Hypothesis vs Theory
Everything has an underlying cause and people have been attempting to explain those causes ever since the curiosity has started to arisen in man’s mind. In scientific method, explanations were based on theories that came up from hypotheses. Accepted hypothesis becomes a theory but rejected hypothesis will never get that status. Therefore, it could be envisaged that hypothesis and theory are two stages of the scientific method. The extent of scientific presence is variable between a hypothesis and a theory.
According to the definitions by various dictionaries, hypothesis could be described as a scientific explanation that has been suggested to explain a certain phenomenon. Hypothesis gives the explanation as a proposal, and the scientific method tests its validity using a procedure. According to the scientific method, hypothesis could be repeatedly tested for its validity. The solution of the identified problem is described using the hypothesis. A hypothesis is an educated guess, as it explains the phenomenon based on evidence. The evidence of a phenomenon or the results of an experiment are used for the explanation, but those were conjectured already through the hypothesis. Interestingly, the hypothesis should be able to be accepted or rejected recurrently, if the procedure followed in the test is the same. The formulation of a hypothesis based on evidence and results of previous studies takes some time, because the relationships should be sensibly studied before putting forward the educated guess. In addition, a hypothesis is usually a long statement used in the scientific method.
Theory is the simplest tool that can be used to explain a certain phenomenon. Formulation of a theory involves many steps, and the final theory is put forward based on the results and their viability. The results are obtained from a test, and the test is based on the hypothesis or the proposed possible explanation using evidence and literature. When a hypothesis has been accepted through favourable results, the next step is the formation of theory. However, a theory may not cover the entire area of the explained phenomenon and its validity is not guaranteed because the proof of the theory is based on empirical data obtained for a particular place and time. Unless the data or the results of a study being common for the entire universe, a theory would not qualify to be a law. That means a theory is an accurate but debatable explanation for a particular phenomenon. Charles Darwin’s explanation about the mechanism of evolutionary is still a theory while Pythagoras’s explanation about the lengths of the sides of right-angled triangles is a law.
What is the difference between Hypothesis and Theory?
• Hypothesis is a prediction based on evidence and theory is a proven hypothesis based on results.
• Theory has a higher validity than hypothesis has.
• Hypothesis could become a theory but never the Vice Versa.
• There may be numerous hypotheses to explain or predict how would something happen, but there is only one theory to explain a phenomenon. Therefore, it could be envisaged that the number of hypotheses is always higher than the number of theories.
• Hypothesis is a possibility while a theory is a certainty.