A hypothesis is a specific suggestion, explanation and prediction about any past, present or future event or any actions. A hypothesis may be testable or untestable at a certain time and circumstances depend on many variables. Some hypotheses can’t be tested at all for many different reasons, but could be proven by other indirect manners. Hypotheses are based on previous knowledge, facts, suggestions, images and intuition, which are not enough for certain declarations or decisions, but allow one to offer some reasonable suggestions. If a research study is exploratory in nature, a hypothesis should always explain what is expected to happen during the progress of experiment or research.
When a hypothesis or hypotheses are proven, they become established theory.
A theory is an established complex of principles and determinations that were developed to explain some features of the surrounding world. A theory is based on repetitive observations and tests, integrated facts, previous knowledge, predictions, etc. Theories could explain some events or actions, but fail to explain other related matters. Theories may work on certain levels of knowledge, but may be wrong or not useful on other levels.
The terms hypothesis and theory are somehow interchangeable in everyday use, but some differences between the definitions of “theory” and “hypothesis” may be important when performing experiments.
A theory is an explanation that was checked and tested, while a hypothesis has more speculative characteristics.
Despite some semantic differences, the term “theory” is very often used as the term “hypothesis.”
Why do we need a theory to explain aging?
A hypothesis, generally speaking, is a suggestion/assumption, with lack of clear-cutting evidence.
A theory is an explanation of any occurrence, phenomenon and development with proving evidence.
Unendingliving thanks Prof. Leonard Hayflick for contributing his article:
Biological Aging Is No Longer an Unsolved ProblemLEONARD HAYFLICK
Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, The Sea Ranch, California 95497, USA
The belief that aging is still an unsolved problem in biology is no longer true. Of the two major classes of theories, the one class that is tenable is derivative of a single common denominator that results in only one fundamental theory of aging. In order to address this complex subject, it is necessary to first define the four phenomena that characterize the finitude of life. These phenomena are aging, the determinants of longevity, age-associated diseases, and death. There are only two fundamental ways in which age changes can occur. Aging occurs either as the result of a purposeful program driven by genes or by events that are not guided by a program but are stochastic or random, accidental events. The weight of evidence indicates that genes do not drive the aging process but the general loss of molecular fidelity does. Potential longevity is determined by the energetics of all molecules present at and after the time of reproductive maturation. Thus, every molecule, including those that compose the machinery involved in turnover, replacement, and repair, becomes the substrate that experiences the thermodynamic instability characteristic of the aging process. However, the determinants of the fidelity of all molecules produced before and after reproductive maturity are the determinants of longevity. This process is governed by the genome. Aging does not happen in a vacuum. Aging must be the result of changes that occur in molecules that have existed at one time with no age changes. It is the state of these pre-existing molecules that governs longevity determination. The distinction between the aging process and age-associated disease is not only based on the molecular definition of aging described above but it is also rooted in several practical observations. Unlike any disease, age changes (a) occurin every multicellular animal that reaches a fixed size at reproductive maturity, (b) cross virtually all species barriers, (c) occur in all members of a species only after the age of reproductive maturation, (d) occur in all animals removed from the wild and protected by humans even when that species probably has not experienced aging for thousands or even millions of years, (e) occur in virtually all animate and inanimate matter, and(f) have the same universal molecular etiology, that is, thermodynamic instability. Unlike aging, there is no disease or pathology that shares these six qualities. Because this critical distinction is poorly understood, there
Address for correspondence: Leonard Hayflick, Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, P.O. Box 89, The Sea Ranch, CA 95497. fax: 707-785-3809. firstname.lastname@example.org
Full text: Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1100: 1–13 (2007).C 2007 New York Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1196/annals.1395.00