July 31, 2007 3:13 PM

Are social sciences more difficult than natural sciences (as disciplines…)?

A few college freshmen have asked me for my opinion on the difficulty of social science and natural science.

I would say social sciences are more complex to study because you deal with human beings, which gives rise to special problems. Abortion, evolution, Darwinism, genetic engineering, capitalism, Marxism, culture, human rights, et cetera, are all huge topics and involve a lot of thinking. Natural sciences are much more rigorous, as they follow the scientific method. It still makes you think deeply, about the world around you, and how things operate. However, the thinking is much more abstract.

By the way, there are currently changes in the way we distinguish between the natural and social sciences. Mathematical modeling is often applied to the social sciences - without forcing them to be reduced to more “fundamental” natural sciences.

Indeed, both sciences are very interesting and I think they are complementary instead of arguable over "harder". Pick the one you like best to study.


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