British archaeologists working in Ockham, a small village located in the Surrey county in South East England, have announced a remarkable discovery which is already garnering consensus amidst the scientific community as constituting one of the greatest historical finds of the last few decades.
Most everyone has heard of “Ockham’s Razor”, also known as the law of parsimony, which in the most common of its many possible formulations states that when pressed to choose between two equivalent explanations, all other things being equal, one should pick the simplest as it will probably be the correct one. Recently, the aforementioned group of archaeologists have confirmed that the object they uncovered from a medieval ruin buried under the mossy ground of southern England is exactly what they suspected it was right from the beginning: the original Ockham’s razor, that is, the actual razor used by William of Ockham himself - the Franciscan friar who invented the law of parsimony - to shave every morning, and which inspired him to come up with the idea. Extracted from the dig site along with the razor were Ockham’s toothbrush, Ockham’s dental floss, Ockham’s nail clipper and a collection of strange moon-shaped objects that at first fooled the archaeologists into believing they had fortuitously stumbled upon the remains of some ancient bivalve from the Cambric, but which turned out to be Ockham’s toenail clippings. However, for obvious reasons, the semi-mythical razor is the one making headlines everywhere.
Although the full implications of this astonishing discovery are yet to be assessed, it is already sparking an enormous amount of commotion among a very special group of people: atheists. Since they have been using the principle of Ockham’s Razor for ages as an argument against the existence of God, the finding of the actual razor represents the opportunity to finally have something close to an atheistic relic. As such, ever since the discovery was announced, atheist believers numbering in the thousands have pilgrimaged to Ockham in an attempt to touch or at least get a glimpse of the revered object, which is already being said to have the power to cure existentialism. Among them is the famous biologist and delusional pseudo-philosopher Richard Dawkins, who upon hearing the news immediately flew over to Britain from the Maldives, where he was enjoying a relaxing vacation with his life-partner and fellow atheist Daniel Dennett. The latter couldn’t join him in the trip due to an unexplained medical condition which causes him to experience tremendous pain when sitting down, so we didn't manage to ask him his opinion on all this, but The Philosophical Times did get to interview Dawkins as he was leaving the improvised exhibition room in Ockham where the razor is currently under display.
Still wet-cheeked and dewy-eyed, Dawkins stated in a profoundly peaceful voice: “It is difficult to put into words what it feels like to be in the presence of Ockham’s razor, the actual one that inspired the principle which I have exploited so much in my work bringing the news of Atheism to common people. I can only say that this has been the most materialistic experience of my life. I mean, for a moment there, it was as if I could actually feel the absence of God within me”.
A Vatican spokesperson has already come forth to downgrade the importance of the finding, stating that “it has been sufficiently demonstrated by Kierkegaard, among others, that the principle of Ockham’s Razor cannot be applied to theological matters”, and that “the Lord Himself has given us a sign that this is so through the image imprinted upon the holy Shroud of Turin, which clearly shows that the Messiah had the bushy beard of a man who never shaved, and one does not have to be the Pope to realize that this was God’s way of warning future generations against Ockham’s Razor”.
This statement, however, has done little or nothing to defuse the enthusiasm of the atheists from all over the world who continue flocking in increasingly greater numbers to the small village of Ockham, despite the best efforts of the local administration officials to get them to flock off. It therefore seems clear that the pilgrimage will continue for some time, particularly since all this is happening in the aftermath of the astonishing news of the team of Mexican atheist scientists who only last month discovered that the E. Coli culture growing in one of their Petri dishes looked exactly like Darwin.