Monday, May 2, 2016

Beware Spectral Evidence

Before a judge ruled against its admission in 1693, spectral evidence was used to condemn Salem's witches to death.

A defendant could be convicted solely on the testimony of a witness who claimed the defendant appeared to him or her in a dream.

Inadmissible in a court of law, spectral evidence is a red herring that still holds sway in today's court of public opinion.

We're engulfed by everyday examples:
  • Every social media user has the attention span of a goldfish (although NIH never issued that finding).
  • Every business must innovate or die (although only 3% of new consumer products enjoy first-year sales above $50 million—the benchmark of a successful launch).
  • Every Planned Parenthood clinic profits from fetal tissue sales (although the activist behind the claim has admitted to faking his documentary).
Before your next witch hunt, please, check your facts.
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