When investigating a mystery, a crime scene, or any other complicated situation involving large amounts of data for which many different possible explanations have been offered, the general understanding of the "scientific method" involves constructing a hypothesis which could explain the data or evidence which has been observed, and then to conduct a series of experiments or other observations which can assess how well the data observed appears to fit into the framework offered by that hypothesis.
If enough major data points do not fit into the framework of the hypothesis, then that hypothesis may need to be modified or rejected altogether, and a new framework constructed. It is often the case that when the correct framework is adopted, details which previously caused a major problem for incorrect theories will be found to fit very nicely into the new framework -- the "missing pieces" which didn't seem to fit before will suddenly be found to "have a home."
A metaphor for this process which might resonate with some readers could be the process of doing a major repair on your car (such as replacing the clutch).
If, after hours of work, you get everything put back together and find a few important parts and a handful of bolts and nuts still lying around on the floor of the workshop, and you can't figure out where they could possibly fit (but they were not lying around without a home before you started your transmission work), then you may not have put everything together correctly! Your "framework" for re-assembly might have been faulty.
In such a case, it is probably advisable to take everything apart and try to put it back together again. Not exactly pleasant, but probably advisable. It may even be "less unpleasant" than the results of trying to drive that car at full speed down the highway, if you decide that putting it together correctly is just "too hard" and not worth the effort.
If one of the parts that is lying around after the first clutch re-assembly is a major part, then you would be even more likely to realize that you need to re-assess and try it again.
When you do figure out what you did wrong, there will probably be an "a-ha moment" in which the parts that previously did not seem to fit suddenly all fit together perfectly, and you realize how your previous attempt was slightly off, which led to flawed results. The correct "framework" often seems to "suddenly resolve" the outlying pieces (the outlying evidence, in the case of a crime scene or chemistry problem) that the incorrect framework left stranded.
Another visual illustration of this principle which I have written about on these pages in the past is the example of the old "nine-dots" puzzle, in which we are challenged to use only four straight lines to connect nine dots arrayed on a page in a "tic-tac-toe" pattern of three rows of dots stacked on top of each other.
If you don't know the correct "shape" or "framework" to use, you will almost certainly "leave out" one or more dots during your first several attempts (here's a link to the previous blog post on this subject, from December of last year). These "stranded dots" will be analogous to the "left out parts" in the clutch re-assembly described above.
In terms of a scientific hypothesis or other attempt to explain a mystery (including mysteries of history), they represent evidence or "data points" that just don't seem to fit when a flawed hypothesis or faulty "framework" is tried out.
If the dots (or data) that is left out is important enough, then (like the illustration of the automobile), we would usually be well-advised to back up and look for a better solution, rather than to just "ignore them" and hope that "everything turns out ok" when we go driving down the freeway at high rates of speed.
In light of the above discussion, the recent decision by a major American magazine to publish a story entitled "Disproving 9 of the Biggest 9/11 Conspiracy Theories" is remarkable in that it completely fails to mention (even in passing) one of the biggest sources of "data points" that conventional hypotheses have difficulty in explaining: the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, a 47-story modern-steel skyscraper which also collapsed in dramatic fashion several hours after the Twin Towers fell, even though it was never hit by any aircraft.
That a major American magazine, purporting to publish a story "debunking" alternative hypotheses for what happened on that awful day, would completely ignore the entire question of Building 7, is extremely disturbing and is difficult to attribute to merely "overlooking" that datapoint by mistake.
Building 7 is not really just "one datapoint" but a host of data points, but if we want to call it a "datapoint" for the sake of convenience, then it is an enormous datapoint and one that is so significant that we might want to revisit any hypothesis which leaves it out (it's like leaving the entire transmission on the floor after you are finished putting your car back together, and deciding you'll just ignore that little detail).
If one were not suspicious of the conventional explanations before reading the story, the fact that a major American magazine would publish an article on an extremely sensitive subject, a few days prior to the fifteenth anniversary of that horrendous day in which thousands of citizens lost their lives, and completely ignore the collapse of Building 7 as if it never happened, would seem to be sufficient to arouse suspicion.
