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Difference Between Scientific Theory and Law

SNP1
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3/6/2014 10:52:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Too many people say that if a scientific theory is proven that it will become a law. This is not true.

A Scientific Theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A Scientific Theory is valid as long as there is no real evidence to dispute it.

A Scientific Law generalizes a body of observations. At the time it is made, no exceptions have been found to a Scientific Law. Scientific Laws explain things, but they do not describe them. One way to tell a Scientific Law and a Scientific Theory apart is to ask if the description gives you a means to explain 'why'.

Laws tell us what happens. Theories examine what happens and tell us how and why it happens. There is not a hierarchical structure for Scientific Theories and Scientific Laws. A Scientific Theory does not become a Scientific Law. They are two entirely different things that do two different things in science.

A Scientific Theory does not have less weight than a Scientific Law. To say that if a Scientific Theory was proven it would be a Scientific Law is 100% wrong.
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PotBelliedGeek
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3/6/2014 11:54:55 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 10:52:17 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Too many people say that if a scientific theory is proven that it will become a law. This is not true.

A Scientific Theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A Scientific Theory is valid as long as there is no real evidence to dispute it.

A Scientific Law generalizes a body of observations. At the time it is made, no exceptions have been found to a Scientific Law. Scientific Laws explain things, but they do not describe them. One way to tell a Scientific Law and a Scientific Theory apart is to ask if the description gives you a means to explain 'why'.

Laws tell us what happens. Theories examine what happens and tell us how and why it happens. There is not a hierarchical structure for Scientific Theories and Scientific Laws. A Scientific Theory does not become a Scientific Law. They are two entirely different things that do two different things in science.

A Scientific Theory does not have less weight than a Scientific Law. To say that if a Scientific Theory was proven it would be a Scientific Law is 100% wrong.

Thank you. I only have one comment.

Each branch of science has its own terminology. Most do not include the word "Law". The "Law" was a term thought up by physicists and borrowed by chemists and mathematicians. Because of this, what is considered a law in chemistry could be, and often is, demonstrably false. The laws of one field do not carry into another field.

Biology has no laws. "Law" is not part of the biologists terminology. Instead, a biological "theory" holds the same undeniable status In biology that a "law" does in physics.

This illustrates the blatant error of those who claim that since evolution is only a theory, then it should not be taught as fact. The "theory" of evolution is the most well supported and proven scientific idea we have in our world today, even more so that the "law" of gravity.
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SNP1
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3/6/2014 12:49:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 11:54:55 AM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
Thank you. I only have one comment.

Each branch of science has its own terminology. Most do not include the word "Law". The "Law" was a term thought up by physicists and borrowed by chemists and mathematicians. Because of this, what is considered a law in chemistry could be, and often is, demonstrably false. The laws of one field do not carry into another field.

Laws in chemistry are only usually "false" because it talks about the theoretical outcome. Chemistry says:
2H(2) + O(2) -> 2H(2)O
This means that if you have 2 moles of H(2) and 1 mole of O(2) that you will never get more than 2 moles of H(2)O. Under perfect conditions it will yield 2 moles H(2)O, but perfect conditions do not always exist so you might have some H(2) and O(2) left over after the reaction, they might react with the air, etc.

Biology has no laws. "Law" is not part of the biologists terminology.

Actually, there are Laws in biology, there are just very few. The Laws of Inheritance are examples of Scientific Laws in Biology.

Instead, a biological "theory" holds the same undeniable status In biology that a "law" does in physics.

Actually, theories are also a major part of physics. As I explained in my original post Laws are about what happens, Theories are about why. They both have equal weight in science, there is not a hierarchical structure for Scientific Theories and Scientific Laws.

This illustrates the blatant error of those who claim that since evolution is only a theory, then it should not be taught as fact. The "theory" of evolution is the most well supported and proven scientific idea we have in our world today, even more so that the "law" of gravity.

You cannot compare scientific laws and theories like that though. The Theory of Evolution is supported by a lot of evidence, but the Law of Gravity is thought to be true without a doubt. The Law of Gravity is pretty much just "If I drop a brick, it will fall." The different theories of gravity are not as supported as evolution though.

