Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

How science is associated with aesthetics especially in relation to art

Science isn't something that comes from somewhere to spoil the aesthetics of art. Science is the art of understanding why we feel the way we do when we see something wonderful and beautiful. It enhances the beauty of art by trying to understand it fully. The 'measurements' of science can also be used to 'criticize' art.

Aesthetics can be defined as pertaining to a sense of the beautiful or to the science of it.  It is having a sense of the beautiful; characterized by a love of beauty. It is pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.

Understanding the science behind natural phenomena (and sometimes being reminded of how much more we have yet to learn or discover) can still make our encounters with them sublime. From this point of view, science is the champion of artistic creativity, not its enemy.

Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. More broadly, scholars in the field define aesthetics as "critical reflection on art, culture and nature".

Evolutionary Aesthetics refers to the theory which says basic aesthetic preferences have evolved based on survival needs. It is the nature approach that claims survival as a motivator for likeness within a species.

There is a false belief that only art deals with aesthetics and science doesn't. In fact aesthetics is itself a science.


Moreover, science is responsible both for explaining beauty and sometimes the cause and reason of beauty too! Let us see how.

Genes are responsible through biochemicals for the "production of beautiful objects".  Genes influence several things in an aesthetic sense. If you really have "eyes" to see it and "a specific mind" to realize it, the genetic material is responsible for all the splendour and variety and beauty of evolution. Genes are responsible for colours, shapes, sizes, structures and behaviour of living beings and everything that you associate with "beauty"! If you say they don't, it means you see only a partial picture of Nature and not full picture to understand it. Even in non living objects like rocks, quartz, coloured diamonds certain chemicals are responsible for the production and brilliance of these colours.

Example:  Quartz crystals of different colours and shapes.

A poet describes the moon as a beautiful object. An artist paints it in all splendid colours. An astrophysicist sees it as a natural satellite of earth with rocks and no atmosphere or life. When I think about moon as an artist, I feel happy because I could see it as an object of beauty - shining like a silver ball in the dark sky. And when I think about moon as a person from the field of science, I can still see the beauty of scientific theories like gravity, time, space and how wonderfully and harmoniously they are followed in this universe. Science too has a pretty view!

A poet or an artist sees the beauty of a flower superficially and enjoys it. Then inspired by it writes a poem or paints a picture of it.  Then comes a scientist. S/he dissects it. Tells you all about it. The artist cries: "Damn it! These scientists don't know how to enjoy the beauty of a flower. They tear it apart and spoils it!" The scientist smiles. "Wait a minute my friend, you see only the superficial beauty of a flower. I can see its inner beauty too! I can see how the flower is constructed the way it is, how the colours came about, how the structure, shape,  colours and its scent help in the reproductive process of a plant that produces the flowers. I can admire the Nature's true beauty by studying the inner secrets. This view of inner world is more beautiful than the outer ones you see. I can see the whole view unlike the partial one you can  see. It is enhancing the beauty and studying it in its totality not destroying it."

When a painter mixes colours to paint a picture, is it spoiling the beauty of individual colours? When a sculpture chisels a figure from a rock by using a hammer and a chisel, is it spoiling the natural beauty of the rock? Like wise scientists try to liberate the Natural laws by unlocking the mysteries from the closed spaces they are embedded in. To understand the whole picture and  enhance the beauty of the Nature!

'Science, far from destroying the beauty and romance of the world as seen by artists, musicians and writers, enhances it by revealing the underlying reasons and purposes' – McConnell .

These days science is helping artists create art aesthetically. Beautiful patterns of geometry and mathematical theories are influencing artists to create eye-catching works. Now artists are creating clouds and rainbows with the help of science (Refs 2 &3). Who says science doesn't deal with aesthetics?

How can we forget that the colours an artist mixes on his pallet are obtained because of different chemicals?

Even enjoying the beauty is associated with the interpretation of the brain  with the help of eyes, ears and skin

Sweet melody creation in music is associated wit Physics and enjoyed with the Biology of brain! The chemical and Biological processes involved here are studied by several scientists. (Refs)

Similar to arts, scientists have defined beauty in science in terms of symmetries.   Here we consider in brief the role of symmetry in elementary particle physics.   We conclude that aesthetically appealing theories are more likely to be correct so that aesthetics should give motivation for the correct theories in science.

