Shocker! Does the Universe Revolve Around Earth?
WASHINGTON - A new documentary, "The Principle," is so controversial that scientists and even people featured in the movie are condemning it before they've had a chance to see it.
The film chops away at some of the most sacred cows of modern science: that Earth is nothing special and sprang into being by accident.
It delves into the latest scientific findings to present what its makers believe is solid evidence the whole universe revolves around Earth and its Milky Way galaxy.
Physics professor John Hartnett, with Australia's University of Adelaide, studied the locations of some 400,000 galaxies from the 2005 Sloan Digital Sky Survey and was astounded to see a surprising form and pattern in how they're arrayed, all with Earth at the center.
"As if the galaxies preferred to lie at some periodic spacing out from the Earth," Hartnett explains in the documentary
"This is sort of like saying that our galaxy is somewhere near the center of the universe, and when you look at the galaxies arrayed all around us, they're on sort of like gigantic shells," he added.
Bob Sungenis, executive producer of "The Principle," told CBN News why such a discovery is so upsetting to atheists and those who believe Earth and mankind are nothing special or central.
"If you're a believer in the Big Bang, you believe that there's going to be this smooth explosion that's not going to have any distinguishing features. It's not going to have any center," Sungenis said. "So if you find center in that big mass, then that means somebody had to make it that way. There's a designer behind it."
CBN News Senior Washington Correspondent Paul Strand spoke with him in-depth about the film's ideas that have some scientists hyperventilating and also the charges and accusations flying around him and the documentary below:
The idea Earth is at the center of the cosmos was accepted dogma till Copernicus in the 1500s suggested everything is not moving around Earth. Building on the foundation of that Copernican principle, most modern science today says Earth is just one more meaningless spinning orb among trillions in a purposeless unplanned universe.
By questioning that Copernican principle, this new documentary is outraging some scientists - even some who are in the film, like physicist Lawrence Krauss, director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University.
On April 8, he penned an article for the online magazine Slate titled, "I Have No Idea How I Ended Up in That Stupid Geocentrism Documentary," attacking the filmmakers' contention that Earth is central and significant.
"The best thing we can all do when faced by nonsense like that, or equivalent silliness promoted by biblical fundamentalists who claim that science supports a literal interpretation of the Bible, is to ignore it in public forums, and not shine any light on the authors of this trash," he wrote.
But scientists in the film admit their own theories about how the universe works don't come close to fitting with the latest data.
Michio Kaku, a theoretical physics professor at the City College of New York, says in the film scientists are usually devastated when their experiments show their theories are off by just a little bit. But he confesses the latest scientific findings show cosmologists their suppositions are way off.
"In cosmology we're off by a factor of 10 to the 120. That's one with a 120 zeroes after it," he says in the film. "This is the largest mismatch between theory and experiment in the history of science."
In documentary, Krauss describes a radiation permeating the whole universe as "the cosmic microwave background," or the "the afterglow of the Big Bang."
The film's narrator, actress Kate Mulgrew, said this cosmic microwave background is "the only source of radiation we've ever discovered that comes to us from all directions of the sky."
Sungenis told CBN News three probes of this radiation all showed the same proof that the universe and its galaxies appear to be arrayed around Earth and the Milky Way.
"All of the radiation which comes from everywhere in the universe - there's no place we don't see it - it's all coming toward us and aligned with us," Sungenis said. "Well, we're just like a little pea compared to the Milky Way. What's the universe doing aligned with this little pea? But that's what they found three times in 20 years."
On the same day physicist Krauss denounced the film, so did Mulgrew, who is best known for her role as Capt. Janeway in the television series "Star Trek: Voyager."
"I was a voice for hire, and a misinformed one, at that," She posted on her Facebook fan page
But in promo material for the film, she appeared to contradict the idea she was misinformed. She spoke in promo material of not being willing to narrate the film till she totally understood its content.
"I have to fully understand it. I have to separate it out," she said of the film's content. "It has to make perfect sense to me."
As the film prepares for its first public showing Oct. 24 in Chicago, Sungenis has also had to beat back accusations by physicist Krauss and others that he's an anti-Semite and Holocaust-denier.
"It's been blown up so out of proportion," Sungenis told CBN News. "As a matter of fact, I had to make a public statement and I made it two separate statements: 'I believe in the Holocaust, I love the Jewish people, I'm not an anti-Semite,' all this stuff."
Supporters say Sungenis is the victim of made-up stories and half-truths.
The film's creators suspect the attacks were a coordinated campaign to keep people from concentrating on the evidence in the film that there is provable design in the universe and Earth's at the center of it - like what scientists found with the 2005 Sloan Digital Sky Survey of all the visible cosmos.
"As far out as we could see in the universe the galaxies were aligned in concentric spheres around - guess what - Earth, or our galaxy," Sugenis explained.
Martin Selbrede, vice president of the Chalcedon Foundation, sums up why such a discovery is monumental.
"If we are significant and if there's something special about our home, this planet, then those concepts have tremendous implications," Selbrede says in the film.
The film's makers are first testing to see if "The Principle" might make it as a theatrical release before they'll put it on DVD and online.