Hypothesis Is an educated guess A step in the scientific method Easily supported or disproven through experimentation or further observations Can never be proven
Theory The MisconceptionThe Scientific Truth It’s a guess We say things like: ○ “That’s just your theory” ○ "It's a theory, not a fact,” Well-supported, well- documented explanation As close to fact as one can get in science Explains how things work Summarizes a group of hypotheses Can be observed repeatedly with constant results Used to predict what will happen in new situations
Theory The MisconceptionThe Scientific Truth If tested over and over, it will become a law A theory will never be a law A law never was a theory They are two different things
Theory The MisconceptionThe Scientific Truth It will never change. Theories can be disproven or changed when new discoveries are made.
Scientific Theory An explanation for how things work Well-supported, well-documented Can be observed repeatedly with constant results Used to predict what will happen in new situations It will never become a law May change with new discoveries
Law The MisconceptionThe Scientific Truth It is fact. Laws can be disproven or changed with new discoveries. Many theories, however, are accepted as “true” or as close to being fact as one can get in science.
Law The MisconceptionThe Scientific Truth It use to be a theory before it was tested some more. A law may be based on some theory, but it never was one. Laws and theories are different things.
Law The MisconceptionThe Scientific Truth Laws are more important to scientist than theories. Laws only describe “what” happens. Theories are actually more specific as they explain the “why” things happen. If all scientists ever did was make laws, the world would be well- described, but no one would ever understand how it all worked.
Scientific Law Describes an observed how something in nature works Does not tell “why” Can changed or be disproven with new discoveries
Similarities between Theories and Laws The two terms can be confusing because they do have many things in common. They both: Are based on tested hypotheses and observations Are supported by a large amount of data Are accepted by most (or all) scientists Can be disproven at some time if new data is discovered Can be described using Qualitative or Quantitative statements
Differences between Theories and Laws Laws are descriptions Laws tell “what” happens Theories are explanations Theories tell “why” or “how” it happens
Famous Scientific Laws and Theories Big Bang Theory Evolution Theory Law of Conservation of Mass Law of Conservation of Energy Newton’s Laws of Motion Universal Law of Gravitation
Qualitative vs. Quantitative QualitativeQuantitative Qual = “Quality” Describes with words Examples: My dog has a short, brown tail. The area of a rectangle is related to its length and width. Quant = “Quantity” Describes with amount s, numbers, or equations Examples: My dog’s brown tail is 6 cm in length. Area of a Rectangle: A = l x w
Determine if the following are qualitative or quantitative statements. He is 6 feet tall. Many dogs are barking outside. The leaves of the plant feel waxy. The white powder tasted sweet. The fire extinguisher is located near the storage room door. Every 60 seconds, the temperature of the water rose 1 degree. The ball rolled 13 feet before stopping. The object has a width of 4 cm. I heard thunder 8 seconds after the lightning strike. There are 11 starts hanging from the ceiling in Miss Amole’s class. The bicycle has an orange, brown color on parts of the metal. There is a musty smell coming from the refrigerator.