Friday, January 25, 2013

Speaking Truth to Power

I’ve recently been involved in a series of debates with science blogger Myles Power over the events of 9/11. Though I’m currently working on Part 2 of my response to his YouTube video series, I need to address one issue that’s recently come to my attention. It seems that Mr. Power has decided to comment on our debate on his website, and he has some interesting things to say. For starters, he refers to me as an “Apex Truther,” which I assume means that he considers me to be a “top” truther of some kind. For the record, if he wanted to speak with a real “Apex” truther, he could simply try and contact any of the scientists in the Movement if he has any concerns. But titles aside, let’s look at the concerns Mr. Power has apparently directed towards me.

Mr. Power discusses my initial response to his video series, noting that it comprises 4349 words. But after reading and listening to Mr. Power’s criticisms of my response, I find it hard to believe that he has taken the time to bother reading the majority of those 4349 words. He repeats his claim that my response “really [does] not say much about anything.” And why does he think this? Because the references I provided in my response “are not peer-reviewed research, but references to other 9/11 conspiracy blog posts.” But I find this argument to be pure hand waving. Even if my sources are not “peer-reviewed” (some of them are, btw), how exactly does that immediately invalidate them? Just because something is not peer-reviewed does not automatically mean it’s wrong. And likewise, just because something is peer-reviewed does not necessarily mean that it’s right. In order to know whether or not my sources back up my claims, one would actually need to read them first. But evidence suggests Mr. Power did not even bother to do that.

For example, he cites one of my references which links to my AE911Truth article What Is Nanothermite? Could It Have Been Used To Demolish The WTC Skyscrapers? What’s his problem this reference?
Some [references] don’t even link to the [sic] what he is talking about. The perfect example is where Adam says “And research shows that it has even been used in the demolition of large steel structures.[36]” But the reference is to another one of his blog post [sic] named “What Is Nanothermite? Could It Have Been Used To Demolish The WTC Skyscrapers?”. Saying something is capable of doing something is not the same as saying that it has Adam.
However, when one reads to the very end of my article, you will see that I wrote the following:
[W]e find that thermite has in fact been used to demolish steel structures in the past. For example, Popular Mechanics itself documents that thermite was used in the demolition of structures such as the Skyride Tower in Chicago and the dome of the German Reichstag. Furthermore, experiments conducted by civil engineer Jonathan Cole have shown that ordinary thermate can be used to effectively cut through steel columns. And as described earlier, the effectiveness of nanothermite is much higher than that of ordinary thermate.
The hyperlinks included above appear in the original quote. I simply provided this article as a reference so that it could be demonstrated that thermite does have the capability to demolish steel structures, and that it has been used to do so in the past. One of the reasons I write these articles is so that I don’t have to keep repeating myself to those who have questions regarding the events of 9/11. I can simply link them to my writings so that their questions get answered. But occasionally I do have to deal with people like Mr. Power, who is evidently fine with just ignoring and dismissing my sources.

But Mr. Power’s biggest problem regards my arguments about the molten metal seen flowing out of the South Tower. I have already gone into great detail on this issue in my initial video response, but let’s look at what Mr. Power has to say on the matter.
One of the more interesting claims made was that the molten material seen flowing from the world trade centre could not have been aluminium because it was glowing white hot. The blog even had an image showing that it was white. This would be impressive if it did not have, directly above it a [sic] image of it glowing orange. The claim was so bizarre that I mentioned it in my final thoughts in my final video. Soon after this Adam made a video response saying that I was incorrect in stating that the molten material was orange in the image. He even included an image of myself with the word “WRONG” in big red letters pasted over the top of it, as if to show just how wrong I was… The rest of the video is one big contradiction and consists of clips of people saying that aluminium both can and can’t glow red/orange.
Now here I will actually accept some fault on my part. In my original response, I quoted from one of my other writings on AE911Truth that discusses the molten metal issue. The original article did not include the images Mr. Power refers to. I wanted to show that the color of the material did indeed indicate that it had reached white-hot temperatures, so I included the color graph but not the image I was comparing it with. However, I should have included the image I originally used as a comparison for the color chart. So, mea culpa. Here is the image of the molten metal that I used as a comparison.

