SCIENCE (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") :58 is a
systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form
of testable explanations and predictions about the universe .
Contemporary science is typically subdivided into the natural
sciences , which study the material universe ; the social sciences ,
which study people and societies; and the formal sciences , which
study logic and mathematics . The formal sciences are often excluded
as they do not depend on empirical observations. Disciplines which
use science, like engineering and medicine , may also be considered to
be applied sciences .
From classical antiquity through the 19th century, science as a type
of knowledge was more closely linked to philosophy than it is now, and
Western world the term "natural philosophy " once encompassed
fields of study that are today associated with science, such as
astronomy , medicine, and physics . However, during the Islamic
Golden Age foundations for the scientific method were laid by Ibn
al-Haytham in his
Book of Optics
Book of Optics . While the classification of
the material world by the ancient Indians and Greeks into air, earth,
fire and water was more philosophical, medieval Middle Easterns used
practical and experimental observation to classify materials.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, scientists increasingly sought to
formulate knowledge in terms of physical laws . Over the course of the
19th century, the word "science" became increasingly associated with
the scientific method itself as a disciplined way to study the natural
world. It was during this time that scientific disciplines such as
biology , chemistry , and physics reached their modern shapes. That
same time period also included the origin of the terms "scientist "
and "scientific community ", the founding of scientific institutions,
and the increasing significance of their interactions with society and
other aspects of culture. The scale of the universe mapped to
the branches of science , with formal sciences as the foundation. :
Maize , known in some English-speaking
countries as corn, is a large grain plant domesticated by indigenous
Mesoamerica in prehistoric times
Before the invention or discovery of the concept of "nature "
(ancient Greek phusis ) by the Pre-Socratic philosophers , the same
words tend to be used to describe the natural "way" in which a plant
grows, and the "way" in which, for example, one tribe worships a
particular god. For this reason, it is claimed these men were the
first philosophers in the strict sense, and also the first people to
clearly distinguish "nature" and "convention." :209
therefore distinguished as the knowledge of nature and things which
are true for every community, and the name of the specialized pursuit
of such knowledge was philosophy — the realm of the first
philosopher-physicists. They were mainly speculators or theorists ,
particularly interested in astronomy . In contrast, trying to use
knowledge of nature to imitate nature (artifice or technology , Greek
technē) was seen by classical scientists as a more appropriate
interest for lower class artisans. A clear-cut distinction between
formal (eon) and empirical science (doxa) was made by the pre-Socratic
Parmenides (fl. late sixth or early fifth century BCE).
Although his work Peri Physeos (On Nature) is a poem, it may be viewed
as an epistemological essay on method in natural science. Parmenides'
ἐὸν may refer to a formal system or calculus which can describe
nature more precisely than natural languages. "Physis" may be
identical to ἐὸν.
Aristotle , 384–322 BCE, one of the
early figures in the development of the scientific method
A major turning point in the history of early philosophical science
was the controversial but successful attempt by
Socrates to apply
philosophy to the study of human things, including human nature, the
nature of political communities, and human knowledge itself. He
criticized the older type of study of physics as too purely
speculative and lacking in self-criticism. He was particularly
concerned that some of the early physicists treated nature as if it
could be assumed that it had no intelligent order, explaining things
merely in terms of motion and matter. The study of human things had
been the realm of mythology and tradition, however, so
executed as a heretic. : 30e
Aristotle later created a less
controversial systematic programme of Socratic philosophy which was
teleological and human-centred. He rejected many of the conclusions of
earlier scientists. For example, in his physics, the sun goes around
the earth, and many things have it as part of their nature that they
are for humans. Each thing has a formal cause and final cause and a
role in the rational cosmic order. Motion and change is described as
the actualization of potentials already in things, according to what
types of things they are. While the Socratics insisted that philosophy
should be used to consider the practical question of the best way to
live for a human being (a study
Aristotle divided into ethics and
political philosophy ), they did not argue for any other types of
applied science .
Aristotle maintained the sharp distinction between science and the
practical knowledge of artisans, treating theoretical speculation as
the highest type of human activity, practical thinking about good
living as something less lofty, and the knowledge of artisans as
something only suitable for the lower classes. In contrast to modern
science, Aristotle's influential emphasis was upon the "theoretical"
steps of deducing universal rules from raw data and did not treat the
gathering of experience and raw data as part of science itself.
De potentiis anime sensitive, Gregor Reisch (1504) Margarita
philosophica . Medieval science postulated a ventricle of the brain as
the location for our common sense , where the forms from our sensory
Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), 965–1039 Basra
, Buyid Emirate . The Muslim scholar who is considered by some to be
the father of modern scientific methodology due to his emphasis on
experimental data and reproducibility of its results.
During late antiquity and the early Middle Ages , the Aristotelian
approach to inquiries on natural phenomena was used. Some ancient
knowledge was lost, or in some cases kept in obscurity, during the
fall of the Roman Empire and periodic political struggles. However,
the general fields of science (or "natural philosophy " as it was
called) and much of the general knowledge from the ancient world
remained preserved through the works of the early Latin encyclopedists
Isidore of Seville . In the
Byzantine empire , many Greek science
texts were preserved in Syriac translations done by groups such as the
Nestorians and Monophysites. Many of these were later on translated
into Arabic under the
Caliphate , during which many types of classical
learning were preserved and in some cases improved upon.
House of Wisdom was established in
It is considered to have been a major intellectual center during the
Islamic Golden Age , where Muslim scholars such as al-Kindi and Ibn
Ibn al-Haytham in Cairo flourished from the ninth
to the thirteenth centuries until the Mongol sack of Baghdad. Ibn
al-Haytham, known later to the West as Alhazen, furthered the
Aristotelian viewpoint by emphasizing experimental data.
In the later medieval period, as demand for translations grew (for
example, from the
Toledo School of Translators ), western Europeans
began collecting texts written not only in Latin, but also Latin
translations from Greek, Arabic, and Hebrew. In particular, the texts
Ptolemy , and
Euclid , preserved in the Houses of
Wisdom, were sought amongst Catholic scholars. In Europe, the Latin
translation of Alhazen's
Book of Optics
Book of Optics directly influenced Roger
Bacon (13th century) in England, who argued for more experimental
science as demonstrated by Alhazen. By the late Middle Ages, a
Aristotelianism known as Scholasticism
was flourishing in western Europe , which had become a new geographic
center of science, but all aspects of scholasticism were criticized in
the 15th and 16th centuries.
