Mathematics, as it stands right now, is something that helps to define science from the humanities; however, this is primarily based on two reasons.
The questions in which science aims to answer have gotten very narrow in scope, making it much easier to build mathematical models. The broader nature of humanities and the questions it investigates would require much more creative and complicated math than we currently have the ability to comprehend. I think new, arising fields in the social sciences are perfect indicators at early attempts to answer questions of humanity using empirical and mathematical strategies. Psychology, Anthropology, and Geography have tried to map human thought, movement, purpose, and culture in terms of numbers and experiments. We can also look at advancements in computer programing, bioinformatics, and neural networks to see how future mathematical formulas and setups may help us organize governments, ascertain meaning, and answer philosophical questions.
The second reason that mathematics is associated with science currently, is the false dichotomy that has arisen. Our culture drives a dividing line between “STEM” and “Humanities”, so attempts to synthesize ideas by combining the methods of both fields of study aren’t popular in our intellectual zeitgeist.
Mathematics is currently a distinctive feature of science, but it doesn’t have to be and the divide will continue to break down as advances in technology allow us to answer broader questions with mathematical systems.
Does the growing shift of looking to science for meaning correlate to growing levels of suicide, anxiety, and depression? Is science equipped to provide meaning?