Is The Principle Anti-Science?
Quick answer: quite the opposite. Full answer to follow.
There is a lot of implication from some of the critics of The Principle (99.99714 % of whom have not seen the movie) that The Principle is an anti-science movie. It is anti-science they say, because it discusses topics like “God” and it is produced by Catholics. Some of the interviewees are actually (gasp) Christians including John Hartnett, George Ellis, Robert Sungenis, Robert Bennett, Martin Selbrede, and others.
The idea is that apparently, to be Christian is to be anti-science. In the minds of some atheists, including one of the leading interviewees in The Principle, Lawrence Krauss, Christianity is a scourge upon humanity, and only science performed by atheists has the answers needed by mankind. Lawrence Krauss recently toured with Richard Dawkins on a pro-atheist, anti-Christain tour. Interestingly, atheists in The Principle were treated with much more respect in The Principle than Christians were on the tour, but that is a seperate issue (and maybe part of the nature of being Christian).
It is only very recently that the idea that having faith in God is incompatible with studying science. It is as though having faith means that a person cannot understand mathematics, or learn to combine chemicals to produce new chemicals, or calculate the path of a rocket. In most of the past times, most scientists were in fact people of faith. Fewer scientists today may have faith in God, but I am sure it follows the same trend as the rest of professions, i.e., more people in general are losing faith in God.
The real issue is not whether a person of faith can learn and apply science or do research, etc., but rather the issue is that a person of faith puts their faith in an entity (God) that is not approachable by science. A person of faith will not always go along to get along, and accept theories on faith in science that conflict with their faith in God. Unfortunately, many Chrisitans do accept what they are told by science on very speculative issues, such as cosmology, cosmogony, and evolution. In most cases they do go along with it because they see everyone else going along with it, and often they do not have the training to be able to adequately question the ideas. Unfortunately also, some of the leaders and role models who do have the training to aderquately question the ideas themselves go along with it, because they do not want to look “foolish” to the world. They then end up accepting without adequate proof that the universe is billions of years old, that life spontaneouly popped of glop, etc. And those that they lead, follow.
Christians should accept that F=ma. Chrisitans should accept that if you drive 60 mph into a brick wall, you will be harmed. Christians should accept that we have the ability to get to the moon. Christians do not have to accept that life spontaneously generated from inanimate chemicals and popped out of glop. Not accepting this is not being un-scientific, but rather just saying, ‘show me the evidence’.The Principle in fact is doing what science is supposed to do- ask questions; the right questions.
Many atheists today believe that science has eliminated the need for a God because scientific inquiry has expained so much. This is putting way too much faith in a methodology for studying the natural world. Science in fact has many unanswered questions, does dark energy even exist? If so, what the heck is it? How did life transform from a single cell to complex beings (please don’t tell me about finches’ beaks, and don’t worry, I am not going to ask you about “kinds”). How does gravity function? Science has way too many unanswered questions to put that much faith into it.
The Principle brings to light powerful obserations that scientsists, many whom are atheists, have discovered. It asks the scientists themsleves about these observations and the implication raised by these observations. The Principle is not a puff promo film for the currently accepted theories of cosmology, but rather challenges the scientists to actually face difficult issues created by these observations on camera and explain them to the public. It then brings in mavericks with controversial positions to challenge them on the observations even further. These are observations that the mainstream scientists themselves have studied but were afraid to pursue too far. These are observations that have the potential to totally reverse mainstream science’s current theories, and worst/best of all, bring the possibility of a God back into the conversation.
It is many of the scientists that are being unscientific. When Newton’s laws did not work for galaxies, mainstream science swept it under the rug for “many a decade” (Michio Kaku). When alignments between the cosmos at its largest scales were discovered with the earth, they were dismissed as flukes initially, but are now becoming difficult to dismiss. Even as scientists speak about the alignments, they are careful not to mention that the alignments are to specific features of the earth. They will say they are aligned to the solar system or the path of the earth around the sun, etc., or just characterize it as an axis (they have dubbed it the ‘axis of evil’). Regardless of how they say it, the alignments are to the ecliptic and equinoxes, and these are specific to only one body in the solar system- the earth. Scientists cannot believe their eyes, but they must. Ignoring evidence is the most unscientific of acts. And The Principle is the scientific catalyst needed to push this conversation out of semi-private conferences using hushed technical language and into the public discourse.
There are alternative ways to interpret the observations without need for all the mythical stuff that has been invented to keep current theories alive (stuff like dark matter, dark energy, inflation, the multiverse, etc.). There is a minority of scientists working on these alternative theories, even within maninstream science. The only problem is that the alternative, but simpler and perfectly adequate means to interpret the data require jettisoning the Copernican Principle. This is one and most precious of assumptions to many cosmologists. The Copernican Principle is practically a dogma, and ultimately it is one of the biggest justifications for saying that having faith is anti-science.
So, no, The Principle is not anti-science. Rather it is doing the job that many more involved in science should be doing. Go see The Principle, think about what is presented, and tell your friends about it. The next revolution in our understanding of the cosmos is happening right now, and it is happening out of sight of the public, except for The Principle. The Principle brings the nature of this revolution to light.