PDF Scientific Explanation: A Study of the Function of Theory, Probability and Law in Science

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Laws and mathematics

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Email or Customer ID. Not how or why they work, said Coppinger.

Coppinger pointed out that the Law of Gravity was discovered by Isaac Newton in the 17th century. This law mathematically describes how two different bodies in the universe interact with each other. However, Newton's law doesn't explain what gravity is, or how it works. It wasn't until three centuries later, when Albert Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity, that scientists began to understand what gravity is, and how it works.

Experiments, sample space, events, and equally likely probabilities

But it doesn't explain how gravity works, or what it is. Similarly, Mendel's Law of Independent Assortment describes how different traits are passed from parent to offspring, not how or why it happens," Coppinger said.

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Another example of the difference between a theory and a law would be the case of Gregor Mendel. Mendel discovered that two different genetic traits would appear independently of each other in different offspring. It wasn't until a century later that scientists discovered DNA and chromosomes — the biochemical explanation of Mendel's laws.

It was only then that scientists, such as T.

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Morgan working with fruit flies, explained the Law of Independent Assortment using the theory of chromosomal inheritance. Still today, this is the universally accepted explanation theory for Mendel's Law," Coppinger said. The difference between scientific laws and scientific facts is a bit harder to define, though the definition is important.

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What Is a Law in Science?

Facts are simple, basic observations that have been shown to be true. Laws are generalized observations about a relationship between two or more things in the natural world. The law can be based on facts and tested hypothesizes, according to NASA.


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  6. For example, "There are five trees in my yard" is considered a fact because it is a simple statement that can be proven. If the circumstance changes, then the law would change. For example, in the vacuum of space, the apple may float upward from the tree instead of downward.

    History of science

    Many scientific laws can be boiled down to a mathematical equation. For example, Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation states:. F g is the force of gravity; G is the universal gravitational constant, which can be measured; m1 and m2 are the masses of the two objects, and d is the distance between them, according to Ohio State University.

    Another example of where mathematics influences scientific law is probabilities. With large numbers, probability always works.