QR1.6.1 Occam’s Razor

Occam’s razor is not to multiply causes unnecessarily, i.e. to prefer the simpler theory. A century ago, Bertrand Russell denied the virtual reality idea by appealing to common sense and Occam’s razor, which is to prefer the simpler theory:

There is no logical impossibility in the supposition that the whole of life is a dream, in which we ourselves create all the objects that come before us. But although this is not logically impossible, there is no reason whatever to suppose that it is true; and it is, in fact, a less simple hypothesis, viewed as a means of accounting for the facts of our own life, than the common-sense hypothesis that there really are objects independent of us, whose action on us causes our sensations.” (Russell, 1912)

However when space curves, quantum entities teleport and time dilates, the theories of physics today are far from common-sense. That a universe of matter exploded from a dimensionless point singularity is not common-sense nor is it common-sense that light waves move by vibrating nothing. In contrast, in today’s online world, common-sense can accept that a virtual universe began by booting-up and that light waves travel on space as a 3D screen.

Nor is physical realism today a simple theory. To explain even the basics of modern physics, the standard model needs forty-eight fundamental particles, twenty-four fitted properties, five invisible fields and fourteen virtual particles that pop in and out of existence on demand, anywhere, anytime. And it isn’t finished yet, e.g. to explain inflation needs a new field. And M-theory requires eleven dimensions to explain what we see. It’s hard to imagine anything more complex so if physical realism is preferred, it isn’t based on its simplicity! In contrast, a quantum processing explanation requires only one fundamental process, one extra dimension and one quantum field to explain the same facts, as will be seen.

If we ask which is simpler today, physical realism or quantum realism, the answer isn’t physical realism. Fast forward a hundred years from Russell’s comment and there is evidence to suggest that the physical world is virtual and this is the simpler theory, i.e. Occam’s razor now cuts the other way.