Burden of proof

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jas

We've spent many threads outlining how the official theory fails. I openly invited anyone on  Babble to counter that information with facts or some kind of acceptable scientific principle explaining the obvious gaps in logic. No one has been able to explain the lack of resistance in the within-seconds-of-free-fall descent of the towers. Far more science and engineering professionals have now spoken out against the official explanation than the few who still stand on record as supporting it.

With all due respect, if you're not actually paying attention to the content of the threads, how can you make the claim you're making about burden of proof? You're making an uninformed and personal value judgment about what theory is acceptable.

Tommy_Paine

 

Pants-of-dog got to where I was going first, to be honest.  I'd also say that another bit of self evident wholesale support of an objective reality is the fact that we all here take the time to argue about it and many other things.

 

If reality was truly subjective, why bother arguing?  Why bother communicating at all? 

 

But Catchfire took too much time for such and easy and quick dissmissal of the subject.

 

Not to quibble, but I thought I read that "postmodernism" came into being as a result of the horrors of the first war, not the second.  

 

I used to engage in the 9/11 stuff way back, but when I saw the goal posts constantly moved around, I decided I had better things to do.  And, I'm not sure I was commenting directly at those threads, anyway.    I don't think I'd characterise them as "postmodern" in the way I like to use the term.    I think it's more akin to a religious argument.

 

And, for what it's worth, I don't really have any problem (and sometimes little grasp) of the ideas explored by all the fine philosophers you name.    Where I think it has done damage is by people who take a bit of what they say and run with it, so they can wriggle out of, well, facing facts, or more often, afraid to investigate something scientfically because perhaps they feel that in terms of reality, underneath it all,  they are wrong.   

 

What I mean to say is that sure, Isaac Newton was a male white aristocrat, but African Canadian lesbians should still use a seatbelt in a car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Yiwah wrote:

jas wrote:

Yiwah, please be more explicit in what you're talking about. The progressive collapse theory is not supported by science. The onus is on the believers of this theory to prove its validity.

I am an outsider the WTC debate, please keep that in mind.  I'm not particularly interested in it...my interest was piqued by the position on burden of proof taken in the OP and I have been following the topic based solely on that.

YOU have made the claim that whatever theory being officially promoted is "not supported by science".  Despite the fact that it is very much supported by science.  You apparently disagree with the science, which is NOT the same thing as the offical theory not being "supported by science".

a) "not supported by science"

b) "I disagree with the science"

 

I see you taking position b, while calling it position a.

Since you disagree with the official theory, you should be proving how the official theory fails.  You could be showing people why the science is flawed, but instead you simply talk as though it's been proven, and settled, and accepted.  Which it most certainly is not, quite obviously, since there so much controversy on the entire topic.

So, you are not beginning from a premise of settled, widely known facts which shouldn't have to be proven.  You are making a contentious claim, and telling others it's their job to prove you wrong.

 

I hope you have benefited from this more explicit explanation as to what I am referring to specifically in reference to the WTC threads. 

I again point out that this approach (claiming something as a proven and accepted fact, then asking others to disprove it) is the underlying theme I take issue with, and is not isolated to the WTC threads.

You are contradicting yourself. If the official theory makes a claim, as it does, then, according to you, the official theory is required to prove itself as it makes a claim of something to be true. So when those who don't accept the official theory ask valid questions, the burden is really on the official theory to answer them, no? I mean, within reason. But, rather, you're now arguing the opposite of what you argued in the OP suggesting it is now upon those who question the claim to provide the burden of proof.

As another outsider to the 9/11 conspiracy arguments (and the official theory is as much a conspiracy theory as any), I see there are a number of very good questions the proponents of the official theory can't answer. But rather than acknowledge the questions can't be answered by the theory and offer further research, proponents instead engage in character attacks upon those who ask the questions--the heretics, if you will.

 

Yiwah

Frustrated Mess wrote:

You are contradicting yourself.

Not at all.

Frustrated Mess wrote:

If the official theory makes a claim, as it does, then, according to you, the official theory is required to prove itself as it makes a claim of something to be true.

Yes.

Which it does.

Frustrated Mess wrote:

So when those who don't accept the official theory ask valid questions, the burden is really on the official theory to answer them, no? I mean, within reason.

That is not actually what I have seen happening in that thread.  Instead, the OP declares that the official theory is wrong, and that this is an accepted truth.

I would like to see that proven.  However, that cannot happen, as Jas solemnly declares it already has been. 

Frustrated Mess wrote:

But, rather, you're now arguing the opposite of what you argued in the OP suggesting it is now upon those who question the claim to provide the burden of proof.

Those who say the official theory is disproven, and not supported by science, need to prove their assertions.

If the evidence is so clear, this should not be a difficult task.

When I question an official report, I do so with facts.  When people question the facts I present, I back them up.  What I do not do, is claim that I have already proven the official report wrong, and therefore the burden of proof is on everyone else to prove to me how it is actually right.

Frustrated Mess wrote:

As another outsider to the 9/11 conspiracy arguments (and the official theory is as much a conspiracy theory as any), I see there are a number of very good questions the proponents of the official theory can't answer. But rather than acknowledge the questions can't be answered by the theory and offer further research, proponents instead engage in character attacks upon those who ask the questions--the heretics, if you will.

Perhaps, but the only character attacks I'm seeing in that thread are against those who are requesting evidence that disproves the offical theory, the theory that has been accepted by far more experts than it has been questioned by.  The people who claim that the official theory is wrong have consistantly made personal remarks to those who have been pointing out flaws in the sources they have provided. 

Again, if this were such an obvious and proven fact (that the official theory is wrong), the evidence should stand up to questioning.

But again, that can't happen because the OP states that the burden of proof is not upon him (or her).

 

jrootham

pants-of-dog is being amazingly patient and is not making any character attacks of any kind.  Me, not so much.  OTOH the entire thread is a character attack on those who believe the NIST report is reasonably accurate.

