Steven Jones 2006 Hypothesis Statement

There’s a worrying trend spreading across Europe. We’re accustomed to hearing about the fiery debate surrounding the teaching of evolution in the USA, especially but not exclusively in the Bible belt. But in November 2006 in an article in Nature, Almut Graebsch and Quirin Schiermeier expressed concern that the teaching of alternative theories in schools is not just an issue across the Atlantic (Graebsch & Schiermeier, 2006).

They’re not the first to notice this. In 2006 the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, launched an attack on creationism, concerned that the idea was gaining a foothold in schools and universities across the country. They enlisted Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics at University College London (UCL), to give his public lecture, ‘Why evolution is right and creationism is wrong’.

Steve, author of several popular books on genetics, including In The Blood and The Language of the Genes, lectures widely about evolution in schools, universities, conferences and research institutes. He’s concerned – and absolutely baffled – by the growing influence of creationist groups in Europe.

“It’s a mystery,” he says. “In the 30 to 40 years I’ve been talking to audiences about evolution, I’d never once had a question about creationism. In the last few years, though, such questions have become completely commonplace.”

Steve estimates that he has lectured more than 100 000 school pupils during his career, and is UCL’s representative at the London Science Learning Centre, which provides in-career training to science teachersw1. He has also featured extensively on BBC radio, presented a six-part TV series and appeared on various other TV programmes, as well as writing for the press on scientific issues, with a regular column in The Daily Telegraph, ‘View from the Lab’.

“It’s very alarming. Graebsch and Schiermeier’s article cites examples of schools in Germany where creationism is being taught and, more notably, Italy, where in 2004 education minister Letizia Moratti caused a furore when she removed the theory of evolution from the curriculum. In Britain, the pro-creationist group Truth in Science sent information packs to every secondary school in the country at the end of 2006. Polish European parliament member Maciej Giertych organised a workshop for parliamentarians entitled ‘Teaching evolution theory in Europe: is your child being indoctrinated in the classroom?’. In October 2007, Miroslaw Orzechowski, Poland’s former deputy education minister, told the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza: “The theory of evolution is a lie. It is an error we have legalised as a common truth.”

The creation-evolution debate divides opinion about the origins of life; those who have a faith-based belief trust that life appeared in, as Steve puts it, “some magical, non-scientific means sometime in the fairly recent past”, as opposed to the scientific consensus supporting evolutionary biology. Although many religions have reconciled their beliefs to evolution, there are still many creationists, most prevalent in more conservative regions of the USA, who believe that evolution is contradicted by the stories found in their respective religions. “Creationism is wrong because all its claims fly in the face of everything we know about science,” explains Steve. “But people expect – and fear – too much. They want answers to questions which are not open to scientific enquiry, like ‘is there a God?’, or ‘what does it mean to be human?’.”

The debate isn’t new. Evolutionary ideas such as common descent and the transmutation of species have existed since at least the 6th century BC, but as biological knowledge grew in the 18th century, such ideas developed, challenging the thought that the natural world was fixed by God’s will. It was the publication of English naturalist Charles Darwin’s 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, which established evolution by common descent as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature.

“The Victorians had a horror of evolution at first, thinking it makes us less than human, but in fact it makes us more human – we’re the only animals that have developed art, history, speech – all those things. We are very similar to chimps, but in every way that’s important, we’re completely different,” says Steve.

“But by 1870, just over a decade after Darwin’s book came out, the uproar had subsided. Most churchmen were educated people and could see that they could accept evolution and that it had nothing to do with their religious belief. The two things simply don’t clash. Science is far too powerful to bother with ridiculous, untestable theories.”

But why, after 150 years of evolution being recognised as the best explanation for the development of life on Earth, providing a clear understanding of the processes that account for the variety of organisms, and being taught as an essential part of biology and science courses, is pressure from somewhere – maybe simply political correctness – leading even decision-makers to change policies?