If you don't understand the significance of Building 7's collapse, the talk above by David Ray Griffin explains its significance at length, as do other lectures available on the internet. Another even more detailed video which discusses the significance of the collapse of Building 7 can be seen here.
The fact that Building 7 did indeed collapse (again, it was a 47-story skyscraper constructed with massive steel beams using modern construction techniques, which was not struck by any airplanes and yet collapsed entirely, supposedly due to a few fires which can be seen on just a few floors through just a few windows, not even engulfing the building at all) is not in dispute by anybody. In other words, the actual collapse of that 47-story modern steel building is not a "conspiracy theory." It did indeed collapse (you can see the reports by NIST, which are referenced in Professor Griffin's presentation above, and which is a federal agency responsible for investigation into the technological standards including those that govern the safety of buildings, right here on the internet).
The story published in Esquire magazine, for the record, chose to address the following nine questions (as captioned in bold print at the head of each sub-section): "Jet Fuel Can't Melt Steel Beams," "Controlled Demolitions," "Insider Trading," "The Stand-Down Order," "The Holes Were Simply Too Small," "The Inevitable Anti-Semitism," "No Debris at the Pentagon," and "The Hijackers are Still Alive."
The importance of the evidence at the Pentagon is discussed in another full-length video by Barbara Honegger which is included below and available to watch in its entirety on the internet here.
The "data points" which are presented in those two videos are not addressed at all in Esquire's 9-point "disproving" article.
If the framework being offered does not address serious outlying information, then it is possible that another framework or hypothesis should be constructed. Deliberately ignoring evidence of such massive size, and then adopting a tone ridiculing those who point out the massive outliers, would appear to be counter-productive, if we are really trying to arrive at a correct understanding of an issue of extraordinary importance.
Note that the article accuses those who question the conventional story (entertaining the possibility the attacks "did not happen the way the government or our media claim") of possible anti-Semitism, and also of "cheapening" the suffering of those who were killed in those attacks and the suffering of their friends, family and loved ones.
However, it must also be argued that, if the attacks did not happen the way the government and the media claim, then to accept explanations that leave out glaring pieces of outlying evidence, is an even worse "cheapening" of their murders. Those people were obviously murdered -- to ignore evidence that the "wrong murder suspect" is being convicted in the court of public opinion, and to refuse to examine evidence that someone else could be involved in the murder, is obviously reprehensible.
There is also the additional fact that the murders that took place on that day were used as justification to launch a war in which literally millions have been killed -- not just American citizens, of course, although there have been thousands of Americans who have died in the subsequent conflicts, but also literally millions of people in the countries where invasions have been launched, using 9/11 as at least partial justification.
There is also the fact that the atrocity of 9/11 has been used and continues to be used to justify enormous changes which affect our daily lives, in the form of increased surveillance and restriction on travel, and restrictions on anonymity in almost any transaction between individual citizens -- increases in surveillance which continue to grow and which can be argued completely upend the rights described in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.
The same can be said for the massive proliferation of war making equipment and tactics which have been foisted upon police departments in the fifteen years since that day in 2001 and which can be argued to have an extremely deleterious effect on liberty, as well as to violate the Bill of Rights.
Having the wrong framework can lead to huge problems. If you leave huge parts lying on the floor of your workshop before you drive off in your car, ridiculing those who point them out may not be the best way to proceed. Driving still faster and just ignoring the problem might not be a terrific idea either.
In fact, in a famous sermon entitled "But If Not" delivered only five months before he was murdered, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. explained that ignoring moral issues of great magnitude is absolutely self-destructive -- and everyone has a moral obligation to involve themselves in matters of moral principle. He declares that "looking the other way" causes us to die inside.
I am not telling anyone what he or she should conclude about the events of that horrible day. But I am saying that the evidence demands to be looked at seriously, and not "papered over."
Obviously, anyone who has taken an oath and sworn to support and defend the Constitution, as I myself have, has an obligation to look into these questions, and not be put off by articles claiming to "disprove" what they call "conspiracy theories" and casting aspersions on the morality of those who examine evidence which indicates that the "official" framework may be fatally flawed.
But as Dr. King explains, each and every man and woman actually has this duty as well.