Sunday, July 29, 2007

The principle of simplicity

"Simplicity is (or should be) the object of scientific work [...] Theory, and its applications in observational work and numerical modeling, provide us with hope for simplicity. Without it, at least as an organizing principle if not as detailed 'prediction', we are left with a hopeless morass of detail, and become idiot savants reeling off accurate but unorganized masses of factual detail."
(Peter Rhines, in "Future of Physical Oceanography").

This reminds me of a well-known quotation from Albert Einstein:
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler".

No comments: