Simplicity and truth

The Tyranny of Simple Explanations

Imagine you’re a scientist with a set of results that are equally well predicted by two different theories. Which theory do you choose? This, it’s often said, is just where you need a hypothetical tool fashioned by the 14th-century English Franciscan friar William of Ockham, one of the most important thinkers of the Middle Ages. Called Ockam’s razor (more commonly spelled Occam’s razor), it advises you to seek the more economical solution: In layman’s terms, the simplest explanation is usually the best one. ….[READ]

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