Thursday, April 10, 2014

New movie on geocentrism

NPR radio reports on a trailer for a new documentary:
It has the look and feel of a fast-paced and riveting science documentary.

The trailer opens with actress Kate Mulgrew (who starred as Capt. Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager) intoning, "Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong." That's followed by heavyweight clips of physicists Michio Kaku and Lawrence Krauss.

Kaku tells us, "There is a crisis in cosmology," and Krauss says, "All of these things are rather strange, and we don't know why they are occurring right now."

And then, about 1:17 into the trailer, comes the bombshell: The film's maker, Robert Sungenis, tells us, "You can go on some websites of NASA and see that they've started to take down stuff that might hint to a geocentric [Earth-centered] universe."

The film, which the trailer promises will be out sometime this spring, is called The Principle. Besides promoting the filmmaker's geocentric point of view, it seems to be aimed at making a broader point about man's special place in a divinely created universe.
Max Tegmark is also in the trailer. Kaku, Krauss, Tegmark, and mainstream physics documentaries say kooky stuff all the time. If this movie implies that Kaku and Krauss have some sympathies for geocentrism, it should not be any more embarrassing than many other interviews.

A central premise of relativity is that motion is relative, and that the covariant equations of cosmology can be written in any frame. So a geocentric frame is a valid frame to use. This movie apparently goes farther and says that the geocentric frame is superior, but I don't see how that is any wackier than many-worlds or some of the theories coming out of physics today.

Krauss denies responsibility:
It is, after all, impossible in the modern world to shield everyone from nonsense and stupidity. What we can do is provide the tools, through our educational system, for people to be able to tell sense from nonsense. These tools include the scientific method, skeptical questioning, empirical evidence, verifying sources, etc.

So, for those of you who are scandalized that a film narrated by a well-known TV celebrity with some well-known scientists promotes geocentrism, here is my suggestion: Let’s all stop talking about it from today on.
That celebrity says:
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. ... I was a voice for hire, and a misinformed one, ...
Lumo says they deserve some criticism:
I think that their hype about the coming revolutions in cosmology is untrue, easily to be misinterpreted so that it is dangerously untrue, and this hype ultimate does a disservice to science although any hype is probably good enough for those who want to remain visible as "popularizers of science".
This reminds me of gripes about the 2004 movie What the Bleep Do We Know!?. Some scientists grumbled about it exaggerating the mysteriousness of quantum mechanics.

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