RENAISSANCE AND EARLY MODERN SCIENCE
Galen (129–c. 216) noted
the optic chiasm is X-shaped. (Engraving from
Vesalius , 1543)
Medieval science carried on the views of the Hellenist civilization
of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, as shown by Alhazen's lost work A
Book in which I have Summarized the
Optics from the Two
Euclid and Ptolemy, to which I have added the Notions of the
First Discourse which is Missing from Ptolemy's Book from Ibn Abi
Usaibia 's catalog, as cited in (Smith 2001 ).:91(vol.1), p. xv
Alhazen conclusively disproved Ptolemy's theory of vision, but he
retained Aristotle's ontology;
Roger Bacon ,
Vitello , and John
Peckham each built up a scholastic ontology upon Alhazen's Book of
Optics , a causal chain beginning with sensation, perception, and
finally apperception of the individual and universal forms of
Aristotle. This model of vision became known as Perspectivism, which
was exploited and studied by the artists of the Renaissance.
Galileo Galilei , father of modern science. : Vol. 24, No. 1, p. 36
A. Mark Smith points out the perspectivist theory of vision, which
pivots on three of Aristotle's four causes , formal, material, and
final, "is remarkably economical, reasonable, and coherent." Although
Alhacen knew that a scene imaged through an aperture is inverted, he
argued that vision is about perception. This was overturned by Kepler
, :102 who modelled the eye as a water-filled glass sphere with an
aperture in front of it to model the entrance pupil. He found that all
the light from a single point of the scene was imaged at a single
point at the back of the glass sphere. The optical chain ends on the
retina at the back of the eye and the image is inverted.
Copernicus formulated a heliocentric model of the solar system unlike
the geocentric model of
Galileo made innovative use of experiment and mathematics. However,
he became persecuted after Pope Urban VIII blessed
Galileo to write
about the Copernican system.
Galileo had used arguments from the Pope
and put them in the voice of the simpleton in the work "Dialogue
Concerning the Two Chief World Systems," which greatly offended him.
In Northern Europe, the new technology of the printing press was
widely used to publish many arguments, including some that disagreed
widely with contemporary ideas of nature.
René Descartes and Francis
Bacon published philosophical arguments in favor of a new type of
Descartes argued that mathematics could be
used in order to study nature, as
Galileo had done, and Bacon
emphasized the importance of experiment over contemplation. Bacon
questioned the Aristotelian concepts of formal cause and final cause,
and promoted the idea that science should study the laws of "simple"
natures, such as heat, rather than assuming that there is any specific
nature, or "formal cause ," of each complex type of thing. This new
modern science began to see itself as describing "laws of nature ".
This updated approach to studies in nature was seen as mechanistic .
Bacon also argued that science should aim for the first time at
practical inventions for the improvement of all human life.
AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Isaac Newton , shown here in a 1689 portrait, made seminal
contributions to classical mechanics , gravity , and optics . Newton
shares credit with
Gottfried Leibniz for the development of calculus.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the project of modernity, as had been
promoted by Bacon and Descartes, led to rapid scientific advance and
the successful development of a new type of natural science,
mathematical, methodically experimental, and deliberately innovative.
Newton and Leibniz succeeded in developing a new physics, now referred
to as classical mechanics , which could be confirmed by experiment and
explained using mathematics. Leibniz also incorporated terms from
Aristotelian physics , but now being used in a new non-teleological
way, for example, "energy " and "potential " (modern versions of
Aristotelian "energeia and potentia "). In the style of Bacon, he
assumed that different types of things all work according to the same
general laws of nature, with no special formal or final causes for
each type of thing. It is during this period that the word "science"
gradually became more commonly used to refer to a type of pursuit of a
type of knowledge, especially knowledge of nature — coming close in
meaning to the old term "natural philosophy ."
Charles Darwin in 1854, by then working towards publication of
On the Origin of Species
John Herschel and
William Whewell systematized methodology: the
latter coined the term scientist . When
Charles Darwin published On
the Origin of
Species he established evolution as the prevailing
explanation of biological complexity. His theory of natural selection
provided a natural explanation of how species originated, but this
only gained wide acceptance a century later.
John Dalton developed the
idea of atoms . The laws of thermodynamics and the electromagnetic
theory were also established in the 19th century, which raised new
questions which could not easily be answered using Newton's framework.
The phenomena that would allow the deconstruction of the atom were
discovered in the last decade of the 19th century: the discovery of
X-rays inspired the discovery of radioactivity . In the next year came
the discovery of the first subatomic particle, the electron .
Combustion and chemical reactions were studied by
Michael Faraday and
reported in his lectures before the
Royal Institution : The Chemical
History of a Candle , 1861
20TH CENTURY AND BEYOND
A simulated event in the CMS detector of the Large Hadron
Collider , featuring a possible appearance of the
Einstein 's theory of relativity and the development of quantum
mechanics led to the replacement of classical mechanics with a new
physics which contains two parts that describe different types of
events in nature.
In the first half of the century, the development of artificial
fertilizer made global human population growth possible. At the same
time, the structure of the atom and its nucleus was discovered,
leading to the release of "atomic energy " (nuclear power ). In
addition, the extensive use of scientific innovation stimulated by the
wars of this century led to antibiotics and increased life expectancy,
revolutions in transportation (automobiles and aircraft ), the
development of ICBMs , a space race , and a nuclear arms race , all
giving a widespread public appreciation of the importance of modern
Widespread use of integrated circuits in the last quarter of the 20th
century combined with communications satellites led to a revolution in
information technology and the rise of the global internet and mobile
computing , including smartphones .
More recently, it has been argued that the ultimate purpose of
science is to make sense of human beings and our nature. For example,
in his book
E. O. Wilson
E. O. Wilson said: "The human condition is
the most important frontier of the natural sciences". :334
Nature timeline view • discuss • edit -13 — – -12 —
– -11 — – -10 — – -9 — – -8 — – -7 — – -6 —
– -5 — – -4 — – -3 — – -2 — – -1 — – 0 —
COSMIC EXPANSION EARLIEST LIGHT COSMIC SPEED-UP SOLAR SYSTEM
WATER SINGLE-CELLED LIFE PHOTOSYNTHESIS Multicellular
life LAND LIFE EARLIEST GRAVITY DARK ENERGY DARK MATTER
← Earliest universe (−13.80 ) ← Earliest galaxy
← Earliest quasar ←
Omega Centauri forms ← Andromeda
Galaxy forms ← Milky Way Galaxy
spiral arms form ←
Alpha Centauri forms ← Earliest
Earth (−4.54 ) ← Earliest life ← Earliest oxygen
← Atmospheric oxygen ← Earliest sexual reproduction ←
Cambrian explosion ← Earliest humans L
Axis scale : billions of years .
Human timeline and Life timeline Main article: Scientific
The scientific method seeks to explain the events of nature in a
reproducible way. An explanatory thought experiment or hypothesis is
put forward as explanation using principles such as parsimony (also
known as "Occam\'s Razor ") and are generally expected to seek
consilience —fitting well with other accepted facts related to the
phenomena. This new explanation is used to make falsifiable
predictions that are testable by experiment or observation. The
predictions are to be posted before a confirming experiment or
observation is sought, as proof that no tampering has occurred.
