WATCH: New Documentary Claims the Sun Revolves Around the Earth, Proves We Are the Stupidest Planet in the Universe

There’s a positively vicious little piece getting a surprising amount of social media circulation right now — surprising because it’s actually two years old. Titled “Age of Ignorance,” the piece is a scathing polemic written by Charles Simic for the New York Review of Books, one that takes on the ascendency of ignorance and stupidity within our culture and the role that mass and democratized media and a feckless press have played in it.

You should definitely read the whole thing, but here’s the salient quote:

In the past, if someone knew nothing and talked nonsense, no one paid any attention to him. No more. Now such people are courted and flattered by conservative politicians and ideologues as “Real Americans” defending their country against big government and educated liberal elites. The press interviews them and reports their opinions seriously without pointing out the imbecility of what they believe. The hucksters, who manipulate them for the powerful financial interests, know that they can be made to believe anything, because, to the ignorant and the bigoted, lies always sound better than truth.

I have no idea what specific event might have led to the resurrection of this strongly worded indictment of Our Stupid Nation, but I like to think it had something to do with the release of the first trailer for a new documentary which asserts that the Earth, having been created and deemed special by God, is the actual center of the solar system — that the sun and all the other planets revolve around us. Before you even say it, yes, the idea of a geocentric universe was put to rest by Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo around the late 16th century. In other words, we’ve known our system revolves around the sun for more than 400 years. But I suppose when there are still people who take the pronouncements of a 2,000-year-old book word-for-word seriously and who think the Earth and the universe are 6,000 years old, a belief in any kind of nonsense is possible.

The Principle is narrated by Star Trek: Voyager‘s Kate Mulgrew and features well-respected theoretical physicists like Michio Kaku, Lawrence Krauss and Max Tegmark, all of whom seem to be alluding to the idea that it’s an exciting time in cosmology because something big is afoot. What none of them say, however, is that everything we know about the universe is flat wrong. That statement is left to the man who helped bankroll this intellectual abortion, ultra-fundamentalist Catholic Robert Sungenis, who among other delightful qualities is a Holocaust-denier and an overall anti-Semite who says the Jews have made a pact with Satan to control the world. His blog is called “Galileo Was Wrong” and in the trailer for The Principle he makes it clear that he believes geocentrism is still a legitimate school of thought — again, because God made us special.

Now, as the Charles Simic piece says, years ago a guy like Sungenis would’ve been laughed off the planet he believes is the center of the cosmos. No one would’ve paid a whit of attention to him because even among Christians he’d be considered a raving lunatic. But make no mistake: Simply because he had the money and resources to make a legitimate-sounding documentary full of real scientists — and one actor from Star Trek — and he has the social media influence to promote it, there are gonna be people who at worst buy into this horseshit or at best simply consider it a “theory that’s out there” and a potentially viable one. And merely by virtue of the debate, it’ll be given legitimacy in some circles. No matter how completely fucking crazy it is.

Because this is the new world. This is God’s special planet. Of course we’re the center of the universe — everything can’t help but be drawn to us by the giant vacuum between our culture’s collective ears.

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(via Raw Story)

  • John N Yelena Vian

    here’s a principle for everyone.

    “And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.” – Isaiah 30:28

  • DL

    Personally, I see it as an opportunity to question further – why oh why, seeing that this planet is so “special” deemed “special” by the creator, then how is it that there seems to be no efforts from the fundies regarding the oil barons who basically wipe their petrol coated backsides using “God’s special creation”???

    God gives them a pass? He’s whipping up a new “special” planet for them to defile any moment now… any moment…. should be right along now….

  • labman57

    “Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong,”

    Must be due to a breach in the space-time continuum.

  • Sabyen91

    And Kate Mulgrew:

    “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”

    http://www.geekosystem.com/kate-mulgrew-not-geocentrist/

  • formerlywhatithink
  • Sabyen91

    Here is Lawrence Krauss’ comment on the movie. He was not involved at all and his words were taken from other interviews and wants everybody to ignore the PoS.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/04/08/lawrence_krauss_on_ending_up_in_the_geocentricism_documentary_the_principle.html

  • Groundloop

    I think Chez has mentioned before that we’ve reached “Peak Stupid”, and I hope that’s true. I really hope there is, to paraphrase Nigel Tufnel, none more stupid. But now that technology and a lazy traditional media have given all the village idiots a platform, where do we go from here? If an old white guy gets elected president, do they all go back in the bottle, or are we stuck living on a planet with a seemingly limitless supply of Dumb Genies?

