This is the context:

The anthropic principle says something very interesting about our position in the universe. Since the Enlightenment, science has deprived human beings of their special status in this universe. Copernicus showed us that we are no longer at the physical center of the universe. Rather, the Earth is simply an average planet circling some insignificant star. Darwin took away the status of humans as the most important creatures in the animal world. For him, a human being was simply one of many creatures that sprang from random mutations. And finally, it was Freud45 who took away reason’s status as a uniquely human ability and showed that it is simply a handmaiden to the mysterious animalistic subconscious. By incorporating all these findings, science has come to accept something termed the principle of mediocrity or the Copernican principle that says that what we observe in the universe is not special in any sense. We are a typical species on an ordinary planet spinning around a commonplace sun in a usual galaxy. There is nothing special about us. That is, until now. In a sense, the anthropic principle has returned humans to the center of the universe. The Copernican principle has proved to be wrong. The very fact that intelligent human beings exist places restrictions on the type of universe we live in. The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us by Noson S. Yanofsky

Can anyone tell me what is the meaning of "until now"? because it appears it does not have a meaning as: so far, thus far and etc...

  • What is the source of this quote, please? Jun 2, 2019 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


The text

There is nothing special about us. That is, until now

means that there had not formerly been anything special about humans (the referent of "us") but that now (since the invention or discovery of the anthropic principal) there is something special about humans, and that all the "dethronements" mentioned previously in the paragraph no longer apply.

One might argue whether this text has correctly understood when those advocating for the anthropic principle mean by it, and whether the principle is valid, but that is what the writer of this text means by "until now"..

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .