Convergence of Evidence

4B0CA317-1D02-499B-BCC9-D8A9418B0CA0Some say we need to teach young people how to use a check book. I say we need to teach them (and everyone else) how to measure the validity of a claim based on evidence. One of the most important aspects of doing so is understanding the convergence of evidence. Like in the picture, in real life some lines of evidence will not align perfectly on a single point. Because there are outliers, situations where mitigating factors lead to slightly different outcomes. But there is a convergence where most of the lines come together. That’s what it takes to form a trustworthy understanding of a subject. Looking at multiple lines of evidence and establishing the area of convergence is how you can have confidence that we’ve developed a persuasive understanding of any subject. You can’t pluck one line out of the bunch that you happen to like and form your beliefs on that single line. You also can’t pick the first line that shows up and form your conclusions until you can corroborate with other lines of evidence and find the convergence

For example

You can’t pick this one study about a single asymptomatic subject

One subject

And then ignore this study of eight asymptomatic subjects

Eight subjects

You have to find the convergence to draw a conclusion 

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