Tuesday, March 31, 2015

#1331: Dylan Avery

Dylan Avery is a filmmaker and, in particular, the creator of the Loose Change films (together with Korey Rowe and Jason Bermas), which have established his position as one of the movers and shakers of the troofer community. Through embarrassingly fallacious reasoning, selective use of evidence and numerous misunderstandings based largely on the producers’ lack of understanding of the relevant issues, the “documentary” attempts to “prove” that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were a false flag operation carried out by high-ranking members of the Bush administration. The claims made in the movie have been falsified numerous times (a viewer’s guide is available here), and there have been several updates of the “documentary” in which various bogus claims have been removed; no matter how thoroughly debunked the claims may be it won’t affect the main hypothesis, however, since their method is emphatically not the scientific one of testing hypotheses against data, but the pseudoscientific one of selecting the data that fit the hypothesis and disregarding the rest.

Among its claims:
-       The World Trade Center towers did not fall because planes flew into them (they do admit that planes did fly into them, but not the Pentagon), but because explosives were placed in the towers causing them to fall.
-       The Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile, not an airplane.
-       United flight 93 did not crash in Pennsylvania, but landed in Ohio, where all the passengers were removed and disappeared (it is unclear why; if the government were going to kill all those passengers anyway, wouldn’t it have been easier to crash the plane?).

Apparently 9/11 was a set-up in order for the US to justify a war in Iraq, although it has no explanation for why the government would carry out such a ruse and not incorporate any connection to Iraq in it. Furthermore, the producers seem to think that if the towers had not fallen, people would not have supported a war, and to accomplish this the Republican party would risk their very existence by planting explosives in the buildings. Most of the claims are discussed in detail here, and many central claims are refuted here.

Oh well, like other conspiracy theories (and creationism, which really is a conspiracy theory as well, in fact), its proponents aren’t really prepared to seriously evaluate or test their own hypotheses; instead, the point is to try, with whatever desperate means available, to poke holes in their opponents’ views, apparently being under the delusion that any reason to doubt the opposing hypothesis is automatic evidence for their own views.

Diagnosis: Really as dense and deluded as they come, and his claims are laughable. It is unsurprising, but disconcerting, that his screeds have achieved the popularity they have achieved.

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