Science and Mathematics

Dick Teresi

New York Times Book Review
3 February 1991

Physics is considered the primary science because it deals with simple laws that apply to everything from subatomic particles to human beings to the entire cosmos. Chemistry is a rung up, because it depends on the laws of physics. Biology deals with even larger systems, and depends both on chemistry and physics. And so on.

Mathematics is at the heart of the sciences. All of them require mathematical formulas to express their various truths. As the saying goes, the physicists defer only to the mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God. (Though one would be hard pressed to find a mathematician so modest.)

Return to Personal

Return to Home Page