Gabriella Morreale, Unit 2, Assignment 1

“The technique of reducing the physical world into mathematical abstractions… played a key role in producing a new physics, and stands as a distinctive feature of the Scientific Revolution” (p. 73). Would it also be accurate to say that this is what’s distinctive of science, and in particular, what distinguishes science from the humanities? Explain.

No, it would not be accurate to label just science as the act of breaking the physical world down to its core mathematical equations. While science explains what an object does, not why, as humanities does as said in page 73 as well, both fields still do have the common ground of analysis. Humanities breaks the physical world down to the core humanistic elements, then uses mathematical equations to add or subtract them together. Both fields use abstraction to eventually narrow down on a key point or specific explanation. This quote is referencing Galileo’s writings on kinematics, which, in the previous passage, mentions that his book “evok[es] the Christian image of the ‘Book of Nature’”. The fact that Galileo mimics this text centered around theology and philosophy illustrates that humanities and math are inextricable. The mathematical approach to explaining the natural procedures of the world cannot exist without first establishing the beauty and the connection to the natural procedures of human. This concept is seen in during the Scientific Revolution when scientists tried to link natural processes of the human world to the anatomical workings of man. Within every scientific endeavor, there is an underlying implication or existence of the humanities, an expectation to explain the why behind the what that is happening.

How can we break down the myth that science and humanities/religion oppose each other? How and why did this idea come to be? Will there ever be a field of science that is completely detached from humanities?

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