Law- What happens (Does not explain why)
Theory-Why it happens (can also include what happens in it)
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Khaos_Mage
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3/6/2014 1:03:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I've been told the difference between law and theory is that a law is proven, while a theory is universally accepted, but not proven.
My work here is, finally, done.
PotBelliedGeek
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3/6/2014 1:36:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 12:49:43 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 11:54:55 AM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
Thank you. I only have one comment.

Each branch of science has its own terminology. Most do not include the word "Law". The "Law" was a term thought up by physicists and borrowed by chemists and mathematicians. Because of this, what is considered a law in chemistry could be, and often is, demonstrably false. The laws of one field do not carry into another field.

Laws in chemistry are only usually "false" because it talks about the theoretical outcome. Chemistry says:
2H(2) + O(2) -> 2H(2)O
This means that if you have 2 moles of H(2) and 1 mole of O(2) that you will never get more than 2 moles of H(2)O. Under perfect conditions it will yield 2 moles H(2)O, but perfect conditions do not always exist so you might have some H(2) and O(2) left over after the reaction, they might react with the air, etc

Refer to the law of Conservation of Matter. It states that matter cannot be destroyed. This applies to chemistry, and is quite true within the realm of chemistry. In physics, however, matter is destroyed on a regular basis.
.

Biology has no laws. "Law" is not part of the biologists terminology.

Actually, there are Laws in biology, there are just very few. The Laws of Inheritance are examples of Scientific Laws in Biology.

Again, you are applying the chemists version of "law" to a separate feild. While a few people may refer to it as a law for the sake of simplicity, it is technically a biological theory.


Instead, a biological "theory" holds the same undeniable status In biology that a "law" does in physics.

Actually, theories are also a major part of physics. As I explained in my original post Laws are about what happens, Theories are about why. They both have equal weight in science, there is not a hierarchical structure for Scientific Theories and Scientific Laws.

Of course, I do not deny these definitions. I state that they are particular to physics, and do not apply to biology. My intent here is to say that when a biologist calls something a theory, he is stating that this is true and factual with the same conviction as a physicist when he calls something a law.

This illustrates the blatant error of those who claim that since evolution is only a theory, then it should not be taught as fact. The "theory" of evolution is the most well supported and proven scientific idea we have in our world today, even more so that the "law" of gravity.

You cannot compare scientific laws and theories like that though. The Theory of Evolution is supported by a lot of evidence, but the Law of Gravity is thought to be true without a doubt. The Law of Gravity is pretty much just "If I drop a brick, it will fall." The different theories of gravity are not as supported as evolution though.

Law- What happens (Does not explain why)
Theory-Why it happens (can also include what happens in it)

I reiterate, these definitions are not universal. These definitions apply to physics and chemistry, not biology. This is a misconception that rises as a result of inadequate elementary and secondary school curriculums, that have over simplified things to the extent of distortion.
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PotBelliedGeek
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3/6/2014 1:45:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 1:03:26 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
I've been told the difference between law and theory is that a law is proven, while a theory is universally accepted, but not proven.

No, that is more or less the sixties elementary school definition, and has led to a lot of problems, including high school grads who think they know more science than scientists do.

This is in no way intended to insult your intelligence, please do not take it as such.
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Khaos_Mage
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3/6/2014 1:53:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 1:45:10 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
At 3/6/2014 1:03:26 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
I've been told the difference between law and theory is that a law is proven, while a theory is universally accepted, but not proven.

No, that is more or less the sixties elementary school definition, and has led to a lot of problems, including high school grads who think they know more science than scientists do.
Let me expand, and see if I am still misguided.
A law is proven.
A theory is largely accepted, and is not disproven.

Pythagoras's theorem is not proven, but we all know it is true.

Even if I am wrong, what problems does this cause.

This is in no way intended to insult your intelligence, please do not take it as such.
I'll kill you for your insolence.
My work here is, finally, done.
SNP1
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3/6/2014 1:54:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 1:03:26 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
I've been told the difference between law and theory is that a law is proven, while a theory is universally accepted, but not proven.

