The Copernican Principle is a basic statement in physics that there should be no ``special'' observers. For example, the Aristotelian model of the solar system in the Middle Ages placed the Earth at the center of the solar system, a unique place since it ``appears'' that everything revolved around the Earth. Nicolaus Copernicus demonstrated that this view was incorrect and that the Sun was at the center of the solar system with the Earth in orbit around the Sun.
The implications of Copernicus' work can not be exaggerated. His views challenged the literal interpretation of Scripture, the philosophical and metaphysical foundations of moral theory, and even common sense itself. The result was a massive opposition to his reported ideas. It was the slow, sure acceptance of the heliocentric theory by natural philosophers that ultimately quieted the general clamor, however the name of Copernicus is still a battle cry against the establishment in religion, philosophy and science. In later years with Freud, man lost his Godlike mind; with Darwin his exalted place among the creatures of the Earth; with Copernicus man had lost his privileged position in the Universe.
The lesson learned by future scientists is that if a theory requires a special origin or viewpoint, then it is not plausible
Excerpt from the Encyclopedia Britannica without permission.