There are two concepts that science is trying to export to the rest of the intellectual realms, such as those in the humanities that often sneer and sniff at the very idea that the ethereal qualities of art and thought could ever be explained and quantified.

Art_vs_Science_LogoThe most important concept is just that, that everything can be explained. It can be measured, quantified, counted, and understood. The Melian dialogue by Thucydides can be used and understood and applied as analogous or as a theory of behaviour. Science says that the dialogue can be psychology; art can be science, and science can be art.

The process of life used to be describes as a mythical and mystical élan vital that gave us books and stories like Frankenstein’s Monster by Mary Shelley and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. These two books tried to describe human essence from their own angle, but stumbled because the essence was considered mysterious and fixed.

The second thing that science tries to export is that gaining knowledge is difficult and as humans are prone to cognitive dissonance, bias, misunderstandings and misjudgment, pride, deceitfulness and self-aggrandizement care must be taken to safeguard the purity of knowledge.

This is why there is a scientific method that depend on an adversarial relationship with those that attempt to expand knowledge. By forcing the method on those that push information, it forces the information holders to safe-guard the purity of that information which they push.

It forces the idea that the information must be falsifiable, and only that which fail to be proved incorrect is worth transmitting further. The whole process of the scientific method is to disprove information; not to prove it.

Science is not about publishing theories that are taken as gospel; it’s about publishing theories that can be corrected, gradually over time, until the theories are approximates of knowledge that have survived the bias, the self-serving respect for authority or grants approving powers, and so on.

And what is wrong with that? Art is an exploration of the human world just as much as science is. It explores our bias, our emotions, our limits and our possibilities. It formulates questions, poses arguments, and demands answers. But from there it doesn’t allow for the granularity of exposing the answers, and instead it often separates itself from the process of answering.  Many of the problems in our society is because we have lost the connection between the questions and the answers in art. The connection between the head and the heart is increasingly frayed, and that’s a mistake.