fact-free science
n. A scientific endeavour—such as a computer simulation of a biological process—that does not take into account real-world constraints such as chemical or biological data.
A decade ago, artificial ife was criticised by the evolutionary biologist John Maynard Smith as being a "fact-free science", but the recent leaps forward mean that it is belatedly being accepted into the scientific mainstream.
—Sean Dodson, “It's life, Jim, but not as we know it,” The Guardian (London), October 09, 2008
Biochemist Michael Behe calls evolution fact-free science. That describes the Gazette's editorial page, which conducts a fact-free inquisition against all the unconverted (to evolutionary theory) week after week.
—Stephen Bell, “Evolution an alternative,” The Charleston Gazette, March 30, 2001
1995 (earliest)
I discuss below a particular example of a dynamic system—Turing's morphogenetic waves—which gives rise to just the kind of structure that, as a biologist, I want to see. But first I must explain why I have a general feeling of unease when contemplating complex systems dynamics. Its devotees are practicing fact-free science. A fact for them is, at best, the output of a computer simulation: it is rarely a fact about the world.
—John Maynard Smith, “Life at the Edge of Chaos?,” The New York Review of Books, March 02, 1995
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