List of adages named after people (a Wikipedia moment)
Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. Formulated by Isaac Asimov.
First law: A robot may not, through its actions or inactions, allow a human to come to harm.
Second law: A robot must obey any order given to it, unless in contradiction of the First Law.
Third law: A robot must protect its own existence, unless in contradiction of the First or Second Law.
Benford's law - In any collection of statistics, a given statistic has roughly a thirty percent chance of starting with the digit one.
Benford's law of controversy - Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.
Clarke's Three Laws. Formulated by Arthur C. Clarke.
First law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
Second law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little ways past them into the impossible.
Third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Conway's Law - If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler. Alternatively - Any piece of software reflects the organizational structure that produced it. Coined by programmer Melvin Conway.
Fulmer's law - Any male who makes it to the age of eighteen without being arrested or dead is just lucky. Coined as an observation of young male behavior, including, in hindsight, his own.
Godwin's Law - As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. Coined by Mike Godwin in 1990.
Gresham's Law - Bad money drives good money out of circulation. Coined in 1858 by British economist Henry Dunning Macleod, and named for Sir Thomas Gresham (1519 - 1579). Earlier stated by others, including Nicolaus Copernicus.
Haeckel's Dictum - Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny
Hanlon's Razor - A corollary of Finagle's law, normally taking the form Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. Named after Robert J. Hanlon, although there is some debate.
Harshaw's Law - "Daughters can use up ten percent more than a man can make in any normal occupation, regardless of the amount." Coined by Jubal Harshaw in Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.
Hutber's law - Improvement means deterioration. Coined by financial journalist Patrick Hutber.
Kerckhoffs' principle - In cryptography, a system should be secure even if everything about the system, except for a small piece of information--the key--is public knowledge. Stated by Auguste Kerckhoffs in the 19th century.
Kołakowski's Law (otherwise, the "Law of the Infinite Cornucopia"), - For any given doctrine that one wants to believe, there is never a shortage of arguments by which to support it. Put forth by Polish philosopher Leszek Kołakowski
Moore's Law - The complexity of an integrated circuit will double in about 24 months. Stated in 1965, though not as a law, by Gordon E. Moore, later a co-founder of Intel. A figure of 18 months is often quoted.
Morton's Fork - A person who lives in luxury and has clearly spent a lot of money must obviously have sufficient income to pay as tax. Alternatively, a person who lives frugally and shows no sign of being wealthy must have substantial savings and can therefore afford to pay it as tax. Named after John Morton, tax collector for King Henry VII of England.
Murphy's Law - If anything can go wrong, it will. Alternately, If it can happen, it will happen. Ascribed to Major Edward A. Murphy, Jr. Many corollaries have been stated.
Murphy's law (alternate) - If there are two ways to do something, and one of them will result in a disaster, somebody will choose that way. Also ascribed to Major Edward A. Murphy, Jr.
Ockham's Razor - Explanations should never multiply assumptions without necessity. When two explanations are offered for a phenomenon, the simplest full explanation is preferable. Named after William of Ockham. Also known as Occam's Razor: Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.
Orgel's rules. Formulated by evolutionary biologist Leslie Orgel.
First rule: Whenever a spontaneous process is too slow or too inefficient a protein will evolve to speed it up or make it more efficient.
Second rule: Evolution is cleverer than you are.
Parkinson's Law - Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Coined by C. Northcote Parkinson. Many corollaries have been stated. One is the Technician's Corollary - No matter how big the data storage medium, it will soon be filled.
While the 'law' is generally intended humorously, there have been some attempts to state it formally, as in the following version seen in population ecology: "In the absence of other restraining factors, uptake of a given non-limiting resource will increase until it becomes limiting."
Reilly's law - People generally patronize the largest mall in the area.
Stigler's law of eponymy - No scientific discovery, not even Stigler's law, is named after its original discoverer.
Wirth's law - Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster.
Zawinski's law of software envelopment - Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.