“It was the late 1960s when creationism started coming back into fashion, and then was triumphant very gradually. It was mainly as a result of the fear of modern biology, but sometimes because of the false claims of many scientists. But now, I don’t know why it should be so rampant suddenly.”

Of course it’s fair to show both sides of a coin, but to hold up a religion-based theory as an alternative to scientific fact can be damaging.

“I’m not against [teaching creationism at school] as such,” says Steve, “but it should be taught in theology lessons. If you want to go around making ignorant statements, don’t do it in a biology lesson.”

Steve calls creationism ‘anti-science’. “I will never debate with a creationist,” he says. “They think that 2 + 2 = 5; or, at a push, as a compromise, 4.1. I’m entirely sure that 2 + 2 = 4. There’s nothing to discuss. If they won’t accept the physical facts of life, we have nothing to talk about. I don’t care what they believe, unless they’ve got some evidence, which they haven’t.”

“It’s a mystery to me how any scientist can believe in creationism,” he says. “In Europe you don’t get the [same attitudes] about it that you get in the USA, but there is a more sophisticated line of argument; ‘creationism with a college education’. It’s the ‘intelligent design’ argument – that organisms must have been designed by something, because they’re so complex. But Darwin showed that evolution is a factory for making almost impossible things.”

So how can scientists and teachers help? “Teachers feel that evolution isn’t just another part of biology – they think it’s something special, something they have to be careful about. I’m tempted to say they should make evolution boring. They should present it as something that’s simply part of biology, a fact, rather than something that’s debatable and controversial and somehow ‘sexy’.

“Another problem is that evolution is very badly taught, largely because teachers have been taught it badly, and it’s not well-presented in textbooks,” he adds. “The rest of biology is done very well, but when it comes to evolution, it’s very unclear. There are the old, traditional examples – the peppered moth, antibiotic resistance, and Darwin’s finches – but there are no new examples. Teachers aren’t taught what modern evolutionary biology is.

“Darwin didn’t think he would ever see evolution happening – he thought of it as a historical thing, a model that brought together many apparently unrelated facts into one seamless whole – but of course we can see it happening. In the brief history of HIV, we have the perfect example of the whole of the Darwin machine unfolding its powers in front of our eyes. He would have been delighted to see the workings of evolution so starkly exposed.”


A history of creationism

By Dean Madden from the National Centre for Biotechnology Education, University of Reading, UK.

When Darwin was an undergraduate at Cambridge University, UK, his future career was strongly influenced by several scientists, notably geologist Adam Sedgwick and John Henslow, the botanist who suggested that Darwin should accompany Captain FitzRoy on the HMS Beagle. As was required of Cambridge dons at that time, the two scientists were ordained church ministers. They were also deeply committed Christians. Yet even they, some 30 years before Origin of Species was published, doubted the literal truth of the Bible. In England, general acceptance of Darwin’s theory of evolution was rapid, and the Anglican church soon came to terms with it. Elsewhere in Europe and America, religious opposition was muted: typically the debate was not whether natural processes or the Christians’ God had created living things, but whether the creation was a result of a supernatural influence working through nature or the result of natural processes (‘what happened?’ not ‘whodunnit?’).

The Catholic hierarchy has generally been conservative, but the overwhelming weight of evidence was such that in 1996, Pope John Paul II issued a letter in which he said that the work of scientists worldwide: “... leads us to recognise in the theory of evolution more than a hypothesis” (unlike many modern creationists, John Paul understood the difference between a mere hypothesis and a scientific theory). Today, mainstream Christians are not usually biblical literalists, and leaders in both the Catholic and Anglican churches have recently reaffirmed their opposition to the teaching of creationism in science lessons (Thavis, 2006; Bates, 2006).