Disproof of a prediction is evidence of progress. This is done
partly through observation of natural phenomena, but also through
experimentation that tries to simulate natural events under controlled
conditions as appropriate to the discipline (in the observational
sciences, such as astronomy or geology, a predicted observation might
take the place of a controlled experiment). Experimentation is
especially important in science to help establish causal relationships
(to avoid the correlation fallacy ).
When a hypothesis proves unsatisfactory, it is either modified or
discarded. If the hypothesis survived testing, it may become adopted
into the framework of a scientific theory , a logically reasoned,
self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of
certain natural phenomena. A theory typically describes the behavior
of much broader sets of phenomena than a hypothesis; commonly, a large
number of hypotheses can be logically bound together by a single
theory. Thus a theory is a hypothesis explaining various other
hypotheses. In that vein, theories are formulated according to most of
the same scientific principles as hypotheses. In addition to testing
hypotheses, scientists may also generate a model , an attempt to
describe or depict the phenomenon in terms of a logical, physical or
mathematical representation and to generate new hypotheses that can be
tested, based on observable phenomena.
While performing experiments to test hypotheses, scientists may have
a preference for one outcome over another, and so it is important to
ensure that science as a whole can eliminate this bias. This can be
achieved by careful experimental design , transparency, and a thorough
peer review process of the experimental results as well as any
conclusions. After the results of an experiment are announced or
published, it is normal practice for independent researchers to
double-check how the research was performed, and to follow up by
performing similar experiments to determine how dependable the results
might be. Taken in its entirety, the scientific method allows for
highly creative problem solving while minimizing any effects of
subjective bias on the part of its users (especially the confirmation
MATHEMATICS AND FORMAL SCIENCES
Venn diagram illustrating the
intersection of two sets .
Mathematics is essential to the sciences. One important function of
mathematics in science is the role it plays in the expression of
scientific models. Observing and collecting measurements , as well as
hypothesizing and predicting, often require extensive use of
mathematics. For example, arithmetic , algebra , geometry ,
trigonometry , and calculus are all essential to physics . Virtually
every branch of mathematics has applications in science, including
"pure" areas such as number theory and topology .
Statistical methods , which are mathematical techniques for
summarizing and analyzing data, allow scientists to assess the level
of reliability and the range of variation in experimental results.
Statistical analysis plays a fundamental role in many areas of both
the natural sciences and social sciences.
Computational science applies computing power to simulate real-world
situations, enabling a better understanding of scientific problems
than formal mathematics alone can achieve. According to the Society
for Industrial and Applied
Mathematics , computation is now as
important as theory and experiment in advancing scientific knowledge.
A great amount of interest was taken in the study of formal logic in
the early 20th century among mathematicians and philosophers with the
rise of set theory and its use for the foundations of mathematics.
Notable mathematicians and philosophers who contributed to this field
Gottlob Frege ,
Giuseppe Peano ,
George Boole , Ernst Zermelo
Abraham Fraenkel ,
David Hilbert ,
Bertrand Russell , and Alfred
Whitehead among many others. Various axiomatic systems such as Peano
arithmetic , the
Zermelo–Fraenkel system of set theory, as well as
the system in
Principia Mathematica , were thought by many to prove
the foundations of math. However, in 1931, with the publication of
Kurt Gödel\'s incompleteness theorem , much of their efforts were
Formal logic is still studied today at universities by
students of mathematics, philosophy, and computer science . For
example, boolean algebra is employed by all modern computers to
function, and thus is an extremely useful branch of knowledge for
Whether mathematics itself is properly classified as science has been
a matter of some debate. Some thinkers see mathematicians as
scientists, regarding physical experiments as inessential or
mathematical proofs as equivalent to experiments. Others do not see
mathematics as a science because it does not require an experimental
test of its theories and hypotheses. Mathematical theorems and
formulas are obtained by logical derivations which presume axiomatic
systems, rather than the combination of empirical observation and
logical reasoning that has come to be known as the scientific method .
In general, mathematics is classified as formal science , while
natural and social sciences are classified as empirical sciences.
The scientific community is the group of all interacting scientists.
It includes many sub-communities working on particular scientific
fields, and within particular institutions; interdisciplinary and
cross-institutional activities are also significant.
BRANCHES AND FIELDS
Branches of science
Branches of science The somatosensory system is
located throughout our bodies but is integrated in the brain .
Scientific fields are commonly divided into two major groups: natural
sciences , which study natural phenomena (including biological life ),
and social sciences , which study human behavior and societies . These
are both empirical sciences, which means their knowledge must be based
on observable phenomena and capable of being tested for its validity
by other researchers working under the same conditions. There are
also related disciplines that are grouped into interdisciplinary
applied sciences , such as engineering and medicine . Within these
categories are specialized scientific fields that can include parts of
other scientific disciplines but often possess their own nomenclature
Mathematics , which is classified as a formal science , has both
similarities and differences with the empirical sciences (the natural
and social sciences). It is similar to empirical sciences in that it
involves an objective, careful and systematic study of an area of
knowledge; it is different because of its method of verifying its
knowledge, using a priori rather than empirical methods. The formal
sciences, which also include statistics and logic , are vital to the
empirical sciences. Major advances in formal science have often led to
major advances in the empirical sciences. The formal sciences are
essential in the formation of hypotheses , theories , and laws , both
in discovering and describing how things work (natural sciences) and
how people think and act (social sciences).
Apart from its broad meaning, the word "science" sometimes may
specifically refer to fundamental sciences (maths and natural
Science schools or faculties within many institutions
are separate from those for medicine or engineering, each of which is
an applied science .
Learned societies for the communication and promotion of scientific
thought and experimentation have existed since the
The oldest surviving institution is the Italian
Accademia dei Lincei
Accademia dei Lincei
which was established in 1603. The respective National Academies of
Science are distinguished institutions that exist in a number of
countries, beginning with the British Royal
Society in 1660 and the
Académie des Sciences in 1666.
International scientific organizations, such as the International
Science , have since been formed to promote cooperation
between the scientific communities of different nations. Many
governments have dedicated agencies to support scientific research.
Prominent scientific organizations include the National Science
Foundation in the U.S. , the National Scientific and Technical
Research Council in Argentina,
CSIRO in Australia, Centre national de
la recherche scientifique in France, the Max Planck
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in Germany, and CSIC in Spain.
An enormous range of scientific literature is published. Scientific
journals communicate and document the results of research carried out
in universities and various other research institutions, serving as an
archival record of science. The first scientific journals, Journal des
Sçavans followed by the Philosophical Transactions , began
publication in 1665. Since that time the total number of active
periodicals has steadily increased. In 1981, one estimate for the
number of scientific and technical journals in publication was 11,500.