The relevent bit of the official story is that the aircraft colliding with the towers caused them to collapse.  Not much room for conspiracy there.  If you wish to raise questions about woho planned and executed the attack and did the upper reaches of the Bush administration deliberately allow the attack to succeed, that is a whole other story.

Bush certainly exploited the attack, but I am much more convinced that it happened due to incompetence on the administrations part rather than malfeasance.  But malfeasance is at least plausible.

The NIST report and it's summaries contain a huge amount of evidence and calculation concerning the collapse, it's not as though the NIST just did some hand waving.

 

Yiwah

jrootham wrote:

pants-of-dog is being amazingly patient and is not making any character attacks of any kind.  Me, not so much. 

Yes, there was that outburst on your part.

I apologise, as I did in fact see that.

Yiwah

Before this turns into yet another thread on the collapse of the WTC...I want to point out that the examples I've given were either specifically requested, or given as an illustration of some of the behaviours I found problematic and helped spark this discussion.

I would like to keep the focus general, rather than specific.  On the forest, rather than the collapsing trees, so to speak.

Yiwah

jas wrote:

We've spent many threads outlining how the official theory fails. I openly invited anyone on  Babble to counter that information with facts or some kind of acceptable scientific principle explaining the obvious gaps in logic. No one has been able to explain the lack of resistance in the within-seconds-of-free-fall descent of the towers. Far more science and engineering professionals have now spoken out against the official explanation than the few who still stand on record as supporting it.

With all due respect, if you're not actually paying attention to the content of the threads, how can you make the claim you're making about burden of proof? You're making an uninformed and personal value judgment about what theory is acceptable.

I see you making at least one claim in this paragraph that is false. 

"Far more science and engineering professionals have now spoken out against the official explanation that than the few who still stand on record as supporting it".

That erroneous claim has already been [url=http://www.rabble.ca/comment/1152278/Fidel-wroteBut-lot]refuted[/url] in the thread in question.  I'll quote the [url=http://911-engineers.blogspot.com/]pertinent passage[/url] again.

Quote:
Only a handful of architects and engineers question the NIST Report, but they have never come up with an alternative. Although at first blush it may seem impressive that these people don't believe the NIST Report, remember that there are 123,000 members of ASCE(American Society of Civil Engineers) who do not question the NIST Report. There are also 80,000 members of AIA(American Institute of Architects) who do not question the NIST Report.

 

You consistently repeat things that have been proven to be false, and then apparently question why others want more than your word that you have proven what you say you have.  The alternative is that you have some sort of argument/facts which counters the evidence that was presented to refute your assertions.  It would behoove you at that point to present it, rather than ignoring it completely.

Perhaps you are under the mistaken impression that no one is seeing you do this?

 

jrootham

My apologies on the thread drift.

Babble has a certain set of official rules, and another set of unofficial rules (mostly permission to violate the official rules by long time babblers).  None of these rules require rationality.  This gives a large space for long time babblers (in particular) to operate.  Some of them show signs of being true believers.  It's not surprising under these circumstances that some of the argumentation gets flawed.

 

Yiwah

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by 'true believers'?

jrootham

Hmm, how to explain?

A true believer is one locked into a true believer system.  True believer systems are belief systems that are designed to resist outside challenges to their veracity.  Cults are centered around true believer systems.

Some sub species of Marxism are true believer systems.

Yiwah

Oh.  You mean people who are impervious to flaws in their logic while claiming the flaws lay only in the logic of those who disagree with them.

I understand now, thank you.

jrootham

That's what true believers look like from the outside, but it's not quite the whole story. 

A key component of a true believer system is that is designed to reject questions from outside the system.  They typically include the idea that any challenge to the system is by definition an attack from a hostile party.  At least that is one of the classic defences.  So it's a little more than asymetric application of logic.

Pants-of-dog

In my opinion, if a sub-forum is called humanities and sciences, the level of evidence required should be at a fairly high standard.

Simply due to the subject matter (soft and hard sciences) there is already a plethora of evidence available on the internet. And if someone makes a testable claim, it behooves us to, minimally, verify it. After all, a keystone of the humanities and sciences in intersubjective verification. If we can not verify that claim, I see no reason why we should not demand evidence from whomever is making the claim.

Of course, if someone comes across information that disproves either your hypothesis or the hypothesis of the other claimant, that information should be presented.

This enables us all to see the information for ourselves. This is important because reality rarely conforms to the claims of any person, and is usually more complicated. By sharing this information, we see how our own ideas are wrong, and thereby learn.

Have a pleasant evening, everyone.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Yiwah, sorry that I went pressing for specific details and ended up dragging you into a WTC collapse debate (even if it is second-hand). Thank you for the "neener neener" clarification, I believe it cleared up my misunderstanding of your response in #44 (and second time through, I realize you were perfectly clear even there). Of course having identified the problem, there is the still the challenge of coming up with a solution to it. I think I will watch the Monty Python "Here For An Argument" sketch a few times and see if inspiration strikes.

damn, does anyone know the secret of getting white out back into the bottle?

Fidel

Sineed wrote:
If it were my decision, I'd do what some other boards have done and disallow the 9/11 conspiracy threads for that reason.  I would also take a harder line on any ideas supported by links to whale.to or globalresearch.

Right. Let's ban any and all left wing Canadian web sites run by Canadian professors of economics at Ottawa U.

Nobody expects the inquisition. - Monty Python

jas

Yiwah, the blog you quote from appears to be written by one person, someone who remains anonymous, by the looks of it. One person who also makes the erroneous assumption that those who don't say anything are "not questioning" the NIST report, perhaps even implying that they support it?

If you're so passionate about defending a theory that says it's normal for skyscrapers to disintegrate and descend into their basements in under 15 seconds after short-lived upper floor fires, why don't you come into the thread and lay some truth on us? 