  • brite59

    ts/dw (too stupid/didn’twatch)

  • D_C_Wilson

    Well, Voyager sucked anyways.

    I have to wonder how many of those scientists knew what they were getting into when they agreed to participate in this farce. Ben Stein got some respectable biologists, including Richard Dawkins, to appear in his travesty “Expelled” (Whose premise deserves the same amount of derision given to geocentrism) mainly by lying his ass off to them. I’d like to believe that legitimate physicists/cosmologists didn’t know they were participating in a geocentric piece of drivel going in.

    Well, except for Michio Kaku. He’s become something of a media whore lately, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew what was what.

    • StephenMeansMe

      Yeah, it seems like “The Principle” is going to be the “Expelled” of physics. And maybe a hint of “The Secret” thrown in, because idiots can’t help themselves when it comes to quantum woo.

    • Groundloop

      “Well, Voyager sucked anyways.”

      We can debate the relative merits of the various incarnations of Star Trek (please, let’s not debate the relative merits of the various incarnations of Star Trek), but Yoyager did give us Jeri Ryan in a catsuit.

  • http://cousinavi.wordpress.com cousinavi

    Just a typo or a brainfart, but needs to be corrected: (Paragraph three) “In other words, we’ve known the universe revolves around the sun for more than 400 years.”

    The planets in our solar system orbit the sun. The sun is simply one star in our galaxy. The entire universe is NOT orbiting our sun.

    • petesh

      And we don’t look all that on the cosmic scale

    • Chez Pazienza

      You had to know what I meant there. I meant our universe, the solar system.

      • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

        Yeah, but in an article pointing out people ignoring scientific fact…it doesn’t look good.

        Also, the solar system isn’t a universe. At all.

        • Chez Pazienza

          Fine, I’ll adjust. It was a second reference thing, I didn’t want to say solar system again, and I was trying to write this and play with my five-year-old at the same time.

  • Bubble Genius

    I hope what the physicists aren’t saying is that there’s a black hole that feeds on stupidity, and that we’ll be shut of all the morons by 2015.

  • Scopedog

    Some years ago I read Stephen Baxter’s SF novel TITAN, and in that book it was mentioned that there was a movement bring back something like this into the schools.

    Of course, TITAN was fiction. But seeing this…Christ, I really cannot come up with a solid answer. I just can’t.

  • formerlywhatithink

    “I have no idea what specific event might have led to the resurrection of this strongly worded indictment of Our Stupid Nation…”

    tl:dwr (too long; don’t wanna read):

    The prevailing, and pervasive ignorance being spread in this country has a direct link to extremists groups who were given legitimacy during President Obama’s first campaign and election, and this had a direct impact on ideas, which had been previously mocked and relegated to tabloidism, given serious consideration by a media, and a public so ravenous in wanting to justify their ignorance and bigotry, that, what once was called ignorance is now called “a different view” and promoted as “teach the controversy”.

    There was no “specific” event, but rather a series of carefully orchestrated events. And, yes, it gained huge momentum when the black man was elected into the White Office. Prior to that, the conservative religious forces did have clout, but it had been relegated to the social canards with which they were happy to be at. This was during the days of the televangelists when the big crusades were against things like pornography, heavy metal music and trying to decipher satanic messages while playing LP’s backwards, and, of course, the usual rants against homosexuality. However, what I have noticed since 2008 is a huge upsurge in anti science, especially creationism, gaining traction in the mainstream.

    Think about it. I was born in the early 70’s, came of age in the 80’s, entered adulthood in the 90’s, survived the 00’s, and in all that time, up until around 2008, 2009, anyone who would try to claim that creationism trumped the big bang theory and evolution or tried to argue a earth centric universe would never have received the mainstream attention these people do now. How does this tie into Obama’s election? Before his election, like I said, the extreme points of anti science would have been laughed at and shuffled off to tabloid tv. After, with the formation of groups like the Tea Party, all of a sudden, the most outrageous conspiracy theories about a sitting President was suddenly front page news. Obama’s a communist, where’s his birth certificate, his birth certificate is fake, FEMA concentration camps, death panels, IRS armed agents will kill you, Obama hates white people… In any other Presidency, anyone who suggested something like this about a sitting President would have been marginalized, but now we have an entire cable channel whose only mission is to further and give legitimacy to the most outrageous conspiracy theories as fact.

