It is known that a scientific law is a concise statement of a relation that expresses a fundamental principle such as Newton’s law of gravity. What eventually becomes a scientific law begins as a theory or a basic idea or proposal based on a set of observations made by a scientist. The process that follows to prove its validity is called the Scientific Method.
In his well-known book, A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking describes two criteria that a theory must satisfy to be a “good theory” or a scientific law. Hawking says, “It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations.” In other words, a scientist observes certain things happening and postulates that those things will continue to happen if those criteria occur again.
Hawking cites that Aristotle believed Empedocles’ theory that everything was made out of four elements which were earth, air, fire, and water. While the idea was simple, Hawking points out that it failed to offer any “definite” predictions. In contrast, Newton proposed his theory of gravity in a simpler model, but it predicts the motions of the sun, the moon, and the planets “to a high degree of accuracy.” Hawking points out that “…You can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory.” So, that means that as long as new experiments repeatedly agree with the predictions, the theory “survives,” but whenever a new observation is found to disagree, “we have to abandon or modify the theory,” says Hawking.
Hawking proclaims, “The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner but that they reflect a certain underlying order…” Over time humankind has learned so much about the various areas of science such as chemistry and physics. We find numerous laws that have been discovered over a long time. Examples of commonly-known laws in chemistry are Avogadro’s Law, Boyle’s Law, Charles’ Law, Faraday’s Law, and the First Law of Thermodynamics. Examples of commonly known laws in physics are Coulomb’s Law, Newton’s Law of motion, Ohm’s Law, Einstein’s mass-energy equation, Gauss’ Law, and Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation.
These laws show how organized science is and how they reflect a “certain underlying order” as opposed to showing arbitrary development of science. These laws exist and must be reckoned with by scientists in their studies, observations, experiments, and judgments. More than that, these laws govern our lives as ordinary people.
These laws and the scientific method to confirm them demonstrate how orderly our environment is. They also disprove any arbitrariness that must exist if all these things happened because life and existence developed because of it happening by accident or by random. Accidents and randomness do not result in orderliness. But rather chaos. Does that make sense?
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