No, a Law is an observation that has never been proven wrong.
Gravity exists, example is that I drop a brick and it falls. That is the Law of Gravity.
The brick falls because of curvature of space-time. That is the a Theory of Gravity.

At 3/6/2014 1:36:50 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
Refer to the law of Conservation of Matter. It states that matter cannot be destroyed. This applies to chemistry, and is quite true within the realm of chemistry. In physics, however, matter is destroyed on a regular basis.

law of conservation of matter - a fundamental principle of classical physics that matter cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system

This is actually true in physics as well. Matter is not created or destroyed in an isolated system, but it CAN be converted into energy and energy can be converted into matter. It is not being created in the process, it is not being destroyed.

Again, you are applying the chemists version of "law" to a separate feild. While a few people may refer to it as a law for the sake of simplicity, it is technically a biological theory.

Actually, in biology it is referred to as a Scientific Law, not a theory. My cousin, who is in college for Biology, even agrees to that. Here are some examples of Scientific Laws of Biology: Mendelian Inheritance (Mendel 1865), metabolic scaling (Kleiber 1932) and the recent power laws (Jeong et al. 2000).

Of course, I do not deny these definitions. I state that they are particular to physics, and do not apply to biology. My intent here is to say that when a biologist calls something a theory, he is stating that this is true and factual with the same conviction as a physicist when he calls something a law.

But that is still going against what the definitions are. Biology DOES have Scientific Laws, just not that many. A Scientific Law is just as true as a Scientific Theory. Both can be falsified, but neither has (if they do they are no longer a Law/Theory)

I reiterate, these definitions are not universal. These definitions apply to physics and chemistry, not biology. This is a misconception that rises as a result of inadequate elementary and secondary school curriculums, that have over simplified things to the extent of distortion.

The definitions are very universal in science. I also have been learning this in college, so it is not the result of "inadequate elementary and secondary school curriculums"
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PotBelliedGeek
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3/6/2014 1:57:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 1:54:28 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 1:03:26 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
I've been told the difference between law and theory is that a law is proven, while a theory is universally accepted, but not proven.

No, a Law is an observation that has never been proven wrong.
Gravity exists, example is that I drop a brick and it falls. That is the Law of Gravity.
The brick falls because of curvature of space-time. That is the a Theory of Gravity.

At 3/6/2014 1:36:50 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
Refer to the law of Conservation of Matter. It states that matter cannot be destroyed. This applies to chemistry, and is quite true within the realm of chemistry. In physics, however, matter is destroyed on a regular basis.

law of conservation of matter - a fundamental principle of classical physics that matter cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system

This is actually true in physics as well. Matter is not created or destroyed in an isolated system, but it CAN be converted into energy and energy can be converted into matter. It is not being created in the process, it is not being destroyed.

Again, you are applying the chemists version of "law" to a separate feild. While a few people may refer to it as a law for the sake of simplicity, it is technically a biological theory.

Actually, in biology it is referred to as a Scientific Law, not a theory. My cousin, who is in college for Biology, even agrees to that. Here are some examples of Scientific Laws of Biology: Mendelian Inheritance (Mendel 1865), metabolic scaling (Kleiber 1932) and the recent power laws (Jeong et al. 2000).

Of course, I do not deny these definitions. I state that they are particular to physics, and do not apply to biology. My intent here is to say that when a biologist calls something a theory, he is stating that this is true and factual with the same conviction as a physicist when he calls something a law.

But that is still going against what the definitions are. Biology DOES have Scientific Laws, just not that many. A Scientific Law is just as true as a Scientific Theory. Both can be falsified, but neither has (if they do they are no longer a Law/Theory)

I reiterate, these definitions are not universal. These definitions apply to physics and chemistry, not biology. This is a misconception that rises as a result of inadequate elementary and secondary school curriculums, that have over simplified things to the extent of distortion.

