Dissecting “The Sacred Geometry Movie” (Part 1?)
Coincidentally, soon after I posted about Sacred Geometry and The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life, one of the most popular purveyors of pseudoscience on YouTube, Spirit Science, decided to release a movie one hour and forty-five minutes long discussing the subject. The film is, predictably, full of baseless assertions, nonsense, bad math, and dishonesty. In this post, I will be dissecting “The Sacred Geometry Movie,” showing once again that the supporters of Sacred Geometry haven’t got a clue what they are talking about.
Before we get into my analysis, here is the actual video. All of my timestamps will be referencing this.
00:00:00 – Disclaimer
The video opens with a disclaimer which reads “Don’t believe or disbelieve anything we discuss in Spirit Science. Simply have your own experience.” This is an attempt at justifying the mistakes the film will inevitably be making by pretending that the author is simply recounting his own experiences. However, the film makes claims about history, science, and mathematics which are unequivocal factual errors. These are not matters of subjective experience. These can be rationally and objectively assessed. Allow me to propose better advice: “Disbelieve anything we discuss until such time as we have sufficiently supported our claims with reasonable evidence.”
00:00:16 – Revolution
Spirit Science mentions a social revolution of the late 1700’s during which religion’s influence over society was lessened. I assume he means the “Enlightenment” period of history. However, that makes the diagram which appears sixteen seconds into the film fairly confusing, since it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the Enlightenment, and is presented wholly without explanation or context. To be fair, a notation does refer the viewer to watch a previous video in the series, “Spirit Science 5,” but it remains curious why this diagram, which seems to discuss the 25,000 year cycle of the equinox, is linked to something which occurred less than 300 years ago.
00:00:40 – Superstition
At this point in the video, Spirit Science claims that society’s attempt to shed superstition threw the baby out with the bath water by dismissing things like consciousness, intuition, human connection, and paranormal phenomenon. Firstly, out of those four items, the only one which has been dismissed, entirely, as superstition is paranormal phenomenon. Prior to Spirit Science, I had never heard anyone associate consciousness, intuition, or human connection with superstition. He then goes on to say that “we have proven these things, today, to be real.” I would very much like to see where paranormal phenomena have been proven to actually exist, since I have never encountered any such proof– nor have thousands of others who have been actively looking for it, including some whose entire profession revolves around this search. Of course, Spirit Science blithely claims that paranormal phenomena have been proven to be real without any actual source for their claim.
00:00:51 – Consciousness
“Mainstream science is still going with the assumption that consciousness is just a part of the brain.” Of course it is. Every demonstrable example of consciousness available to science throughout history has been inextricably linked to a physical brain. If one wants to overturn the assumption that consciousness depends on the brain, one must demonstrate that consciousness can exist without the brain. No such demonstrations have ever been made, therefore the assumption remains. As for not having “a single, rational explanation for it,” I’m fairly certain that consciousness as a byproduct of electrochemical neuron activity qualifies as a single, rational explanation. While it is by no means an all-encompassing understanding of consciousness, it is certainly better formed and backed by more evidence than the idea that consciousness somehow exists in a disembodied state.
00:01:14 – Scientific Institutions
Spirit Science claim that there are scientific institutions which have “proven” that paranormal phenomena are real. As an example, the video shows a picture of the Institute of Noetic Sciences website. Of course, IONS has done no such thing, and a quick perusal of the Research section of their site shows absolutely no work published in respected, peer-reviewed science journals. In fact, one of the first articles I saw in their Research section simply repeats a very common and longstanding misinterpretation of the Double Slit experiment in physics. IONS has not proven anything as regards paranormal phenomena.
The video goes on to mention Rupert Sheldrake, whose hypotheses have been widely panned by the scientific community for a complete lack of evidence. Of course, lack of evidence has never mattered to the New Age community, so Spirit Science claims that Sheldrake has “definitely proven that mass consciousness exists and is not a part of the brain.” It is impossible to “definitely prove” a hypothesis for which no evidence has been provided.
00:01:50 – Sacred Geometry
Spirit Science explains that Sacred Geometry is the “geometry of consciousness.” Of course, this is complete nonsense– especially when combined with his previous assertion that consciousness is non-physical. Geometry is a method of describing physical quantities and dimension. If something is not physical, it cannot be described using geometry. A new assertion is made, here: “all consciousness is solely based on Sacred Geometry.” This, despite the fact that no geometry– sacred or otherwise– provides any mechanism for explaining consciousness. If you want to construct regular polyhedra, geometry will be indispensable; but if you want to describe the feeling of happiness you get from smelling a flower, geometry has absolutely no explanatory power.
