Difference Between Scientific laws and Scientific Theories
Scientific laws vs. scientific theories
It is not to be confused how scientific laws differ from scientific theories. Even the dullest minds should be able to comprehend the similarities and differences of the two. As the Earth continually revolves around the sun, the mind of the man has sought to eclipse all the wonders of the world. And that’s the birth of laws and theories. Man’s infinite mind has set a goal to conquer the world by unraveling the mystery of the universe.
Scientific laws and scientific theories are two different ideas that you need to understand. It’s not like it’s going to help you in a major way to do so, like help you pay for your food or your house bills perhaps; it’s more of like a trivia that you can share with your friends over a cup of tea or a bottle of beer.
Scientific laws, to begin with, are descriptions of why such phenomena occur or descriptions of the phenomena occurring itself. It does not explain the results or the reasons why such phenomena occurs. It merely makes things clearer by verbal or mathematical statement of a relation so that the ‘science’ of it is easy to understand. It is a description, a law, which is uncontestable because it is already proven and was already debated by the most brilliant minds. Scientific laws are proven observations. It is a result of scientific theories. Thus, when somebody would extrapolate a certain scientific law like Newton’s law of universal gravitation perhaps, it is already pointless because, as mentioned earlier, scientific laws are already proven facts. Not only that, these laws of natural science is only limited to what it was observed from. It cannot be extended to other situations assuming that it has the same nature. A certain law only becomes obsolete when a new data will contradict it.
Other examples of natural scientific laws are: Henry’s law in thermodynamics where it states the proportionality of gas in a liquid and the pressure of that gas above the liquid under a certain temperature; Newton’s law of motion that contains three physical laws; Hubble’s law that observes physical cosmology, and so many different natural scientific laws.
Scientific theories, on the other hand, refer to those that attempt to describe or explain why a phenomenon occurs. It is based on observation. It is still a learning or discovering process before arriving to the conclusion. It is a structure of concepts that explains existing facts and predicting new ones. However scientific theories do not belong to the level of the usual definition of the word ‘theory’. Scientific theories, according to scientists, could only be considered as scientific when it meets most of the criterion such as: empirical criteria, logical criteria, and even sociological and historical criterion. Scientific theories need facts in order for it to be interpreted and become a theory. It is yet to be proven so it would become a law.
Scientific theories are the prerequisite before arriving scientific laws.
Scientific theories are still to be proven whereas scientific laws are already proven.
Both scientific laws and theories were based on observations.
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