November 13, 2010
By Craig McKee
Conspiracy “debunkers” have a number of weapons at their disposal to discredit those who try to expose deceptions and cover-ups.
They will often condescendingly brush aside what these people say by making fun of their ideas so they don’t have to actually refute them. If that doesn’t work, they can explain how the conspiracy would be too involved or that someone would give away the secret or that the powers that be “would just never do anything that terrible.” Failing that they can resort to putting their hands over their ears and singing, la la la la la la la la until their opponents go away.
But there’s another way touted enthusiastically by believers of official stories. That is to invoke the dreaded Occam’s Razor, which most people take as being “the simpler of two theories is usually the best.” Once this has been cited, any conspiracy proponent is supposedly left helpless.
What is Occam’s Razor? It is a principle credited to William of Occam, a 14th century Franciscan friar. His notion was that when choosing between two competing theories – all other things being equal – the simpler one is usually better.
It can be very useful for scientific debates, but unfortunately it has been co-opted to mean that conspiracies don’t happen because the explanation of how they were done seems more complicated than the explanation of the cover story. This, of course, makes no sense when the possibility of deception is involved.
In a deception, the idea is to do one thing, but to make it look like something else, or to make it look like someone else did it. The perpetrators want their cover story to seem like the most appealing, least threatening, and the simplest. Simple, but false.
Let’s take an example of how Occam’s Razor is misused to debunk 9/11 conspiracy theories. We’ll use what happened at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001:
Pro-official story – American Airlines Flight 77, hijacked by Islamic terrorists, hits the Pentagon, killing 125 employees along with 64 people on the plane.
Anti-official story – A complicated conspiracy involving dozens if not hundreds of government people was employed to create the illusion that a passenger plane hit the Pentagon when in fact it did not. Explosions were set off inside the building and a passenger plane flew past the Pentagon as the outer wall exploded.
Using Occam’s Razor, the first one must be true, right? It’s clearly simpler. But let’s take a closer look at the believability of the official story when a few more details are included:
A group of Islamic terrorists slipped through airport security with knives and box cutters, which they then used to take control of Flight 77, even though the Flight Data Recorder indicated that the cockpit door never opened during the flight. With just these crude weapons, the hijackers herded everyone, including the crew, into the back of the plane. The pilots were somehow prevented from dialing a four-digit code indicating to air traffic controllers that a hijack was in progress.
One of the hijackers, a failed flight student who had been refused rental of a Cessna a month earlier because of his poor piloting skills, took over. He flew several hundred miles west without being detected by radar, pulled a 180-degree turn and headed back to Washington. No fighters were able to intercept this or any of the other three hijacked planes that day.
Then, instead of simply flying straight into the Pentagon and doing maximum damage, he initiated an incredibly difficult 330-degree spiral to hit the building on the one side that would result in very few casualties. The plane hit the building, making a small hole, and then completely disappeared into the building. There was minimal damage to the building’s facade, including where the plane’s engines and tail section would have hit. The plane hit the first floor of the building but caused no damage to the lawn.
The plane travelled at 530 mph even though professional pilots will tell you that it is physically impossible to fly at that speed just a few feet above the ground. No airplane part that could positively be tied to Flight 77 was found. Photos of the damaged section of the building show that columns that would have to have been destroyed for the plane to completely enter the building are still intact.
Suddenly the official story isn’t so simple after all. True, the “inside job” theory is extremely complex and would involve many things going according to plan, but it doesn’t break the laws of physics several times the way the official account does.
The other thing to keep in mind through all of this is that when one story (the official one) is unquestioningly accepted by the media, all the onus is on those who disagree with the government account to prove it to be false. All contrary versions have to be measured against the official story, which itself doesn’t have to be proved; it is taken for granted.
Treat the “19 hijacker” theory as equally unproven, and it’s a whole different ballgame.