of three weeks of back-and-forth discussion, in the context of saying that said thermite might or might not have been used at all…now you contend that ONLY your thermite hypothesis can explain the observations, and thermite is “absolutely necessary” to your overall argument.

    “I recommend you start comprehending what I actually write instead of just imagining what you want me to have written.”

    Who’s imagining what you wish you’d written, again?

  302. mumadaddon 12 Jul 2014 at 10:38 pm

    hehehehehehe

  303. mumadaddon 12 Jul 2014 at 10:49 pm

    (that was a chuckle, by the way)

  304. the devils gummy bearon 12 Jul 2014 at 11:38 pm

    The guy is literally full of shit. Literally.

    And he knows it. We don’t get to the nano-magic till thousands of special pleadings later, after the thing is over, after he gets demolished. He doesn’t open with the preposterousness of the weird imaginings of his theory, because he knows they are crap-tacularly idiotic. He tries to take us on a journey through his corn maze of fallacies, towards the special pleading…

    What a mess.

  305. mumadaddon 12 Jul 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Of course! Derpa-derpa-stan. Those b@stards…

  306. the devils gummy bearon 13 Jul 2014 at 3:52 am

    *So full of shit, if you gave him an enema he would fit in a matchbox.

    -Hitchens-ism, which I think is applicable to Fullerton.

  307. mumadaddon 13 Jul 2014 at 5:24 am

    “Hitch-slap”.

  308. mumadaddon 13 Jul 2014 at 9:45 am

    strikethrough

  309. mumadaddon 13 Jul 2014 at 9:45 am

    Balls. Anyone know the tags for strikethrough? Very neat trick BJ7 pulled…

  310. Stormbringeron 13 Jul 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I have been trying to figure out how to make Mr. Fullerton model for the collapse work. Now the fact that the building fell straight down is a given since without another vector working on the building when it no longer had sufficient structural integrity it can only fall straight down.

    He said the nano-thermite is integral to his theory. OK so he has two systems working together, explosives and thermite. The main problem is that his concept of how the thermite would need to work is backwards. It would have to be a slow acting long burning substance, something that could bring up the temperature of the metal until it softened. Then a charge is used to clear the metal away. This is much in the way a cutting torch would work. Is the thermite heated slowly enough it would not need much of a backer material since a lower energies air acts as an insulator.

    While you could treat the inner columns in this fashion the outer would be almost impossible, so Mr. Fullerton’s model is going to have to accept that the trusses where integral to the support of the outside columns and an effect on the trusses would affect the structure of the outside columns.

    While I still see the planes as being the sole reason for the collapse of the towers, there is my best attempt at making his model work. If you are going to be skeptical you have to try to understand the others perspective well enough to argue it.

    I have not had a chance to look a Bazant analysis of the collapse yet, but if Mr. Fullerton can recommend opposing commentary on Bazant’s work, I will look at that also.

  311. Bill Openthalton 13 Jul 2014 at 1:35 pm

    mumadadd –

    I’m going to gamble it’s the HTML <strike> tag.

    Here it goes…

  312. Bill Openthalton 13 Jul 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Confirm, that’s it:

    <strike>this is struck out</strike>

    or, without using the HTML less-than and greater-than characters:

    this is struck out

  313. mumadaddon 13 Jul 2014 at 2:21 pm

    strike

  314. mumadaddon 13 Jul 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Well you did something even fancier there – is there a tag to disable HTML?

  315. mumadaddon 13 Jul 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Bill – thanks, by the way. Don’t know where my manners went then.

  316. Bill Openthalton 13 Jul 2014 at 3:56 pm

    mumadadd –

    Moenie worrie nie, we’re one big family.

    It’s not that I disabled HTML, I used the special sequences that represent the characters. For example, the greater-than sign is encoded as &gt; . Please note I had to encode the ampersand as &amp; — it gets more convoluted the more you want to show what’s going on. Here is a link to a site with all the special HTML character sequences:

    http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_entities.asp

  317. tmac57on 13 Jul 2014 at 6:46 pm

    SPOILER ALERT!!!! If you are a World Cup fan stop reading now if you haven’t seen the final!

    Breaking News! Although it appeared that Germany had won the final, it now has developed that Argentina has shifted their goal three meters to the goalie’s right ,thus retroactively nullifying the winning goal. Organizers of The World Cup are scratching their heads trying to figure out if this unprecedented maneuver is legal,and are baffled as to how they should rule.

