However, Scientists in recent years have attempted to give their work a status of being unquestionably correct. As I have already explained, the truth of science or the correctness or otherwise of a given theory can never be entirely proved. A theory can only be proved correct in so far as it is correct given a certain set of facts, and without having all the facts available, a theory can never be given the status of absolute fact, and consequently, no scientific theory can ever be proved, although it can be proved false through further research. However, this strong criticism of science can be taken even further. Karl Popper put forward the theory that scientific 'facts' of the present day are simply probabilities, and only hold this status until such time as new evidence emerges allowing the theory to be dropped or adapted. Thomas Kuhn took this criticism of scientists even further, he believed that scientists, for the vast majority of the time, went to great lengths to fit their experiments to already existing theories, or when new information was taken into account, and it was simply accommodated by existing theories rather than new theories being created. Kuhn went further in his criticism; he claimed that when new theories were advanced, it was normally due to a competition between two scientists. Eventually, one theory would emerge victorious, however, this emergence, claimed Kuhn, had little to do with the correctness or otherwise of the theory and more to do with the political connections and status of the scientists involved in the battle. Feyerabend takes his criticism of the methodology of science to the extreme and claims that the scientific experiments are not based on observation of facts, but interpretation of what was seen. He claimed that theories were not so much formulated by experimentation and careful experimentation, but more through conjecture, metaphysical speculation, inspiration and revelation. This treats scientists as creative and irrational, making observations fit preconceived ideas, instead of the objective, rational, self-critical people they attempt to be.
A further criticism that has been levelled at science is that it is heavily dependent on cultural background and presuppositions, and not the value-free discipline that it is so frequently thought to be. This relies on the idea that a culture will only examine and discover that which is important to that culture. Science is currently accused of 'Eurocentricism'. This refers to the western dominance that is exerted over scientific research. The result is that scientific study revolves around solving problems that afflict the western world, rather than attempting to solve far more difficult and profound problems afflicting the third world. For example, much funding is currently being given towards finding a cure for cancer. A further criticism of western science is that it is based on economics. Those who benefit most from a breakthrough in medical science are not those who benefit from the treatment as patients, but those who benefit as investors as they are the ones who receive the money from the sale of the treatment to health services and hospitals.
There is also arrogance about western methods of conducting scientific experiments. The western scientists appear to believe that there is only one way in which to conduct scientific experiments, there are no exceptions or contradictions. In actual fact, there are many varied ways of approaching science, and different cultures have different emphasise when examining the world around us according to their individual culture.
The 'supremacy' of science, its entire correctness has been brought about by the arrogance of western scientists. For many years, scientists, through deception, have implanted the idea in people's brains that scientific theories are unquestionably correct despite all information to the contrary. In fact, scientific supremacy has been taken so far through arrogance that the truth of science, as well as being rarely questioned, has gained the status of religion in our modern society, although science can never explain the human tendency to a belief in a 'God' or a supernatural being, nor can it prove to the contrary. In this, however, I believe we see even more apparently the human desire for something to believe in, and despite its many flaws, for some people, science provides the alternative to a religion. Furthermore, in the attempt to maintain the belief that all scientific theories should be taken as gospel, scientists simply attempt to fit new information into old theories, or when a theory must be disregarded, it is described as 'unscientific'. Scientific theories are also subject to human observation and therefore preconceived ideas, notions and creative thoughts. In this respect therefore, the observations can be made to fit the preconceived ideas. The supremacy of western science over other scientific cultures is also questionable as there are different ways to conduct science. In short, western science has arrogantly given the impression that there is only one true scientific method, that which is used by western scientists. This arrogance has led western peoples to believe unquestioningly in what scientists say, and those who read it unquestioningly apparently regard all scientific theory as absolutely correct.
