A Law vs. A Theory

Difference between a Law and a Theory

Laws and theories are often mistaken for each other. This article explains the differences between the two, and the importance of knowing them.

What is a Law?

A law is an undeniable statement and is readily observable. It is a proved hypothesis and can never be the result of guesswork. Although it is different from a theory, it is important to know that it is helpful in the formulation of one. For example, a scientist can use a law to arrive at a scientific theory after thorough research.

What is a Theory?

A theory is merely an advanced hypothesis, or an advanced explanation of how something works. It may either be strong or weak, but cannot be called laws no matter how strong it is. Since it can either be a result of research or guesswork, it can be replaced or disproved at any time.

Looking at some examples can be a big help in understanding the differences between the two. Laws like that of the Law of Relativity cannot be denied while theories like the origin of language can be disproved since they have no documents to prove the assumptions made about them.

A brief summary

  • Theories are merely intelligent guesses while laws are proved undeniable statements
  • Theories cannot be called laws no matter how strong they are
  •  Theories can be the result of guesswork and therefore be replaced or disproved while laws cannot
  • Laws can be helpful in the formulation of a theory

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