Economics probably first emerged as a formal discipline with the writings of Adam Smith in the late eighteenth century. Drawing inspiration and guidance from philosophy, political science, psychology and other fields, economics became a full fledged part of the humanities perhaps culminating with the Austrian School of Economics in the early 20th century. Then after a distinguished history marked by such great thinkers as Smith, Keynes, Van Mises and Hayek, economics followed academic pressure and morphed into a science. The effect of this change from the humanities to science was the emergence of modeling, econometrics and almost a requirement that any economic thinking be expressed quantatively. Many other disciplines followed this trend to convert to a science and produce papers filled with higher math, which may explain the disappearance of thoughtful writers such as Van Mises in many areas of academic writing.
In a very thoughtful piece, "Must we give up understanding to secure knowledge in economics?", Alex Rosenberg and Tyler Curtain argue that economists have achieved understanding without knowledge. The crux of the argument is that if you can explain one has understanding, if one can predict accurately (mathematically) one has knowledge. By this formulation, physics has knowledge but not yet understanding, which sounds about right given the state of quantum mechanics and related theories.
So economics is left in the unenviable position of trying to mathematically model human behavior, which the writers argue cannot be done. Physicists have only nature to explain, which Mandelbrot, Einstein and many others have shown lends itself increasingly to mathematical explanation and accurate prediction.
Now if the current state of economics should concern you, you merely have to accept a determinist view of the world, which makes humans just collections of matter and wait long enough for the physicists to explain mathematically human behavior and consequently economics. Alternatively, one could ponder the definition of knowledge, which has been a subject of discussion for more than 4000 years.