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September 21, 2018 

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WELFARE: An assortment of programs that provide assistance to the poor. The cornerstone of our welfare system is Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), which was created by the Social Security Act (1935). It provides cash benefits to assist needy families with children under the age of 18. Funding comes partly from the federal government and partly from states. Because states also administer their own programs, benefits and qualification criteria differ from state to state. A second part of the welfare system, one that's run entirely by the federal government, is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program provides cash benefits to elderly, blind, and disabled in addition to any benefits received through the Social Security system. Our welfare system includes a whole bunch of additional benefits, including Medicaid, food stamps, low-cost housing, school lunches, job training, day care, and earned-income tax credits.

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PHYSICAL SCIENCE:

The scientific study of the physical world, especially nonhuman, nonsociety phenomena, such as atoms, planets, wildlife, and continental drift. Common disciplines that study these physical phenomena are physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy. Physical science is one of two broad scientific classifications. The other is social science, which is the study human behavior and society.
Physical science contains the areas of study most commonly associated with the term science, especially astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology. These are the areas that were first to use the scientific method to explain and understand the workings of the world. Chemists, physicists, biologists, and astronomers developed experiments, data collection techniques, and hypothesis testing procedures designed to develop theoretical explanations of the world.

Because these physical sciences were the first to use the scientific method some scientific purists tend to look down on social sciences, including economics, as not meriting the title of "science." The distinction between social and physical sciences, however, is somewhat arbitrary.

For example, while psychologists study human behavior and chemists study chemical reactions, a growing body of evidence suggests that human behavior depends on chemical reactions in the brain. As such, are chemists who study the chemistry of the brain doing physical science or social science? Or are psychologists who study behavior related to the chemistry of the brain doing social science or physical science?

The conclusion is both and neither. The conclusion is that the real world is somewhat arbitrarily segmented into different areas, including physical science and social science as well as chemistry and psychology. This segmentation enables specialization of scientific effort as scientists become experts in narrowly defined topics. The real world, however, is a continuum of complex, interrelated phenomena. So long as this interrelated continuum is recognized, specialization produces all sorts of efficiency benefits.

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Recommended Citation:

PHYSICAL SCIENCE, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: September 21, 2018].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | science | social science |


Or For A Little Background...

     | scientific method | theory | hypothesis | principle | law | phenomenon | empirical | world view | cause and effect | verification | abstraction |


And For Further Study...

     | fallacies | dismal science | economic science | technology |


Related Websites (Will Open in New Window)...

     | American Association for the Advancement of Science |


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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time lost in your local discount super center wanting to buy either a coffee cup commemorating last Friday (you know why) or a wall poster commemorating the first day of spring. Be on the lookout for the happiest person in the room.
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