In August 2006, an analysis of people’s acceptance of evolution was published by the journal Science (Miller, 2006). Thirty-two European nations plus the USA and Japan were compared in the report. The study showed that Icelanders, Danes, Swedes, French, Japanese and Britons were among those most likely to accept that humans evolved “… from earlier species of animals”. Individuals with a strong belief in a personal God and who prayed frequently were significantly less likely to accept the concept of evolution. In the USA and Turkey, where strong religious beliefs are common and evolution education has been politicised, people were least likely to accept evolution.

Throughout the western world, particularly in Europe, secular modernity has long been seen as a consequence of urbanisation, increased wealth and better education. Sociologists have speculated that, as the religious become increasingly conscious of their unusual identity in a secular society, they may become more entrenched in their views. Such entrenchment may also be true of those of no faith, living in predominantly religious societies. This may account for the increasingly polarised debate over the teaching of evolution that has been noted by several observers, including Steve Jones.

The emergence of much modern opposition to the teaching of evolution worldwide can be traced back to the pioneering days of the USA, when settlers from different religious backgrounds, unable to rely upon an established church hierarchy, found it necessary to develop their own ‘do it yourself’ churches. This, coupled with a highly decentralised education system, largely run by elected amateurs in 17 000 school districts, has led to several instances where school boards have tried to prevent the teaching of evolution or to promote the teaching of religion. These have often been challenged in the courts.

The most famous remains the Scopes ‘monkey trial’ of 1925, which was held in Dayton, Tennessee, USA. By the mid-1920s, six of the Southern states had already passed anti-evolution laws. The Scopes trial was a publicity stunt concocted by local businessmen to boost Dayton’s flagging economy: the trial would be the first in the USA to be broadcast live on the radio. When he was approached by several businessmen, twenty-four-year-old John Scopes agreed to their request to stand trial. Everyone knew that Scopes was likely to be convicted of teaching evolution, although in reality he may only have used a book that included evolution, and may not have taught the subject. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which backed Scopes’ defence, planned to appeal to the US Supreme Court in the hope of obtaining a judgement which clarified the rights of the individual over those of the government.

Although Scopes was convicted, the ruling was soon overturned on a technicality, robbing the ACLU of its chance to take the case further. The ban on evolution education remained, and the amount of evolution taught in US schools declined over the next 35 years, so that evolution was absent from almost all US school biology textbooks in the early 1960s. The Sputnik scare of 1957 prompted a re-think of US science education, and evolution returned to the textbooks, notably the new high-school texts produced by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study. When the Tennessee law and others like it were eventually declared unconstitutional in the 1960s, the anti-evolutionists were forced to adopt a different strategy. This approach was necessitated by the USA’s separation of church and state, which does not permit the teaching of religion as religion in publicly funded schools. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, ‘creation science’ was their preferred mechanism.

‘Creation science’ attempted to suggest that scientific evidence supported biblical events, and demanded that equal time be given to creationism and evolution in the classroom. Most of the highly selective interpretations of evidence were obvious nonsense. For instance, it was suggested that humans initially escaped the biblical flood by climbing to the tops of mountains. Dinosaurs, however, were less successful and trilobites even less so – this accounted for the relative positions of fossils in rock strata. Several court judgements, notably in Arkansas and Louisiana, ruled out the ‘equal time’ argument. Creationism was deemed a religious idea by the US Supreme Court, not a scientific one, and therefore it could not be taught in US schools.

Recently, the plain creationism of Scopes’s time and ‘creation science’ of the late 20th century have been replaced by ‘intelligent design’ (ID), a strategy promoted by the US Discovery Institute, which aims to “… replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God”.

The ID movement generally avoids any reference to a God however, and presents its ideas as rational alternatives to accepted scientific understanding, which should therefore be entitled to equal treatment in (US) science classrooms. Consequently, ‘Teach the controversy’ became the new slogan of the anti-evolutionists.

