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Ockham's Razor says simplest explanation (creation) is preferred (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Ockham's Razor says simplest explanation (creation) is preferred (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CA240:

Ockham's Razor says the simplest explanation should be preferred. That explanation is creation.


  • Morris, John D., 1999 (15 Sep., 10:00-11:00 PDT), "Forum", KQED radio.

CreationWiki response:

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Ockham's Razor does not say that the simplest explanation should be favored. It says that entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity (non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem). In other words, new principles should not be invoked if existing principles already provide an explanation. If, however, the simpler explanation does not cover all the details, then additional "entities" are necessary.

Talk Origins is playing word games here. While their formal statement of Ockham's Razor is correct, the statement; “the simplest explanation should be preferred;” is a legitimate paraphrase. Implicit in the paraphrase is that one is referring to the simplest explanation that covers all the details. So Talk Origins is using a Straw man here.

2. Creationism is not an explanation. An explanation tells why something is one way instead of an alternative way. But creationism does not rule out any alternatives, since a creator God could have done anything. Because of this, creationism adds nothing to any argument. Thus, creationism is an unnecessary entity and, by Ockham's Razor, should be eliminated.

While it is true that a creator God could have done anything, the same argument could be made about the designer of any thing. Talk Origins’ argument could be used to rule out the existence of a designer of automobile. If he wanted to an automobile designer could design a car with square wheels, and powered by a hamsters on a wheel, but it would not work. Once the laws that govern a universe are established even a creator God would be limited to populating it with organisms and objects that function according to those laws, as a result the principles of design tells us "why something is one way instead of an alternative way.” So creation adds the principles of design to arguments, and as such it is not eliminated by Ockham's Razor.

Furthermore of the two theoretical systems not only is creation the simplest, but it also requires fewest additional entities. Creation requires only one additional entity (God) to explain the existence of the entire universe. Evolution on the other hand requires innumerable unobserved transitional "entities" just to go from one cell to all modern life. It requires additional "entities" to get from lifeless chemicals to the first cell and even more to go from the Big bang to an Earth with those lifeless chemicals.

The result is that when Ockham's Razor is applied to origins Creation is the winner with Evolution not even being close.