Sunday Show

The Skeptical Michael Shermer

michael-shermer-skeptic

In the first hour Michael Shermer, Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, and a monthly columnist for Scientific American, discusses his new book, “Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye”.
In the second hour “Cuba and What’s Left of the Left in Latin America”
with Eric Leenson, President and Founder of *SOL² ECONOMICS*.

  • ACE ACME

    Dr. Shermer’s ignorance about 9/11 is quite shocking. He confidently asserts a 2002-era collapse theory about the WTC towers, apparently unaware that the official 2005 report repudiated that theory.

    His dismissal as “smoke from fires” of the mysterious jets of pulverized building materials emanating from
    isolated windows as much as 40 stories below the active collapse zone–floors that had no fires–is quite reckless.

    He blithely claims there’s no mystery to WTC7’s collapse, apparently unaware that the NYT said engineers were baffled by it, the FEMA report said it could not explain it, and it took NIST several years to come up with a plausible-sounding story. His claim that the steel structure sagged and got weaker from fire damage is contrary to NIST’s collapse initiation mechanism, which would be impossible had the steel sagged.

    He then argues from incredulity that explosive or incendiary charges could not have been planted in the three buildings because of the building security. Apparently he does not know that most of the
    buildings’ core columns were accessible from the elevator shafts, and that the twin towers had an elevator renovations project going on in the towers’ 15 miles of elevator shafts in the 9 months before 9/11 that would have provided cover for construction-type activity going on in the shafts. Apparently he does not know that the four floors immediately above the floor where the collapse allegedly began in
    WTC7 were all, according to FEMA, vacant.

    He then claims it would take hundreds of even thousands of charges to take a tower down. He does not explain why it would take so many charges to do a job that he believes was caused by fire and weak
    floor anchors. Anything fire can do, incendiaries can do better.

  • ACE ACME

    Notes from the radio interview, with comments.

    The first 20 minutes reveals Dr. Shermer’s intellectual history—freeing
    himself from dogmatic christian doctrine, dabbling in tonics to improve
    performance in competitive bicycling, challenging alternative medicines.

    By 24 minutes he’s explaining that the towers fell because flimsy floor
    anchors snapped and collapsing floors created a cascading effect of
    pancaking floors, claiming “there’s been extensive studies of this and
    how buildings fall.” Apparently he doesn’t know that his theory,
    published in 2002 in FEMA’s $600,000 report, was rejected by NIST’s
    $20 million study and he is practically alone in subscribing to it.

    He then implies (wrongly) that controlled demolition is always done from
    the bottom up, and that since the towers collapsed from the top down,
    this is inconsistent with controlled demolition.

    The mysterious jets of pulverized building materials emanating from
    isolated windows as much as 40 stories below the active collapse zone
    (“squibs”) he dismisses as “smoke from the fires” even though most of
    these came from floors that had no fires.

    With WTC7 he blithely tells there’s no mystery to its collapse, apparently
    unaware that the NYT said engineers were baffled by it, the FEMA report
    said it could not explain it, and it took NIST several years to come up with a
    plausible-sounding story. His claim that the steel structure sagged and got
    weaker from fire damage is contrary to NIST’s collapse initiation mechanism,
    which would be impossible if the steel had sagged.

    He then argues from incredulity that explosive or incendiary charges could
    not have been planted in the three buildings because of the building security.
    Apparently he does not know that most of the buildings’ core columns were
    accessible from the elevator shafts, and that the twin towers had an elevator
    renovations project going on in the towers’ 15 miles of elevator shafts in the
    9 months before 9/11 that would have provided cover for construction-type
    activity going on in the shafts. Apparently he does not know that in WTC7 the
    four floors immediately above the floor where the collapse allegedly began
    were all, according to FEMA, vacant.

    He then claims it would take hundreds of even thousands of charges to take
    a tower down. He does not explain why it would take so many charges to do a
    job that he believes was caused by fire and weak floor anchors. Anything fire
    can do, incendiaries can do better. Apparently Dr. Shermer does not know that
    explosives expert Dr. Van Romero opined that a few charges in key places could
    bring the towers down. Apparently Dr. Shermer does not know that according to
    the discredited “pancake theory” he advocates, a very few failing truss anchors
    could start a chain reaction that “unzipped” the floors from the outer walls and
    brought the towers down.

    He claims it was necessary to spend weeks breaking through drywall to plant
    explosive devices, but does not explain why this is difficult, why it is necessary
    at the WTC, and what drywall needs to be broken. (Drywall is removed before
    conventional demolitions to avoid the nuisance of the dust.)

    He then claims that the buildings began to collapse from the exact impact floors,
    and wonders how demolitionists would know what floors the planes would hit.
    In the case of WTC1, the Sauret video shows that the collapse began well above
    the impact zone. Radio beacons such are used at airports would, if planted inside
    the buildings, allow the planes to be flown in on the autopilot. Even if the exact
    impact floors were not known in advance, simply planting redundant charges up
    and down the elevator shafts would allow the appropriate charges to be selected
    under computercontrol for wireless activation.

    At 29 minutes they start talking about JFK. He claims first that no JFK conspiracy
    theorists has ever come up with a who-dunnit if it wasn’t LHO, and the claims that
    they’ve come up with 20 different suspects.

    At 33 he claims that before 9/11 nobody was thinking about the possibility of such
    an attack. Apparently he didn’t know that the al Qaeda plan to fly hijacked airliners
    into landmark buildings (including the Pentagon and the WTC) had been known to
    US authorities since 1995, and did not know that both the UK and Germany warned
    of upcoming attacks using hijacked commercial aircraft.

    At 35 he’s claiming that the CIA is too incompetent to pull off 9/11, and people can’t
    keep their mouth shut, and basically conspiracies are impossible.

    At 41 a questioner challenges Shermer’s claims that acupuncture has been debunked.

    At 48:00 Shermer reiterates the claim of alleged impossibility of coordinating the plane
    strike with the demolition charges.

    53—Discussion of Alan Dulles and the JFK assassination.

    55 –Discussion of tests of the carbine and the time necessary to get off the shots.

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