Max Planck and Stephen Gould:Hard and Soft Science

Kristen Sparrow • December 16, 2011

I lamented in a previous post about the fact that many fine minds will avoid the softer and more complicated world of medicine.
In John Sarno’s book “The Divided Mind,” he quotes Stephen J. Gould who has the same complaint in Natural History. “An unfortunate but regrettable common stereotype about science divides the profession into two domains of different status. We have, on the one hand, the ‘hard’ or physical sciences that deal in numerical precision, prediction and experimentation. On the other hand, the ‘soft’ sciences that treat the complex objects of history in all their richness must trade these virtues for ‘mere’ description without firm numbers in a confusing world where, at best, we can hope to explain what we cannot predict. The history of life embodies all the messiness of this second and undervalued, style of science.”
Granted, he’s talking about history and not medicine. But some of the same problems are in both. No rock solid predictability. Many and messy variables.
info on the practice here.