"The notion that anyone in the 21st century could take seriously the notion that the sun orbits the Earth, or that the Earth is the center of the universe, is almost unbelievable. I say almost, because one of the trials and tribulations of being a scientist with some element of popular celebrity is that I get bombarded regularly by all sorts of claims, and have become painfully aware that ideas as old as the notion that the Earth is flat never seem to die out completely. Nevertheless, even after being inured to such things, I was surprised to learn of the premise of the film, until I learned that its producer also apparently questions the Holocaust. It is tempting to say that both claims are obscene nonsense, but I believe that does a disservice to the word nonsense."
-- Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss in a piece in Slate called "I Have No Idea How I Ended Up in That Stupid Geocentrism Documentary"
Yeah, if you're still scratching your head as to what the hell actress Kate Mulgrew and respected scientists Michio Kaku, Lawrence Krauss and Max Tegmark are doing in a new documentary which claims that the sun revolves around the Earth -- turns out so are they.
Yesterday when we published the story about the new film The Principle, by ultra-fundamentalist Catholic and notorious anti-Semite Robert Sungenis, it seemed preposterous that anyone with two brain cells to rub together would have anything to do with the thing. Now in a twist that really isn't all that surprising, the very smart people who somehow did turn up in the movie and who are featured heavily in a new trailer for it are distancing themselves from the whole miasma. And by distancing, I mean they're running from it as fast as they can while throwing holy water over their shoulders. Even Michio Kaku, who's the Dr. Drew of theoretical physics, will surely soon be donning a pair of those glasses with the fake nose and mustache in an effort to disguise himself and what seems to be his inadvertent involvement in the most inexcusably stupid endeavor our culture has seen in years (and that's really saying something).
If you watched the trailer yesterday, you probably noticed that all the very smart experts featured in it spoke in abstracts. They talked about how it's currently an exciting time in cosmology and how new discoveries are changing our perception of the universe. What they didn't say, though, was that one of those changing perceptions is where the center of the solar system happens to be. As I said yesterday, only Sungenis himself comes right out and says that (and you can easily pick him out as the one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other interview). What this probably means is that no one involved in the project had any idea what it was actually about; they simply agreed to be interviewed and left Sungenis to sort it all out, freeing him to pull a few generic bites that he could fit his own insane narrative around.
For his part, Lawrence Krauss thinks Sungenis may have not even interviewed him at all.
I have no recollection of being interviewed for such a film, and of course had I known of its premise I would have refused. So, either the producers used clips of me that were in the public domain, or they bought them from other production companies that I may have given some rights to distribute my interviews to, or they may have interviewed me under false pretenses, in which case I probably signed some release. I simply don’t know.
Kate Mulgrew, who narrates this act of intellectual violence, is doing the same tap-dance. Just a few hours ago on her Facebook page she wrote this:
I understand there has been some controversy about my participation in a documentary called THE PRINCIPLE. Let me assure everyone that I completely agree with the eminent physicist Lawrence Krauss, who was himself misrepresented in the film, and who has written a succinct rebuttal in SLATE. I am not a geocentrist, nor am I in any way a proponent of geocentrism. More importantly, I do not subscribe to anything Robert Sungenis has written regarding science and history and, had I known of his involvement, would most certainly have avoided this documentary. I was a voice for hire, and a misinformed one, at that. I apologize for any confusion that my voice on this trailer may have caused. Kate Mulgrew
It's not surprising that no one wants anything to do with a documentary that claims heliocentrism is a lie, made by a guy who says the Holocaust never happened. Sungenis would need to have beaten puppies to death on film for a half-hour to get a quicker denunciation from people worried their unwitting involvement would be a career-killer.
As for Sungenis himself, it appears that he's gone underground over the past 24-hours, reportedly not responding to e-mails or calls. This is probably for the best.