The term natural science as the way in which different fields of study are defined is determined as much byhistorical convention as by the present day meaning of the words.
Thus the traditional description of natural science is the study of the physical, nonhuman aspects of the Earth and theuniverse around us. As a group, the natural sciences are distinguished from theology and the social sciences , on the onehand, and from the arts and humanities onthe other. Mathematics is not itself a natural science, but provides many ofthe core methods for them. Natural sciences generally attempt to explain the workings of the world via natural processes ratherthan divine processes. The term natural science is also used to identify "science" as adiscipline following the scientific method .
Alongside this traditional usage, more recently the words "natural sciences" are sometimes used in a way more closely matchingtheir everyday meaning. In this sense "natural sciences" can be an alternative phrase for biological sciences , involved in biological processes, and are distinguished from the physical sciences (involved in the physical and chemical laws underlyingthe universe).
Applied sciences and engineering
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