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#SciAmBlogs Friday - Superman, flags and taxes, behavioral economics, lost cousins of Homo sapiens, and more.

- E. Paul Zehr - The Man of Steel, Myostatin, and Super-Strength  - Jag Bhalla - Better Behaved Behavioral Models  - Kyle Hill - 10 Sciencey Stats on the Man of Steel  - Paige Minteer - The lost cousins of Homo sapiens in Asia and the South Pacific  - Judy Stone - Minnesota Attorney General Confirms They Did Not Exonerate UMN in Markingson Death  - Scott Huler - Flags and Taxes  - Melissa C.

June 14, 2013 — Bora Zivkovic

Revolutionizing Economics by Evolutionizing It

Economics will soon be revolutionized, by being evolutionized, again. This time with fewer unnaturally selective ideas. Scholars, like those working with the Evolution Institute, are adapting the assumptions, methods, and goals of economics to better fit empirically observed humans.

July 12, 2013 — Jag Bhalla
Evolutionary Economics and Darwin’s Wedge

Evolutionary Economics and Darwin’s Wedge

Economics is in our nature. But not the narrowly self-interested kind. We evolved to survive collaboratively. Models of us that exclude our interdependence are fatally flawed.

August 1, 2013 — Jag Bhalla

Economics versus Fiction on Human Nature

Economics and fiction both seek to describe and explain our behavior. Measured against what makes fiction feel realistic, the tales of mainstream economists aren’t believable.

August 9, 2013 — Jag Bhalla
Is Economics More Like History Than Physics?

Is Economics More Like History Than Physics?

Is economics like physics, or more like history? Steven Pinker says, “No sane thinker would try to explain World War I in the language of physics.” Yet some economists aim close to such craziness.

August 16, 2013 — Jag Bhalla

Evolutionary Economics and Darwin's Wedge

Economics is in our nature. But not the narrowly self-interested kind. We evolved to survive collaboratively. Models of us that exclude our interdependence are fatally flawed.

August 1, 2013 — Jag Bhalla

Better Behaved Behavioral Models

We often can't rely on ourselves to act rationally. We know this, but much social science has a bad habit of ignoring it. A more realistic role for rationality is needed to grasp the unhidden but unmodeled relationship between decisions and actions.

June 14, 2013 — Jag Bhalla
Human Nature and the Moral Economy

Human Nature and the Moral Economy

Economics is inextricably tied to moral behavior, though few economists will say that. It’s time someone did. In every financial transaction–whether you’re selling a car, paying employees, or repackaging commodity futures as financial derivatives–there are ethical calculations that influence economic activity beyond the price.

September 23, 2013 — Eric Michael Johnson
Non-Grapefruit and Fruitful Non-Science

Non-Grapefruit and Fruitful Non-Science

“Reason is larger than science.” So Leon Wieseltier reminds us in his essay “Crimes Against Humanities,” his reply to Steven Pinker’s “Science Is Not Your Enemy.” If well practiced, science reduces errors, but it grants no immunity to nonsense.

September 13, 2013 — Jag Bhalla

Science's Mobile Army of Metaphors

Metaphors are our shortest stories. They are economical explanations that shape our understanding (itself a “mobile army of metaphors”). But badly mixed metaphors from physics and biology animate economics, creating “confusion’s masterpiece.” Another Shakespearean phrase, “invisible hand,” is partially to blame.Science’s theories—its verifiable stories—also use metaphors.

July 19, 2013 — Jag Bhalla

How to Fix the Obesity Crisis

Although science has revealed a lot about metabolic processes that influence our weight, the key to success may lie elsewhere

February 1, 2011 — David H. Freedman

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