When it comes to laws and theories, the terms “natural law” and “scientific theory” are often used interchangeably. However, despite their similarities, these two concepts have distinct differences that set them apart.

Natural Law:
A natural law is a general principle or rule that describes the behavior of an object or system in the natural world. These laws are typically observed through empirical evidence and provide a framework for understanding how things work. Examples of natural laws include Newton’s laws of motion, Boyle’s law, and Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.

Characteristics of Natural Laws:

Scientific Theory:

A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation that is supported by empirical evidence and has been extensively tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation. Scientific theories are developed to explain why something happens based on available evidence. Examples of scientific theories include the theory of evolution, the germ theory of disease, and the Big Bang theory.

Characteristics of Scientific Theories:

Differences Between Natural Laws and Scientific Theories:

While both natural laws and scientific theories describe aspects of the natural world, there are several differences between the two. One of the main differences is that natural laws are descriptive, while scientific theories are explanatory. Natural laws simply describe what happens in nature, whereas scientific theories explain why it happens.

Another difference is that natural laws are universal and timeless, while scientific theories are tentative and subject to change. Natural laws apply everywhere in the universe and have always been true and will always remain true. Scientific theories, on the other hand, can be revised or discarded if new evidence emerges that contradicts them.


In summary, natural laws and scientific theories are both important concepts in science that describe different aspects of the natural world. While they share some similarities, such as being based on empirical evidence and providing a framework for understanding how things work, they also have distinct differences that set them apart. Understanding these differences is crucial for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of science and how it works.