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theory (pl. theories)
Glossary of Ecology (6th ed.) by Krebs (2009)
- an integrated and hierarchical set of empirical hypotheses that together explain a significant fraction of scientific observations. The theory of evolution is perhaps the most frequently used theory in ecology.
Glossary of "Life (9th ed.)" by Sadava et al. (2011)
- A far-reaching explanation of observed facts that is supported by such a wide body of evidence, with no significant contradictory evidence, that it is scientifically accepted as a factual framework. Examples are Newton’s theory of gravity and Darwin’s theory of evolution. (Contrast with hypothesis.)
Glossary of "Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet (2nd ed.)" by Botkin & Keller (1998)
- theories: Scientific models that offer broad, fundamental explanations of related phenomena and are supported by consistent and extensive evidence.
- Botkin, D. B. & Keller, E. A. 1998. Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet, 2nd ed. -xxxxii + 649 pp. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.
- Krebs, C. J. 2009. Ecology, 6th ed. -xvi + 655 pp. Pearson Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco.
- Sadava, D., Hillis, D. M., Heller, H. C. & Berenbaum, M. R. 2011. Life: The Science of Biology, 9th ed. -xliv + 1266 pp. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland.