Worldnetdaily Hearts Geocentrism

The Worldnetdaily is helping promote a new documentary that argues for a geocentric universe. Naturally, they assigned movie reviewer Drew Zahn, who knows less than nothing about science, to write the article and don’t even attempt to examine the actual science. But they do quote Rick DeLano, the producer of the film, saying all kinds of nonsensical things:

“The Principle,” which is opening now in select cities around the U.S., boldly challenges the widely accepted Copernican Principle, named after Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. He famously argued Earth revolves around the sun and went further to suggest Earth is in no central or favored place in the universe.

We inhabit, in famous cosmologist Carl Sagan’s words, “an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.”

Hogwash, the makers of “The Principle” say.

“Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong,” the movie’s trailer asserts.

Citing Isaac Newton, various current astronomers, Einstein himself and even defenders of the Copernican Principle, the documentary makes the case that the data science is discovering indicate the entire known universe is pointing directly at Earth.

“We are in a special place,” argues one of the voices quoted in the documentary. “I do believe that the universe was created by God.”

Rick DeLano, writer and producer of “The Principle,” declares the “question of our place in the cosmos is the greatest scientific detective story in all of history.”

“The world has been shaped by two great assertions: One places us in the center of it all, and the other one relegates us to utter insignificance. Amazingly, ‘The Principle’ is the first documentary to examine this persistent puzzle at the heart of modern science.”

The film traces the “persistent puzzle” from the ancient astronomer Ptolemy, centuries before Copernicus, to today. But rather than assuming science is at odds with religious faith, as in Galileo’s day, “The Principle” assumes the two dovetail.

“I have great respect for science,” DeLano said. “Where I become offended is when people ignore the evidence. They haven’t proven that something can come from nothing.

“Strong evidence shows there is a special direction in the cosmos, and it points toward Earth. This is a serious claim that could indicate that perhaps the Bible was true in its account of creation … and they’re ignoring it,” he continued. “Experimentation is supposed to be the acid test of an assumption. Experiment trumps all. In the universe, we are told there are no special places – no up, no down, no left, no right. But every experiment tells us we are indeed in a special place, which the scientific community sees as impossible.

And DeLano’s credentials for making the film. I’ll let him tell you himself:

My credentials follow. I never attended second grade. I never attended high school. I did attend college, but only until I achieved the age of 15 years and 9 months, at which point the statutory requirement of compulsory education ceased in my home state. I returned to college somewhat later, in order to determine why it is that I could not understand what Coltrane was doing in his “Giant Steps” solo. That took a semester. I happily departed academia, never to return, handmade friends with my teachers, most of whom vote along with what Chesterton terms the Democracy of the Dead.

This was the same documentary, by the way, that got Kate Mulgrew to narrate by lying to her. It’s all based on the views of Catholic apologist Robert Sungenis, who has been pushing geocentrism for decades. I’m not surprised to see the Worldnetdaily credulously promoting it.

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  • Chiroptera

    Fantastic! Inching ever more closely to flat-earthism! Soon we’ll also be asking whether the sky is actually a solid dome and whether earthquakes are caused by dragons fighting underneath the earth.

  • Trebuchet

    Sungenis is also a vicious anti-Semite and holocaust denier. I’ve been following this film all too closely for a while due to a thread on a forum I frequent. So far it’s made less than $20,000 in two theaters.

    Also see here for some spectacular paranoia from DeLano. The “prominent left-wing hate group” is most likely SPLC.

  • John Pieret

    My credentials follow.

    Follow what? … the circus elephants with a broom?

    Talk about the blind leading the blind.

  • marcus

    Chiroptera @1 “Soon we’ll also be asking whether the sky is actually a solid dome and whether earthquakes are caused by dragons fighting underneath the earth.”

    I see no reason to ask these questions. These theories only need further proofs to establish their truthiness.

    Except it’s turtles!

    Turtles goddamnit! (What are they teaching in school these days?)

