Science is classified, in the first instance, between those that study ideas or formal sciences and those that study facts or factual sciences.
It is based on abstract notions and ideas that science itself creates. For example, the basis of mathematics is numbers, a representation to make it easier to count objects, but no one has ever seen negative numbers or a square root.
The formal sciences are rational, systematic and verifiable, but not objective because their search is not the real object. For example, determining the probability of getting two 6s when rolling two dice does not require having the dice in hand.
They are deductive sciences that demonstrate or prove statements. Let’s look at the statement: A and B are two sets, such that B is included in A, so A cannot be included in B. It doesn’t matter what the sets are about, letters or birds, this will be true in any case .
They are based on the material, on the facts, on what can be observed, they see a flash of lightning in the sky and look for why or how it occurs.
The factual sciences seek knowledge through observation and experimentation through the scientific method. Gregor Mendel discovered the principles of heredity by observing and experimenting with peas of various shapes and colors.
As they are sciences verifiable by experimentation, they are also known as empirical sciences. They seek to confirm or reject hypotheses or tentative explanations for a given phenomenon. Until Albert Einstein presented the Theory of Relativity, for many years Newton’s laws were considered infallible.
Within the factual sciences there is a following classification, depending on whether it focuses on nature and its components, such as natural sciences, or if it studies the human being and its interrelationships or social sciences.
They are the disciplines that are in charge of the study of a part of nature and the Universe. For example, the science that studies how things work is physics, the science that studies the matter that makes up nature is chemistry, the science that studies living beings is biology.
The natural sciences are characterized by being objective, the researcher is not part of the object of study. The natural sciences also cover a great extension of knowledge, so it can be subdivided into the following:
- Physical sciences: studies the inorganic context, such as chemistry, physics and astronomy.
- Biological sciences: studies life and its organisms, such as botany, zoology, ecology, and genetics.
- Earth Sciences: studies the phenomena of the Earth and its layers, such as geology, oceanography, meteorology and paleontology.
They are disciplines related to the study of the human being in society that apply the scientific method to obtain knowledge. Among the aspects addressed by the social sciences are: culture, the origins of the human being, the body-mind relationship and exchanges between societies.
These seek to understand in the most objective way possible the human being and his behavior in the groups that he forms and participates in. The social sciences include the following:
- Sociology: understands the interactions of the individual in a society and global social processes.
- Anthropology: analyzes, studies and describes the past and present of humanity.
- Psychology: studies what is related to the behaviors and the mind of the human being.
- The economy: studies how to cover material needs with the criterion of scarcity.
- Political science: is responsible for studying the organs of power, its development and evolution.
Pure or basic sciences and applied sciences
There is a division of the sciences according to their final objective between pure or basic sciences and applied sciences. The basic sciences aim to seek knowledge for its own sake, for example:
- Astrophysics: understands the genesis of black holes in the Universe.
- Paleontology: studies fossils and their relationship with the evolution of life.
Applied sciences focus on having long-term utility, such as:
- Pharmacology: studies the effects and interactions of drugs in the human body.
- Climatology: studies the conditions of the atmosphere and the effects on the climate.