I do trust you. Still, some science from population is realistic in the early game. Keeping it but reducing it's importance rapidly would be an alternative that would prevent having to reinvent the wheel invent artificial sources of science for the early game. See my earlier post (about removing per-population bonuses from library and research lab). I also trust you to keep tall and wide balanced. I'm undecided about finisher wonders. I both understand your reasoning and the scepticism of Acken. Creating 3-4 new wonders could alleviate the concern of reduced choice.