The Evidence is a character-driven detective series revolving around Inspectors Cayman Bishop (Orlando Jones) and Sean Cole (Rob Estes), two long-time partners and best friends in the San Francisco Police Department. In the series, the crucial evidence in the case will be presented at the outset of the story; all of the pieces to the puzzle will be known to viewers from the beginning. The question is -- how does it all fit together?
Runtime: 60 minutes
The Evidence - Anecdotal evidence - Netflix
Anecdotal evidence is evidence from anecdotes, i.e., evidence collected in a casual or informal manner and relying heavily or entirely on personal testimony. When compared to other types of evidence, anecdotal evidence is generally regarded as limited in value due to a number of potential weaknesses, but may be considered within the scope of scientific method as some anecdotal evidence can be both empirical and verifiable, e.g. in the use of case studies in medicine. Other anecdotal evidence, however, does not qualify as scientific evidence, because its nature prevents it from being investigated by the scientific method. Where only one or a few anecdotes are presented, there is a larger chance that they may be unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise non-representative samples of typical cases. Similarly, psychologists have found that due to cognitive bias people are more likely to remember notable or unusual examples rather than typical examples. Thus, even when accurate, anecdotal evidence is not necessarily representative of a typical experience. Accurate determination of whether an anecdote is typical requires statistical evidence. Misuse of anecdotal evidence is an informal fallacy and is sometimes referred to as the “person who” fallacy (“I know a person who...”; “I know of a case where...” etc.) which places undue weight on experiences of close peers which may not be typical. Compare with hasty generalization. The term is sometimes used in a legal context to describe certain kinds of testimony which are uncorroborated by objective, independent evidence such as notarized documentation, photographs, audio-visual recordings, etc. When used in advertising or promotion of a product, service, or idea, anecdotal reports are often called a testimonial, which are highly regulated or banned in some jurisdictions.
The Evidence - Faulty logic - Netflix
Anecdotes like this do not prove anything. In any case where some factor affects the probability of an outcome, rather than uniquely determining it, selected individual cases prove nothing; e.g. “my grandfather smoked 40 a day until he died at 90” and “my sister never went near anyone who smoked but died of lung cancer”. Anecdotes often refer to the exception, rather than the rule: “Anecdotes are useless precisely because they may point to idiosyncratic responses.” More generally, a statistical correlation between things does not in itself prove that one causes the other (a causal link). A study found that television viewing was strongly correlated with sugar consumption, but this does not prove that viewing causes sugar intake (or vice versa). In medicine anecdotal evidence is also subject to placebo effects: it is well-established that a patient's (or doctor's) expectation can genuinely change the outcome of treatment. Only double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials can confirm a hypothesis about the effectiveness of a treatment independently of expectations. By contrast, in science and logic, the “relative strength of an explanation” is based upon its ability to be tested or repeated, proven to be due to the stated cause, and verifiable under neutral conditions in a manner that other researchers will agree has been performed competently, and can check for themselves.
Anecdotal evidence is often unscientific or pseudoscientific because various forms of cognitive bias may affect the collection or presentation of evidence. For instance, someone who claims to have had an encounter with a supernatural being or alien may present a very vivid story, but this is not falsifiable. This phenomenon can also happen to large groups of people through subjective validation. Anecdotal evidence is also frequently misinterpreted via the availability heuristic, which leads to an overestimation of prevalence. Where a cause can be easily linked to an effect, people overestimate the likelihood of the cause having that effect (availability). In particular, vivid, emotionally charged anecdotes seem more plausible, and are given greater weight. A related issue is that it is usually impossible to assess for every piece of anecdotal evidence, the rate of people not reporting that anecdotal evidence in the population. A common way anecdotal evidence becomes unscientific is through fallacious reasoning such as the Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, the human tendency to assume that if one event happens after another, then the first must be the cause of the second. Another fallacy involves inductive reasoning. For instance, if an anecdote illustrates a desired conclusion rather than a logical conclusion, it is considered a faulty or hasty generalization. For example, here is anecdotal evidence presented as proof of a desired conclusion:
There's abundant proof that drinking water cures cancer. Just last week I read about a girl who was dying of cancer. After drinking water she was cured.
The Evidence - References - Netflix