Book Reviews

[Day Permalink] Thursday, July 3, 2008

[Item Permalink] Much ado about the end of theory -- Comment()
Backreaction discusses The End Of Theory, a proposition that data management and analysis will make obsolete the model-bases scientific paradigm.

I beg to disagree. Science is currently going to the exactly opposite direction. Huge amounts of data have been gathered in, e.g., biosciences, but still we don't know much about how biological systems work. Trying to find insight from a huge pile of data produces noise - accidental correlations and similar artefacts.

To make progress we need predictive models. What use is it for us to notice - after the fact - that something happened, when we need to model, predict and act.

For example, in finding the right action in a potential worldwide pandemic, or in fighting the climate change, data is just junk by itself if we can't make predictive models.