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Evidence in its broadest sense includes everything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion. Giving or procuring evidence is the process of using those things that are either (a) presumed to be true, or (b) were themselves proven via evidence, to demonstrate an assertion's truth. Evidence is the currency by which one fulfills the burden of proof.

Evidence is "[g]rounds for belief or disbelief; data on which to base proof or to establish truth or falsehood."[1]


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 science and law, adding to the discourse surrounding it.

"Evidence can be objective or subjective. Evidence is obtained through measurement, the results of analyses, experience, and the observation of behavior over time. The security perspective places focus on credible evidence used to obtain assurance, substantiate trustworthiness, and assess risk."[2]

An important distinction in the field of evidence is that between circumstantial evidence and direct evidence, or evidence that suggests truth as opposed to evidence that directly proves truth. Many have seen this line to be less-than-clear and significant arguments have arisen over the difference.


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