By Diya Obeid, Founder & CEO of JobDiva
Computer Science comprises many paradoxes, the least of which is merely the nomenclature of its own name. Is Computer Science a science? We have known sciences to be natural, social or formal, to none of which Computer belongs. We have also known sciences to be called by their names without tagging on ‘science’ as a suffix. We don’t say Physics Science, Chemistry Science or Biology Science; nor do we say Sociology Science and so on. However, when it comes to Computer Science, we lack the confidence in ‘Computer’ (or perhaps ‘Computers’) to carry its own weight as a science, so we qualify it by referencing its discipline as Computer Science.
Meanwhile, due to the inapplicability of the scientific method to this discipline, Computers fails to pass the test to qualify as a science. While we use Computers to document and compute the outcome of experiments, Computers itself is not subject to the scientific method experimentation. When we do Computers-related experimentation, we are experimenting with electric circuits (Physics), fiber optics (Chemistry), or the approximations resulting from eigenvalue computations (Mathematics), all of which belonged to non-Computer sciences long before they engaged with Computers. When a computer indexes databases following a set of algorithms or calculates the internal rate of return on a financial instrument, Computers follows deterministic steps whose outcome is not subject to the hypotheses or uncertainties that characterize the scientific method.
I acknowledge that the domain of science is expansive and diverse: theology could be a science, marriage is a science, sport is also a science; however, please do not attribute science to Computers. Rather, Computers embodies the application of many natural, social and formal sciences, but itself lacks the basic definition of science.
If the field of Computers is not a science, what is it? Computers and their activities are the creation of Man’s imagination, existing within the context of and limited by natural and social sciences. Computers embodies creativity, empathy, mindfulness, passion, fascination, obsession, intrusiveness, curiosity, accomplishment and glamour. As a creative outcome, Computers may be more precisely considered an art; but, please, do not call it a science. To be continued…