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Christopher "Tanoro" Gray is a web programmer and science advocate especially concerned with resource management technologies, biology, and artificial intelligence. He is a student of epistemology and philosophy as well as an Atheist competent in Christian theology.


HOME > Tanoro's Blog  >  9/11 and Building 7: Fire or Demolition
9/11 and Building 7: Fire or Demolition
Posted by: Tanoro - Apr 17, 2012 2:28pm

I don't claim to know what happened that day, but I am reasonably convinced WTC7 was a collapse due to fire. I often get criticized by truthers for "believing the official story," but that's just a straw man. In truth, I've not even read the official story, nor do I ever cite it in conversation. Let's talk logic.

When you assess a problem logically, you start off with infinite possible solutions. As you factor in evidence, you eliminate the least likely solutions, working down to one that is most likely. When you have one solution left, you've solved the problem. Now let's look at WTC7.

The observations, as per video and photography taken on that day, are that the building was on fire out of control for several hours and the building collapsed. Numerous testimonies by firefighters indicate that they were anticipating the collapse for some time before it happened based on damage to the building and the formation of bulges in its structure. Why did the building collapse? Possible solutions include, but are not limited to, demolition and collapse by fire. There may be other solutions, but let's focus on these two for the moment. When we apply Occam's Razor, collapse by fire makes the fewest new assumptions because we know fires were there and could've caused a collapse, therefore it seems most likely until more evidence is presented that eliminates this solution as a possibility.

I particularly enjoyed the video on this by former 9/11 Truther, Edward Current.

His video description included some interesting tidbits as well.

The text below is for people interested in actual inquiry, and are legitimately examining both sides' arguments for inconsistencies, intellectual dishonesty, and logical flaws.

1. Things conspiracy believers do not want you to know:
(a) WTC7 underwent a slow, internal progressive collapse, plainly observable in the full-length CBS video, which is rarely shown on conspiracy sites.
(b) WTC7 actually did NOT collapse straight down or "into its own footprint." 30 West Broadway, across the 4-lane Barclay St., was heavily damaged. See photo: http://www.debunking911.com/wtc7pile.jpg
(c) The 1,500 "experts" at ae911truth.org are mostly electrical and chemical engineers, residential architects, students, etc. with little or no experience in steel skyscraper construction.
(d) The NIST study was done in cooperation with the SEI/ASCE, SFPE, AISC, and SEAoNY -- actual engineering experts in the field, all of whom would have to be in on this conspiracy, even to this day.
(e) The "explosive traces" or "thermite" claim comes from non-chemist Steven E. Jones, who analyzed samples sent to him privately with no chain of custody. His paper appeared in a journal that charges $800 to publish; Google "CRAP Paper Accepted by Journal" to read about its "peer review" process. Jones, a devout Mormon, also published "evidence" that Jesus visited American Indians; Google "Behold My Hands."
(f) No "molten metal" was ever collected from WTC7 and analyzed.
(g) Rigging a large building for demolition cannot be done "over the weekend," nor would such preparation escape the notice of office workers. Demolition professionals laugh at this claim.
(h) Thermite cannot be used to demolish a building.
(i) There exist NO peer-reviewed papers supporting controlled demolition, anywhere.

2. Examples of intellectual dishonesty or ignorance:
(a) "The fires did not burn hot enough to melt steel." Nobody claims that fire melted steel. Steel framing members expanded beyond tolerances, subjecting connections to failure. The heat also reduced the steel's capacity to support loads. No melting required.
(b) "BBC reported WTC7's collapse before it happened." Firefighters had predicted the collapse. Apparently the reporter made an error. CNN also reported that the Washington Mall was on fire; do we ask why no scorch marks were later found?
(c) "The 9/11 Commission Report didn't even mention WTC7." It was done years before the WTC7 study was completed.
(d) "NIST changed its story several times." Science refines its position over time. This is a strength, not a weakness. Alternatively we can start with a story, stick to that story, and look only for evidence that supports that story. The latter is what creationists and conspiracy believers do.
(e) "Larry Silverstein ordered to 'pull' WTC7, a slang term in the demolition industry." He was referring to pulling back firefighting efforts, as the building was considered lost. "Pull" is not demolition slang. Larry Silverstein is a real-estate investor, not a demolition worker.
(f) "Why bother demolishing with explosives when you can just light a fire?" Most demolitions are of old concrete structures where this would not work. In an all-steel structure like WTC7, fire could in fact be used. But detonation is more predictable and controllable.
(g) "You are working for the government." This is a case of believing a bold premise with no evidence, merely because it fits the believer's worldview. Not an effective way to get closer to the truth.

3. Simple fallacies of logic:
(a) "No tall building had ever collapsed from fire. Therefore WTC7 could not have collapsed from fire." There is a first time for everything. Equivalent: "No species before humans had ever invented the computer. Therefore humans could not have invented the computer."
(b) "Other tall buildings burned without collapsing; therefore WTC7 could not have collapsed due to fire." Besides the fact that these other cases were more fire-robust than the all-steel-framed WTC7, just because something does not always happen does not mean it will never happen. Equivalent: "There exist primates that have not invented computers. Therefore humans could not have invented the computer."
(c) "The government has lied before, therefore it must have lied about 9/11." Just because A has done B does not imply that A always does B. Equivalent: "The government must have also lied when it said aspirin is safe and effective."
(d) "Prove that it wasn't a controlled demolition." The burden of proof is on the person making the assertion. Equivalent: "Prove that humans are not descended from reptiles of the planet Nbiru."

This blog is an editorial and contains only the opinions of the author. The author claims no expertise on most topics of discussion and this blog is not to be cited as an alternative for properly vetted journalism or scientific sources.

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