The fatal nicks in Occam's Razor
merkel at splusnet.com
Wed Apr 15 00:10:09 EST 1998
> Occam's Razor is merely the way any problem or mystery should be
> approached. With common sense logic and without a vested interest in
> what the solution 'should' be.
> Stephen Walsh
Inherent in Occam's razor is the fact that it WILL be wrong
with a varying ratio, depending on the nature of the subject
It assumes the least unusual explanation for everything.
However, many things in our anthropocentric view of reality
occur in ways certain to make Occam's Razor very
uncomfortable. You may find these occurrences in places
like "news of the weird," the Congressional Record, declassified
CIA and FBI files, and the pages of science journals (many
discoveries surprising to logically efficient minds turn up
as journal reports).
In many such cases, Occam's razor fails the test.
When you use Occam's razor, you're going to cut yourself
a lot, unless you limit it strictly to first-approximations and
very, very rough drafts. It's inadequate in itself for dismissing
reports of unusual activity.
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