Introduction to the Debate 2
A. Logical Flaws. Let's start with some basics relevant to this entire debate. In a moderated debate, the moderator may identify certain debating techniques as unacceptable, and allow only reasoned arguments. Since this is an unmoderated debate, I (and the other side) can "call" each other on logically flawed rebuttals. Here is an explanation of logical issues that arise in this debate (on both sides) such as Innuendo leading to Falsehood, Reversal of Burden of Proof, Requiring Proving a Negative, "Never Before" and "Strawman" arguments, Ad Hominem Attacks, Irrelevant Argument, False Global Claims, False Application of Common Sense, Argument From Authority, etc.:
http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=8429132&postcount=5784 I suggest that in the spirit of mutual respect, both sides do their best to avoid using logically flawed arguments.
Logically flawed arguments:
statement implies that Gage is engaging in "reverse
completely false comment subtly links Gage to
incorrect statement impugns Gage's credibility.
I forgot to include one other logical flaw:
ignoring what the other side is saying and talking
about other things instead.
Briefly: I remember hearing Gage say 5x when I first heard him in 2008. He now says "3 to 5 times" and I happily withdraw what I said. I may have even misheard him, which at worst is an honest mistake.
I continue to hope that the logical flaws I listed
be avoided in the spirit of fairness in this debate.
All of us will make honest mistakes along the way.
forum was originally provided to allow rebuttals of
the DVD documentary “9/11: Blueprint for Truth” and
rebuttals to your rebuttals. Criticism is a 2-way
B. Who has credibility in a 9/11 debate? The highest credibility goes to the best-reasoned arguments, which trump this list, but since credibility and "authority" have some weight, here is my rough guide to how to judge the merits of the person making a claim:
Ryan Mackey has his own version of the same thing:
http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=84621 Eric Conley --Ozeco41 -- has posted several colloquial discussions of logical issues on the same threads as well as contributing to my posts.
Judging the messenger rather than the message is not an acceptable debate technique.
Evaluating an expert opinion's credibility is not the same as
judging the messenger.
My rough guide (linked above) is an opportunity for both of us to ask, what weight do we put on the source of our information and on the expertise of the person providing it? I say yes, a real expert's opinion, especially when peer-reviewed, carries relatively more weight than non-expert opinions or even the opinions of people with training in other fields talking about things outside their areas of expertise (people like Ryan Mackey, Steven Jones, Richard Gage, Kevin Ryan, and others). As another example, James Millette specializes in chemical analysis of dust particles and forensic analysis, so his pre-publication experiments on and conclusions about the red-gray chips--and his unambiguous determination in his preliminary report that there was no thermite in the chips--carries considerable weight.
This is the whole point of the AE911 Truth video, "Experts Speak Out:" that people with expertise disagree with the common 9/11 narrative!
From the response above right it appears you believe that any attempt to weigh an expert's credibility is a false exercise.
We disagree on that point.
By that measure the thermite paper by Neils Harrit
Ph.D, Steven Jones Ph.D and Jeffrey Farrer Ph.D, has
more credibility than R. Mackey or any other scientist
of lesser expertise. Their peer-reviewed paper has not
been challenged in the scientific manner i.e. a
published paper rebutting their findings. Millette
did not duplicate two key experiments nor has he
published. Until he duplicates those two key
experiments and publishes his findings there is no
scientifically accepted challenge to the thermite
Mohr interprets "These experts ... have credibility" as meaning "experts can be dismissed".
C. I invite my opponents on the 9/11 Truth side to offer their hierarchy of credibility for comparison. Here is a Bibliography of Peer-Reviewed Scientific Papers etc. explaining the natural collapse of the towers and a list of top researchers who have investigated the 9/11 catastrophe. These are my accepted sources of information, many of which I have read or scanned: http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=8380815&postcount=5543
The claim that all of these people are either ignorant of the basic laws of physics or in on a conspiracy has no credibility with me.
Here is a list of
people and organizations who have credibility. Some of these
articles are about fire safety, etc and relate more peripherally
to 9/11 but all have varying degrees of high credibility in my
mind, and I have studied their work extensively. The following
individuals and groups have collectively met the burden of proof
for the natural-collapse theory by participating in the 911
investigations, cleanup and research.
I have also gotten answers to many questions from people in the JREF Forums, from those who agree with the basic principles established by these scientists.
The burden of proof has been met by NIST because it has been repeatedly peer-reviewed by individuals, civil/structural engineering societies and peer-reviewed articles.
Most of these papers are not "peer reviewed". In fact, many have nothing to do with the collapse itself. Mohr's implication that they all support the NIST collapse theory is incorrect.
