Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weird Science

For years now the debunker community (for lack of a better term) has been pointing out that despite their arguments to authority the truthers have yet to produce anything of scientific or academic merit. Because of this Steven Jones, who seems to be more concerned about the actions and opinions of JREF members than those of Dick Cheney, has been trying to get their work published in a journal, or at least onethat he did not set up himself. Well they have finally succeeded, but missed the point. The point is not that they are incapable of getting anything published, hell David Ray Griffin has certainly succeeded on that point, but in gaining acceptance in the scientific community by getting some significant research of theirs noticed by the scientific community at large.

So in this aspect they have failed miserably, by only getting, not a research paper, but a sarcastic letter-to-the-editor opinion type piece, thinly veiled as 14 points of agreement with NIST. This has not stopped the truther community from hailing this as a grand achievement though. From OpEd news for example, with the headline:

14 Point Destruction of the NIST & FEMA 9/11 WTC Reports

Of course this is the exact opposite of what the letter pretends to accomplish, with its title:

Fourteen Points of Agreement: World Trade Center Destruction

So either the content of the letter completely failed to agree with its purported conclusion, usually considered a sign of failure in the academic community, or the truther writing this completely misunderstood it.

He continues later:

With publication in a mainstream, peer-reviewed scientific journal the debate about 9/11 WTC controlled demolition has reached a new level. AE911Truth.org has 317 architectural and engineering professionals and growing, so the debate has not been insignificant thus far. Also, the NIST FAQs show the public debate has not gone unnoticed by NIST. However, now, with the publication of this article, the scientific community has been invited, and NIST defenders are challenged, to debate the true meaning of these 14 points that the NIST Report and/or FEMA Report have acknowledged as fact.

What debate? Yes, AE911truth has managed to sign up a lot of names, although well short of their September 2008 goal of 1,000, but what work have they produced? To my knowledge, none. Not a single peer-reviewed article by a single structural engineer, nor a single media appearance, or even a new argument posted on a webpage. Heck, has any member of this organization, other than Richard Gage ever done anything? I follow the movement on a daily basis, and I could not name a single other active member. Merely stating on a website that you disagree with something hardly ranks as scientific proof, or counts as some sort of debate.

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