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Why does Mac OS X create a hidden file for every file that is saved?

I tried searching for an answer to this question on Google, but unfortunately I got a bunch of results about how to view hidden files in Mac OS X.

I’m no Mac expert and maybe some Mac enthusiast can convince me otherwise. But isn’t it absolutely absurd to create a hidden file for every file saved on a Mac? Specifically, I’m talking about the stuff I’m seeing in our Samba shared drive here in the office. Anything saved to that shared drive from a mac, also puts a hidden file with essentially the same name as the original file, but with a dot-underscore (._) before it. And of course, since I’m on Windows this becomes very annoying because if I remove the real file, the hidden file is left behind and after a lot of usage these hidden—seemingly useless—files pile up. Where’s The Fire??

I assume it has something to do with file association, but isn’t Apple smarter than that? Is there a way to turn this off?