Natural sciences is just one of the many AOKs but what really distinguishes it from the others?
Natural sciences versus the arts:
Some often consider natural sciences to be the furthest AOK from art and the two are often pitted against one another but they do share similarities. Both are primarily theoretical, though in different ways. Whilst science is measurable and applies to the physical world, art uses theories in ways more open to interpretation and measuring this goes against the values put in place typically.
Natural sciences versus History:
The key difference between history and natural sciences is that whilst history looks to the past for a certain truth, natural sciences can look into the future to find understanding. Both are receptive to change and theories but history is not able to be observed in real time and thus not testable and verifiable in the same way the natural sciences are with experimentation.
Natural sciences versus Maths:
A key difference here is the way the AOKs come to reason. Natural science is about inductive reasoning whilst math is deductive. Both areas use theories and ways of backing up statements or claims but typically natural sciences are based on physical evidence whilst proof in math comes about by way of theories.
Natural sciences versus human sciences:
Natural sciences and human sciences share a clear similarity in that they are both classified as sciences. The scientific method can be applied in both with a full research question and hypothesis method along with measurable evidence. They also both follow inductive reasoning and are fundamentally a search for understanding. The differences come around via limitations. Human sciences are not limited to just the physical world and measurable in different ways that can be hard to repeat.
Natural sciences versus Ethics:
Neither natural sciences or ethics are an absolute AOK as well as neither are a collection of solid facts. Both can be especially biased, but ethics perhaps in a more human way. Ethics is also not based upon experimentation and evidence though people will sometimes interpret their own evidence to support ethical beliefs.
Natural sciences versus Religious knowledge systems:
Natural sciences and religious knowledge systems are rather different and are famously known for being “in war” with each-other. Natural sciences deal with the natural physical world whilst religious knowledge can go beyond this. Natural sciences are at times more open to changes in theories based on evidence whilst religious systems may not rely on physical evidence and are decided upon by belief and faith. Despite this they do share some similarities such as neither being certain or disprovable. Neither are also able to be applied to every issue in the world.
Natural sciences versus Indigenous knowledge groups:
The main differences here are that natural sciences are measurable and based on testable predictions whilst indigenous knowledge is not and at its core, natural sciences are a search for understanding, using theories and experimentation. Both however can be biased and unfair since neither AOK is without bias.
All in all, Natural Sciences are an AOK focused on helping us better understand the physical world around us through an experiment and induction based system.