A Scientific Theory is a model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from, and is supported by experimental evidence (see Scientific Method). A Scientific Theory is meant to be a formalized expression of all related accepted scientific evidence up to the point of its creation. A Scientific Theory must be falsifiable, and thus is treated as fact only for the period in which its truthfulness is not disputed with repeatable observations.
Theory vs. Scientific Theory
- Unlike the use of 'theory' in common speech, a Scientific Theory does not represent an unsubstantiated guess, but instead a well-supported and accepted model. A Scientific Hypothesis is more closely related to the common usage of 'theory'. A Scientific Hypothesis typically deals with much more specific sets of phenomena or specific applications of a theory. Many supported hypotheses go into the development and support of a theory.