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Suspicious "experiment/demonstration" — status: debunked

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VinzC:
Hi all.

Someone contacted me recently about a video they found on the internet about alleged effects of EM waves and radiofrequencies on health. I personally have no faith in such claims but I'm not sure I alone have all the required knowledge and argumentative talents to debunk this. Therefore I'd like to request your help. Here's the video in question.

Disclaimer: I know I am already biased (negatively that is) and I hereby may have lead you away from neutrality but can you, please, do all you can to remain as neutral as possible? Rest assured that I'll meanwhile do my own research on the subject, too, in order to compare my analysis with yours.

Also please note that I'd like to read argumentation from you instead of "that's just BS" (I think I already know) as I will most probably have to provide a valid argumentation to the person who contacted me.

Much thanks in advance.

ebastler:
I don't feel like watching that long video. Where does he make controversial statements (about alleged physiological effects of electromagnetic radiation, I assume)?

When I skimmed through it, it was all about detecting charge, capacitive coupling and radiated emissions -- which get coupled to the human body as they do to other, inanimate objects. Not all that interesting, but not a scam either. Could you give timestamps of the sections you found problematic?

joeqsmith:

--- Quote from: VinzC on May 15, 2024, 02:59:17 pm ---...
Someone contacted me recently about a video they found on the internet about alleged effects of EM waves and radiofrequencies on health. ...

... I will most probably have to provide a valid argumentation to the person who contacted me.
...

--- End quote ---

I have had people write me with similar questions about various products like blankets that protect you while you sleep.  For the most part I ignore them.  I did a quick scan of the video and saw the plasma globe and talking head.  Really not something I would spend any time watching.   

That said obviously RF can cause problems with health and there are published standards for the acceptable levels.  I may even have a copy at home if you would like me to look it up.   If the discussion is more on the level of people that write me about their blankets, rather than spending your time providing a valid argument, ask them too.  That is assuming you actually have some interest in it.   

 

VinzC:
Ok, I'm already ten minutes in and I have noted dozens of false claims, evasive wording, incorrect explanations, wrong descriptions...

It reeks bullshit more than I anticipated. It typically is the kind of "demonstration" bullshitters use to manipulate ignorant audiences and lead them into believing into harmful effects while still remains to be demonstrated. Comments are disabled, which is already a red flag. He uses instruments without technical details, no datasheet, no source, no documentation, no nothing.

At one third of the video, I've watched enough to make myself a permanent opinion on that clown.


--- Quote from: ebastler on May 15, 2024, 03:35:01 pm ---I don't feel like watching that long video. Where does he make controversial statements (about alleged physiological effects of electromagnetic radiation, I assume)?

When I skimmed through it, it was all about detecting charge, capacitive coupling and radiated emissions -- which get coupled to the human body as they do to other, inanimate objects. Not all that interesting, but not a scam either. Could you give timestamps of the sections you found problematic?

--- End quote ---
Thanks for helping. From what I've noticed so far, every minute or so. Don't waste your time, I didn't expect it to be so easy to debunk, even with my limited knowledge.


--- Quote from: joeqsmith on May 15, 2024, 03:59:50 pm ---Really not something I would spend any time watching.
--- End quote ---
Truth is the person who contacted me already propagates such disinformation via conferences and asked me to help him find evidence. Fortunately (I hope) they also told me they were in search for "experts" in the field to verify if all that's said is valid... I'll try my best to make that person un-believe that crap. I don't hold my hopes very high though...


--- Quote from: joeqsmith on May 15, 2024, 03:59:50 pm ---That said obviously RF can cause problems with health and there are published standards for the acceptable levels.

--- End quote ---

The levels I've come to know through conference videos of scientists who studied the field, the most important "candidates" are prolonged smartphone users, due to the constant exposure and the emission levels close to the skin. However no significant effect has been demonstrated yet and the only conclusive experiments that were undertaken cannot be extrapolated to humans (FTR done on mice that already were susceptible to develop tumors and were exposed to both high levels of RF emissions **and** known carcinogenous substances).

VinzC:
I can't believe I watched up to 25 minutes of that crap!

Here are my conclusion: this is pure and utter bull crap. As for red flags:
[*]cascade of logical fallacies
[*]bold claims, lies and deceit
[*]technical arguments used outside rigorous context and definitions
[*]jargon without any theory nor reference
[*]vague, fuzzy, incomplete definitions
[*]dubious analogies and comparisons
[*]no order of magnitude given (probably to mislead the audience, letting it form a wrong idea)
[*]invalid demonstrations, without any relation with the premises and, worse, potentially falsified (e.g. measuring 200mA in a copper tubing loop next to a wallwart adapter, I only get 4mA next to a laptop brick...)
[*]unbacked up claims, no source, no verification
[*]no demonstrated evidence as to the relation between the subject of the webinar and the... "experiments"
[*]use of inappropriate hardware (e.g. AM radio instead of a near field probe, a multimeter in amp mode to measure the current through the body instead of appropriate medical electrodes... ah, and also touching only **one** f@$ing probe!  :-DD about @18:00)
[*]instrumentalizing perfectly explained physical phenomena (without giving the appropriate theory of course) to serve a cause that doesn't say its name
[*]topics boarded without prior experience in the field, that is explaining medical causes using electrical approach, use of inappropriate hardware, electric not medical as it should, measuring currents with only one lead... (that one cracked me up)[/list]
I could also add blatant incompetence as the guy is perfectly unable (or willing) to make the difference between capacitive coupling, moving charges, electrostatic and electrodynamic... Fortunately the number of views is very low. I also flagged the video. First time I ever do that in a lifetime!

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