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Geocentrism: Does Being in the Center make us Special? Critics say, No. Guy Consolmagno Hints, Yes.

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THE PRINCIPLE is a controversial documentary featuring Lawrence Krauss, Michio Kaku, Max Tegmark, George FR Ellis, Julian Barbour, Bernard Carr, and others. THE PRINCIPLE challenges the Copernican Principle, i.e., whether or not the earth occupies a special place in the universe. Many of the critics of THE PRINCIPLE claim that the idea that being in the center of the universe makes us special is simply wrong. As physicist Avi Rabonowitz from NYU states in an article, “GeoCentrism & EgoCentrism: scientific perspectives on Existentialist despair and human significance”,

If Earth were at the center of a universe, psychologically this would likely boost our sense that we are cosmically significant.

He goes on to state,

However the reverse is not true. That is, since philosophically significance is not necessarily tied to being at ‘the center’ in a geographical sense, our not being at the center need not give rise to a psychological feeling of our insignificance. And in any case, any psychological feelings arising as a result of scientific conclusions are not themselves ‘scientific’.

Some Catholic critics of THE PRINCIPLE have latched onto the second part of Dr. Rabonowitz’s statement, but seem to have forgotten the first part!

Interestingly, in a recent interview Br. Guy Consolmagno, head of the Vatican Observatory, stated,

The bigger the universe, the bigger the God who created it…

It seems to me that if a big universe leads to a bigger God, then a central earth in the universe must have some significance for its inhabitants. Next time you hear an argument against THE PRINCIPLE based on the lack of significance for earth’s centrality, remember what Guy Consolmagno said.

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