That Which Can Be Asserted Without Evidence Can Be Dismissed Without Evidence (Chirstopher Hitchens). Do You Agree?

Topics: Scientific method, Evidence, Science Pages: 4 (1600 words) Published: February 24, 2013
There is a belief that everything that you say and believe must be supported by evidence or it can be dismissed by others. While in some cases it is fairly apparent why this belief is in place, the question remains whether or not this is always the case. Can everything that is asserted without evidence simply be dismissed? In order to determine the validity of this claim, one can look at the natural sciences and history. Reason and perception can be considered evidence, and there is that overarching question of what is evidence? By looking into these questions, it should be possible to form an opinion as to whether or not evidence is necessary in every case.

The first question is what is evidence? What can be considered evidence when a claim is being made? Evidence is support to show that a claim being made is true. For example, in the court of law, before a defendant can be convicted, the prosecution must prove their guilt. If the person has motive and had the opportunity to commit the crime, both can be used as evidence to suggest that the person may be guilty. Forensic tools such as fingerprinting and DNA can also be used as evidence to show that the person is guilty. If there is enough evidence, the prosecutor proves that the person is guilty and they will be convicted. However, some of the evidence presented in the courtroom may not be as indisputable as the forensics. Witness statements can be tainted by bias, inaccurate due to time lapse or trauma, or entirely false. Yet cases are considered much stronger if there is a witness to back the forensic findings. Therefore evidence does not always need to be “hard evidence” to be supportive of a claim. In the natural sciences, evidence is incredibly important to show that theories are plausible, otherwise they are dismissed by the scientific community. For example, humans need oxygen to survive. This was a theory, but has now been indisputably proven to be scientific fact. This was proven because it has a...
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