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Mathieu Isidro

public information officer, European Southern Observatory


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Is Astronomy the mother of all natural sciences?

Astronomy, the study of the Universe, rather than being one field of science, is increasingly becoming an umbrella term involving most if not all fields of natural sciences. The obvious ones, such as Maths, Physics, Chemistry, and the less obvious, such as Geology, Biology, and even "Meteorology".
Do you then agree that astronomy has evolved to become more than just one field of science, and possibly includes all fields?


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  • May 4 2012: Sorry, but astronomy is definitely not the "mother of all natural sciences." Often times, whats used inside the academic world is the "purity scale" of sciences. Roughly speaking, from "less pure" to "more pure" the ordering is:
    History, Sociology, Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics (Although there is some debate)
    Now, the "purer" sciences aren't necessarily better, they just indicate a more rudimentary foundation. Physics is ultimately applied mathematics. Chemistry is applied physics. Etc. Without a doubt, the study of mathematics is the "mother" of all else
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      May 4 2012: History is one of the sciences? How does one apply the Scientific Method to history? (Just curious Mr. Druit, do you have a degree in History?).
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      May 4 2012: Hi Adam, thanks for your input! I've heard that scale used before, especially by Mathematicians and Physicists ;-). However, astronomy is not in your scale. Is that because you limit it to just physics? My point was there is more into astronomy than just one of those fields of science, it's a sort of mix of those.

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