Via Academic Productivity: Interesting comment, What can Science learn from Google? I especially like that it starts with a quote by George Box (you know I like them;-)
All models are wrong, but some are useful.
The article takes the provocative stance that we do not need models any more to describe the world, as petabyte data clouds combined with massive computing power are able to correlate data.
Data without a model is just noise. But faced with massive data, this approach to science — hypothesize, model, test — is becoming obsolete. […] Correlation supersedes causation, and science can advance even without coherent models, unified theories, or really any mechanistic explanation at all.
I humbly disagree. Understanding needs models, predictions need models. Of course, in order to find models, correlations – probably found by using computers – can show the way.