Hypotheses Theories and Scientific Law

Hypotheses Theories and Scientific Law

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Today we will be comparing and contrasting Hypotheses, Theories, and Scientific Law.

Science is a way of making sense of the world around us. The theories and principles found in science as a discipline have been established through repeated and careful experimentation and observation. Scientific research is peer-reviewed by other specialists in the field to ensure that the findings are accurate and that the experiments used, and the findings are consistent and fair.

Scientific ideas can progress from a hypothesis, to a theory using testable, scientific laws. Only a few scientific facts are considered scientific laws and many hypotheses are tested to generate a theory.

Hypotheses

Hypotheses Worksheet

A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is an idea or suggestion that can be tested through observation or experimentation. On some occasions, a hypothesis may take the form of a question called an aim.

Hypotheses are often made after in depth background research or an inquiry has been conducted. Its purpose is to provide direction into further scientific research. Once a hypothesis has been made, it must be tested by conducting carefully designed and controlled experiment to prove it right or wrong.

The experiment must meet certain criteria so that the results are valid and reliable. Valid and reliable results come from experiments that:

  • Change only one variable at a time.
  • Control all other variables in the experiment.
  • Use measuring instruments that give accurate results.
  • Have repeated trials/tests to show consistent results.

This lesson from Khan Academy is also good. Here is the link...

Testing Hypothesis p-Values

 

Theories

scientific law theory

A theory describes how or why something occurs. Scientists are always making new discoveries and so scientific theories evolve overtime.

In science a hypothesis or an idea is not considered a theory until it has been tested thoroughly and independently by many scientists. Scientific theories are more certain that hypotheses but less certain that scientific laws. Scientific theories are often made up of many hypotheses which add together to provide detailed information on a topic. In many cases, these theories have been contributed to by many scientists, often over several years.

A theory is:

  • Consistent and compatible with the current scientific evidence available
  • Tested against a wide range of phenomena
  • Demonstrates effective problem-solving

Some of the more well-known theories that have contributed to modern biology and that are covered in this course are shown in the table below:

Hypotheses Theories and Scientific Law

Here is a Hypotheses Theories and Scientific Law video to share with your class...

Scientific Laws

Theories which have been thoroughly tested and are accepted by the scientific community often become scientific laws. There are few laws compared to theories. Laws are often expressed as single statement and are brief but are concise.

Hypotheses Theories and Scientific Law

Scientific Law vs Theory

This venn diagram show visually the difference between Scientific Law vs Theory.

Scientific Theory vs Scientific Law

Laws have the following features:

  • They are universally accepted to be true.
  • Laws predict the results under certain conditions.
  • They do not provide explanations of how or why something occurs.

Below are examples of laws that will be covered in this course:

compare and contrast hypothesis theory and scientific law, scientific laws hypotheses and theories worksheet answers

Here is a Scientific Law video to share with your class...

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Hypotheses Theories and Scientific Law

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Unit 1 – Biology Basics

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