United States National Library of
Medicine currently indexes
5,516 journals that contain articles on topics related to the life
sciences. Although the journals are in 39 languages, 91 percent of the
indexed articles are published in English.
Most scientific journals cover a single scientific field and publish
the research within that field; the research is normally expressed in
the form of a scientific paper .
Science has become so pervasive in
modern societies that it is generally considered necessary to
communicate the achievements, news, and ambitions of scientists to a
Science magazines such as New
Science & Vie , and
Scientific American cater to the needs of a much wider readership and
provide a non-technical summary of popular areas of research,
including notable discoveries and advances in certain fields of
Science books engage the interest of many more people.
Tangentially, the science fiction genre, primarily fantastic in
nature, engages the public imagination and transmits the ideas, if not
the methods, of science.
Recent efforts to intensify or develop links between science and
non-scientific disciplines such as literature or more specifically,
poetry , include the Creative Writing
Science resource developed
Royal Literary Fund .
SCIENCE AND SOCIETY
Science and society" redirects here. For the academic journal, see
Marie Curie was the first person to be awarded two Nobel
Physics in 1903 and
Chemistry in 1911
Science has historically been a male-dominated field, with some
notable exceptions. Women faced considerable discrimination in
science, much as they did in other areas of male-dominated societies,
such as frequently being passed over for job opportunities and denied
credit for their work. For example, Christine Ladd (1847–1930) was
able to enter a PhD program as "C. Ladd"; Christine "Kitty" Ladd
completed the requirements in 1882, but was awarded her degree only in
1926, after a career which spanned the algebra of logic (see truth
table ), color vision, and psychology. Her work preceded notable
Ludwig Wittgenstein and
Charles Sanders Peirce
Charles Sanders Peirce . The
achievements of women in science have been attributed to their
defiance of their traditional role as laborers within the domestic
In the late 20th century, active recruitment of women and elimination
of institutional discrimination on the basis of sex greatly increased
the number of women scientists, but large gender disparities remain in
some fields; over half of new biologists are female, while 80% of PhDs
in physics are given to men. Feminists claim this is the result of
culture rather than an innate difference between the sexes, and some
experiments have shown that parents challenge and explain more to boys
than girls, asking them to reflect more deeply and logically. :
258–61. In the early part of the 21st century, in America, women
earned 50.3% bachelor's degrees, 45.6% master's degrees, and 40.7% of
PhDs in science and engineering fields with women earning more than
half of the degrees in three fields:
Psychology (about 70%), Social
Sciences (about 50%), and
Biology (about 50-60%). However, when it
comes to the Physical Sciences, Geosciences, Math, Engineering, and
Computer Science, women earned less than half the degrees. However,
lifestyle choice also plays a major role in female engagement in
science; women with young children are 28% less likely to take
tenure-track positions due to work-life balance issues, and female
graduate students' interest in careers in research declines
dramatically over the course of graduate school, whereas that of their
male colleagues remains unchanged.
Science policy ,
History of science policy , Funding
of science , and
Economics of science President Clinton meets
the 1998 U.S.
Nobel Prize winners in the White House
Science policy is an area of public policy concerned with the
policies that affect the conduct of the scientific enterprise,
including research funding , often in pursuance of other national
policy goals such as technological innovation to promote commercial
product development, weapons development, health care and
Science policy also refers to the act of
applying scientific knowledge and consensus to the development of
Science policy thus deals with the entire domain of
issues that involve the natural sciences. In accordance with public
policy being concerned about the well-being of its citizens, science
policy's goal is to consider how science and technology can best serve
State policy has influenced the funding of public works and science
for thousands of years, dating at least from the time of the
who inspired the study of logic during the period of the Hundred
Schools of Thought , and the study of defensive fortifications during
Warring States period in China. In
Great Britain , governmental
approval of the Royal
Society in the 17th century recognized a
scientific community which exists to this day. The professionalization
of science, begun in the 19th century, was partly enabled by the
creation of scientific organizations such as the National Academy of
Sciences , the
Kaiser Wilhelm Institute , and state funding of
universities of their respective nations.
Public policy can directly
affect the funding of capital equipment and intellectual
infrastructure for industrial research by providing tax incentives to
those organizations that fund research.
Vannevar Bush , director of
Office of Scientific Research and Development for the United
States government, the forerunner of the
National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation ,
wrote in July 1945 that "
Science is a proper concern of government."
Science and technology research is often funded through a competitive
process in which potential research projects are evaluated and only
the most promising receive funding. Such processes, which are run by
government, corporations, or foundations, allocate scarce funds. Total
research funding in most developed countries is between 1.5% and 3% of
GDP . In the
OECD , around two-thirds of research and development in
scientific and technical fields is carried out by industry, and 20%
and 10% respectively by universities and government. The government
funding proportion in certain industries is higher, and it dominates
research in social science and humanities . Similarly, with some
exceptions (e.g. biotechnology ) government provides the bulk of the
funds for basic scientific research . In commercial research and
development, all but the most research-oriented corporations focus
more heavily on near-term commercialisation possibilities rather than
"blue-sky " ideas or technologies (such as nuclear fusion ).
The mass media face a number of pressures that can prevent them from
accurately depicting competing scientific claims in terms of their
credibility within the scientific community as a whole. Determining
how much weight to give different sides in a scientific debate may
require considerable expertise regarding the matter. Few journalists
have real scientific knowledge, and even beat reporters who know a
great deal about certain scientific issues may be ignorant about other
scientific issues that they are suddenly asked to cover.
Politicization of science
Many issues damage the relationship of science to the media and the
use of science and scientific arguments by politicians . As a very
broad generalisation, many politicians seek certainties and facts
whilst scientists typically offer probabilities and caveats. However,
politicians' ability to be heard in the mass media frequently distorts
the scientific understanding by the public. Examples in the United
Kingdom include the controversy over the MMR inoculation , and the
1988 forced resignation of a Government Minister,
Edwina Currie , for
revealing the high probability that battery farmed eggs were
John Horgan , Chris Mooney , and researchers from the US and Canada
have described Scientific
Certainty Argumentation Methods (SCAMs),
where an organization or think tank makes it their only goal to cast
doubt on supported science because it conflicts with political
agendas. Hank Campbell and microbiologist Alex Berezow have
described "feel-good fallacies" used in politics, especially on the
left, where politicians frame their positions in a way that makes
people feel good about supporting certain policies even when
scientific evidence shows there is no need to worry or there is no
need for dramatic change on current programs. : Vol. 78, No. 1. 2–38
SCIENCE AND THE PUBLIC
Various activities are developed to facilitate communication between
the general public and science/scientists, such as science outreach ,
public awareness of science , science communication , science
festivals , citizen science , science journalism , public science ,
and popular science . See
Science and the public for related concepts.
Science is represented by the 'S' in
STEM fields .
PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Philosophy of science
Working scientists usually take for granted a set of basic
assumptions that are needed to justify the scientific method: (1) that
there is an objective reality shared by all rational observers; (2)
that this objective reality is governed by natural laws; (3) that
these laws can be discovered by means of systematic observation and
Philosophy of science seeks a deep understanding of
what these underlying assumptions mean and whether they are valid.
The belief that scientific theories should and do represent
metaphysical reality is known as realism . It can be contrasted with
anti-realism , the view that the success of science does not depend on
it being accurate about unobservable entities such as electrons . One
form of anti-realism is idealism , the belief that the mind or
consciousness is the most basic essence, and that each mind generates
its own reality. In an idealistic world view , what is true for one
mind need not be true for other minds.
The Sand Reckoner is a
work by Archimedes in which he sets out to determine an upper bound
for the number of grains of sand that fit into the universe. In order
to do this, he had to estimate the size of the universe according to
the contemporary model, and invent a way to analyze extremely large
There are different schools of thought in philosophy of science. The
most popular position is empiricism , which holds that knowledge is
created by a process involving observation and that scientific
theories are the result of generalizations from such observations.
Empiricism generally encompasses inductivism , a position that tries
to explain the way general theories can be justified by the finite
number of observations humans can make and hence the finite amount of
empirical evidence available to confirm scientific theories. This is
necessary because the number of predictions those theories make is
infinite, which means that they cannot be known from the finite amount
of evidence using deductive logic only. Many versions of empiricism
exist, with the predominant ones being
Bayesianism and the
hypothetico-deductive method . :236
Empiricism has stood in contrast to rationalism , the position
originally associated with
Descartes , which holds that knowledge is
created by the human intellect, not by observation. :20 Critical
rationalism is a contrasting 20th-century approach to science, first
defined by Austrian-British philosopher
Karl Popper . Popper rejected
the way that empiricism describes the connection between theory and
observation. He claimed that theories are not generated by
observation, but that observation is made in the light of theories and
that the only way a theory can be affected by observation is when it
comes in conflict with it. :63–67 Popper proposed replacing
verifiability with falsifiability as the landmark of scientific
theories and replacing induction with falsification as the empirical
method. :68 Popper further claimed that there is actually only one
universal method, not specific to science: the negative method of
criticism, trial and error . It covers all products of the human
mind, including science, mathematics, philosophy, and art.
Another approach, instrumentalism , colloquially termed "shut up and
multiply," emphasizes the utility of theories as instruments for
explaining and predicting phenomena. It views scientific theories as
black boxes with only their input (initial conditions) and output
(predictions) being relevant. Consequences, theoretical entities, and
logical structure are claimed to be something that should simply be
ignored and that scientists shouldn't make a fuss about (see
interpretations of quantum mechanics ). Close to instrumentalism is
constructive empiricism , according to which the main criterion for
the success of a scientific theory is whether what it says about
observable entities is true.
Paul Feyerabend advanced the idea of epistemological anarchism ,
which holds that there are no useful and exception-free methodological
rules governing the progress of science or the growth of knowledge and
that the idea that science can or should operate according to
universal and fixed rules are unrealistic, pernicious and detrimental
to science itself. Feyerabend advocates treating science as an
ideology alongside others such as religion , magic , and mythology ,
and considers the dominance of science in society authoritarian and
unjustified. He also contended (along with
Imre Lakatos ) that the
demarcation problem of distinguishing science from pseudoscience on
objective grounds is not possible and thus fatal to the notion of
science running according to fixed, universal rules. Feyerabend also
stated that science does not have evidence for its philosophical
precepts, particularly the notion of uniformity of law and process
across time and space .
Finally, another approach often cited in debates of scientific
skepticism against controversial movements like "creation science " is
methodological naturalism . Its main point is that a difference
between natural and supernatural explanations should be made and that
science should be restricted methodologically to natural explanations.
That the restriction is merely methodological (rather than
ontological) means that science should not consider supernatural
explanations itself, but should not claim them to be wrong either.
Instead, supernatural explanations should be left a matter of personal
belief outside the scope of science . Methodological naturalism
maintains that proper science requires strict adherence to empirical
study and independent verification as a process for properly
developing and evaluating explanations for observable phenomena. The
absence of these standards, arguments from authority , biased
observational studies and other common fallacies are frequently cited
by supporters of methodological naturalism as characteristic of the
non-science they criticize.
CERTAINTY AND SCIENCE
DNA double helix is a molecule that encodes the genetic
instructions used in the development and functioning of all known
living organisms and many viruses .
A scientific theory is empirical and is always open to
falsification if new evidence is presented. That is, no theory is ever
considered strictly certain as science accepts the concept of
fallibilism . The philosopher of science
Karl Popper sharply
distinguished truth from certainty. He wrote that scientific knowledge
"consists in the search for truth," but it "is not the search for
certainty ... All human knowledge is fallible and therefore
New scientific knowledge rarely results in vast changes in our
understanding. According to psychologist
Keith Stanovich , it may be
the media's overuse of words like "breakthrough" that leads the public
to imagine that science is constantly proving everything it thought
was true to be false. :119–38 While there are such famous cases as
the theory of relativity that required a complete reconceptualization,
these are extreme exceptions.
Knowledge in science is gained by a
gradual synthesis of information from different experiments by various
researchers across different branches of science; it is more like a
climb than a leap. :123 Theories vary in the extent to which they have
been tested and verified, as well as their acceptance in the
scientific community. For example, heliocentric theory , the theory
of evolution , relativity theory , and germ theory still bear the name
"theory" even though, in practice, they are considered factual .
Barry Stroud adds that, although the best definition for
"knowledge " is contested, being skeptical and entertaining the
possibility that one is incorrect is compatible with being correct.
Ironically, then, the scientist adhering to proper scientific
approaches will doubt themselves even once they possess the truth .
C. S. Peirce argued that inquiry is the struggle to
resolve actual doubt and that merely quarrelsome, verbal, or
hyperbolic doubt is fruitless —but also that the inquirer should try
to attain genuine doubt rather than resting uncritically on common
sense. He held that the successful sciences trust not to any single
chain of inference (no stronger than its weakest link) but to the
cable of multiple and various arguments intimately connected.
Stanovich also asserts that science avoids searching for a "magic
bullet"; it avoids the single-cause fallacy . This means a scientist
would not ask merely "What is the cause of ...", but rather "What are
the most significant causes of ...". This is especially the case in
the more macroscopic fields of science (e.g. psychology , physical
cosmology ). :141–47 Of course, research often analyzes few factors
at once, but these are always added to the long list of factors that
are most important to consider. :141–47 For example, knowing the
details of only a person's genetics, or their history and upbringing,
or the current situation may not explain a behavior, but a deep
understanding of all these variables combined can be very predictive.
