The Principle: A Documentary About Geocentrism

This was introduced to me on a radio talk show and I followed up with a trip to Google and the original post at Slate. The text is rather biased but on the other hand, the concept of Geocentrism is just cocoa puffs. Here’s what Phil Plait has to say in Slate:

Of all the wrongiest wrongs that ever wronged wrongness, Geocentrism is way up on the list. The idea that the Earth is the center of the Universe makes creationism look positively scientific in comparison. It might be edged out by people who think the Earth is flat, but just barely.

And yet somebody actually went out and made a “documentary” where, apparently, that is exactly what they’re trying to promote. It’s called The Principle, and it’s making the rounds on the ‘Net right now. Here’s the trailer. …

The trailer does seem to be making a case for Geocentrism (it’s mentioned specifically), but given the title, I would guess they’re going to try to make a broader point that the Universe itself was made—created, if you will—purposely for us. This idea (broadly speaking) is called the strong anthropic principle (hence the doco title), and as a philosophy it’s not terribly informative. It’s fun to think about in a limited sense, but in the end it always boils down to “God did it,” which is slamming a door in the face of exploration and inquiry. I’m not a big fan of that.

About the trailer, yes, it’s narrated by Kate Mulgrew, aka Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager. Some people are lamenting this, wondering if she’s a geocentrist. I doubt it, and you can’t necessarily judge an actor for the work they do. …

What’s far more interesting is that the trailer shows physicists Michio Kaku and Lawrence Krauss, both of whom, I strongly suspect, would call Geocentrism nonsense (and wait! Krauss did exactly that). So why are they in the movie? I would guess the producers didn’t tell them exactly what the movie was about when they did their interviews; that’s more common than you’d think. …

Anyway, the topic of geocentrism is interesting. You have to separate out little-g geocentrism as a frame of reference in physics (like saying “The Sun rose”) versus capital-G Geocentrism which is that the Earth is the center of the Universe because the Bible says so. The former is perfectly fine in limited cases (we use it to launch satellites and point our telescopes), but the latter is provably wrong.

I’ll note that the guy who made this documentary, Robert Sungenis, has been promoting this flavor of nonsense for a while now. I wrote about a Geocentrism conference he ran a few years back (called, seriously, “Galileo Was Wrong, the Church Was Right”). To give you an idea of the guy we’re talking about here, he has a history of saying anti-Semitic things and also of making Holocaust denial claims (and you can find more lovely things about him here). That would fit with the conspiratorial tone of some of the movie trailer, too.

So I expect this movie/documentary will be more of this same flavor of nonsense. We’ll see. As I’ve said before, the path of reality is narrow, and once you step off it, all manners of silliness seem equally plausible.

Do you think that the Main-Stream Media will give this nonsense equal time on the news? Ridiculous? They do it with Climate Change deniers.

What are your thoughts on this?

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