posted on May, 23 2006 @ 04:07 AM
Looking at some of the things we call scientific 'laws', like Newton's Laws, the Laws of Thermodynamics, Ohm's Law, Kirchoff's Laws, and so
forth, I think that the main criteria for something to be called a "Law" is for it to withstand the test of time. Newtonian mechanics, for example,
has proven, with only a few relativistic corrections, to have worked for centuries. Relativity, on the other hand, was developed in the 20th century,
and is still relatively (no pun intended) new.
Theories tend to be things that we reasonably can believe are true, but have not yet withstood the test of time. Things like quantum theory, the
theory of relativity, the BCS theory of superconductivity, and so forth, are too new to have the same level of certainty that they are correct.
Also, in some cases, for a particular concept, we may have multiple theories, but there is only ever one Law for a concept. For example, there are
several interpretations of quantum mechanics
but only one Ohm's Law.