Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Occam's Razor

(In my best valley girl voice ala Cher Horowitz in the film "Clueless"):

Like anybody know who this Occam guy is and why his razor is so famous? Did he have like some really long beard or something? I mean, dude, like what's up with that?

Okay, so I'm being facetious. But really, before I started exploring logic, that would have been my question. (Although not in that voice. I can't believe people still talk like that. I mean, really, get a grip.) What do razors have to do with logic anyway?

Basically, for those of you, like myself, who are logically challenged, Occam's Razor is the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. But for the sake of the nerds and geeks (yes Josh and Andrew I mean you guys) who will likely blast me for such a simplistic reduction, I will give you a more strict definition of the term from the all-glorious wikipedia:

"Occam's razor states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating, or "shaving off", those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory. In short, when given two equally valid explanations for a phenomenon, one should embrace the less complicated formulation."

Or put more simply:

"All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one."

I could go on with applying Occam's Razor to the God/Intelligent Design debate but I'll keep it simple here. "KISS" to all.

tall penguin

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are a good writer. I'm happy for you. I have heard of Occam's Razor many times during religious discussions, but since I used to feel I knew it all, I never bothered to find out what it actually was.

Thanks for explaining it.