Mathematics is Overrated 3

Brian N. Siegelwax
The Modern Scientist
5 min readJun 3, 2024


A Three-Part Argument

Since the first article in this series is my most viewed, most read, most clapped, most commented, most shared article on Medium, by large margins, I have no choice but to continue the series. You might argue that I have a choice, but [insert joke about free will here].

I have developed a three-part argument for why mathematics should not be used for explanations. Obviously, mathematics is essential for calculations. But imagine a professor saying, “mu sub k equals the sum from t equals 1 to T of r sub k t, all divided by T” and tell me what you just learned. And, yes, I have listened to physicists actually “speak” mathematics like this.

So, let’s get some feedback on my three-part argument, and then we’ll see what the next article in this series looks like. In the order they appear:

  • It took at least one PhD 2.5 days.
  • You can say it with one sentence.
  • Einstein did it.

It took at least one PhD 2.5 days.

I was preparing for a project, and I needed to estimate the amount of work that would be involved. An example had already been done, so I asked how long it took. It took one week. The problem, in retrospect, is I neglected to ask how many researchers worked on it…