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Carter on Anthropic Principle Predictions

Patrick A. Wilson
The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Vol. 45, No. 1 (Mar., 1994), pp. 241-253
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/687970
Page Count: 13
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Carter on Anthropic Principle Predictions
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Abstract

A significant criticism of the anthropic principle as a scientific claim is that testable predictions cannot be derived from it. Brandon Carter has argued, however, that the principle can be used to predict on the one hand that the period of time biological evolution is intrinsically likely to require is very large, and on the other that the number of 'critical steps' that have occurred in the evolution of life on earth is related to the length of time life can continue to evolve. I attempt to show that neither of Carter's arguments provides a convincing defence of the testability of the anthropic principle.

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