The definitions are very universal in science. I also have been learning this in college, so it is not the result of "inadequate elementary and secondary school curriculums"

I will state this simply. You are wrong. And your cousin has some things to learn. I am a biologist, I know my field.
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PotBelliedGeek
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3/6/2014 2:01:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 1:53:15 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 3/6/2014 1:45:10 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
At 3/6/2014 1:03:26 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
I've been told the difference between law and theory is that a law is proven, while a theory is universally accepted, but not proven.

No, that is more or less the sixties elementary school definition, and has led to a lot of problems, including high school grads who think they know more science than scientists do.
Let me expand, and see if I am still misguided.
A law is proven.
A theory is largely accepted, and is not disproven.

What I am trying to express here is that different branches of science have different terminologies, and the same terms don't always mean the same thing. What "theory" means in physics is not what "theory" means in biology.


Pythagoras's theorem is not proven, but we all know it is true.

In mathematics, yes this analogy is accurate. This does not apply to all sciences.

Even if I am wrong, what problems does this cause.

Example: "they should not teach evolution is schools. It's not like it is a fact, it is just a theory anyway".

This is in no way intended to insult your intelligence, please do not take it as such.
I'll kill you for your insolence.
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Khaos_Mage
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3/6/2014 2:03:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 2:01:31 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
At 3/6/2014 1:53:15 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 3/6/2014 1:45:10 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
At 3/6/2014 1:03:26 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
I've been told the difference between law and theory is that a law is proven, while a theory is universally accepted, but not proven.

No, that is more or less the sixties elementary school definition, and has led to a lot of problems, including high school grads who think they know more science than scientists do.
Let me expand, and see if I am still misguided.
A law is proven.
A theory is largely accepted, and is not disproven.

What I am trying to express here is that different branches of science have different terminologies, and the same terms don't always mean the same thing. What "theory" means in physics is not what "theory" means in biology.


Pythagoras's theorem is not proven, but we all know it is true.

In mathematics, yes this analogy is accurate. This does not apply to all sciences.
Chances are it was explained to me in math class, if not, physics (which I assume they are the same, since they are so related)

Even if I am wrong, what problems does this cause.

Example: "they should not teach evolution is schools. It's not like it is a fact, it is just a theory anyway".
Got it, thanks.

This is in no way intended to insult your intelligence, please do not take it as such.
I'll kill you for your insolence.
My work here is, finally, done.
SNP1
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3/6/2014 2:17:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 1:57:51 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
I will state this simply. You are wrong. And your cousin has some things to learn. I am a biologist, I know my field.

Okay, so you are a biologist when...
1. Your profile states you are 20 years old
2. Your profile says your occupation is "student"
3. You did not understand the Law of Conservation of Matter (which every scientist I know understands)
4. Your profile states your income as less than $25,000, a lot less than what Biologists make.
5. Your education level says associates degree, which are almost only hired to be Biological Technicians.

These 5 points make it less than likely that you are actually a Biologist.

At 3/6/2014 2:01:31 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
What I am trying to express here is that different branches of science have different terminologies, and the same terms don't always mean the same thing. What "theory" means in physics is not what "theory" means in biology.

Can you show me where you get this information from? Can you find a source for the difference?

In mathematics, yes this analogy is accurate. This does not apply to all sciences.

Pythagoras's theorem is true in all sciences when dealing with right triangles...

Example: "they should not teach evolution is schools. It's not like it is a fact, it is just a theory anyway".

And we agree, this is a problem people have.
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PotBelliedGeek
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3/6/2014 3:37:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 2:17:36 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 1:57:51 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
I will state this simply. You are wrong. And your cousin has some things to learn. I am a biologist, I know my field.

Okay, so you are a biologist when...
1. Your profile states you are 20 years old

Having started college at fourteen, I already have two college degrees.

2. Your profile says your occupation is "student"

Working on my third degree.

3. You did not understand the Law of Conservation of Matter (which every scientist I know understands)

I understand the law perfectly.

4. Your profile states your income as less than $25,000, a lot less than what Biologists make.

I work as a lab technitian ATM simply to fund my studies. I am not paid for research, that is volunteered.