FRINGE SCIENCE, PSEUDOSCIENCE, AND JUNK SCIENCE
An area of study or speculation that masquerades as science in an
attempt to claim a legitimacy that it would not otherwise be able to
achieve is sometimes referred to as pseudoscience , fringe science ,
or junk science . Physicist
Richard Feynman coined the term "cargo
cult science " for cases in which researchers believe they are doing
science because their activities have the outward appearance of
science but actually lack the "kind of utter honesty" that allows
their results to be rigorously evaluated. Various types of commercial
advertising, ranging from hype to fraud, may fall into these
There can also be an element of political or ideological bias on all
sides of scientific debates. Sometimes, research may be characterized
as "bad science," research that may be well-intended but is actually
incorrect, obsolete, incomplete, or over-simplified expositions of
scientific ideas. The term "scientific misconduct " refers to
situations such as where researchers have intentionally misrepresented
their published data or have purposely given credit for a discovery to
the wrong person.
Astronomy became much more accurate after
Tycho Brahe devised
his scientific instruments for measuring angles between two celestial
bodies , before the invention of the telescope. Brahe\'s observations
were the basis for Kepler\'s laws .
Although encyclopedias such as Pliny's (fl. 77 AD) Natural History
offered purported fact, they proved unreliable. A skeptical point of
view, demanding a method of proof, was the practical position taken to
deal with unreliable knowledge. As early as 1000 years ago, scholars
Alhazen (Doubts Concerning
Roger Bacon ,
John Pecham ,
Francis Bacon (1605), and
C. S. Peirce (1839–1914)
provided the community to address these points of uncertainty. In
particular, fallacious reasoning can be exposed, such as "affirming
the consequent ."
"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if
he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."
Francis Bacon , "
The Advancement of Learning ", Book 1, v, 8
The methods of inquiry into a problem have been known for thousands
of years, and extend beyond theory to practice. The use of
measurements , for example, is a practical approach to settle disputes
in the community.
John Ziman points out that intersubjective pattern recognition is
fundamental to the creation of all scientific knowledge. :44 Ziman
shows how scientists can identify patterns to each other across
centuries; he refers to this ability as "perceptual consensibility."
:46 He then makes consensibility, leading to consensus, the touchstone
of reliable knowledge. :104
BASIC AND APPLIED RESEARCH
Anthropogenic pollution has an effect on the Earth's environment
Although some scientific research is applied research into specific
problems, a great deal of our understanding comes from the
curiosity-driven undertaking of basic research . This leads to options
for technological advance that were not planned or sometimes even
imaginable. This point was made by
Michael Faraday when allegedly in
response to the question "what is the use of basic research?" he
responded: "Sir, what is the use of a new-born child?". For example,
research into the effects of red light on the human eye's rod cells
did not seem to have any practical purpose; eventually, the discovery
that our night vision is not troubled by red light would lead search
and rescue teams (among others) to adopt red light in the cockpits of
jets and helicopters. :106–10 In a nutshell, basic research is the
search for knowledge and applied research is the search for solutions
to practical problems using this knowledge. Finally, even basic
research can take unexpected turns, and there is some sense in which
the scientific method is built to harness luck .
RESEARCH IN PRACTICE
Due to the increasing complexity of information and specialization of
scientists, most of the cutting-edge research today is done by
well-funded groups of scientists, rather than individuals. D.K.
Simonton notes that due to the breadth of very precise and far
reaching tools already used by researchers today and the amount of
research generated so far, creation of new disciplines or revolutions
within a discipline may no longer be possible as it is unlikely that
some phenomenon that merits its own discipline has been overlooked.
Hybridizing of disciplines and finessing knowledge is, in his view,
the future of science.
PRACTICAL IMPACTS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Discoveries in fundamental science can be world-changing. For
Static electricity and magnetism (c. 1600)
Electric current (18th century) All electric appliances, dynamos,
electric power stations, modern electronics , including electric
lighting , television , electric heating , transcranial magnetic
stimulation , deep brain stimulation , magnetic tape , loudspeaker ,
and the compass and lightning rod .
Optics , hence fiber optic cable (1840s), modern intercontinental
communications , and cable TV and internet
Germ theory (1700)
Hygiene , leading to decreased transmission of infectious diseases;
antibodies , leading to techniques for disease diagnosis and targeted
Leading to the elimination of most infectious diseases from
developed countries and the worldwide eradication of smallpox .
Photovoltaic effect (1839)
Solar cells (1883), hence solar power , solar powered watches ,
calculators and other devices.
The strange orbit of Mercury (1859) and other research
leading to special (1905) and general relativity (1916)
Satellite-based technology such as
GPS (1973), satnav and satellite
Radio waves (1887)
Radio had become used in innumerable ways beyond its better-known
areas of telephony , and broadcast television (1927) and radio (1906)
entertainment . Other uses included – emergency services , radar
(navigation and weather prediction ), medicine , astronomy , wireless
communications , geophysics , and networking . Radio waves also led
researchers to adjacent frequencies such as microwaves , used
worldwide for heating and cooking food.
Radioactivity (1896) and antimatter (1932)
Cancer treatment (1896),
Radiometric dating (1905), nuclear
reactors (1942) and weapons (1945), mineral exploration , PET scans
(1961), and medical research (via isotopic labeling )
Medical imaging , including computed tomography
Crystallography and quantum mechanics (1900)
Semiconductor devices (1906), hence modern computing and
telecommunications including the integration with wireless devices:
the mobile phone , LED lamps and lasers .
Bakelite , many types of artificial polymers for
numerous applications in industry and daily life
Antibiotics (1880s, 1928)
Penicillin , doxycycline etc.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (1930s)
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1946), magnetic resonance
imaging (1971), functional magnetic resonance imaging (1990s).
Antiquarian science books
Antiquarian science books
Criticism of science
Index of branches of science
* Life timeline
Outline of science
Sociology of scientific knowledge
* ^ "... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. It
was a discovery that nature generally acts regularly enough to be
described by laws and even by mathematics ; and required invention to
devise the techniques, abstractions, apparatus, and organization for
exhibiting the regularities and securing their law-like
descriptions."— Heilbron 2003 , p. vii
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Merriam-Webster , Inc.
