Jump to content
The Bear's Key

Standard of proof without any direct evidence

Recommended Posts

How often does science prove something entirely, conclusively without any direct evidence? (if at all)

 

Can you list any examples?

 

And somewhat related...

 

In the legal world, can a case can be proved entirely with circumstantial evidence?

 

(Also examples if ya got it)

Edited by The Bear's Key

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Science does not really prove anything - it shows that the models it is using and the theories they are based upon are valid under a certain range of circumstances. One piece of good evidence that goes against a theory (within its zone of application) will show the theory is seriously flawed - this could not be the case if the theory had been "proved". In mathematics you do prove things - but we must also bear in mind that all proofs are contingent on the preagreed rules and axiomata

 

2. Science does create theories purely on non-direct evidence - until recently the idea of gravitational waves was such an idea. We have still not detected dark matter directly.

 

3. Legally; first you have to remember that you have to work within a particular jurisdiction - laws of evidence vary from country to country (and even within countries) . Circumstantial evidence can be fine and tends to be denigrated by the press and fiction more than by the courts and lawyers. If you think about it dna trace, fingerprints, material transfer etc. are all "merely circumstantial" - they tell you only of a persons whereabouts and interactions but most often not about their actions or state of mind.

 

The main difference between direct evidence and cirumstantial is the inference that the jury may draw from it. If a witness says def A attacked B - then if jury believes witness then it is a small step to inferring guilt; as it is evidence of the action in case. But if a witness say he say def A walk into room, lots of shouting, sounds of a scuffle, and then A walks out followed by B with a broken nose it is much harder to infer guilt; there is evidence but multiple different conclusions can be drawn

 

 

“Before you may rely on circumstantial evidence to conclude that a fact necessary to find the defendant guilty has been proved, you must be convinced that the People have proved each fact essential to that conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, before you may rely on circumstantial evidence to find the defendant guilty, you must be convinced that the only reasonable conclusion supported by the circumstantial evidence is that the defendant is guilty. If you can draw two or more reasonable conclusions from the circumstantial evidence, and one of those reasonable conclusions points to innocence and another to guilt, you must accept the one that points to innocence. However, when considering circumstantial evidence, you must accept only reasonable conclusions and reject any that are unreasonable.”

 

 

This is from the Californian Criminal code section 224.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How often does science prove something entirely, conclusively without any direct evidence? (if at all)

 

Can you list any examples?

No.

 

In the legal world, can a case can be proved entirely with circumstantial evidence?

 

(Also examples if ya got it)

Radioactivity, decay of unstable particles, existence of electron, positron, alpha particles, muons, pions, tau, kaon, etc. high energy cosmic rays.

As you can see them on this video:

are direct evidences.

 

But indirect evidence will be f.e. reaction between neutrino/anti-neutrino with nucleus, turning it to other isotope.

Or reaction between neutron and nucleus, turning it to other isotope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.