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Encyclopedia > Parsimony
Look up parsimony in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Parsimony is a 'less is better' concept of frugality, economy, stinginess or caution in arriving at a hypothesis or course of action. The word derives from Middle English parcimony, from Latin parsimonia, from parsus, past participle of parcere: to spare. It is a general principle that has applications from science to philosophy and all related fields. Parsimony is basically the implementation of Occam's razor. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... For the House television show episode, see Occams Razor (House episode). ...



Parsimony is one of the two pillars of science. The first pillar being falsification through experiment, the other taking the results and explaining it with the simplest theory with the best predictive power. All scientific progress so far has been made with falsification and parsimony. See also scientific method Falsification may mean: The act of disproving a proposition, hypothesis, or theory. ... -1...

In science, parsimony is preference for the least complex explanation for an observation. This is generally regarded as good when judging hypotheses. Occam's razor also states the "principle of parsimony". A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Look up Hypothesis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the House television show episode, see Occams Razor (House episode). ...

In systematics, maximum parsimony is a cladistic "optimality criterion" based on the principle of parsimony. Under maximum parsimony, the preferred phylogenetic tree is the tree that requires the smallest number of evolutionary changes. Biological systematics is the study of the diversity of life on the planet earth, both past and present, and the relationships among living things through time. ... Maximum parsimony, often simply referred to as parsimony, is a non-parametric statistical method commonly used in computational phylogenetics for estimating phylogenies. ... Greek clados = branch) or phylogenetic systematics is a branch of biology that determines the evolutionary relationships of living things based on derived similarities. ... Fig. ...

In biogeography, parsimony is used to infer ancient migrations of species or populations by observing the geographic distribution and relationships of existing organisms. Given the phylogenetic tree, ancestral migrations are inferred to be those that require the minimum amount of total movement. Biogeography is the science which deals with patterns of species distribution and the processes that result in such patterns. ... mtDNA-based chart of large human migrations. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ...

Parsimony is also a factor in statistics: in general, mathematical models with the smallest number of parameters are preferred as each parameter introduced into the model adds some uncertainty to it. Additionally, adding too many parameters leads to "connect-the-dots" curve-fitting which has little predictive power. In general terms, it may be said that applied statisticians (such as process control engineers) value parsimony quite highly, whereas mathematicians prefer to have a more predictive model even if a large number of parameters are required. This article is about the field of statistics. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ...

Hesperornithes and others[1][2] provide cases where a parsimonious approach does not guarantee to arrive at a correct conclusion, and if based on incorrect working hypotheses or interpretations of incomplete data may even strongly support a false conclusion: Families Enaliornithidae Baptornithidae Hesperornithidae Synonyms Odontornithes Marsh, 1873 (partim) Odontolcae Marsh, 1875 Gaviomorphae Cracraft, 1982 (partim) Hesperornithes are an extinct and highly specialized subclass of Cretaceous toothed birds. ...

When parsimony ceases to be a guideline and is instead elevated to an ex cathedra pronouncement, parsimony analysis ceases to be science.[3] It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Papal infallibility. ...

For another example using a more familiar subject, consider the attempts to determine the relationships of the cockatoos, namely such taxa as the Gang-gang Cockatoo, the Galah, and the popular pet, the cockatiel. It becomes obvious that parsimony is an extremely powerful tool if the researcher is able to interpret correctly the significance of the data to the case in question, and is able to relate and put it into context inter se. Failure to fulfil these conditions will, speaking figuratively, dull Occam's razor fairly quickly. This article is about the family of birds. ... Binomial name Callocephalon fimbriatum (Grant, 1803) Gang-gang Cockatoo range (in red) The Gang-gang Cockatoo, Callocephalon fimbriatum, is found in the cooler and wetter forests and woodlands of Australia, particularly alpine bushland. ... This article is about the bird species. ... Binomial name (Kerr, 1792) Cockatiel range (in red; all-year resident) Synonyms Psittacus hollandicus Kerr, 1792 Leptolophus hollandicus The Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), also known as the Quarrion and the Weero, is a diminutive Cockatoo endemic to Australia and prized as a household pet. ... For the House television show episode, see Occams Razor (House episode). ...

Penal ethics

In penal theory and the philosophy of punishment, parsimony refers specifically to taking care in the distribution of punishment in order to avoid excessive punishment. In the utilitarian approach to the philosophy of punishment, Jeremy Bentham's "parsimony principle" states that any punishment greater than is required to achieve its end is unjust. The concept is related but not identical to the legal concept of proportionality. Parsimony is a key consideration of the modern restorative justice, and is a component of utilitarian approaches to punishment, as well as the prison abolition movement. Bentham believed that true parsimony would require punishment to be individualised to take account of the sensibility of the individual – an individual more sensitive to punishment should be given a proportionately lesser one, since otherwise needless pain would be inflicted. Later utilitarian writers have tended to abandon this idea, in large part due to the impracticality of determining each alleged criminal's relative sensitivity to specific punishments. For a discussion on how well just desserts theory applies parsimony.[4] Look up Punishment in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article discusses utilitarian ethical theory. ... Jeremy Bentham (IPA: ) (26 February [O.S. 15 February 15] 1748) – June 6, 1832) was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. ... Within law, the principle of proportionality is used to describe the idea that the punishment of a certain crime should be in proportion to the severity of the crime itself. ... Restorative justice is commonly known as a theory of criminal justice that focuses on crime as an act against another individual or community rather than the state. ... The aim of the prison abolition movement is to eliminate prisons, jails, immigration detention centers, and prisoner of war camps by alternatives which they argue are more useful and more humane. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

See also

For the House television show episode, see Occams Razor (House episode). ... Maximum parsimony, often simply referred to as parsimony, is a non-parametric statistical method commonly used in computational phylogenetics for estimating phylogenies. ... It has been suggested that Clade be merged into this article or section. ... The term KISS is an acronym of the phrase Keep It Simple, Stupid, and the KISS principle states that design simplicity should be a key goal and unnecessary complexity avoided. ... Sir Karl Raimund Popper (July 28, 1902 â€“ September 17, 1994) was an Austrian and British[1] philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. ... Willi Hennig (April 20, 1913 - November 5, 1976) was a German biologist and is known as the founder of phylogenetic systematics (cladistics). ...


  1. ^ Lee, M. S. Y. (2002): Divergent evolution, hierarchy and cladistics. Zool. Scripta 31(2): 217-219. doi:10.1046/j.1463-6409.2002.00101.x PDF fulltext
  2. ^ Parsimony and its role in Phylogenetic Reconstruction
  3. ^ Ibid
  4. ^ Tonry, Michael (2005): Obsolescence and Immanence in Penal Theory and Policy. Columbia Law Review 105: 1233-1275. PDF fulltext

Zoologica Scripta (ISSN 0300-3256) is a biology magazine, published by Blackwell Publishing Limited, published bi-montly. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... The Columbia Law Review is a law review edited and published entirely by students at Columbia Law School. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Parsimony - Definitions from Dictionary.com (589 words)
Frugality is usually applied to matters of consumption, and commonly points to simplicity of manners; parsimony is frugality carried to an extreme, involving meanness of spirit, and a sordid mode of living.
Economy is a virtue, and parsimony a vice.
A prodigal king is nearer a tyrant than a parsimonious.
  More results at FactBites »



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