Well over six years ago, we saw the release of a bizarre documentary called The Principle. Its premise, according to the trailer, was that the Earth was really the center of the universe and Copernicus got it wrong when he said the Earth revolved around the Sun.
That’s not true. Obviously.
BUT WAIT! They managed to get Kate Mulgrew, from Star Trek, to be their narrator! Once the trailer came out, she distanced herself from the film immediately, saying on Facebook, “I am not a geocentrist.”
BUT WAIT! It’s wasn’t just her! The film included interviews with actual physicists and science communicators who also immediately distanced themselves from the project.
I even interviewed the film’s producer and that went as well as you’d expect.
Anyway, the controversy came and went. The film was one of those “Kony 2012”-like viral hits that everyone online notices, then everyone online promptly forgets about. I hadn’t thought about it in years… until I saw this YouTube documentary about the documentary, narrated by Dan Olson.
It’s an entertaining summary of an absolute train wreck and goes so much more into what was happening around the film than I ever knew. Religion, of course, plays a role in it.
One takeaway from that video: That whole controversy seemed to come and go relatively quickly. I feel like if the movie came out now, we’d have to contend with geocentrists on social media, holding their own conferences, and finding a gullible athlete or two who says there’s something to it because it’s just an interesting thing to think about. We lucked out that this movie was ahead of its time.
(Featured image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Dan for the link)