When I say the offical theory is not supported by science, I mean it is not proven or even somewhat supported by any known principles of physics. It has been extensively laid out why in numerous prior threads. Threads which you claim to have read but for some reason haven't participated in. No scientist has been able to cite any law of nature or physics that allows for the descent of one portion of a building through a larger portion at a speed which is within seconds of free fall. I'm sorry you don't like or agree with that fact, but it is a fact. Any grade-schooler can tell you the explanation we've been given defies known laws of physics. Unless you can answer to this false notion right here and now, you cannot claim to speak for science or rational observation, let alone complain about anybody's burden of proof, especially in threads you choose not to participate in.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Sineed wrote:
If it were my decision, I'd do what some other boards have done and disallow the 9/11 conspiracy threads for that reason.  I would also take a harder line on any ideas supported by links to whale.to or globalresearch.

What "other boards" have done this, Sineed? How did they frame it? "We support the conclusions drawn by NIST" or "9/11 as a topic of discussion is off limits" or somewhere in between?

Pants-of-dog

jas wrote:

......

When I say the offical theory is not supported by science, I mean it is not proven or even somewhat supported by any known principles of physics.....

First of all, I do not believe that Yiwah has made any claims about the WTC specifically and is actually discussing your inability or refusal to provide evidence that supprts your claims.

For example, in the portion of your post that is noted above, you neglect to show how the WTC collapse would not be supported by the conversation of momentum or any other "principle of physics".

On a related note, science does not prove anything. All of the theories currently held by science are contingent in that they may be discarded at any moment that we observe data that disproves said theory. This is why (and this ties into the OP neatly) scientifc experiments are devised in such a way that it is possible to show a theory is false. This is called falsifiability.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Well, it's pretty much "anything goes" on the alt-med and vaccination threads, despite demonstrably wrong information and scurrilous sources, two of which Sineed has pointed out.  And to be fair, Yiwah was using the 9/11 threads as only the latest example in a pattern that these other subjects are also prone to.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I agree, TB. Those thread were hard to follow because of it. I didn't like the spamming of "sources" to prove a spurious point, nor the appeal to dubious authorities. I'm not sure moderators are equipped to keep that in check--the first is easy, if time consuming, but the latter is extremely difficult unless you have some background in the discipline. We certainly can't ban conversations about vaccines--made clear by the fact that many of the fears vacc sceptics had proved to be true in the end, as recent news indicates.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Actually, as recent news was framed - it doesn't appear to be so cut and dried according to some other reading I've done, and there was some counter-argument posted...  But I didn't have the time to dig exhaustively on that one, so stayed out for the time being.  And I'm not sure it would have made much of a difference anyway.

I recognize that it takes time that the moderators don't have to research veracity of sources and get in-depth on any number of subjects as they come up, but I also think the ongoing conspiracy-theory/immune-to-reason type threads are not so good for rabble/babble as a whole.  I wish I had a solution, for if I did, I'd surely recommend it.

Tommy_Paine

What "other boards" have done this, Sineed? How did they frame it? "We support the conclusions drawn by NIST" or "9/11 as a topic of discussion is off limits" or somewhere in between?

 

We are currently under a topic ban, and I think always have been, on the topic of abortion in terms of pro choice or anti choice.

 

I think the main part of the reason for this is that Rabble is for reproductive self determination for women, full stop.    But if memory serves, I think it's also because such arguments go on and on and on, get ugly and attract trolls.   

If so, the 9/11 threads meet at least some of that criteria.

 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Tommy_Paine wrote:
We are currently under a topic ban, and I think always have been, on the topic of abortion in terms of pro choice or anti choice.

I think the main part of the reason for this is that Rabble is for reproductive self determination for women, full stop.    But if memory serves, I think it's also because such arguments go on and on and on, get ugly and attract trolls.   

If so, the 9/11 threads meet at least some of that criteria.

Yes, of course, Tommy, and we also prohibit babblers from posting from sites that promote racist hate or prejudice. But the difference, at least in terms of choice as I understand it, is that it's not a topic ban--we can still talk about choice from a pro-feminist pov--but rather an imposed limit rooted in a decades long struggle, and informed by generations of women who have said in no uncertain terms: "these are our rights." And babble consequently acknowledges and respects that. Where's the corollary for science-based threads? How much of the 9/11 narrative can be questioned? I'm not comfortable with a topic ban, nor even a "conspiracy theory ban" such as HuffPo imposes. There are certain things we at babble can do--prevent spamming, e.g.--but as for ways to ensure discussion surrounding these kind of topics remain in the real while allowing scepticism? I don't know.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Yiwah wrote:

Quote:
Only a handful of architects and engineers question the NIST Report, but they have never come up with an alternative. Although at first blush it may seem impressive that these people don't believe the NIST Report, remember that there are 123,000 members of ASCE(American Society of Civil Engineers) who do not question the NIST Report. There are also 80,000 members of AIA(American Institute of Architects) who do not question the NIST Report.

See. There's a claim that is made.  A very precise claim. And the numbers are linked as though there is a source to support the claim. But the links do not support the claim at all. The claim, to be precise is "that there are 123,000 members of ASCE(American Society of Civil Engineers) who do not question the NIST Report." Is there a poll whereby all those members explcitly stated they "do not question" the NIST report? Same goesfor the AIA. Where is your support for that claim?

I'm not trying to be difficult, but you can hardly demand one stanard for your opponents while adhering to quite another.

Yiwah

jas wrote:

Yiwah, the blog you quote from appears to be written by one person, someone who remains anonymous, by the looks of it. One person who also makes the erroneous assumption that those who don't say anything are "not questioning" the NIST report, perhaps even implying that they support it?

The blog lists sources for the numbers it lists. It points out that the people making claims about the veracity of the NIST theory have not presented alternatives.