5. Your education level says associates degree, which are almost only hired to be Biological Technicians.

I set it at my lowest degree, as I have more than one.


These 5 points make it less than likely that you are actually a Biologist.

Don't assume.


At 3/6/2014 2:01:31 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
What I am trying to express here is that different branches of science have different terminologies, and the same terms don't always mean the same thing. What "theory" means in physics is not what "theory" means in biology.

Can you show me where you get this information from? Can you find a source for the difference?

In mathematics, yes this analogy is accurate. This does not apply to all sciences.

Pythagoras's theorem is true in all sciences when dealing with right triangles...

Example: "they should not teach evolution is schools. It's not like it is a fact, it is just a theory anyway".

And we agree, this is a problem people have.
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SNP1
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3/6/2014 4:26:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 3:37:07 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
Having started college at fourteen, I already have two college degrees.

Extraordinary claims on the internet mean nothing. I am the prince of England.

Working on my third degree.

This requires your extraordinary claim to be true, a claim that is very doubtful.

I understand the law perfectly.

Yet you said that it works in Chemistry and not Physics, which is incorrect as it applies to both.

I work as a lab technitian ATM simply to fund my studies. I am not paid for research, that is volunteered.

Yet you said you are a biologist, care to explain? I have never met a Biological Technician that called himself a Biologist. That is like a Nurse saying they are a Doctor or a Bus Boy saying they are a Cook.

I set it at my lowest degree, as I have more than one.

Again, requiring your extraordinary claim to be true, but is also something that people generally never do. People generally put their highest degree on their profile on, pretty much, any site. Logically, you having an associates degree makes more sense as you have your age set at the proper age to have one.

Don't assume.

And didn't I say less than likely? That means that the chances you are telling the truth are not high, which is not an assumption. Anyone with a degree in science learns how important comprehension is, and you saying "Don't assume" to a statement that only pointed out how unlikely something is does not show comprehension.

This shows that it is still very doubtful that you are a Biologist, and so I must choose either to believe someone making extraordinary claims over the internet or my cousin's and my own research into science, which includes looking at what other scientists say. The logical choice, and the one I am choosing, is to doubt you are a Biologist and to trust my cousin's and my own research and studying.
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3/6/2014 4:30:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 4:26:19 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 3:37:07 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
Having started college at fourteen, I already have two college degrees.

Extraordinary claims on the internet mean nothing. I am the prince of England.

Working on my third degree.

This requires your extraordinary claim to be true, a claim that is very doubtful.

I understand the law perfectly.

Yet you said that it works in Chemistry and not Physics, which is incorrect as it applies to both.

I work as a lab technitian ATM simply to fund my studies. I am not paid for research, that is volunteered.

Yet you said you are a biologist, care to explain? I have never met a Biological Technician that called himself a Biologist. That is like a Nurse saying they are a Doctor or a Bus Boy saying they are a Cook.

I set it at my lowest degree, as I have more than one.

Again, requiring your extraordinary claim to be true, but is also something that people generally never do. People generally put their highest degree on their profile on, pretty much, any site. Logically, you having an associates degree makes more sense as you have your age set at the proper age to have one.


Don't assume.

And didn't I say less than likely? That means that the chances you are telling the truth are not high, which is not an assumption. Anyone with a degree in science learns how important comprehension is, and you saying "Don't assume" to a statement that only pointed out how unlikely something is does not show comprehension.


This shows that it is still very doubtful that you are a Biologist, and so I must choose either to believe someone making extraordinary claims over the internet or my cousin's and my own research into science, which includes looking at what other scientists say. The logical choice, and the one I am choosing, is to doubt you are a Biologist and to trust my cousin's and my own research and studying.

This conversation is going nowhere fast. Call me a liar, I don't care. I am done with this thread.
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3/6/2014 4:42:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 4:30:33 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
This conversation is going nowhere fast. Call me a liar, I don't care. I am done with this thread.