00:02:24 – Big Bang vs. Creation Theology
Spirit Science says that the universe is infinite. It then proceeds to explain that neither modern science nor modern religion actually views the universe as being infinite (though, to be fair, it seems like Spirit Science is only aware of the Abrahamic religions, since the video specifically mentions 6 days of Creation by a single deity who rested on the 7th). Spirit Science attempts to juxtapose theological Creation with Big Bang cosmology to discern similarities between the two, but he gets these fairly wrong. He says that both models begin with Unity. While I can understand viewing the spacetime singularity of the Big Bang model as “Unity,” traditional creatio ex nihilo theology would explicitly state that the universe was not in Unity with God at any point; that is, God created everything, not from his own essence, but from nothing, wholly separate from God, himself. Spirit Science then asserts that “Light is Fundamental,” though it does not seem to be the case for either description of cosmology; in both the Big Bang model and Creation theology, light is a subset of the universe, not an ingredient for it. The claim that “We all share the same source” is generic and vague enough to work, but as a result, the comparison becomes somewhat meaningless.
00:03:40 – Infinite Universe
Spirit Science recognizes that it just contradicted itself by asserting that the universe is infinite, but has a beginning. We are promised an explanation of this claim. Then, the video abruptly changes subject, as if having forgotten what it just said.
00:03:55 – Energy!
We are treated to a nice word salad about Energy. Of course, the video never actually defines what it means by “Energy,” but it tells us lots of other vagaries about how that “Energy” can be described. This section is completely meaningless. You could replace all instances of the word “energy” with the word “literacy” (or pretty much any other noun) and produce just as cogent a discussion.
00:04:30 – Fibonacci (Math Error #1)
After four and a half minutes, we finally get to the first actual mathematics in a video which is, ostensibly, about geometry. Unfortunately, that also means that we run up against the first mathematical errors made in the video. The diagram of the Fibonacci Spiral is actually not bad, but the equation in the bottom left has a few problems. First of all, it is only tangentially related to the Fibonacci Spiral, though this is never explained. The equation describes the Golden Ratio, a proportion of two numbers A and B such that the proportion of A to B is equal to the proportion of A+B to A. As you calculate larger and larger terms of the Fibonacci Sequence, the proportion of term N to the previous term in the sequence becomes a closer and closer approximation of the Golden Ratio. However, the more striking problems occur when the equation states φ=1.61803. There are a couple of problems, here. In mathematical formulae, the Golden Ratio is usually represented by a Greek capital letter Phi, Φ. The lower-case letter phi, φ, is usually used to represent a different proportion– in fact, the complete reciprocal of Φ. However, the use of φ instead of Φ is a fairly minor error. The more egregious problem is that Φ is not equal to 1.61803. The Golden Ratio is an irrational number. No matter how many decimal places you decide to list, you can never write out a single term which is exactly equal to Φ. If you want to represent the Golden Ratio exactly, the simplest expression is Φ = (1+√5)/2. What Spirit Science should have written, here, is that the Golden Ratio is approximately 1.61803, or Φ ≈ 1.61803.
Also, the claim that the Fibonacci sequence is “present in all life, everywhere” is an oft-repeated lie. The pattern does occur in nature, and fairly often, but that is a far cry from the claim that it is a part of every living organism.
00:06:46 – Brain Hemispheres
“Okay, brain hemispheres: we have two of them.” That’s fairly obvious, considering “hemisphere” literally means “half of a sphere.” It’d be pretty nonsensical to have more than two halves of a single whole. After this gaff, the video presents the oh-so-popular, but still completely unscientific myth that people predominantly utilize the different halves of their brain for particular tasks. A two second Google search led me to a nice little response to this myth from Christopher Wanjek, at Live Science. Spirit Science doubles-down on their complete lack of research, here, by then claiming that the human species is 90% left brained. That claim would be fairly preposterous even if the brain was actually functionally divided in the manner the video describes.
