A theory is scientific only if it can be proved wrong—scientific theories are falsifiable. Every scientific hypothesis, theory, or law must survive the rigorous scrutiny represented by the chart below. Even after surviving numerous circuits through the chart, an hypothesis, theory, or law never escapes further scrutiny, regardless of the name (e.g., Einstein, Darwin, or Newton) attached to it. Unlike religion, there are no sacred texts in science.

Theories and laws have been tested over decades in numerous ways, so they are universally accepted within the scientific community even as they undergo continual scrutiny. Discovering even tiny holes in what's accepted could lead to deeper, more encompassing theories or laws.

A scientific investigation can begin at any point in the chart, and can follow any of the paths, designated by arrows, from one box to another. So in astronomy an observation follows a prediction because astronomical objects are not subject to controlled experiments. And if a researcher observes a phenomenon without preconceptions, then an hypothesis about it must follow because science is not merely a collection of facts.

Scientific Process Chart />

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