The Unenlightenment

File this under “crap with which I will no longer put up”:

“The Principle,” asserts the press release, “will begin an exclusive limited engagement at AMC theaters in Burbank, CA, Orange, CA, and Spokane, WA, on January 23rd, with additional markets opening in the weeks following.” There will also be a screening for critics in Los Angeles Jan. 13.

The release goes on to say, “‘The Principle’ brings to light astonishing new scientific observations challenging the Copernican Principle. The film explores, from all sides, the question of Earth’s station in the universe and whether it could, in fact, have a unique importance. Astonishing results from recent large-scale surveys of our visible Universe disclose surprising evidence of a preferred direction in the cosmos, a so-called ‘Axis of Evil,’ aligned with our supposedly insignificant Earth.”

The Copernican Principle, of course, is the centuries-old scientific discovery that the Earth is not the center of the universe/solar system. And no, I do not have time for this bullshit. I do not have the patience to deal with pseudoscience and conspiracy nonsense any more.

And that goes for the stuff coming from my friends on the left, too. I get a lot of crap from my New Age-y friends making all sorts of ludicrous claims and I simply do not have the patience to deal with this any more. I do not want to hear about climate change denialism by people who know only politics not science, nor do I want to hear about the latest health scam from people who know only New Age bullshit not medicine. I don’t want to hear about how people’s thoughts can change water molecules or that ujjayi breath boosts the immune system or any of the crap peddled by practitioners of ayurvedic medicine.

But back to our film:

The force behind all of this is a man named Robert Sungenis. He’s quite a piece of work. The author of a book titled Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right, Sungenis is angry because the heliocentric model has cast doubt on the authority of the church and its leaders. He has written, “Prior to Galileo, the church was in full command of the world, and governments and academia were subservient to her.” (According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Sungenis is also an anti-Semite who denies the Holocaust.)

Um, AMC? You wouldn’t show The Interview but you will show this? What the hell is wrong with you people? Do you have no standards? None at all?

Also, Kate Mulgrew and the others who were duped into participating in this crank’s propaganda film: learn to Google, you idiots. You’ve just given credibility to a most obscene form of scientific denialism, not to mention endorsed the views of an anti-Semitic crackpot. Slow clap, folks.

The writer and producer of this film is a guy named Rick DeLano who claims years in the film business but his IMDB profile came up with a big fat nothing. However, he claims that negative reaction to his film is all a giant conspiracy. Of course he does. That’s what they all say — even my friends on the left when I tell them the water molecule thing is bullshit. “Oh, that’s just what they want you to think.”

Honestly I am so over this. When did everyone in the world decide that reason was a bad thing and crazy unfounded theories were the truth?

As the story says, “never underestimate the power of slickly-produced propaganda.” How long before this nonsense is taught in our schools?

13 Comments

Filed under religion, religious fundamentalism, science

13 responses to “The Unenlightenment

  1. The reason AMC is willing to show this but not The Interview is because there were physical threats made against theaters where The Interview was being shown. Unless someone hates this movie enough to make bomb threats, AMC won’t care how stupid it is.

  2. I tend to think of these things as entertainment (I don’t get out much) until I realize the True Believers are actually able to convert others. I’m not getting anywhere with my “but Elvis is _alive_” ideas (I saw it on the internet, you know), but apparently other people are more convincing with their fruitcake “theories”.

  3. Ken Ham just broke ground on “The Principle” addition at the Creationism Museum.

    “Show me the data to support this claim that has been peer reviewed in a scientific journal” has become my go to declaration for proceeding any further with these senseless conversations. The claims will always be around but so will empiricism.

  4. onyxpnina

    Kate Mulgrew disowned the movie and did not know Sungenis had anything to do with it, although I agree that Googling before taking a job is a precaution one needs now.

    Otherwise, if all the crap being spouted were turned into fertilizer, the entire planet could be fed for years.

    • I know she disowned the movie. The link I posted says she was forced to issue retractions. What kind if idiot agent do you have where you don’t find out about these projects beforehand? For God’s sake. It’s that teensy bit of credibility that this kind of nutjob needs. “Featuring Golden Globe and Emmy-award winning actress …” or whatever her creds are.

  5. The claim that ‘the church was wrong’ is historically dishonest since Copernicus was encouraged to publish his book by two popes, Pope Clement VII and,as I recall Pius III (to whom it was dedicated), Cardinals including Nicholas Schonberg, bishops including Tiedeman Giese, and other priests and, if I recall, at least one monk. Copernicus was, himself, a cleric. He was so well respected by The Church that they comissioned him to help reform the calendar, all as no less a personage as Galileo pointed out in his famous letter to the Duchess of Tuscany.

    If Galileo hadn’t indulged himself and mocked his onetime patron and protector who became Urban VIII as “Simplicus”, he probably would have escaped trial and house arrest. Post-reformation era Popes were not famous for their tolerance of being mocked, especially by people they’d supported and protected, that’s what the trial was all about.

    I’d love to know who funded this movie who must be a total barm pot.

    • You win the prize for Papal history.

      • I owe it all to Galileo and his letter to the Duchess of Tuscany and having looked at Copernicus’ book. It’s amazing what you’ll find when you look at primary source material instead of the secondary stuff and the tertiary level trash,

      • I don’t read Latin, source material from this era is pretty much not in the picture for me.

      • Mnemosyne

        You can get pretty much the same information from Dava Sobel’s “Galileo’s Daughter,” which was rightly acclaimed when it came out and is a good read. Galileo managed to complicate a lot of his own problems by being a stubborn asshole at just the wrong time, politically speaking.

  6. Bitter Scribe

    Meh. Just be glad you don’t review movies for a living and have to go see it.

    It sounds like just bad sci-fi to me. Specifically, an attempt to replicate the Dan Brown secret-code thing for astrophysics.