Interesting article (H/T to George) about science overreaching a bit when it comes to the business of prediction.
From Stuart Blackman's piece:
At its most enthusiastic, science has always been prone to promise rather more, and sooner, than it has managed to deliver. It can sometimes feel as if cures for diseases are forever 10 years off, while nuclear fusion seems to have been 50 years away from practical reality for about half a century now. It might be easy to look back and laugh at claims that eugenics would spell the end for not only heritable diseases, but also of social problems such as vagrancy and crime, but a 1989 Science editorial’s claim during the run-up to the human genome project that the new genetics could help reduce homelessness by tackling mental illness is perhaps fresh enough to make biologists’ toes curl with embarrassment.I love science. Perhaps too much for some of my religious friends. However, I do think think science carries some messianic hopes, that what is broken amongst us and within us has a technological fix. The cure. A green economy. The pill that stops the aging process.
Not that I'm complaining. I'm a lover of the Enlightenment and my air conditioning. It's just that there is no drug, surgery or stem cell therapy that can fix what is broken in me.