How are arts and science similar? How are they different?
Here are some lines from TS Eliot's poem Ash Wednesday:
Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are...
Written in 1930, we can see here that Eliot is expressing his bewilderment at Einstein's theory of General Relativity, and the notion of the space-time continuum.
Later, in the Burnt Norton section of his Four Quartets, Eliot writes:
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
It is clear that Eliot has tried to reconcile himself with the ideas presented by Einstein, but he still presents the bewilderment and mystification as he did in Ash Wednesday.
Eliot was one of the great modernists. He intended to merge one's inner processes of thought which are triggered by our perception of the world, and the spoken word. Freud also did this in psychology and many other artists, poets, philosophers, psychologists did similar things.
It is true that cultural shifts follow directly from the great insights in science. Science and art unite in transforming the human understanding of the world. These transformations transform our societies, too.
Eliot sought to unify aspects of science to his own art. It is indisputable that science and art can be unified, but they are not always.
It is often said that science requires insight, analysis, deduction. And that art requires passion, creativity, innovation. But look at those requirements: interchange them, say that science requires passion, creativity and innovation, and that art requires insight, analysis, deduction. The statements are still true.
The concepts that define great art and great artists define great science and great scientists.
It could be said that they diverge in their aim: science aims to explain, art aims to express. But even this is not a water-tight statement.
So, then, it is arguable that the difference lies in what you create, not how you create it.
- Both science and art can be beautiful.
Or more broadly:
2. Both science and art can invoke feelings.
3. Both made by people
It has many indications. There is a whole culture around science and art. Both has its trends, fashions and both influenced by human nature (bright and dark side).
- In science there are testable laws.
- Science can predict the future (e.g. engineers predicted how much fuel you will need for a Moonlanding mission)
There can be many more aspects these were the firsts come to my mind.