When it comes to scientific research, two terms that are commonly used are hypothesis and scientific theory. Although they are both used to explain phenomena, there is a significant difference between the two terms.

Hypothesis:
A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested through experimentation or observation. It is an educated guess based on existing knowledge and observations.

A hypothesis usually takes the form of an “if-then” statement. For example, “If I water my plants regularly, then they will grow taller.” This statement can be tested through experimentation by watering one group of plants regularly and not watering another group at all.

Key characteristics of a hypothesis:

Scientific Theory:

Once a hypothesis has been thoroughly tested and supported by multiple experiments and observations, it can become a scientific theory. A scientific theory is an explanation of a natural phenomenon that is supported by extensive evidence. It goes beyond just one experiment or observation; instead, it incorporates all available evidence from multiple sources.

Key characteristics of a scientific theory:

The Difference Between Hypothesis and Scientific Theory:

The main difference between a hypothesis and scientific theory lies in the level of supporting evidence. A hypothesis is an educated guess that can be tested through observation or experimentation while a scientific theory has been extensively tested with multiple lines of evidence from multiple sources.

Another difference between the two is that a hypothesis can be proven false, but a scientific theory cannot. This is because a scientific theory is based on extensive evidence and has been tested repeatedly. If new evidence arises that contradicts the theory, it may be revised or modified, but it will not be completely thrown out.

In conclusion, a hypothesis is an educated guess that can be tested through experimentation or observation while a scientific theory is an explanation of natural phenomena supported by extensive evidence from multiple sources. While a hypothesis can be proven false, a scientific theory cannot.