NRT's J.J. Francesco shares his take on the recent scientific documentary The Principle.
Science documentary The Principle aims to poke holes in one of science's most widely acknowledged principles, The Copernican Principle. The documentary attempts to question the notion that the earth's placement in the universe, and all life on it, is meaningless.
I won't attempt to analyze the science of the film. Like any good documentary, this exudes confidence and argues its points with a certainty that makes it easy to find yourself nodding along and following the logic. But I am sure every point raised probably would have a counter-point raised by more scientifically-minded viewers. Likewise, those counters would likely meet with equally compelling redirect questions from the filmmakers.
This ultimately leads to a viewing experience that at least allows one to entertain for a moment the questions and hypothetical ideas of accepted science. And as Christians, it's a chance to examine either way what these conclusions mean for our faith and our role in creation. On that front, I think the documentary is a success. While it's not going to rock the scientific world, it might serve as an intriguing beginning to new avenues of consideration for open-minded viewers.
Included with the documentary is Thought Crimes, an additional docu short about the fallout from the film, including how many featured tried to distance themselves from it after the fact. The film obviously takes a very controversial stance, so on one hand, it's easy to see why someone wouldn't want to be involved. But it's hard to picture all of these people filming their segments without knowing what the film's thesis was. Maybe it's a case of interviewer's remorse, but playing the "I was duped card" doesn't fly.
Ironically, though, this short documentary proved to hold my attention a bit better. Maybe it was because it explores the social topic of questioning the established norms, and that area interests me a bit more than cold scientific exploration. It also was interesting to see Michael Voris figure into all of this. This would probably not be the place I'd expect him to pop up, and yet what I know of him does fit with the thematic points of the documentary.
Although I seemingly missed the controversy surrounding this back in 2014, it apparently stirred up quite a news firestorm. I am sure one day we will have more answers that will either prove this film dismissible or ahead of its time. Yet, regardless of what one's views are on the science of it all, these videos do underscore the importance both of asking important questions and seeking out proper answers.