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Evidence is and includes everything that is used to reveal and determine the truth, and therefore is presumed to be true and related to a case. Giving or procuring evidence is the process of using those things that are either (a) presumed to be true, or (b) were in fact proven to be true by earlier evidence (truths) and demonstrates the broadening of the truth (evidence) of a case. And the collection of evidence is in fact the act of determining; what is evidence?. The word “evidence” carries with it the presumption of the “evidence” being seen as true, the where and how it fits; its relationship in and to prior and future evidence; the broadening of a case. In short, it goes from determining what is evidence, to evidence is determined; determining truth, to truth determined.
Many issues surround evidence, making it the subject of much discussion and disagreement. In addition to its subtlety, evidence plays an important role in many academic disciplines, including Scientific interpretation and law, adding to the discourse surrounding it.
Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of an assertion. This support may be strong or weak. The strongest type of evidence is that which provides direct proof of the truth of an assertion. At the other extreme is evidence that is merely consistent with an assertion but does not rule out other, contradictory assertions, as in circumstantial evidence.
In law, rules of evidence govern the types of evidence that are admissible in a legal proceeding, as well as the quality and quantity of evidence that are necessary to fulfill the legal burden of proof. Types of legal evidence include testimony, documentary evidence, and physical evidence.
Scientific evidence consists of observations and experimental results that serve to support, refute, or modify a scientific hypothesis or theory, when collected and interpreted in accordance with the scientific method.
Burden of proof 
The burden of proof is the obligation of a party in an argument or dispute to provide sufficient evidence to shift the other party's or a third party's belief from their initial position. The burden of proof must be fulfilled by both establishing confirming evidence and negating oppositional evidence. Conclusions drawn from evidence may be subject to criticism based on a perceived failure to fulfill the burden of proof.
Two principle considerations are:
- On whom does the burden of proof rest?
- To what degree of certitude must the assertion be supported?
The latter question depends on the nature of the point under contention and determines the quantity and quality of evidence required to meet the burden of proof.
In a criminal trial in the United States, for example, the prosecution carries the burden of proof since the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Similarly, in most civil procedures, the plaintiff carries the burden of proof and must convince a judge or jury that the preponderance of the evidence is on their side. Other legal standards of proof include "reasonable suspicion", "probable cause" (as for arrest), "prima facie evidence", "credible evidence", "substantial evidence", and "clear and convincing evidence".
In a philosophical debate, there is an implicit burden of proof on the party asserting a claim, since the default position is generally one of neutrality or unbelief. Each party in a debate will therefore carry the burden of proof for any assertion they make in the argument, although some assertions may be granted by the other party without further evidence. If the debate is set up as a resolution to be supported by one side and refuted by another, the overall burden of proof is on the side supporting the resolution.
Scots Law 
An important part of the Law of evidence is that of corroboration in Scots law. This is a vital element of the law to protect the accused from unjustly being convicted. Each essential fact (facta probandum ) of a case must be corroborated by two independent pieces of evidence and one witness alone cannot corroborate an essential fact, it must be corroborated by a second independent source. Essential facts are those listed in the indictment and used to charge the accused and the sources of evidence come in many forms, such as documentary, DNA, forensic and report evidence or from a scientist or forensic pathologist.
Corroboration will normally include direct evident, such as an eye witness and could include circumstantial evidence, which is evidence that has a relationship to the crime and can assist in 'proving' the essential fact also known as indirect evidence. Two pieces of indirect evidence which both relate to the same incident, may mean that direct evidence is not required, this is known as evidential facts and they do not require corroboration. The essential facts will vary with each case and the complainer is likely to lose, if an essential fact which is vital to their case cannot be proven.
Evidence in science 
In scientific research evidence is accumulated through observations of phenomena that occur in the natural world, or which are created as experiments in a laboratory or other controlled conditions. Scientific evidence usually goes towards supporting or rejecting a hypothesis.
One must always remember that the burden of proof is on the person making a contentious claim. Within science, this translates to the burden resting on presenters of a paper, in which the presenters argue for their specific findings. This paper is placed before a panel of judges where the presenter must defend the thesis against all challenges.
When evidence is contradictory to predicted expectations, the evidence and the ways of making it are often closely scrutinized (see experimenter's regress) and only at the end of this process is the hypothesis rejected: this can be referred to as 'refutation of the hypothesis'. The rules for evidence used by science are collected systematically in an attempt to avoid the bias inherent to anecdotal evidence.
Evidence in law 
Evidence forms the very foundation of any legal system, without which law would be subject to the whims of those with power.
In law, the production and presentation of evidence depends first on establishing on whom the burden of proof lies. Admissible evidence is that which a court receives and considers for the purposes of deciding a particular case. Two primary burden-of-proof considerations exist in law. The first is on whom the burden rests. In many, especially Western, courts, the burden of proof is placed on the prosecution. The second consideration is the degree of certitude proof must reach, depending on both the quantity and quality of evidence. These degrees are different for criminal and civil cases, the former requiring evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, the latter considering only which side has the preponderance of evidence, or whether the proposition is more likely true or false. The decision maker, often a jury, but sometimes a judge, decides whether the burden of proof has been fulfilled.
After deciding who will carry the burden of proof, evidence is first gathered and then presented before the court:
Gathering evidence 
In criminal investigation, rather than attempting to prove an abstract or hypothetical point, the evidence gatherers attempt to determine who is responsible for a criminal act. The focus of criminal evidence is to connect physical evidence and reports of witnesses to a specific person.
Evidence before the court 
Presenting evidence before the court differs from the gathering of evidence in important ways. Gathering evidence may take many forms; presenting evidence that tend to prove or disprove the point at issue is strictly governed by rules. Failure to follow these rules leads to any number of consequences. In law, certain policies allow (or require) evidence to be excluded from consideration based either on indicia relating to reliability, or broader social concerns. Testimony (which tells) and exhibits (which show) are the two main categories of evidence presented at a trial or hearing. In the United States, evidence in federal court is admitted or excluded under the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Types of evidence 
See also 
- Logical positivism
- Mathematical proof
- Proof (truth)
- Theory of justification
|Look up evidence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Evidence|
- Evidence at PhilPapers
- Evidence entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Evidence entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Evidence at the Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project
- ASTM E141 Standard Practice for Acceptance of Evidence Based on the Results of Probability Sampling
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Evidence". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.