Do you think math finance would make more sense if it wasn't developed mostly by physicists-long-past-sell-by-date? (It only sounds passive-aggressive.)
It would be best if most physicists stay out of it entirely because they don't understand complex adaptive systems. No electrons ever looked for a loophole in a physicist's model to make a profit. No proton ever tried to fool a physicist by gaming the results of a particle accelerator run.
For the most part, biologists (especially ecologists) understand these things much better.
Economists, ecologists, psychologists, epidemiologists, ... have more adequate background, but used to lack the analytical apparatus (it's been quickly changing for recent years though). Physics is a beautiful and well-established field of science, but applying its forces to human minds has drastic effects
I love reading the literature on mathematical biology, ecology, genetics and population dynamics (or at least the odd Springer introductory
text I get the time to read). The systems are wonderfully complex, pattern filled and nonlinear from the get go.
Although there are contributions from Hardy, Turing and Haldane the subject has quite a new feel.
However there is a definite note of model infatuation, which I guess happens when much is new and there is a lot of argument by analogy and model construction off the cuff.
So are ecologists smarter that physicists at seeing the bigger picture? It feels like different disciplines set different values on scepticism vs. speculative
From statisticians' "all models are wrong but some are useful", to the physicists' withering put down a la
Pauli "it's not even wrong" to the blind faith
of the macro economist high priests; the biologists feel on the less sceptical end of the spectrum.
But all this feels very current due the current pace of genetic technology. The story of human introduction of foreign species into particular ecosystems
has an awful hubristic history (cane toads, wolf snails vs. African giant snails, Australian rabbits, rhododendrons in Scotland and Wales).
Now we are on the very point of introducing genetically modified mosquitoes to eradicate malaria.
I am a generally sanguine person, and a believer in a long arc of scientific progress but lets hope these biologists have done their homework and really do know