Occam’s Razor – Elucidation

 
 “Relativity” – M.C. Escher

All M.C. Escher works (c) 2009 The M.C. Escher Company – the Netherlands.
All rights reserved. Used by permission. www.mcescher.com

Occam’s Razor, often cited in scientific communities, is paraphrased to state

 

          “All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.”

 

More complexly put, the best explanation is the one that makes the fewest assumptions after being stripped of any elements not pertaining to the phenomenon in question.

 

 It would therefore prefer:

      “ionized particles in the atmosphere”

                 to  

      “a marital spat between Zeus and Hera”

 as the best explanation for lightning during a Thunderstorm.

 

This six-hundred-year-old axiom might strike some as lazy, overly simplistic, lacking in creativity, or even short-sided given that Occam’s Razor tends to shunt an “unobservable” explanation to the margin, making said “unobservable” the drunk Uncle at the scientific theory family gathering.

 

Occam’s Razor should certainly not be equated with “common sense”, which has no prescription for chaos theory or fractal geometry. And scientific methods of “observation,” such as tunneling microscopy, require far more faith in the predominantly empty space under the surface of a solid object than a sensible person would have. So this blog, this conceptual “lost and found,” might resemble a written word version of an M.C. Escher drawing where logic is askew just enough to allow a jaunt up several flights of stairs ultimately to the floor below. You may ask what purpose such a blog would serve. And I will direct you back to Occam’s Razor for your answer.

 

 


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