The Benefits of Natural Science
Helping Other Sciences
The ancient Egyptians said: "The best and shortest road towards knowledge of truth is Nature." Nature comes first, second and last, because we come from, live by and return to nature. We are temporary; Mother Nature is eternal; we are a small dot of an infinite universe.
Natural science is the leader of sciences, triggering effects on all aspects of life it naturally speeds up: politics, sociology, psychology, arts ... alongside logic and mathematics, all to reach our goal—happiness. In the Renaissance, science gradually pushed superstition aside, by the works of Copernicus, Galileo, Pascal, Newton, as well as da Vinci, Magellan, Columbus, etc. It heralded the Modern Ages, and, more importantly, the more empirical, influential, modern science.
Scientific breakthroughs mark the greatest leaps humanity has made, speeding up civilization more than any other factor (printing, electricity, silicon chip, satellites, etc.). Understanding Nature's laws of physics that govern our universe, life and destiny, facilitates understanding all other sciences.
Spending more on natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, earth sciences, etc. that all other sciences inevitably derive from) allows even the poorest country to maximize the benefits gained from its limited resources, to become self-sufficient if not a rich country, where it imports less, exports more, and attracts foreign countries toward its advanced technologies, medical services, life quality, and cultural values inspiring others. Thus it grows into a fully-fledged regional power. If required, it also develops hi-tech security systems for itself and others, adjusting the same technology it uses for civil developmental purposes to suit defensive ones, keeping its internal and external stability, to protect individuals, properties, resources, and borders.
Having a committed elite of "local scientists," knowing their country's needs and assets while living its daily problems, provides more economical, effective solutions than those of foreign/imported ones. A country's powerful elite can move the masses and entire country forward. For such masses, many governments in developing countries rightfully prioritize technical education (a more practical, less complex form of natural science), for men and "women" (else we have a "half-advanced" society), benefiting from its cheap unused labor force to boost industry, hence economy and "sustainable development," rather than relying on temporary resources. Statistically, learning a physical science increases one's chances of finding a job, compared to learning a theoretical or social one. We CHANGE our world/life, not just our perception of it.
Physical insecurities are the prime cause of public discontent, revolt and political instability (to Marx, politics is only an extension of economics). Some economic prosperity can provide environment for good science education that in turn leads to more prosperity, human rights protection and better quality of life. Prosperity is not to be confused with extravagance which cannot grant long-term prosperity, equality, or creativity. (Some poverty/tension is good for the mind.)
Even a "strong" regime that focuses most on stability must invest in human resources (brains) by spending most on science and education, to achieve long sustainable development. Gradually, when it's time for power transition to a more flexible rule and less power-grip, it happens smoothly. Citizens too can focus on science as an alternative to poor/restricted politics, for creativity, improving society, and even using science to direct politics, e.g. by IT to select, monitor, correct, expose, and PRESSURE governments.
Eventually, the more self-sufficient citizens become, the less politics they need, and the state's role diminishes, becoming mostly organizational and arbitrational, while interfering less in other aspects of life, personal and public, gradually letting citizens live independently like "microstates," by the power of knowledge each acquires to manage their own life. Science can push human-based politics fully aside and make it obsolete. Until then, politics is useless without science, achieving little, if not unnecessarily disrupting, complicating, and consuming human life.
For millennia, humanity has deviated from the natural path of civilization, ever since humans challenged Nature and refused to start from where animals ended. Once they became aware of death, they grew obsessed with it, treating their fantasies and recollections of their dead, stored in their highly-evolved brains, as FACTS to dwell on, and on ... while missing the real facts of life, without improving its quality for the living.
It's a pity to spend life without knowing the basics of our nearest everyday surroundings, that are only governed by natural science—in one's room, house, street, body ... when we eat, talk, move, work, play, and LIVE, that "popular science" esp. draws our attention to, seeing how science is most useful, available and enjoyable.
• Natural science saves money, time, and energy. It solves one's daily problems, speeding up life and making it easier. Mastering self-help techniques helps one in difficult situations and environments to solve his/her problems as well as others'. One depends less on professionals/pseudo-professionals, esp. in emergencies while alone. No one "cares" about your problems more than you. Examples:
All the above require you to have basic "scientific" knowledge, as it's almost impossible to find/afford/rely on all professionals in all those fields. It's why natural science occupies the largest portion of elementary education curricula everyone needs.
Learning how science develops (from journals, future studies, or even science fiction) helps us "predict & plan" properly for the future (future economy, health, security, etc.), ours and that of Earth and entire humanity, e.g. when deciding a future major study/career/project, or effects on health/environment, etc. It's a pleasure too, virtually traveling to an era we may/may never live with future people.
• Natural science improves logical thinking by the force of REALITY, that is always superior to fantasy, however a useful medium the latter is. In physical sciences a little "error" can cause disasters, where inaccuracy has a hefty price. There is less room for marginal errors, hypotheses, opinions, and generalizations as in sociology, psychology or arts. No wonder natural sciences heavily rely on mathematics, logic and laws to process them. Unlike theoretical sciences and experimenting with mere ideas, making a wrong "physical" move in natural science can be immediately, irreparably fatal, because there is no time to reconsider an idea, or place to escape one's actions.
Since we always, somehow, use during scientific experiments "our body & physical properties," which we can't RISK, we automatically grow cautious, skeptic, specific, decisive, practical, and creative, developing "scientific thinking" habits naturally.
• Natural science gives pleasure. Learning about and changing our physical world is the greatest goal in life, giving meaning, satisfaction, and intellectual pleasure, compared to the other sensual and social pleasures that are driven by instinct like animals'. We help ourselves and other people most by improving "our environment and bodies," both belonging to natural science's realm, not by playing, traveling, chatting and eating together. Still, natural science has a sensual pleasure part too, as when doing experiments, exploring an environment, etc., that is, "interacting" with Mother Nature.