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← Science can't explain the big bang - there is still scope for a creator

Major Bloodnok's Avatar Jump to comment 61 by Major Bloodnok

squinky

Can we all repeat the following:
Occam's razor is an inane position

I was very disappointed when Christopher Hitchens used it in one of his debates. "The simplest explanation is usually the best one." Yes, except when it's not. Take anything in neuroscience. The complex answer wins the day, everyday. I'm also quite certain that the majority of the time in any field of inquiry, the simplest answer is completely wrong--that's why we're still trying to understand it.

Occam's Razor is a bumper sticker witticism on a horse and carriage and should be given back to Occam in his grave. It smacks of trite, unintellectual simplicity much in the same way as "God did it" does.

It's not Occam's razor that's the problem; it's that particular misstatement of it. It's like "survival of the fittest" or "disorder always increases": trite, oversimplified and misleading.

The actual formulation - do not multiply entities without need - is very useful.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 12:47:00 UTC | #299688