Evidence, evidently
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30-04-2015, 10:42 PM
Evidence, evidently
You’re strolling downtown and spot a Mars candy bar wrapper discarded on the sidewalk. You’ve encountered evidence. Evidence of what? Whatever it is evidence of, some things it can’t be evidence of. It is not, for example, evidence that Oswald did not act alone when he shot Kennedy in 1963. But there are many things it could be evidence of. That someone is a litterbug would rate very high on the list of things it might prove. That street sweeping activity hasn’t taken place yet is also a possibility (a possibility, incidentally, independent of the litterbug hypothesis such that both hypotheses could be simultaneously true).

Still, insofar as developing a detailed explanation for its presence, by itself it’s not enough. Too many plausible reasons can account for it, some independent, others dependent; all you can do with it is note it and continue your stroll.

Further on you see several more identical wrappers on the sidewalk and street. More evidence. The list of possibilities shrinks because the specifics that must be accounted for has grown. The likelihood that multiple people are involved increases because the likelihood that a single person would consume such a quantity of Mars bars is smaller than that several people ate them. If they were eaten, for which the evidence so far is strictly circumstantial. Nonetheless, the additional wrappers allow a lot of entries on the hypotheses roster to be scratched out. Their story is still unknown, but less hazy.

A block further and you see a Mars delivery truck upside down in the center of an intersection, smashed, surrounded by thousands of its scattered cargo. Onlookers are still grabbing up loose bars and sometimes departing with an armload, or returning them to the main wreck, or picking up one or two bars and walking away.
Here at last is evidence sufficient to develop a coherent and detailed hypotheses for the first wrapper. It is by no means fully conclusive; there are many other possible sources of discarded Mars bar wrappers than this particular deceased truck, but when combined with statistical analyses one can state with high confidence not just the source of the first wrapper but how it got there.

If you hired a detective to start an investigation, you’d improve the confidence nearly to 1.

The main principal here is that evidence is rarely one thing. It is a collage of corroborating facts that together point irresistibly toward a particular conclusion. Any one element of evidence isn’t sufficient to prove anything, but as the list of facts grows, accounting for all of them narrows the narrative.

That’s science.

Religion treats evidence somewhat differently.

A religious person seeing the first discarded wrapper might surmise “God must like Mars bars. I never knew that. But here’s evidence he ate one and threw away the wrapper”. Instead of an open roster of possibilities, a single possibility is instantly hardened into a supposition.

Later on, seeing more wrappers, he sees corroboration: “Wow, God really craves those babies! Look how many that dude crunched down!”

At the wreck, confirmation amounts to a spiritual ecstasy: “Holiee featherstone, God will NOT be resisted, he just ripped that truck right open to get more of those bars. Hear me, O Lord, it’s Butterfingers for me from now on, I ain’t gonna touch another Mars bar, no sir, those are YOURS!”

It is easy to see the absurdity of the religious treatment of evidence, but it is not so easy to actually explain why it is absurd.

A look at the difference in outcome might serve:

From reason we arrive at new insight, and a world more fully understood.

From religion we get another taboo.
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30-04-2015, 10:56 PM
RE: Evidence, evidently
Except, Mars bars don't exist, they stopped making them around 2000. Sad
I loved those!
Anyway...Possible evidence of a nearby candy hoarder?
A 15 year old bag of trash was suddenly scattered around?
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01-05-2015, 03:13 AM
RE: Evidence, evidently
(30-04-2015 10:56 PM)pablo Wrote:  Except, Mars bars don't exist, they stopped making them around 2000. Sad
...

Still available in all civilised countries

Drinking Beverage

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01-05-2015, 03:29 AM
RE: Evidence, evidently
(01-05-2015 03:13 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(30-04-2015 10:56 PM)pablo Wrote:  Except, Mars bars don't exist, they stopped making them around 2000. Sad
...

Still available in all civilised countries

Drinking Beverage

Yup Smile It's only ye backward Merkins who're stuck in the dark ages...

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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01-05-2015, 03:50 AM
RE: Evidence, evidently
Consider I've never had a Mars bar. Does it have nuts?

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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01-05-2015, 04:00 AM
RE: Evidence, evidently
(01-05-2015 03:50 AM)Nurse Wrote:  Consider I've never had a Mars bar. Does it have nuts?

Sacrilege!

No. It does not.

It's in its own food-group and is irrefutable evidence of a divine creator.


[Image: Sustainable_Palm_Oil_Mars_bar_bitten_Asim18.jpg]

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01-05-2015, 04:02 AM
RE: Evidence, evidently
(01-05-2015 04:00 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(01-05-2015 03:50 AM)Nurse Wrote:  Consider I've never had a Mars bar. Does it have nuts?

Sacrilege!

No. It does not.

It's in its own food-group.


[Image: Sustainable_Palm_Oil_Mars_bar_bitten_Asim18.jpg]

That looks like a Milky Way in a different wrapper.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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01-05-2015, 04:20 AM
RE: Evidence, evidently
(30-04-2015 10:42 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  The likelihood that multiple people are involved increases because the likelihood that a single person would consume such a quantity of Mars bars is smaller than that several people ate them.


You have not seen me eat chocolate then Laugh out load

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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01-05-2015, 04:52 AM
RE: Evidence, evidently
(01-05-2015 04:02 AM)Nurse Wrote:  
(01-05-2015 04:00 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Sacrilege!

No. It does not.

It's in its own food-group.


[Image: Sustainable_Palm_Oil_Mars_bar_bitten_Asim18.jpg]

That looks like a Milky Way in a different wrapper.

Can you not see the evidence with you own eyes?

Caramel, damnit! Caramel!

The only good thing to come out of Berkshire, England (other than me!).

Angry

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01-05-2015, 05:27 AM
RE: Evidence, evidently
(01-05-2015 04:52 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(01-05-2015 04:02 AM)Nurse Wrote:  That looks like a Milky Way in a different wrapper.

Can you not see the evidence with you own eyes?

Caramel, damnit! Caramel!

The only good thing to come out of Berkshire, England (other than me!).

Angry

[Image: Milky-Way-Bar.png]

Evidence of the one true Milky Way - 3 in 1 -Caramel, Nougat, and a chocolate coating. It's heavenly - hence the name.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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