  318. Beerceon 13 Jul 2014 at 9:11 pm

    @tmac57

    I see what you did there…

  319. the devils gummy bearon 14 Jul 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Hell of a goal, nonetheless.

    I guess we can stick a fork in this embarrassing business of Fullerton’s? Or is this going to drag on if he shows up again? I guess he’ll be lurking, waiting for Steve to comment, like the creepy troll/stalker he is, and elsewhere his OCD-raptor like obsession Steve will be reflected in his varioustantrum-blog and Google+ posts (or in the comments of his other stalking targets). Looking forward to the poor b@stard updating his trophy page, mounting this whole affair as another “win”, his second or third(???) victory. A triumph!

    :D

    Fullerton’s asshattery is amusing in a special way, and I strongly encourage him to continue making an ass out of himself by sharing his witless logical impediments wherever and whenever he can.

  320. the devils gummy bearon 14 Jul 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Should have read:

    …elsewhere his OCD-raptor like obsession with Steve will be reflected…

    Is there a neurological thing, where you can’t “see” your own writing, until after it’s set in stone somewhere? Like when anorexics look in the mirror or compare that to a photo? Do you guys know what I’m talking about- the brain actually doesn’t see what’s actually there… What is this called?

  321. LoupGarouon 14 Jul 2014 at 2:49 pm

    When it comes to anorexic’s it’s called body dysmorphic disorder. I have a relative who suffers from it and know more than I want to know about it. Not sure if there is one for ones writing. I bet we could call it Fullerton Dysmorphic Disorder.

    I usually don’t comment on this stuff. It’s just more fun watching the train wreck that is Fullerton than participate.

  322. grabulaon 14 Jul 2014 at 10:16 pm

    @Loren and sub

    Thanks for noticing Fullerton didn’t bother to invoke any of his absolute proof until well after the debate was over. It’s an interesting point I missed.

  323. grabulaon 14 Jul 2014 at 10:23 pm

    I don’t see him coming around anymore, he’s basically done, stick a fork in him.

    Anyone checked his trophy page yet for another ‘win’?

  324. the devils gummy bearon 15 Jul 2014 at 2:32 am

    If I recall, the “debate” page was all WT7 chest pounding, so I don’t think we’ll be seeing this there.

  325. fullermon 15 Jul 2014 at 11:19 am

    No response Dr. Novella to the damning allegations that the only support for your wholly unscientific belief in the official 9/11 story is a highly flawed analysis that not only violates the laws of physics but is also proven false due to the many anomalies it cannot explain?

    I understand it’s difficult to wade though the imbecilic wasteland of most of the comments here so here is my last reply for your convenience:

    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/911-conspiracy-debate-part-iv/#comment-81792

  326. steve12on 15 Jul 2014 at 11:26 am

    fullerm:

    Can you also tell us what Cmatrix has to say on the issue?

  327. steve12on 15 Jul 2014 at 11:32 am

    The very first sentence in fullerton’s linked response:

    “Dr. Novella, the “squibs” (rapid gas ejections) are evidence of explosions. ”

    The very first sentence is poor inference. Compressed gas is evidence for explosions? At best you might be able to argue that it’s not evidence either way.

    But when your rules of evidence are this week, how can you come to any valid conclusions?

    Given all his histrionics about only debating scientists , etc., it’s ironic that what he really needs (and sorely lacks) is basic scientific training.

  328. The Other John Mcon 15 Jul 2014 at 12:51 pm

    More examples of fullerm’s flowery, unnecessary language:

    Not just allegations, but “damning allegations”
    Not just unscientific, but “wholly unscientific” belief
    Not just flawed analysis, but “highly flawed analysis”
    Not just a wasteland, but an “imbecilic wasteland”

    At least he didn’t say “violates the BASIC laws of physics” again. Oh fullerm, you are just too much sometimes, you tickle me pink.

  329. Bruceon 15 Jul 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Rapid gas ejections? Similar to those we see whenever fullerm posts…?

    Hot air and no substance.

  330. Steven Novellaon 15 Jul 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Michael,

    As I wrote on my last comment, I was away for a week at TAM and would not have time to comment or even moderate frequently. In my absence my commenters have been doing quite fine deconstructing your nonsense. You might try engaging with others rather than simply dismissing them as “imbecilic.”

