What is science?
Science derives from observing natural and social phenomena (both natural and human) of reality, and from experimenting and empirically demonstrating the interpretations we give them.
This knowledge is also recorded and serves as a basis for future generations. Hence, science refines, refines, and accumulates questions over time.
The concept of science encompasses various knowledge, techniques, theories, and institutions. All of this is theoretically knowing what the basic laws are that govern reality, how they do it, and if possible why.
It is a cultural product of modern humanity, perhaps the most famous and recognized in its history, which has its roots in us even after antiquity.
Science is a model of thought inspired by human thought and critical spirit, philosophical values, which have been its time since the European Renaissance. For this reason, profound philosophical and cosmological changes between the 16th and 17th centuries are often referred to as scientific revolutions.
What are the characteristics of science?
In all its complexity, science is characterized by the following:
- It seeks to discover the laws that govern the universe, around us in rational, empirical, demonstrative, and universal ways. In that sense, it values objectivity and methodology and shifts away from subjects.
- He analyzes his items of study, both quantitatively and qualitatively, although he does not always use experimental validation models (depending on the subject).
- It is based on research, is a critical and analytical sense, as well as on the steps established by the scientific method, to formulate laws, models, and scientific theories that explain reality.
- This generates a significant amount of specific knowledge that must be questioned by the scientific community itself before being accepted as true or valid.
- It is composed of a significant number of branches or specialized fields of knowledge, which study natural, formal, or social phenomena, and which form a unified whole.
Origin of science
- The word “science” comes from Latin Scientia, which translates to “knowledge”, but has been used more recently to refer to the critical study of nature: in the 19th century, the British William Whewell (1794–1866 ) Began using the term “scientist” to refer to those who practiced throughout life “philosophy”, “naturalism”, “natural history” or “natural philosophy”, that is, the laws of nature. study.
- Scientific knowledge was cultivated in antiquity under some of these names, namely, an interest in knowing how things work in the world and why. But in ancient times, scientific research was inseparable from religious thought, as mythology and magic were the only forms of explanation for humans.
- This changed considerably in classical Greece when philosophy emerged: the doctrine of non-religious thought, which was intended to attempt to find and reflect the answer in a logical way. The great Greek philosopher was also somehow “scientific” because he observed mathematics, medicine, and naturalism, that is, nature, with formal logic and existential thought.
- For example, Aristotle’s dissertation (384–322 BCE) was considered the undisputed truth for centuries. He also ruled throughout the Christian Middle Ages, with religious ideas once again dominating Western ideas.
- Around the 15th century, the Renaissance took place and new minds were beginning to question what biblical texts dictate. A umentó belief in the rational and empirical interpretation of evidence, producing a critical break that allowed the gradual rise of science.
- Many Renaissance and Renaissance thinkers, influenced by humanism, played an important role in it, convincing humanity for the first time why it could find its answers to eternal questions about things. The names of Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), René Descartes (1596–1650), Sir Francis Bacon (1561–1626), and Isaac Newton (1643–1727), among others.
- Thus formally created scientific thinking which was gaining more and more relevance in the cultural order of society. In fact, from the 18th century onwards, they deeply and fundamentally combined it with technology, thus creating technology and starting the Industrial Revolution.
What are the branches of science?
Science encompasses a large amount of organized knowledge that is divided into three main branches:
- Natural Science. It names all scientific disciplines that are devoted to the study of nature, using scientific method experimentally (which under controlled conditions) the phenomena in which they are interested. They are also known as experimental sciences, hard sciences, or physical-natural sciences, and examples are biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, etc.
- Formal science. Unlike natural sciences, formal ones are not devoted to the study of nature, but purely abstract objects and systems, which can be applied in the real world. Thus the objects of study exist only in the world of the mind, and their validity derives not from experiments, but axioms, arguments, and inferences. Examples of this type of science are mathematics, logic, computer science, etc.
- Social science. Also known as anthropology, this set of disciplines is dedicated to the study of humanity but aims to preserve an empirical, critical perspective guided by the scientific method. Is, well, away from the humanities and subject world, but also from the experimental world, rather than figures, speech, and analysis of speech. Examples of this type of science are sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, geography, etc.
The scientific method and its steps
A method of scientific thought known as this was initially proposed by Sir Francis Bacon, but years of rational and empirical thought and later thinkers, such as David Hume (1711–1776) or William Whewell (1794) In collaboration with -1866), to name just two.
This method requires the creation of knowledge according to the criteria of falsifiability or preferability (that is, it may be subjected to potential tests that oppose it) and the ability to reproduce or replicate (which allows others to have more than one Can verify the bar and find) the same result).
The steps of the scientific method are as follows:
Overview. To obtain data and information you want to study in the natural context of the phenomenon you want to analyze.
Hypothesis. The formation of a temporal or “working” explanation that allows us to continue investigating the nature of the phenomenon is already a direction and an explanatory possibility.
Experiment. To be able to test the test in an already controlled environment (for example, a laboratory), to replicate the phenomenon, and to study its internal mechanisms or its reactions to certain modifications.
Theory. Resume the most probable hypothesis and proceed to explain it according to the experimental results and the total information obtained, giving meaning to the phenomenon within the scientific framework of time.
Conclusion The conclusions of the formulated theory are expressed.
The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes
Scientific knowledge encapsulates the set of facts and supports what science considers valid at a certain time in its history. It is a set of laws, theories, and models to explain and explain the phenomena of reality. Although they are duly documented and subject to special judgment, they are also open to reinterpretation and rebuttal.
This means that scientific knowledge updates itself, intensifies its approach, abandons old-looking things, and puts itself in a position to be constantly examined. This is why it differs greatly from other theories of the interpretation of reality, such as religion, in which knowledge is sealed and unquestioned.
It should be kept in mind that the validity of scientific knowledge is not permanent or undisputed, but it is believed that it is held until it is retaliated. The knowledge gained is constantly being contrasted and questioned.
Scientific knowledge is organized based on a hierarchy of theories, which differentiate between:
- Theoretical hypothesis. An unverified statement, but theoretically acceptable or reliable, is formulated when addressing a problem from a scientific point of view, which implies data collection and prior information.
- Scientific law. A proposal that establishes a relationship between a cause and an effect, a formal language to demonstrate it. In this, the scientific method is idealized: hypothesis, observation, experimentation, and demonstration.
- Scientific theory. An explanation that is drawn from a set of principles or laws that give consistent meaning to empirical observations. It is overall abstract, i.e. an empirical interpretation supported by laws. In this sense, a scientific theory already always has genuine and proven support, and should not be construed as “another theory” or “one theory in many”, in the sense in which we use the term theory.
- Scientific model. A conceptual or visual representation of knowledge, which allows one to analyze, simulate, or explore the operation of scientific principles in a given context. Scientific models are cut off from reality which puts us in motion as established in previous theories and hypotheses.
What is science? Characteristics, Origin, Branches, &Steps 5