Bradley Efron says that science is moving away from things like predicting sunrise times and toward predicting things like the weather. The trend is away from studying precisely predictable systems, what Efron calls “hard-edged science,” and toward studying systems “where predictability is tempered by a heavy dose of randomness.”
Hard-edged science still dominates public perceptions, but the attention of modern scientists has swung heavily toward rainfall-like subjects, the kind where random behavior plays a major role. … Deterministic Newtonian science is majestic, and the basis of modern science too, but a few hundred years of it pretty much exhausted nature’s storehouse of precisely predictable events. Subjects like biology, medicine, and economics require a more flexible scientific world view, the kind we statisticians are trained to understand.
Certainly there is increased interest in systems containing “a heavy dose of randomness” but can we really say that we have “pretty much exhausted nature’s storehouse of precisely predictable effects”?