Wednesday, 27 January 2016


Nod of the noggin to Jim West who posted this on his Zwinglius Redivivus blog. Note the position of the bookcase!


  1. False dichotomy. And Ockham is frowning. But it's Jim West, so not surprising.

    1. The application of Ockham's razor assumes that first you're in possession of relevant info. Simplicity is secondary to first doing the hard yards and gathering the data.

      My advice is that, at the very least you pack a parachute well before arriving at the cliff's edge.

    2. Well, yes. Sort of. Arriving at assumptions "should" mean a measure of info-gathering prior to arriving. Nevertheless, whether simplicity is secondary, as you like to place it, does not make it an opposing binary to a "right" answer -- as the cartoon locates it without qualification. Simple and Complex are binary. Right and Wrong are binary. But it is not self-evident or logically sound to fix them as pairs in this manner.

  2. Third sign missing: "Simple But Right, but no one wants to pursue it because it is uncomfortable and doesn't fit our beliefs".

    Example, British Israelism is in sort of in a crisis at The British-Israel-World Federation because of DNA. They'd like to believe that the Y Chromosome can just drift from one haplogroup to another. Oh, and stay out of the sunshine, guys! Or get out into it!

    The answer is simple: British Israelism is just plain wrong. DNA isn't the only evidence. The easiest, most logical path is to just accept the fact that British Israelism is crap and disband.

    After over 100 years of accepting stupid nonsense, just how likely do you think it would be for them to admit error and change instead of fighting it tooth and nail and making up lies and delusions as excuses?

    It's time for the legal profession to throw in the towel and admit that DNA evidence doesn't prove anything and that it can mean anything you want to mean, since it is so unreliable, particularly for identifying paternity.

    You do know that some Brit-Am proponents have been kicked off discussion boards because of this? They just aren't much for science at Brit-Am and refuse to believe in science since we all know that magic runs the universe and it is totally arbitrary, not following any rules -- which means that your opinion is just as good as any one else's.

  3. Actually, if you think about it, the signs should simply read "Simple but wrong" and "Complex but wrong".