How do we define science?
According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of science is "knowledge attained through study or practice," or "knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world."
does that really mean?
Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses
observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena.
The term science also refers to the organized body of knowledge people have
gained using that system. Less formally, the word science often describes any
systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from it.
is the purpose of science?
Perhaps the most general description is that the purpose of science is to
produce useful models of reality.
Most scientific investigations use some form of the scientific method.
Biology is the branch of science dealing with the study of life. It describes
the characteristics, classification, and behaviors of organisms, how species
come into existence, and the interactions they have with each other and with
the environment. Biology has many specialized areas, covering a wide range
of scales, from biochemistry to ecology.
Chemistry is the science of
matter at or near the atomic scale. (Matter is the substance of which all
physical objects are made.) Chemistry deals with the properties of
matter, and the transformation and interactions of matter and energy. Central
to chemistry is the interaction of one substance with another, such as in
a chemical reaction, where a substance or substances are transformed
into another. Chemistry primarily studies atoms and collections of atoms such
as molecules, crystals or metals that make up ordinary matter. According to
modern chemistry it is the structure of matter at the atomic scale that
determines the nature of a material. Chemistry has many specialized
areas that overlap with other sciences, such as physics, biology or geology.
Scientists who study chemistry are called chemists. Historically, the science
of chemistry is a recent development but has its roots in alchemy which
has been practiced for millennia throughout the world. The word chemistry is
directly derived from the word alchemy.
Earth science (also known as geoscience) deals with study of the planet Earth. It uses an interdisciplinary approach, including aspects of physics, geography, mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Some of the specialized areas include: geology (study of the rocky parts of the Earth's crust), oceanography and hydrology (marine and freshwater systems), and atmospheric sciences (weather and climate).