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It turns out that Occam’s Razor wasn’t really Occam’s razor …

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The Science Before Science: A Guide to Thinking in the 21st Century In The Science Before Science (IAP Press, 2004), Anthony Rizzi explains (p. 263),

Science texts, scientists, and others constantly attribute this axiom to Occam (Ockham). It is curious that William of Ockham (1285-1349), who lived after St. Thomas (1225-1274) and, of course, after Aristotle (384-322 BC) who also used the axiom) is credited with this axiom.

The odd nature of this attribution is accentuated when one considers that Ockham was a nominalist and an occasionalist (i.e. believed that secondary causes were an illusion, not real; he thinks that God continually works miracles to make the world look like it is).

Nominalism makes science a useless enterprise, because it denies that things have an essence; in short, the question “What is it?”has no meaning for them. This belief undermines emperiometric science as well, because without essences, even the quantitative relations that we give can only be figments of our minds, not reflective of reality.

"No one knows the origin of mathematics, no one has a clue. We can dismiss at once shallow ideas that mathematics is an invention of the human mind; obviously it’s not. If were an invention of the human mind, mathematical laws would be false at a time when there were no human minds, but obviously they’re true. Fifteen billion years ago it was true that there was a natural number between two and four, the number three. There were no human minds, so an existence assertion says that something existed at a time when no human minds existed. Which immediately raises the question: how come it’s there, right in front of our eyes, right in front of our gaping eyes?" -- Berlinski IDTheFuture: Berlinski & Denton, pt. 4: Envisioning a Post-Darwinian Science material.infantacy
I may have completely misunderstood the matter, but it seems to me that nominalism, as you describe it, is rather the definitive guarantor that things have a meaning. Do we not know that things that are perceptible at the quantum level accord with this, yet we know that in large enough configurations, matter is solid enough to be reconfigured at this level by designers and engineers. If we are to take the matter further, into the realms of theology and metaphysics, where quantum physics becomes increasingly paradoxical and 'fuzzy', there is the biblical guarantee that God made the world, good. God can 'think' matter into existence, but its dependence on his will should only cause atheists' concern regarding its reality. We don't need it to be absolute. It is the case though, isn't it, that some atheists involved in science, however parasitically, feel cheated by the idea that ultimate knowledge of the physical universe is well beyond their/our puny powers. Axel

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