What is Science

dogs asks: What is Science?

Hi Dogs!


Funny, when I first saw your question, I thought it was a joke.  I mean, everyone knows what Science is, right?  But then I tried to come up with a definition — and it’s really hard, isn’t it!


The Merriam-Webster website defines it as:


1: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding

2a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study <the science of theology>

b : something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge <have it down to a science>

3a : 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 :natural science

4: a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws <cooking is both a science and an art>

5 capitalized : christian science


But none of those definitions really capture the feel of it, do they?


I would argue that Science is the study of things that Happen.  The study about the past, is History.  About something someone created, it’s Art or Literature or Music or such, and if it’s about pure concepts, it’s Mathematics or Philosophy.  But Science is about things that Happen. Water boils or freezes or evaporates.  Flowers bloom.  Light and sound move in waves.  Volcanoes explode.  Science is the study about the fact that they happen, and about why.


Now that feels right to me, with one exception.  If that’s Science, then what’s Religion?  Doesn’t religion also talk about things that happen, and give a reason for why?


That’s where the stuff Merriam-Webster said about the Scientific Method comes in.  Science is based on Logic, on things that can be repeated through experimentation.  Science uses Theories and Proofs, while Religion is based in Faith (although there are a lot of areas where they cross over).


Anyway, that’s as good a definition as I can come up with.  Though Handsome has one more definition to offer:  “Science is what scared the daylights out of me the most in school, always the hardest subject!”


That’s funny – I always thought Heeling was the hardest thing to ever learn!


Thanks for the great question!



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