Retrieved October 16, 2011. 3 A: knowledge or a system of knowledge
covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as
obtained and tested through scientific method B: such knowledge or
such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its
phenomena. * ^ Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia
Mathematica (1687), for example, is translated "Mathematical
Principles of Natural Philosophy", and reflects the then-current use
of the words "natural philosophy ", akin to "systematic study of
* ^ "The historian ... requires a very broad definition of "science"
— one that ... will help us to understand the modern scientific
enterprise. We need to be broad and inclusive, rather than narrow and
exclusive ... and we should expect that the farther back we go the
broader we will need to be." —
David Pingree (1992), "Hellenophilia
History of Science" Isis 83 554–63, as cited in (Lindberg
2007 , p. 3), The beginnings of Western science: the European
Scientific tradition in philosophical, religious, and institutional
context, Second ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press ISBN
* See Grant, Edward (1 January 1997). "
History of Science: When Did
Science Begin?". The American Scholar. 66 (1): 105–13. JSTOR
History of science#Early cultures
History of science#Ancient Near East , Mesopotamia
History of science#Ancient Near East , Egypt
Science in China
History of science#India
* ^ "... man knows a thing scientifically when he possesses a
conviction arrived at in a certain way, and when the first principles
on which that conviction rests are known to him with certainty—for
unless he is more certain of his first principles than of the
conclusion drawn from them he will only possess the knowledge in
question accidentally." — Aristotle. Nicomachean
Ethics (H. Rackham,
ed. ed.). CS1 maint: Extra text (link )
* ^ Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa (2010). Mind, Brain, and Education
Science: A Comprehensive Guide to the New Brain-Based Teaching. W. W.
Norton 965–1039 C.E.) was perhaps one of the greatest physicists of
all times and a product of the
Islamic Golden Age or Islamic
Renaissance (7th–13th centuries). He made significant contributions
to anatomy, astronomy, engineering, mathematics, medicine,
ophthalmology, philosophy, physics, psychology, and visual perception
and is primarily attributed as the inventor of the scientific method,
for which author Bradley Steffens (2006) describes him as the "first
* ^ Alhacen had access to the optics books of
Euclid and Ptolemy,
as is shown by the title of his lost work A Book in which I have
Optics from the Two Books of
Ptolemy, to which I have added the Notions of the First Discourse
which is Missing from Ptolemy's Book From
Ibn Abi Usaibia 's catalog,
as cited in (Smith 2001 ):91(vol .1), p. xv
* ^ " followed Ptolemy's bridge building ... into a grand synthesis
of light and vision. Part of his effort consisted in devising ranges
of experiments, of a kind probed before but now undertaken on larger
scale."— Cohen 2010 , p. 59
* ^ The translator,
Gerard of Cremona
Gerard of Cremona (c. 1114–87), inspired by
his love of the
Almagest , came to Toledo, where he knew he could find
Almagest in Arabic. There he found Arabic books of every
description, and learned Arabic in order to translate these books into
Latin, being aware of 'the poverty of the Latins'. —As cited by
Charles Burnett (2001) "The Coherence of the Arabic-Latin Translation
Program in Toledo in the Twelfth Century", pp. 250, 255, 257, Science
in Context 14(1/2), 249–88 (2001). doi :10.1017/0269889701000096
* ^ Kepler, Johannes (1604) Ad Vitellionem paralipomena, quibus
astronomiae pars opticae traditur (Supplements to Witelo, in which the
optical part of astronomy is treated) as cited in Smith, A. Mark (1
January 2004). "What Is the
History of Medieval
Optics Really about?".
Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 148 (2): 180–94.
* The full title translation is from p. 60 of James R. Voelkel
Johannes Kepler and the New
Astronomy Oxford University Press.
Kepler was driven to this experiment after observing the partial solar
eclipse at Graz, July 10, 1600. He used Tycho Brahe's method of
observation, which was to project the image of the sun on a piece of
paper through a pinhole aperture, instead of looking directly at the
sun. He disagreed with Brahe's conclusion that total eclipses of the
sun were impossible, because there were historical accounts of total
eclipses. Instead he deduced that the size of the aperture controls
the sharpness of the projected image (the larger the aperture, the
more accurate the image — this fact is now fundamental for optical
system design). Voelkel, p. 61, notes that Kepler's experiments
produced the first correct account of vision and the eye, because he
realized he could not accurately write about astronomical observation
by ignoring the eye.
* ^ di Francia 1976 , p. 13: "The amazing point is that for the
first time since the discovery of mathematics, a method has been
introduced, the results of which have an intersubjective value!"
* ^ di Francia 1976 , pp. 4–5: "One learns in a laboratory; one
learns how to make experiments only by experimenting, and one learns
how to work with his hands only by using them. The first and
fundamental form of experimentation in physics is to teach young
people to work with their hands. Then they should be taken into a
laboratory and taught to work with measuring instruments — each
student carrying out real experiments in physics. This form of
teaching is indispensable and cannot be read in a book."
* ^ Fara 2009 , p. 204: "Whatever their discipline, scientists
claimed to share a common scientific method that ... distinguished
them from non-scientists."
Women in science have included:
Hypatia (c. 350–415 CE), of the
Library of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria .
Trotula of Salerno, a physician c. 1060 CE.
Caroline Herschel , one of the first professional astronomers of
the 18th and 19th centuries.
Christine Ladd-Franklin , a doctoral student of
C. S. Peirce , who
Wittgenstein 's proposition 5.101 in her dissertation, 40
years before Wittgenstein's publication of Tractatus
Henrietta Leavitt , a professional human computer and astronomer,
who first published the significant relationship between the
Cepheid variable stars and their distance from Earth.
This allowed Hubble to make the discovery of the expanding universe ,
which led to the
Big Bang theory .
Emmy Noether , who proved the conservation of energy and other
constants of motion in 1915.
Marie Curie , who made discoveries relating to radioactivity along
with her husband, and for whom
Curium is named.
Rosalind Franklin , who worked with
Nina Byers , Contributions of 20th Century Women to Physics
which provides details on 83 female physicists of the 20th century. By
1976, more women were physicists, and the 83 who were detailed were
joined by other women in noticeably larger numbers.
* ^ This realization is the topic of intersubjective verifiability
, as recounted, for example, by
Max Born (1949, 1965) Natural
Philosophy of Cause and Chance, who points out that all knowledge,
including natural or social science, is also subjective. p. 162: "Thus
it dawned upon me that fundamentally everything is subjective,
everything without exception. That was a shock."
* ^ A B In his investigation of the law of falling bodies , Galileo
(1638) serves as example for scientific investigation: Two New
Sciences "A piece of wooden moulding or scantling, about 12 cubits
long, half a cubit wide, and three finger-breadths thick, was taken;
on its edge was cut a channel a little more than one finger in
breadth; having made this groove very straight, smooth, and polished,
and having lined it with parchment, also as smooth and polished as
possible, we rolled along it a hard, smooth, and very round bronze
ball. Having placed this board in a sloping position, by lifting one
end some one or two cubits above the other, we rolled the ball, as I
was just saying, along the channel, noting, in a manner presently to
be described, the time required to make the descent. We . . . now
rolled the ball only one-quarter the length of the channel; and having
measured the time of its descent, we found it precisely one-half of
the former. Next we tried other distances, comparing the time for the
whole length with that for the half, or with that for two-thirds, or
three-fourths, or indeed for any fraction; in such experiments,
repeated many, many, times."
Galileo solved the problem of time
measurement by weighing a jet of water collected during the descent of
the bronze ball, as stated in his Two New Sciences.
