Was the collapse of the World Trade Center due to fire or controlled demolition?

Se også: English, Theories

Background

In this article, the two main arguments used to support an alternative explanation of the collapses of the World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7 are examined to see if they are logically consistent.

The ”Fire Argument”

Claim

Since no steel-framed high rises have collapsed due to fire before September 11, 2001, steel-framed high rises cannot collapse due to fire. Thus, the World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7 did not collapse due to fire.

Basis for comparison

Conspiracy theorists point to one factor, how buildings are constructed. They believe that only high rises, built with steel, can be considered.

The common factor in favor of the “fire argument” is that the buildings must be constructed in the same fashion:

All fires develop in the same way if the buildings on fire are steel-framed high rises.

Problems with the ”Fire Argument”

This is obviously false for the following reasons:

  1. The World Trade Center 1 and 2 were hit by planes. None of the buildings used for comparison were hit by planes.
  2. The World Trade Center 7 was damaged by debris from the collapsing World Trade Center 1. The fire department chose not to focus the fire fighting effort on the building. None of the buildings used for comparison were damaged by falling debris. In none of the buildings used for comparison was the fire allowed to spread.
  3. The World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7 were situated in a disaster area where everything was chaos. None of the buildings used for comparison were situated in a similar area.

Even if an event has not happened yet, it still does not mean that it cannot happen. There is a first time for everything including where a building of a specific type collapsed due to fire.

False dilemma
Pretending there are only two options, when in reality there are more. One option is one's own which must be true, if the other is false.
Straw man
Presenting a false account of the opponent's argument, which is then attacked.

NB!

It is important to point out that the official explanation does not conclude that the World Trade Center 1 and 2 collapsed due to fire alone: The collapses were due to a combination of the severe damage of the towers, when the planes hit, and the subsequent out-of-control fires. The intense heat weakened the supporting columns resulting in the buckling of the columns, where the planes had hit. The tremendous pressure from the top floors then initiated the collapse, and the buildings were destroyed.

The ”fire argument” is thus a mix of a strawman argument and a false dilemma argument.

The “Controlled Demolition” argument

Claim

Buildings destroyed by controlled demolitions look like the destruction of the World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7. Thus, the three buildings collapsed due to controlled demolition.

Basis for comparison

Conspiracy theorists do not consider how buildings are constructed.

The common factor in favor of the ”controlled demolition argument” is that buildings just have to be buildings:

All buildings behave in the same way if the buildings are being destroyed by controlled demolition.

Problems with the ”Controlled Demolition argument”

This is obviously false for the following reasons:

  1. Planning of a controlled demolition is based on how each individual building is constructed, and where they are located. Not two demolitions are the same.
  2. Controlled demolitions are not always symmetrical: Construction and location are decisive factors when deciding how to demolish the building.
  3. Even the most meticulously planned demolition can go wrong. And sometimes will!

Even if something looks like something, it is not evidence that it is the case. The argument is also weakened by the inclusion of controlled demolitions where the buildings were not steel-framed high rises.

Conclusion

On their own, each claim is overly simplified, logically inconsistent, and contrary to the facts.

Combined, the claims nullify each other: If you insist on a specific type of building, you cannot ignore the building type the moment after.

Sources

Foto: Louis Brendel

Q & A

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