Debates on scientific dating
It can be useful to distinguish between descriptive and explanatory theories, even though there is no distinct line; Newton's theory explains some, and atomic theory does not explain all.
And my simple treatment here is only a summary of the more sophisticated analyses by philosophers who try to define what constitutes a satisfactory explanation in science.
In this "details" page there is lots of elaboration, but much of this is a discussion of concepts that I consider a part of the ISM framework because they are essential for accurately describing science.
And at the end of each section there is a link to the Table of Contents at the top of this page. The references cited in this page are listed in another page.Due to this inconsistency, I have been forced to choose among competing alternatives.