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Predicting the Future in Science, Economics, and Politics

Predicting the Future in Science, Economics, and Politics

Edited by Frank Whelon Wayman, Paul R. Williamson, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Solomon Polachek

It is a puzzle that while academic research has increased in specialization, the important and complex problems facing humans urgently require a synthesis of understanding. This unique collaboration attempts to address such a problem by bringing together a host of prominent scholars from across the sciences to offer new insights into predicting the future. They demonstrate that long-term trends and short-term incentives need to be understood in order to adopt effective policies, or even to comprehend where we currently stand and the sort of future that awaits us.

Chapter 4: Darwin’s challenges and the future of human society

Richard D. Alexander

Subjects: economics and finance, game theory, international economics, politics and public policy, international politics, international relations, public policy


The challenge of Darwinism is to find out what our genes have been up to, and to make that knowledge widely available as a part of the environment in which each of us develops and lives so that we can decide for ourselves, quite deliberately, to what extent we wish to go along. (Alexander 1979: 136–137) A hydrogen bomb is an example of mankind’s enormous capacity for friendly cooperation. Its construction requires an intricate network of human teams, all working with single minded devotion toward a common goal. Let us pause and savor the glow of self congratulation we deserve for belonging to such an intelligent and sociable species. (Robert S. Bigelow 1969, The Dawn Warriors)

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