A recent escalation of a simmering controversy within the 9/11 Truth community has prompted a calming statement from the co-founders of the 9/11 Consensus Panel, authors Dr. David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth. In their statement they remind all of us that the process of understanding the events of 9/11 is a multifaceted and multidisciplinary effort that requires the best evidence to be obtained, evaluated and then used to test hypotheses. Only this process can provide a solid basis for further understanding of the events of 9/11. While the controversy that sparked the 9/11 Consensus Panel statement revolves around the events at the Pentagon, it is equally applicable to the events at the World Trade Center, Flight 93, the anthrax attacks that followed on the heels of 9/11 as well as events since then.
A Statement of Constructive Principles
The following is the statement of Dr. David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth entitled Addressing Controversy Within the 9/11 Truth Community: A Statement of Constructive Principles.
Serious students of 9/11 tend to agree that the official story raises too many problems to hold together as a credible account.
However and unfortunately, there are areas of disagreement, especially with regard to the Pentagon, that threaten to undermine good will and mutual trust.
As co-founders of the 9/11 Consensus Panel, we offer the following observations and principles for consideration:
- At the four alleged airliner crash sites, odd phenomena and anomalies continue to cause speculation and disagreement. Some scholars can justifiably take one set of data as most important, while playing down the importance of another set, while other scholars can justifiably take the second set of data as most important.
- These differences of opinion can be justifiable until there is a theory that can take account of all the indisputable evidence.
- Based on an understanding that there are valid reasons for disagreement, the 9/11 research community can best be unified by respect and tolerance for contrary theories.
- Contributions seeking to solve contentious issues can only be made by assembling reliable evidence and by applying critical thinking and peer review according to the standard scientific process. This is the strength of science and the way it has progressed over centuries.
- In conclusion, we offer the “agree to differ” approach: to end an argument amicably while maintaining differences of opinion until there is an explanation that does justice to all the various types of evidence.
What is “Best Evidence?”
Best evidence is described by the 9/11 Consensus Panel as follows:
An important distinction in the field of evidence is that between circumstantial evidence and direct evidence – or [stated another way] evidence that suggests truth as opposed to evidence that directly proves truth. The “best evidence” related to 9/11 is founded on:
- The opinions of respected authorities, based on professional experience, descriptive studies, and reports of expert committees.
- Physical data in the form of photographs, videotapes, court testimony, witness reports, and FOIA releases
- Direct rather than circumstantial evidence
The Practice of Evidence-Based Research
The Consensus Panel defines the practice of evidence-based research as the judicious use of current best evidence in evaluating the issue at hand. This practice means integrating individual professional expertise with the best available documentary and scientific evidence. To integrate professional expertise into Consensus Points, the Panel employs a simplified Delphi methodology. The Delphi approach is often used in contexts “where published information is inadequate or non-existent,” providing “a means of harnessing the insights of appropriate experts to enable decisions to be made.” The 9/11 Consensus Panel is dedicated to using the “best evidence” available in its quest to shed light upon the world-changing events of September 11, 2001.
The Scope of “Best Evidence” for the Purposes of the 9/11 Consensus Panel
The Panel uses the term in the very narrow sense of the “best evidence” available with regard to any specific claim of the 9/11 official story that the Panel challenges. It does not mean the strongest evidence against the official story in general. It is simply the best evidence against each particular claim that the Panel addresses. “Best evidence”, as used by the 9/11 Consensus Panel, is not evidence in support of alternative theories of what happened on 9/11.
The 23-member 9/11 Consensus Panel is building a body of evidence-based research into the events of September 11, 2001. This evidence – derived from a standard scientific reviewing process – is available to any investigation that may be undertaken by the public, the media, academia, or any other investigative body or institution. The Panel regularly features selected excerpts from its Consensus Points, with links to full supporting documentation as shown below.
50 Consensus Points
The 50 Consensus Points are divided into the ten categories below:
- General Consensus Points
- Consensus Points about the Twin Towers
- Consensus Points about the Collapse of World Trade Center 7
- Consensus Points about the Pentagon
- Consensus Points about the 9/11 Flights
- Consensus Points about US Military Exercises On and Before 9/11
- Consensus Points about the Political and Military Commands on 9/11
- Consensus Points about Hijackers on 9/11
- Consensus Points about the Phone Calls on 9/11
- Consensus Points about Official Video Exhibits Regarding 9/11
More information about these Consensus Points can be seen on the 9/11 Consensus Panel website.
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