“Cosmos” Host Neil deGrasse Tyson Speaks Out about the News Media, Flat Earthers, Science Deniers, Climate Change Skeptics, Religion, and Dogma

NeildeGrasseTyson - CopySubmitted by Elaine Magliaro, Weekend Contributor

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and director of the Natural History Museum’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He is also the host of Fox Networks’ new science series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Last Sunday, Tyson appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources program and spoke with Brian Stelter. During the program, Tyson talked about “the hypocrisy of people dismissing scientific theory while simultaneously embracing the fruits of scientific discovery ‘that we so take for granted today.’”

Tyson said that our civilization “is built on the innovation of scientists and technologists and engineers who have shaped everything that we so take for granted today. So some of the science deniers or science haters, these are people who are telling that to you while they are on their mobile phone. They are saying, ‘I don’t like science. Oh, GPS just told us to go left. So it’s time for people to sit back and reassess what role science has actually played in our lives. And learn how to embrace that going forward, because without it, we will just regress back into the caves.”

Stelter asked Tyson if he felt that the news media should feel a responsibility to portray science correctly—especially with regard to controversial issues such as climate change. Tyson said he thought the news media was wrong to give equal time to the “flat-earthers.” He thinks the media “should stop trying to ‘balance’ the debate on scientific issues by hosting people who deny science.”

Tyson said, “The media has to sort of come out of this ethos that I think was in principle a good one, but it doesn’t really apply in science. The principle was, whatever story you give, you have to give the opposing view. And then you can be viewed as balanced.” He continued, “You don’t talk about the spherical Earth with NASA, and then say let’s give equal time to the flat Earthers. Plus, science is not there for you to cherry pick.”

Tyson added, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it. Alright? I guess you can decide whether or not to believe in it, but that doesn’t change the reality of an emergent scientific truth.”

The great American science divide (CNN)

Recently, Tyson spoke about the new version of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. Tyson said that science and religion should not be painted as being “diametrically opposed to each other.” He said there were many scientists who believe in God. He added, “The issue there is not religion versus non-religion or religion versus science, the issue there is ideas that are different versus dogma.”

Tyson explained, “If you start using your scripture, your religious text as a source of your science, that’s where you run into problems, and there is no example of someone reading their scripture and saying ‘I have a prediction about the world that no one knows yet because this gave me insight.’” He continued, “Enlightened religious people know this, and don’t try to use the Bible as a textbook.”

Chris Mooney of Mother Jones said that Tyson has emphasized that the stance of the science series Cosmos is anti-dogma—not anti-religion. Tyson was quoted as saying, “Any time you have a doctrine where that is the truth that you assert, and that what you call the truth is unassailable, you’ve got doctrine, you’ve got dogma on your hands. And so Cosmos is…an offering of science, and a reminder that dogma does not advance science; it actually regresses it.”

Katie Valentine of ThinkProgress noted that Tyson had spoken previously “about the need for the public to accept scientific facts rather than the talking points of politicians.” According to Valentine, the astrophysicist said in 2011 that climate change deniers should “be mature enough to recognize something can be true even if you don’t like the consequences of it. That’s what it means to be a mature adult.” Valentine also reported that while appearing on CNN in February, Tyson said that “he hopes America doesn’t wait until climate change has drastically changed the Earth’s landscape to realize that our policies haven’t done enough to prepare us.”

Tyson said that he doesn’t know what to say “when politicians start analyzing the science. “Are we going to wait until the coastlines get redrawn as the glaciers melt off of Antarctica and Greenland?”

Good question, Mr. Tyson, good question.


Neil deGrasse Tyson tells CNN: Stop giving ‘equal time to the flat Earthers’ (Raw Story)

Neil DeGrasse Tyson To Science Deniers: ‘Science Is Not There For You To Cherry Pick’ (ThinkProgress)

Neil deGrasse Tyson Chastises Media For Giving ‘Flat Earthers’ Equal Time in the Climate Change Debate (AlterNet)

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: ‘Enlightened Religious People Don’t Use The Bible As A Textbook’ (Huffington Post)

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Cosmos, How Science Got Cool, and Why He Doesn’t Debate Denier: The host of the stunning new Fox series wants you to understand how science works. (Mother Jones)

697 thoughts on ““Cosmos” Host Neil deGrasse Tyson Speaks Out about the News Media, Flat Earthers, Science Deniers, Climate Change Skeptics, Religion, and Dogma”

  1. Climate change is not debateable – especially the recent past global cooling settled science about the upcoming ice age. Yup, if you questioned that – you were a DENIER

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  3. It’s not balanced to give equal time to absurd ideas that have long since been proven wrong like a flat earth. It is pure stupidity. Like evolution vs creation. There is no evidence that creation occurred but evolution is a fact whether you like it or not. There is room for debate on how evolution works buit there is no room for debate as to whether it happened or not.

