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Theories, Laws And Hypothesis.

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Posted by Alexander on April 4, 2001 20:18:39 UTC

Ok, being a scientist for a long time now and collaborating/ discussing /drinking together with many of scientists of varous caliber (including Nobel laureates) I can firmly tell what SCIENTISTS call a theory, a law, a hypothesis and a speculation:

Speculation - anything coming out of anybody's mouth.

Hypothesis - guess about how phenomena COULD be related (and to qualify as a hypothesis it DOES NOT have to be proven yet by observations).

Theory - the hypothesis which HAS BEEN PROVEN (within certain limits or range) by numerous observations. It is then called a THEORY APPPLICABLE WITHIN THIS RANGE ONLY. Say, Galilean transformations is a theory we use in everyday life to add distances, velocities, times, accelerations, etc in small speed limit - it is very accurate and solid THEORY. Or flat earth theory - it is VERY SOLID theory farmers and realtors use to measure their real estates with very high accuracy (in the limits of small distances compared to Earth radius).

Law of nature - mathematical expression of OBSERVED FACTS (say, that all bodies fall with the same acceleration, that energy conserves, or that light bends near massive bodies, etc).

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