The Razor and the Spaceship

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In the year 1969, on July 20, Neil Armstrong took his first step onto the moon. He looked at that first step he took, than turned to the camera and spoke the famous words, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." Audiences were enthralled with what they were seeing, a man was walking on the moon! Yet even with video footage of the event and public knowledge of the space program there were those who doubted that Neil Armstrong had actually landed on the moon. They claimed it was an elaborate hoax to try and look better than the U.S.S.R. rather than an actual amazing feat of science and engineering. If they had known the scientific method perhaps they wouldn't have reached such a radical and wrong conclusion about what they were seeing. Occam's Razor is the key. Occam's Razor states that if two hypothesis' fit the data equally well than the simpler or parsimonious one is most likely the answer. In this case The simpler answer is that NASA had indeed performed an amazing feat of engineering rather than government conspiracies, coverups, and power play. While this doesn't necessarily prove that a space shuttle had landed on the moon it does give us an easier hypothesis to test first. The evidence for the shuttle landing is overwhelming and easily falsiable which further strengthens it's claim. On the other hand, although the conspiracy theory does explain and account for the phenomena it is neither falsifiable nor replicable which makes it violate more principles of the scientific method. In this case, Occam's Razor shaved off excess detail to give a straight forward answer which later can be tested to find out for sure if the hypothesis was correct or not. Parsimony is a wonderful concept as it closes the door on cluttering and overcomplicated ideas. Could you even imagine life if every idea we tried to prove was as complicated as a conspiracy theory?neil_armstrong_auf_dem_mond.jpg

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