Perhaps because of its appeal to fairness and its superficially scientific approach, unlike that of similar efforts in the past, the ID movement’s influence has been felt far beyond its native USA. Well-organised, often generously funded and sometimes politically endorsed campaigns have influenced school education not only in countries such as Poland and Turkey, where religion and politics are closely associated, but also in more secular societies including France, Germany and Italy. Early in 2004, for example, Italy witnessed the removal of the theory of evolution from the middle-school curriculum, ostensibly because students ‘were confused by it’. Almost two years later, after a ‘Darwin Commission’ had reported, a weakened account of evolution was re-introduced, omitting any reference to human origins.

This and similar events, such as the Dover School Board trial in the USA, led the Interacademy Panel on International Issues, a global network of the world’s science adcademies, to issue a statement on the teaching of evolution in June 2006w2. “Theories about the origin and evolution of life on Earth...”, it said, were being “…confused with theories not testable by science”. It noted that all forms of life on Earth continue to evolve, a fact which “...palaeontology and the modern biological and biochemical sciences are describing and independently confirming with increasing precision. Commonalities in the structure of the genetic code of all organisms living today, including humans, clearly indicate their common primordial origin”. Similarly, the Council of Europe has issued a strongly worded statement in support of teaching evolutionw3.

What will the next challenge from the creationists be? In Louisiana, USA, groups hostile to evolution have adopted a subtle new tactic, which appears to encourage a cherished feature of science. They have proposed and passed a law which requires ‘academic freedom’ to promote “... critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied, including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning”. Critics fear that this law and others will allow creationism in by the back door.



  • The UK Department for Children, Schools and Families (formerly the Department for Education and Skills) provides guidance on the place of creationism and intelligent design in science lessons. See:
  • The Big Picture is a free magazine-style publication from the Wellcome Trust for post-16 students and their teachers. The Big Picture on evolution is available to download (as a PDF document) or to read on screen and is supported by additional resources for teachers. See:
  • The Understanding Evolution website from the University of California, Berkeley (USA), provides authoritative, up-to-date information about evolutionary mechanisms, theory, evidence and modern research. The site includes numerous resources for teaching about evolution (aimed at a US audience). See:
  • For an open-access article about the status of evolution and creationism in US schools, see:
  • Berkman MB, Pacheco JS, Plutzer E (2008) Evolution and creationism in America's classrooms: a national portrait. PLoS Biology6(5): e124. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060124
  • The 2005 Eurobarometer survey examined European attitudes to science and technology. In particular, see Section 3.3, ‘Science, Faith and Luck’:
  • European Commission (2005) Special Eurobarometer 224: Europeans, science and technology.
  • A popular, readable and up-to-date account of evolution is:
  • Jones S (2001) Almost like a whale: The Origin of Species updated. London, UK: Black Swan. ISBN: 055299958X
  • Some other recent popular books are:
  • Carroll SB (2008) The making of the fittest: DNA and the ultimate forensic record of evolution. London, UK: Quercus. ISBN: 9781847244765
  • Shubin N (2008) Your inner fish. A journey into the 3.5 billion-year history of the human body. London, UK: Allen Lane. ISBN: 9780713999358
  • For a review of a book describing the development of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species and its wider impact, see:
  • Madden D (2007) Darwin’s The Origin of Species. Science in School7: 67.


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Prof. Steven Jones News Articles

Excerpts of Key Prof. Steven Jones News Articles in Media

Below are highly revealing excerpts of important Prof. Steven Jones news articles from the major media suggesting a cover-up. Links are provided to the full news articles for verification. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These Prof. Steven Jones news articles are listed by order of importance. You can also explore the articles listed by order of the date of the news article or by the date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on dozens of engaging topics. And read excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