However, my response video also demonstrated that the image I did end up using did NOT show the metal glowing orange. The material is at the very least glowing yellow.

Mr. Power then treats us to a lengthy discussion regarding aluminum and how it glows when heated.
So what is the deal with aluminium? Can it glow orange and was it the material seen flowing from one of the towers? Aluminium can glow but unlike steel it melts before it begins to glow. The majority of people working with molten aluminium don’t waste energy by heating it to the point of it glowing. This has led to many uninformed truthers believing that it can’t. Truthers also claim that aluminium goes back to being silvery instantly when removed from a heat source or whilst being poured. Every metallurgist, chemist, engineer etc. knows aluminium does not have the magical property of turning silver the instant it is removed from a heat source.
Note Mr. Power’s use of hyperbole here. According to him, EVERY metallurgist, chemist, and engineer knows that aluminum does not immediately go from glowing to silver when removed from its heat source. Yet he doesn’t name a single scientist who holds that position. Odd how Mr. Power criticizes my use of references, and then proceeds to provide no references himself when making a specific claim. The fact of the matter is that I cited three individuals in my response video to comment on the molten aluminum vs. molten iron/steel debate; a foundry worker, a chemical engineer, and a physicist. And contrary to what Mr. Power asserts, these individuals do not contradict themselves when discussing this issue. Jerry Lobdill, the chemical engineer I showed in my video, has this to say in one of his papers on the topic:
The problem with concluding that the liquid flowing from the tower’s 82nd floor could have been aluminum… is that the liquid in the tower was not confined in a container so that more heat could be applied to raise the temperature of the liquid above its melting point. Instead, as soon as the metal liquefied it flowed away from the heat source under the force of gravity. Therefore, the color of the liquid flowing from the 82nd floor was at approximately the melting point of the metal.  And therefore, it was molten iron from steel.
And Steven Jones, the physicist I showed, has written that:
[F]alling liquid aluminum, which due to low emissivity and high reflectivity appears silvery-gray in daylight conditions, after falling through air 1-2 meters, regardless of the temperature at which the poured-out aluminum left the vessel. Aluminum does incandesce (glow) like other metals, but faintly, so… falling liquid aluminum [in bright daylight] will appear silvery-gray.
There is no contradiction, except in the imaginations of people like Mr. Power. What these people are saying is that aluminum leaving its heat source will not continue to glow, since the heat is no longer being applied to it. And in the case of the material flowing out of the South Tower, it remained glowing even after falling virtually all the way down to the ground. But Mr. Power has an explanation for why the material glowed so long.
But truthers have many videos of them heating aluminium to the point of it glowing and showing it turn back to silver when they pour it, I hear you say. That’s true but they are missing one large factor, the volume. If you pour a small amount of aluminium, say 10g then it will cool down to the point it no longer glows within a relatively short distance. If you were to repeat the experiment with 100kg then it would take a considerably larger poring [sic] distance to cool down. The amount of material seen flowing from the world trade centre was a considerable volume and therefore it is not unexpected (if it was aluminium) for it to remain glowing.
First note that he contradicts himself here, when saying that aluminum evidently can turn silver instantly after leaving its container. What happened to “every metallurgist, chemist, engineer etc.” saying just the opposite? But his explanation for the glowing material is also problematic. Once again, he provides no reference to back up his claim that the amount of metal makes any difference. Even if he were correct, his whole point is moot anyway. The molten metal flowing out of the building broke off into smaller droplets as it fell to the ground (which btw is exactly what thermite reactions often look like), and yet the material still glowed.


