Mayhew's Law

Having finally come up with what I think is a reasonable (though by no means perfect) wording ....  I'm posting it here for my future reference:

One size rarely fits all; complex events are unlikely to have simple, single, causes, and, especially where competing explanations exist, it's most likely a combination of factors were involved.

Background: this 'law' arose from the observation that major, complex, events - such as the demise of the dinosaurs - often have two or more competing theories trying to account for them, both of which appear equally valid.   It seems to me more logical that in such cases both theories are valid and both contributed to the event.    Additionally, we sometimes find that where one theory has been shown to explain one event, it is evoked to explain all similar events, again at the exclusion of other possible contributory causes.    

Climate change is another example of where Mayhew's Law applies and a good example of people falling foul of the law: by arguing that B cannot cause Z if in the past A caused Z (or, in some more extreme cases, by arguing that those who say that B causes Z think only B causes Z ..... )


Popular posts from this blog

27th September - Today's News: Record Temperatures in Australia. Again.

26th April - Today's News: Floods as Welcome Rain Falls on Cape Town

5th May - Today's News: Earthquakes & Evacuations in Hawaii as Kilauea Erupts