Copernican principle  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In physical cosmology, the Copernican principle, named after Nicolaus Copernicus, is a working assumption that arises from a modified cosmological extension of Copernicus' Sun centered Heliocentric Universe. The Copernican principle assumes that neither the Sun nor the Earth are in a central, specially favored position in the universe. More recently, the principle has been generalized to the relativistic concept that humans are not privileged observers of the universe. In this sense, it is equivalent to the mediocrity principle, with important implications for the philosophy of science.

Since the 1990s the term has been used (interchangeably with "the Copernicus method") for J. Richard Gott's Bayesian-inference-based prediction of duration of ongoing events, a generalized version of the Doomsday argument.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Copernican principle" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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