Geocentrism Revival

Robert Sungenis is an idiot.Seriously?

A few conservative Roman Catholics are pointing to a dozen Bible verses and the church’s original teachings as proof that Earth is the center of the universe, the view that was at the heart of the church’s clash with Galileo Galilei four centuries ago.

I can confidently speak for all of the quantum pontiffs when I say that we reject the geocentric view of the universe. I never thought I would have to boldly stand up for these beliefs, yet here I am.

… Those promoting geocentrism argue that heliocentrism, or the centuries-old consensus among scientists that Earth revolves around the sun, is a conspiracy to squelch the church’s influence.

This sentence nearly made my head explode.
First of all, heliocentrism is of course not agreed upon as scientific fact. As readers of this blog surely know, General Relativity teaches us that there are an infinite number of valid coordinate systems in which one can describe the universe, and we needn’t choose the one with the sun or earth at the origin to get the physics right (though one or the other might be more convenient for a specific calculation.) 
Second, you’ve gotta love the form of argument which I affectionately call “argument by conspiracy theory”, in which any evidence against your position is waved away as the work of a secret organization with interests aligned against you. Oh, what’s that? You don’t have any evidence for the existence of this secret society? Well, that simply proves how cunning they are and merely strengthens the argument by conspiracy theory!

“Heliocentrism becomes dangerous if it is being propped up as the true system when, in fact, it is a false system,” said Robert Sungenis, leader of a budding movement to get scientists to reconsider. “False information leads to false ideas, and false ideas lead to illicit and immoral actions — thus the state of the world today.… Prior to Galileo, the church was in full command of the world, and governments and academia were subservient to her.”

So in case you were wondering: yes, this guy is serious. In fact, he is also happy to charge you $50 to attend his conference, or sell you one of several books on the topic, as well as some snazzy merchandise like coffee mugs and t-shirts that say “Galileo was wrong” on the front. (Hint: they don’t say “Einstein was right” on the back.)
To Mr. Sungenis and his acolytes: I implore you. Please just stop. It’s embarrassing for both of us. And if you’re worried about your bottom line, then consider going into climate change denial instead, which I hear is quite lucrative.

Radio Free Albemuth, the Film

Fans of Philip K. Dick delight!  “Radio Free Albemuth”, the film, premiered on October 7th at the Gotham Screen International Film Festival.  For those who don’t know, Radio Free Albemuth (RFA) is one of Dick’s last novels, and was basically a warm up exercise or first version of his strange and incomparable gnostic hallucination known as Valis. For some reason RFA, Valis, and my favorite PKD novel, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, are often considered the Valis Trilogy, but I don’t think there is any evidence PKD thought of these in these terms about these three novels.
It seems that the film is currently just being screened at film festivals, and I can’t quite back up from the website whether or when it is destined for wider release.  Come on Holywood, you know PKD is worth some dollars!  By the way, Alanis Morrssette plays the character Sylvia in the movie.
In other PKD news there are rumors that Ridley Scott is producing a miniseries of PKD’s The Man in the High Castle.

Museum Tours For the Insecure

I always knew that T-Rex was a vegetarian:

“Trying to teach children not to believe everything they see.” Shouldn’t they add “and believe in everything they don’t see?”
Update: I should have known Pharnygula would have posted this before me. Note to self: always check with PZ before posting something about creationism 🙂

HD Shroud of Turin

Coming soon to a desktop near you: Your own digital Jesus. (Someone to hear your prayers. Someone who’s there. As much as a collection of bits representing the image of a sheet can be there, I guess that is.)
Yeah I just wrote this post because upon reading the article I couldn’t get that damn Depeche Mode song out of my head (or the Johnny Cash version.) Begone you fowl occupier of my neurons which could actually be doing some work!