The terms “proposition” and “hypothesis” both refer to the formulation of a possible answer to a specific scientific question. In particular, a proposition deals with the connection between two existing concepts. The main difference between the two is that a hypothesis must be testable and measurable, while a proposition deals with pure concepts for which no laboratory test is currently available.
Hypotheses and the Scientific Method
Forming a hypothesis is the initial step in developing a theory under the scientific method. It is an educated guess based on research and working knowledge. For a hypothesis to be considered valid, it must make a prediction that scientists can test using a repeatable experiment. If a hypothesis cannot be falsified through experimentation, it cannot be considered part of a valid scientific theory.
A proposition is similar to a hypothesis, but its main purpose is to suggest a link between two concepts in a situation where the link cannot be verified by experiment. As a result, it relies heavily on prior research, reasonable assumptions and existing correlative evidence. A scientist can use a proposition to spur further research on a question or pose one in hopes that further evidence or experimental methods will be discovered that will make it a testable hypothesis.
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