From the first entry on the
link list Mohr refers to – WTC 7:
The word “implode” carries
intrinsic meaning relevant to this discussion:
Magazine had this to say about the FEMA report:
2002/05 - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- The Towers Lost and Beyond -
2002/09 - John D. Osteraas - World Trade Center:
Assessment of Structural and Architectural Damage;
I said these sources were
"Peer-Reviewed etc." because I am aware that these
scientific articles were not all peer-reviewed. While I list some
of the sources that have credibility for me based on their
qualifications, the writer above right has not responded to my
invitation to offer his own hierarchy of credibility.
Briefly, reports of the building
implosion from the FEMA Report is not "evidence" that FEMA believes
Building 7 was imploded from controlled demolition. They never
said that. What FEMA did say in their report is that it appeared
that "the collapse was due primarily to fire." This section is not
about FEMA however; it's a general invitation to explore what
kinds of sources we consider credible.
But generally these articles directly or indirectly support
natural collapse and carry high credibility.
My bad. I should have included
this in my response:
More than 1,700 Architects and Engineers, along with nearly 15,000 others have gone on record stating that they doubt the Official Collapse Theory and want a truly independent investigation.
A straw man, known in the UK as an Aunt Sally, is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.
I just noted that FEMA acknowledged the obvious - "the building imploded" and that implode is a demolition term.
Which of these
articles supports the natural collapse theory?
Many don't have anything to do with the collapses.
That is not true. The list is a grab bag of articles and papers about the WTC. Implying that it represents a wide breadth of support for the natural collapse theory is innuendo leading to falsehood.
Here's the breakdown
of the JREF "Support natural collapse theory" list:
The issue of peer-review is secondary to the approach a researcher
The credibility issue with the 9/11 Truth movement and Richard
Gage is not only the paucity of peer-reviewed papers, it is the
1. he presents his/her case on YouTube or the internet or on radio
Mohr has shifted from
determining the credibility of the authors of a research paper to the
credibility of Gage.
3. What a novel idea!
What the researchers whose credibility I respect more do is:
Gage has not presented to the MOST prestigious panel of structural engineers that he can find. Instead he visits college campuses and speaks at public meetings.
researchers draw conclusions. As many as they can. If they have no
conclusions to present, they keep quiet until they can present
1. Gage is a presenter, not a researcher. He gathers together and presents the research that others have done. Photos and videos are a critical part of his presentation. Careful examination of the videos reveals that the towers were demolished with explosives. This kind of presentation is not amiable for submittal to journals. The thermite paper is the type of research that can be submitted to a scientific journal.
He has already presented to numerous groups of
architects and engineers.
This shows disrespect for the public. You call them
"amateurs" as if they are not capable of critical
D. The following individuals and groups participated in the 911 investigations, cleanup and research. All had specialized training in whatever aspect of the work they did. Not one has come forward to support the 9/11 Truth version of events: 7,000+ FBI Agents who conducted a three-year 911 investigation; 1,500 people who worked the flight 93 crash scene; 40,000 people who worked the piles at Ground Zero; 55 FBI Evidence Response Teams at Fresh Kills in New York; 8,000+ people who worked the scene at the Pentagon.
There are at least five peer-reviewed journal articles in ASCE publications that conclude the buildings came down by fire and those Journal articles have been cited in other articles and used to redesign fire codes in tall buildings (meaning that the articles have peer respect).
NIST was peer-reviewed by four independent civil engineering firms and concluded fire brought the buildings down.
These are enormous lists of people, articles
etc in support of the natural collapse theory. Anyone who thinks
NIST's investigations are terrible science or fraud must deal with
the collective consensus of thousands of qualified scientists,
engineers and others who have researched 9/11 and come to very
similar conclusions to those found in the NIST Report.
Mohr is stating that
all these people support the Natural Collapse Theory.
However no survey has been conducted to verify this
incredible claim. This is a "False Global
Claim" - one of the
items listed as an unacceptable debate tactic.
It is true that I made a "false global claim" when I
said that of the participants in the 911
one has come forward to support the 9/11 Truth version
of events." Generally I say that the overwhelming
scientific consensus is in support of the natural
collapse theory. The excellent link above right proves
me wrong and I retract what I said.
There are multiple dimensions to the investigations. Many intelligence people have come out in opposition to what they consider a politicized investigation, and I sympathize with their complaints (though I have not studied them carefully). Richard Gage and I focused on the other dimension of the investigations: whether the buildings were destroyed by controlled demolition or as a natural outcome of the plane crashes, ensuing fires, the Towers crashing and setting unfought fires in other buildings, etc. This is the focus of my journalistic investigation.
If I am not mistaken, however:
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), there are 8,865 civil engineering firms in the US.
According to physicslink.com, there are 675 University physics departments in the US.
According to the National Demolition Association, there are over 1000 demolition companies in the US. and Canada that offer standard demolition services.
There is some support for the 9/11 controlled demolition theory among some individual engineers, firemen, etc. But to date, not one civil engineering firm, not one University physics department and not one US demolition company is willing to certify that the claims made by 911 Truth organizations are plausible or even possible.
Thank you for your willingness to admit that you were wrong.
Mohr continues to
imply that all these people support the natural