To start with the Register's Anton Wylie article Google and the End of Science - Bringing it all back Hume. It's commenting on Google's research director Peter Norvig claim that: "all models are wrong, and increasingly you can succeed without them" and the Wired article The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete
- Chris Anderson: "Forget taxonomy, ontology, and psychology. Who knows why people do what they do? The point is they do it, and we can track and measure it with unprecedented fidelity. With enough data, the numbers speak for themselves."
Anderson contends that the same applies for all science - its models are inherently of limited value. Either they are wrong, for example they "caricature... a more complex underlying reality" (quantum mechanics), or we don't know how to prove them experimentally (string theories about the universe), or they raise more questions than they answer (epigenetics in biology).
So the irony is that science, having made its tribal lay with the philosophical school of empiricism over three centuries ago, and seemingly having derived sustenance from it, now has to kill it to go forward. The alternative for scientific theorising, if Anderson is correct, is to be killed by it - by it and Google.
Never has hard thinking been more required