During over 40 years of Orthopaedic Surgical practice that included great activity in the Industrial Medical-Legal arena as an Independent Medical Examiner for the State of California, I asked countless attorneys to define “Evidence” and “Proof.” At no time did I ever get a comprehensive answer—or a similar even incomplete answer—or answers that were not conflicting. I have spent much time in researching these words and have concluded that they are in, at least, two different categories—one of a Spiritual nature in African Tradition and the other of a Schema nature in European Tradition. The Schema type consists of what could be likened to a floating ball filled with an Association of Ideas—neither of which can be defined. “The apple is good; it is a good day” has a context enabling most to understand the meaning. Yet, for “Capitalism is a good economic system,” “good” needs considerable analysis if the statement is to acquire intelligibility sufficient for testing of the truth by European standards—but which has nothing to do with Truth in African Tradition. Otherwise, there are countless pure abstractions for good and bad. Since Evidence is used mainly in the legal system, Black’s Delux Law Dictionary gives 2 and a half pages. A sample is: “Any species of proof, or probative matter, legally presented at the trial of an issue, by the act of the parties and through the medium of witnesses, records, documents, exhibits, concrete objects, etc., for the purpose of inducing belief in the minds of the court or jury as to their contention.” More of the same applies to its two pages of definitions for Proof: “The effect of evidence; the establishment of a fact by evidence.” An extensive research on European “Facts” was so confusing as for it to be anything anybody wanted it to be.
Also, there are a host of subdivisions, each with different definitions, for European “Evidence.” In order to get the broadest possible definitions I consulted the Encyclopaedia Brittannica (8: 560 1991). It states the Laws of nature are of two basic forms: (1) a law is universal if it states that some conditions, so far as are known, invariably are found together with certain other conditions; and (2) a law is probabilistic (which I take to mean “Proof”) if it affirms that, on the average, a stated fraction of cases displaying a given condition will display a certain other condition as well.” Then it goes to the top step by saying: “In either case, a law may be valid even though it obtains only under special circumstances or as a convenient approximation. Moreover, a law of nature has no logical necessity; rather, it rests directly or indirectly upon the evidence of experience.” Etymologically, "Proof's" C15 English meaning is “tested value or power against something in order to establish something as complete, irresistible evidence; to demolish a point of contention; or to determine its position somewhere in-between the extremes.” European Evidence means something seen as clear.
Africans’ "T" Scale is concerned with the ranges of Certainty (100%) on the horizontal bar. The Unseen Absolutely Certain is illustrated by a "Thing's" essence of Being and it has no proof. Seen Absolutely Certain (i.e. Circumstantial Truths) is displays of Unseen Absolute Certainty. Example: Ancient African Sages devised paths leading to the indirect Proof of God by: mathematically figuring out Circumstantial Truths (like Spiritual Elements) + being aware of God's functions (qualities, powers, actions) + observing attributes (neteru) of God's domain in Nature (e.g. Instincts in all animals and humans) + Self-Knowledge + constant Reflection on how to overcome personal flaws + how to spread Ma'at. Circumstantial Evidence (e.g. observing attributes of God's domain in Nature, like Instincts in all animals and humans) derived from Circumstantial Truths (God's manifestations in Nature) enabled inferring God's functions (qualities, powers, actions) giving rise to the Spiritual Elements (God's Substance) as the ultimate in solidness. So, Evidence is mosaic pieces of the Spiritual Elements. Proof is the establishment of Interrelationships between Evidence mosaics possessing Correspondence–i.e. all have the Spiritual Elements as their sound, stable, and unchanging Base upon which the Foundation of the Thought Structure rests. This means all involved parts in the Interrelationship interdependently possess internal unchanging linkages of Coherence, Consistency, Compatibility, Balance, and Harmony. Truth (among others) is the consistent Patterns of the Unseeable emanating or in Correspondence with what gives Order to the underlying natural events of what is the Seeable. jabaileymd.com