Why a Scientific Theory Cannot Become a Scientific Law?


Martha Robinson

A scientific theory and a scientific law are two important concepts that form the backbone of modern science. While both of these terms are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings and purposes. In this article, we will explore why a scientific theory cannot become a scientific law.

What is a Scientific Theory?

A scientific theory is an explanation of an observed phenomenon or natural event that has been extensively tested and is supported by a large body of evidence. It is a well-substantiated explanation for some aspect of the natural world that is consistent with all available empirical evidence.

A scientific theory explains why something happens, based on all the available data, and can be used to make predictions about future events or observations. Examples of scientific theories include Darwin’s theory of evolution, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and Newton’s laws of motion.

What is a Scientific Law?

A scientific law is a statement that describes an observable phenomenon or natural event that has been repeatedly confirmed through experimentation and observation. It is a concise statement that summarizes the results of many observations and experiments.

Unlike theories, laws do not attempt to explain why something happens but instead describe what happens. Examples of scientific laws include Newton’s law of gravity and Boyle’s law.

Why Can’t A Scientific Theory Become A Scientific Law?

While both theories and laws are important concepts in science, they serve different purposes. Because theories explain why something happens while laws describe what happens, it is not possible for a theory to become a law or vice versa.

For example, Newton’s laws describe how objects move under the influence of forces such as gravity or friction. These laws have been extensively tested through experimentation and observation, and they accurately predict how objects will behave in specific situations.

However, Newton’s laws do not explain why objects move in this way; they simply describe what happens when certain conditions are met. This is where Einstein’s theory of relativity comes in, which provides an explanation for why objects move the way they do.


In summary, a scientific theory and a scientific law are two distinct concepts that cannot be interchanged. A theory attempts to explain why something happens based on all available evidence, while a law describes what happens based on repeated observations and experiments.

While theories can provide explanations for natural phenomena, they cannot become laws because they serve different purposes. Understanding the difference between these two concepts is essential to understanding how science works and how we can use it to better understand the world around us.