Thursday 18 June 2009

"Fact free science"

"I discuss below a particular example of a dynamic system 'Turing's morphogenetic waves' which gives rise to just the kind of structure that, as a biologist, I want to see. But first I must explain why I have a general feeling of unease when contemplating complex systems dynamics. Its devotees are practicing fact-free science. A fact for them is, at best, the output of a computer simulation: it is rarely a fact about the world.

John Maynard Smith, "Life at the Edge of Chaos?," The New York Review of Books, March 2, 1995