The Disbelievers

2006-09-08, Washington Post

A recent Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll of 1,010 Americans found that 36 percent suspect the U.S. government promoted the attacks or intentionally sat on its hands. Sixteen percent believe explosives brought down the towers. A Zogby International poll of New York City residents two years ago found 49.3 percent believed the government "consciously failed to act." The loose agglomeration known as the "9/11 Truth Movement" has stopped looking for truth from the government. The academic wing is led by [Prof. David Ray] Griffin, who founded the Center for a Postmodern World at Claremont University; James Fetzer, a tenured philosopher at the University of Minnesota; and Daniel Orr, the retired chairman of the economics department at the University of Illinois. The movement's de facto minister of engineering is Steven Jones, a tenured physics professor at Brigham Young University, who's ... concluded that the collapse of the twin towers is best explained as controlled demolition. Catherine Austin Fitts served as assistant secretary of housing in the first President Bush's administration. [Robert] Bowman was chief of advanced space programs under presidents Ford and Carter. Fitts and Bowman agree that the "most unbelievable conspiracy" theory is the one retailed by the government. It was a year before David Ray Griffin, an eminent liberal theologian and philosopher, began his stroll down the path of disbelief. He wondered why ... military jets failed to intercept even one airliner. He read the 9/11 Commission report with a swell of anger. Contradictions were ignored and no military or civilian official was reprimanded. Griffin's book, "The New Pearl Harbor" ... never reviewed in a major U.S. newspaper, sold more than 100,000 copies and became a movement founding stone.

Note: If the above link fails, click here. Explore the comments of over 100 professors who have publicly called for a new investigation of 9/11. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.

500 Conspiracy Buffs Meet to Seek the Truth of 9/11

2006-06-05, New York Times

In the ballroom foyer of the Embassy Suites Hotel, the two-day International Education and Strategy Conference for 9/11 Truth was off to a rollicking start. More than 500 people — from Italy to Northern California — gathered for the weekend at a major chain hotel near the runways of O'Hare International. There were talks on the Reichstag fire and the sinking of the Battleship Maine as precedents for 9/11. There were speeches by the lawyer for James Earl Ray, who claimed that a military conspiracy killed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, and by a former operative for the British secret service, MI5. 9/11 Truthers [are] a group that, in its rank and file, includes professors, chain-saw operators, mothers, engineers, activists, used-book sellers, pizza deliverymen, [and] college students. Steven E. Jones [is] a professor of physics at Brigham Young University and the movement's expert in the matter of collapse. Dr. a soft-spoken man who lets his writing do the talking. He composed an account of the destruction of the towers...that holds that "pre-positioned cutter-charges" brought the buildings down. There is a plan by the British get members of Parliament to watch "Loose Change," the seminal movement DVD. The Truthers are not alone in believing the whole truth has not come out. A poll released last month by Zogby International found that 42 percent of all Americans believe the 9/11 Commission "concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence" in the attacks. [And a] Zogby poll two years ago that found that 49 percent of New York City residents agreed with the idea that some leaders "knew in advance" that the attacks were planned and failed to act.

Traces of explosives in 9/11 dust, scientists say

2009-04-06, Deseret News (One of Salt Lake City's leading newspapers),5143,705295677,00.html

Tiny red and gray chips found in the dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center contain highly explosive materials — proof, according to a former BYU professor, that 9/11 is still a sinister mystery. Physicist Steven E. Jones, who retired from Brigham Young University in 2006 after the school recoiled from the controversy surrounding his 9/11 theories, is one of nine authors on a paper published last week in the online, peer-reviewed Open Chemical Physics Journal. Also listed as authors are BYU physics professor Jeffrey Farrer and a professor of nanochemistry at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. For several years, Jones has theorized that pre-positioned explosives, not fires from jet fuel, caused the rapid, symmetrical collapse of the two World Trade Center buildings, plus the collapse of a third building, WTC-7. The newest research, according to the journal authors, shows that dust from the collapsing towers contained a "nano-thermite" material that is highly explosive. A layer of dust lay over parts of Manhattan immediately following the collapse of the towers, and it was samples of this dust that Jones and fellow researchers requested in a 2006 paper, hoping to determine "the whole truth of the events of that day." They eventually tested four samples they received from New Yorkers. Red/gray chips ... were found in all four dust samples. The chips were then analyzed using scanning electron microscopy and other high-tech tools. The red layer of the chips, according to the researchers, contains a "highly energetic" form of thermite.

