Radical new documentary claims Copernicus and four centuries of science is wrong
A new documentary called The Principle , which is due to be launched on 10th October, is set to take on more than four centuries of established belief in the Copernican Principle by presenting shocking new scientific evidence that suggests the Earth holds a special place within the cosmos. The film has already resulted in an absolute media frenzy, smear campaign, and storm of controversy as furious scientists vehemently defend their position – and that’s before they have even seen the evidence. Could we be on the edge of a radical new understanding of our universe and our place within it? Rick Delano, Writer and Producer of The Principle believes we are.
While most of us today assume that our brilliant scientific minds, space exploration programs, and high-tech telescopes and equipment have long since proven that the Earth orbits the sun, Mr Delano explains that no experimental evidence has ever been obtained that unequivocally proves this to be true. As historian Lincoln Barnett states in The Universe and Dr. Einstein , "We can't feel our motion through space, nor has any physical experiment ever proved that the Earth actually is in motion." Hence, Mr Delano states that the Copernican Principle is not a scientific fact, but rather a metaphysical assumption supported by profoundly convincing ideas and theories. His film, The Principle, is the first documentary ever to directly examine the scientific basis of the Copernican Principle by bringing together top scientific experts in a commentary, which he says, will leave us questioning our very place within the cosmos.
Ancient belief about our place within the cosmos
For thousands of years, there was a prevailing geocentric view of the cosmos, in which the Earth was believed to be the centre of the universe. By looking up at the sky and seeing the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars moving about Earth along circular paths day after day, it seemed evident to ancient people that the Earth was stationary and the rest of the universe moved around it. Such a perspective was also in accordance with the God-centred worldview which maintained that a god or gods created us, and that there is a purpose to this creation.
Nevertheless, Mr Delano explained in an interview with Ancient Origins that “the ancients were more than intelligent enough to understand that the same observational phenomena would be equally attributable to a rotation of the earth on its axis.” So, why then was this perspective not adopted in ancient times?
“The simple truth is that the ancient world found it more plausible to believe that we were clearly the focus and centre of what we saw going around us,” added Delano.
Thus, the geocentric model of the universe came to be adopted as the predominant cosmological system in many ancient civilizations such as ancient Greece (from 4 th century BC), including the noteworthy systems of Aristotle and Ptolemy. The astronomical predictions of Ptolemy's geocentric model were used to prepare astrological and astronomical charts for over 1,500 years.
However, the work of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 – 1543), a brilliant mathematician and astronomer from Royal Prussia, a region of the Kingdom of Poland, laid the foundations that eventually resulted in thousands of years of belief in a geocentric model of the cosmos being turned on its head.
The Ptolemaic Geocentric Model. Source: Wikipedia
The Copernican Revolution
In his publication De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) in 1543, Copernicus proposed the replacement of the geocentric system for a heliocentric model, in which the Earth and the other planets orbit the Sun, on the basis that heliocentrism could explain the motion of celestial bodies more simply than the geocentric view. The implication of this revolutionary idea was that Earth could no longer be seen as being in any central or specially favoured position, a concept which became known as the Copernican Principle.
This was shocking and it was met by one stubbornly resistant force – the Catholic Church. After all, what would it really mean for civilization and religion to find that “we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people," as Carl Sagan succinctly expressed in the 20 th century?
Such a radical change in world-view could not happen overnight and indeed it was at least another century before Copernicus’s ideas came to be well established. In the meantime, numerous scientists came forward to try to measure the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.