Talk:Natural science


I must dispute this definition. I've always seen "natural science" used to differentiate between "science" as a discipline following the scientific method, and "science" as a field of knowledge generally, e.g. computer science or even "the science of theology". -- April

This distinction is sometimes made, but the distinction made here is also used, and I put it in because the article "Physical science" alludes to it.

  • I understand, and will put in the alternate definition as, well, an alternate definition. -- April

Physical sciences are part of natural sciences, so I eliminated the first paragraph, that "contrasted" the two terms. AstroNomer 22:05 Jul 30, 2002 (PDT)

The sentence beginning "The term natural science is also used to differentiate" leaves the reader no wiser as to how it does this. If I say, "the term sensible person is used to differentiate between people with left-wing beliefs and those with right-wing beliefs," which belief system am I espousing? Okay, what I really came here to ask about was, "Is computer science a natural science?" Jdforrester claims so in a recent edit to the Main Page, but I would have thought that a natural science should have something to do with nature... -- Oliver P. 23:51 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Hmm. No, I don't think CS is a natural science, much as I don't think that Mathematics is one. The heading says 'Philosophy, Mathematics, Natural Science' and that's what I would say CS comes under. Certainly, it fits much better there than as an applied science, where it was previously. -- James F. 00:05 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
CS is not a natural science. It's a mathematical science. It belongs with Mathematics and Statistics. Poor Yorick 05:10 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
there is always going to be a conflict between historical and descriptive names. The historical classification of natural sciences is much broader, and includes loads of stuff including maths and computing which today we would not call natural. But the prevalence of old institutions in education mean we have to accept definitions which don't match everyday use of the words. Don't forget in older UK universities a degree in science makes you a "master of arts" and a doctrate in science makes you a "doctor of philosophy". I have tried to explain the text a bit this way but you are welcome to improve my attempt --(talk to)BozMo 10:11, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

I have always seen "natural science" as synonymous with "biological science," and in opposition to "physical science". Astronomy would be a physical science, but not a biological one. but with the definition listed here, it works as a natural science. perhaps we should clarify that there are two different ways to define the term natural science, and have the version that excludes the physical sciences link to a biological sciences page?. --zandperl 17:38, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Why "nonhuman"?

What about human biology? siroχo 04:20, Sep 7, 2004 (UTC)