Magazine article The Spectator

Stick with the Simple

Magazine article The Spectator

Stick with the Simple

Article excerpt

Sir: I read Paul Johnson's admirably simple explanation of the origins of the universe (And another thing, 13 December) on the 6.46 Chiltern Railways train from Marylebone to Saunderton. His argument, that the creation of the universe by a single god is simpler than any other explanation and hence true, opened my eyes to a deeper truth about the world around me. Simplicity can sometimes be stunning.

I realised that I had been looking at the universe in the wrong way. Take that train for example. I have little understanding of the way in which it worked. I have heard terms such as rolling stock and the like, but I am a simple man and they baffle me.

I have, as a result of this commute, become familiar with the works of another of our philosophical authors, J.K. Rowling, from the north of Britain. She offers simple explanations for many of the things that I find so hard to understand in this modern world: the ability to fly and to travel and communicate over long distances. …

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