Mechanistic vs. phenomenological descriptions of nature

A few days ago, I came across a very interesting post on “Mechanistic models: what is the value of understanding?” by Amy Hurford on her Just Simple Enough: The Art of Mathematical Modelling blog. The post discusses the old, but for me still somewhat unresolved question of the relationship / definition / statistical treatment / predictive power of correlative/phenomenological vs. mechanistic/process-oriented modeling approaches.

I’m quite tempted to write a longer post on that at some stage in the future. So far, though, see the comments I made to Amy’s post, as well as our recent paper on “Correlation and process in species distribution models”.


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