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Originally designating all knowledge or learning, the term science has come to be limited to the systematized knowledge and study of the physical world. Logic and math are sometimes called abstract sciences. Concrete sciences are either physical science (astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology) or biological science (zoology, botany, bacteriology, paleontology), or cut across both (biochemistry, biophysics).

The distinguishing characteristic of science compared to other fields of accurate knowledge is emphasis on the method used, i. e., the scientific method. In the early hist. of science, authority was held supreme, and for cents. the supreme authority was Aristotle.* The type of reasoning followed was deduction almost without exception. The generalized principle was cited, based on authority, and the specific point in question was settled by application of this gen. principle.

Revolting against this often unfruitful and inaccurate method, F. Bacon* gave impetus to the inductive method applied by G. Galilei* in his demonstration of laws governing falling bodies. Bacon's extreme view that only the inductive method should be allowed has been supplanted by a compromise. The scientific method in modern science involves observation, formulation of a hypothesis, directed and controlled experimentation, drawing of conclusions. Conclusions thus reached are tentative, subject to review and possible revision and/or change on discovery of new facts. The deductive method is used in visualizing possible results expected from experimentation after a hypothesis has been formulated.

Science tries to understand completely the nature of matter and the laws relating to its forms and manifestations. It assumes the principle of causality.*

Gen. reluctance to allow or consider nonphysical or nonmaterial evidence is perhaps part of the reason for so-called conflicts bet. science and religion. The Christian religion concerns itself with matters outside the realm of physical measurement. OTW

O. T. Walle, “Toward an Evangelical Philosophy of Science,” CTM, XXX (1959), 803–823.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
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Content Reproduced with Permission

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