1200 people (not even necessarily civil engineers or architects as far as I can see, not having any sources to describe the qualifications of these particular people) out of what was it again?  123,000 civil engineers and 80,000 architects?  Colour me not particularly impressed by...oh gosh, what is it, my math is so rusty..... 0.05%?  Oh wait, that's not accurate, because we don't actually know how many of the "1200" are even civil engineers or architects....perhaps some of them are mechanical engineers (120,000 members of ASME), or electical and electronics engineers (370,000 members of IEEE), or chemcal engineers (40,000 members of AIChE), or one of the 35,000 members of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics)? 

Why, that would make the "1200" what...0.016% of all those professionals who have spoken out?

Yes.  Their deafening voice is...

Well okay so not so much.

 

What I've done here is attempt to highlight for you how your 'overwhelming and accepted truth' is neither overwhelming, nor accepted.

jas wrote:

If you're so passionate about defending a theory that says it's normal for skyscrapers...

I'm going to stop you here, because what you are doing is mischaracterising my argument.  I could care less about the NIST theory, or your 'theory' (if you can call a lack of alternatives a theory...I don't know, I'd have to ask someone with a science background).  My focus is your lack of ability to answer questions, back up your claims, or do anything really except pretend you've proven something to the point where it is an accepted fact here on Babble, or anywhere else.

Or perhaps you're published somewhere?  In a peer reviewed journal perhaps?  If so, I offer my apologies, and request a link to your studies.

In any case, your particular approach is characteristic of the overall approach I am referring to in this thread.  Thank you for continuing to provide a live example I can readily refer to.

jas wrote:

When I say the offical theory is not supported by science, I mean it is not proven or even somewhat supported by any known principles of physics.

Many other sources dispute your claim*, using known principles of physics. Your claims (*that the official theory is not at all supported by known principles of physics) therefore are false. 

You can argue with the science, and provide alternatives.  That would be a nice change of pace, actually.

However, once again...making the claim that you have "THE OFFICIAL THEORY....IS NOT PROVEN OR EVEN SOMEWHAT SUPPORTED BY ANY KNOWN PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICS" is flat out wrong. Why? Because the physics is going to support the model used.  There are different models being proposed.  You might wish to propose one yourself.  Some of the models might fit better than others. This does not, however, make your claim* true. 

 

6079_Smith_W

Catchfire wrote:

I'm not comfortable with a topic ban, nor even a "conspiracy theory ban" such as HuffPo imposes. There are certain things we at babble can do--prevent spamming, e.g.--but as for ways to ensure discussion surrounding these kind of topics remain in the real while allowing scepticism? I don't know.

 

I presume you have bans for a couple of reasons:

Some issues are a matter of opinion and unsolveable

This site has some set beliefs and guidelines which are non-negotionable, so there is no reason to hear any counter-argument.

You don't want to draw obstructionists, or have debate which heats up to the point of attack and libel, or which shuts down discussion.

I know of at least one site which has a specific area for rants and complaints, where the rules are a bit more lax (without dropping their ban on personal attack and discriminatory comment). Basically anyone who goes to that part of the space knows that he or she can vent spleen without censure. It is significant that members have for the most part respected it and not used it as a place to attack the core values of the site. If they didn't it would probably break down.

Not trying to change your system; I am new here, after all. But you mentioned it, and I am just pointing out that some forums set up areas where special rules apply.

jas

Yiwah wrote:

Why, that would make the "1200" what...0.016% of all those professionals who have spoken out?

Sorry, how many of your professionals have spoken out? Where have they spoken out?

Yiwah wrote:

Many other sources dispute your claim*, using known principles of physics. Your claims (*that the official theory is not at all supported by known principles of physics) therefore are false.

Sorry, again: which sources are you citing here? I find it a bit too convenient for you to say you "couldn't care less" about what's being argued, and yet you make these broad, general statements that are not sourced to anything and that directly comment on the argument. You''re pretending to be a neutral observer, while at the same time being very open about defending the official theory/anti-science point of view.

I'm not going to re-argue the same points over and over just because you and pants are too lazy to read the older threads. Each new thread we (or I) create is linked or explicitly refers back to the argument we (or I) have been building on. A summary has been provided in some of the OPs so that I, anyway, don't have to re-argue stuff that was either agreed upon (i.e., matter in the path of other matter in motion does produce resistance to that motion) or was not convincingly contested or did nothing to significantly alter  the thesis (i.e., arguments that the towers in fact took TWO more seconds! to descend than is claimed) in previous threads.

Your complaints about burden of proof are invalid. But you seem to be wanting to say so much more about this.

Sineed

James B. Meigs, editor in chief of Popular Mechanics wrote:
On February 7, 2005, I became a member of the Bush/Halliburton/Zionist/CIA/New World Order/ Illuminati conspiracy for global domination. It was on that day the March 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics, with its cover story debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories, hit newsstands. Within hours, the online community of 9/11 conspiracy buffs--which calls itself the "9/11 Truth Movement"--was aflame with wild fantasies about me and my staff, the magazine I edit, and the article we had published.

He then lists the key techniques employed by conspiracy theorists:

1. Marginalization of opposing views

Quote:
The 9/11 Truth Movement invariably describes the mainstream account of 9/11 as the "government version" or "the official version." In fact, the generally accepted account of 9/11 is made up of a multitude of sources: thousands of newspaper, TV, and radio reports produced by journalists from all over the world; investigations conducted by independent organizations and institutions, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, Purdue University, Northwestern University, Columbia University, the National Fire Protection Association, and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.; eyewitness testimony from literally thousands of people; recordings and transcripts of phone calls, air traffic control transmissions, and other communications; thousands of photographs; thousands of feet of video footage; and, let's not forget the words of Osama bin Laden, who discussed the operation in detail on more than one occasion, including in an audio recording released in May 2006 that said: "I am responsible for assigning the roles of the 19 brothers to conduct these conquests . . ."

