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Law Vs Theory

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Posted by Jim on January 30, 2001 18:31:07 UTC

Actually, I think you're talking about "Laws". Scientific laws are mathematical descriptions of observable facts (the Laws of Planetary Motion, the Laws of Thermodynamics, etc). Theories are explanations that are supported by the facts (the Theory of Evolution, the Theory of Plate Techtonics, etc.). A law gives you an equation to work with but doesn't tell you why it is so. A theory explains how it works (mathematical equations may be part of the theory, of course, such as Einstein's Relativity Theories). A hypothesis is an educated (hopefully) supposition/expectation that you set out to support or refute through experimentation.

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