Monday, May 07, 2007

Debunking David Ray Griffin

As a professor of mine once explained, the difference between a scientific theory and a conspiracy theory is the ability to make good predictions. Last week I made a post on David Ray Griffin's statement that AA77 did not have airfones, and reasoned that this was most likely explained by the fact that American Airlines removed their airfones from their 757s in March 2002, and the "researchers" cited by Griffin did not properly clarify whether the phones were there in September 2001, as opposed to the 2004-2005 time period when they wrote their book.

So it was not really that much of a surprise to read this admission by David Ray Griffin on 911 Blogger today:

My mistake, like that of Henshall and Rowland before me, was to assume that the AA spokesperson and this website were talking about AA 757s as they had always been, not simply about 757s at the time of the query, in 2004.

But the latter was evidently the meaning. Elias Davidsson, an Icelandic member of the 9/11 truth movement, sent me a story from February 6, 2002, which said: “American Airlines will discontinue its AT&T in-flight phone service by March 31, a spokesman for the airline said Wednesday.” (5) Davidsson also reported a 1998 photograph of the inside of an AA 757 showing that it did have seat-back phones. (6)

Of course, with their ever moving goalposts, Griffin goes on to argue that this doesn't make any difference since the calls never happened for other reasons.

As I said, the difference between a scientific theory and a conspiracy theory, is the ability to make good predictions. I can almost always predict the logical fallacies that conspiracy theorists will make. This is not some special gift of mine, it is simply a matter of applying consistent logic to proper research. For them, predictions are meaningless, because they will always draw the same conclusions no matter what evidence they base it on. If the evidence points one way, it was a US government conspiracy, if the evidence points the exact opposite way, it still was a US government conspiracy. That is the essence of conspiracy theories.