Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Meeting Point of Art and Science

Some say science and art are completely different things and have no similar aspects. Is that true? Science and art are similar, and different in comparable characteristics. Science and art explain things. However, science may explain it mathematically and using physics. Art explains it with more emotion and imagery. To understand with both views allows a person to see the world in a whole new view. People can see something and know the mathematical reason it happens, and how it affects them from an emotional stand point.

Both artists and scientists have the same goal. They both want to have a better understanding of the world .They both use their imagination to do this. The goal of Einstein was to understand something new about the universe that had never been realized before, such as relativity. Einstein said, “Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I see it as a reflection of the inner beauty of the universe.” Einstein, one of the greatest scientists, thought that music, an art form like his science, were both representations of the inner beauty of the universe. Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.” (Emphasis is mine). Leonardo da Vinci also believed that science and art are similar. Not only does this represent that art is a science, it also portrays that art communicates knowledge to all the generations of the world. Knowledge is understanding. He expressed it in a different way than Einstein, but the goal was the same. Leonardo da Vinci and Einstein used art and science together to successfully illustrate and clarify the mysteries of the world.

However, art and science remain different in certain ways. Yes, science and art both explain things, but that doesn’t mean that they explain things the same way. To explain the phenomenon of a tsunami a scientist may say, “Two ocean tectonic plates collided causing an underwater earthquake. The underwater earthquake stirred the waves which resulted in a tsunami.” On the other hand, an artist may limn, “Mother Nature struck her hand upon the people who angered her, unleashed her terror, and smothered them with her waves of destruction.” Art can stretch an imaginary line farther and farther, bending the rules, but science cannot, for even the slightest stretch could bring disaster. Imagine an architect designing and building a bridge. The bridge is incredibly beautiful, yet, many of the calculations are not accurate. Eventually, the bridge will fall down. A scientist may look at a river running and say, “Why does it run so quickly?” or, “Why does it move so wonkily?” After that the scientist will conclude how gravity pulls water down and it causes erosion... An artist may see the same river, and interpret it with a picture and poem. They both interpret things, but in completely different ways.

Understanding science and art on a social level is extremely important. A group of friends may get together, talking about art, not knowing anything about science, and one friend is left out, because he or she only knows science, and not art. This impedes their communication to a certain extent. The group of friends could have a debate on whether art is better than science or vice versa, but they can’t have a more casual conversation. However, understanding both is possible, because they are similar in so many ways. Once a person has understood art and science, they can see the world with a whole different perspective. They can see the world like a scientist, understanding the physics, and can see the world as an artist, unleashing the imagination to its fullest extent. Imagine that someone is trying to make the color green, which is society. You need the color blue, science, and the color yellow, art. Without one of these, you cannot make green, or society.

What type of art best portrays science? I think writing does. Despite all the similarities between science and art, only the art of writing can truly describe what goes on in science. In fact, in order to do science, a person must know how to write, or else they wouldn’t be able to prove their hypotheses. Stephen Hawking is a perfect example. He cannot draw, dance, or play an instrument to express his understanding of the universe. Aside from the one person in the world who understands his speech, the only way he was able to communicate his vision of the universe was through writing.

The English poet and writer Earl Edward George Bulwer-Lytton once said, “Art and science have their meeting point in method.” His quote perfectly summarizes the relationship between art and science.

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