2. Argument by anomaly

Quote:
In an article about the Popular Mechanics 9/11 reportScientific American columnist Michael Shermer makes an important observation about the conspiracist method: "The mistaken belief that a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory lies at the heart of all conspiratorial thinking (as well as creationism, Holocaust denial and the various crank theories of physics). All the `evidence' for a 9/11 conspiracy falls under the rubric of this fallacy."

3. Slipshod handling of facts

Quote:
There are hundreds of books--and hundreds of thousands of Web pages--devoted to 9/11 conspiracy theories, many bristling with footnotes, citations, and technical jargon. But despite the appearance of scholarly rigor, few of these documents handle factual material with enough care to pass muster at a high-school newspaper, much less at a scholarly journal. Some mistakes are mere sloppiness; others show deliberate disregard for the truth.

4. Repetition

5. Circular reasoning

Quote:
But among 9/11 theorists, the presence of evidence supporting the mainstream view is also taken as proof of conspiracy. One forum posting that has multiplied across the Internet includes a long list of the physical evidence linking the 19 hijackers to the crime: the rental car left behind at Boston's Logan airport, Mohamed Atta's suitcase, passports recovered at the crash sites, and so on. "HOW CONVENIENT!" the author notes after each citation. In the heads-I-win-tails-you-lose logic of conspiracism, there is no piece of information that cannot be incorporated into one's pet theory. Like doctrinaire Marxists or certain religious extremists, conspiracists enjoy a worldview that is immune to refutation.

6. Demonization

If you go back to those earlier threads on 9/11, you'll see posts by me, citations of various experts, professors with PhDs in engineering, who have published on-line refutations of the claims made by conspiracy theorists.  Following these posts, you'll see the attacks against these experts, the ad hominem arguments, the links to on-line refutations of badly-typed pdfs (I recall one where the 911 truther being cited didn't know how to use quotes properly, but he's being quoted as an expert who can understand some pretty complicated math and physics.)

The attacks against Popular Mechanics are legion.  Just type "Popular Mechanics 911 truth" into google, and you'll find out how "Popular Mechanics" can't be trusted because it's a Hearst publication.

7. Guilt by association (this one is funny!)

Quote:
Soon after the Popular Mechanics report appeared, conspiracy buffs began parsing the names of the various researchers who contributed to the article, noting the odd coincidence that Benjamin Chertoff, then the head of the magazine's research Department, has the same last name as the then newly appointed head of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff. In a rare instance of reportorial initiative (most 9/11 "Internet researchers" rarely venture beyond Google), Christopher Bollyn phoned Ben's mother, who volunteered that, yes, she thinks Michael Chertoff might be a distant cousin. "Chertoff's Cousin Penned Popular Mechanics 9/11 Hit Piece," read the headline on Bollyn's next American Free Press story. "This is exactly the kind of `journalism' one would expect to find in a dictatorship like that of Saddam Hussein's Iraq," he concluded. Later, a headline was added to his article: "Ben Chertoff: Propagandist & Illuminati Disinformation Tool."

8. The paranoid style

Think X-files...

 

Finally, he says this:

Quote:
The American public has every right to demand answers and all too many reasons to lack confidence in the government. Sadly, in such a climate, the fantasies of 9/11 conspiracists provide a seductive alternative to facing the hard facts and difficult choices of our time.

A bit lengthy, but worth a look:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/news/4199607

Fidel

Yes, just who are these conspiracy theorists working for? Why do they want to make things hard for the war criminals and warfiteers?] Who is trying to sully the good names of crooks and liars and crooked-liars of a NeoCon cabal orchestrating war crimes behind the scenes for fun and profit?

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5381]Former Bush Speechwriter Hints at 9/11 Inside Job[/url]
Says Neo-Cons would have created a false flag to justify war had it not been for WTC attack, questions official story

Quote:
 "There would be regime change in Iraq," writes Gold, "All that the Neo-Con war hawks, in the Bush administration and out, needed to bring it about was an excuse to invade. Looking back a half-decade and knowing what we now know, who could doubt that if al Qaeda hadn't obliged the Neo-Cons with 9/11, the Kristolites would have torn a page out of history and, with Rupert Murdoch playing the role of William Randolph Hearst, given us a reprise of the sinking of the Maine?"

William Randolph Hearst was the founder of Hearst Publishing, which today owns Popular Mechanics, the government's foremost mouthpiece for selling the official 9/11 story. Look in the encyclopedia and Hearst is the very definition of yellow journalism. He colluded with the McKinley government to manufacture and propagate through his chain of newspapers, the hoax that the Spanish had sunk the USS Maine in 1898, an event that provided the catalyst for the Spanish-American war.

"Had it not been for 9/11, the Bush White House, determined to go to war, would no doubt have seized on some synthetic provocation, on the order of the one LBJ used to push through the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1965," Gold writes.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident, where US warships were apparently attacked by North Vietnamese PT Boats, an incident that kicked off US involvement in the Vietnam war, was a staged event that never actually took place. Declassified LBJ presidential tapes discuss how to spin the non-event to escalate it as justification for air strikes and the NSA faked intelligence data to make it appear as if two US ships had been lost

Who says there are no whistle blowers?

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For Gold, a lifetime Bush family friend and a GOP darling, to go turncoat and detail how the Neo-Cons were feverishly preparing for a false flag event to justify their pre-planned war, while questioning the official 9/11 story, is a resounding slap in the face to those who claim that 9/11 couldn't have been an inside job because whistleblowers would foil the conspiracy.

[url=http://patriotsquestion911.com/]Hundreds of experts and professionals in all sectors[/url] of government, the military, science and industry have blown the whistle, but whenever they attempt to garner media attention, they are harangued as anti-American traitors by loudmouth TV shills who are on the payroll of the very criminals that carried out 9/11

Blowing the whistle on US Government corruption. lies, and deception is considered unAmerican. The Soviets of the former USSR were never this corrupt or as deeply embroiled in scandal after scandal. It's the beginning of the end for the USSA.

