Statistical science and the problem of causality

In a recent article posted by Wired, Jonah Lehrer argues that reductionism as a research methodology has a serious, often fatal weakness — knowing how all of the parts of a system work isn’t the same thing as understanding how the system itself operates, or how it interacts with other complex systems.

In “Trials and Errors, Why Science Is Failing Us,” Lehrer uses failed tests of promising pharmaceuticals as examples of how knowledge of the elements of a process doesn’t lead automatically to an understanding of how those elements interact.

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