    1. BIG AL- like it or not, it got created somehow. Creation does exist. There is room for debate on how it exists.

  4. hskiprob – it was Noah and the flood. Moses was involved in the plagues and the Ten Commandments. Most Biblical scholars consider the Old Testament God to be vengeful and the New Testament God to be compassionate. I think the Alaskan flies were created under the Old Testament God. 😉

  5. David: ” A wise man will constantly examine his assumptions and take note of his assumptions.”

    According to your own definition, you’re lacking wisdom.

  6. So your upcoming book on Intelligent Design that you’re working on is largely filled with what…recipes? Once again, carry on, as they used to say.

    And actually, you can see stars, planets, and the moon during daylight hours. I know you know that, but the point is that your analogy is flawed.

    Frankly, I’d love to look at a prairie like the Nachusa Grasslands and think that only a supreme being could have created such a place, but there is a vast difference between the desire for a particular outcome and what the hard science can say about what caused the origin of species. I can join you in wishing the human race were so special that it alone should be taken as proof of a god. The evidence, however, says we’re all nothing more than a happy accident. Why isn’t that enough for you?

    You can say it as often as you like, there is no “empirical” evidence that proves that there was a creator.
    Paul: RE the uncaused cause: whatever. Too flowery; sounds like something Harold and Kumar would say.

    The denial industry has spent millions trying to discredit Dr. Mann and his findings without success.

    It cracks me up the way you and David wave around the flimsiest evidence and claim that it’s “empoirical evidence” that proves the existence of god, yet dismiss mountains of solid evidence for global warming/CC.

    I got news for you guys. If God wanted to let you know that he disapproved of what burning fossil fuels was doing to the world, He wouldn’t appear in the form of a burning bush. He’d be demonstrating His displeasure through the very phenomena that are occurring right now; melting icecaps, rising ocean temperatures and acidity, changing climate and bizarre weather patterns, and the response of plants to these changes.

    We should be grateful that dedicated researchers like Dr. Mann are able to understand and interpret His signals for us.

    1. RTC wrote: “And actually, you can see stars, planets, and the moon during daylight hours. I know you know that, but the point is that your analogy is flawed.”

      The point is that superficial examination often leads to erroneous conclusions. It is pride that leads thinkers into error. The more we learn, the more we realize how little we know and how a shift in a simple assumption can completely change how we look at data. A wise man will constantly examine his assumptions and take note of his assumptions. Every theory or perspective of understanding involves assumptions.

      RTC wrote: “You can say it as often as you like, there is no “empirical” evidence that proves that there was a creator.”

      There is no empirical evidence that proves there was not a creator. There are different models of understanding with different assumptions. Those who claim that they have irrefutable proof are lying. Those who claim there is not a shred of evidence for alternative theories are lying. Those who claim that Darwin’s Theory of the monophyletic origin of species is a fact and not a theory are lying.

    2. RTC – I firmly believe in the Uncaused Cause which is why I am an agnotic instead of an atheist. You cannot defeat Intelligent Creation or Creationism at its very core until you can defeat the UnCaused Cause. Saying that it is something that Harold and Kumar might have said just shows me you cannot defeat it. BTW, didn’t Kumar go to work for Obama?

      You have yet to show any evidence that david and I have given you is flimsy, except for your blanket, unsupported statements to that effect. You have yet to prove the Wegnam Report wrong or any of the others that have found the Hockey Stick to be non-existent. Put some proof on the table, RTC. Don’t try to use the IPCC reports, we have already dealt with them and they are so politically suspect that even the members are concerned about the politics.

  7. Paul: And I refer you to the IPCC reports that rely on his work.

    Wegman was an insignificant report.

    Climategate has been shown to be made of whole cloth; heavily edited emails, comments taken out of context, and exculpatory evidence deleted.

