Thursday 27 September 2018

How Nature Defies Math in Keeping Ecosystems Stable (2018)

I have quite enjoyed reading Quanta Magazine, it is generally well written and illustrated, and it has interesting science topics. However, one of the things that I consistently don't like about the magazine and similar brands of science journalism is epitomised by one of their latest articles How Nature Defies Math in Keeping Ecosystems Stable (HERE).

It is all wrong. And what is wrong with it is obvious in the title. Nature is a lot of things, but it is definitely not a conscious being that defies anything. It just is. But worse than the  anthropomorphism, is to consider what Nature is defying? It is defying the conclusions of flimsy human made mathematical models. If this title was re-written in a non-Quanta Magazine way, it might best be phrased: How profoundly poor our current mathematical models of real ecosystems still are. This is not so news worthy.