When you're dealing with a problem as complex as autism, you have to look at it from many different points of view and assemble evidence from many different vantage points. Biological evidence in humans and in animals, toxicologic evidence, how does the body deal with toxins, and evidence looking at the actual experience in populations.
Harvey V. Fineberg
I destroy because for me everything that proceeds from reason is untrustworthy. I believe only in the evidence of what stirs my marrow, not in the evidence of what addresses itself to my reason. I have found levels in the realm of the nerve. I now feel capable of evaluating the evidence. There is for me an evidence in the realm of pure flesh which has nothing to do with the evidence of reason. The eternal conflict between reason and the heart is decided in my very flesh, but in my flesh irrigated by nerves...
When we prefer to believe something, we may approach the relevant evidence by asking ourselves, "what evidence is there to support this belief?"... Note that this question is not unbiased: It directs our attention to supportive evidence and away from information that might contradict the desired conclusion. Because it is almost always possible to uncover some supportive evidence, the asymmetrical way we frame the question makes us overly likely to become convinced of what we hope to be true.
Richard Dawkins regards faith as an evil to be eliminated; he takes all religious faith to be blind faith. (Dawkins says) 'Scientific belief is based on publicly checkable evidence, religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its joy, shouted from the rooftops.' However, taking Dawkins own advice we ask: where is the evidence that religious faith is not based on evidence? Mainstream Christianity will insist that faith and evidence are inseparable. Indeed, faith is a response to evidence, not a rejoicing in the absence of evidence. The apostle Paul says what many pioneers of modern science believed, that nature itself is part of the evidence for the existence of God ,' Since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made. So that men are without an excuse.' Dawkins' definition of faith turns out to be the direct opposite of the biblical one. Curious that he does not seem to be aware of the discrepancy.
John C. Lennox
I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.
Martyrdom is evidence only of a man's honesty - it is no evidence that he is not mistaken. Men have suffered martyrdom for all sorts of opinions in politics and in religion; yet they could not therefore have all been in the right; although they could give no stronger evidence that they believed themselves in the right.
Whether we like it or not, quantification in history is here to stay for reasons which the quantifiers themselves might not actively approve. We are becoming a numerate society: almost instinctively there seems now to be a greater degree of truth in evidence expressed numerically than in any literary evidence, no matter how shaky the statistical evidence, or acute the observing eye.
J. H. Plumb
Convincing - and confident - disciplines, say, physics, tend to use little statistical backup, while political science and economics, which have never produced anything of note, are full of elaborate statistics and statistical 'evidence' (and you know that once you remove the smoke, the evidence is not evidence).
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Chauvet Cave is rather like the awakening of the modern human soul or I would say the awakening of modern human culture. Because Neanderthal men who still rode the landscape parallel to the people who did these paintings didn't have culture. There's no evidence of culture, no symbolic depiction, no evidence of music, no evidence of sculptures, no evidence of religious beliefs.
I was very struck by the fact that Colin Powell said he would produce evidence and then never produced it. Then Tony Blair produced a document of seventy paragraphs, but only the last nine referred to the World Trade Center, and they were not convincing. So we have a little problem here: If they're guilty, where is the evidence? And if we can't hear the evidence, why are we going to war?
We may define "faith" as the firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of "faith." We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. The substitution of emotion for evidence is apt to lead to strife, since different groups, substitute different emotions.
In 1995, we had evidence of the brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden being in the Philippines, living in the Philippines. We had evidence of front organizations set up in the Philippines. And we uncovered evidence about, which would help the U.S. with - about the perpetuators of the World Trade Center bombing.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
As a leader, I am there to make the best decisions possible with the evidence at hand and to be able to justify that decision. If it goes wrong, we add to the evidence for making the next decision, but there is no reason for regretting failure, as failure is just the production of evidence.
Michael A. Wood Jr.
Even if the absence of evidence for a given god were not evidence of its absence, it would still be evidence that the belief in that god is unreasonable. That's the only proposition that any atheist of any kind has to demonstrate in order to win the argument. Because anything beyond that... is just having fun.
Throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another... Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic [i.e., bacterial] to eukaryotic [i.e., plant and animal] cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms.
Alan H. Linton
What sets science and the law apart from religion is that nothing is expected to be taken on faith. We're encouraged to ask whether the evidence actually supports what we're being told - or what we grew up believing - and we're allowed to ask whether we're hearing all the evidence or just some small prejudicial part of it. If our beliefs aren't supported by the evidence, then we're encouraged to alter our beliefs.
What should we think of someone who never admits error, never entertains doubt but adheres unflinchingly to the same ideas all his life, regardless of new evidence? Doubt and skepticism are signs of rationality. When we are too certain of our opinions, we run the risk of ignoring any evidence that conflicts with our views. It is doubt that shows we are still thinking, still willing to reexamine hardened beliefs when confronted with new facts and new evidence.
There exists a mountain of circumstantial evidence that consciousness survives bodily death. This is the kind of evidence that would stand up in a court of law. Some people believe that science needs better tools to quantify what consciousness is. Perhaps when we discover what consciousness is we will be on the road to providing absolute scientific evidence that there is life after death.
