Hypothesis and Theory
What is the difference between a hypothesis and a theory?
That’s today’s question.
In everyday parlance we say a theory is a suggestion, a speculation or view which explains an event or situation.
In the field of science, a theory is something much more specific.
A hypothesis is a suggestion as to how an event might be explained. Whereas once it is proved and verified with scientific analysis and evidence it becomes a theory.
For example, it is suggested that there is a substance throughout the universe known as ‘dark matter’ and that this is responsible for the continual expansion of the universe. To a scientist, this is a hypothesis because nothing about this situation has been proved. Not even the existence of dark matter has been proved.
If this changes and dark matter does get shown to exist and that it has the effect of causing the universe to expand, then that hypothesis becomes a theory – that is, an established fact.
It is a proven fact that the planets in the solar system go round the sun, so a scientist would refer to that as a theory. Whereas Joe Public might say, “Come on now, it’s not a theory, it’s a proven fact”. So in reality they are the same thing; it just depends to whom you are talking.
What’s she on about now then?
The point is, many dietary and health ideas are only hypotheses and have not become proven theories. They might be someone’s grand idea but few have been subjected to random control trials that might establish a scientific proof.
So look at all diet schemes and health regimes with a certain caution until there is some independent proof of their efficacy.
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