Then we are told by Mr. Power that we probably will never know for sure what the material was.
[W]as the molten material seen flowing from the world trade centre aluminium? The truth is we don’t know. The world is chaotic and sometimes no matter how hard people research something, sometimes some questions will always remain unanswered. The best explanation we have is that this molten material is aluminium from the airplane melted by the office fires, mixed with organic material, but we don’t 100% know. This is why I was very careful in the wording I used in my video “It is more than likely that the molten material seen flowing from the tower is aluminium”. I am very aware that I may be wrong but this does not mean that Adams [sic] nonsensical theories about thermite are correct. Any who this article is not really about what happened on September 11th, its [sic] about the apex truther and his willingness to ignore reality to stay secure and safe in his 9/11 conspiracy bubble.
It’s certainly shocking to read these words written by someone who considers himself to be a scientist. He’s apparently forgotten one of the prime factors of science that ensures that it works: experimentation. Repeatable, verifiable experimentation. Debunkers like him are making a specific argument; that aluminum heated up to a certain temperature will behave in a certain way. This is a physical process, and can therefore be repeated in the physical world. It may be that the material was not aluminum, but Mr. Power cannot know this if he never even checks. To somewhat quote Mr. Power, simply saying that something can do something is not the same as proving that it can. One would need to try and recreate what happened to know that for sure. Otherwise we only have Mr. Power’s word to fall back on, which is far from actually conducting a scientific experiment. However, others have done these kinds of experiments repeatedly, and those experiments contradict the idea that the material was aluminum. Questions go unanswered when people simply fail to address them, not because they can’t be proven/disproven. Mr. Power can assert that I am ignoring reality all he wants, but the facts demonstrate that it is he who is ignoring reality by ignoring the experiments members of the Movement have carried out.

But it doesn’t end there. Mr. Power also takes issue with my repeated attempts to show why he is wrong on this issue.
After I posted his video on my Facebook wall Adam began commenting. In the comments section he was repeatedly confronted with testimony from people who work with molten aluminium, as well as video evidence posted from a guy named John. This video evidence proved without a shadow of doubt that aluminium can glow red/orange, that it continues to glow whilst being poured and whilst left standing for a certain period of time. Adams [sic] response when confronted with this overwhelming evidence was unbelievable and every one [sic] who was in the chat was flabbergasted by his response. I found myself with my mouth wide open and hands in the air screaming “WHAT!” in a mixture of confusion and anger.
“John, the videos you provide show aluminum glowing, but keep in mind that aluminum is highly reflective. The glow from the heat source is what is likely shown in the video. Especially the second, given that the aluminum is being poured in the evening. But once aluminum leaves its heat source and does not have any additional heat applied to it, it will turn silver almost instantly.” – Adam Taylor
I want you to take that in for a second. Adam is claiming that the light emitted by the molten aluminium in the videos is due to it being highly reflective and reflecting the glow from the heat source. For this to work molten aluminium must also have the ability to bend space and time to reflect light from a heat source which is not in direct line of sight into the camera, uniformly giving the impression that it is glowing. This was not a one off comment, as Adam was quizzed by others about his ludicrous claims and he repetitively said that the glow was due to it reflecting the heat source.
Once again, Mr. Power has misrepresented what I was trying to convey. I asserted that the glow given off in the videos provided showed that the light given off by the heat source was reflected in the aluminum, and that is what caused it to glow. And Mr. Power omits the fact that I had support on this assertion. My fellow blog contributor ScootleRoyale (Scott Burnan) eventually stepped in and explained exactly what I did, albeit in somewhat more technical terms.

Indeed, aluminum has low emissivity and very high reflectance, which is one of the reasons it’s used on mirrors. And ironically, the two pictures Mr. Power provides in his post do in fact show the heat source directly near the “glowing” aluminum, not bending space and time as he asserts. 