I am not an atheist. An atheist is someone who has compelling evidence that there is no Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. I am not that wise, but neither do I consider there to be anything approaching adequate evidence for such a god. Why are you in such a hurry to make up your mind? Why not simply wait until there is compelling evidence?
Until recent times, absence of evidence for his [Jehovah's] existence has not been sufficient to rule him out. However, we now have enough knowledge that we can identify many places where there should be evidence, but there is not. The absence of that evidence allows us to rule out the existence of this God beyond a reasonable doubt.
Victor J. Stenger
[My] pictures are about memory and forgetfulness. The evidence is dissolving. Bones crumble; human ash returns to soil; teeth, sandals, hair, bullets, axes disperse into atoms and molecules. Footprints in the snow will be erased by the next storm. The evidence of evil, like the evidence of good, obeys the universal laws of entropy. Heat cools, matter disintegrates, memories fade. If we let them.
If there were even one spark of evidence from antiquity that Jesus even may have gotten married, then as a historian, I would have to weigh this evidence against the total absence of such information in either Scripture or the early church traditions. But there is no such spark-not a scintilla of evidence-anywhere in historical sources. Even where one might expect to find such claims in the bizarre, second-century, apocryphal gospels...there is no reference that Jesus ever got married.
Paul L. Maier
"Why aren't you doing something about this? How come the police aren't being involved in this? And the answer was of course that they were gathering evidence to crack into this very secretive and dangerous cult and people had, you know, gone undercover into it and had been killed or actually, um, drawn into the cult themself and that they were gathering evidence so they could do something about it and the reason why it was never uncovered was that these people ate the evidence..."
The statement "I am in pain" may be one piece of evidence for the conclusion that the speaker is in pain, but it is not the only possible evidence, and since people sometimes tell lies, not even the best possible evidence. Even if there were stronger grounds for refusing to attribute pain to those who do not have language, the consequences of this refusal might lead us to reject the conclusion. Human infants and young children are unable to use language. Are we to deny that a year-old child can suffer?
I would, like any other scientist, willingly change my mind if the evidence led me to do so. So I care about what's true, I care about evidence, I care about evidence as the reason for knowing what is true. It is true that I come across rather passionate sometimes and that's because I am passionate about the truth. ... I do get very impatient with humbug, with cant, with fakery, with charlatans.
Experience is like evidence. When you're young and don't have much experience yet, you don't have much basis for confidence. All you really have is hope, and that can get shaken pretty easily. But as years go by, you start to gather this evidence. You made it through this or that and you did okay, maybe not perfectly, but okay, so when you stumble, which you will, you can look back and say, 'Well, I survived that, so I can probably survive this.' Or there will be things you're really proud of, evidence of your abilities, and you can look back on those things and say, 'I did it then, I can do it again.' Right now, you're just building up those experiences.
Don't you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don't you believe in telepathy? - in ancient astronauts? - in the Bermuda triangle? - in life after death? No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no. One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out "Don't you believe in anything?" Yes", I said. "I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.
A delusion that encourages belief where there is no evidence is asking for trouble. Disagreements between incompatible beliefs cannot be settled by reasoned argument because reasoned argument is drummed out of those trained in religion from the cradle. Instead, disagreements are settled by other means which, in extreme cases, inevitably become violent. Scientists disagree among themselves but they never fight over their disagreements. They argue about evidence or go out and seek new evidence. Much the same is true of philosophers, historians and literary critics.
That's what I want, a mental evidence I can feel. I don't want physical evidence, proof you have to go out and drag in. I want evidence that you can carry in your mind and always touch and smell and feel. But there's no way to do that. In order to believe in a thing you've got to carry it with you. You can't carry the Earth, or a man, in your pocket. I want a way to do that, carry things with me always, so I can believe in them. How clumsy to have to go to all the trouble of going out and bringing in something terribly physical to prove something. I hate physical things because they can be left behind and become impossible to believe in them.
They put on fresh gloves and got back to business. Jazz wiped up the blood splatters in the freezer and tossed the tissues in with Howie's waste. It bothered him that he was leaving evidence behind without some sort of oxygenated bleach, those blood splatters would still show up under Luminol. Of course, the odds of anyone deciding to spray down the morgue freezer and switch on an ultraviolet light were pretty minimal, so it's not like it was evidence that anyone would ever find or use. Still: Billy Dent's First Commandment was "Thou shalt not leave evidence.
Let the winds of evidence blow you about as though you are a leaf, with no direction of your own. Beware lest you fight a rearguard retreat against the evidence, grudgingly conceding each foot of ground only when forced, feeling cheated. Surrender to the truth as quickly as you can.
That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.
Science is best defined as a careful, disciplined, logical search for knowledge about any and all aspects of the universe, obtained by examination of the best available evidence and always subject to correction and improvement upon discovery of better evidence. What's left is magic. And it doesn't work.
Modern man may assert that he can dispense with them, and he may bolster his opinion by insisting that there is no scientific evidence of their truth. But since we are dealing with invisible and unknowable things (for God is beyond human understanding, and there is no mean of proving immortality), why should we bother with evidence?