About "science"

dian   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 03:10 GMT
Hi! I would like to ask about the word science. When I see the word "science" I tend to think about "natural science", not about "social science". In my mind, natural science is something like physics, not something like history, etc.

I found the following sentence in a website: "Labnet is a network of over 1,000 US primary and secondary science and mathematics teachers operating through a commercial service, America Online."

Can I say that science in this case is "natural science"?

Thanks for your response.
Response   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 03:12 GMT
Mathematics is not a science.
dian   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 03:19 GMT
Am I correct in this case? Is it correct that science is a natural science?

Jim   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 04:05 GMT
I agree that mathematics is not a science. I'd say that social sciences are sciences but I wouldn't count history as a social science.

I suppose that it is common to find the word "science" used so as only to mean the natural as opposed to the social sciences. I think that in the quote above that was how the word was being used.

Hey come and visit the thread I started:

What Is Science?

I give my defintion of science as:

"Science is the process whereby theories about the physical universe are created and evaluated. The key elements in this evaluation are comparison to observation and considerations regarding the simplicity and logical consistancy of the theory. Experimental tests are not the only source of observational data but are an important one."

Note: I've slightly changed my definition.
dian   Wednesday, May 26, 2004, 06:59 GMT
Thank you Jim. In my country, history can be grouped as a social science.
dian   Friday, May 28, 2004, 09:24 GMT
Because there's no complain, I think it is concluded that the word science that was mentioned on the website above has the meaning of "natural science".
Emmanuel   Saturday, June 05, 2004, 18:05 GMT
Science means studies. Every subject you study is a science. Math, Physics, Chemistry, Astrology, Biology, and Ecology are sciences in just one called general science.
Jim   Monday, June 07, 2004, 02:15 GMT
"Science" doesn't mean "studies". Not every subject you can study is a science. Maths and Astrology are in no way, shape or form sciences. If you want to debate the point Geoffrey Willy Emmanuel Chaucer, I invite you to my "What Is Science?" thread. Just click on the link above.
Emmanuel   Monday, June 07, 2004, 03:11 GMT
As in the dictionary.

Mathematics: a science (or group of related sciences) dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement.

Astrology: a pseudoscience claiming divination by the positions of the planets and sun and moon

Jim is a threadologist of confusing craps. Consult a doctor.

You have taken it with me. What's the matter with Willy, Geoffrey, et al?
Jim   Monday, June 07, 2004, 03:21 GMT
Mathematics is not a sciece. If your dictionary says otherwise, throw it out.

Astrology is a pseudoscience, yes, what that means is that it is not a science.

Neither Maths nor Astrology seem to fit the definition I gave of "science". If you want to call either one of them a science, show me either how they fit my definition or show me why my definition is wrong. However, please do it on the other thread for we are going beyond the bounds of language.

"Jim is a threadologist of confusing craps." I wonder what that could possibly mean.

The matter with Willy, Geoffrey, et al. is that he keeps changing his name and pretends to be someone different. He thinks that we can't tell. I don't mind: it's quite ammusing.
mjd   Monday, June 07, 2004, 03:24 GMT
Threadology....now there's a science, Willy.
Emmanuel   Monday, June 07, 2004, 04:04 GMT
You're a mean ignorant. Do I know you for thinking that you know for than dictionary edition writers? I read many dictionaries and none says your falseness.

When I wrote the thread with science it's because that's what you just mean.
Emmanuel   Monday, June 07, 2004, 04:07 GMT
for is more. Shit!
Jim   Monday, June 07, 2004, 04:43 GMT
Willy a.k.a. Emmanuel,

The words "mean" and "ignorant" are both ajdectives. Try "You are mean and ignorant." You might even want to try out a new word "ignoramus".


"You are a mean ignoramus." But I don't think gratuitous name calling like that's going to get you far.

"Do I know you for thinking that you know for than dictionary edition writers?"

Sorry I can't understand what you're asking but I will say this. Dictionary editior are neither omniscient nor infallible. They do make mistakes. Here's an example.

According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, one of my favourite online dictionaries, a mammal is "any animal of which the female gives birth to babies, not eggs, and feeds them on milk from her own body:"


Anyone who knows a few things about biology knows what's wrong with this "definition". If you haven't guessed what I'm no about look up their entry for "platypus", and you'll find "an Australian river mammal with a wide beak whose young are born from eggs".


Now, I do say I know better than anyone who wants to claim that mathematics is a science. I consider myself to be somewhat familiar with mathematics, with science and with the philosophy of science. I ought to be after having studied them at University. I think I have a rough idea of what mathematics is and of what science is. I think this rough idea is better than any that could be got from reading all the dictionaries on the shelf. If you want to know whether mathematics is a science, ask a mathematician, a scientist and a philosopher forget the dictionary editor.

"When I wrote the thread with science it's because that's what you just mean." Again, I don't understand you. I'm not trying to be mean. Don't be so paranoid.
Emmanuel or Immanuel   Monday, June 07, 2004, 05:13 GMT
That's what you say but you don't know more than they do.

"Do I know you for thinking that you know more than dictionary edition writers?"

Both are correct. You are an ignorant (person even though as adjective).

Innocent is a noun and an adjective. This is what I do think, it's a dictionary error about meaning usages.