Whence the Controversy Over The Principle Documentary?
subtitle: What Are They Afraid Of?
Cosmological documentaries come and go. Most of them, such as Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson, follow the lead of established science, and basically promote the established view of the universe. Most of them, with the exception a few big ones such as Cosmos (and the earlier series with Carl Sagan), go largely unnoticed by most, other than a small group of people who have a specific interest in astronomy and space, and those documentarties that promote alternative views generally are never seen at all by most people.
The Principle Documentary is poised to be the exception of all time.
This is because The Principle has created outrage in the very scientists that were interviewed for it, and yet have not even seen it! The reason is that the documentary questions a foundational principle in cosmology, the Copernican Principle. The Copernican Principle reached the level of dogma within cosmology centuries ago, and science has done everything in its power to maintain this principle, even inventing undetectable stuff (e.g., dark matter, dark energy) and unprovable ideas (e.g., inflation, Lorentz’ contraction) along the way to maintain it even at the expense of the observations and common sense. To be fair, there is a sizable minority within the scientific establishment today who, based on the weight of current observations questioning the Copernican Principle, have begun theorizing outside its bounds, but it is still a minority, and they struggle at best.
The Principle is a low budget documentary, but its power far outweighs its budgetary stature. Even neglecting that fact that The Principle was able to have animations created by some of the top animation houses (such as BUF), and that it was narrated by Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway of Star Trek, Orange is the New Black), and that a top pop singer (JES) performed its theme song, all of which make it entertaining and easy to follow, its power comes from a more fundamental source.
The reason The Principle is such a powerful film is that first of all, the top scientists making and interpreting the pertinent discoveries were interviewed, and secondly (and most importantly): the right questions were asked. The Principle is not a fluff documentary like Cosmos repeating talking points from establishment science.
And this is the very reason why the top scientists reacted with such direct furor in 2014, once they realized what they said. Especially given that most of the interviews were made in 2011, two years before the Planck satellite results were released by the European Space Agency. And also given the fact the the results were not what most of them expected.
The top scientists who interviewed for this film, gladly and willingly in 2011, suddenly tried to squelch it in 2014. And everyone saw that. And many are wondering, What are they afraid of? What is the source of this misgiving they so uneloquently displayed?
What they are afraid of is exactly what The Principle is. A documentary that takes John Q Public through the history of cosmology in light of the Copernican Principle, shows the contortions science has twisted itself into to maintain the Copernican Principle, and reveals how recent evidence as explained by top mainstream scientists themselves now severely questions the Copernican Principle.
The documentary is elegantly and beautifully narrated by Kate Mulgrew, in a language that most people will be able to follow and understand. All the interviewees including Lawrence Krauss, George Ellis, Michio Kaku, Max Tegmark, Julian Barbour,John Hartnett, and Bernard Carr explain the situation in an entertaining dialog of many views. Mavericks such as Martin Selbrede, Ronald Hatch, Robert Sungenis, Robert Bennett, and John Byl emphasize alternative explanations, supported by the establishment scientists.
This technically should be called a cosmology documentary, but it plays as a drama of human destiny. The topics discussed elucidate very clearly the cultural, spiritual, and human implications of the seemingly mundane details of cosmology, and point the way to a future where open dialog and understanding between faith, society, and cosmology may be possible. The film opens up credibility for alternative views, and empowers John Q Public to understand topics that they were told are too complicated for them to consider. The Principle lifts the cover off the assumptions and metaphysical/quasi-religious ideas hidden within mainstream cosmology.
This will be the movie to see in the current time. It is a movie that exposes a dawning revolution in cosmology. This revolution has started, but so far has not been televised.