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Art vs Science

Art and science are two of humanity's most outstanding and exciting achievements, both for very different reasons. It is the development of artistic trends and movements and the advances in scientific discoveries which tell us the story of human history.

Art and science seem at first to be two very different disciplines. Science looks to help us understand how the world and the universe operate and help us thrive and live better lives. 

On the other hand, art first served as a means to document current life and is now more commonly a medium for self-expression and exploration. Art is a medium that allows human beings to express themselves and their thoughts differently. 

But that is just the surface-level analysis. In this article, we'll look more in-depth at art and science really and how the two contrast from each other. Finally, join us as we look to help understand the dichotomy between these two aspects of human evolution.

What is Art?

There is much debate about precisely what constitutes art, but it can broadly be defined as the expression of human imagination. Art is a medium that allows other people to appreciate the world and what the artist perceives. It is the act of telling a story through many different mediums.

Usually, when people refer to artwork, they refer to fine art such as paintings, sketches, and sculptures. These are artistic mediums that have been historically associated with art for centuries. 

While a lot of contemporary art is still dominated by these art mediums, the scope of art has broadened. Contemporary art has adopted new mediums such as photography, digital art, 3D artworks, graffiti, and more.

When we speak of "the arts" as a broader group definition we refer to more than just elegant brush strokes, but also music, dance, architecture, and literature. 

What is Science?

We typically define science as a practical and intellectual activity surrounding the systematic analysis, examination, and deconstruction of the physical and natural world through observation and experimentation. 

Scientists use what we know to find out what we don't know and use all possible resources to find out more about what we don't know. Scientific work is done through continued observation to formulate a hypothesis, after which tests and experiments are conducted to either prove or disprove these hypotheses.

Like art, there are several different branches of science, which include: physics, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, astrophysics, neurobiology, electromagnetics, and other advanced fields.

The Difference Between Art and Science

Art and science are both representations of the pinnacle of human evolution and are imperative for human survival. Still, there are many differences between the role of these two pillars. 

For starters, science is entirely objective. For something to be scientifically accurate and proven correct, there needs to be a host of studies and tests to overcome before being established as a scientific fact. 

Science is also theoretical, as it needs to be based upon some theory to have some concrete ground to stand on. And finally, scientific facts need to be proven to be regarded as scientific facts.

Art is entirely subjective, making it hard to observe and define critically. That is because art is not confined by the laws of nature and physics, unlike science. There are no boundaries for an artist. 

They can express any feeling, emotion, moment, and thought in any way they see fit. This expression could be through the strokes of a brush, the riffs of a bass guitar, both, or neither. It is up to the artist. 

Unlike science, art is usually highly conceptual; art does not need a theoretical basis to exist; merely, the concept of art exists. That is why art needs no proof because there are no requirements for art. As long as there is a concept, there is no way to disprove a piece of art as otherwise. 

Similarities Between Art and Science

Although art and science are very different, they do have some similarities. Historically, art and science have both pushed the boundaries of human belief and intellectual thought. Artists and scientists are often considered "ahead of their time" or even shunned or ridiculed for their work. 

Both artists and scientists find themselves pushing the boundaries of established beliefs, often challenging society. Artists and scientists can both be considered creative roles because both practices focus on developing original ideas and pushing established frontiers. 

It could be endlessly debated whether the father of photography Nicéphore Niépce was a scientist, inventor, or artist. It may come as no surprise then that several scientific pioneers were also artists.

Leonardo da Vinci is the most well-known example of a thought leader in art and science. Still, other examples include Maria Sibylla Merian, Samuel Morse, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Anna Atkins, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, John James Audubon, and several others.

Fundamentally, art and science are both examples of human attempts to comprehend the world around us or our feelings and emotions and provide some explanation for it. A sense of curiosity drives both science and art. There is a strong desire for discovery, a critical view of the status quo, and an aspiration for further knowledge.

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