    But you can believe in it as much as you want. Some people still believe in the Loch Ness monster. Just understand that you’ll sound foolish to educated people.

    Oh and David: 15% is about the number of fools who continued to approve of the Cheney/Bush Co. jackwagons after eight years of republican malfeasance.

    1. RTC – Wagman was insignificant because? You make a blanket statement with no proof. Do you just summarily dismiss reports you do not agree with? Walk me through Wegman and show where it was insignificant.

      And regarding the IPCC here is an article will like:

      And Dr. Geoffrey Jenkins on AR5
      “I was surprised that the Summary for Policymakers didn’t spend more time talking about the recent pause in warming; this has given rise to a lot of media commentary and genuine scientific discussion (including three excellent position papers on the Met Office website). Given its target audience – policymakers – this topic should have been covered in more detail in the report.”

      I would say that a large section of the people who post on here think there were no WMDs in Iraq even though both England and France were reporting them, as well as Bill Clinton. We now know that Saddam was cooking the books, so to speak, to make his neighbor, Iran, think he was more dangerous than he was (which is why he would not admit that he did not have WMDs). However, as we now know, it was bad info. The IPCC is the same. Based on bad information from Dr. Mann and his cohorts, the IPCC report is a political document designed to carry out a very specific political agenda. They are so far down the road carrying water for Dr. Mann, et. al. that they cannot go back.

  8. David: First of all, creationism is not self-evident nor is it true. If either of those two conditions existed, there would be little trouble coming up with valid scientific evidence for a creator. There is none because the bible is a collection of mythologies.

    Bacon’s comments on atheists is nothing more than the opinion of a fanatic or true believer. They have more in common with remarks made by Enron officials before the scandal or football fans who can’t understand why someone wouldn’t watch the game.

    As to his last comment you shared, it could apply to you more than Tyson, me, or anybody, really.

    1. RTC – when you can get past the heart of creationism, the UnCaused Cause, let me know.

      1. While I was watching Wild Alaska last night I couldn’t help think about this issue as I watched thousands of Caribou being tormented on their summer migration, by various biting insects including mosquitoes and flies. Some of them would just run in small circle to gain relief. The buzzing alone, almost deafening, would have driven me insane within a few hours. I’m am told that soldiers during WWII killed themselves because they could not tolerate the noseeums on the beach.

        I choose to believe that there is a God, but with substantial reservations. I do however find it hard to believe he is the Christian God, the so-called true believers place their faith in.

        They say their God is compassionate, caring and humane, despite the evidence to the contrary. They try to tell me that there was not one good person on the entire planet, except Moses and his family, thus decided to drown all the living species except two of each.

        They try to tell me that Jesus came to save us from our sins when it appears that Jesus died because of our sins as we, did not have the will to challenge the power and corruption of the despotic Roman government.

        And of course they have an answer for everything and they always pull the God card to show their superiority.

        1. Skip wrote: “They say their God is compassionate, caring and humane, despite the evidence to the contrary. They try to tell me that there was not one good person on the entire planet, except Moses and his family, thus decided to drown all the living species except two of each.”

          You are treading on a lot of theological ground without any apparent reading of theology. The Christian rationale includes the sinful fall of man which affected the entire planet, throwing it into a state of suffering, a rebellious people who do not submit unto God and whose sins separate them from God, the giving of the “Comforter” to the believer until the time of the end when Christ returns to fix all these things you are complaining about. In the mix is a theology of the earth being under grace and patience to give individuals the chance to repent, followed by a time of God’s full wrath being unleashed on the earth. Last is the return of Christ with his faithful believers who will establish a new government with the solutions that will end all suffering. That’s a pretty rough sketch of the theology, but hopefully you get the idea that the questions you raise have been thoroughly researched and answered by many over many hundreds of years.

    2. RTC wrote: “First of all, creationism is not self-evident nor is it true. If either of those two conditions existed, there would be little trouble coming up with valid scientific evidence for a creator.”

      There is a plethora of empirical evidence for a creator. Most of science about origins concerns finding ways to explain away the evidence without having to consider the possibility of a creator.

      Many people who look up at the night sky, or who explore the wonder of biological systems, are left with the sense that a creator exists. The deeper one looks, the more obvious it becomes. Atheists are like a man who looks up at the sky only during the daytime and claims that there is no empirical evidence that stars exist.

