Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Waterboy Speaks

Ryan Mackey posted a rather detailed 200 page rebuttal of many of David Ray Griffin's claims several months ago, but received no response from the retired theologian, who apparently is too busy working on revisions to one of his many books on the subject. Kevin Ryan though, fresh off of losing yet another lawsuit against UL, decided to take him on, although with a much briefer 10 page "letter" to the Journal of 9/11 Studies. It is a rather bizarre letter though, that spends nearly as much time attacking him and the JREF forum as addressing any scientific issues.

Introducing himself, Mackey declares his allegiance to the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), an online forum that represents itself as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of paranormal and pseudoscientific fraud.” James Randi is apparently a magician, and a leading member of the “Skeptics Society”, whose founder I recently debated on the issue of 9/11.[2]

A brief visit to Randi’s forum indicates that the participants are largely anonymous, and somewhat emotional, defenders of the official conspiracy theory. Most of their efforts appear to be focused on smearing those questioning the government’s version of 9/11, or defending that version with imaginative claims that even the government wouldn’t support. With this in mind, it’s not difficult to predict that this new work from the scientific hero of the JREF crowd is not particularly useful or informative.

Bizarrely, he even starts going off on Mackey's use of "we".

One last thing about this paper is worth noting, and that is Mackey’s continual reference to the authorship by using the term “we”. For example, he says -- “we note with amusement” the open letter Kevin Ryan sent to the President of Purdue University. It is not clear whether this use of “we” means that there was actually a group of authors involved, and only one was given credit, or if Mackey now believes himself to be something of a royal figure in the debunking effort. The gratuitous pretension of the piece suggests that the latter option is correct, but who knows.

I think he is starting to lose it.

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