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Those who suggested aliens make crop circles must not only explain how they did it but also why? If little green men or large blobs of chemicals want to communicate with the human race, why do so this way? If their technology is good enough to bring them to Earth, it is surely also so advanced that it can identify the primary forms of communication that we humans use, and the best people to communicate with. Why would they choose to announce their presence in such an obscure fashion?
Occam's Razor suggested that humans were far more likely to be behind crop circles than aliens. Not surprisingly that explanation was confirmed in the early 1990s when people confessed to making crop circles and demonstrated how they had done so.
0.8b Cutting through c**p
Occam's Razor can be applied to any alien "manifestation". Many people believe that visitors from space visit Earth frequently to abduct specimen humans to perform bizarre experiments or they come every few thousand years to give human civilisation a kick-start. Here too Occam's Razor can be applied, since for every alien visitation there is always a simpler and more likely natural explanation. No, there are no alien abductions, but there are individuals who are less grounded than most in reality. No, aliens did not assist the Mayan or Inca cultures - the indigenous people were pretty smart on their own. And so on...
When we apply Occam's Razor to the 9/11 conspiracy theories discussed in Section 4 we see the absurdity of the idea that the US government engineered the attack. If the theory is true, who in government circles ordered this bizarre event? why did they want to kill so many of their own citizens? who planted the explosive devices in the World Trade Center that apparently caused the buildings to tumble? when and how did they do it without alerting WTC security? what has prevented the hundreds or thousands of men and women aware of this conspiracy from coming forward to admit their role in it? And so on and so on.
Occam's Razor - common sense - is a simple tool that cuts through all such ridiculous theories and other crazy ideas (Queen Elizabeth as an alien lizard or drug smuggler?). The simplest answer is invariably true - and if the truth doesn't appear simple, you're not looking at it clearly.
0.8c Occam and God
What happens when we apply the Razor to God and the universe? Atheists say that if God is not necessary to explain the universe, Occam confirms that he does not exist. On the other hand, most believers use Occam's Razor to come to the opposite conclusion - God is a simpler explanation of the origins of the universe than the idea that it has always existed or came into being unbidden out of nothingness.
At first glance, the argument of believers seems simpler and therefore more reasonable than the idea of no God, but the closer we examine it, the less certain it seems. So many questions arise when we assume that there is a Creator - why did God make so many mistakes in the development of species? how can God's internally incompatible nature be explained? where did God come from? and so on - that the self-existing universe is seen to be the simpler and more likely explanation.
We will return later to the specific question of God and Occam's Razor. For the moment, let's stick with one point: the simplest interpretation is almost always the best.
Next: Introduction: Section 9
Facts, knowledge and science
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If God existed, he would...
admire the beauty of a universe that he did not create
recognize that eternity is meaningless
deny both heaven and hell
disown all men and women who speak in his name
denounce the harm caused by religious "morality"
help the human race to thrive without him
If God existed, he would be an atheist.
What is the difference between science and faith?
science is certain of nothing and requires proof of everything
faith is certain of everything and requires proof of nothing
Which do you trust?
"I know there is no God"
"I believe there is no God"
Check the answer