Occam’s Razor

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

(Matthew 7:13-14) NKJV

Occam’s Razor is a problem-solving principle attributed to William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), who was an English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher and theologian. The principle can be interpreted as stating:

Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

– William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347)

This is also stated as: all things being equal, the simplest explanation is best. Simple is best, right? However, there’s two major flaws in this logic:

The Philosophical Flaws of Occam’s Razor

  1. All things aren’t equal,
  2. what really happened is never the simplest explanation.
Occam’s razor is a philosophical train wreck.

As such Occam’s razor is a philosophical train wreck used to get people to believe hypotheses which are more complex than their competitors.

The most outstanding example is how it’s been used to influence popular opinion on the coexistent cosmological models heliocentric vs. geocentrospheric. Most people assume that the existence of the heliocentric model excludes any possibility that the geocentrospheric model could be true, when in actual fact they are two frames of reference in the same system.

Another less well known example is the improbability of the origin of species by evolution. The classification of vascular plants is based on their reproductive systems and flower morphology and there are about 620 families. Are we to suppose that the four habits herb, shrub, tree and vine evolved independently in each of the 620 families? The probability is a number too big to display in Google sheets.

March 9 – God Planted a Garden

The traditional battle line of the science vs. faith debate is creation vs. evolution. However, science requires faith, and evolution is an integral part of the creation narrative.


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