Transcript for “Response to Ben Davidson” by Professor Dave Explains
0:01 Hey everyone, so some of you may have seen the video I put out a few days ago debunking the electric universe. Needless to say, it pissed off a few people, most notably, this guy. Ben Davidson. He made sure to let me know how pissed off he was by email. He doesn’t seem to understand that I was debunking the preposterous fantasy led by Wal Thornhill and pals, who themselves refer to it as the “electric universe,” a phrase that is everywhere on various websites, including the URL itself.
0:26 This is different from the discredited and obsolete scientific field called plasma cosmology, which is only part of what Ben pushes on his viewers. So basically he is just whining that I debunked someone else and not him. Then he accused me of saying that proponents of the electric universe believe the earth is flat, even though I very clearly said this in my video:
0:51 When I pointed this out to him, quoting the part of my video you just heard, he literally denied having made this accusation earlier in that email thread. Then, completely unprovoked, as I had never even heard of him prior to making that video, Ben decided he wanted to slander me and even threaten me, in addition to sending his little minions to berate and antagonize me, which hundreds of them decided to do, on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
1:13 The funny thing is that I actually regret distinguishing so clearly between electric universe followers and flat earthers, because I found out that they are way more similar than I thought. Just like flat earthers, all they did was whine about how dumb I am. None of them were able to refute a single thing I said in my video, nor did they even try. None of them were able to summarize anything Ben said in his response video, nor did they even try. All they did was spout insults and paste a bunch of links to things they don’t understand, which is the equivalent of saying “My Dad can beat up your Dad.”
1:40 This is because the majority of them are about as science illiterate as flat earthers. None of them are really interested in science, they just found a channel that serves up a narrative they enjoy, and they gobble it up without applying any critical thinking. This will be demonstrated quite clearly as I first explain precisely why Ben is not a real scientist, and then proceed to reiterate some of the points I already made that demonstrate how what his followers subscribe to is at best just bad science.
2:04 So let’s begin. Ben Davidson, who is he? Given that he presents himself as such a colossal figure in cosmology, astrophysics, geology, and planetary science, he must be well-educated, right? Nope. Not in science anyway. Ben studied economics and was a lawyer. He is nothing remotely resembling a credible source on any scientific topic. I don’t know how many of you knew that, but in case you didn’t, now you know.
2:27 But Dave, you aren’t a cosmologist either! That’s true, I’m not. I do have degrees in chemistry and science education, but it’s moot, as if Ben’s fans were actually going by degrees, then they wouldn’t be listening to him in the first place.
2:39 But much more importantly, I don’t have to be a cosmologist, because I don’t contradict the field of cosmology. I’m a science communicator. I report science. I don’t have the hubris required to assert myself over the people who actually study these things for a living. That’s what Ben does. He ignores all the science he doesn’t understand, which is most of it, and pretends that his ramblings are equivalently relevant, and are only rejected because those mean, mean scientists just can’t handle the truth.
3:03 Now let’s get to his YouTube channel. What does he do on it? He peddles a narrative that is a combination of anti-establishment conspiratorial dribble, combined with trailer snippets for the next blockbuster disaster movie. See for yourself.
3:16 Ben Davidson (V.O.): “…black ops and USAPs, climate change, 9/11, extraterrestrials, HAARP, solar flares, GMOs, comet conspiracies, chemtrails, Nibiru, the NSA, the Illuminati, Alex Jones, tectonic destabilization, mind control, world war 3, FEMA, pole shifts, tsunamis, volcanoes… you all know darn well I didn’t even come close to getting it all…” (Davidson 2014).
3:42 As you can see, it’s quite a wide net Ben casts to ensnare every variety of suggestible viewer, and once he has them, he dazzles them with fanciful claims that credible scientists would never touch. Quite predictably, he doubles down on that as a point of honor, pretending that his unaffiliated status makes him a trailblazer when it really just makes him a total amateur. And it is easy to expose him as an amateur when he says things like this.
4:05 Ben Davidson (V.O.): “…either asteroids favored one half of this area and completely ignored the rest over what the mainstream says is millions and millions of years of “asteroid prejudice,” uh, I’m gonna write a book… um, or, the same electrical power that carved this feature was also throwing lightning bolts at one end of it…” (Davidson 2017).
4:30 Hey Ben. You see this thing? It’s a volcano. What you cropped out of the image you showed are even more volcanoes. Can you think of a reason why volcanic activity could explain the local lack of visible cratering? Here’s a hint, it has to do with what volcanoes do.
4:47 So by his own words, it is evident that he has no reservations discussing things he is clueless about, which is a lot, given his complete lack of proper scientific education.
