Marcelo Gleiser | NPR Cosmos & Culture
The history of science—in particular the physical sciences, like physics and astronomy—can be told as the incremental realization that there is large-scale coherence in the universe.
By large-scale coherence, I mean that some of the same physical laws hold at scales as diverse as the atom and the galaxy, and even the universe as a whole. In a sense, the universe speaks one language and scientists act as the interpreters, translating this language in terms that humans can understand and relate to.
For example, physicists base many of their theories on the law of energy conservation, that energy is always transformed but not created or destroyed—or on fancier ones, such as electric-charge conservation, which states that the total amount of electric charge is the same before and after subatomic particles such as electrons and protons interact: The particles before and after the interactions may change, but not the total amount of electric charge.