The Law of Parsimony? Occam’s razor???

I majored in chemistry and psychology in college, and I have lots of fond memories about those days, as well as some really tough ones.  Like most of us at UNC-CH during the late 60’s and early 70’s I actually did learn a lot…and some of it was even in the classroom!

But whether in the classroom or outside it, a few ideas have particularly stood out to me through the years, and one was from the field of science.  Roughly stated it says:  “A simple explanation of a phenomenon is preferred over a more complex one.”  It’s known as the Law of Parsimony, or strangely enough, Occam’s razor.

Sounds like a bunch of gobbledygook, doesn’t it?  My chemistry professor explained it by saying that if a law of science is very complex, then it’s probably not in it’s final form yet.  In other words, the important things in life are actually profound and can be broken down into relatively uncomplicated pieces.

That helps most of us regular people, and also explains why someone who understands something REALLY well can often explain it to others.  They really “get” it.

Why am I saying all this?  Good question!

I don’t know about your life, but “uncomplicated” doesn’t always describe mine.  However, I do look for ways to make it less complicated and more profound.  I seem to be driven to find simple, important ways of being that are joyful and durable in the face of life’s problems.

In fact, I’d love to learn from you.  Do you have an idea or experience to share?  If you’re up for it, leave a comment here with a discovery or two of your own.  I’d love to read what you have to say, and I’m sure others would as well.

David

P.S. One quick comment that’s actually rather obvious…simple/profound does not equal simplistic.  The first takes some thought and wisdom, the second only superficial thinking.  Too bad.

This entry was posted in General, Humor, Optimal Living. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Law of Parsimony? Occam’s razor???

  1. I haven’t read about law of parsimony but one of my teachers in school used to say the same thing that science principles have to be simple and uncomplicated.

  2. whoah this weblog is wonderful i like studying your posts.
    Stay up the good work! You know, many people are looking around for this info, you can aid them greatly.

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