All human relationships and endeavours depend on trust based on evidence

Let’s suppose you were accused of theft, if the Judge immediately said, “I believe you are guilty and I sentence you to three years in jail” would you be happy? Of course not. You would, quite rightly, demand to see the evidence; the judge’s ‘belief’ might be ill-founded.


What if a politician claims to have won an election, should the public take his word for it or should they expect the claim to be supported by evidence from carefully counted votes?


What happens when a tennis player contests a line call or an umpire can’t decide whether a batsman is out LBW (leg before wicket)? Evidence is called for, in the form of computer analysis or action replay, that’s what.


Before a new product is launched a company usually does market research to collect evidence on whether it will sell.


Back in the winter of 1348, sufferers from the Black Death were advised to drink vinegar. Would that treatment satisfy you or would you prefer some antibiotics which have the backing of evidence demonstrating their effectiveness?


In the 1920s, cigarettes were sold as being good for sore throats. Now we recognise that they are to blame for cardiac failure, lung disease and, yes, they actually cause throat cancer.

What has changed our attitude? Evidence.


Evidence is the foundation for much in society including relationships - inheritance, paternity and divorce cases are judged on evidence.


The philosopher Plato famously defined knowledge as "justified true belief."  Scientists find it hard to imagine that there might be some other, alien, sort of knowledge which does not require the justification of evidence.


Should we trust anything that’s not supported by evidence?

His victim’s hair was found on a T-shirt in his van. DNA testing showed there was only a one in a billion chance of it belonging to anyone else. That terminated his career as a child rapist and murderer. He is spending fifty years in jail much to the relief of the parents and grandparents of small girls.


We accept the value of evidence in the apprehension of criminals and many other aspects of life. What reason can there be to reject it or ignore it elsewhere?


Early man believed in the Sun god, the Moon goddess, and countless others: Mars was the god of war, Venus the god of love, Bacchus the god of wine, etc. Rational people do not hold such primitive beliefs now; fairies, ghosts, goblins and dragons make entertaining stories but we know they are fiction. more here


Is belief  enough or do we need evidence?



Apple’s iPhone is a prime example of what can be done by the application of evidence based knowledge.


Our understanding of the real world has given us the power to fly, send spacecraft around the solar system, keep diabetics alive, cure diseases, etc


Paedophile Roy Whiting was convicted thanks to forensic evidence.

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Tony Blair’s wife, barrister Cherie Booth says,“My head can’t explain my belief in God but my heart knows it to be true”

I say, “Listen to your brain woman, not your pump!”


She aspires to be a Judge. Imagine the court scene:


“Your Worship, I

Should we reject the verdicts of God-fearing Judges on the grounds that

they do not understand the importance of convincing evidence? Do they have poor judgement?

can’t provide any evidence but my heart knows he is truly guilty!”


Do you want her to judge you?

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