Yiwah

jas wrote:

Yiwah wrote:

Why, that would make the "1200" what...0.016% of all those professionals who have spoken out?

Sorry, how many of your professionals have spoken out? Where have they spoken out?

You seem to have misread the sentence.  I take the blame for that.  Let me try again.

"Why, that would make the "1200"who have spoken out what...0.016% of all those professionals?"

As was already stated in that blog, with sources, the rest of those professionals have NOT spoken out, or supported the "1200".

jas wrote:

Sorry, again: which sources are you citing here?

Every single source, including the official one, which does not conform to your lack of a theory.  There are many sources that have been presented to you which support the official theory.  Their existence alone proves false your claim about that official story not being supported by any known principle of physics.  Why?  Because they too use physics, which is supported and reviewed.

Once again, you may disagree with the model.  What you cannot do is make the false claim you have.  I wonder if you can see the difference.

jas wrote:

I find it a bit too convenient for you to say you "couldn't care less" about what's being argued, and yet you make these broad, general statements that are not sourced to anything and that directly comment on the argument. You''re pretending to be a neutral observer, while at the same time being very open about defending the official theory/anti-science point of view.

You can accuse me of bias all you want.  However, I will still look at your methods and discuss them, rather than participating topically in a thread that honestly bores me to tears.

jas wrote:

I'm not going to re-argue the same points over and over just because you and pants are too lazy to read the older threads...

 

Your complaints about burden of proof are invalid. But you seem to be wanting to say so much more about this.

It's sweeping statements like this that get you where you are now.  Facing observers who don't take your word for it.  You seem to believe yourself some sort of authority on who you may rely.  A rather circular form of debate.

Yiwah

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Yiwah wrote:

Quote:
Only a handful of architects and engineers question the NIST Report, but they have never come up with an alternative. Although at first blush it may seem impressive that these people don't believe the NIST Report, remember that there are 123,000 members of ASCE(American Society of Civil Engineers) who do not question the NIST Report. There are also 80,000 members of AIA(American Institute of Architects) who do not question the NIST Report.

See. There's a claim that is made.  A very precise claim. And the numbers are linked as though there is a source to support the claim. But the links do not support the claim at all. The claim, to be precise is "that there are 123,000 members of ASCE(American Society of Civil Engineers) who do not question the NIST Report." Is there a poll whereby all those members explcitly stated they "do not question" the NIST report? Same goesfor the AIA. Where is your support for that claim?

I'm not trying to be difficult, but you can hardly demand one stanard for your opponents while adhering to quite another.

The sources support the numbers given.

Jas is working from the stated assumption that somehow, the official theory has been utterly disproven.

That is not true.  It is a false premise.

He goes on to state that there are a 'large' group of professionals questioning the official theory in a particular way (ie, not just questioning, as all people who read it would probably do...as one should do with any theory...questioning in the sense of actually saying it's completely wrong).  The source I provided proves that 1200 is NOT a large group of the actual existing professionals.  In fact it is an infinitesimally small portion of that group.  Negligible.  Not at all the impressive number it is presented as.

And that is what I was addressing.  I have made no claims about the position of the rest of the professional community in question.  But I support the concept that 1200 out of (at a minimum 203,000 professionals DIRECTLY related to construction engineering, hundreds of thousands more if you include other 'engineering' professions) is not a large number, and not even statistically relevant.

Jas stated, "Far more science and engineering professionals have now spoken out against the official explanation than the few who still stand on record as supporting it."

I have no idea how many engineering professionals are 'on record' supporting the NIST report.  I don't think anyone has bothered tabulating it.  It is a false comparison...all you have to do to be on the list of 1200 is say you don't believe the report.

There shouldn't be any scientists or engineers who FULLY support the NIST report because it is assumed that there will be SOMETHING wrong with it.  No professional will ever come out and say "I support this 100%".  That would be ridiculous.  If that is the standard being applied here, then it is a standard set up to fail.  The model will constantly be questioned, as all models are, and should be.

None of which actually proves what Jas wants it to prove...that the official theory has been rejected by the majority of engineering professionals, and therefore there is nothing more to prove in that regard.

This is why it is important to be very clear on what is being discussed.

Yiwah

Fidel wrote:

Yes, just who are these conspiracy theorists working for? Why do they want to make things hard for the war criminals and warfiteers?] Who is trying to sully the good names of crooks and liars and crooked-liars of a NeoCon cabal orchestrating war crimes behind the scenes for fun and profit?

 

Yes, exactly!  This is all an excellent illustration of what Sineed just posted!  I'm glad to see you getting into the spirit of things!

Fidel

Their economy is largely based on war. And because of that, there's an excellent chance that warfiteering warfiteers will be lobbying for more war. As Gore Vidal said, they dream of war. False flag gladios are nothing to be shocked by nor should they be unanticipated by US taxpayers. It's just business. Big business.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The burden of proof depends on various factors especially what is the proof being used for.  If for instance the proof is to be used for a criminal conviction then it needs to be beyond a reasonable doubt.  As it implies in a situation where you are not sure which of various things might have occurred then it is wrong to convict of a crime because you have a reasonable doubt.  Now if you are suing for damages that is the civil court and the burden is the balance of probabilities.  If you think it is more likely than not that the person being sued caused the damage then you find against them even if there are two reasonably possibly interpretations of the evidence.

But that is only the burden on the final outcome of a trial.  We also access evidence at every stage and that is the "preponderance of probabilities."  For any individual piece of evidence in a criminal trial the test is not beyond a reasonable doubt.  

