And THIS Is Why A Flat Earther Should Never Debate A Physics Professor Live On Camera


It’s an age-old debate, but with a modern twist: do you really attract more flies with honey? Or in a more 2000s parlance, is there any value in telling people on the internet who have ‘stupid ideas’ that they’re ‘morons’?

Well… if the video below featuring a live debate between ‘Professor Dave’ versus ‘Flat Earth Dave’ is anything to go by the answer is yes… there definitely is value in telling people with stupid ideas that they’re morons. The video’s had more than three million views, no mean feat considering its content in a dumbed down world, and its length (it’s just over an hour long).

The debate is exactly what you think it is, and went about as well (for Flat Earth Dave) as you thought it might… and then, perhaps even a little worse than that. Put simply, it’s a train wreck. A big, humiliating, and at times pretty funny, train wreck.

By way of background, Professor Dave Farina is a scientist and Professor of Chemistry whose taught biology, physics and chemistry, and also has a Masters in Science Communication. Speaking of which, his style is, well, the word ‘blunt’ doesn’t quite capture it. Rude, antagonistic and dismissive better sums it up… but then so does ‘as witty as he is informed’. The guy is genuinely funny, and obviously smart, and once described former US president Donald Trump as a “disgusting, narcissistic, ignorant, extremely unintelligent buffoon that has turned America into the laughing stock of the world”. So, you know, he does politics the right way too. This tweet gives you a little insight into his informative-combative approach.

His ‘opponent’ in the debate is ‘Flat Earth Dave’, real name David Weiss, who has a growing profile in the ‘Flat Earth movement’ (yes, they consider themselves a ‘movement’). Flat Earth Dave has no formal qualifications to speak of, but what he lacks in education and critical thinking skills, he more than makes up for with passion,  and the Dunning-Kruger affect.

The video is surprisingly easy watching, but if you’re not up for the full hour there’s a few highlights.

They answer the question ‘What is gravity’ here at 2:28. And here at 10:30 Flat Earth Dave explains How stars form (because they “start getting gravity”). This bit at 51:04 perhaps best sums up the mentality of a ‘Flat Earth Dave’. He’s asked what it would take for him to change his view, and why it’s so important for him to “maintain this belief”.

We won’t spoil the punchline, but Flat Earth Dave responds by suggesting he’s just searching for the truth; makes a ridiculous scientific claim about sunlight in the Antarctic that is factually, demonstrably untrue; is corrected (by Professor Dave AND the host, a filmmaker and journalist who doesn’t even have a scientific background); ignores the corrections; then doubles down and explains it’s all the result of “camera trickery”.

In other words… he does the child equivalent of smearing himself in his own faeces while proudly smiling and awaiting applause.

All of which brings us neatly back to our main dilemma… flies, honey etc. There’s a genuine discussion to be had about the best ways to debunk Flat Earthers, anti-Vaxxers, Qanon conspiracy theorists, and Trumpists et al. Do you straight up humiliate them the way Professor Dave does, including calling them morons to their face? Or is calling people with ‘stupid views’ stupid ultimately counter-productive?

Maybe it depends on the situation, and the conspiracy. Flat earth theory, arguably, is the lowest and dumbest of all of them. Trumpism, for example, seems more complex (and certainly more widely practiced).

But either way, it’s hard to argue that Professor Dave’s dismantling of Flat Earth Dave isn’t both entertaining and compelling. And in a post-truth world, where it’s not just okay to embrace ‘alternative facts’, but it’s actually rewarded, and where we no longer have to agree on a shared reality, real truth is a pretty valuable commodity.

You can subscribe to Professor Dave’s Youtube channel here.

You can subscribe to Andrew Gold, the journalist/filmmaker who hosted the debate, here.

We’re not going to give you Flat Earth Dave’s website, because he’s an idiot grifter whose trying to sell merchandise based on his own rampant stupidity…. (see what we did there!?)

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