Jun 16 2014

9/11 Conspiracy Debate – Part I

This is the first 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. My response will follow next Monday, and another round of responses with one post per week.


Part I – The Collapse of the Twin Towers was a Controlled Demolition

by Michael Fullerton

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, the official US Government explanation or the controlled demolition explanation. I will argue that the controlled demolition explanation is more scientific. Dr. Novella will presumably argue that the official US Government explanation is the more scientific explanation. We have both agreed that no logical fallacies are to be used in this debate.

It’s very important to recognize this courageous act by Dr. Novella. It takes a strong character to put your reputation on the line and discuss such controversial and highly emotional issues. Good skeptics though must recognize when the scientific method proves their beliefs undeniably wrong.

I want to begin by asking all readers a question. Are you smarter than a 5th grade science student? Why? Because, starting as early as kindergarten, elementary school students learn that when you have two competing explanations you are supposed to favor the explanation which has the most supporting evidence. They are taught that an explanation with no supporting evidence is an explanation you cannot ever accept as true. By grade 5 at least, students are taught the scientific method. They learn that you must have evidence before putting forth an explanation for a phenomena. They learn that if you start with only a belief you are not doing science. They learn that if you ignore evidence that does not fit with your belief you are not doing science. Portraying something as science when it is not, is pseudo-science. People that claim to follow the scientific method but do not are pseudo-scientists.

The official story of how the towers fell on 9/11 does not have a single solitary piece of supporting scientific evidence. Impossible? Preposterous? If it truly were impossibly preposterous someone would be able to produce a single piece of evidence. To this date no one has, ever. The 9/11 Commission Report contains no technical data whatsoever.[1] The NIST report on the Twin Tower collapses provides sketchy evidence only for the collapse initiations and not the falls of the twin towers themselves.[2]

There is undeniable evidence that a plane hit each tower and caused some structural damage. There is undeniable evidence that on impact the jet fuel in both planes erupted in fireballs which set each building on fire. This fire would definitely have caused some additional structural damage. There is absolutely no evidence however, that this damage resulted in the falls of both towers. There is only an entirely unsupported faith-based belief that this damage caused the fall of the towers. Let’s assume that NIST is correct that the damage caused the upper blocks of each tower to fall onto the lower buildings. If you claim however, that the falling upper blocks caused the complete destruction of the buildings, you commit the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Simply because one event precedes another does not mean that the first event caused the second. There may be other causes that you must rule out before settling on what you believe is the cause.

Every time in the history of modern human civilization when a skyscraper has come down in a similarly rapid and symmetrical manner as the Twin Towers, it has been a controlled demolition. The rapid fall times and highly symmetric descents of the Twin Towers then are currently only scientifically explainable by the use of some form of controlled demolition. This observation then constitutes evidence that supports the controlled demolition explanation of the twin towers. The entire history of building controlled demolition supports the notion that these buildings could have come down by controlled demolition. There has never ever been a case where a skyscraper has come down in a similar manner as the Twin Towers without using some form of controlled demolition. Official story believers then are making an extraordinary claim without even providing any ordinary evidence.
The extremely simple argument above has already resulted in the following responses from others:

1) “The buildings did not fall at free fall speed and weren’t perfectly symmetrical.”

This is a great example of the lengths believers must stoop to in order to defend their highly irrational position. Injecting the reference to free fall is a straw man. I have never ever said that the towers came down at free fall. Whether the towers did or did not descend at free fall acceleration is entirely irrelevant. What is relevant is that they came down quickly. We have never ever witnessed a skyscraper coming down that fast due to natural causes. The only times we have ever seen a building come down that fast was when they were intentionally brought down.
Further, no controlled demolition is perfectly symmetrical either. However, all successful controlled demolitions are generally very symmetrical. In a pedantic sense, the world is not perfectly round nor is a marble. In a practical sense though we say both are round. Similarly, we say that successful controlled demolitions are generally all symmetrical.

2) “You provide no evidence to support your claims.”
My argument makes two main claims: 1) there is no evidence for the official story of the Twin Tower falls; 2) there is evidence of controlled demolition.

I have presented the obvious evidence of rapid fall times and symmetrical falls. Anyone can visit YouTube to see the footage for themselves. I can’t provide evidence that there is no evidence of the official story though. Asking me to do that is like asking to prove there is no evidence that flying spaghetti monsters exist. Those who support the official story are making the implicit claim that it is more likely. It can only be more likely if it has more evidence than competing explanations. Therefore, the onus is on official story believers to provide evidence to support their belief. Claiming that I produce evidence that there is no evidence is shifting the burden of proof from the claimer, them, onto the doubter, me.

3) “All controlled demolitions start at the bottom. Therefore the Twin Towers could not be controlled demolitions.”
That is false. Most controlled demolitions do start at the bottom because that is simpler and usually cheaper. The Vérinage technique used in France, for example, typically removes a single floor of support about half way down the building.[3] Controlled demolition of a building simply means intentionally destroying a building. Whether I start at the top, the bottom or the middle is irrelevant. There are at least two instances of top-down controlled demolitions viewable on YouTube.[4][5]

4) “No skyscraper has ever been struck by a plane before, so there is actually no precedent for this scenario.”
Whether the towers were hit by a plane, a meteor or an energy weapon is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is which explanation has more evidence to support it. The official story claim is that a falling top portion of each building was able to completely demolish the building below. If you had precedence this would provide you with evidence. But you don’t need precedence to provide evidence. 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.

In closing, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the official story and there is evidence to support the controlled demolition hypothesis. The most basic requirement for a scientific explanation is the presence of supporting evidence. This proves without a shadow of a doubt that the controlled demolition explanation is currently the most and only scientific explanation available for explaining the Twin Tower collapses. Dr. Novella the floor is yours.

1. 9/11 Commission Report http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf
2. NIST NCSTAR 1 http://www.nist.gov/manuscript-publication-search.cfm?pub_id=909017
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwFHEoiUZ7o
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVQaVgJne6c
5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ1E2NPl-s8


Go To Part II

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