Chris Anderson asks, in the July 2008 edition of Wired magazine. if the emergence of the Petabyte era - the ability to amass and analyze massive amounts of data - obsoletes scientific theory. A computer cloud and programs like Google's MapReduce, can brute force analyze raw real world data to uncover trends that once required scientific models and limited testing to unravel.
Nicolas Carr asks in the July/Aug 2008 Atlantic magazine if "Google is making us stupid" - by simplifying an individuals need to think. The ability to focus and engage the brain in cognitive activties, like reading an in-depth article, have been replaced with scanning "wiki facts" on a computer screen or iphone. The imminent death of journalism threatening newspapers and magazines like the Atlantic is one validation point.
Scientists no longer need to think. Individuals no longer need to think. What will we think of next?