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Topic: Scientific theories

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In the News (Mon 24 Sep 18)

  Introduction to the Scientific Method
Experiments may test the theory directly (for example, the observation of a new particle) or may test for consequences derived from the theory using mathematics and logic (the rate of a radioactive decay process requiring the existence of the new particle).
Theories which cannot be tested, because, for instance, they have no observable ramifications (such as, a particle whose characteristics make it unobservable), do not qualify as scientific theories.
Theories in physics are often formulated in terms of a few concepts and equations, which are identified with "laws of nature," suggesting their universal applicability.
teacher.nsrl.rochester.edu /phy_labs/AppendixE/AppendixE.html   (2214 words)

 Theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In science, a theory is a proposed description, explanation, or model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation.
In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations that is predictive, logical and testable.
Scientific laws are similar to scientific theories in that they are principles which can be used to predict the behavior of the natural world.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Theory   (2715 words)

 Scientific Laws, Hypotheses, and Theories
Scientific Law: This is a statement of fact meant to explain, in concise terms, an action or set of actions.
A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers.
In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole.
wilstar.com /theories.htm   (555 words)

 Chapter 1:   Introduction:   What is Scientific Inquiry?
Scientific inquiry is founded on experiment and observations as opposed to purely rational or isolated logical thought.
Scientific knowledge is built in a "boot-strap" way, by building on, refining and revising existing laws and theories.
Rather to become acceptable to the community of scientists as scientific laws and theories, whether in the form of statements or algebraic expressions, the laws and theories must merely be capable of reliable predictions of natural phenomena.
acept.la.asu.edu /courses/phs110/si/chapter1/main.html   (2775 words)

 Science and the Scientific Method
The scientific method encompasses both the mathematical and empirical sciences, and we briefly discuss why it is necessity that drives science and determines what we mean by the scientific method.
Scientific data cannot be something that is produced by the human mind, for example, a personal opinion and so on.
In particular, the need to produce scientific evidence, be it in the form of a proof of a theorem or in the form of experimental data needed for verifying or falsifying a particular theory, guides this mode of inquiry.
srikant.org /core/node2.html   (3748 words)

 Scientific theories of the near-death experience
One theory is that it is a deliberate ploy of the human race to help those behind adapt better to the inevitable ending of their lives.
Darwin's simple theory of the survival of the fittest holds that every species is struggling to increase its hold on this planet and guarantee the survival of its descendants.
It is a theory that is still sometimes put forward, but it can be countered by the fact that some typical features of a NDE just do not fit into the depersonalization mode, such as the strong spiritual and mystical feelings, and the increased alertness and awareness.
www.near-death.com /experiences/experts01.html   (2491 words)

 Introduction to Scientific Theory
We have two rival theories of what it is to be a connected series of claims that are capable of explaining and facing the evidence, which are independent of other rival theories of what it is to explain or confirm scientific theories.
When the laws of a scientific theory are used as axioms, and the theorems are the result of operating on these laws and initial conditions, we will say that this is a syntactic view of the scientific theory.
So that theory, the theory of meaning, is known only because of the connections between observed utterances of words and the observable circumstances that obtain when the utterances are made.
www.mtholyoke.edu /courses/rschwart/mac/philosophy/theory.shtml   (9040 words)

Scientific explanations are in terms of natural phenomena rather than supernatural phenomena, although science itself requires neither the acceptance nor the rejection of the supernatural.
A scientific theory is a unified set of principles, knowledge, and methods for explaining the behavior of some specified range of empirical phenomena.
Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts." In Popper's words: "Theories are nets cast to catch what we call 'the world': to rationalize, to explain, and to master it.
skepdic.com /science.html   (2277 words)

 In Defense of Psychoanalysis - The Fundamentals of Psychological Theories
Reductionists and emergentists ignore the existence of a hierarchy of scientific theories and meta-languages.
A scientific theory should resort to primitive (atomic) terminology and all its complex (derived) terms and concepts should be defined in these indivisible terms.
As we said, scientific theories are not confined to quantified definitions or to a classificatory apparatus.
samvak.tripod.com /psychoanalysis3.html   (3667 words)

