A scientific theory is a complex concept that is often confused with the word “hypothesis” or “fact.” In science, a theory is the highest level of scientific understanding that has been developed based on multiple lines of evidence and experimentation. It helps us explain how and why things happen in the natural world.

But what are the characteristics of a scientific theory? Which phrase describes a scientific theory? Let’s dive into it.

What is a Scientific Theory?

A scientific theory is an explanation that has been tested repeatedly and supported through numerous experiments and observations. It represents the current consensus of scientists in a particular field who have collected data, analyzed it, and drawn conclusions from it. Theories are built upon empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and critical thinking.

Characteristics of Scientific Theories

Scientific theories are different from hypotheses or guesses because they are:

The Difference Between Hypothesis and Theory

A hypothesis is an educated guess about how something works. It is an idea that has yet to be tested or supported by evidence. In contrast, a scientific theory is an explanation that has been tested repeatedly and supported through numerous experiments and observations.

Examples of Scientific Theories

Some examples of scientific theories include:

In Conclusion

A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation for natural phenomena that is based on empirical data, logical reasoning, and critical thinking. It must be falsifiable, predictive, supported by evidence, broadly accepted within the scientific community, and cohesive. Understanding what a scientific theory is will help you distinguish between theories, hypotheses, guesses, and facts in science.