What Is Science; Is Medicine A Science?

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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What is science; is medicine a science? What is science? Distinctions In addressing this topic, the first question to focus on, is how one defines a science. Some would say that a more distinct line could be drawn between what is a science and what is definitely not a science (a non-science). Science is traditionally personified by objectivity. Ideally, bias has absolutely no place here, and it is through this objectivity one hopes to understand and lay down the concrete certainties, which define the world around us.

Science traditionally has characteristic features, which distinguish it from other disciplines. Three of the strongest examples are the concept of empirical proofs, and the use of technology and equipment. The question asked by many, and vocalised by John Ziman, is why do we need to make the distinction between science and other disciplines? The answers given are rooted in the sociology of science.

It was postulated that there is a genuine lack of public concern with the advancement of science, and furthermore, that there is a public ?misunderstanding? of science. There also appears to be a very significant difference between society?s interest in pseudo-sciences, and it?s interest in true sciences. There seems to be almost a preoccupation with the occult, paranormal phenomenon and astrology, and a distinct lack of concern surrounding important ethical issues arising in science.

Thus we find that importance is given to values and beliefs, all of which are subjective. The distinction must be made between these, and objective facts, so as to draw the line between that which is scientifically proven and that which is simply postulation.

A classical case in this area is the debate as to whether astrology is a science or a pseudo-science. Astrology attracts a great deal more interest from the public than astronomy,