    During all this, I think that people realized that they had a golden opportunity to push their pet theories and jumped on it. Can you imagine a politician in the 80’s or 90’s saying flat out that evolution is wrong and being applauded for it? Can you imagine a politician in the 80’s or 90’s declaring on prime time TV that the earth was only 6000 years old and being able to keep their jobs, let alone get lucrative talking fees out it? I can’t. Once everything started getting shoved into more and more accepted ludicrous territory, the more hucksters jumped on board. And the media is absolutely complicit in this deterioration of our national intelligence. It used to be that the news media was supposed to start informed dialogue, not report ignorant talking points.

    There are a lot of things left out in this rant. One, because it’s late at night I need to go to work tomorrow, two, I’m lazy, and three, well, I’m lazy.

    But, here’s the tl:dr (and why is this always put a the end of rant instead of the beginning?): The prevailing, and pervasive ignorance being spread in this country has a direct link to extremists groups who were given legitimacy during President Obama’s first campaign and election, and this had a direct impact on ideas, which had been previously mocked and relegated to tabloidism, given serious consideration by a media, and a public so ravenous in wanting to justify their ignorance and bigotry, that, what once was called ignorance is now called “a different view” and promoted as “teach the controversy”.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Asimov noted years ago that there’s a strain in America that believe that their ignorance was equal to an expert’s knowledge. It’s always been there. They’re just louder now and have blogs, TV shows, and radio programs.

      • Scopedog

        Agreed. The good Doctor pointed this out in one of his final books. But yeah, it’s been there, always. It’s just that before, you could just ignore them. Now….the Web has given them a one hell of a prominent platform.

      • tjuarez
    • Rita D. Lipshutz

      agreed with all of the above except for one thing. though it is a bigger problem on the right and officially written into the GOP platform now, scientific illiteracy is not just for righties anymore, it’s only that lefties tend to manifest theirs over different issues, such as anti-vaccination “thought” and believing in any completely and overtly stupid pseudoscientific medical woo anyone posts online, as long as you throw in some stuff about how it’s “all natural’ and everything and everybody involved with real, i mean mainstream medicine is just part of the “big Pharma conspiracy.” and i was born in 1954 so i have the perspective of having seen the wave of anti-science sentiment that arose in the ’70’s among hippies like me, who had a way better case for their woo and against the “scientific establishment, man” then than they do now.

    • MrDHalen

      Great comment!!! I believe it started a little earlier though with W Bush. In the late 90’s, 2000’s, is when the conservatives really began creating their own facts and once they saw the media would not call them on it, they have never looked back.

      The Internet has allowed The Crazy to find The Crazy, but the fact that you being an idiot in America doesn’t get you killed, means we’re stuck with our idiots.

  • Grant Beaudette

    For a second I wanted to actually watch that goofy documentary. Thankfully the trailer was enough.

    Charles P. Pierce’s “Idiot America” is another great read on the triumph of stupid.

    • aceshigh

      YES! Excellent book…Pierce is a fantastic writer.

  • ForsettiJustice

    25% of Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth. That’s a level of stupid that is difficult to impossible to overcome or correct. That’s having the facts available for 500 years and either ignoring or denying them. You can’t reason with people that entrenched in their belief systems.

    • D_C_Wilson

      I’ve found that for every question of basic fact, whether it’s the president’s birthplace or the location of Ohio on a map, 20-25% of Americans will absolutely insist that the stupidest possible answer is the correct one. It’s almost an immutable law. Like Moore’s law, it continues to play out time and time again. There’s no denying the simple fact that between one in five and one in four Americans is completely and hopelessly fucking stupid.

      • Glock H. Palin, Esq.

        You’re assuming that it’s always the same 20-25%. What if it’s not? What if a much larger percentage is only sporadically hopelessly fucking stupid?

        I’m not sure if that would be better or worse…

        • D_C_Wilson

          The 20-25% figure appears far too regularly in polls for it to be a coincedence.