  • Pierce R. Butler

    “Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong,” the movie’s trailer asserts.

    Well, yes – for a rather narrow and specific value of “we”.

  • lldayo

    My credentials follow. I never attended second grade. I never attended high school. I did attend college, but only until I achieved the age of 15 years and 9 months, at which point the statutory requirement of compulsory education ceased in my home state. I returned to college somewhat later, in order to determine why it is that I could not understand what Coltrane was doing in his “Giant Steps” solo. That took a semester.

    I’m just so confused by this sentence. For some reason I can’t even make fundie sense out of this! Ok, so he skipped second grade. It doesn’t say why, just that he did. He then never attended high school but was somehow admitted into a college. Just from these first few sentences it seems he may be some sort of a genius! But then, in the next sentence, he says he goes back to college to spend an ENTIRE SEMESTER Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”. Can someone fill me in because I’m just missing something here. None of it makes sense no matter what direction I look at it.

  • marcus

    @6 I think it is a, “If you can’t dazzle ’em with your brilliance, baffle ’em with your bullshit,” kind of thing. Of course even their bullshit is found wanting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1017276335 Strewth

    We have, for decades, successfully landed probes on other planets, or put them into orbits around other planets, using calculations based on the sun being the centre of the solar system. You lose, sir. You get nothing. Good day.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    The Earth is the center of the universe. Look in any direction and it goes out the same distance and then stops! Think about it! I just blew your mind! And did you ever look at your hand? I mean, did you ever really look at it? It’s all right there, man! In your hand!

  • Mobius

    There are any number of astronomical observations, such as epicycles and stellar parallax, that are very simply and elegantly explained by a heliocentric solar system. Without that as a basic premise, one has to jump through all sorts of hoops (cf. Ptolemy) to come up with an explanation.

  • raven

    Can someone fill me in because I’m just missing something here. None of it makes sense no matter what direction I look at it.

    ???? I couldn’t make sense of it either.

    It could be that he has a fogged up mind and doesn’t make sense at all at any time.

    I”m also betting with great odds that he is a poly-kook. DeLano probably believes just about anything as long as it is kooky and contrafactual, anti-vaxxer, demons, Illuminait, UN Agenda 21, etc.. When you cast off from reality, everything becomes true.

  • scienceavenger

    They haven’t proven that something can come from nothing.

    Uh, yeah, they have. And “nothing” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  • marcus

    @9 Pass that spliff over here Modus.

  • Kevin Kehres

    @9 Modusoperandi

    I think you actually have their argument down exactly. To wit:

    From our perspective, everything in the universe is moving away from a central point — that point being Earth — then Earth is, by all of the available evidence, the center of the universe.

    Encapsulating in a long sentence what it took them an entire documentary to argue.

  • raven

    SPLcenter.org:

    The magazine also reported that it had found a Rick DeLano listed as a defendant in a 2002 $10 million suit alleging he and others had conspired “to misrepresent stock in Internet companies” that was settled out of court. When reporter Colin Lecher asked him about the company named in the lawsuit, DeLano went cold. “That would have nothing to do with my film and I think this conversation is over,” he said.

    I didn’t find too much on DeLano. He seems to keep a low profile.

    1. This could be because he is a petty criminal and internet scammer. Read it above, something about stock fraud during the internet bubble days.

    2. He did threaten to get PZ Myers fired and threatened him with unspecified horrible things during the Crackergate incident. AFAIK, PZ Myers is still around. I’ve seen Chihuahua’s that were more convincing.

    In terms of rabid Catholic kooks and lunatic fringers, he is low on the food chain.

  • raven

    From our perspective, everything in the universe is moving away from a central point — that point being Earth — then Earth is, by all of the available evidence, the center of the universe.

    That is true but trivial.

    Every other point in the universe is also the center. So every point is the center and the universe has no center.

  • chilidog99

    Remember: gravity is a lie. The earth sucks.

