As a social science, contemporary political science started to take shape in the latter half of the 19th century. At that time it began to separate itself from political philosophy, which traces its roots back to the works of Chanakya , Aristotle and Plato which were written nearly 2,500 years ago. The term "political science" was not always distinguished from political philosophy, and the modern discipline has a clear set of antecedents including also moral philosophy, political economy, political theology, history, and other fields concerned with normative determinations of what ought to be and with deducing the characteristics and functions of the ideal state.
There are several science topics where wide differences among racial and ethnic groups emerge. Hispanics stand out, particularly from whites, in their views about climate change, with a clear majority of Hispanics (70%) saying the Earth is warming due to human activity, compared with 44% among non-Hispanic whites. 6 African Americans are particularly distinct in their views about allowing access to experimental drug treatments before they have been shown to be safe and effective. A majority of African Americans oppose this idea while a majority of whites and about half of Hispanics favor it. African Americans also are more likely than either whites or Hispanics to say we will find ways to stretch our natural resources such that the growing world population will not pose a major problem.