We made huge gains in cancer research when 1) we had no understanding of the biological process, 2) research was undirected (nonteleological), as we were looking for cures for something other than cancer, or stumbled on results we weren’t looking for. Chemo was born from mustard gas, etc.
Now since we’ve started targeting cancer in 1973, the results are … Could be that we had gotten the low hanging fruits; could be that modern life is cancer-causing… an alternative explanation that is even more scary.
My point is that knowledge, direction, aiming, strategic planning reduce convex tinkering.
(Graph: source Kas Thomas)