I was recently watching a video by Dr.Michio Kaku who said the above thing in a video titled "Is God a Mathematician".Please comment below about your views as I'll be eager to know.
My personal experience quite agrees with the fact that mathematicians pride themselves for being useless.Also there are popular beliefs by laypeople and internet memes that a PhD is maths is useless and stuff.In fact,when I read "A mathematician's apology" by G.H.Hardy I was quite shocked to see that my views about mathematicians was not even close to his philosophy.He claimed that "number theory" is a pure and gentle science and he was proud of this uselessness. The role that this "pure and gent;e" science played in the development of public key cryptography may serve as a reply to Hardy.
To be honest with you ever since I was a kid I looked upon mathematics as a means to explore the world around me ...not for mere recreational purposes.I was inspired by the people who did the same.If mathematics is useless then:
What about Issac Newton discovering Calculus to understand the nature of falling bodies and hence giving birth to Classical mechanics??
What about C.F.Gauss's work on the movement of Asteroids and electrostatics?
What about Leonhard Euler's work in mechanics??
Sophie Germain's work on elasticity which deeply influenced civil engineering(Though some people deny her credit)??
What about differential geometry being used as the basis of Einstein's special relativity??
What about Sir Roger Penrose's and Stephen Hawking's contribution to theoretical physics?
What about Alan Turing and his team breaking the Nazi Enigma code and saving countless lives??
What about Alan Turing's published paper "On Computable numbers...."giving birth to theoretical Computer Science??
What about Donald Erwin Knuth's definitive work on Algorithmic Analysis?
Or John Nash's equilibrium revolutionising modern Economics??