Page Contents

  1. Scientific Laws / Principles
  2. The Scientific Method

Scientific Laws / Principles

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What is Science?

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Scientific Laws / Principles

Young adult explanation

  1. Science is the study of everything around and inside of us.
  2. This is done using our five core senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch). We use our senses to

   [a] watch what Is happening,

   [b] write down and describe what has happened, we call these descriptions facts

  1. Guess what may happen next

   [a] If our guess is correct, then for the moment our explanation is correct

   [b] If it is wrong then for the moment our explanation is wrong

  1. We keep making guesses (predictions) as to what might happen and why , if we are right many many times then we have an explanation(s) that  may be true..  We call this explanation a theory.

Adult explanation

  1. The laws of science or scientific laws are statements that describe, predict, and perhaps explain why, a range of phenomena behave as they appear to in nature.

    The term "law" has diverse usage in many cases: approximate, accurate, broad or narrow theories, in all natural scientific disciplines (physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy etc.).

    An analogous term for a scientific law is a principle.

Scientific laws:

  1. Summarize facts determined by experiment into a single statement. Supported  by empirical evidence - they are scientific knowledge that experiments have repeatedly verified (and never falsified).
  2. Given the initial conditions of the processes which take place. Can usually be:
  3. Formulated  mathematically as one or several statements or equations,
  4. Or  at least stated in a single sentence, so that it can be used to predict the outcome of an experiment,
  5. Their accuracy does not change when new theories are worked out, but rather the limits of where they apply.
  6. As with other scientific knowledge, they do not have absolute certainty like mathematical theorems or identities, and it is always possible for a law to be overturned by future observations.
  7. Are used as a fundamental controlling influence rather than a description of observed facts. I.e. "the laws of motion require that"
  8. Laws differ from hypotheses and postulates, which are proposed during the scientific process before and during validation by experiment and observation.

    These are not laws since they have not been verified to the same degree and may not be sufficiently general, although they may lead to the formulation of laws.

    A law is a more solidified and formal statement, distilled from repeated experiment.

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