There are two parts to this blog.
The first is looking at how the dictionary defines "science" and then how Mary Baker Eddy defines "Science
The second part is a 30 minute discussion and Q &A with Dr. Ronald Musselman, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA., and two Sunday School Students from The 3rd Church of Christ, Scientist, Sarasota. The issue came up in Sunday School. The two students were asked by their high school biology teacher: How would you explain the meaning of Science in Chrisitan Science?
By Ronald Musselman
From the Merriam Webster dictionary:
Full Definition of science
1: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding
2a: a department of systematized knowledge as an object of studythe science of theology
b: something (such as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledgehave it down to a science
3a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method*
b: such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : NATURAL SCIENCE
4: a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific lawscooking is both a science and an art
5capitalized : CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
*Definition of scientific method
Principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.
From Mary Baker Eddy:
“Whatever furnishes the semblance of an idea governed by its Principle, furnishes food for thought. Through astronomy, natural history, chemistry, music, mathematics, thought passes naturally from effect back to cause.
“Academics of the right sort are requisite. Observation, invention, study, and original thought are expansive and should promote the growth of mortal mind out of itself, out of all that is mortal. “It is the tangled barbarisms of learning which we deplore, — the mere dogma, the speculative theory, the nauseous fiction. Novels, remarkable only for their exaggerated pictures, impossible
ideals, and specimens of depravity, fill our young readers with wrong tastes and sentiments. Literary commercialism is lowering the intellectual standard to accommodate the purse and to meet a frivolous demand for amusement instead of for improvement. Incorrect views lower the standard of truth.”(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 195:15–32) Definition of natural history from the Oxford Dictionary: nat·u·ral his·to·ry noun 1. 1. the scientific study of animals or plants, especially as concerned with observation rather than experiment, and presented in popular rather than academic form. More from Mary Baker Eddy: “May not Darwin be right in thinking that apehood preceded mortal manhood?” “In its history of mortality, Darwin's theory of evolution from a material basis is more consistent than most theories.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p 543:20-21 and p. 547:15–17)
Check out the video: How would you explain the meaning of Science in Chrisitan Science to a high school biology teacher. There are some extraneous comments out the outset but then the discussion begins.