4:56 But wait! He wrote a textbook? And publications? Well, by top paper he means only paper, one containing figures with axis unlabeled that correlates earthquakes with magnetic activity about as reliably as it correlates with what I had for lunch.
5:11 And just how cited is it? Very little in fact. Furthermore, this one cites him to say he’s wrong, this one is from a startup at an incubator physically located on NASA’s campus but absolutely not NASA employees as he proudly claims, while others are people in his echo chamber, or not reputable publications. One of them is even a rant about 9/11. That sure seems academic.
5:32 So Ben, you cobbled together some fluff, hired a statistician to make it look like science, and put it out through your buddies in a vanity publication with no peer review which does not show up in SciFinder, which means it is not real science. It was merely an attempt to appear legitimate.
5:47 And the claim about the textbook is also quite puzzling. I can’t find anything about it online other than reviews complaining that it falls apart immediately, nor is there any evidence of any schools using it, but even if there are a few, it’s irrelevant. There are schools with programs in homeopathy. It doesn’t mean homeopathy isn’t pseudoscience. So I’m sorry, but your attempt to paint yourself as a scholar holds absolutely no water, as it’s painfully clear how unqualified you are.
6:11 In fact, there are plenty of legitimate scientists who have thoroughly debunked your claims already, so I won’t bother attempting to rehash what experts say, I’ll just link to them below in case anyone is curious:
“Ben Davidson Exposed — 15 May 2014” by Dr. Keith Strong
“Ben Davidson Exposed — Part 2: SunStroke — 18 June 2014” by Dr. Strong
“Second response to Suspicious0bservers” by Journalist Peter Hadfield
“Suspicious0bservers Debunked” by Space Weather
6:21 So, given your questionable status, it’s not surprising that you would react this way to people who discredit you, though in this case I’m puzzled by all the nastiness and threats, since I wasn’t criticizing you, or even knew who you were. In any case, let’s see what you had to say about me:
6:36 Ben Davidson (V.O.): “These are what he claims the electric universe says, and from now on I’m just going to use the proper name: plasma cosmology, which by the way is his first mistake…” (Davidson 2020).
6:43 Dave Farina (V.O.) As we already established, these are different things.
6:55 Again, it seems neither you nor your viewers listen very well. I was talking about the most outlandish proponents. Like this weirdo (Ken Wheeler), who has a YouTube channel almost as big as yours.
7:06 I was quite clear that most pushers of the electric universe are not so far gone: “…to be fair not all followers are this far out to lunch. Most adherents of the electric universe acknowledge the existence of gravity,” but none of you were actually listening.
7:20 And again, Ben, I was not talking about plasma cosmology. Electric Universe explicitly states that stars are not powered by fusion but rather purely by magic electric currents that connect all the stars and galaxies. It’s on the official website, along with references to all the Velikovskian nonsense spouted by Thunderbolts, all of which somehow correlates with an analysis of cave paintings. If you also believe that’s ridiculous, then wonderful, we agree that the electric universe is ridiculous, the thing that I was debunking in my video. Although I wonder why you then use their stage to push your claims.
8:04 Wow, Ben. Friction-driven attraction? You think friction creates attraction? Seriously? Did you mean friction-driven charge build up that results in electrostatic attraction? Try getting a piece of aluminum foil to stick to some metal by rubbing them together. Or rub two balloons on your head and see them repel each other and not attract.
8:23 This is what happens when you never studied any physics, Ben. You also talk about the “stickiness of planets” that doesn’t seem to show up when we perform gravity assist around them, something about dark plasma which has nothing to do with dark matter since that is easily detected at wavelengths other than visible, you claim this graphic of the cosmic web is a map of currents with no basis whatsoever, you pretend this paper and the NASA press release about it are separate sources and that it says things about gravity that it doesn’t, and the list goes on.
8:53 Great I’m glad you agree these things exist, lots of people say they don’t. I think we are seeing a pattern here.
8:59 Basically, the meat of Ben’s response was just him complaining ad nauseam about how something tangential to what I was debunking is somehow equivalent to the thing I was debunking.
9:09 It’s therefore quite perplexing that he continues to email me with increasingly hostile threats, insinuating that people are going to come to my house and get me. How do you debate someone who delivers infantile threats by email? And what would we debate about? Plasma cosmology?
9:25 Plasma cosmology may not be as laughable as the electric universe, but it is also false. Ben falls all over himself to cite the scientists that laid the groundwork for plasma cosmology, not the most notably of which is the author of this book, insisting that I would understand only 5% of it.
9:39 Perhaps, Ben. Perhaps not. But I doubt you understand it either, as none of these people you regularly cite ever said anything that would support the dubious claims you make about planetary science.
