Nature of science - 2.4

Laws are descriptive, normative statements derived from observations of regular patterns of behaviour. They are generally mathematical in form and can be used to calculate outcomes and to make predictions. Like theories and hypotheses, laws cannot be proven. Scientific laws may have exceptions and may be modified or rejected based on new evidence. Laws do not necessarily explain a phenomenon. For example, Newton’s law of universal gravitation tells us that the force between two masses is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them, and allows us to calculate the force between masses at any distance apart, but it does not explain why masses attract each other. Also, note that the term law has been used in different ways in science, and whether a particular idea is called a law may be partly a result of the discipline and time period at which it was developed.