Is economics a science?


I’ve written a text inquiring if economics is a science. My skepticism is based on the huge differences between the physical sciences like physics, chemistry, biology and so called “social sciences” like the economics for instance. My question (my skeptic inquiry) is: how much unscientific must a science be, to stop calling it “science”?
Since my special focus was on the quantitative mathematics applied to finance, I tried to discuss it with the quants on their forum, first. But it was like discussing with children. And there is no exaggeration in it. See for yourselves:

You can find my text at:

Is there anything wrong with my logic, argumentation, etc.?
Or are such questions a contemporary taboo, which cannot be discussed openly?

That’s a tough one. I would say it’s one of those quasi-sciences like psychiatric medicine. While based solidly on scientific understanding and rock solid mathematics it is limited in its ability to accurately make predictions because inclusion of a human component is always a wild card.

The tough one is that I cannot find anyone able to reasonably discuss with me. Do you know any place on the Internet, where I could find people who would actually read my text? No one reads these days. People only write…

As for your “quasi-sciences […] based solidly on scientific understanding and rock solid mathematics”. It’s an oxymoron. Either something is “a science based solidly on scientific understanding and rock solid mathematics” or it is not. Mathematics is very strict. Either something fulfills all the enumerated requirements, and then certain mathematical tool can be used; or it does not fulfill them all, and then you simply cannot use mathematics and still call it science. It’s like being pregnant. Either you are, or not.
I explained it to the quants:
“Mathematics is very strict. You cannot take just any numerical sequence (like the post codes in your area, or the prime numbers less than 1000), make calculations and say: “It’s the variance”. It is not.”
“You may calculate the variance of the post codes in your region. If you see any practical application of such move. But do not call it science.”

You wrote also: “because inclusion of a human component is always a wild card.” Perhaps it is time to draw some conclusion from this pretty obvious statement? We bump into it time and time again but nobody wants to ask “what does it tell us about our reality. Why is it, as it is.”. Don’t you think such question should be finally asked and… maybe even answered?

The tough one is that I cannot find anyone able to reasonably discuss with me.
The best way I know to get academics to discuss your paper is to enroll in an academic program. Every now and then someone outside of academia comes up with something that is recognized, but it's pretty hard to do that without the help you get by being in a program. Just skimming your doc, you need help just forming sentences.

You can submit it for peer review, but I don’t know much about that. It seems you’re getting some feedback from that Wilmott group, maybe you should consider their thoughts.


Well, I do apologize for trying to engage with you without a degree in economics to be able to engage at the level you are demanding. I’ll go out and get that PhD in economics right away and come right back to give you the engagement you deserve. Seriously, I read what you posted and I gave the response I was capable of. No need to get snippy because I’m not an economist and don’t want to just talk out my ass like I know what I’m talking about.

IF you are interested in further discussion with me then I have a few clarifications for you about some things you apparently misunderstood in what I said. If not then I suggest you find a forum on economics to ask economists what their ideas are as they would know far better than me.

Economics is obviously based on sound principle, but I don’t know that it’s “a science” because, while it makes predictions, failure of the prediction to come to fruition does not discredit economics, it informs economics. That’s a fundamental variation from normal scientific protocol. If you try to use that in your research of psychic powers it would be a HUGE violation of scientific principle. But in economics it is accepted, even unchallenged. That scientists aren’t fighting to keep economics out of schools tells me that in this particular case they don’t have a problem with it. So why is that? Well, in a science you don’t fault the mathematical formula for unpredictability when you have a huge random in the middle of it causing the unpredictability, like human nature. That the formula cannot account for unpredictable variables is not a mark against the formula. However, like feng shui, a dozen economists are likely to give you a dozen different answers to a question, suggesting they’re not all using the same math. But when you think about that, economics classes don’t teach random math, they teach the same things. So they’re likely just weighting their unknown variables differently. And we go back and forth like this for a while, on many different aspects of economics, get bored of doing that and finally conclude it is a “quasi-science”. It is based on theories, it is testable, it does make predictions. However, those predictions aren’t always accurate and even a failed test does not discredit it. In some ways it looks like a science, in some way s it does not, making it difficult to quantify, hence my unacceptable answer, the best one I am capable of giving.

To answer the OP question directly;

John Forbes Nash, Jr. In 1994, was one of three recipients who shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their work with game theory.
IMO, A Nobel prize in Economic Sciences would suggest a scientific aspect to the study of Economics, no?

It seems that the underlying science of Economics falls under the title of Chaos Theory, not any science of a mathematical Universal constant.

What is Chaos Theory? Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on.

These phenomena are often described by fractal mathematics, which captures the infinite complexity of nature. Many natural objects exhibit fractal properties, including landscapes, clouds, trees, organs, rivers etc, and many of the systems in which we live exhibit complex, chaotic behavior. Recognizing the chaotic, fractal nature of our world can give us new insight, power, and wisdom. For example, by understanding the complex, chaotic dynamics of the atmosphere, a balloon pilot can “steer” a balloon to a desired location. By understanding that our ecosystems, our social systems, and our economic systems are interconnected, we can hope to avoid actions which may end up being detrimental to our long-term well-being.

A strange thing about one aspect of economics is that money has value only because we all agree that it does.

Credit is faith.

That part of economics does not seem very scientific to me.

To Lausten:

In different circumstances, it could be even useful. But thanks anyway.

To: Write4U:

Economics is the chaos theory. And Nobel prize is the measure. Thanks for the explanation.

To TimB:

Perhaps you would read my text.