When these criticisms are examined under close scrutiny, one finds that many of the criticisms that are levelled at arts and their relative biases due to human thinking are also being levelled at science. The creative nature of science, a concept that most people would not initially grasp given our set perception of science is most definitely a part of the creation of new theories. It is often the case that scientists are vulnerable to flashes of imagination and inspiration leading to preconceived ideas or bias when conducting an experiment based on observation. In this way, it can be shown that despite the perceived rationality of scientists. In fact, many of the observations made are seldom questioned, as it appears, when the scientist expects something to happen, that is what they see. It might be interesting to bring an impartial observer to an experiment of this kind and see what they saw. As it is, we are all so indoctrinated by the correctness of science that theories are seldom questioned. I can therefore state that science is not only based mainly upon inspirational thought, a creative aspect of the human brain, but is also subject to bias and human error. These are all concepts that can be directly compared with the arts.
In many ways, as I have proved both sciences and arts are based largely upon perception, and how an individual perceives a given event. The fact is that whether it is a reaction between marble chips and hydrochloric acid, a beautiful sunset or a set of events, the chemist, painter and historian are all subject to the brains interpretation of that which is set before it. The chemist may carefully observe the reaction noting down the changes, but this image is only understood through the brains interpretation of what the eyes see. Similarly, the brain of a painter may interpret a beautiful sunset through the eyes and hence the painter will paint an image based upon his perception. The historian, in a similar way to the way in which a scientist analyses his collected data, will analyse the facts that are presented to him in order to come up with a theory. In this way the many similarities between the sciences and arts as intellectual disciplines can be seen clearly, they are all ultimately reliant on perception and interpretation.
Therefore, it can be assumed that although scientists attempt to distance themselves from and repute any claims that science as a discipline is subject any form of human error and instead attempt to give the impression that scientists are meticulous, rational, careful, observant and prepared to check and recheck theories until it is certain that they are correct, they are in fact as subject to human creativity and capability to make errors as their artistic counterparts. It is this reliance upon humanity in the discipline of science that makes it so similar to the arts in its ability to make assumptions and mistakes.
However, despite all of this criticism, it is difficult to compare sciences and arts directly as they are evidently a considerably different in their very essence as they essentially deal with entirely different concepts, and all though some of the analysis and observation skills are common to both sorts of discipline the two are in many ways diametrically opposed to one another. Essentially, science is intent upon understanding that which exists in the world around us, whereas the arts are more concerned with interpretation of that same world. This fundamental emphasis that science places upon understanding may rely upon human observation and inspiration and therefore involve and element of human interpretation, but ultimately it is far more concerned with looking closely at the already existing interrelations between two things and upon close scrutiny, an interpretation can be made that can explain for the most part a complex interrelationship. On the other hand, the arts will not delve below the surface and look at the very fundamentals of life itself and break this down through complex analytical processes, instead the arts are concerned with that which exists in a different way. The arts are far more concerned with an appreciation of that which is perceived, and an interpretation of the same. For example, instead of breaking down a wheat field into many stalks of wheat composed of a stems, composed of vascular bundles and pith etc, an painter or poet will simply look at the beauty of the field in its entirety and write about or paint a picture of what he sees.
In conclusion, the sciences and arts have much in common; they are essentially dependent on the human imagination for inspiration. The creative influence of the human mind exerts a powerful influence over both intellectual disciplines, and scientific theories can be considered just as dependent upon this creative factor as the artistic disciplines. However, it can be said that in many ways science is more concerned by observation of facts reducing the scope for creativity after the initial idea. The scientific may not be able to suppress entirely his creative, artistic side but this is certainly less apparent in the scientist than in the artist. The scientist must be objective and look at everything as impartially as is humanly possible, rather than letting himself be swayed by what he expects or wants to happen. It is obvious that there is a certain element of bias is all scientific theories, but this is less apparent than with the artistic disciplines, where the artist has total control over how he portrays a given instance or scene and what bias he personally has. Sciences and arts separate essentially in what they deal with as a discipline. Science is essentially concerned with understanding, whereas the arts are more concerned with perception. This is the fundamental difference between the sciences and arts as intellectual disciplines, and although there are many comparisons to be drawn between to two intellectual disciplines due to their common dependence upon the frailties and faults of human nature, they are never the less essentially different in what they concentrate on.