Science v. Art — the final word

I’ve had pretty much enough of two aspects of the science v. art arguments. The first argument is that they have been, are now, and forever shall be, at odds with each other. Bullshit. Those who make such arguments tend to have no knowledge of either science or art. I am a scientist who dabbles in a variety of artistic endeavors. My girlfriend and my best friend are both artists who are very scientifically-minded. There are no differences in our philosophical outlooks. More on this in a moment.

The next common aspect of the argument is that science and art need each other: science to improve the quality of art, and art to enable visualization of science. Well, yeah, maybe. But that misses the point. At least those who put forth that argument are not perpetuating some mythical war between the two.

Here’s how it really is, folks: They are the very same thing!

We are puny humans with very small minds and a very limited capacity to describe and define the universe. Reality around us is so much grander than we can ever know, let alone describe. To paraphrase Oliver Sacks, not only do we not live in reality, we’ve never even visited the place. And so, in an attempt to capture its beauty, we create metaphor.

Science does so by using a variety of descriptive languages (various mathematical systems, and words as precisely defined as the language allows). But science goes in knowing full well that all of these constructs are nothing more than metaphor for something that may never be fully understood, except in limited context.

Art does so by using a variety of descriptive languages (visual symbols, forms, musical notes, and words as the language allows). But art goes in knowing full well that all of these constructs are nothing more than metaphor for something that may never fully captured, except in limited aspect.

Both rely on the same tools and insights and reasoning; indeed, the very same parts of the soul. Because in all cases, the sciartist is attempting to express an aspect of the universe that they see, in order to better understand it, and maybe even present it to a wider audience.

So enough of the arguments. Science is art. Art is science. Both are nothing but metaphor for the vast, the sublime, the beautiful, and the unknowable. End of rant.

4 thoughts on “Science v. Art — the final word”

  1. Nice Blog!

    Words that end with “-ly” as in “scientifically minded” do not need a hyphen. Another grammar rule, but not applicable here, as far as I can see, is to use a hyphen for clarification when the adjective precedes the object, as in “red-tipped pen.” However, you must write “the pen that was red tipped” (no hyphen).

    The website cited below is for time-killing purposes only and is not mine.

  2. Hi Jim,
    Loved this! In fact, I went back through and read prior posts. No, you’re not old yet. Thinking like this keeps us forever young.

    BTW, I just finished the novel I began 40 years ago. (Off and on, hidden in a dresser drawer, pulled out between major events in life.) Time to begin novel # 2. Hope this one won’t take 40 years.

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