Newton's flaming laser sword

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English[edit]

Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

Named after Isaac Newton. Coined by Australian mathematician Mike Alder in a 2004 article of the same title, to be hyperbolically "much sharper and more dangerous than Occam's Razor".

Proper noun[edit]

Newton's flaming laser sword

  1. A philosophical razor which states that what cannot be settled by experiment is not worth debating.
    • 2004, Mike Alder, “Newton's Flaming Laser Sword, Or: Why Mathematicians and Scientists don't like Philosophy but do it anyway”[1]: 
      Mathematicians and scientists feel that they have found a more difficult but much more satisfying game to play. Newton's Flaming Laser Sword is one of the rules of that game.
    • 2010 October 25, "Valhallen", “Re: The meaning of the universe explained by Jesus”, Snafu Comics, accessed on 2011-12-05:
      Also, I invoke Newton's Flaming Laser Sword on this thread.
    • 2011 January 5, "Arkhanno", “Re: Atheists don't know how to reason”, I Wanna Be The Forums, accessed on 2011-12-05:
      I prefer to be anti-religion and live by Newton's flaming laser sword, Occam's Razor and Hanlon's Razor.
    • 2011 January 8, "Azwraith", “Atheism - Belief? Religion? (comment)”, Minegarde, accessed on 2011-12-05:
      What is the actual point of adding in God to your equation if it is a unknown domain? So, we remove such variables using the Newton's Flaming Laser Sword.
    • 2011 July 19, "Drastic", “Thought Experiment Regarding Morality (comment)”, That Guy With the Glasses, accessed on 2011-12-05:
      Just demanding there is nothing you can do, because the flashy light told you so is grounds for Newton's Flaming Laser Sword.
    • 2011 September 12, "Decivre", “Open thread on Episode #726 (comment)”, The Atheist Experience, accessed on 2011-12-05:
      Put as much math as you want to it, and it's still a philosophical statement... to which I say that Newton's Flaming Laser Sword is the best response: "what cannot be settled by experiment is not worth debating".

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