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science (n.)

mid-14c., "what is known, knowledge (of something) acquired by study; information;" also "assurance of knowledge, certitude, certainty," from Old French science "knowledge, learning, application; corpus of human knowledge" (12c.), from Latin scientia "knowledge, a knowing; expertness," from sciens (genitive scientis) "intelligent, skilled," present participle of scire "to know," probably originally "to separate one thing from another, to distinguish," related to scindere "to cut, divide" (from PIE root *skei- "to cut, split;" source also of Greek skhizein "to split, rend, cleave," Gothic skaidan, Old English sceadan "to divide, separate").

From late 14c. in English as "book-learning," also "a particular branch of knowledge or of learning;" also "skillfulness, cleverness; craftiness." From c. 1400 as "experiential knowledge;" also "a skill, handicraft; a trade." From late 14c. as "collective human knowledge" (especially that gained by systematic observation, experiment, and reasoning). Modern (restricted) sense of "body of regular or methodical observations or propositions concerning a particular subject or speculation" is attested from 1725; in 17c.-18c. this concept commonly was called philosophy. Sense of "non-arts studies" is attested from 1670s. 

Science, since people must do it, is a socially embedded activity. It progresses by hunch, vision, and intuition. Much of its change through time does not record a closer approach to absolute truth, but the alteration of cultural contexts that influence it so strongly. Facts are not pure and unsullied bits of information; culture also influences what we see and how we see it. Theories, moreover, are not inexorable inductions from facts. The most creative theories are often imaginative visions imposed upon facts; the source of imagination is also strongly cultural. [Stephen Jay Gould, introduction to "The Mismeasure of Man," 1981]
In science you must not talk before you know. In art you must not talk before you do. In literature you must not talk before you think. [John Ruskin, "The Eagle's Nest," 1872]

The distinction is commonly understood as between theoretical truth (Greek epistemē) and methods for effecting practical results (tekhnē), but science sometimes is used for practical applications and art for applications of skill. To blind (someone) with science "confuse by the use of big words or complex explanations" is attested from 1937, originally noted as a phrase from Australia and New Zealand.

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pseudo-science (n.)

also pseudoscience, "a pretended or mistaken science," 1796 (the earliest reference is to alchemy), from pseudo- + science.

The term pseudo-science is hybrid, and therefore objectionable. Pseudognosy would be better etymology, but the unlearned might be apt to association with it the idea of a dog's nose, and thus, instead of taking "the eel of science by the tail," take the cur of science by the snout; so that all things considered we had better adopt the current term pseudo-sciences ["The Pseudo-Sciences," in The St. James's Magazine, January 1842]
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neuroscience (n.)

"scientific study of the nervous system," 1963, from neuro- + science.

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science fiction (n.)
1929 (first attested in advertisements for "Air Wonder Stories" magazine), though there is an isolated use from 1851; abbreviated form sci-fi is from 1955. Earlier in same sense was scientifiction (1916).
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scienter (adv.)
legalese Latin, literally "knowingly," from sciens, present participle of scire "to know" (see science) + adverbial suffix -ter.
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scientist (n.)

1834, a hybrid coined from Latin scientia (see science) by the Rev. William Whewell, English polymath, by analogy with artist, in the same paragraph in which he coined physicist (q.v.).

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sciolist (n.)
1610s, "smatterer, pretender to knowledge," from Late Latin sciolus "one who knows a little," diminutive of scius "knowing," from scire "to know" (see science) + -ist. Related: Sciolistic.
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omniscience (n.)

"infinite knowledge, the quality or attribute of fully knowing all things," 1610s, from Medieval Latin omniscientia "all-knowledge," from Latin omnis "all" (see omni-) + scientia "knowledge" (see science).

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nescient (adj.)

early 15c., nesciant, "ignorant; unwilling," from Latin nescientem (nominative nesciens) "ignorant, unaware," present participle of nescire "not to know, to be ignorant," from ne "not" (from PIE root *ne- "not") + scire "to know" (see science).

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