I never called you a liar, I said that your claim is doubtful. You have not showed me evidence that you are a Biologist. You have shown that the likelihood of it is low. I gave you three examples of Scientific Laws in Biology, and the only thing you did to refute them is make the claim that you are a Biologist and that I am wrong.
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3/6/2014 4:46:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 4:42:02 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 4:30:33 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
This conversation is going nowhere fast. Call me a liar, I don't care. I am done with this thread.

I never called you a liar, I said that your claim is doubtful. You have not showed me evidence that you are a Biologist. You have shown that the likelihood of it is low. I gave you three examples of Scientific Laws in Biology, and the only thing you did to refute them is make the claim that you are a Biologist and that I am wrong.

I do not deny their existence, Au contrair, I simply assert that it is terminologically incorrect to use the word "law". That is an extremely common error committed by even some professors and textbooks. The word "law" is simply not a defined term within the field of biology. It is borrowed in erroneous context from physics. That simple.
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3/6/2014 4:49:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 4:46:58 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
I do not deny their existence, Au contrair, I simply assert that it is terminologically incorrect to use the word "law". That is an extremely common error committed by even some professors and textbooks. The word "law" is simply not a defined term within the field of biology. It is borrowed in erroneous context from physics. That simple.

Can you provide me a source that shows that there is no such thing as a Scientific Law in Biology?
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3/6/2014 4:52:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 4:49:39 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 4:46:58 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
I do not deny their existence, Au contrair, I simply assert that it is terminologically incorrect to use the word "law". That is an extremely common error committed by even some professors and textbooks. The word "law" is simply not a defined term within the field of biology. It is borrowed in erroneous context from physics. That simple.

Can you provide me a source that shows that there is no such thing as a Scientific Law in Biology?

I will look. This is common knowledge among post-docs in philosophy of science. Unfortunately, most textbooks get this wrong.
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3/6/2014 4:56:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 4:52:05 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
I will look. This is common knowledge among post-docs in philosophy of science. Unfortunately, most textbooks get this wrong.

I take my side because my cousin is in college for Biology, I have met Biologists, and I have studied a little Biology when I have time, and everyone I met and every source I personally found referred to them as Laws.
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3/6/2014 5:02:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 4:56:36 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 4:52:05 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
I will look. This is common knowledge among post-docs in philosophy of science. Unfortunately, most textbooks get this wrong.

I take my side because my cousin is in college for Biology, I have met Biologists, and I have studied a little Biology when I have time, and everyone I met and every source I personally found referred to them as Laws.

I understand that, and I am not trying to come down on you for it. Most biologists use the term when talking to students, for the sake of simplicity. I do it myself, most of the time. Unfortunately it has led to a lot of problems, upon which we agree. If you take the chemistry version of it (law being observation, theory being explanation), then you are not subject to those issues. I was merely pointing out a technicality over which a huge number of people stumble. It is nothing against you or your knowledge.
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3/6/2014 5:03:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 4:56:36 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 4:52:05 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
I will look. This is common knowledge among post-docs in philosophy of science. Unfortunately, most textbooks get this wrong.

I take my side because my cousin is in college for Biology, I have met Biologists, and I have studied a little Biology when I have time, and everyone I met and every source I personally found referred to them as Laws.

And by the way, out of curiosity, what kind of biol is you cousin studying? Is s/he medschool bound? Or research? Industry?
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SNP1
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3/6/2014 5:05:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 5:02:10 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
I understand that, and I am not trying to come down on you for it. Most biologists use the term when talking to students, for the sake of simplicity. I do it myself, most of the time. Unfortunately it has led to a lot of problems, upon which we agree. If you take the chemistry version of it (law being observation, theory being explanation), then you are not subject to those issues. I was merely pointing out a technicality over which a huge number of people stumble. It is nothing against you or your knowledge.

No Biologist has treated me like a student, I have always been treated like a peer by them. That is why I still think that they are Laws, these guys knew me quite well, knew that I was studying quantum physics, astrophysics, etc. while I was in 8th grade and I met them in 11th grade.
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SNP1
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3/6/2014 5:06:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 5:03:54 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
And by the way, out of curiosity, what kind of biol is you cousin studying? Is s/he medschool bound? Or research? Industry?