00:07:54 – The Pattern of Creation
“Everything in the universe comes out of this pattern. I’m not making this up.” No, Spirit Science, you are not making this up. As I’ve previously discussed, Drunvalo Melchizedek made it up. You’re just uncritically regurgitating the nonsense that he has written. For instance, when you say that “the Flower of Life was known around the world, in ancient times.” While this rather simple geometric pattern was used aesthetically by a people in disparate cultures, there is no evidence that any of them ever called it the “Flower of Life,” and there is certainly no evidence that any of these cultures ascribed the cosmological significance to the pattern which Spirit Science claims for it. In fact, prior to Drunvalo Melchizedek’s seminars in the 1980’s and 90’s, there exists absolutely no literature which refers to this pattern as the Flower of Life, nor that describes its demiurgic properties.
00:09:59 – The Vesica Piscis (Math Error #2)
First of all, for some reason, Spirit Science does not seem to be able to pronounce the word “piscis.” Perhaps the narrator’s New Age proclivities have him thinking about astrology, because he keeps saying “Pisces” (pie-sees) instead of “piscis” (pis-kiss). We are then treated to the assertion that “within the vesica piscis is a vast and incredible amount of knowledge about width, proportion, depth…” Unfortunately for Spirit Science, the knowledge he’s referencing comes from geometry, in general, not from the vesica piscis, in particular. His mistake here is like saying a hammer has the ability to shelter someone from the rain. The fact that you can use a tool to build something with interesting properties does not mean that the tool, itself, has those properties.
Then he gets into the square roots. But now his diagram becomes a bit nonsensical. Assuming that the radius of the two larger circles is assigned a value of 1, his labels for √2 and √5 are fairly accurate. But what is that √3 supposed to be in reference to? The √2 describes the green diagonal line directly to its right– it is the proportion of the hypotenuse of an isosceles right triangle to one of its legs. Similarly, the √5 describes the green diagonal line directly below it– it is the proportion of the hypotenuse to the shorter leg of a right triangle whose larger leg is twice the length of the shorter. But the diagram does not contain any line which would seemingly be described by √3. Following the previous two examples, we would expect to see a right triangle with legs of lengths 1 and √2, whose hypotenuse would then be accurately described as √3, but no such triangle is found in this diagram.
Neither are √2, √3, and √5 numbers “which go on forever.” This is a common misunderstanding of what it means for a number to be irrational. The decimal representation of these numbers can never be written exactly but these numbers do not “go on forever” any more than 2, 3, or 5 do. These are precise, finite values.
00:10:06 – Let There Be Light
Spirit Science tells us that the Vesica Piscis can tell us “geometric information about light.” Of course, he then completely avoids telling us what the vesica piscis says about light, or how it says it, to instead assert that since both Genesis 1 and the vesica piscis are related to light, the pattern must have demiurgic significance. If I were inclined to be kind, I’d call that a specious claim; instead, I’ll go ahead and say that it is baseless nonsense.
We are then told that the things in the Bible which don’t match this nonsense are a result of the Bible’s having been “changed a lot.” It’s fairly obvious that the author of this script has absolutely no understanding of what he’s talking about. While there certainly have been copying errors, interpolations, redactions, and other sorts of changes to the texts which compose the Bible, throughout the centuries, that does not give a person free license to just throw out the words they don’t like in order to build a completely arbitrary cosmology from whole cloth.
Furthermore, his assertion of how the “ancient Egyptians” would disagree with Biblical cosmology is particularly asinine. He specifically notes that they would be aghast by the Bible’s lack of consideration for the relativity of motion; however, there is absolutely no evidence that the ancient Egyptians had any understanding or discussion of such a topic, at all. The Greek philosophers would touch on the subject briefly, but it wasn’t truly explored until the last few centuries. Not to mention the fact that ancient Egyptian cosmology also purported that the universe began as primordial waters, just as Genesis does.
I don’t even know what he means by “earlier Bibles said, ‘in the beginning, there were six,'” since the narrator completely fails to elucidate that claim in the slightest. He doesn’t seem to be referring to Genesis, at all, since there are no extant textual variants which read in that way. What does he consider “earlier Bibles?” Which specific texts is he referencing? This whole claim is nonsense without further information.
00:13:00 – The Egg of Life
The ancient Egyptians never called the referenced cluster of spheres “the Egg of Life.” I would challenge Spirit Science to produce a single piece of Egyptian literature which even mentions such a three-dimensional object. Nor is the “Egg of Life” representative of early cell mitosis. Even in the image of a cell which this very video juxtaposes against the Egg of Life, it’s easy to see that the two patterns have very little in common. But, of course, as soon as Spirit Science begins discussing the topic, he moves on to another. No explanation or data will ever be given for these assumptions. The video simply makes ridiculous statements as if they are entirely credible, then builds its next points off of these unsubstantiated assertions.