Note: For the full text of this path-breaking scientific report, click here. Note that other major media failed to pick up this important news, though you can watch a Dutch news report (with English subtitles) on YouTube available here. For more key reports on the cutting-edge research of Prof. Steven Jones, click here.

9/11 theorist not curtailing his research

2008-05-03, Deseret News (One of Utah's leading newspapers),5143,695275973,00.html

Sixteen months ago, Brigham Young University and Steven Jones parted ways, but he said this week he isn't bitter about the academic divorce. He certainly hasn't curtailed his volatile research on the collapse of the three World Trade Center towers after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In fact, Jones is the lead author of a paper on the collapses published April 18 in a civil engineering journal. Most importantly, he is preparing several more papers that, if they pass peer review and are published, will give him the peace of mind that his case reached the public. Jones was energized in November when he ... received a response from the national lab charged by Congress to determine why and how the towers collapsed. The letter contained the following phrase: "We are unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse." "That," Jones said, "really was progress. It made me believe we could talk with them." It is striking. After producing a 10,000-page report, the National Institute of Standards and Technology can't explain the collapse. Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has said that its best hypothesis for the fall of the third tower, WTC 7 — diesel fuel stored in the building caused fires that collapsed the building — has a "low probability" of being correct. [Jones'] new peer-reviewed paper in the Open Civil Engineering Journal ... lays out 14 points of agreement Jones and his colleagues have with the official government reports. "We're getting to a higher level of discussion with this paper," Jones said. The open paper can be found for free on the Web at

Note: For many revealing reports on the path-breaking work of renowned physicist Steven Jones to shed light on what really happened on 9/11, click here.

9/ 11 Conspiracy Theorists Thriving

2006-08-06, ABC News/Associated Press

Kevin Barrett believes the U.S. government might have destroyed the World Trade Center. Steven Jones is researching what he calls evidence that the twin towers were brought down by explosives detonated inside them, not by hijacked airliners. These men aren't uneducated junk scientists: Barrett will teach a class on Islam at the University of Wisconsin this fall. Jones is a tenured physicist at Brigham Young University. The movement claims to be drawing fresh energy and credibility from a recently formed group called Scholars for 9/11 Truth. Publicity over Barrett's case has helped boost membership to about 75 academics. Some are well educated, with degrees from elite universities such as Princeton and Stanford and jobs at schools including Rice, Indiana and the University of Texas. Members of the group don't consider themselves extremists. They simply believe the government's investigation was inadequate, and maintain that questioning widely held assumptions has been part of the job of scholars for centuries. Daniel Orr, a Princeton Ph.D. and widely published retired economics chair at the University of Illinois, said he knew instantly from watching the towers fall that they had been blown apart by explosives. David Gabbard, an East Carolina education professor, acknowledges this isn't his field, but says "I'm smart enough to know ... that fire from airplanes can't melt steel." Judy Wood, until recently an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Clemson University, has been cited by conspiracy theorists for her arguments the buildings could not have collapsed as quickly as they did unless explosives were used.

Note: This article was published on the website of more than 100 media outlets. People are waking up all over!

BYU Professor Has Theory About 9/11 Attacks

2005-11-10, CBS Affiliate KUTV

A BYU [Brigham Young University] professor has developed a new theory about the terrorist attack in New York on September 11, 2001. Both towers collapsed in place after the attacks, and later that day, 7 World Trade Center, which was never hit by a plane, fell in less than seven seconds. Professor Steven E. Jones says that planes alone did not bring down the towers. Jones is a 20-year physics professor at BYU, who's penned an academic paper raising another hypothesis – explosives may have been pre-positioned in the buildings. “Notice how it's straight down,” Jones says referring to the fall of one of the buildings. Especially intriguing to Jones was the destruction of 7 World Trade Center, damaged and ablaze from tower debris but never hit by a plane. "Symmetrically now, it doesn't topple over, as you might expect. It comes straight down. This is the goal of prepositioned explosives in a controlled demolition,” says Jones. He wants a fresh new independent investigation.

