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Subject that don't quite fit, e.g. geology, geography

Discussion in 'Earth and Environmental Science' started by Yellow Fang, 8 Aug 2011.

  1. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    What subject would you say geology comes under? Is it a branch of chemistry, physics or geography. You could even say is was part biology.

    Talking of geography, do you find it strange that there is a subject that comprises both humanties and hard science? OTOH you have the formation of ox bow lakes and scree; OTOH you have the Norwegian leather industry and the Swiss canton system. If you separated physical geography out, where would you place it? It wouldn't fit easily under either chemistry, biology or physics. It would be either a separate science or an amalgamation of the lot.

    Likewise, would you say metallurgy is a branch of chemistry or physics?
     
  2. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    I'd say they would both come under Earth Science as they can encompass a range of the other hard sciences.
     
  3. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Isn't geology Earth Sciences and Environmental Technology

    Although technically it should be Planetary science or even science of things with sizeable mass as we get into space and start looking at the geology of non Earth environments. But I guess the off world stuff comes under the Space section.

    It's always the problem of categorising things. You always find something that falls between two sections. What can you do...
     
  4. beanz

    beanz Staff Member Staff Member

    Yes - you get astrobiologists, astrogeologists etc for the non-Earth aspects - although interestingly I've not come across the terms astrochemist or astrogeographer as widely. At least in those subjects, you're not looking at human effects on the landscape (yet)...

    I've always imagined when I hear the title (and I haven't studied it) that Earth Science at degree level would be like the B.Sc version of a combined geography, chemistry, biology and geology degree. As opposed to BA Geography which would be more concerned with the human aspects of settlement?

    As an aside - I was thinking Economics really should be a BA - to have B.Sc courses in Economics and to call the subject a science seems a bit odd given all the news about economic turmoil. There may be a lot of maths involved, but the science doesn't seem to be working - so maybe the artists should have a turn? :wink:
     
  5. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    As an aside, if hard sciences cover subjects like physics, chemistry and biology, then would you classify the social sciences as soft science? One one level they're easier to understand; on another they are impossible. In the School of Construction Management and Engineering, where I am studying. One of academics was saying that's it's not enough to understand the definition of a term, you have to understand what others understand by the term? WTF? At least in hard science, you can look up the exact definition, and if that's not what you understood by the term, you're wrong. Social science OTOH is about understanding what is going on in other people's heads.
     
  6. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    Economics is often defined as a social science. Some of it is systemics while a lot is about how people respond to economic incentives.

    Weird, by coincidence two posts have "As an aside" in them.
     
  7. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    I did a little search on taxonomy for science and it's a bloody minefield ... :eek:

    One PDF - just for classifications in the field of geology - was 87 pages long!!

    The recent changes have made GC more edible (it's still a long list, but better now that forums light-up when there's new content) but I'm not averse to adding an extra one if it will encompass a good topic range.

    Cheers,
    Shaun :D