Hypotheses are central to the modern scientific method.

"all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service" -- Charles Darwin

Many methods of inquiry are useful for science. Science has a long tradition of using inductive reasoning to create explanations of the world using careful observations (Bacon, 1620). Modern science also uses deductive reasoning to systematically test and improve scientific explanations (Popper, 1959). Therefore, both inductive and deductive reasoning are important for scientific inquiry.

As potential answers to scientific questions, hypotheses can help to structure both inductive and deductive reasoning (Glass and Hall, 2008). Hypotheses can also bind scientific papers together into consistent frameworks (Lobban and Schefter, 1992). Therefore, it will be useful to discuss what hypotheses are, and how we can test hypotheses to build knowledge about the world.