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Science. 2004 Feb 6;303(5659):790-3.

Uses and abuses of mathematics in biology.

Author information

1
Zoology Department, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.

Abstract

In the physical sciences, mathematical theory and experimental investigation have always marched together. Mathematics has been less intrusive in the life sciences, possibly because they have until recently been largely descriptive, lacking the invariance principles and fundamental natural constants of physics. Increasingly in recent decades, however, mathematics has become pervasive in biology, taking many different forms: statistics in experimental design; pattern seeking in bioinformatics; models in evolution, ecology, and epidemiology; and much else. I offer an opinionated overview of such uses--and abuses.

PMID:
14764866
DOI:
10.1126/science.1094442
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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