9:49 Also, you didn’t seem to get the memo that data collected over the past 40 years make this model irrelevant. It does not predict Hubble’s law. It does not account for the relative abundance of light elements which is predicted by big bang nucleosynthesis. It does not explain the cosmic microwave background radiation. The list goes on.
10:07 Plasma cosmology is a model that was put forward, and then had to be rejected because it is inconsistent with data collected in cosmology and astrophysics. That’s why cosmologists and astrophysicists ignore it. Not because they are meany-mean-heads that didn’t invite you to their club. The model doesn’t work.
10:26 Some old scientists continue to cling to it because it’s the only thing in their bag of tricks, which is how you get conferences that are increasingly shrouded in mysticism since there is no reasonable data to cite, and have taken to inviting even unqualified non-scientists like Ben to pad the roster, since almost no one reputable would be caught dead at such a charade.
10:46 What do people talk about at these things? Predictably, you all just refer vaguely to legitimate aspects of plasma physics that nobody disputes, like the existence of Birkeland currents, or details of solar activity that are well-established. You seem to think that stating facts about plasma physics somehow entitles you to then pile whatever you want on top, against the complete dismissal of real scientists, who actually know what they are talking about.
11:09 That you can utter a single sentence in opposition to general relativity is absurd, as I explained at length in my video. The level of corroboration of that model makes it practically beyond reproach in general, let alone for someone uneducated like you.
11:22 That you can cast doubt on the existence of dark matter, pretending that it is just some ad hoc solution to desperately save a failing Einsteinian model is also ridiculous. You’re just knowingly obfuscating the concept and denying the solid evidence that supports its existence from multiple observational approaches. Astrophysicists are very confident that it is there. They just don’t yet know WHAT it is. How long did it take to find neutrinos? And the Higgs boson? Do you know? No matter where dark matter research ends up going, neither you nor I are even remotely qualified to lecture on it, as we are not astrophysicists. End of story.
11:59 But honestly, all of this analysis is superfluous. Even without looking at any of the science, the sheer breadth of what Ben claims to be an expert on is an immediate indicator that he’s misrepresenting himself. To think, without a single scientific degree of any kind, he is a leading figure in climatology, geology, astrophysics, cosmology, planetary science, how can he possibly challenge the experts in all of these fields?
12:25 He can’t. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He just knows how to make people think that he knows what he’s talking about, because he is what, boys and girls? A lawyer.
12:37 When it comes to science, Ben is at absolute best nothing but an armchair scientist. In fact, he is the king of the armchair scientists. That’s why his viewers place him on a pedestal. Because they are also armchair scientists, and they feel validated by him. They feel that if Ben can know all of these things without having to go to school or take exams or work in a lab, then so can they, and that is indeed what his viewers tell themselves, which is why none of them can muster a coherent thought to defend their worldview when challenged.
13:05 It’s an echo chamber for delusional narcissists who think they are smarter than Einstein when in reality they couldn’t pass a high school physics quiz.
13:13 The mindless fashion in which Ben’s viewers lap up his ramblings underscore the larger psychological issue that allow people like Ben to exist. His viewers do not understand science, and their interest in his channel has nothing to do with science. It’s the narrative he is selling. And he’s a pretty good salesman, I’ll give him that.
13:31 The irony is that I explained the psychology of this delusion immaculately towards the end of my electric universe debunk, so it’s a shame that none of them actually made it that far. Perhaps they could have seen themselves in the mirror and grown up a little.
13:43 So that’s it, Ben. You’re not a scientist, no matter how much you like to pretend you are, and anyone who’s over here shouting at me like he’s some kind of messiah, you’re a walking demonstration of everything I just said. This has been a most undesirable interaction, so I am quite pleased to bid you goodbye.
Davidson, Ben. “Ben Davidson: The Path Forward Is Clear | EU2016.” YouTube – ThunderboltsProject: 06 January 2017. Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ08nS32KrI
Davidson, Ben. “Debunking Professor Dave | Electric/Plasma Cosmology.” YouTube – Suspicious0bservers: 04 May 2020. Website: https://youtu.be/xxM_uB74Zcs?t=156
Davidson, Ben. “I wish I knew this when I woke up.” YouTube – Suspicious0bservers: 05 April 2014. Website: https://youtu.be/A-auk5ZsP2M
Farina, Dave. “Debunking the Electric Universe.” YouTube – Professor Dave Explains: 01 May 2020. Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9q-v4lBGuw
Farina, Dave. “Response to Ben Davidson.” YouTube – Professor Dave Explains: 11 May 2020. Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VOazE6M8Cc
RationalWiki. “Suspicious0bservers.” RationalWiki.org: 28 November 2020. Website: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Suspicious0bservers
RationalWiki. “Electric Universe.” RationalWiki.org: 12 August 2020. Website: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Electric_Universe