Brent, > scientific theory. Occams razor is a vague desiderata. You can justify > almost anything by choosing your definition of "complex", e.g. theists > say, "God did it." is the simplest possible theory.
no you can't: http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/09/occams-razor.html most relevant quote from the above post: This lets us see clearly the problem with using "The lady down the street is a witch; she did it" to explain the pattern in the sequence "0101010101". If you're sending a message to a friend, trying to describe the sequence you observed, you would have to say: "The lady down the street is a witch; she made the sequence come out 0101010101." Your accusation of witchcraft wouldn't let you shorten the rest of the message; you would still have to describe, in full detail, the data which her witchery caused. Witchcraft may fit our observations in the sense of qualitatively permitting them; but this is because witchcraft permits everything, like saying "Phlogiston!" So, even after you say "witch", you still have to describe all the observed data in full detail. You have not compressed the total length of the message describing your observations by transmitting the message about witchcraft; you have simply added a useless prologue, increasing the total length. The real sneakiness was concealed in the word "it" of "A witch did it". A witch did what? QUOTE END same goes for "god did it" Cheers, Günther -- Günther Greindl Department of Philosophy of Science University of Vienna [EMAIL PROTECTED] http://www.univie.ac.at/Wissenschaftstheorie/ Blog: http://dao.complexitystudies.org/ Site: http://www.complexitystudies.org --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---