Beyond curve fitting…

I recently read a nice short description of David Marr’s work that ended with the sentences (underline added by me):

On a more general level, Marr’s work provided a solid proof that a good theory in behavior and brain sciences need not have to trade off mathematical rigor for faithfulness to specific findings. More importantly, it emphasized the role of explanation over and above mere curve fitting, making it legitimate to ask why a particular brain process is taking place, and not merely what differential equation can describe it.

It seems to me that this is an instance of a broader theme – especially relevant to interdisciplinary areas like robotics.

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