Many regularities of nature are taken for granted in daily living – the rising and setting of the sun, the effects of fire in burning anyone unfortunate enough to get too near, and so on. Experience of the world, rather than logical deductive argument, has identified these regularities. Scientific investigation, especially in the physical sciences, has greatly extended and systematized awareness of regularities. Mathematical descriptions, i.e., models, have been crucial for describing and quantifying these regularities.
As when any model is pressed into service, it is important to understand which features generalize and which ...