The Principle: Bad Science, Worse Anthropology, Worstestest Theology

The Principle: Bad Science, Worse Anthropology, Worstestest Theology October 22, 2014

A Catholic scientist looks at the embarrassment that is this movie. It has its premiere this Friday at one theatre in a strip mall miles outside of Chicago, where it will be seen by the filmakers’ family and friends, perhaps some investors wanting to see where all the money they flushed down the loo went, and a few connoisseurs of Catholic arcana, cinematic train wrecks and bizarre backwaters of the culture war. Then, instead of fulfilLing its destiny to FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE OUR VIEW OF THE UNIVERSE FOREVER as Rick DeLano has been boasting, it will vanish and reappear on DVDs offered for sale at “We True Catholics Must Stop Evil Pope Francis!!!” events held by small gatherings of the Greatest Catholics of All Time. And yet, for all that, Bob Sungenis and, in particular, Rick DeLano, the P.T. Barnum of Reactionary Catholicism, have done a bangup job of making this ridiculous film into yet another occasion for the Faith to be laughed at by the Gentiles. And yet another case of epic bad judgment by Reactionary Catholics who seriously believe that wisdom will die with them as they keep backing wrong horses, visible-from-space disasters, and complete folly. Here is a film that will fill the enemies of the Faith with glee, make people who take it seriously stupider than they ever were before, and make life for people who take science and Faith harder then ever. Thanks, guys!

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  • Cypressclimber

    I agree with your post at least 99%. Just one question, seriously: are there any notable Catholic public figures — or any Catholics of a serious number — backing this “wrong horse”? I simply missed it.

    • chezami

      The suckers who financed it, and Michael Voris who did not one but two puff piece interviews with the producers, and his audience who support the project because 1) Voris told them to and 2) if scum like me are warning about it then it is the duty of all Right-Thinking Real Christians to support it. I sometimes get the impression that if I spoke against the devil, the Greatest Catholic all Time would cheer for him just to spite me. It’s a dumb way to live.

      • Cypressclimber

        D’oh, I forgot about Voris. Point taken.

    • Nick Corrado

      I’ve seen advertisement of it among minor Catholic blogs the past two years or so. Hardly public figures, but I’m certainly not the only person to run into those blogs.

      • Cypressclimber

        Fair enough. It boggles my mind.

  • kirthigdon

    I don’t think the “Gentiles” will be paying the least attention to this film and there is no reason to be calling it to their attention.

    Kirt Higdon

    • Irksome1

      Are you kidding? You don’t think that, within 5 minutes of this film’s release, it’ll be seized upon by the Bill Mahers, Richard Dawkinses and others of the same ilk to support the claim the the Church is a backwards institution that relies upon quack science to buttress her metaphysical claims? Even now, the “Gentiles” post every obscure Creationist video ever produced to YouTube in order to mock the poor science and, by extension, faith claims of religion. How, exactly, do you suppose that this film, which has been heavily promoted by its producers, will escape the notice of these “Gentiles” when so many lesser films have not? It certainly seems that Kate Mulgrew and Lawrence Krauss do not share this assessment of the films visibility, as each has taken pains to clarify the nature of their participation in it, suggesting that the film’s thesis was deliberately obscured. No. Rather, it’s far better to get out ahead of this train wreck and call it out for the faulty and mistaken thing that it is rather than let the “Gentiles” point it out first and define the contours of the discussion.

  • prairiebunny

    So, is this Theology worstester than the Theology of Cardinal Kasper who two weeks ago was lecturing us about mercy just before putting a hit out on Edward Pentin and possibly Cardinal Burke?

    • Dan F.

      I’m not sure that that qualifies as “theology” as much as it does “asshattery”

  • JJG

    Since rotating frames are non-inertial, it might, in principle, be possible to measure a symmetry-breaking force, which should settle the matter. The calculation isn’t terribly difficult, but I can’t be arsed to do it, because it’s not really a subject physicists expect to learn anything from. We’ve moved on from Newtonian formulations to Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations anyway. We’re more concerned with symmetry groups SU(2) and SU(3) and their corresponding Lie (pronounced “Lee”) algebras these days. We look at the classical Poisson bracket as an analog to the quantum mechanical commutator.

    Apparently Sungenis is also claiming that the earth doesn’t rotate on its axis, but that the entire universe rotates around it. Go far enough out, and you end up violating special relativity. That’s problematic because special relativity is where we get E=mc^2 from, which has been confirmed with atomic bombs and nuclear energy. This principle is also tested daily in hadron colliders around the world. Additionally special relativity, and to my knowledge _only_ special relativity, predicts the transverse Doppler effect, which _has_ been observed.

    All of this misses the point of Galileo’s most significant contribution to physics, viz., his time and motion studies. Archimedes believed that force must be exerted on a moving object to keep it moving at uniform speed. It’s a natural conclusion, as it fits daily life observations. Galileo recognized that in fact the slowing down of an object was due to dissipative forces like friction and air resistance. Absent those, an object in motion tends to stay in motion (at uniform speed) unless acted upon by an external force. This leads immediately to Newton’s law of inertia, and to Galilean relativity, the precursor to special relativity.

    There’s a whole intellectual edifice built on what Sungenis would overturn, so he’s got his work cut out for him rebuilding it on his preferred theoretical platform. I doubt there’s a physicist in the world losing any sleep over these ideas.

  • Mark Wilson

    Good News, the trailer the next Avengers Movie is now on line.

  • Heather

    I notice that in the comments to the linked article, we once again have Mr. DeLano crusading for his cause with such stunning intellectual points as: because it has been pointed out that for the purposes of certain kinds of calculations, you can use anywhere you want as your central point of reference, that means that pointing out that the sun’s mass overwhelmingly trumps that of the Earth and therefore there is no way that the Earth could be considered the ‘center of mass’ of the solar system is WRONG and this article is SHOCKINGLY INCOMPETENT.


    • Dan F.

      the irony is that in that comment he accuses the author of not understanding physics and then goes on to “proof-text” quote a physicist and then misunderstand what the physicist was saying.

  • Mark R

    The film will soon disappear. Indies, and films like this, do not have the marketing mechanisms that existed prior to Netflix and therefore will lack the peer vetting that would keep films like this afloat. Off to internet oblivion!

  • Dave Hand

    I keep hearing more and more good things about this film

    • HornOrSilk

      I keep seeing the same people pushing a hard sell.