Science and Law: Friends or Foe?

By: Aaditya Sinha

Have you ever wondered about relating two disciplines that seem to be very different from each other? The disciplines of law and science may sound different from each other to so many people but actually, both the disciplines talk about the “rules” or to be more precise it talks about the “Law”. Now it is sure that these two disciplines are connected but are they the same or different?

Frankly, we are not going to get an objective answer if both the disciplines are similar or different, because I feel that we are so obsessed with the objective answer that we have stopped analyzing different aspects towards things and different approaches towards different objects. So, if you observe science, then science also has some laws, like Newton’s Law of Motion, Faraday Law of electrolysis, etc. the question that comes in our minds is then how are they different from the general law?

I hope you are confused because I want you to think about this issue, and if you are thinking about the question, then let me help you. The laws which we study in science are absolute, which means that if we refer to the First Law of motion, then it is true for all the conditions where it has been performed, you can only change it by proving the equations wrong or by proving it wrong experimentally. The way Einstein changed many equations through his theory of relativity, so all his changes were observed experimentally and mathematically. Whereas the General Law is subjective as it is neither experimental nor mathematical.

Law is just subjective, with time it also changes; it changes as the society changes like long ago Sati was not illegal but now it is illegal. For example in our country Sati was allowed at a point of time, which means for those people or let say for that ancient society it was correct but now if we think on the subject we don’t even think twice about the ritual, we all agree that it was not correct on so many levels, the moral level is one of them.

So, when Sati was allowed neither it invited any experimental proof nor it could have been proved mathematically. It was the “Law” because it was agreed by the society of that time. Another example could have been the “Section 377[1]” of Indian Penal Code, 1860 that became illegal in our country[2].

So, now the point is that although the first Law of Motion remains the same till now even though the society and legal system of every country have changed drastically compared to the time when the First Law of Motion was discovered. Therefore, to sum up, my point I would like to put forward that Law and Science are two disciplines that are co-related yet, different from each other. We can prove their relationship through the part where “laws” are used extensively in both the field and we can prove their distinct natures in the evolution cycle.

[1] Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act No. 45 of 1860).

[2] Navtej Singh Johar & Ors v. Union of India thr. Secretary Ministry of Law and Justice W.P. (Crl.) No. 76 of 2016.

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