10 February 2015

The Principle: A review

A friend of mine was behind the movie: The Principle, I saw it in the theatre on Saturday...and my background as a scientist myself, I thought I'd say some thoughts.

The movie tries to answer the question: Are we significant? And this is done by interviewing physicists (some amongst the people I met) and looking at our location in the universe and examining the Copernican principle.

Well, we need to start by understanding what the Copernican principle is, so I'll state it: It states: neither the sun nor the earth occupy a special place in the universe. This principle was named afer he the Catholic priest Nicholaus Copernicus although this principle was never advocated by Copernicus himself.

As the movie correctly states, the whole point of Copernicus' work was to make a more accurate calendar, that's it....I tend to be of the mindset that Copernicus' would be appalled at the things that have been done in his name, this principle being one of them.

The movie does have some sympathies for the earth being the center of the universe. On this point we need to be clear, being the center of the universe (the whole thing) is not the same as being at the center of the solar system (particular point).

I for one do not think that our significance is necessarily dependent upon where we are in the universe, I tend to think our various capacities show our significance versus our location of the universe.

For the 800 billionth time, Newton's 2nd Law does NOT define what a force is, rather it tells us wha happens when there is a force...that there is an acceleration that is proportional to the vector sum of forces and inversely proportional to its mass. (a = F/m)...It irks me to no end when people state the consequence of the law (F = ma) rather than the law itself. F = ma, comes from a = F/m, not the other way around. (Sorry, needed to correct you Sungenius). Neither are Corriolis or Centrifugal forces are forces either. They are both forms of inertia.

I don't necessarily think that the question "Are we significant?" was well answered by the movie, I do think that it's worth watching to listen to all perspectives as we all seek the Truth. That is o say if you have your mind made up, it won't convince you. When it becomes available for DVD, I will publish a more detailed critique of the movie. The movie was well produced, narrated and was very captivating...and while not changing my viewpoints (I already think we're significant and special by our existence)....certainly I advise that one should view this movie with an open mind.

Pax Vobis.

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