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Grant McDermott

Data. Economics. Environment.

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"The a priori reasoning is so entirely satisfactory to me that if the facts won't fit in, why so much the worse for the facts."
- Erasmus Darwin, writing to his brother Charles upon reading the Origin of Species in 1859.

Erasmus Darwin

Then, to temper things somewhat, read this wonderful little essay[*] by Nicholas Humphrey on why we should still be suspicious whenever an elegant explanation comes our way, much as our brains want us to believe.
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[*] Part of a most interesting collection of responses to the question: "What is your favourite deep, elegant or beautiful explanation?" Other respondents include Richard Dawkins ("Redundancy Reduction and Pattern Recognition"), Richard Thaler ("Commitment"), Steven Pinker ("Evolutionary Genetics Explains The Conflicts of Human Social Life") and many, many others.