I have posted a few times about my frustrations with the lack of substance to UFO sighting posts and reports, and I largely have been told that this is what people want. I also have found places where people claim to take a "scientific" approach to the UFO question. However, whether UFOs exist and what they are is not a question for science.
The UFO question is a purely factual question. I am a trial lawyer in my day job, and answering factual questions is what I do. We answer factual questions with evidence, not science. And the legal system provides a very good framework for evaluating evidence.
The first requirement for evidence is that it be authentic. In a legal sense, evidence is authentic if it is what it purports to be. Taking a typical example of a video of a flying object, authenticity does not mean that the flying object is an alien craft or even that the flying object exists. It means that the video is actually a video made at the time and place and in the manner claimed.
Authenticity is the most basic requirement for all evidence, but we rarely can establish identify. We have a file that moves light and dark shapes around in a certain way, but we have no way to know if it was made with an iPhone or an app.
外围体育投注The authenticity requirement does not require conclusive proof. It simply requires some evidence to establish authenticity. For example, in trial if a witness testifies that he made a video with an iPhone, that will satisfy the preliminary authenticity requirement. That testimony can be challenged, but the video will get past the first hurdle.
外围体育投注Once evidence has been shown to be admissible, the next question is whether it is relevant. Relevant is not easy to translate to the UFO question, but generally evidence is relevant if it makes a stated proposition more likely to be true. A lot of evidence is circumstantial, and no matter what they say on TV, circumstantial evidence is allowed and used all the time. Evidence is circumstantial if it creates a reasonable inference that a proposition is probably true. Most evidence in life is circumstantial, and most people know how to deal with it.
外围体育投注To be admissible in a legal context, circumstantial evidence must exclude every other equally reasonable inference. A video of a light in the sky at night creates an inference that it is an unknown object. However, before anyone will pay attention, it must have qualities that exclude other possibilities such as a plane. We all do this all the time, but sometimes we are more rigorous in our thinking than at other time.
Generally speaking evidence that has been shown to be authentic and relevant is "admissible," which just means that it will be considered in reaching a decision. The actual requirements for admissibility are pretty low, and all admissible evidence is not equal. The value of evidence is based on its credibility.
外围体育投注In a lot of ways, credibility is subjective, which is why trials are so unpredictable. However, we can adopt standards for credibility and apply them. That usually requires some specialized expertise. In trials, we have expert witnesses for things like that, but I don't think that would be the best path to follow. I think that a lot of people could offer meaningful help in establishing standards for credibility of UFO evidence.
This subreddit and other places like it are not going to provide a forum to evaluate UFO information from an evidence perspective. I don't know how many people even have an interest in doing so. However, to find out, I have created r/UFOEvidence, and I am looking for anyone who would like to participate.