    You wrote: “Dr. Novella, the “squibs” (rapid gas ejections) are evidence of explosions. Since these gas releases are seen, explosions are seen.”

    This reveals a major flaw in your reasoning, one that dooms both your posts – you confuse “evidence for” with “equals.” Even while you deny that this is your logic, that is exactly how you proceed. You write: “gas releases are seen, explosions are seen” as if they are exactly the same. The problem here, of course, is that gas releases are not only seen with explosions. Again I refer you to my fever analogy.

    As others have pointed out, the collapse of the towers would compress the air below the falling floors (how could they not?) and this would also produce the jets of gas escaping out the sides. What we don’t see is a pattern of squib-like gas ejections just prior to collapse. Again this puts you in the awkward special pleading position of having to argue that they CD explosions were happening in perfect timing with the collapse.

    Your further special pleading about the lack of audible explosions is not convincing at all. How about this – show me a controlled demolition in which the sound of the demolition is completely obscured by the sound of the building itself falling. Isn’t that what you continue to ask others for? I guess you don’t apply the same rules to yourself.

    In any case – with the multiple audio recordings of the event it would be possible to pull out the spikes of explosions from the background noise of the building falling. You are simply wrong on the facts here, and you squishy logic and loose criteria are appalling.

    Bazant’s analysis remains valid. The analysis does not violate the laws of physics. Either make a specific point yourself we can discuss, or link to a peer-reviewed reference showing that the Bazant model is fatally flawed.

    Thanks for continuing to demonstrate for my readers the vacuous, self-congratulatory, inconsistent, and invalid logic of the 9/11 truthers. It is providing the teachable moment I hoped it would, although I had hoped you would make a better showing. I suggest you step back and carefully examine the criticism, think about the arguments and logic, rather than continue simply attacking and dismissing your critics.

  331. the devils gummy bearon 15 Jul 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Yay, fullerm! Thought we’d lost you there. Back to put another spit polish on your turd. You’re a gift, Michael, you really are.

    I’m pleased you took my encouragement to heart. More insane declarations, please- extra absolutist rhetoric and logic failures on the side, if you wouldn’t mind. :)

  332. the devils gummy bearon 15 Jul 2014 at 4:11 pm

    The Other John MC:

    More examples of fullerm’s flowery, unnecessary language:

    If you can’t command the language, then write to your level. Which he does, this is his level- cheap, incendiary adverbs and adjectives, tacked onto nothing.

  333. fullermon 15 Jul 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Dr. Novella, for the fever analogy to hold water you need a plausible alternative. In fact, there is no alternative evidence-based explanation for the gas ejections (“squibs”) seen. As I have already said the squibs are entirely consistent only with explosives and nothing else at this point. You have not dealt with any of the unique characteristics of these squibs because they prove your belief is false. Simply proclaiming something might be the case is not science. If you follow science you follow the science-based explanation which is that the squibs resulted from explosives. If you follow a purely faith-based pseudo-science explanation, the squibs are from compressed air from the falling building. There is no evidence that these squibs resulted from compressed air and no experiments have ever been conducted to suggest they could. All you have is faith. Every time with other building collapses when we see such squibs the building was an explosive CD. Every time with non-explosive CDs, like with Vérinage, there are no squibs. This is a fine example of actual special pleading on your part. You make an extraordinary claim, provide no evidence whatsoever and ignore any counter-evidence. That is also a perfect example of pseudo-science.

    You claim that a CD requires such squibs before collapse. This is another entirely faith-based belief of yours. In explosive CDs, squibs will always occur whenever an explosive is activated near the building exterior regardless of whether this explosion happened before or during the collapse. Most CDs are bottom-up so you will tend to see squibs all at once before the building falls. With top-down collapses you cannot do this or you’ll risk a bottom-up collapse. Instead, you’ll see squibs occurring before the falling mass. This is just what we see.[1]

    If the squibs were just compressed air we would see all windows being broken out instead of highly focalized pin-point ejections as you see with explosives. We would also not see squibs on the building corners where there were no windows.[2] Special pleading involves ignoring counterevidence and one-sided assessment which is what you are doing here. Bizarrely you seem to be claiming that I am engaged in special pleading because I accept the reality that a top-down collapse with explosives would require perfectly timed explosions occurring at the top of the remaining building and some occurring slightly below to pre-weaken. Maybe I’m wrong and your argument is not that ridiculous, if so please correct me. How on Earth would a top-down explosive CD work any other way?

