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Mathieu Isidro

public information officer, European Southern Observatory

TEDCRED 10+

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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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    Josh S

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    May 4 2012: Astronomy is most certainly not the mother of all sciences.
    All sciences are connected in some way are require bits and pieces of each science..
    As Adam said, physics is applied mathematics. Chemistry is applied physics. Going further, biology is applied chemistry.
    Certain sciences utilize concepts from multiple sciences; geology uses physics and chemistry and biology.
    I agree in that astronomy uses most, if not all sciences, however it is not used in other sciences.

    In my opinion, to be the 'mother of all sciences' it needs to be the basis of atleast part of the foundation of all other sciences. This science would have to be mathematics, because it is in essence the basis of all science in some way or another.
    We know that astronomy isnt the mother of all sciences because you do not need to study it whatsoever to understand biology, chemistry, physics, or mathematics. I will agree though that it is like a CULMINATION of all the sciences, but not the originator of them.
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      May 5 2012: Josh, thanks a lot for your clear answer. I totally agree with it. "Mother" was probably not the best term and indeed that would be maths as it is the basis of all others. Astronomy is definitely not the origin of other sciences. But it seems there is an evolution towards a trend where astronomy involves most other fields, so "culmination" might be a better choice like you said. To me it's really interesting to see all these fields merge in astronomy.

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