“Many of the most successful scientists in the world today are mathematically no more than semiliterate.”

#Science

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 21:00 (8102/15) by capnasty

According to E.O. Wilson of The Wall Street Journal, the real success behind a scientist's discoveries come from ideas, not number crunching.

This imbalance is especially the case in biology, where factors in a real-life phenomenon are often misunderstood or never noticed in the first place. The annals of theoretical biology are clogged with mathematical models that either can be safely ignored or, when tested, fail. Possibly no more than 10% have any lasting value. Only those linked solidly to knowledge of real living systems have much chance of being used.

If your level of mathematical competence is low, plan to raise it, but meanwhile, know that you can do outstanding scientific work with what you have. Think twice, though, about specializing in fields that require a close alternation of experiment and quantitative analysis. These include most of physics and chemistry, as well as a few specialties in molecular biology.

Newton invented calculus in order to give substance to his imagination. Darwin had little or no mathematical ability, but with the masses of information he had accumulated, he was able to conceive a process to which mathematics was later applied.

http://con.ca/n8102

Soapbox

Please enter your comment below. Hit Return twice (leaving a completely blank line) between paragraphs.
Use [b] for bold [/b] and [i] for italic [/i]. All other HTML commands will be stripped.
Your comment is (almost) immediately placed online as soon as you hit 'Post'.

Specifying an email address is optional. In the interests of your own privacy, CoN discourages you from doing so. Further, think twice about revealing any other personal information including telephone number, real name, exact address or blood type.

When writing an insulting comment, please think of something a little more creative than "get a life." Much like yourself, that's boring.

* A red asterisk denotes a required field.

*
*
*
*
 

Comments No comments found