Aesthetic preference is something that ultimately varies from person to person. Whether it is culturally taught or branded into our genetic makeup, preferences for beauty, style, and other characteristics of aesthetics can all be linked back to preferences. Cultural factors undoubtedly influence what kind of art a person enjoys — be it a Rembrandt, a Monet, a Rodin, a Picasso, a Chola bronze, a Moghul miniature, or a Ming Dynasty vase. But,
even if beauty is largely in the eye of the beholder, might there be some sort of universal
rule or ‘deep structure’, underlying all artistic experience? (Ref 1)Some theorists believe that the baseline is tied to Evolution. That is to say that we developed our taste in looks to accommodate survival and promote the wellbeing of our species. Based on this theory, things like color preference, preferred mate body ratios, shapes, emotional ties with objects, and many other aspects of the aesthetic experience can be tied with how we evolved.

Mathematical considerations, such as symmetry and complexity, are used for analysis in theoretical aesthetics. This is different from the aesthetic considerations of applied aesthetics used in the study of mathematical beauty. Aesthetic considerations such as symmetry and simplicity are used in areas of philosophy, such as ethics and theoretical physics and cosmology to define truth, outside of empirical considerations.

Art appreciation is not Universal like universal science appreciation which are based on certain rules. Yes, again cultural conditioning of minds decides to an extent which art works have aesthetic value which ones don't! It seems some faces look beautiful because the symmetry of their shapes shows that the person is highly fertile! However, the smell of a person's harmones too make one feel feel s/he is beautiful! And alcohol makes a man's brain think all women are beautiful!!

Judgments of aesthetic value rely on our ability to discriminate at a sensory level. Aesthetics examines our affective domain response to an object or phenomenon. Viewer interpretations of beauty possess two concepts of value: aesthetics and taste. Aesthetics is the philosophical notion of beauty. Taste is a result of an education process and awareness of elite cultural values learned through exposure to mass culture.

Aesthetic judgments may be culturally conditioned to some extent.

Although scientists are trying to give a formula for good aesthetics, I am  not very convinced. There is still a lot of work to do to arrive at a conclusion. One person's beauty is another one's ugliness. Things like cultural conditioning of minds play a lot of role in having aesthetic experiences and therefore it is difficult to have  universal scientific measurements. If you try the experiment in Asian conditions with the same art works you get different set of results. For example, Mona Lisa is considered as one of the beautiful art works in the West but I have heard  people here questioning this 'concept of beauty'. They say other things like artist's name, fame, cultural conditioning of minds, people's definition of beauty   have an effect on aesthetic measurements. Without taking all these things into consideration, your work won't be accurate. That is what I am worried about. People are not taking several things into account that influence the results while arriving at conclusions. As a person from the field of science, I am not  convinced by some of these scientific studies.

Aesthetics and philosophy of art:

Some people argue that Aesthetics stands for art. And for some, aesthetics is considered a synonym for the philosophy of  art, while others insist that there is a significant distinction between these closely related fields. In practice aesthetic judgement refers to the sensory contemplation or appreciation of an object, while artistic judgement refers to the recognition, appreciation or criticism of art or an art work.

Philosophical aesthetics has not only to speak about art and to produce judgments about art, but has also to give a definition of what art is. Art is an autonomous entity for philosophy, because art deals with the senses (i. e. the etymology of aesthetics) and art is as such free of any moral or political purpose. Hence, there are two different conceptions of art in aesthetics : art as knowledge or art as action.

The philosopher  Denis Dutton identified six universal signatures in human aesthetics:

Expertise or virtuosity. Humans cultivate, recognize, and admire technical artistic skills.

Nonutilitarian pleasure. People enjoy art for art's sake, and don't demand that it keep them warm or put food on the table.

Style. Artistic objects and performances satisfy rules of composition that place them in a recognizable style.

Criticism. People make a point of judging, appreciating, and interpreting works of art.

Imitation. With a few important exceptions like abstract painting, works of art simulate experiences of the world.

Special focus. Art is set aside from ordinary life and made a dramatic focus of experience.

Here is a link to a video that explains Darwinian theory of beauty:

After watching the video, I feel, the pictures drawn by the cave men are based on "observations" of the world around them. They are a prelude to scientific illustrations. So some don't consider them as art. The tools made by them again were in "particular shapes" because these shapes were convenient to handle! It may be a coincidence if some people find them beautiful too!
  The article to which the above link is provided says : Studies from neuroscience and evolutionary biology challenge this separation of art from non-art. Human neuroimaging studies have convincingly shown that the brain areas involved in aesthetic responses to artworks overlap with those that mediate the appraisal of objects of evolutionary importance, such as the desirability of foods or the attractiveness of potential mates. Hence, it is unlikely that there are brain systems specific to the appreciation of artworks; instead there are general aesthetic systems that determine how appealing an object is, be that a piece of cake or a piece of music.

