Anthropic Reasoning

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Science  12 Aug 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5737, pp. 1022-1023
DOI: 10.1126/science.1111446

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It is an obvious fact that we live at a time in the universe when conditions are right for life to exist. Less obvious and much more controversial is the notion that this fact may provide useful bounds on cosmological theories. In their Perspective, Livio and Rees argue that this kind of "anthropic reasoning" not only has a role in valid speculative scientific discourse, but may in fact have predictive power for sorting out allowable cosmological scenarios. Acknowledging that such arguments raise the blood pressure of many scientists, Livio and Rees conjecture that anthropic reasoning can indeed be one of many tools in the cosmological toolkit.