00:13:22 – More Flower of Life Claims
“All around the world, the Flower of Life was always made the exact same way.” All you have to do to discredit this claim is to scroll back to 00:09:00, where Spirit Science shows us a number of examples of this pattern (or similar) having been found across numerous cultures. Seriously, if Spirit Science had actually paid attention to the few bits of actual data that it actually presented, it would have realized that this claim is entirely bogus. So, when Spirit Science tells us that they “always, ALWAYS stopped after 19 circles,” apparently it doesn’t remember showing us a Flower of Life pattern with far more than 19 circles in this very video, at 00:08:10.
00:14:00 – The Fruit of Life
So, if you add a whole bunch of stuff to the pattern we already have, then remove a whole bunch of other stuff, you get an entirely new pattern. Forgive me if I am not amazed by this revelation. Also, forgive me if I am not impressed by the entirely baseless claim that this is one of the holiest, most sacred symbols in human history. Nor by the nonsensical assertion that this pattern somehow causes the emergence of the whole physical cosmos.
Also, connecting the centers of these circles does not produce an image known “throughout the universe, everywhere, as Metatron’s Cube.” Just as with the Flower of Life, earlier, there is no evidence that anyone ever referred to this pattern as Metatron’s Cube prior to Drunvalo Melchizedek making all of this up. Furthermore, the image of Metatron’s Cube shown isn’t even correct. There are several connecting lines missing from the image.
00:14:45 – The Platonic Solids (Math Error #3)
The video shows, once again, that it lacks any understanding of actual geometry by stating that “there are five unique shapes in the universe.” This is, of course, stupid. There are an infinite number of unique shapes in the universe. What Spirit Science means to say, here, is that there are only five regular polyhedra in the universe. Unfortunately, this would have required our dear narrator to have just a modicum of actual geometric study under his belt. Or, you know, about a three-second Google search. Either way, it seems more than Spirit Science can handle.
The tangential relationship between the Platonic Solids and spheres is not, as the video claims, part of what defines a regular polyhedron. Rather, it is an emergent property of the Platonic Solids due to the other constraints. Also, it is almost mind boggling that the narrator could not take the time to find out how to correctly pronounce the word “icosahedron” (i-kos-a-hee-dron). If you are going to assert that something is wildly important to understanding the universe, don’t you think you should learn how to say its name properly?
The Metatron’s Cube image does not contain all five Platonic Solids. There are exact two-dimensional projections of the tetrahedron, cube, and octahedron contained within its lines, but the same cannot be said for the icosahedron and the dodecahedron. The diagram would need to be significantly altered in order to accommodate exact projections of the larger Platonic Solids.
Alchemy did not originate with the Platonic Solids. Pythagoras was neither an alchemist nor the Father of Greece, and he certainly didn’t ascribe any elemental nature to these figures. That ascription didn’t occur until centuries after Pythagoras’ death, when Plato wrote his Timaeus dialogue– which is why we now, affectionately, refer to these shapes as the “Platonic Solids.”
00:16:14 – The Aether
As I mentioned, the Pythagoreans did not associate the regular polyhedra with any elemental nature. So, while it is true that it seems this school of philosophy viewed the dodecahedron with some level of awe and mystery, their attachment to it had nothing to do with the Aether. There are indications that some people may have been killed for exposing the secrets of the dodecahedron– for example, Diogenes Laertius cites this as the reason why Hippasus was drowned, rather than the now common legend that it was due to his discovery of irrational numbers.
Plato’s lack of discussion of the dodecahedron was not due to the fact that it was mystical, or that it occupied a higher energy field or consciousness, as the video asserts. Plato avoided the dodecahedron because it did not fit with his elemental geometry. Plato had proposed that all four of the elements were, themselves, composed of two smaller types of atoms. One of these atoms was an isosceles right triangle (a 45-45-90 triangle, for those of you who remember your high school math) and the other was the right triangle which is half of an equilateral triangle (that is to say, a 30-60-90 triangle). Fire, Earth, Air, and Water were related to the tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, and icosahedron, respectively. All four of these shapes can be built using only the two atomic triangles which Plato had proposed. However, the dodecahedron cannot be constructed with such triangles. Its faces are pentagons, and pentagons are not so easily broken down into right triangles. Since they didn’t fit, Plato brushed over the subject.
