Could Earth be not only the unique and privileged planet that gave birth and protection to life but one that occupies a significant place in the universe. A place denied by one of the most revered principles in science: the Copernican Principle.
Nicholas Copernicus was a great scientist who is credited with destroying the once assumed position of the earth at the centre of everything. He proposed the sun as being the axis around which everything revolved. One of the greatest principles of science is the Copernican Principle. It stands as a major pillar of modern science. A view of the cosmos once based on biblical principles has long since rid itself of the thought that God had made everything and placed the earth at its centre. Modern cosmology assumes the Copernican principle, which observes that the universe appears the same in all directions from the vantage point of Earth. Once this is accepted then we can also infer that the universe, seen on the large scale, is much the same everywhere. In other words a centrally placed object becomes meaningless, since there is no centre. The Earth and its Sun and its galaxy are no more significant than any of the other countless billions of galaxies stars and planets. In the overall scheme of things we are just as Carl Sagan famously described us: “a pale blue dot” in a vast arena. His comment was made on the basis of a photo taken from Voyager 1 on February 14th 1990. His speech is worth hearing.
If you found this video online you would see the following hand written comment just beneath the picture of Sagan. It reads: “In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” That is a very profound and pin point accurate remark. To explain the apple pie we must first explain the universe which allows the ingredients to exist, be selected and gathered, the pie to be put together and then baked for the requisite time. None of this is simple or easy to explain. The reason being that the pie requires a human to do all the actions necessary. And a human, like the universe is believed to have evolved by chance. Design and purpose are naturally ruled out in the case of the apple pie’s maker, but naturally ruled in for the apple pie. How so and why? Good questions!
Between them, Copernicus, Sagan, and the many others during the interim reduced the earth to just a microdot on a stage so vast that no-one can accurately calculate it. In summary the Copernican Principle states that humans are not privileged observers of the universe. In other words the principle has been used to put the earth in its very modest place. And alongside this assumption there was another; God as Creator of the universe was deposed leaving a great void soon filled firstly by scepticism regarding first causes and secondly the rise of atheism in all scientific disciplines. It may come as a surprise that atheism is a belief system, no different to any other. That it holds its place as being above criticism and having ended superstition is a script written essentially in the same language as religious texts by secular priests and scribes like Dawkins, Dennett and Nye. In my view Copernicus has been cheated, a great man used as an instrument to advance an atheistic, godless view of science. Why? so we can be told that we are nothing much, neither favoured nor blessed; we just got lucky in a celestial sweepstake. There are however problems, the first being Copernicus himself. Here are a few quotes which suggest he was a devout believer in God, and he had a virtue rarely seen and heard nowadays: humility.
“For I am not so enamoured of my own opinions that I disregard what others may think of them.
“To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power; to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful workings of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High…”
“The universe was built for us by the best and most orderly workman of all.”
“How exceedingly fine is the godlike work of the best and greatest artist.”
A workman has practical knowledge of building and creating and an artist has an appreciation of beauty and the capacity to create it in a vast array of mediums. Copernicus uses the words workman and artist with reference to God. At the conclusion of God’s creative acts it is said He rested from his work: looked at it and declared it as very good. It has taken modern evolutionary science and atheist philosophers to study all of creation and attribute it to blind, random, purposeless, directionless chance. While biologists, zoologists, anthropologists, geologists endorse this view, many mathematicians and physicists look at the evidence in the heavens and its governing laws and call it bewilderingly fine tuned; almost as if we humans were the recipients of a Goldilocks experience. Gifted a habitable planet like earth so that life in all its abundance and variety could live upon it in a fully functioning, mutually beneficial Eco system. One only made possible by a seemingly unique wrap around atmosphere. If Copernicus had been left alone to formulate the principle which bears his name it may have read very differently.
Big news that hit the headlines a couple of years ago and which for a while rocked the scientific world has become far less public of late. Its initial reverberations tossed the cosmological principle around causing consternation among cosmologists and even theoreticians like Lawrence Krauss. This unorthodox threat was dramatically described as the Axis of Evil. It involved space probe data readings for what is called the Cosmic Microwave Background. What is believed to be the residual afterglow from the initial Big Bang. This vast explosion of something out of nothing is supposed to have kicked the entire universe into being. This theory came to prominence in the late 1920’s. Then came the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) a NASA Explorer mission that launched in June 2001. Other probes followed around the same time, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey which mapped the visible stars seen from the Earth and revealed that we seemed to be at, or near the axis or centre of the known universe. This extremely unwelcome discovery, the affirmation of galaxy mapping over two decades seemed to revise modern science’s view that the Earth is nothing special regarding its location.
NASA’s Planck probe which began in 2009 was able to fully map an image of the known universe. One NASA picture showed an arrow at the bottom left of a digitally enhanced galaxy map pointing out that the Earth is at the centre of everything, which harmonised with the Sloan Survey which showed galaxies seemed to be a meticulously aligned, in a loose form of geometric web around Earth. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey image was published on the cover of the New Scientist magazine a few years ago. I cannot show the image for copyright reasons. The photo showed a huge array of galaxy clusters arranged in a clear pattern of concentric rings around a centre, at which point was said to be the earth. The following is from Wikipedia.
“The “Axis of Evil” is a name given to an anomaly in astronomical observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The anomaly appears to give the plane of the Solar System and hence the location of Earth a greater significance than might be expected by chance, a result which appears to run counter to expectations from the Copernican Principle.
This is all much too complex for me to describe, so I will introduce the response of Lawrence Krauss to explain it all in measured scientific language devoid of emotion and hype. Or to be honest, loaded with emotion and hype.
He is quoted as follows in a 2006 Edge.org article:
“But when you look at CMB map, you also see that the structure that is observed, is in fact, in a weird way, correlated with the plane of the earth around the sun. Is this Copernicus coming back to haunt us? That’s crazy. We’re looking out at the whole universe. There’s no way there should be a correlation of structure with our motion of the earth around the sun – the plane of the earth around the sun – the ecliptic. That would say we are truly the centre of the universe.”
The Axis of Evil demonstrated many strange and unaccountable alignments relating to the ecliptic, the Earth along its equator and on its axis which would put the Earth near the centre of the known universe. All of this seems to indicate that there is a level of design involved which goes beyond what can easily be explained, other than by God of course. All these problems were dealt with in the classic manner. Close down the debate, never mention it again and hide the entire matter under more pressing and fresh news. This procedure is well known in politics, bury a contentious issue by releasing it on a news day when something dramatic is happening elsewhere. I doubt if Krauss even thinks about the Axis of Evil anymore, let alone has nightmares about it.
If you want more information about the annoyance caused by the centrality of the earth controversy then look up Edwin Hubble, Red Shifts and his reaction to the fact that everything he observed through his telescope seemed to be moving away from the Earth at great speed. He described this as “intolerable” and a “horror”. A very strange reaction to your own data. Please check it out on the Internet. But in brief, Hubble found evidence that all galaxies were moving away from us and that the universe was expanding. This was observed as a red shift in a galaxy’s or in a quasars spectrum. The further away the galaxy the greater the wavelength red-shift. This led to the doctrine that these red-shifted galaxies were speeding away from us faster than those located closer to us. The greater the red shift the greater the velocity and distance. However, the fact that everything seemed to going away from our earth-bound viewpoint, from any direction you pointed your telescope was disconcerting. To a simple person it looked like evidence for us being in a central location.
AND THAT CANNOT BE GIVEN CREDENCE!