What is Occam’s razor and does it actually work?

When thinking about a complex problem, think Occam’s Razor, as simplicity is often best. (Image credit: Laurence Dutton via Getty Images)

Occam’s razor (also spelled Ockham’s razor) cuts through complexity with a no-nonsense approach. The philosophical maxim “Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate”, written by the 14th-century Franciscan friar William of Ockham, translates to “plurality must never be postulated without necessity”. In other words, all else being equal, simplicity is best.

So is that actually true? Is the simplest explanation usually the best?

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