  • Sastra

    From my perspective, everything in the universe revolves around a central point: me. I mean, I’m just going by the available evidence.

    I think the gibberish about “credentials” is supposed to establish that he’s a brave maverick who can’t sit in rows like the other sheeple in school and so we can trust that he’s not going to be hoodwinked by a bunch of propaganda, no sirree. And he’s into the coolest music. He’s cooler than you.

  • DaveL

    What’s funny is that there really is an interesting story behind how so many educated people back in Galileo’s day could believe in a geocentric universe. You see, back then they had no understanding of the wave nature of light. It turns out that the maximum resolution for a telescope is limited by (among other things) the size of the aperture that lets light in, because of diffraction. This made distant stars show up as a much larger disc than they would have otherwise.

    So all these astronomers of the day had calculated out a minimum distance the stars had to be in order to account for their apparent lack of annual parallax, and they compared this to the apparent size of the stellar image in their telescopes, and came up with the conclusion that, for Galileo to be correct, distant stars had to be absolutely, ridiculously huge compared to our own sun.

  • peterh

    All that flim-flammery and DeLano didn’t resort to epicycles even once! (But, then, I haven’t seen and will never see the entire movie.)

  • kantalope

    so in a Earth centered universe Mars would be circling the Earth and would not vary in distance like it does now…on average mars is 225 million kilometers away. Which would give it an orbit around the earth of about 1,727,000,000 kilometers per day. Which would be around 71,960,000 km per hour. To put a lander on Mars the spaceship would have to match that velocity. The fastest spaceship is going to be Juno when it gets to Jupiter (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/life-unbounded/2013/02/25/the-fastest-spacecraft-ever/) and it will be going about 257,500 km per hour. Or about 1/280th of the speed necessary to catch up to Mars…so something is not adding up.

  • http://heb712.blogspot.com heddle

    Just to be fair, if dark energy does not exist, then the only–or at least the simplest way to explain the observed acceleration of the universe’s expansion is to jettison the Copernican Principle. (Which would not, btw, endorse geocentricism.) So at some level the jury is still out on the Copernican Principle. Not that I’d bet against it.

  • colnago80

    In order to argue for geocentrism, one would also have to abandon Newtonian mechanics. Observations prove that the moons of Jupiter indeed are moons revolving around that planet. Given their distance from Jupiter and their periods of revolution, we can derive its mass. Similarly, from the distance of the moon from the earth and its period of revolution, we can derive its mass. The results of these calculations indicate that Jupiter is more then 100 times the mass of the earth. Thus the notion that Jupiter revolves around the earth is piffle as Newton’s laws require that small mass celestial bodies revolve around large mass celestial bodies.

  • http://adventuresinzymology.blogspot.com JJ831

    We are in a special place

    *Pats on head*

    Every place is special in it’s own way. Would you like a cookie?

  • caseloweraz

    …the documentary makes the case that the data science is discovering indicate the entire known universe is pointing directly at Earth…

    And laughing fit to bust. Because of people like Drew Zahn.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    @6: I couldn’t make sense of it either. My first thought was that he was a dropout and a truant, not a child prodigy. Then he claims to have enrolled in college without even having a high school equivalency, which should be impossible. Then he’s a dropout again.

    I mostly suspect he’s uneducated and full of shit, so he can’t even give a straight account of his lack of achievement.

  • freehand

    Bwahahahahahaha!

    .

    Geocentrism! His “theories” don’t have to convince those uppity atheist liberal scientists, of course. They only have to be incomprehensible to the rubes, and sound scientificalistic.

  • Trebuchet

    In order to argue for geocentrism, one would also have to abandon Newtonian mechanics.

    According to DeLano:

    Thanks to WGN TV for letting us know that the only argument against geocentrism is, apparently, Newton, whom physics abandoned at the start of the 20th century!

    So there! Of course the “cow college” I attended in the late ’60’s still taught Newtonian mechanics so I used all the way through my engineering career. Expect airplanes to be falling out of the geocentric sky any minute now.

