Occam’s Razor

January 16, 2013 | By | 4 Comments

Numerous times either during an investigation or after a lecture, I’ll hear the same old broken record from skeptics from time to time saying UFOs or extraterrestrials don’t exist! There’s no proof! There’s no explanation! And they always use the principle of Occam’s Razor for their defense.

Skeptics claim the rule of Occam’s Razor states: The simplest explanation is the most correct one.

Well they either didn’t study philosophy or were asleep during the class, because that can’t be further from the truth.

Occam’s Razor is not a clear-cut theory and should not be used as one. William of Ockham was a very complex individual and many people today still argue about what he said or didn’t say.

So what is Occam’s Razor?

William of Ockham (1287-1349) was an English Franciscan Friar well-known at that time as a Roman Catholic philosopher. He was born in the village of Ockham in the English county of Surrey. He is well-known today for his methodological principle known as “ Ockham’s Razor, or Occam’s Razor”.

Occam’s Razor: This is the principle of parsimony. It suggests when faced with multiple theories or hypotheses, the one that has the least assumptions should be looked at first.

That doesn’t mean the hypotheses with the least assumptions is the correct one, it means that would be a good place to start.

His principle also states, “Don’t multiply entities beyond necessity”, which could point to individuals on both sides of the Occam’s Razor’s teeter totter. One using his principle in the ‘for” argument, while one is using it in the “against” argument.

Let me explain.

In the realm of UFOlogy let’s look at Alien abductions, something my friend Stan Romanek knows a lot about. Skeptics will claim Occam’s Razor supports that aliens are not the most plausible explanation for people claiming to have been abducted, which would say Stan and thousands of others who have had abduction experiences actually experienced sleep paralysis or just plain lied. But UFO investigators as myself could say, Occam’s Razor is in favor of the abductee’s testimony once you include the biological evidence associated with their cases.

Einstein once stated: “Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler”.

Making assumptions simpler could lead you in the wrong direction. Ask any homicide detective if this isn’t true.

Example: A man who looks like President Obama has been captured on a video surveillance camera robbing a bank. The simplest explanation is, “Our president just robbed a bank!” True this could be a way his administration is helping to eliminate our national deficit, but an intelligent explanation would assume it wasn’t our president, but a criminal dressed up like him.

See Einstein is correct, “simpler” is not the answer.

Back to Occam’s Razor.

So if we use Occam’s Razor to explain life on this planet, the religious fundamentalist will use it in their favor claiming intelligent creation is the answer, but the evolutionists will use it in their favor claiming evolution is.

Who’s right and who’s wrong? They both used Occam’s Razor in their favor based on their beliefs if it be religion or science.

In my investigations I’ll use Occam’s Razor to start my investigation by looking at the obvious aspects of the investigation first, then eliminating them based on evidence accumulated or based on the lack of evidence accumulated.

Example: Thousands of Animal Mutilations have occurred in the USA and since the very first media reported case in 1967 here in Colorado, no one has been caught, tried and convicted for these animal cruelty crimes. The principle of Occam’s Razor has me look for human evidence first which could cause the mutilation, because that would be the most easiest to explain. When human evidence cannot be found, then I jump into the next phase looking for animal predator evidence, which again would be the second easiest to explain. When there is a lack of animal predator evidence, then I have to look for other types of evidence which is not so common or easily explained.

So if you look at the principle of Occam’s Razor by itself when starting an investigation, it has you look for the most common or explainable evidence first, but does not claim the simplest explanation is always the correct one.

So skeptics please use another avenue other than Occam’s Razor for your defense, because you’re losing that battle. If you persist, then I’ll be forced to throw at you, Walter Chatton’s  “Anti-razor” theory which will probably confuse you even more.

Hint: Walter Chatton (1290-1343) was an English theologian and philosopher who generally debated William of Ockham.

To sum up this blog, “Skeptics it’s time to put-to-bed your Occam’s Razor’s defense, please try another avenue, one that is a little more challenging for me; But if you still want to persist with the “Razor”, let me suggest, Gillette.”

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Category: Chuck Zukowski, The Z-Files

About the Author ()

For the past 28 years Chuck has been researching and investigating the UFO/Paranormal phenomenon. Chuck approaches his investigations with an analytical understanding, making sure to address all human known possibilities before venturing into the non-human or paranormal aspects of the sightings. (TV Shows in which Chuck's investigations have been featured on:) *2002, The Roswell Crash, Startling New Evidence: Documentary Sci-Fi Channel *2006, Sci Fi Investigates: Episode 5, The Roswell episode, Sci-Fi Channel *2009, Primetime: Outsiders, with Juju Chang, Alien Abductions, NBC *2010, SyFy Fact or Faked: Episode 6, San Luis Cattle Mutilation, SyFy Channel *2011, Chasing UFO’s, Episode 3, Alien Cowboys, San Luis Cattle Mutilation, Nat Geo *2013, Finding Bigfoot, Bailey Colorado episode, Animal Planet

Comments (4)

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  1. good article by chuck… he is a beliver…

    the facts are … UFO`S are not space ships…they are unidentifed flying objects…until they are identified…so far not one UFO has quilifed as a space ship or any other kind of object from some where other than earth…as far as the abductee`s they probly needed to wake up and go to the toilet…

    the real hard cold fact`s are…lack of knowledge of our universe and the mecanics and physics applied to is function…you might say ingnournce is bliss…

  2. good article by chuck… he is a believer…

    the facts are … UFO`S are not space ships…they are unidentified flying objects…until they are identified…so far not one UFO has qualified as a space ship or any other kind of object from some where other than earth…as far as the abductees they probably needed to wake up and go to the toilet…

    the real hard cold fact`s are…lack of knowledge of our universe and the mechanics and physics applied to is function…you might say ignorance is bliss…

  3. ArthurManby says:

    I’ve always said the Razor is a great tool for trouble shooting butter churns and lawn mowers. But once the problem becomes more complex, ie., increased random and unknown variables, undefinable parameters, etc., you might as well just use it to shave with. In the case of paranormal or ufological investigating, where we are hypothesizing proof of existence based on the anomaly and not the normal distribution, the only thing Occams Razor is good for is defining what the event is not.

  4. Andreas Hohl says:

    Perhaps Ockham’s razor is one of the best double edged swords to use when trying to find truth in any circumstance. If one is true to the facts and can “shave” down the superfluous, then logic may set in. If the final answer does yield nothing known or
    common”, then one must assume or at least give the benefit of the doubt to step outside of the norm of standard human knowledge and thought. This in turn then allows one to speculate on what the answer may be and perhaps has even helped inspire ingenuity. That is how science and research has always worked. This is how breakthroughs happen. In the 80’s one would have thought you are nuts to even contemplate a thing such as a communicator from Star Trek to exist. Today it is in our hands and has far more power than ever could have been imagined back then. Open minds lead to far more realism than stubborn ideologies. IMHO. 🙂

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