Descriptive science not only offers a summary of experimental facts and observations, but its goal includes explaining and understanding the real world by applying the theories developed by fundamental science
. Furthermore, descriptive science is central to the development of fundamental science, because a theory is only as good as what it explains and the experimental facts and observations that support it.
The systems under study are not described in a vacuum, but in comparison with other systems. The comparative method assesses the variations between individual systems and organizes them into categories using classifications that are used to make predictions.
When applied to science, the word “descriptive” has acquired dismissive or pejorative connotations in recent years , but this academic attitude is based on a “chronic misunderstanding as to what descriptive science actually is, and thus there is ignorance of its significance” .