How did Science Begin?

What comes to your mind when you think of this of a scientist? You think of someone who studies something in the world or about man, who makes observations and conducts experiments, and then who comes up with certain principles or rules.

But before the seventeenth century, if men wanted to solve a problem or understand something, they simply read what had been written about it, or asked some authority for his opinion. Soon after the year 1600, Galileo started a new method.

He started trying things out the see what happened. In other words, he “experimented”. Little by little, more people began trying things out and writing down what they had observed. As more facts became known, it was found that some of the facts were related to one another.


These relationship were then summarized into scientific principles and used as guides for other experiments. In this way the body of knowledge called science began to grow rapidly. As it grew, the natural relationship between facts broke up the large field of science into smaller divisions.

Today, there are many different divisions of knowledge in science. The “natural sciences” deal with our natural surroundings. The “social sciences” are subjects that give information about the way human beings act and live together.

All of these sciences are basic, or pure, sciences, these facts and principle. In the “applied” sciences, these facts and principles are applied to doing and making things. Pharmacy, medicine, forestry, electronics, and civil engineering are examples of applied sciences.

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