MaxArt wrote:While some crazy explanations can be reasonably ruled out, like aliens or yetis, even the most probable reconstruction suffer of annoying levels of uncertainty. Most of us still wouldn't make safe bets on what has happened there, but Randall seems ready to do so according to where he placed that dot.
I consider myself a rather rational person with a scientific background, so I'm really curious to know what has led someone with an akin education to have a "clear explanation".
Whilst I take your point that imil's explanation is just one possibility, and perhaps the axis could be better labelled, but I assume that what Randall was getting at was the "explicability" of the incident. I might observe that my colleague is in the office today; to explain this observation, I might speculate that he came by train, or bus, or underground; perhaps he stayed in a nearby hotel last night and walked; maybe he spent the weekend at his in-laws' in Lincoln and drove straight to the office this morning. Each of these explanations is more or less likely, but that doesn't mean it's inexplicable; in fact the problem in working out what happened is rather a surfeit of plausible explanations.
This kind of argumentation is one of the more vexatious aspects of conspiracy theorists such as the 9/11 Truthers. They tend to seize on uncertainty about a particular mundane explanation as evidence that there can be no mundane explanation
, whereas people like me tend to see the existence of one or more plausible explanations as sufficient to convince me that there's no need to look for a conspiracy. We don't have to accept that the explanation is exactly what happened: maybe this column buckled, maybe a different one. This red/grey chip in the WTC dust is consistent with primer paint, but it doesn't match either of the paints we think were used; the fact remains that it's probably primer paint. So maybe the contractor substituted a cheaper alternative; maybe the spec was changed at the last minute and not recorded; maybe it's from a different building or a different part of the building. It's unexplained
but it's not inexplicable
I often wonder what it would be like to try to reconstruct a completely ordinary, un-newsworthy day in a random city in the way that days like 9/11 are reconstructed. My conclusion is that there would be all sorts of unexplained facts, grassy knolls and red/grey dust. It might almost be worth doing as an exercise.