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the Supreme Court of Canada appears to have put to the rest the argument over the existence of an intermediate standard. The case of F.H. v. McDougall involved allegations of sexual assault by a former resident of an Indian residential school in British Columbia against an Oblate Brother who was a teacher at the school. The action was commenced in the year 2000 and related to incidents which took place in 1968 and 1969. There were no independent witnesses and the case boiled down to a matter of the credibility of the plaintiff as opposed to the defendant. The trial judge believed the plaintiff and awarded damages. The British Columbia Court of Appeal reversed that decision, stating that the trial judge had given insufficient weight to inconsistencies in the plaintiff’s testimony. The matter went to the Supreme Court of Canada, where a significant issue related to the burden of proof. The Supreme Court reviewed the case law and summarized the various approaches in civil cases as follows:

“1. The criminal standard of proof applies in civil cases depending upon the seriousness of the allegations;
2. An intermediate standard of proof between the civil standard and the criminal standard commensurate with the occasion applies to civil cases; 
3. No heightened standard of proof applies in civil cases, but the evidence must be scrutinized with greater care where the allegation is serious;
4 No heightened standard of proof applies in civil cases, but evidence must be clear, convincing and cogent; and
5. No heightened standard of proof applies in civil cases, but the more improbable the event, the stronger the evidence is needed to meet the balance of probabilities test.”

Justice Rothstein, writing for a unanimous bench, stated that “…it is time to say, once and for all in Canada, that there is only one civil standard of proof at common law and that is proof on a balance of probabilities. Of course, context is all important and a judge should not be unmindful, where appropriate, of inherent probabilities or improbabilities or the seriousness of the allegations or consequences. However, these considerations do not change the standard of proof. I am of the respectful opinion that the alternatives I have listed above should be rejected for the reasons that follow”.

Justice Rothstein went on to refer to the inherent problems in an intermediate standard of proof, quoting one commentator who said that to suggest that the standard of proof is “higher” than the “mere balance of probabilities” “…leads one inevitably to inquire what percentage of probability must be met? This is unhelpful because while the concept of “51% probability”, or “more likely than not” can be understood by decision makers, the concept of 60% or 70% probability cannot”.

Justice Rothstein went on to say that to suggest “…that depending upon the seriousness, the evidence in the civil case must be scrutinized with greater care implies that in less serious cases the evidence need not be scrutinized with such care. I think it is inappropriate to say that there are legally recognized different levels of scrutiny of the evidence depending upon the seriousness of the case. There is only one legal rule and that is that in all cases, evidence must be scrutinized with care by the trial judge… Similarly, evidence must always be sufficiently clear, convincing and cogent to satisfy the balance of probabilities test”.

al-Qa'bong

Tommy_Paine wrote:

 

Papal Bull, I remember in Babble antiquity there was a poster who wrote posts that were simply humungous.  I remember one in particular that took up what would be about thirty posts here, where I answered in the following post:  " No."

 

I got no response, not even a nasty one.  It occurred to me that this person probably only read his own posts.

 

Markbo? I sorta miss that guy, even though he rarely made any sense at all.  The responses to his humungous posts were pretty good, though.

 

Quote:

I find it extremely frustrating, as someone without experience in these matters, to get only one side of the story.  I can tell you as an outsider, that one argument stands out as reasonable, backed up and well supported.  The opposing argument is non-existant.  I don't see the value in setting up a threa that way.  What is the point?

Quote:

 

The point is that the Illuminati run everything and the owls are not what they seem.

Fidel

[url=http://911summary.com/legal.php]Legal scholars question 9/11[/url]

6079_Smith_W

An aside on the "burden of proof" issue.

I used to cross swords with a very anti-religious person who was particularly rude and condescending in his arguments.

He simply refused to recognize any rebuttal to his arguments. His reason was that unlike deism, atheism isn't a belief at all, so there is nothing there to argue with.

I understand the reasoning he used to cobble this shield together, of course. But he used it even on issues that had nothing to do with the existence of a god.

Strangely enough, my encounters with this arch-Atheist came to an end about the time I pointed out to him that the only primary record of the Israelite bondage and exodus is in the bible - there is no actual archaeological evidence that it ever occured.

His response was to call me an anti-semite, and refuse to talk to me.

jas

Sineed wrote:

James B. Meigs, editor in chief of Popular Mechanics wrote:

1. Marginalization of opposing views

The 9/11 Truth Movement invariably describes the mainstream account of 9/11 as the "government version" or "the official version." In fact, the generally accepted account of 9/11 is made up of a multitude of sources: thousands of newspaper, TV, and radio reports produced by journalists from all over the world;

agencies that are provided the information by gov't-commissioned sources. There are also many journalists questioning the events.

Quote:
investigations conducted by independent organizations and institutions, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, Purdue University, Northwestern University, Columbia University, the National Fire Protection Association, and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.;

all or most of them commissioned for that very purpose, one of them from UL being fired for actually expressing a dissenting opinion.

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eyewitness testimony from literally thousands of people;

The most damning of which they ignored, as the eyewitnesses themselves have stated, as well as the Jersey wives.

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let's not forget the words of Osama bin Laden, who discussed the operation in detail on more than one occasion, including in an audio recording released in May 2006 that said: "I am responsible for assigning the roles of the 19 brothers to conduct these conquests . . ."

Heh. heh.

Quote:
2. Argument by anomaly

In an article about the Popular Mechanics 9/11 reportScientific American columnist Michael Shermer makes an important observation about the conspiracist method: "The mistaken belief that a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory ...

Um, which well-established theory are they referring to? The one proposed by FEMA, which was later discarded by NIST? The first version of the NIST report? The second one? The third? The PBS Nova video which people still widely cite but the premise of which NIST does not actually use? What "well-established theory" is he talking about here, Sineed?

