Dictionary » T » Theory



noun, plural: theories


(1) A conjecture, an opinion, a speculation or an assumption based on limited information or experience, not necessarily on facts.

(2) An expectation of what would happen, excluding unforeseen circumstances. For instance, the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime.

(science) A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.

(mathematics) A branch of mathematics attempting to describe a particular class of constructs, and includes axioms, theorems, examples, etc.


The common use of the term theory implies speculation or assumption that has not been verified or has limited proofs. In science, an unproved idea or a mere theoretical speculation is regarded as a hypothesis rather than a scientific theory. However, in science, a theory is a well-substantiated explanation or a set of statements that have been confirmed over the course of many independent experiments. In comparison, laws explain things but don't describe them, whereas theories describe why we see a set of observations. E.g., Newton's Law of Gravity describes how gravity works but not why there is gravity. Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection tells us why the observations about life on this planet are as we see them. Both scientific theories and laws are based on facts and are accepted to be true by the scientific community. And both are used to make predictions of future events.

Word origin: L theōria < Gk theōría a viewing, contemplating.

Derived terms: theorem, theoretical (adjective), theorize (verb).
Related terms: probability theory, temperament theory, game theory, pithecoid theory.

Compare: hypothesis, law.

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Re: Are predators always smarter than their prey?

I wouldn't make a general rule out of it. Except intelligence there are so many other things to consider that such theory as in subject is simply incomplete and unfair. Like someone earlier mentioned the case or rabbits and coyotes. Rabbits needed to learn how to live in one neighborhood ...

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by Sheppie
Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:52 am
Forum: Zoology Discussion
Topic: Are predators always smarter than their prey?
Replies: 14
Views: 9482

Re: Mysterious Tooth

... clue would be that it isn't straight. Looking down, it has a slight turn or bend to it, like it belonged on the left or right side. Interesting theory of the carved ivory. It's definitely a possibility. Thanks for the reply.

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by Sideshow
Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:29 pm
Forum: Zoology Discussion
Topic: Mysterious Tooth
Replies: 2
Views: 687

Stem Cells and Cell division?

... stem cells I am unsure of. My question is, is that if our vitals and tissues are formed during our embryonic stages of development, then in theory, couldn't mitosis do the rest of the work in replacing these cells continuously, and keeping these tissues alive and functioning? Why must we ...

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by CaptainCovalency
Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:54 am
Forum: Cell Biology
Topic: Stem Cells and Cell division?
Replies: 1
Views: 739

mRNA vs. cell reporter assay

Hi, I have a GFP reporter cell line that drives GFP expression upon activation of a transcription factor. In theory, I can study transcription factor activation via the GFP signal, or by measuring the mRNA of the transcription factor. I wonder what are the pros and cons of each. ...

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by aguy
Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:50 am
Forum: Cell Biology
Topic: mRNA vs. cell reporter assay
Replies: 2
Views: 693

Re: Is DNA living or non-living thing?? get the answer here

... http://universe-life.com/2013/11/14/subverting-organized-religious-science/ http://universe-life.com/2013/09/03/the-shortest-grand-unified-theory/ http://universe-life.com/2013/09/30/science-adjust-vision-concepts-beyond-aaas-trade-union-religion/ PS: Note, again: - Classical Science Is ...

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by Dov Henis
Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:00 am
Forum: Molecular Biology
Topic: Is DNA living or non-living thing?? get the answer here
Replies: 26
Views: 57173
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