      RTC wrote: “As to his last comment you shared, it could apply to you more than Tyson, me, or anybody, really.”

      Certainly not to me. I have no compulsion to prove a creator, or you would see me doing it. I think the concept of a creator is self-evident to every person who is honest with himself. Perhaps you should consult Descartes’ proof of God.

  9. Paul: Dr. Mann’s research has withstood the severest tests of scrutiny and his findings remain solid.

    He did not fudge data in an unethical manner to obtain some desired outcome. All he’s doing is looking at the data and trying to determine what it is telling us about global warming. If the corptocracy weren’t so hell bent on profit, there would be no denial industry making up these insane accusations.

    1. RTC wrote: “Dr. Mann’s research has withstood the severest tests of scrutiny and his findings remain solid.”

      You are not presenting an honest and accurate picture. Why does Dr. Mann not freely offer his raw data to any scientist who requests it?

      Even before the 2009 Climategate revelation of the “hide the decline” email, Dr. McKitrick found improper mathematical transformations that would cause random data to shape into a hockey stick. His efforts to publish such results were stymied for being “too technical” by the journal Nature. Read more at the following link:


  10. Well David: If there’s one thing we know about you, it’s that you absolutely have no use for truth.

    The scientists you cite above were products of their time, when human understanding was emerging from the stranglehold of religious dominance over society. When everything you’re taught from an early age revolves around religion and the Church, it’s only natural to try and explain natural phenomena in accordance in a biblical context; Mendel was a monk, for crying out loud.

    What’s interesting is that none of their discoveries proved creationism, but factor out creationism from their discoveries and they still remain valid.

    The creationist/ Intelligent Design movement is little more than a front for the oligarchy to assert control over society, and we already see glimpses of this when Pat Robertson declares that god has caused certain weather events to strike in areas as a form of punishment. Galileo, Bacon, et al lived in an age where the people received their wisdom from the Church, and the Church was an instrument of societal control. Nothing could get a war going faster than a papal edict.

    Control; control over society, over women, your wife and children, over your neighbors; control over those whom you deem to be immoral and any program that might help them; control is what you’re so desperate to achieve. Your desperation betrays your utter weakness. The irony is that for someone who so proudly proclaims to be self-sufficient to the point where he has no need of government seervices like emergency responders, you wouldn’t have lasted a year on the American frontier.

    There was someone who used to post here who was as sharp as they come and could say more in two sentences than you or Karen could in five paragraphs, and she summed you up perfectly: you are a waste of time.

    1. RTC – I refer you to the Wegnam Report. They had no financial interest. And Dr. Mann’s research has not withstood the severest tests because Mann first withheld the data he based it on and then the data mysteriously disappeared. Statisticians who have used Mann’s reported methodology have ripped The Hockey Stick to shreds. Everyone who has actually tested it has found it wanting. One of the findings of the Wegnam Report was that paleoclimatologists are a very small group who both accept and peer-review each others articles in a small number of controlled scientific publications. That same group (and this also showed up in Dr. Mann’s emails) prevented conflicting articles to be published forcing those articles to be published in non-peer-reviewed journals, if they got published at all. This is why paleoclimatologists make the claim “it is not in a peer-reviewed journal.”

    2. RTC wrote: “The scientists you cite above were products of their time…”

      Kind of like how you are a product of your time?

      The truth is that all these men saw no need to prove creationism. It was a self-evident truth that had been resolved for thousands of years. Nobody has proven that all men are created equal either, but rather it is a self-evident truth to rational thinkers. Atheists have always arisen in society, but only in modern times has atheism found some leverage of popularity in society. Men like Bacon addressed atheism from time to time. They were not mute about it.

      Francis Bacon on Atheism:
      … for first of all, if you mark the wits and dispositions which are inclined to atheism, you shall find them light, scoffing, impudent, and vain; briefly of such a constitution as is most contrary to wisdom and moral gravity.

      Secondly, amongst statesmen and politics, those which have been of greatest depths and compass, and of largest and most universal understanding, have not only in cunning made their profit in seeming religious to the people, but in truth have been touched with an inward sense of the knowledge of Deity, as they which you shall evermore note to have attributed much to fortune and providence.

