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How do Scientist help us in life? How did they chance life? Did they make life better and/or worse? Is Life science better then Physical science and which one is easier to learn and why?
Question Date: 2002-03-01
Answer 1:

Many people think that scientists find out the truth and tell people all about the truth. Some people even think that Science can answer everything there is to know about life, death, the universe and so on. Well, in my opinion, Science cannot tell you everything there is to know.

For example, someone once asked me if there was a scientific explanation for why people love pets. Well, I told him that maybe there is chemical that pets release that we are attracted to, or maybe pets make us feel safe and so our stress hormones are lower. But I also told him that those are only scientific explanations. That is, they are the explanations that Science can examine and measure. If I want to see if pets release a chemical that attracts people, I would try to make this chemical in the lab and see if reminds people of their pets. Or if I wanted to see if pets lower our stress hormone levels, I would measure the hormones in people with and without their pets. You see, Science is a way of thinking about the universe that is based on our observation and measurement. If we cannot measure it, than we cannot use science to examine it.

How do you measure love? Or how do you measure anger? If your friend baked a cake for you, you can probably tell how much flour she used by weighing the cake and doing some tests. However, if your friend gets mad at you because you shared a secret, can you measure how mad she is at you? Is she 2 cups mad? Is she 1 gallon mad? No, you can't. Science cannot provide answers to things that cannot be measured.

It's also important to remember that Science is conducted by scientists. Like all people, there are good and bad scientists. Nice and mean scientists. Some science has done wonders for the world and for people. For example, penicillin has kept a lot of animals and people from dying of diseases. Some science, however, is both good and bad. Nuclear power provides a lot of electricity to light homes, but it leads to radioactive waste. Is this good or bad? Is it both? You see, Science can be very good and very fun, but it is up to each person to make it good and fun.

Finally, I don't think that life sciences are any easier or harder than physical sciences. Some of my friends are very good at math and love physical science. They are going to be famous physicists some day, but they cannot understand how to study starfish in the ocean. Some biologists do not understand Physics. Like everything else some people are good at some things and other people are good at other things. What do you like to do?

Answer 2:

Science has improved our lives in so many ways it is impossible to list them all. Here are a couple broad examples:

People used to die in great numbers from some diseases that today are considered minor annoyances or have been eliminated outright through the efforts of scientists. Many cancers that used to be a death sentence 20-30 years ago are now very treatable and, in many cases, can be cured. People today live longer and are probably much healthier than in the past and much of the reason for that is the great strides that have been made in medical science and technology. There are new drugs and diagnostic and surgical techniques coming out all the time.

Most of the mechanical and electronic technology that we use to today (such as cell phones, CD players, computers, and refrigerators for example) were in part made possible by past scientific investigations. I think most people believe that these items are an improvement. Sometimes, it seems almost impossible to live without some items that have become available due to recent scientific advances. Science can also come up with some things that aren't so good. Weapons of all varieties have also gotten better due, in part, to Science. I believe that there is no one type of science that is "better" than another. You should get involved in the field that you get most excited about. Once you find what you are interested in, you might find that it is also the one that is easiest for you to learn. Some people prefer biology, others chemistry or physics. If you eventually get involved in research, you will probably further specialize within your chosen field on a very specific topic.

Answer 3:

Science has improved our lives greatly- it has done far more good than most people realize. 1000 years ago, most people had to toil nonstop from sunrise to sunset just to raise enough crops to escape starvation. The life expectancy was about 25 years, assuming one survived the early childhood diseases which killed more than half of small children. Without effective medicines, a sore throat or minor injury could be the beginning of a slow and miserable death. Without science, life was nasty, brutish, and short. Life science was most directly responsible for improving our lives, because most infectious diseases are now mere inconveniences. Most of us live to old age, which is three times longer than could be expected without modern medicine. Also, in medieval times most people worked 80-hour weeks as farmers, just to survive. Now only a few percent of the population can grow enough food for the rest of us. Life science has contributed to this through selective breeding, genetic engineering, and pest control.
Engineering science has also greatly improved our lives, by transferring menial work to machines- in fact, this probably did more than life science in removing the farming burden. Machines also allow us to have large, sturdy houses, plenty of warm clothes, easy travel, many useful tools, etc. Back when everything had to be made by hand, everything was very expensive and most of our items today were simply impossible to make, so people just had to do without. People also spent most of their waking hours working- there was almost no free time. We take so many things for granted today. Consider books: When they had to be copied by hand, they were rare and precious, and it was much more difficult to learn things.
Physical science has had less direct influence on our lives, but enormous indirect influence. Physics is the study of nature's underlying mathematical laws, and as such, it is the fundamental science on which all others ultimately depend. Advancing in life science, engineering, chemistry, etc. would be a very slow, often trial-and-error process without the understanding that comes from physics. Take life science, for example: The microscope was invented because we understood the physics of light, the MRI body-scanner was invented because we understood the magnetic behavior of atomic nuclei, and the PCR DNA-amplification technique was invented because we understood thermodynamics. Most biologists today rely heavily on chemistry, and most of our chemistry knowledge comes from understanding the physics of atoms. Also, since all laws of nature are interconnected, physics tends to take us in unexpected directions which lead to something extremely useful.
Electricity was discovered by a few physicists tinkering around in their basements, trying to understand magnets. At first, electricity was an academic curiosity with no for seeable use, but now it is hard to imagine a world without it.
Basically, if you want immediate benefits for humanity, do life science. For long-term benefits, physical science is best because it illuminates the way to many other, more directly useful discoveries. Physics is somewhat harder to learn than life science, because it requires a broad understanding of natural phenomena. They're all connected, so you must know the basics about magnetism, light, heat, quantum mechanics, atoms, sound, gravity, electricity, astronomy, etc. There is also a lot of math and logical thinking, because all phenomena are ultimately controlled by equations (the "laws of nature").
Life science requires more memorization, less math, less difficult thinking, and much fiddling with equipment. It is easier to specialize, i.e. one can make useful discoveries about the brain without needing to know anything about rain forest ecology. A recent trend is for people to start in physical science but later switch to life science. These people often find that their physical science training helped them develop more rigorous and creative ways of thinking. Their life science discoveries come quickly, and have the added benefit of being immediately useful.
As for the drawbacks of science, it is important to remember that science is basically a wonderful multipurpose tool, like a Leatherman. It is not inherently good or evil, but it can do many things. 99.9% of the time, the Leatherman is used for constructive and creative purposes- but it can also be used as a weapon, and it can cut you if you're not careful. These are problems of human stupidity; they don't make the Leatherman "bad". The Leatherman has many uses, but it is our responsibility to use it wisely and carefully.
As our knowledge advances, science becomes increasingly powerful. This is generally a good thing, because like other tools, science is mostly used for good purposes. The problem is that science is now powerful enough to d

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