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Goldilocks effect

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A term applicable to any phenomenon that depends on narrowly constrained conditions for its occurrence, especially life on earth, the evolution of which depends on the earth's orbit remaining within a narrow band of distances from the sun for water to exist in a liquid state. The term was coined by the US sociologists Beth B(owman) Hess (1928–2003) and Joan M. Waring in a chapter in a book entitled Child Influences on Marital and Family Interaction (1978), referring to the optimal level of contact with kin that satisfies married people without interfering with their marital relationship. See also anthropic principle. [From the episode in the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears when Goldilocks tastes the porridge of the small bear and finds it ‘neither too hot nor too cold, but just right; and she liked it so well that she ate it all up’]

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