Scientific Hypothesis, Theories and LawsThe principles and theories of science have been established through repeated experimentationand observation and have been refereed through peer review before general acceptance by thescientific community. Acceptance does not imply rigidity or constraint, or denote
.Instead, as new data become available, previous scientific explanations are revised andimproved, or rejected and replaced. Science is a way of making sense of the world, withinternally-consistent methods and principles that are well described. There is a progression froma hypothesis to a theory using testable, scientific laws. Only a few scientific facts are naturallaws and many hypotheses are tested to generate a theory. Find out how scientific hypotheses,theories and laws describe the natural world.What is a hypothesis?A hypothesis is an idea or proposition that can be tested by observations or experiments, aboutthe natural world. In order to be considered scientific, hypotheses are subject to scientificevaluation and must be falsifiable, which means that they are worded in such a way that they can be proven to be incorrect.Example: When Gregor Mendel in 1865 studied the pattern of single trait inheritance of garden peas he formed a hypothesis on the manner of how these traits were inherited. The hypothesis heformed based on his observations included the following:1.In the organism there is a pair of factors that controls the appearance of a givencharacteristic.2.The organism inherits these factors from its parents, one from each.3.Each is transmitted from generation to generation as a discrete, unchanging unit.4.When the gametes are formed, the factors separate and are distributed as units to eachgamete. (This statement is also known as Mendel's rule of segregation.)5.If an organism has two unlike factors for a characteristic, one may be expressed to thetotal exclusion of the other.What is a scientific theory?To scientists, a theory is a coherent explanation for a large number of facts and observationsabout the natural world.A theory is:
Internally consistent and compatible with the evidence
Firmly grounded in and based upon evidence
Tested against a wide range of phenomena
Demonstrably effective in problem-solvingIn popular use, a theory is often assumed to imply mere speculation, but in science, something isnot called a theory until it has been confirmed over many independent experiments. Theories aremore certain than hypotheses, but less certain than laws. The procedures and processes for testing a theory are well-defined within each scientific discipline.