Captain Janeway, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Us?

I believe that our resident astronomer Nicole will soon be posting about the new geocentric documentary, “The Principle,” but in the meanwhile, here’s a bit of a rant about that, plus our expectations of actors and how Kate Mulgrew is anti-abortion and that makes me even sadder. Close-enough transcript follows!

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Captain Janeway narrates documentary about how the sun revolves around the earth!! NOOOOO!

That was basically my email inbox this week as hundreds of people wanted me to know that an actress was paid to say words in a film about the earth being the astronomical center of the universe, which seemed to miss the point that there exists someone so wealthy and yet so stupid that they spent money making a film about the earth being the astronomical center of the universe.

The film is called “The Principle,” and it was created by ultra-conservative anti-semitic creationist assface Robert Sungenis to, yes, convince everyone that the Earth is the center of the universe and the sun revolves around us. As Kate Mulgrew says at the start, “Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong.”

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Star Trek Voyager. I loved it the only way a reasonable person could love a show where two of the main characters devolve into lizard things that mate and have a babies before being re-evolved, and that episode won a god damn emmy.

For makeup.

Lizard makeup.

But look, I don’t expect Kate Mulgrew, who played Captain Janeway, to be Captain Janeway. She also plays a tough-as-nails Russian murderess on Orange is the New Black, and I don’t expect her to be that either. She’s an actress.

I do hope that the actors I respect make career decisions that don’t set back educational standards by several millennia, but I’m not surprised when they do.

Sure enough, everyone breathed a sigh of relief when Mulgrew spoke out on her Facebook page, disavowing the documentary. She said she’s not a geocentrist, and had she known that Robert Sungenis was involved in the project, she never would have taken the job.

I hate to rain on everyone’s parade, but there is still a documentary getting mainstream media attention that’s all about how the earth is the center of the universe. Future generations will look back at this time and laugh at us. They already are, in fact. 2nd graders are laughing at us.

Also, before you celebrate the idea that Kate Mulgrew is a staunch defender of reason, remember that she is still an outspoken anti-abortion proponent who got pregnant when she was young and went through with the birth, giving the child up for adoption. She said, “I have to be frank about my experience…I survived it.” Saying that you survived, so other people should be forced to do it, is the kind of statement that everybody nods along to if you’re talking about childbirth, but if you’re talking about skydiving then pretty much nobody is going to jump on board. Your risk of dying while skydiving is about 1 in 166,000 while your risk of dying from childbirth complications in the US is about 1 in 2,400.

So maybe just because you survived something doesn’t mean we should force everybody to try it.

And maybe playing a role on a science fiction tv show doesn’t mean we should pretend you have any increased ability to apply logic and reason to the world around us.


Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Rebecca Watson,

    One thing people who still believe in the geocentric model of the universe should be asked, is why we were able to send astronauts to the moon and rovers to Mars, and no one noticed that the sun and every other object in the solar system was cycling the Earth instead of the Sun. Off course I wouldn’t be surprised if people like Robert Sungenis believed the Moon Landing was a hoax as well.

    You’re right about geocentrism being a Joke, unfortunately if it still exists this day and age, I have a hold time imagining it going away entirely anytime soon. The only thing that will get every single person on the planet to reject the idea that the sun circles the Earth, will be when interplanitary travel becoming common place. When it becomes routine for the average person to travel to Mars and back, that will put an end to this.

    1. Sorry about the couple spelling errors. I should have proof read before I posted the comment.

    2. I do not think there is anything that a flat earther could be asked. You will find that they care about other things than being right or wrong.

      1. Aspence,

        Much like your typical creationist. However, when the average person gets out into space, I don’t think flat Earthers will get too many new converts, probably even fewer than they currently are.

      1. Paul,

        I wouldn’t be surprised if practically all of them are people who believe the moon landings were faked.

  2. On celebrity geocentrists, oh my sweet summer child

    Still not the weirdest scientific ignorance in hip hop: Lil Fame’s “Half and Half” has this charming lyric:

    “First family will gradually lift that ass up like gravity

    Gravity does not work that way! Gravity works the opposite of that way!

  3. So, how the fuck is geocentrism even supposed to work? Do they think of the Sun as just another big planet orbiting somewhere between Mercury and Mars? Wouldn’t the geocentric order of planets have to be: Moon (eclipses the Sun), Venus (transits the Sun), Mercury (transits the Sun), Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune? But then how the fuck do they explain the order when Mercury or Venus are on the other side of the Sun relative to Earth? How does the fifth planet (the Sun – my favorite planet*) suddenly jump to the third position? Do these people believe in parallax? Do they even think Venus is closer to us than Mercury? If it is, why does Mercury transit the Sun far more often than Venus does, around 8 and 105 years respectively?

    *Harry Caray voice as impersonated by Will Ferrell

  4. 3 comments: 1) Do they actually believe in strict geocentrism or in heliocentrism (that the Sun is the center of the universe), or the Tychonic system where the other planets orbit the Sun, but the Sun orbits the Earth, which is stationary? If the first, they’ll set the educational standards back 471 years (not the millennia you claim.) If the strict heliocentrism, where the Sun is not a star and is the center of the universe, then about 300 years Tycho’s theory was also definitively disproved about 300 years ago by the discovery of stellar aberrattion in 1729. Obviously, I could go to their web site and find out what they think, but that would entail the risk of terminal brain rot. (Do the make hazmat suits for web browsing? BTW, they’re only $8.50! I thought they would be hundreds of dollars. I should get one.)

    2) Maybe we should start thinking now about buying up the rights to the movie when the production company inevitably goes under. We missed the boat on Expelled, maybe becasue we started too late. It definitely needs the MST3K treatment.

    3) Why do we expect people who don’t understand elementary geometry to understand statistics?

  5. Everything in the universe orbits around ME, just in very complicated paths that happen to look like ellipses centered on certain gravity wells, most of which are moving away from me at ever increasing speeds.

  6. This made me so very sad. Not nearly as sad as finding out in what way she is anti-abortion. She did an interview and received an award from American Feminists for Life or some similar bs organization and the preachiest part wasn’t her statement that she survived and therefore anyone else can, it was her statement that the only thing a woman can feel upon either putting her child up for adoption or aborting a fetus is regret. Because that’s what she felt. There’s no excuse for an actress who is unable to put herself in someone else’s shoes and see that not everyone reacts the same way. This is what she does for a living. Disappointment reigns.

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