Let's Sharpen Up Occam's Razor

In the otherwise interesting dialogue between Stephen Hawking and Renée Weber in "God as the Edge of the Universe" (The Scientist, February 23, 1987, p. 15), it is unfortunate that as good a scientist as Hawking should "invoke God" to fill the gaps in our cosmological knowledge. I thought Occam's razor had trimmed off such nonsense long ago. If Hawking feels that religious interpretations are really irrelevant, as he implies later in the interview, why did he feel compelled to muddy the wat

Richard Goss
Apr 19, 1987
In the otherwise interesting dialogue between Stephen Hawking and Renée Weber in "God as the Edge of the Universe" (The Scientist, February 23, 1987, p. 15), it is unfortunate that as good a scientist as Hawking should "invoke God" to fill the gaps in our cosmological knowledge. I thought Occam's razor had trimmed off such nonsense long ago.

If Hawking feels that religious interpretations are really irrelevant, as he implies later in the interview, why did he feel compelled to muddy the waters at all? The time has come for scientists and non-scientists alike to stop attributing whatever they do not yet understand to occult entities.

—Richard J. Goss
Div. of Biology and Medicine
Brown University, Providence, RI 02912

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