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Trial and error is inefficient

Tim Harford argue that trial and error is a good way to find solutions. I totally disagree with this statement. If trial and error allows to find a good solution (and in fact the best possible solution) it is usualy the worst way to find a solution. The problem with trial and errors is not the obtained solution, but the time (multiple trials) and the errors. In nearly every domaines, we cannot afford the time needed to make a sufficients amount of trials and we cannot afford the errors in some cases (errors that conducts to death for exemple). The cost of trials and errors are just too high. That's one of the purpose of intelligence : avoid errors and find solutions with the less amount of trials.
Of course, computer simulations is a good way to apply trial and error, but it implies that the simulator is perfect (or at least reallistic enough) which is rarely the case, even in physics.

Random trials lead to a majority of failures for a few solutions.
Intelligence and thinking lead to a majority of solutions and a few errors.


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    Jul 17 2011: The reality is that we are all already involved in the biggest trial and error experiment of them all: EVOLUTION. Problems begin when we try to resist this reality instead of learning to work with it in a more umh... intelligent way. Our best results come from the complexity, layering and understanding that is built over countless attempts to find answers. And our worst? When we try to play God of course.

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