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Exact and Inexact Science

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Social Sciences vs. Natural Sciences

The branches of sciences can roughly be divided into two categories: Exact Sciences and Non Exact Sciences. Exact sciences would include physics, chemistry, biology, etc. while the non exact sciences would include history, sociology and disciplines related to humanities. In the exact sciences we have greater certainty of information, whereas in the non exact sciences we do not have that degree of definiteness. For example in physics one knows definitely that iron will float in mercury. On the other hand, in history one is not cent per cent sure of exactly who caused Taj Mahal to be made into its final form !

Within the exact sciences some branches allow more exactness than the others. For example physics and chemistry allow a better level of exactness than what zoology or botany do. Some of the exact sciences have an analytical function, while others are mostly descriptive. In some subjects it is easy to find a straightforward reason for why some behaviour is seen, while in other sciences it at present impossible to advance much beyond a detailed description of things as they stand.

Within the non exact sciences also, some branches allow more exactness than others. Some are easily influenced by personal subjectivity, while others are influenced to a lesser degree. As a consequence it is easy to recognize bias in some of these subjects while in others it is very difficult to do this.

The methods available for study and analysis differ from one discipline to another, and many times the methods of investigation or analysis valid in one fields is not valid or not applicable in another subject. For example, measurement of mass plays a great role in physics while it plays only relatively insignificant role in historical analysis. Only one thing is common to the multitudes of these methods of investigation : Logic. It can be defined as that discipline of study which supplies the norms and standards to evaluate truth, and separate true conclusions from false ones.

Thus the world of science is a collection of exact and non exact branches of learning, each with its own differing method of investigation an analysis, which are often incompatible with each other. Great care has to be taken when one talks of Bible and Science.

We are very much for science and scientific activity. In fact the author has been actively involved in scientific research (in physics) for over a decade. However, we are against the misuse of science and its name: all kind of misuse, including its wrong and unjustified use against the Bible.

To understand the issues involved, and to be able to face the biased attacks coming up against the Bible, it will be helpful to understand a little more in detail the branches of sciences, and their interrelationship. It is difficult here to do this comprehensively, but the approximate picture given below is sufficient and accurate for the present purpose.

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