Well-tested and widely accepted scientific hypothesis. Compare scientific data, scientific hypothesis, scientific law, scientific methods, scientific model.
A theory that deals with verifiable phenomena and is highly ordered and structured.
(SCI·en·TIF·ic THE·o·ry). An attempt to explain a set of empirical events, particularly when assumptions exist as to how to bridge gaps in available knowledge about underlying factors. Theories vary widely in their organization and scope, from the simplest of hunches, through testable hypotheses of various sorts that deal with specific empirical predictions, to large-scale systems of deductively related “laws” (statements of reliable relationships between empirical variables). Scientific theory constitutes the attempt to explain the observable of a specific domain of investigation through use of the scientific method.