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principle of parsimony

The principle that the most acceptable explanation of an occurrence, phenomenon, or event is the simplest, involving the fewest entities, assumptions, or changes. In phylogenetics, for ...

principle of parsimony

principle of parsimony   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Biology (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
58 words

...principle of parsimony The principle that the most acceptable explanation of an occurrence, phenomenon, or event is the simplest, involving the fewest entities, assumptions, or changes. In phylogenetics, for example, the preferred tree showing evolutionary relationships between species, molecules, or other entities is the one that requires the least amount of evolutionary change, that is, maximum parsimony...

Ockham's razor, or the principle of parsimony

Ockham's razor, or the principle of parsimony   Reference library

Marilyn McCord Adams

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
78 words

...razor, or the principle of parsimony . A methodological principle dictating a bias towards simplicity in theory construction, where the parameters of simplicity vary from kinds of entity to the number of presupposed axioms to characteristics of curves drawn between data points. Although found in Aristotle , it became associated with William Ockham because it captures the spirit of his philosophical conclusions. Prof. Marilyn McCord Adams Marilyn McCord Adams , William Ockham (Notre Dame, Ind., 1987), ch. 5, pp....

principle of parsimony

principle of parsimony  

The principle that the most acceptable explanation of an occurrence, phenomenon, or event is the simplest, involving the fewest entities, assumptions, or changes. In phylogenetics, for example, the ...
parsimony principle

parsimony principle  

The proposition that closely related organisms, having diverged comparatively recently in evolutionary history, have fewer differences in their DNA than more distantly related organisms. See also ...
law of parsimony

law of parsimony  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
Another name for Ockham's razor, or more generally for any methodological principle that counsels us to expect nature to use the simplest possible means to any given end.
maximum parsimony

maximum parsimony  

The principle that a simpler solution is preferred to a more complex one. For example, in phylogenetics, a tree that requires the fewest evolutionary events to explain the data is preferable to a ...
parsimony

parsimony  

In cladistic analysis, the convention whereby the simplest explanation is preferred, because it requires the fewest conjectures, although the most parsimonious explanation is not always the correct ...
evolutionary clock

evolutionary clock  

The accumulation of changes in non-genetic stretches or introns of (especially) mitochondrial DNA that occur at a fairly constant rate and can be calibrated with real time to enable estimates to be ...
particularization

particularization  

In logic, the method of reasoning in which a general rule is applied to a specific set of facts and circumstances, minimizing assumptions and axioms (the principle of scientific parsimony, or Occam's ...
proportionality principle

proportionality principle  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Law
The concept that control measures or a response should generally be proportional to the risk.
Occam's razor

Occam's razor  

Reference type:
Overview Page
The principle (attributed to the English philosopher and Franciscan friar William ofOccam, c. 1285–1349) that in explaining a thing no more assumptions should be made than are necessary. The ...
Allan Charles Wilson

Allan Charles Wilson  

Reference type:
Overview Page
(1934–1991) New Zealand biochemistBorn at Ngaruawakia in New Zealand, Wilson was educated at the University of Otago, Dunedin, and at Washington State University before completing his PhD in 1961 at ...
mitochondrial-DNA

mitochondrial-DNA  

Circular DNA that is found in mitochondria. It is entirely independent of nuclear DNA and, with very few exceptions, is transmitted from females to their offspring with no contribution from the male ...
parsimony, law of

parsimony, law of   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
32 words

..., law of Another name for Ockham’s razor , or more generally for any methodological principle that counsels us to expect nature to use the simplest possible means to any given...

particularization

particularization   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Public Health (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...particularization In logic, the method of reasoning in which a general rule is applied to a specific set of facts and circumstances, minimizing assumptions and axioms (the principle of scientific parsimony, or Occam's razor ) and making the most logical conclusion. ...

parsimony

parsimony   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Sociology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
61 words

... ( parsimonious ) The principle that the best statistical model among all satisfactory models is that with the fewest parameters. Hence, more generally, the principle asserting that if it is possible to explain a phenomenon equally adequately in a number of different ways, then the simplest of explanations (in terms of the number of variables or propositions) should be...

Occam's razor

Occam's razor   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Public Health (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...Occam's razor ( principle of scientific parsimony ) An important principle in logic and scientific reasoning, enunciated by the 14th-century philosopher William of Occam. In his words, Essentia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem ; i.e., the number of axioms or assumptions required to establish a truth or explain a phenomenon should be kept to the minimum possible. ...

evolutionary clock

evolutionary clock n.   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...clock n. The accumulation of changes in non-genetic stretches or introns of (especially) mitochondrial DNA that occur at a fairly constant rate and can be calibrated with real time to enable estimates to be made of how long ago present-day organisms diverged from their common ancestors. See also Eve , maternal inheritance , parsimony principle . Compare glottochronology , lexicostatistics...

Occam’s razor

Occam’s razor   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Genetics (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
52 words

...Occam’s razor a rule attributed to the medieval philosopher William of Occam. In modern times, the rule states that when there are several possible explanations of a phenomenon, one selects as most probable the explanation that is the simplest and most consistent with the data at hand. Also called the parsimony principle...

Ockham's razor

Ockham's razor   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Statistics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014

...razor Essentially the principle of parsimony which states that if one is provided with a variety of explanations (e.g. a variety of statistical models) one should prefer the simplest. William of Ockham ( c . 1285–1349 ) was an English philosopher who held that a complicated explanation should not be accepted without good reason, and wrote ‘ Frustra fit per plura, quod fieri potest per pauciora ’. (‘It is vain to do with more what can be done with...

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