    You also claim that the lack of explosive sounds is an example of special pleading. The fact is that a top-down collapse would require continuous simultaneous explosions at each floor which would result in a roar instead of individually distinguishable explosions. We in fact do hear that roar.[3][4] Eyewitness did however, report loud pops at the onset of demolition.[5] No special pleading, just reality. Maybe you could explain without using squishy logic and loose criteria as to how spikes of continuous simultaneous explosions could be pulled from the audio.

    You would understand how Bazant’s analysis is invalid and violated the laws of physics if you would actually read the references I gave on the subject. Grabbe’s for example, shows how the top segment of the south tower is initially collapsing at an acceleration rate more than four times as large as that of gravity.[6] How can a gravitational collapse occur at four times the rate of gravity? That would require an additional force, a force that explosives could provide.

    Regarding my “vacuous, self-congratulatory, inconsistent, and invalid logic”, physician heal thyself. If your commenters could hobble together an intelligent fallacy-free response I would consider responding to them. My responses would be even more likely if I didn’t have to slog through the raving skin-crawling idiocy of the likes of “grabula” and “the devils gummy bear”. The fact that your blog attracts such intellectually repugnant individuals and no one ever admonishes them says a lot. What it certainly doesn’t say is that your driving goal is to promote critical thinking.

    Notes

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gKv-6bivqo
    2. http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/585-faq-8-squibs.html
    3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECrssqc-1oo
    4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fNLz8zWwaM
    5. http://911review.com/coverup/oralhistories.html
    6. http://www.sealane.org/writings/Bazantrpy.html

  334. Steven Novellaon 15 Jul 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Michael,

    You’re really on thin ice with your squibs argument. They look nothing like CD squibs. The timing is wrong, they only occur after the collapse begins, they are at variable distance below the collapse, and in a few isolated places. They are not in a CD pattern. And they have the characteristics of air pressure – slow at the beginning then strengthening, and not an explosion, which is maximal early on.

    There is no question the collapse would have cause a vast increase in air pressure inside the towers. Witnesses reported the rush of air. The air would follow the path of least resistance, and pushed out in weak spots (not just windows, but also air vents or damaged structure).
    http://www.debunking911.com/overp.htm

    Even the pro-conspiracy video shows these details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EbsGZcl2jk

    Now look at CD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Buseb-Gqyes

    The squibs look entirely different. They are much more “explosive”. It is blatantly obvious.

    Regarding the tower falling faster than free-fall. First, this is simply not true. The video clearly shows a slower than free-fall collapse at every stage. Second – how would you explain a 4x faster than free-fall collapse? Explosions would not do this. Explosive forces in CD are horizontal in any case.

    This is all further evidence of anomaly hunting but not having a coherent narrative. Show me how CD explosions accelerate part of the collapse downward at faster than free-fall.

  335. the devils gummy bearon 15 Jul 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Class act, as always:

    Regarding my “vacuous, self-congratulatory, inconsistent, and invalid logic”, physician heal thyself. If your commenters could hobble together an intelligent fallacy-free response I would consider responding to them. My responses would be even more likely if I didn’t have to slog through the raving skin-crawling idiocy of the likes of “grabula” and “the devils gummy bear”. The fact that your blog attracts such intellectually repugnant individuals and no one ever admonishes them says a lot. What it certainly doesn’t say is that your driving goal is to promote critical thinking.

    Keep it classy, Fullerton.

    (wherever you end up boasting about your mighty feats of intellectual domination here on Neurologica, in the face of the “shite-driviling imbeciles/morons, please remember to cite grabula and myself- keep it academic big guy)

  336. steve12on 15 Jul 2014 at 6:10 pm

    He is so thin skinned about us that it is a RIOT!

    I bet Cmatrix is gonna be PISSED at the commentors when he reads this…

  337. BassClefon 15 Jul 2014 at 6:18 pm

    I’m looking at this Crockett Grabbe paper, and it’s not clear to me at all where he’s coming from.

    He says, “When one views the photographic evidence of the collapse sequence of the South Tower, they see fall rates for the top segment of the Tower that vary with time, which in the initial second or more of its collapse are much faster than gravity could produce!”

