Is Evolution a Theory or a Law?


Jane Flores

Evolution is one of the most fascinating topics in the field of biology. It is the process by which different species of organisms have developed and changed over time.

However, there is often confusion around whether evolution is a theory or a law. In this article, we will explore this question and provide clarity on the matter.

Theory vs Law

Before we dive into the specifics of evolution, it’s important to understand the difference between a theory and a law. In science, a theory is an explanation for how or why something happens.

It is an idea that has been extensively tested and supported by scientific evidence. On the other hand, a law is a statement that describes what will happen under certain conditions. It is based on repeated observations and experiments.

Evolution as a Theory

Evolution is considered to be a scientific theory. This means that it is an explanation for how species change over time through natural selection.

The theory of evolution was first proposed by Charles Darwin in his book “On the Origin of Species” in 1859. Since then, scientists have continued to study and gather evidence to support this theory.

One important aspect of evolution as a scientific theory is that it can be tested through experimentation and observation. For example, scientists can observe changes in populations of organisms over time to see if they are evolving. They can also conduct experiments to test hypotheses related to evolution.

Why Evolution Isn’t Considered a Law

While evolution may seem like a law because it describes how species change over time, there are some key differences between evolution and scientific laws. One major difference is that laws describe what will happen under specific conditions, while evolution explains how things happen.

Additionally, laws are typically more concrete than theories because they can be expressed mathematically or through other quantifiable means. For example, Newton’s Law of Gravitation describes the force of gravity between two objects based on their masses and distance from each other. Evolution, on the other hand, is a more complex phenomenon that cannot be easily expressed through a simple equation.

The Importance of Understanding Evolution as a Theory

It’s important to understand that just because evolution is a theory does not mean it is any less valid or supported by scientific evidence. In fact, the theory of evolution is one of the most well-established and extensively supported ideas in all of science.

By understanding evolution as a scientific theory, we can appreciate the complexity and beauty of life on Earth. We can also continue to study and learn about this fascinating subject, using scientific methods to test and refine our understanding of how species change over time.


In conclusion, evolution is considered to be a scientific theory rather than a law. While laws describe what will happen under specific conditions, theories explain how or why things happen.

Evolution as a theory can be tested through experimentation and observation, and it is one of the most well-supported ideas in all of science. By understanding evolution as a theory, we can gain greater insight into the complexity and diversity of life on Earth.