In Chapter 4 you read about Plate Tectonics, the most important theory in Geology. But, before there was the theory of Plate Tectonics, there was the Continental Drift hypothesis. The main reason why the Continental Drift hypothesis never became anything more than a hypothesis is because it lacked a driving mechanism for how the continents moved. However, had there been no Continental Drift hypothesis there may have never been the theory of Plate Tectonics.
Now, let’s think about what a scientific hypothesis, theory, or law mean. When you hear the word “hypothesis,” an understanding of the word may bring up thoughts of guesses or unsupported ideas. But what does it mean when we use it in science? What about the word “theory”? And finally, a scientific law…what exactly does a scientific law mean, or rather, what does it describe?
In science, we must be careful how we use such language as “hypothesis,” “theory,” and “law” because outside of science, these words mean very different things.
Please review How Science Works and learn about the meaning of hypothesis, theory, and law when used in science.
For this Discussion, define and explain what hypothesis, theory, and law mean in the scientific world. Identify any misconceptions that you had (or still have) about the meanings of hypothesis, theory, and law. I also want you to explain their relationships to each other (if any). Then, find an example of a hypothesis, theory, or law in any science field and explain what it describes and what limitations (if any) it possesses.
You must post first before you will see the postings of your classmates. Refer to the Discussion Guidelines for grading criteria and guidance about posting to Discussions.
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