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Darwin can fix economics?

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From New Scientist:

Earlier this year, several dozen quiet radicals met in a boxy red building on the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany, to plot just that. The stated aim of this Ernst Strüngmann Forum at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies was to create “a new synthesis for economics”. But the most zealous of the participants – an unlikely alliance of economists, anthropologists, ecologists and evolutionary biologists – really do want to overthrow the old regime. They hope their ideas will mark the beginning of a new movement to rework economics using tools from more successful scientific disciplines. More.

Every time this stuff has been tried, millions starved. Maybe, with new methods, they will transform it to billions.

Biologist Peter Turchin of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, another attendee in Frankfurt, thinks it is more to do with an attitude problem. Although some economists are open to new ideas, he says, the field as a whole is resistant to outside incursions. “I doubt that our forum will make any impact on this proud and superior profession,” Turchin wrote in the aftermath of the gathering.

It’s a point echoed by David Sloan Wilson, an evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University in New York who co-chaired the meeting and in 2008 set up the Evolution Institute, a think-tank that aims to bring evolutionary thinking into policy formation. “The reluctance of the economics profession to change and the fact that the people most in need of change are also in a position of power is a big part of the problem,” says Wilson. “At what point does one stop trying to be diplomatic and adopt a rebellious stance?” More.

A “rebellious stance”? If these people get anywhere, they might soon produce rebellions all over again, for sure. This is usually where it starts to happen, just for a start:

(What Darwinist economics really looks like: “The evolutionary psychologist knows why you vote — and shop, and tip at restaurants” )

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3 Replies to “Darwin can fix economics?

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    DarwinFaith

    http://www.darwinfaith.org/

    I really expected this to forward to BioLogos, but no such luck.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    Economics is just the result, under gods blessing, of human intelligence.
    Nothing else. The rise in our civilization came from a rising curve in intelligence and not from free enterprise capitalism. That just helps a intelligent people.

  3. 3
    mahuna says:

    Well, there are really only 2 schools of Economics: Free Market Capitalism and government-run Socialism. Keynesianism is one of the Socialist approaches that claims there is a Science to Economics. 100 years of experiments in scientific economics have clearly demonstrated that mathematical models might appear to explain some single event in a country’s economy, but, as with the Global Warming guys, economic models are notoriously unable to predict the future.

    But what Economics does NOT need is a bunch of self-important people from unrelated fields blundering around waving papers about how they will save the world if everyone does what they say.

    Unfortunately for the Economic Scientists, no number cruncher has ever predicted the success of a product like the Hula Hoop or the video game. On the other hand, there are so many documented economic failures that clearly we can see Survival of the Fittest. That is, the companies that survive are “fit” because they survived.

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