Ref 1:

Ref 2:

Ref 3:

"Science based works  starts to do something to your mind and your concept of beauty changes" is the new mantra of science-artists.

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Comment by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa on March 6, 2014 at 9:12am

Equations Are Art inside a Mathematician’s Brain
A brain area associated with emotional reactions to beauty activates when mathematicians view especially pleasing formulas
The experience of mathematical beauty and its neural correlates - See more at:

Comment by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa on December 13, 2013 at 7:51am

Science, of course, is not devoid of aesthetics. Buckminster Fuller, architect and designer, may have said that “if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong”, but that observation has been echoed by many scientists, including Nurse and Kroto (although Nurse has argued that ultimately data trumps all).

Comment by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa on May 31, 2013 at 5:55am
My reply:
I have faced the situation of getting attracted to a particular art work in an art gallery. There are various reasons scientists give for this attractions. If you watch Dr. Ramachandran's videos on neuro-aesthetics, Dr Zeiki's ( I hope I got the spelling right) explanations you will get an idea why this happens. I use some scientific visually drawing methods to attract people to some of my works and I have succeeded and people tell me they get attracted to very unattractive themes I use like "Disease in a dish"! This is a challenge and science can make you overcome this challenge. So when people say scientific methods can also be used to critique art, they think they can do it.
Neurology as the basis for critique.
My reply: Anyway you can see all my work on my website and the specific work I mentioned here:
You can watch Dr. Ramachandran's videos here:
and read about Prof. Zeiki's work here:

Comment by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa on May 28, 2013 at 6:16am

One part of our project is called PolyAesthetics: Mapping the Muses or PAMM for short. . Please check out this approach taken by Kaz Maslanka. The premise of this team is to illuminate the idea that art and science do not live in a particular aesthetic category; instead art and science are composed of many aesthetic categories. The team explores what manifests from this premise as well as what other categories of aesthetics that we might discover. The PAMM system also explores the relationship of these other categories to art and science. Team PAMM has created a mathematical model that defines multiple aesthetic categories and helps to visualize those aesthetics differences within this mapping system. An added benefit is that this mapping system separates the aesthetics of science from the aesthetics of art to see the power of combining the two.

There is a video included with an explanation by Kaz and we have encouraged them to have their own website as well:

A software application is being designed as a survey tool to map a variety of aesthetic expressions. The results will be displayed within a computer generated three dimensional Cartesian coordinate model. The viewer will be able to see the difference between how they judge the aesthetic category of a certain expression and compare that to the group demographics for the same expression. By challenging the definitions of aesthetics and how we normally look at it, this mapping will help assist artists and scientists as well as non‐artists and scientists to understand the nature of their personal aesthetic and how it relates to science, art and other aesthetic expressions.

Comment by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa on May 28, 2013 at 6:16am

Science isn't something that comes from somewhere to spoil the aesthetics of art. Science is the art of understanding why we feel the way we do when we see something wonderful and beautiful. It enhances the beauty of art by trying to understand it fully. The 'measurements' of science can also be used to 'criticize' art.

Comment by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa on May 28, 2013 at 5:59am

PAMM INFORMATION VIDEO from Kaz Maslanka on Vimeo.

PAMM- PolyAesthetic Mapping: The Muses  Understanding the mechanics of aesthetics and its interplay within Art, Culture & Science

Comment by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa on May 11, 2013 at 7:04am
Can Science Be Used to Critique Art?
It's an old opposition: art and science. Not opposition in the sense of conflict, necessarily, but rather in the sense of one appearing without the other. On the face of it, art should transcend the inherent boundaries of scientific validity and truth-seeking. There are rules for being a certain sort of art, but not so much for just being art itself, or for being objectively better art or carrying real meaning better or worse than other art.

So much cultural criticism is even designed to make fun of (or pick apart) the very idea that art (literature, music, etc.) can hold lasting truth. Whereas, science is only interested in things that are true, and it has designed highly rigorous ways of identifying truth in the world.

There's a very deep philosophical rabbit hole that comes along with this line of thinking, but let's just summarize the question as, Is aesthetic taste beyond the scope of science? In other words, can it be said with objectivity that the aesthetic of Celine Dion is worse than the aesthetic of, say, Beck?

