Wednesday, December 20, 2006

In science

In science, natural science is the rational study of the universe via rules or laws of natural order. The term natural science is also used to differentiate those fields using scientific method in the study of nature, in contrast with social sciences which use the scientific method applied to human behavior, and in contrast to formal science, which uses different methodology.Natural sciences form the basis for the applied sciences. Together, the natural and applied sciences are distinguished from the social sciences on the one hand, and from the humanities, theology and the arts on the other. Mathematics, statistics and computer science are not natural sciences, but provide many tools and frameworks used within the natural sciences.

Alongside this traditional usage, more recently the words natural sciences are sometimes used in a way more closely matching their everyday meaning, stemming from natural history. In this sense natural science" can be an alternative phrase for biological sciences, involved in biological processes, or perhaps also the earth sciences, as might be distinguished from the physical sciences more directly involved in the study of physical and chemical laws underlying the universe.


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