Evidence refers to any piece of information that leads to a specific conclusion. For example, bits of hair at a crime scene found to belong to someone who wouldn't ordinarily be found in that location.
In cases where the original evidence is, in theory, available to criticism it is prudent to use the original sample. Applied to theological debate, a translation of a holy text does not fit the best evidence rule as it is an interpretive copy of the original. The rule for extraordinary claims, such as an all powerful deity ruling over the world, should be adapted to fit the nature of the claim. Thus the burden of proof is "irrefutable," as compared to "beyond a reasonable doubt," which remains with the claimant. It is not the responsibility of opposition to present evidence contrary to inconclusive evidence, since any given hypothetical would then require a defense.
Statistically, evidence from anecdote is not nearly accurate enough to represent any knowledge in a given claim.
That many scriptures are the inspired word of a being, translated into various languages, is a form of poor evidence. Situations where the end of the evidential line is longer than 2 subjects amount to a form of hearsay, as the content goes unchecked for viability.
Many demonstrations by personal experience include some form of emotional stress. These are assumed to be inadmissible, as they point to a state where it is known that the human mind is at its most fallible. Near Death Experiences would seem to point to some afterlife except that they may produced by subjecting the human body to certain conditions. Since such evidence is inconclusive it is disregarded.
Last updated by Nelson Feb 13, 2009.