Why is art (painting, photography, literature, music, film, sculpture, etc) often put up on the same pedestal as science? Among names like Einstein, Poincare, Newton, and Gauss in a typical list of great contributors to humankind, you'll find names like Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Bach, and Beethoven. But what did the people in this latter group give us apart from a little amusement? What is the value of art beyond mere entertainment? How many geniuses have wasted their potential because they chose to search for truth via art (a completely forlorn hope, by the way) rather than via science, the most reliable way to truth (though nowhere near 100% reliable)? Frankly, I feel that the time I spent on art (reading about it, experiencing it, even trying to do it) in my youth was misspent. The questions above are only partially rhetorical. Feel free to answer them, or ridicule me if you like. I'm also interested to see if anyone agrees with me, or if I'm really as contrarian as my brother says I am. Added as an afterthought: Even as entertainment, many things trump art: socialising, sex, communing with nature, sport, games, to name a few.