Note: For other media coverage of Prof. Jones' claims, click here. For his paper describing how he came to these conclusions, click here. For a short video clip of the collapse of WTC 7, click here.

Physicist says heat substance felled WTC

2006-04-10, Deseret News (a leading newspaper in Utah),1249,635198488,00.html

A Brigham Young University physicist said he now believes an incendiary substance called thermite, bolstered by sulfur, was used to generate exceptionally hot fires at the World Trade Center on 9/11, causing the structural steel to fail and the buildings to collapse. "It looks like thermite with sulfur added," Steven Jones, professor of physics at BYU, told a meeting of the Utah Academy of Science, Arts and Letters. Jones is co-chairman, with James H. Fetzer, a distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a group of college faculty members who believe conspirators other than pilots of the planes were directly involved in bringing down New York's Trade Towers. The group, which Jones said has 200 members, maintains a Web site at A 40-page paper by Jones, along with other peer-reviewed and non-reviewed academic papers, are posted on the site. Last year, Jones presented various arguments for his theory that explosives or incendiary devices were planted in the Trade Towers, and in WTC 7, a smaller building in the Trade Center complex, and that those materials, not planes crashing into the buildings, caused the buildings to collapse. Jones said his studies are confined to physical causes of the collapses, and he doesn't like to speculate about who might have entered the buildings and placed thermite and sulfur.

Note: For lots more reliable, verifiable information suggesting a 9/11 cover-up:

Who really blew up the twin towers?

2006-09-05, The Guardian,,1864657,00.html

Shards of glass and dust from the World Trade Centre towers sit on Professor Steven Jones's desk at Brigham Young University in Utah. Evidence, he says, of the biggest cover-up in history - one too evil for most to believe, but one he has staked his academic career on exposing. Jones, a physics professor, is not alone. He is a member of 9/11 Scholars for Truth, a recently formed group of around 75 US professors determined to prove 9/11 was a hoax. In essays and journals, they are using their association with prominent universities to give a scholarly stamp to conspiracy theories long believed in parts of Europe and the Arab world, and gaining ground among Americans. It is impossible, says Jones, for the towers to have collapsed from the collision of two aeroplanes, as jet fuel doesn't burn at temperatures hot enough to melt steel beams. The horizontal puffs of smoke - squibs - emitted during the collapse of the towers are indicative of controlled implosions on lower floors. The scholars have collected eyewitness accounts of flashes and loud explosions immediately before the fall. What's more, the nearby World Trade Centre 7 also collapsed later that afternoon. The building had not been hit by a plane, only damaged by fire.

BYU places '9/11 truth' professor on paid leave

2006-09-08, Deseret News,1249,645199800,00.html

Brigham Young University placed physics professor Steven Jones on paid leave Thursday while it reviews his involvement in the so-called "9/11 truth movement" that accuses unnamed government agencies of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. Such a review is rare for a professor with "continuing status" at BYU, where Jones has taught since 1985. Jones was teaching two classes this semester, which began Tuesday. Other professors will cover those classes, and Jones will be allowed to continue to do research in his area of academic study. Jones became a celebrity among 9/11 conspiracy-theory groups after he wrote a paper titled "Why Indeed Did the World Trade Center Buildings Collapse?" The paper was published two weeks ago in the book "9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out" and lays out Jones' hypothesis that the three towers fell because of pre-positioned demolition charges -- not because of the planes that hit two of the towers. Recent articles about Sept. 11 conspiracy theories that focused at least in part on Jones have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian in London and other publications. A modified version of Jones' paper was scheduled to be published this week in the online Journal of 9/11 Studies. Jones is a co-editor of the journal.

