This is an obligatory post: 9/11 Conspiracy theories are Bullshit.

Unfortunately, they are far more widespread than I thought. How do conspiracy theories affect political discourse and policies in this country? Political fantasies are actually dangerous, so its worth a thought.

First, here’s a troubling poll. Rasmussen found that 61% of Democrats believe that Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance or are unsure if he did or not.

Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.
…Overall, 22% of all voters believe the President knew about the attacks in advance. A slightly larger number, 29%, believe the CIA knew about the attacks in advance.

Independents and Republicans were far more skeptical of the idea that the government knew about the attacks in advance. As they should, it was an improbable Black Swan event.

In politics, an individual’s belief in political conspiracies is a more important variable than belief in irrelevant scientific theories like evolution. Politicians and voters are discussing biology, so their opinions on hamsters is irrelevant. These types of conspiracy theories distort realities of political science and rational policy-making. How can you debate tradeoffs with a person who believes in conspiratorial nonsense?

I think George Case summed up the mentality of the Conspiracy Minded:

A lot of CTs’ attractiveness, logicians will say, is in their dexterity at skirting the basic rules of deduction and inference. The world is complicated; many arguable factors contribute to events; CTs simplify things enormously and with great flair. Psychologists might add that the sheer randomness of modern life is so distressing that CTs offer a weirdly reassuring “master narrative” no longer provided by religion. No matter how malevolent the alleged String-Pullers are said to be, they are perhaps less scary than the thought of no String-Pullers at all. And rhetoricians may remind us that CTs are a kind of all-purpose argument winner, inevitably shutting down further debate by invoking sinister, shadowy agents whose very elusiveness confirms their existence and influence. Through all of these—supposition, evasion, innuendo—CTs work, in journalism, education, political activism, and ordinary conversation. But they aren’t infallible: studied carefully, they form patterns, fall into categories, and hide errors of reason and common sense.

Popular Mechanics and the NIST described the engineering and science behind the WTC collapse.

Skeptics have long attacked 9/11 Conspiracies.

There’s no particular point in debating this as CTs are immune to logic and evidence. They ignore the scientific method, obviously. They also use logical fallacies and innuendo. For instance, they always make the ‘who benefits?’ argument. In reality, the benefits are not clear, but more importantly, benefit does not imply intent or motive. The international system is too chaotic to allow simple cause and effect with any degree predictability. Another logical fallacy speculates on an individual’s motives without evidence. Here, they simply say that random politicians, businessmen and generals are evil.

Those who believe must lack the basic knowledge of math and engineering to realize that their belief in absurd. All we know is that they have a raging emotional hatred for a randomly selected group of individuals.

Take Rosie O’Donnell:

“I do believe that it’s the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics that World Trade Center tower 7—building 7, which collapsed in on itself—it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved. World Trade Center 7. World Trade [Center] 1 and 2 got hit by planes—7, miraculously, the first time in history, steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible.”

So is the meta-conspiracy to end all conspiracies? Metallurgy is lie. Metal grows in the soil in natural shapes like spoons and airplanes. For thousands of years, blacksmiths conspired to enslave us.

You know what? PM debunked her nonsense here and here.

So lets just mock the morons.

Since I’m completely untalented, I’ll just lazily link to maddox’s
Unfastened Coins which conclusively proves that the Jews and Atheists sunk the Titatic.

Clearly, metal is strongerthan ice.