    True story: For several years in the early 2000’s, the center of my universe was my desk at The Really Big Airplane Company. I had a sign to that effect so it must have been true. If you noticed a bit of a wobble around 2003, that was when I moved to a different building.

  • Trebuchet

    Oh, and the real force behind “The Principle” is Robert Sungenis, not DeLano.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Sungenis

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Robert_Sungenis

  • conway

    Based on everything in that argument, I am the Center of the Universe. Therefore, I am God. No need to bow, folks, but ten percent of all your money would be nice.

  • dingojack

    Conway – no 10% for you*! But here, have some of MO’s ‘special’ cookies.

    :) Dingo

    ————

    * I’m at the centre of the universe, therefore….

  • anubisprime

    It’s all based on the views of Catholic apologist Robert Sungenis

    It is the likes of Sungenis, that ostensibly by default become, or assume, the voice of Catholicism in the wider community that made it possible for the Catholic church to refuse point blank to apologize, or even admit their fuckwitted response, to Galileo.

    In fact, they still cannot quite form the words of admitting their abject stupidity, which they term ‘error’, even now.

    The media and other tainted sources made a rather large hoo hah over the supposed ‘apology’ made by JP2 in 1992…in fact he never really offered one and actually blamed Galileo for the ‘misunderstanding’, ostensibly echoing certain words from a Cardinal Ratty…who later assumed the top doggy slot.

    That attitude apparently stemmed from religious philosophers including Ernst Bloch and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, as well as Paul Feyerabend.

    In fact what Benny did say in conclusion was … “It would be foolish to construct an impulsive apologetic on the basis of such views.”

    Apparently the whole affair was a “tragic mutual incomprehension”

    But the Church…who were only relying on their knowledge in the day and cutting edge stuff it was to…was only partially to blame!

    Galileo for his part was a terrible bore and very stubborn.

    Which ever way that was cut it sounds not so much an apology more a tacit support for traditional Catholic dogma based in 15th century ignorance.

    Benny later cancelled a visit to La Sapienza University because they were naturally pissed off at his double dealing weasel words.

    There has never ever been a straightforward apology to Galileo from the Catholic church, after over 350 yrs there is never likely to be.

  • comfychair

    The Earf IS TOO flat, and to prove it all you have to do is go outside and lay a yardstick on the ground.

  • colnago80

    Below is a link to an essay by the biologist and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov where he demonstrates the real fallacy of the thinking of creationists and flat earthers. These folks think in terms of black and white, where explanations are either 100% right or 100% wrong. Asimov shows that there are degrees of wrongness where some explanations are wronger then others,

    http://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm

  • lorn

    If a documentary is entirely wrong at a factual level is it still a documentary? When does it become creative writing?

    This is another side of the conservative/liberal divide.

    Liberals tend to see humans as flawed and troubles animals with potential to be better, if not great. The view of history is of flawed humans trapped in troubling social norms, ignorance, and superstition but striving to improving things. Liberals typically see our ancestors as brave, determined, sometimes noble but always flawed. History is an ever brightening horizon even as progress is not consistent and we more than occasionally slide back and face reversals.

    In contrast conservatives see our ancestors and their legacy as unalloyed goods that cannot be improved upon in any serious way. At best we can maintain the rightness and nobility of the past but this requires purity of mind, body, thought and deed. For conservatives time is a struggle to avoid decay and degeneration.

    The two preferred stories reflect these perspectives. Liberals lean toward evolution, in part because it is based on a huge array of established facts, logic and reason, but mostly because it is emotionally compatible with their world view. Evolution is the story of a slow struggle to adapt, grow, keep improving ourselves and our situation with improvement being a matter of continued struggle and concerted effort.

    Likewise conservatives are emotionally attached to a story of past specialness and our origin in a brush with with a personality self-defined as goodness incarnate. Goodness we can only hold onto by avoiding impurity and degradation.