Tuesday, January 10, 2012

JREFers acknowledge the nanothermite hypothesis's scientific legitimacy

It seems after almost three years, the debunkers are finally putting up. Chris Mohr has found a scientist willing to independently test the findings of Harrit et al:
Here is my official request for funds to analyze the WTC dust. To summarize, after three months of investigating this, the best person I found for the job is James R. Millette, Ph.D. of MVA Scientific Consultants. He is an independent researcher with extensive experience in forensics and dust analysis. He promises an objective study: "At present, I have no opinion as to whether we will find any active thermitic material. All I can say is that to this point in time we have not found any during the general particle characterizations we have done. Because we have not focused on this particular question in the past analyses, we are proceeding with a careful, forensic scientific study focused on the red-gray chips in a number of WTC dust samples. When I present the data, it will be in front of critical members of the forensic science community... I am an independent researcher without an interest in how the research results come out. Our laboratory is certified under ISO 17025 which includes audits of our accuracy, reliability and integrity. I am a member of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists and have sworn to uphold the high ethical standards of the organization."

Dr. Millette continues to receive input from forensic experts as well as from me and my JREF companions. He has already found red-gray chips using stereomicroscopy and has created initial spectographic analyses of some of the red-gray chips in his lab's possession. He plans to do, at a minimum, a replication of many of the experiments already done in the original Harritt/Jones/Ryan et al Bentham study as well as additional testing by PLM, SEM, TEM and FTIR after sample treatment. I am thinking other tests may be added to the protocol. We will get a full report and he will also make it public.
The JREFers are excited about this, but some truthers a worried this may be a whitewash, and it may very well be, but look at this another way. What we have here is an admission from the JREFers that the Harrit et al paper should be taken seriously. For years, they have simply dismissed it on procedural grounds - questioning the peer-review, calling the journal a "vanity publication", making a big deal out of editorial controversies etc. For years, we've been saying "put up or shut up" and they've been saying there's no need to "put up" because that would just give the paper and the theory undeserved legitimacy. NIST, for example, said that the thermite hypothesis simply wasn't credible enough in their view to warrant investigation.

The fact that they are now attempting to replicate it, even if their intentions are to whitewash it, is an acknowledgement of the nanothermite hypothesis's scientific legitimacy.

Researcher Jeff Hill, who seems to have ignored everything he learnt about the nanothermite paper from his interviews with John-Michael, Adam and David Chandler, comments:
All this testing will do is probably further expose Steven Jone's, etc... as frauds and maybe help misinformed believers of the thermetic pseudo-scientists.
Pseudo-scientists"? Do you even know what "pseudo-science" means? Something is "pseudo-scientific" if it is presented as science but is untestable using the scientific method. Obviously Harrit, Jones etc. are making testable claims because otherwise the debunkers wouldn't be able to do what they are planning to do!

There's something you need to understand about science... you don't have to be right. That's the beauty of it. You can be wrong and still be doing science. In fact, most scientific claims do turn out to be wrong. There's no shame in it, that's how science progresses. And when an idea is found to be wrong, it doesn't mean it loses its status as "science". You're allowed to think Harrit, Jones etc. are wrong if that's what you believe, but don't call them "pseudo-scientists".

And frauds? Scientific "fraud" means to intentionally fabricate data. If you're calling Steven Jones a fraud, you're also calling his colleague Jeff Farrer a fraud. You're also calling Gregg Roberts, Frank Legge etc. frauds. You're also calling Jim Hoffman a fraud. You're also calling Mark Basile and members of Ae911truth who've also tested the red/gray chips frauds. You're also calling everyone who supplied Steven Jones with dust samples frauds... So that's, what, at least 15 concious frauds, none of whom have any apparent motive. Nice conspiracy theory you have there Jeff!

I eagerly await the results of Dr Millette's tests. In fact, I want more independent scientists to look at the red/gray chips. I probably won't trust Dr Millette's tests alone if they fail to replicate the results of Harrit et al, because there's always the possibility that he could be engaging in a deception. However, if we had like 10 different teams of scientists all testing red/gray chips from different dust samples and they all failed to replicate the findings of the original paper, then I would concede to the debunkers.