I asked [philosopher] Nelson Goodman this question once, and Nelson Goodman said economics is as much of a science as physics. I said, well, how could that be? He said: Physics can explain how a leaf falls from a tree and everything that happens to it, but it can't tell you where the leaf's going to land. Economics is the same.
That's utterly stupid. How do you think we were able to send things out in outer space if we don't know where it is going to "land"? Being able to "explain" and describe the dynamics of that leaf INCLUDES the ability to predict what will happen. That's how you know your electronics will work, because we have predicted with great accuracy how the mechanism within your semiconductors will behave in the future.
But the stupidity doesn't end there...
Yes, absolutely right. I use that all the time. The parts of physics that are exact are the parts of physics that are exact. The parts that are inexact are vastly greater. Sensible scientists don't waste their time pushing against doors that endlessly will not give. They are opportunistic and go where they can, but there are pitfalls in that. It's like the drunk who is looking for his keys under the lamplight in the street, but he wasn't near the lamplight. He said, yes, but that's the only place I can see anything, therefore I'm looking here.
That makes no sense, especially when this person doesn't illustrate such accusation with an example. The whole idea of doing science is to go into places where we either have little knowledge in, or in which our current understanding just doesn't work. That's exactly an example of looking where the lamplight isn't there!
People who have never worked in science, or physics in particular, and then try to make generalized characterization of the field, simply reveal their complete ignorance. And when you start with a foundation based on faulty knowledge, you end up with absurd conclusion, such as equating economics to be as much of a science as physics.