00:16:34 – The Moon Model
The video claims that every known element has a “geometric relation” to one of the five Platonic Solids. Furthermore, it claims that this was proven by Dr. Robert Moon, in the 1980’s. Unfortunately, our narrator once again displays a complete lack of understanding in regards to what he’s talking about. Dr. Moon did, indeed, suggest that all of the elements might have atomic structures corresponding to the Platonic Solids, but it was certainly not on a one-to-one basis; he proposed that the subatomic particles were organized according to different nested configurations of multiple Platonic Solids. However, more importantly, Dr. Moon’s hypothesis remains just as unsubstantiated as Kepler’s Mysterium Cosmographicum, which inspired it. That is to say, not only is there a complete lack of evidence to support the Moon Model, there are other models which provide much better explanations, and which have strong empirical support.
00:17:09 – Parade of Hexagon-like Things (Math Error #4)
Spirit Science asserts, “We have five Platonic geometries that form everything in Creation, but we don’t have a hexagonal shape.” Newsflash, friend. We absolutely do have a hexagonal shape. It’s called a “hexagon.” Revolutionary concept, I know, but it’s true. Now, perhaps what our esteemed narrator intended to say was that there exists no regular polyhedron which has hexagons for its faces. That would be a true statement.
Spirit Science then goes on to superimpose a bunch of lines onto the Flower of Life pattern, from earlier, in order to declare that its “ultimate form” is a six-pointed shape. Of course, the average, rational person viewing the Flower of Life might have thought that the ultimate, elemental form of the pattern was the circle, but definitional fiat tells us that would just be silly. Obviously, our interlocking circles are, ultimately, a hexagon.
We are then treated to a largely irrelevant parade of images of a ton of vaguely hexagonal shapes which occur in life. He includes art, architecture, and crop circles in this parade, which seems a bit silly to me, but considering the fact that the whole thing is largely irrelevant, I guess I won’t nitpick. Especially since the examples from art and architecture (and hoaxes) are, at least, actually hexagons, rather than just shapes which kinda look like they’ve got six sides but aren’t actually hexagonal (which describes most of these images).
00:18:11 – Cuboctahedron (Math Error #5)
Yes, Buckminster Fuller called this shape the “vector equilibrium,” but that’s a fairly stupid name, so I’ll be referring to it as a cuboctahedron. Firstly, it is not formed by three hexagons “swiveling around each other.” Rather, it is formed by joining eight equilateral triangles and six squares, all of which share the same side-length, such that twelve identical vertices each join two of the triangles and two of the squares together.
Another example of the narrator knowing absolutely nothing about the subject under discussion comes when he says that the cuboctahedron is “the perfect shape” because “every single line is the same distance away from every other point.” Of course, that’s a fairly preposterous statement, as there are very obviously points on that diagram which are closer to a given line than other points are. Judging from the diagram, it looks like he’s attempting to say that the distance between each vertex and its opposite vertex is equal, but that’s a fairly silly statement, as well. The same can be said of any of the Platonic Solids, or of the Archimedean Solids (which include the cuboctahedron), or of countless other shapes.
00:19:43 – Quantum Mechanics (Math Error #6)
“The mathematics of quantum mechanics shows us exactly how our universe works,” Spirit Science proclaims. Of course, this isn’t actually true. The mathematics of quantum mechanics are a description of how our universe works. Think of it this way: imagine you’ve just met someone who has never seen Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. That person asks you to describe the painting to them. That painting is composed entirely of things for which we have words: shapes and images and colors and such. Could you describe the painting exactly to that person? Of course not. Similarly, quantum mechanics attempts to describe the universe, but it is incorrect to say that it does so “exactly.” There are known problems with quantum mechanics– the biggest one, currently, being that we do not understand how gravity works on that scale of reality. Even those things which quantum mechanics does describe are notoriously inexact.
I’m going to stop here. At least, for now. After 4000 words worth of rebuttal, including six major misunderstandings of mathematics, I am only 20 minutes into this movie. Which means that, despite the fact that this is already the longest post I have yet written on my blog, I am less than 20% of the way into this thing. And that just makes me cry inside. I’m gonna go have a drink, now.