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Nature refers to those things which exist in reality as part of the
universe, and are not artificial, or imagined.
In scale, 'nature' includes everything from the universal to the subatomic.
This includes all things animal, plant, and mineral; all natural resources;
as well as events (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes). It also includes the
behaviour of living animals, and the processes associated with inanimate
Natural science is the study of natural processes. All sciences deal with
"Natural philosophy" formerly named the scientific discipline now known as
Natural theology straddles the disciplines of theology and philosophy of
In education and related areas, the contrast "natural/artificial" can appear
as " nature/nurture".
For contrasting/varying concepts, see praeternatural, unnatural and
History of the Concept of "Nature"
Historically, things natural received short shrift from civilised (read
"artificial") society until the 18th century romantics discovered the joys
of the sublime and started gushing about "Nature" (as a personified,
capitalised demi-god), visiting countrysides and climbing mountains. The
romantic soft-spot for the natural world re-manifested itself in the late
20th century in the Green movement.