We explain what natural sciences are and how they are classified. In addition, what is its importance and object of study.
What are the natural sciences?
Natural sciences (also natural sciences , physical and natural sciences or experimental sciences ) are those disciplines of study that are interested in understanding the laws that govern nature , and they do according to the scientific method and experimental method.
This means that they try to study nature in an objective way, relying on logical reasoning (borrowing tools from the formal sciences ), repetition in controlled environments of naturally observed phenomena (experimentation), and contemplating to a lesser extent the subjective issues of the human .
In the latter they are distinguished from the humanities and the social sciences , since the latter focus their attention on culture and human society respectively. On the other hand, natural sciences are part of the basic sciences, that is, those that attempt to decipher the fundamental laws of the known universe , and should not be confused with either applied sciences or earth sciences.
The antecedent of the natural sciences can be traced to the forms of philosophy and naturalism of antiquity, although the ancient Greeks and Romans, for example, based their observation of nature on formal reasoning and not on measurement and experimentation. We will have to wait until the Scientific Revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for the emergence of a concept of science as we understand it today, from the invention of the scientific method.
Object of study of the natural sciences
As we have said before, the natural sciences focus their interest on nature, that is, on the laws that govern the world and the phenomena that are observable in it . In general, it deals with the phenomena that occur regardless of whether or not the human being is there to observe or take part in it, that is, of the world around us, whether at macroscopic or microscopic dimensions.
Classification and branches of the natural sciences
The natural sciences are six, classified according to the scope of the nature of which they are concerned , although among them there are numerous contact areas that give rise, in turn, a number of scientific disciplines.
Thus, we can talk about:
Physical sciences . They deal with the fundamental laws of the perceivable universe . In this group are:
- Astronomy . Study the celestial stars and the interactions between them.
- Physical . Study the fundamental forces of the universe ( energy , space, time , etc.) and the laws that emerge from them.
- Geology . Study the Earth, our planet, as well as its formation and transformation processes.
- Chemistry . Study the composition, structure and reactions of matter .
Biological sciences . They deal with the fundamental laws of life as we know it. In this group are:
- Biology . The study of living beings , their internal processes, their behavior, their origin and evolution, as well as their interactions.
- Paleontology . Study the distribution and evolution of life on earth before the appearance of the human species.
Importance of natural sciences
The natural sciences respond to the need of the human being to understand the world around him (even the one that is within him), to then be able to adapt to it or adapt it to the measure of his needs.
Without the development of these sciences, human history would have been much more laborious, since technology , that great transforming factor, feeds directly from the application of the principles, theories and foundations that natural sciences discover, develop and postulate.