Is there a fixed truth, a scientific truth, to that claim? Is that possible? In this snip of a recent Closer to Truth episode, physicist David Deutsch explains why the answer is actually yes. Philosophy, morals, art, and science are only separated from each other pragmatically. We simply haven't found the proper methods of bringing them together.

By Michael Byrne

Comment by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa on May 11, 2013 at 7:02am

Comment by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa on September 23, 2012 at 6:09am

Great beauty and poetry reside within the theories woven by scientists. And that it is through the unification of art and science that these treasures can be fully explored and made accessible to the world at large.

Zachary Copfer

Comment by Milivoj Šegan on September 22, 2012 at 12:49am

Constellation Orion, the nebula's great horse, changed its terms, to which the pane imagination, Reality is something else, who knows what kind of time now (present) That probably no more and as far away in the linear perception of time in the unit rate light, So not a fact than fiction, scientists and sophisticated devices, so-called? :) My pic,The first three minutes..of reality,light!

That this gentleman just thought simply because it believes that Technosphere thoughts and is programmed so that it works for him, he not watching Universe , but he obviously looking the so-called highly sophisticated technology solutions and its illusion of reality, as opposed to the artist and his imagination, observation without technologies perceive that all and not just the universe, or nucleus, DNA and the like? (-_o) But., and the an artist is the kind of people that when they do not think, or is totally devoid of mind, it can create brilliant work of art. Awareness of what is art not and unlearned mental categories. The so-called foolish man that even in such a literal concept, it can be ingenious artist, and does not harm anyone or say is deprived of liberty. Unlike the foolish person, if a scientist can inflict great harm and accidental and intentional, not yourself but to others as a rule so doing, before you cut off the ear (V Gogh) or kill (Mayakovsky :))? So I think, and so I feel my whole life as an artist supposed to be an artist and art can not be compared with anything as science say axiomatic illusion mathematical abstract geometric concepts that interpret the so-called Real physical world. She is completely different in itself, as work of art. kind, called a natural science :))!. Unable to handle the axiomatic dogma nor measured by any measurement units, as a science.? For example, just say the CGS system can not be applied to a work of art. For him, art is simply not nor will it ever be, a real measurement unit does not have the so-called good and bad art.? :)) From bad medicine or some other lodges scientific poetic work as I said, a lot of people could get hurt, and the art is not bad, because there simply was never proven or heard that somewhere someone is sick for example, because of kitsch which has from the beginning civilization, certainly throughout history yet nobody died? As an example of the invention and use, leverage, control fire, say a particular invention TNT, from whose legacy awarded the Nobel Prize, is not this just an indicator of paradox in parallel with the original concept, art? :) What is science, it can be easy to define, but it what is art, not never? :) Art is in comparing theory and non-swimmers about swimming. You can write not know any theory about swimming. Mark Spitz, about his phenomenon, and the writer or someone swimmer to read this book, if you do not know livati​​, when county prefects or nabijalu jump into deep water, it will immediately drown :) Well, no matter what kind of books written about the theoretical polvanju or read, if the swimmer is not very unlikely to stay alive, you experience no knowledge of maintenance of water or fear overcome?. So it is with the term supposedly practicing art? Already much of the first civilizations theorists who do not even know how to define art except that philosophers like Socrates art man considered lower human kind of spirit, and never deal with that? So I think, as he said, and Leonardo in his treatises: Those who do not practice a pragmatic art, mimesis you should not speak about it at all, let alone a theory? It's more philosophical territory, speculative category of the human psyche and the mind, it is not the only fixative concept, and paradigms, and the meaning of art, science is even easier to define the notion of truth? Contrast theistic dogma, all the science and art of finding a third times to be everything, and itself in the notion as of Descartes coordinate Interstate and ego, and the starting point of the universe and the quantum? He combined number stack geometry, both abstract concept in relation to the reality of itself, and nothing else, a sort of scientific illusion, as well as art?! Art is imagination,and a pragmatic IQ,and al ect.ect!!:))

Sazvježđe oriona,u maglici velikog konja,,mjenja svoje nazivlje,kako kome pane mašta,a stvarnot je nešto drugo,tko zna kakva u vremenu sad, (prezent) Toga vjerovatno više i nema, koliko je udaljeno u linearnom poimanju vremena u jedinici brzine svjetla,Dakle nije činjenica nego mašta,znanstvenika i sofisticiranih uređaja,takozvanih ? :))
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