    Isn’t this a pull down collapse? So a piece below begins to fall and “pulls down” a piece above it. 24m/sec isn’t really that unreasonable if the piece below was given a one second head start. In fact, it’s about perfect, given the rate of gravitational acceleration.

    Secondly, a horizontal explosion would certainly SLOW the initial collapse speed of the higher section, right?

    Am I missing something?

  338. the devils gummy bearon 15 Jul 2014 at 7:33 pm

    The fact that your blog attracts such intellectually repugnant individuals and no one ever admonishes them says a lot.

    That’s not true (as is basically everything you state). People have indeed been admonishing you.

  339. steve12on 15 Jul 2014 at 7:50 pm

    BassClef:

    “Secondly, a horizontal explosion would certainly SLOW the initial collapse speed of the higher section, right?”

    I’m not sure (though this seems right to me), but this points out part of the problem. Working out the physics of situations like this is not to be done with the imagination, it’s to be done with math! I know you’re simply asking, BassClef, but Fullerton is not. He think that his imagination is an appropriate laboratory for working these things out, and that’s ridiculous.

  340. steve12on 15 Jul 2014 at 8:00 pm

    The few times I’ve followed his links to the bitter end, they always turns to shit via lies.

    “If the squibs were just compressed air we would see all windows being broken out instead of highly focalized pin-point ejections as you see with explosives. We would also not see squibs on the building corners where there were no windows.[2] ”

    His link goes here:
    http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/585-faq-8-squibs.html

    Where it says:
    “Physicist David Chandler has also shown that some of these ejections came from the corners of the buildings. Since there are no windows on the corners, these ejections could not have been the result of air pressure.”

    Physicists usually “show” with calculations. But the link on that site goes to David Chandler, high school physics teacher (not a physicist), and there are no calculations – just another Youtube interpretational video. He’s looking at some tiny piece in utter chaos, but he know what all those things mean. How? Well, he just knows:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoAD8HlrLZg

    This is the sort of worthless shit that all of Fullerton’s evidence turns out to be. We start with a citation for a physicist telling us that the ‘”laws of physics” are inconsistent with the “official explanation”, but we end up with another nut in a youtube video saying “My intuition tells me that it shouldn’t LOOK like that!”.

    It’s just so stupid.

  341. the devils gummy bearon 15 Jul 2014 at 8:37 pm

    steve12,

    In this last video, David Chandler repeatedly replays this “smoking gun”; a puff of smoking “coming out of the corner”, yet his own videos show that the “puff” doesn’t emerge until the structure it is emerging from is being pulverised? Are you F’ing kidding me?

    “A jet like puff” emerging during pulverization is unremarkable. Is this really the best they’ve got?

    He goes further to state that this puff of air doesn’t fall to the earth, and is therefor somehow indicative of??? What puffs of air do? Er, I mean a “cutter charge”. Holy crap!

    Good thing he cut to a “chart” (I guess). I’m sure that’s all relevant and meaningful data, whatever it is.

    The actual video footage he keeps playing forward and backwards demonstrates conclusively that what we are witnessing is a haphazard catastrophic failure in every sense, and not a “controlled demolition” by any stretch. This is patently stupid stuff.

  342. jsterritton 15 Jul 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Squibs!? Are you kidding me? As has been pointed out previously, Fullerton doesn’t mention squibs in any of his two lengthy posts (of the four-part debate). Squibs came up deep in the comments section of part IV as a result of Fullerton’s constant evasion, goalpost-moving, and anomaly-hunting — and now they are somehow the linchpin of Fullerton’s whole CD explanation!?!? You’d think something so crucial would have made the first paragraph of the first draft of Fullerton’s first post. Instead, we got Fullerton’s side-splitting proscription of dubious debate tactics, his argument from the sixth grade, and an object lesson in affirming the consequent.

    Fullerton: you are a thoughtless boor.

  343. the devils gummy bearon 15 Jul 2014 at 10:00 pm

    You’d think something so crucial would have made the first paragraph of the first draft of Fullerton’s first post.

    You’d think it would be somewhere in his outline. He said his argument was going to be science-based and fallacy-free. It is only after he loses the debate, to terms he agreed to, does he scramble like mad to piece together something with what he thinks bears a passing resembling to substance.

    Fullerton, do you understand where you are going wrong? Your “logic” and science-fu turned out to be fallacious reasoning perched on crap. To put it another way;

    Motivated reasoning