* ^ Godfrey-Smith 2003 , p. 151 credits Willard Van Orman Quine
(1969) "Epistemology Naturalized" Ontological Relativity and Other
Essays New York: Columbia University Press, as well as
John Dewey ,
with the basic ideas of naturalism —
Naturalized Epistemology , but
Godfrey-Smith diverges from Quine's position: according to
Godfrey-Smith, "A naturalist can think that science can contribute to
answers to philosophical questions, without thinking that
philosophical questions can be replaced by science questions.".
* ^ "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single
experiment can prove me wrong." —Albert
Einstein , noted by Alice
Calaprice (ed. 2005) The New Quotable
Einstein Princeton University
Press and Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ISBN 0-691-12074-9 p. 291.
Calaprice denotes this not as an exact quotation, but as a paraphrase
of a translation of A. Einstein's "Induction and Deduction". Collected
Papers of Albert
Einstein 7 Document 28. Volume 7 is The Berlin Years:
Writings, 1918–1921. A. Einstein; M. Janssen, R. Schulmann, et al.,
* ^ Fleck, Ludwik (1979). Trenn, Thaddeus J.; Merton, Robert K,
eds. Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-25325-2 . Claims that before a specific
fact "existed", it had to be created as part of a social agreement
within a community.
Steven Shapin (1980) "A view of scientific
Science ccvii (Mar 7, 1980) 1065–66 states " facts are
invented, not discovered. Moreover, the appearance of scientific facts
as discovered things is itself a social construction: a made thing. "
* ^ "Pseudoscientific – pretending to be scientific, falsely
represented as being scientific", from the Oxford American Dictionary,
published by the
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary ; Hansson, Sven Ove
(1996)."Defining Pseudoscience", Philosophia Naturalis, 33: 169–176,
as cited in "
Science and Pseudo-science" (2008) in Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Stanford article states: "Many writers
on pseudoscience have emphasized that pseudoscience is non-science
posing as science. The foremost modern classic on the subject (Gardner
1957) bears the title
Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science .
According to Brian Baigrie (1988, 438), "hat is objectionable about
these beliefs is that they masquerade as genuinely scientific ones."
These and many other authors assume that to be pseudoscientific, an
activity or a teaching has to satisfy the following two criteria
(Hansson 1996): (1) it is not scientific, and (2) its major proponents
try to create the impression that it is scientific".
* For example, Hewitt et al. Conceptual Physical
Wesley; 3 edition (July 18, 2003) ISBN 0-321-05173-4 , Bennett et al.
The Cosmic Perspective 3e Addison Wesley; 3 edition (July 25, 2003)
ISBN 0-8053-8738-2 ; See also, e.g., Gauch HG Jr. Scientific Method in
* A 2006
National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation report on
engineering indicators quoted
Michael Shermer 's (1997) definition of
pseudoscience: '"claims presented so that they appear scientific even
though they lack supporting evidence and plausibility"(p. 33). In
contrast, science is "a set of methods designed to describe and
interpret observed and inferred phenomena, past or present, and aimed
at building a testable body of knowledge open to rejection or
confirmation"(p. 17)'.Shermer M. (1997). Why People Believe Weird
Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time.
New York: W. H. Freeman and Company. ISBN 0-7167-3090-1 . as cited by
National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation , Division of
Statistics (2006). "
Science and Technology: Public
Attitudes and Understanding".
Science and engineering indicators 2006.
Archived from the original on February 1, 2013.
* "A pretended or spurious science; a collection of related beliefs
about the world mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific
method or as having the status that scientific truths now have," from
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary , second edition 1989.
* ^ A B Evicting Einstein, March 26, 2004,
NASA . "Both are
extremely successful. The Global Positioning System (GPS), for
instance, wouldn't be possible without the theory of relativity.
Computers, telecommunications, and the Internet, meanwhile, are
spin-offs of quantum mechanics."
* ^ Harper, Douglas. "science".
Online Etymology Dictionary
Online Etymology Dictionary .
Retrieved September 20, 2014.
* ^ A B C Wilson, Edward (1999). Consilience: The Unity of
Knowledge. New York: Vintage. ISBN 0-679-76867-X .
* ^ Editorial Staff (March 7, 2008). "The Branches of Science".
South Carolina State University. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
* ^ Editorial Staff (March 7, 2008). "Scientific Method:
Relationships among Scientific Paradigms". Seed Magazine. Retrieved
September 12, 2007.
* ^ Lindberg 2007 , p. 3.
* ^ Haq, Syed (2009). "
Science in Islam". Oxford Dictionary of the
Middle Ages. ISSN 1703-7603 . Retrieved 2014-10-22.
G. J. Toomer . Review on JSTOR, Toomer\'s 1964 review of
Matthias Schramm (1963) Ibn Al-Haythams Weg Zur Physik Toomer p. 464:
"Schramm sums up achievement in the development of scientific
* ^ "International Year of Light – Ibn Al-Haytham and the Legacy
of Arabic Optics".
* ^ Al-Khalili, Jim (4 January 2009). "The \'first true
BBC News. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
* ^ Gorini, Rosanna (October 2003). "Al-Haytham the man of
experience. First steps in the science of vision" (PDF). Journal of
Society for the
History of Islamic Medicine. 2 (4):
53–55. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
Science and Islam ,
Jim Al-Khalili .
BBC , 2009
* ^ Cahan, David, ed. (2003). From Natural
Philosophy to the
Sciences: Writing the
History of Nineteenth-Century Science. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-08928-2 .
* ^ The
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary dates the origin of the word
"scientist" to 1834.
* ^ Feynman, Richard. The Feynman Lectures on
Physics . 1.
* ^ A B Heilbron 2003 , p. vii
* ^ See the quotation in
Homer (8th century BCE) Odyssey 10.302–3
* ^ "Progress or Return" in An Introduction to Political
Philosophy: Ten Essays by Leo Strauss (Expanded version of Political
Philosophy: Six Essays by Leo Strauss, 1975.) Ed. Hilail Gilden.
Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1989.
* ^ Cropsey; Strauss (eds.).
History of Political
ed.). p. 209.
* ^ Nikoletseas, Michael M. (2014). Parmenides: The World as Modus
Cogitandi. ISBN 978-1-4922-8358-4
* ^ Mitchell, Jacqueline S. (February 18, 2003). "The Origins of
Scientific American Frontiers. PBS. Archived from the
original on March 3, 2003. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
* ^ "Plato, Apology, section 30". Perseus Digital Library. Tufts
University. 1966. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
* ^ * Smith, A. Mark (June 2004), "What is the
History of Medieval
Optics Really About?", Proceedings of the American Philosophical
Society, 148 (2): 180–94,
JSTOR 1558283 :189
Jim Al-Khalili (January 4, 2009). "The \'first true
* ^ A B Grant, Edward (2007). A
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