Never asked him, we usually just talk about different types of science. I can find out if you like. I know it isn't medschool.
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3/6/2014 5:08:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 5:05:20 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 5:02:10 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
I understand that, and I am not trying to come down on you for it. Most biologists use the term when talking to students, for the sake of simplicity. I do it myself, most of the time. Unfortunately it has led to a lot of problems, upon which we agree. If you take the chemistry version of it (law being observation, theory being explanation), then you are not subject to those issues. I was merely pointing out a technicality over which a huge number of people stumble. It is nothing against you or your knowledge.

No Biologist has treated me like a student, I have always been treated like a peer by them. That is why I still think that they are Laws, these guys knew me quite well, knew that I was studying quantum physics, astrophysics, etc. while I was in 8th grade and I met them in 11th grade.

That is a good sign, if these biologists developed that type of relationship with you. It means that they see a genuine capacity for scientific thinking. I encourage you to peruse those relationships with them. Are you interested in a scientific career?
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3/6/2014 5:10:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 5:06:53 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 5:03:54 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
And by the way, out of curiosity, what kind of biol is you cousin studying? Is s/he medschool bound? Or research? Industry?

Never asked him, we usually just talk about different types of science. I can find out if you like. I know it isn't medschool.

Just curious. I'm glad to find someone like you, genuinely interested in discussing science, and not for the purpose of trying to disprove and established fact because of religious misinterpretation.
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3/6/2014 5:10:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 5:08:41 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
That is a good sign, if these biologists developed that type of relationship with you. It means that they see a genuine capacity for scientific thinking. I encourage you to peruse those relationships with them. Are you interested in a scientific career?

I honestly have no clue. I am double majoring in computer science and physics since both subjects interest me.
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3/6/2014 5:11:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 5:10:28 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
Just curious. I'm glad to find someone like you, genuinely interested in discussing science, and not for the purpose of trying to disprove and established fact because of religious misinterpretation.

Nah, I find science to be fun. Using it in debates with theists can be fun as well though.
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3/6/2014 5:12:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 5:10:31 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 5:08:41 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
That is a good sign, if these biologists developed that type of relationship with you. It means that they see a genuine capacity for scientific thinking. I encourage you to peruse those relationships with them. Are you interested in a scientific career?

I honestly have no clue. I am double majoring in computer science and physics since both subjects interest me.

Good luck to you. What my mentors encouraged me to do was reach out and spend time with professionals in different fields. I shadowed a good many people, and my network expanded vastly. That was a great help to me.
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3/6/2014 7:40:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 3:37:07 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
At 3/6/2014 2:17:36 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 1:57:51 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
I will state this simply. You are wrong. And your cousin has some things to learn. I am a biologist, I know my field.

Okay, so you are a biologist when...
1. Your profile states you are 20 years old

Having started college at fourteen, I already have two college degrees.

2. Your profile says your occupation is "student"

Working on my third degree.

3. You did not understand the Law of Conservation of Matter (which every scientist I know understands)

I understand the law perfectly.

4. Your profile states your income as less than $25,000, a lot less than what Biologists make.

I work as a lab technitian ATM simply to fund my studies. I am not paid for research, that is volunteered.

Holy crap. You're doing your third degree at 20 ?!

5. Your education level says associates degree, which are almost only hired to be Biological Technicians.

I set it at my lowest degree, as I have more than one.


These 5 points make it less than likely that you are actually a Biologist.

Don't assume.


At 3/6/2014 2:01:31 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
What I am trying to express here is that different branches of science have different terminologies, and the same terms don't always mean the same thing. What "theory" means in physics is not what "theory" means in biology.

Can you show me where you get this information from? Can you find a source for the difference?

In mathematics, yes this analogy is accurate. This does not apply to all sciences.

Pythagoras's theorem is true in all sciences when dealing with right triangles...

Example: "they should not teach evolution is schools. It's not like it is a fact, it is just a theory anyway".

And we agree, this is a problem people have.
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