Quote:
3. Slipshod handling of facts

There are hundreds of books--and hundreds of thousands of Web pages--devoted to 9/11 conspiracy theories, many bristling with footnotes, citations, and technical jargon. But despite the appearance of scholarly rigor, few of these documents handle factual material with enough care to pass muster at a high-school newspaper, much less at a scholarly journal. Some mistakes are mere sloppiness; others show deliberate disregard for the truth.

But don't bother giving any examples or anything.

Quote:
4. Repetition

How does that saying go? "Pot, meet kettle?" (or: "If  it's repeated ad nauseum, it must be true!")

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5. Circular reasoning

But among 9/11 theorists, the presence of evidence supporting the mainstream view is also taken as proof of conspiracy.

No, sorry. The evidence does not support the mainstream view. The official theory has had to go into all kinds of contortions to fit the evidence.  That's kind of what the whole debate is about.

Quote:
6. Demonization

I think most people will agree that the attacks against truthers have been much more vicious, condescending, and  disrespectful, even in mainstream media, by about 10 to 1 than the reverse.

In any debate, tactics used  by both sides will mirror the other's. Everything he claims here can easily, and even more so, be claimed against the denier/anti-science side. I just thought I would address some of those points specifically.

jas

Again, re: Argument by anomaly: I meant to also say: good science doesn't try to sweep under the rug those facts or results that don't fit the theory or expected outcome. We know that good science is not always practised, and we certainly know it in this case, but this is a no-brainer. If science doesn't investigate the anomalies, it's not science.

Papal Bull

Main stream biology doesn't investigate bigfoot...so, clearly, biology and zoology are crocks of shit.

 

But the ever-solid fields of ufology and bigfoot specialized cryptozoology (non bigfoot centric cryptozoologists are full of nessie droppings) are the only true sciences. Along with theology. Because what is science other than BELIEVING?!

wage zombie

Yiwah wrote:

jas wrote:

Sorry, again: which sources are you citing here?

Every single source, including the official one, which does not conform to your lack of a theory.

Katie Couric: What newspapers were you regularly reading?

Sarah Palin: All of them.

--

Jas: Which sources are you citing here?

Yiwah: All of them.

Yiwah

It is difficult to not be dragged into the thread in question, but I am trying my best to avoid it.

The focus in this thread is on burden of proof.

 

Jas claims he has no burden of proof because what he is saying is accepted and settled.

 

This is so obviously false, that I must assume certain people have gotten sidetracked by other things and have failed to notice it.

Perhaps then it is necessary to do what I have here, to draw your attention to why the burden of proof can not be avoided in this case.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Yiwah #93

Speaking generally, some people are not going to accept your argument no matter what you say.

There is no point in trying to corral them into a logical conclusion because they will not accept your reasoning. 

Your opponent may not budge, but he or she doesn't speak for everyone else who may be participating or reading. In that sense, trying to change what you cannot is an impossible, frustrating and  pointless task. 

The best you can do is acknowledge the impasse and trust that your point is getting through to others who are quite capable of making their own minds up on the issue, and on the arguments being made.

 

Yiwah

It's okay, Smith_W, I do get that.  I just like being a little meta sometimes.

Fidel

If they were really intending to arrest bin Laden for 9/11, then why did the war criminals refuse the Taliban's offer to give up bin Laden to them THREE TIMES? Accuse Taliban of harboring Al-CIA'duh, then refuse their attempts to co-operate in his capture. And he's STILL not  wanted by the FBI for 9/11

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=2769]Al-Qaeda is a U.S.-sponsored Intelligence Asset used to Justify War in the Middle East: Interview with Michel Chossudovsky[/url] The Use of 9/11 as a  Gleiwitz-Tonkin-like Pretext to Wage War

Yiwah

Fidel, did you get lost and end up in this thread by mistake?

jas

Yiwah wrote:

Jas claims he has no burden of proof because what he is saying is accepted and settled.

My voice mail system prompt, if I've entered a number incorrectly a few times, will finally just say to me: "Sorry you're having difficulty. Please try again later." I feel this is an apt message for Yiwah.

Yiwah apparently would have me start every WTC thread with my "proof" that the progressive collapse theory goes against principles of physics--proof that is signed, sealed and delivered by scientists that Yiwah approves of. The arguments, links and information I and others have provided to make this claim throughout previous threads is not enough for Yiwah, nor does s/he wish to bother to avail him/herself of it. I must re-argue the point in every single thread I start and I am not allowed to start threads asking for evidence from the other side. The burden of proof must eternally be on me.

The people who state that steel-framed highrises can, and do, suddenly plummet into their basements after short-lived upper floor fires shouldn't have to prove that this is a plausible scenario. It is an extremely reasonable proposition that requires no proof beyond a single article by a single scientist. Oh sorry, two articles, by two scientists. And no other scientist can refute that article because that might shift the burden of proof to the wrong side, according to Yiwah.

So every thread I start must repost all the arguments and links and information that have been posted in all previous threads so that burden of proof is where it properly should be, and so that readers like Yiwah don't have to follow logically or remember things. I guess that is Yiwah logic. Unfortunately for him/her, it's not really anybody else's logic.

Tommy_Paine

And babble consequently acknowledges and respects that. Where's the corollary for science-based threads? How much of the 9/11 narrative can be questioned? I'm not comfortable with a topic ban, nor even a "conspiracy theory ban" such as HuffPo imposes. There are certain things we at babble can do--prevent spamming, e.g.--but as for ways to ensure discussion surrounding these kind of topics remain in the real while allowing scepticism? I don't know.

 

Perhaps if we had threads on creationism, it might come somewhat close.

 

I'm not much for banning topics or people, to be honest.  But at the same time, certain trolls become tiresome, as do certain subjects.   Trolls can be dismissed objectively, I think.

 

Tiresome topics are, in the end, unfortunately subjective.

 

 

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Yiwah wrote:

It's okay, Smith_W, I do get that.  I just like being a little meta sometimes.

 

I figured you did. Sometimes it helps to realize that others do as well.

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