by a Pained Scientist
This is a response to Philip Roddis’ article Incontrovertible – the “truth” about 9/11
Philip Roddis’ article on why people who question the official story of 9/11 are “pants” is not a good piece. In fact it’s a little embarrassing for its author. He doesn’t know the subject he comments on. He’s skimmed a few authoritative-seeming pronouncements from sources or people he admires (Alexander Cockburn), and assumed they knew what they were talking about. He’s never read the NIST report, and has only the vaguest clue what the official explanation of the collapse even is. Read this paragraph of his and cringe for him:
As a matter of fact the put-options issue, like WTC 7 freefall and ‘expert’ opinions that Boeing 707s could not have brought down WTC 1 and WTC 2, has been comprehensively addressed. Another recurring feature of conspiracy theories is the coexistence of shrill demands that Our Questions Be Answered with stone-deafness to empirical and logical answers convincing to all but the True Believer.
Ouch, right? This guy pontificating about “empirical and logical answers” thinks the official explanation for the collapse of the Twin Towers is that two Boeing 767s “brought them down”!
I urge Phil to try some research. No, scratch that, try some common sense. Suggesting a Boeing 767, weighing 157 tons, could on its own bring down WTC1 or 2, weighing 150,000 tons plus a piece, is like suggesting you could bring your house down by throwing a medium-sized rock through the window. That’s why NIST never made such a claim and why no competent scientist ever made such a claim.
What NIST says about the planes is their impact “severed and damaged support columns” It doesn’t claim the planes brought down the towers, because they know that’s stupid, being as the Towers were 1,000 times the mass of the planes. And being as the towers clearly withstood the impact and survived it. NIST doesn’t say the towers were “badly built” either Phil. It can’t do that because steel framed “tube in a tube” skyscrapers have become an industry standard since the WTC complex was built (the Freedom Tower is the same basic design), and while nonsense about the Twin Towers being flimsy might go over in a squib in the press written by and for joe public no self-respecting NIST scientist or engineer is going to allow his name to be put to such stupidity.
What NIST relies upon as the actual initiator of collapse is fires, partly fueled by kerosene, partly by office furniture, which heated the steel core structure to a point where the struts connecting the inner core to the outer containing structure were “softened” and a “progressive collapse” ensued. It has to say “softened” not melted, because there was no agent officially present in the towers that could have produced fires hot enough to melt steel. Normal office fires don’t melt steel. Kerosene fires don’t melt steel. So NIST had to propose the steel was just “softened.”
NIST tried to prove the “softened steel” theory by experiment and failed. Numerous times. But they put the theory in their report even though they disproved it.That’s not good science Phil. They also had to add in some mickey mouse guesswork about the plane impact having dislodged all the insulation from all the steel just in order to explain how the fires could do even that much damage, but we’ll let that one slide.
You’re obviously not a science man Phil, so let me explain to you that in science anomalies do matter and have to be explained. Things that counter known physical laws can’t just be assumed to happen without real good evidence. Steel framed high rise buildings don’t collapse due to fire. That’s a fact upon which a great deal of engineering and architectural decisions are made. You know why? Because such a collapse has never happened on earth ever. Steel frame high rises have burned on every floor, like furnaces, for days, left nothing but blackened ruins, but they’ve never – ever – fallen down in total as a result.
That is apart from three times on one day in one place – Sep 11 2001, NYC.
Right there, Phil, any scientist, engineer, architect, reasonable human being, non- idiot will tell you that’s something that needs examining. Forget the put options, the living hijackers, the Bin Laden bullshit, the Bush did it rhetoric, and the rest of the bla-blah-blah. Just focus on the fact one day, in one place three buildings in one small part of NYC allegedly fell down in a way heretofore and ever after considered impossible. And one of those buildlings wasn’t even hit by a plane.
What does this mean? Do you know Phil? I don’t know. NIST doesn’t know. It tried to find an explanation but failed and just put its unvalidated assumption in the report. Is that good enough? Something completely unprecedented in engineering and science happened that day, and all NIST gives us is some guesswork about how the insulation was knocked off of the beams and a whole bunch of other stuff that failed experimentation? If kerosene or office fires are sufficient to soften steel and initiate collapse why the hell did it never happen before or since? How is the presentation of this untested conclusion in a report of this magnitude compatible with science or safety?
As things stand we all as individuals have a serious choice. Either we just assume three buildings in one place at one time all did something no comparable building has ever done before or since, or we think more data is needed before we can sign off on that as a first assumption.
Aside from your basic and pretty woeful misunderstandings of what the official case actually is you don’t spend much time discussing evidence. You mention it. You say there’s tons of it that proves the official case and none that counters it, but you don’t say what any of it is. I’d like to know more about that. Can you tell me what this evidence is? I’d like you to read NIST ( you probably should before commenting any more on the subject), then read the criticisms of their conclusions written by highly qualified architects, engineers and scientists, whom you condescendingly dismiss as basement-dwelling retards. Read the thermite paper by Harrit et al. Give them a chance Phil. Open your mind and let some science in among all that liberal arts epistemological blowhardery you’ve got going on. Then maybe we can talk some more.