 Scientific Realism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Scientific realists hold that the characteristic product of successful scientific research is knowledge of largely theory-independent phenomena and that such knowledge is possible (indeed actual) even in those cases in which the relevant phenomena are not, in any non-question-begging sense, observable.
In the case of scientific theories, the basic logical empiricist approaches were variations on the idea of instrumentalism, the view that scientific theories were predictive instruments and that the knowledge they represent is limited to what they predict about the observable properties of observables.
He insists that the success of research in normal science is explained, in significant part, because scientific practitioners have, as a result of their understanding of the paradigmatic theory, a quasi-metaphysical knowledge of the basic (and often unobservable) causal factors involved in the phenomena they study.
plato.stanford.edu /entries/scientific-realism   (8942 words)

 Nature of Science, Theories, & Evolution   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
Scientific explanations regarding the origin of the universe and of life are based on experimentation and may change, as new evidence is uncovered.
Scientific explanations are called "theories." In ordinary speech, "theory" is often used to mean "guess" or "hunch," whereas in scientific terminology, a theory is a set of universal statements that explain some aspect of the natural world.
Atomic Theory: This theory states that the atom is the smallest unit of matter that retains the identity of that type of matter.
users.aristotle.net /~asta/science.htm   (4405 words)

 Theories of Explanation [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Hence, someone who denies that scientific theories are explanatory in the realist sense of the term may or may not be denying that they are explanatory in the epistemic sense.
Conversely, someone who asserts that scientific theories are explanatory in the epistemic sense may or may not be claiming that they are explanatory in the realist sense.
Although van Fraassen's theory of explanation is based on the view that explanation is a process of communication, he still chooses to explicate the concept of explanation as a logical relationship between question and answer, rather than as a communicative relationship between two individuals.
www.utm.edu /research/iep/e/explanat.htm   (6249 words)

 Scientific Laws and Theories
In contrast to a law, is it correct to say that there can be several scientific theories about a particular phenomena whereas a law represents a single unified agreement among all scientists".
Furthermore, both scientific laws and scientific theories could be shown to be wrong at some time if there are data to suggest so.
Scientific knowledge is strengthened by people questioning what is or has been accepted.
science.kennesaw.edu /~rmatson/3380theory.html   (1030 words)

 EPA-MAIA - What is the Scientific Method?   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
A scientific theory is a logical explanation of observed events.
In addition, it is important for science teachers to expose children to the scientific method at an early age to encourage future generations to continue with scientific advancements and research.
The EPA also encourages citizen volunteers to use the scientific method to determine the health status of their local rivers, rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds.
www.epa.gov /maia/html/scientific.html   (2457 words)

 Steven Weinberg on scientific revolutions
Kuhn argued further that in scientific revolutions it is not only our scientific theories that change but the very standards by which scientific theories are judged, so that the paradigms that govern successive periods of normal science are incommensurable.
If scientific theories can only be judged within the context of a particular paradigm, then in this respect the scientific theories of any one paradigm are not privileged over other ways of looking at the world, such as shamanism or astrolgy or creationism.
But those who participate in a scientific revolution are in a sense living in two worlds: the earlier period of normal science, which is breaking down, and the new period of normal science, which they do not yet fully comprehend.
www.cs.utexas.edu /users/vl/notes/weinberg.html   (2241 words)

Any theory with unobservable phenomena can have infinite alternative theories that contradict first conception but are empirically equivalent to it.
Instrumentalist position: Synthetic content (observable) of a theory is exhausted by the set of observable predictions deducible from it.
A theory is potentially a scientific theory if and only if there are possible observations that would falsify (refute) it
www.rpi.edu /~eglash/eglash.dir/SST/boyd.htm   (782 words)

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