Backers hail 9/11 theorist's speech

2006-10-30, Denver Post

The standing ovation has finally died down, and Steven E. Jones, a soft-spoken physics professor, finds himself pinned against the stage by some of the enthusiastic fans who packed a University of Denver auditorium. "Can I just shake your hand?" a woman in a baggy red sweater asks Jones. "You're doing such important work." If anything, Jones appears embarrassed by all the attention. Quiet and self-effacing, he's an unlikely hero for 9/11 conspiracy theorists of every stripe, but that's exactly what he's become. A physicist whose background includes work on nuclear fusion, Jones was put on leave by Brigham Young University in September after publishing a paper saying that the twin towers couldn't have collapsed solely as a result of the planes that rammed the upper floors on Sept. 11. The paper theorizes that explosives planted inside the building must have been involved. Though Jones doesn't specify who he believes planted the charges, he concedes it would have had to be "an inside job" and likely would have included either very powerful figures on the American scene or entities inside the government. Jones and his work reflect the mainstreaming of a movement that has defied the Bush administration's efforts to put it to rest and mystified people who have studied the events of that day closely. A startlingly large percentage of the population simply doesn't believe the official explanation. A national poll by the Scripps Survey Center at Ohio University conducted in the summer found that more than a third of people questioned believed the government either planned the attacks or could have stopped them but didn't.

2 U.S. Reports Seek to Counter Conspiracy Theories About 9/11

2006-09-02, New York Times

Faced with an angry minority of people who believe the Sept. 11 attacks were part of a shadowy and sprawling plot run by Americans, separate reports were published this week by the State Department and a federal science agency insisting that the catastrophes were caused by hijackers who used commercial airliners as weapons. The official narrative of the attacks has been attacked as little more than a cover story by an assortment of radio hosts, academics, amateur filmmakers and others. As a motive, they suggest that the Bush administration wanted to use the attacks to justify military action in the Middle East. A nationwide poll taken earlier this summer...found that more than a third of those surveyed said the federal government either took part in the attacks or allowed them to happen. And 16 percent said the destruction of the trade center was aided by explosives hidden in the buildings. Details are available at The State Department titled, "The Top Sept. 11 Conspiracy Theories" and says, "Numerous unfounded conspiracy theories about the Sept. 11 attacks continue to circulate, especially on the Internet." Produced by an arm of the State Department known as a "counter-misinformation team," the report is dated Aug. Among those now propelling the argument that explosives took down the trade center is Steven E. Jones, a physics professor at Brigham Young University, coeditor with Mr. Ryan of, which published his paper, "Why Indeed Did the World Trade Center Buildings Completely Collapse on 9-11-2001?"

Controversial prof to leave BYU

2006-10-22, Salt Lake Tribune

Steven Jones, the Brigham Young University physics professor embroiled in controversy over his theories on the Twin Towers' collapse, is retiring Jan. 1. "I am electing to retire so that I can spend more time speaking and conducting research of my choosing," Jones said in an interview Friday. "I appreciate the wonderful opportunity I have had to teach and serve and do research at BYU for more than 21 years." In September, the university...placed Jones on paid leave in order to conduct a professional review of his controversial Sept. 11 theories. The review...has been canceled due to Jones' retirement. The professor had given several public lectures on his theories of why the World Trade Center collapsed. Jones published the paper, "Why Indeed Did the World Trade Center Buildings Collapse?" online and began lecturing about his theories. Jones also recently was appointed co-chairman of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, "a nonpartisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, in fields as diverse as history, science, military affairs, psychology and philosophy, dedicated to exposing falsehoods and to revealing truths behind 9/11." He is also the co-editor of Journal of 9/11 Studies. He said he is not bitter toward BYU, and hopes to continue his research. [Jones' letter states] "Two structural engineering professors in Switzerland have recently spoken out as I have also done, declaring that explosives were with 'utmost probability' responsible for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 on Sept. 11."

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