      Contrariwise, those who ascribed all things to their own cunning and practices, and to the immediate, and apparent causes, and as the prophet saith, “Have sacrificed to their own nets,” have been always but petty counterfeit statesman, and not capable of the greatest actions.

      Lastly, this I dare affirm in knowledge of nature, that a little natural philosophy, and the first entrance into it, doth dispose the opinion to atheism; but on the other side, much natural philosophy and wading deep into it, will bring about men’s minds to religion; wherefore atheism every way seems to be combined with folly and ignorance, seeing nothing can can be more justly allotted to be the saying of fools than this, “There is no God”

      The following quote from Bacon probably applies to the Cosmos series as it is clearly an attempt to prove an opinion. Tyson can’t understand why 15% of scientists have not bought into his atheistic worldview.

      Bacon wrote:
      … for it is a true saying, “Whoso laboureth earnestly to prove an opinion to another, himself distrusts it:”


  11. In one breath they mock creationists as never contributing to science, and in the next breath they quote great creation scientists like Bacon, Mendel, Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton to support their cause, ignoring that they are quoting creationists. Such is done either through ignorance or hypocrisy, but whatever the reason, they mislead and deceive their many students.

  12. The SHEAR stupidity of those who use Science as a political tool is simple astounding. The very same way in which the “flat earther’s” persecuted non-believers is exactly how many “These Government Scientists” operate today. The last time I hears someone say, “I hate science.”, was uhm, never.

    However, I have heard people say I disagree with the theory of manmade global warming and believe that it actually appears to be a natural warming trend. Whereas, I hear the “Scientists” who treat MGW as a fact as opposed to a theory, virtually calling for those who believe that the data is not conclusive in the least and in fact manipulated many time, to be burned at the stake.

    This is sickening to see the “scientific method” bandied about like all you have to do is come up with a theory, pick and choose some data, and poof, you have an absolute truth.

    1. freelyn wrote: “This is sickening to see the “scientific method” bandied about like all you have to do is come up with a theory, pick and choose some data, and poof, you have an absolute truth.”

      LOL. They sure do present it that way, but if you come at them about it, oh no, they don’t believe in absolute truth. Their conclusions are all tentative and subject to change. I think the root of the problem is abuse of authority.

      1. Ask Michael Mann about his Hockey Stick Theory. He fudged data, used queasy data and had absolute truth. When challenged, like the good scientist Michael is, he said, my data is proprietary and you cannot have it to reprove or disprove my theory. It is the culmination of the scientist-priest. And then he somehow “lost” the original data.

  13. This Fish Crawled Out of the Water…and Into Creationists’ Nightmares
    Some 375 million years ago, Tiktaalik emerged onto land. Today, explains paleontologist Neil Shubin, we’re all walking around in modified fish bodies.
    —By Chris Mooney
    | Fri Apr. 11, 2014

    We all know the Darwin fish, the car-bumper send-up of the Christian “ichthys” symbol, or Jesus fish. Unlike the Christian symbol, the Darwin fish has, you know, legs. Har har.

    But the Darwin fish isn’t merely a clever joke; in effect, it contains a testable scientific prediction. If evolution is true, and if life on Earth originated in water, then there must have once been fish species possessing primitive limbs, which enabled them to spend some part of their lives on land. And these species, in turn, must be the ancestors of four-limbed, land-living vertebrates like us.

    Sure enough, in 2004, scientists found one of those transitional species: Tiktaalik roseae, a 375 million-year-old Devonian period specimen discovered in the Canadian Arctic by paleontologist Neil Shubin and his colleagues. Tiktaalik, explains Shubin on the latest episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast, is an “anatomical mix between fish and a land-living animal.”

    “It has a neck,” says Shubin, a professor at the University of Chicago. “No fish has a neck. And you know what? When you look inside the fin, and you take off those fin rays, you find an upper arm bone, a forearm, and a wrist.” Tiktaalik, Shubin has observed, was a fish capable of doing a push-up. It had both lungs and gills. In sum, it’s quite the transitional form.

    Shubin’s bestselling book about his discovery, Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body, uses the example of Tiktaalik and other evolutionary evidence to trace how our own bodies share similar structures not only with close relatives like chimpanzees or orangutans, but indeed, with far more distant relatives like fish. Think of it as an extensive unpacking of a famous line by Charles Darwin from his book, The Descent of Man: “Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.”