Scootle also pointed out to Mr. Power that even NIST doesn’t use his explanation for the molten material, instead asserting that it was molten aluminum mixed with organics. But as Scootle also showed, this explanation has also been debunked by people in the Truth Movement. So what the heck happened to Scootle’s arguments? Mr. Power acts as though it was only me making such arguments, which is clearly wrong. It’s telling that he provides no link to his thread on Facebook where this whole discussion took place. If you’re on Facebook, you can read the discussion for yourself here.
(For more on why the material could not have been molten aluminum, the following links are recommended:
Finally, Mr. Power decides to examine my credentials in relation to this discussion.
Now Adam admits that he has no scientific background but says he makes sure to carefully research any subject he is interested in. But you don’t have to have a science background to know this is wrong you just have to live in the real world. A lot of you may think that I am being unfairly harsh to Adam but remember he is not some anonymous troll on the internet. He writes for the debunking the debunkers blog and architects & engineers for 9/11 truth website, even though he is studying Liberal Arts and Political Science and not architecture or engineering. His delusions and arrogance are a product of 11 years of truther evolution. Evolution which has seen weaker truthers leaving the movement after been [sic] convinced by logic and evidence leaving apex truthers like Adam.
This whole dispute over my qualifications and background is rather pointless. Regardless of what I have academically studied (for the record, I actually did take architecture classes in high school. I’m currently studying business and economics at my university), I have made sure to read through the relevant literature and have kept up to date with the science as much as I can. That is the whole point of writing at the Debunking the Debunkers blog. We examine every argument from all sides. It’s true that I am obviously an amateur in the technical sense, but the lack of letters behind a person’s name does nothing to diminish the validity of their work. My work is something that should be read and interacted with before dismissing, and if Mr. Power thinks any differently, then it says more about him than it does me. Contrary to what Mr. Power wants to believe about me, my current beliefs about 9/11 are the result of over five years of careful research and study, and also my determination to find out why almost 3000 people were murdered.
Now, from here on out I am speaking directly to you Mr. Power. Your current responses to me have done more to reflect the type of person you are rather than to refute anything I’ve written about so far. This most recent response of yours is quite telling, as I would not have even known about it had I not just happened to visit your website. In any sort of scientific debate, you might want to actually try and inform your opponent when you’ve posted some kind of response. With all of my rebuttals to your work, I’ve made sure to send them to you as soon as they were finished. But as of writing this, it's been a few days since you’ve posted your response, and it’s obvious you had no intention of informing me about it.
I believe that you are very misinformed about the events of 9/11, and I will admit that some of that is likely due to the truthers you’ve interacted with. As Scootle (Scott) pointed out to you on Facebook, many truthers out there have not studied the events as carefully as we have. That being said, you have still misrepresented the arguments presented by accomplished scientists in the Movement, something that is not as excusable. These scientists have done extraordinary work, and your arrogant dismissal of them due to their involvement in the Truth Movement is simply nonsensical. Obviously arguments over the internet don’t always accomplish much, but I do have an alternate idea. It was recently suggested to me by a commenter on my blog that you and I should have a real one on one debate regarding 9/11. And I think this is a great idea. So if you are ever interested, I would be more than happy to have a lively debate with you on the events of 9/11. How this would be set up I’m not sure. I have connections with radio programs we could possibly appear on. Or, if you have any ideas please feel free to let me know. In fact, you yourself can be in charge of the whole thing if you wish. You can choose the time, method, and format. You can even pick a moderator if you so choose. In any event, I’m sure you are very busy producing your science videos, so I wouldn’t expect this to be an instant thing. But if you are ever interested, please let me know and I’m sure we can work something out.
9/11 is one of the most important events that has ever happened in world history, and I hope you will understand that I treat it as such. This issue is very important to me, and I hope you are able to look past your pre-conceived notions regarding “conspiracy theorists” and realize that all I am seeking is the truth. Part of this process has involved me being skeptical of all sides of the arguments, even the arguments from people in the Truth Movement. But I question if you have taken the time to evaluate the claims made by those in authority, such as NIST, as much as you have evaluated the claims of the Movement. To not do so represents the very ugly side of skepticism, and I hope you have not fallen prey to that. I hope that you will take my comments into consideration, and realize that I care about science and the truth as much as you do.
-Adam Taylor