    1. Good stuff Elaine. One thing that I do find interesting from the scientific community is their analysis of how old the earth is. I read a couple of interesting articles over the years that carbon dating is not very accurate. I just saw the documentary on Your Inner Fish. Very interesting.

  14. Cosmos Wars, Episode V: The Creationists Strike Out
    Josh Rosenau


    The Idols of the Cave are the idols of the individual man. For everyone (besides the errors common to human nature in general) has a cave or den of his own, which refracts and discolors the light of nature, owing either to his own proper and peculiar nature; or to his education and conversation with others; or to the reading of books, and the authority of those whom he esteems and admires; or to the differences of impressions, accordingly as they take place in a mind preoccupied and predisposed or in a mind indifferent and settled; or the like. So that the spirit of man (according as it is meted out to different individuals) is in fact a thing variable and full of perturbation, and governed as it were by chance. Whence it was well observed by Heraclitus that men look for sciences in their own lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world.

    —Francis Bacon, Novum Organum

    Nothing about this week’s episode of Cosmos was black and white. On one hand, the episode’s focus on light took us from the discovery of the camera obscura, to the use of prisms to separate light’s colors, to the discovery of Fraunhofer lines and spectroscopy which turn those lines into evidence about the components of matter (even distant stars), to the challenge of understanding dark matter (which has mass but doesn’t interact with light). On the other hand, it illuminated the question of what science is, how we developed science, and what we need to do to foster scientific discovery. Along the way, it showed clearly why creationism and other science denials are overshadowed by real science.

    For the first time thus far in the Cosmos reboot, we explored the history of science outside of Europe, with Chinese philosopher Mo Tzu and Arab astronomer Abu al-Haytham featured prominently. Tyson credited both with laying foundations for “the scientific approach.” This was a welcome acknowledgment that science developed as a global phenomenon, and his account of Joseph Fraunhofer’s path from indentured servitude to scientific pre-eminence reminded us that science doesn’t depend on economic class, either. Referring to Fraunhofer’s rescue from the collapsed building in which he performed menial labor, Tyson observed, “You never know where the next genius will come from. How many of them do we leave in the rubble?”

    Science also operates across religious lines, a point emphasized in talking about al-Haytham. The Caliphate he lived in “was open to new ideas and questioning,” seeking, preserving, and synthesizing knowledge from around the world. “Christian and Jewish scholars were honored guests…Much of the light of ancient Greek science would have been permanently extinguished if not for their efforts. The reawakening to science that took place in Europe hundreds of years later was kindled by a flame that had been long tended by Islamic scholars and scientists.” Science is for everyone, for anyone committed to understanding the world we all share, regardless of geography or class or religion (though the contributions of women remain absent from Cosmos; this is the third episode to feature William Herschel without mentioning his sister, who assisted his research and advanced her own research programs in parallel with William’s).

    1. Most historians are already aware of the great contribution the Arabs made to science and literature. In my world history classes this was a test question. This is NOT news.

    2. It is fascinating to watch scientists quote Francis Bacon to belittle creationists, yet they never acknowledge to their audience that Francis Bacon was a vocal creationist.

  15. Why Physicists Are In A Film Promoting An Earth-Centered Universe
    by Scott Neuman
    April 08, 2014

    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.

    (Sungenis, who writes the blog Galileo Was Wrong also has a history of anti-Semitic writings and Holocaust denial, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

    None of this sits well with Krauss, who is well-known for his writings and lectures. He tweeted early Tuesday: “For all who asked: Some clips of me apparently were mined for movie on geocentricism. So stupid does disservice to word nonsense. Ignore it.”

    In a post later in Slate.com’s Future Tense blog, titled “I Have No Idea How I Ended Up In That Stupid Geocentrism Documentary,” the physicist elaborates:

    “The notion that anyone in the 21st century could take seriously the notion that the sun orbits the Earth, or that the Earth is the center of the universe, is almost unbelievable. I say almost, because one of the trials and tribulations of being a scientist with some element of popular celebrity is that I get bombarded regularly by all sorts of claims, and have become painfully aware that ideas as old as the notion that the Earth is flat never seem to die out completely.”

  16. It is. I’m stocked up on Twinkies and shotgun ammo. Remember, “double tap and always check the back seat.”

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