This primary purpose of this thread is to express my annoyance at two common uses, or rather misuses, of the word evidence. As such you may consider it would have been more appropriate as an item on a blog, rather than a thread on a discussion forum. However, I believe there may be enough substance to generate hostile commentary, informative agreement, and many other perspectives twixt the two. Annoyance 1: This relates to the misunderstanding, deliberate or accidental, of what constitutes evidence. The guilty parties include woo-woo merchants, conspiracy theorists, creationists and the like. In support of their views they offer anecdotes, third party accounts and assertions of “authorities”. My attitude to this is captured by the following. (If it seems familiar that is because I have posted it in several forums in the past.) Evidence is not a belief. Evidence is not a desire. Evidence is not an opinion. Evidence is not dogma. Evidence is not a suspicion. Evidence is not writings of undemonstrated provenance. Evidence is not a passionately declared statement. Evidence is not an idea. Evidence is not what someone told you in a pub. Evidence is not a You-Tube video. Evidence is not a majority opinion. Evidence is not a minority opinion. Evidence is measurable, repeatable observation consistent with a hypothesis. Annoyance 2 Contrary to the previous annoyance the perpetrators of this behaviour really should know better. Their egregious conduct is typically represented by the simple statement: “There is no evidence for ……..”. There is no evidence for ghosts. There is no evidence for alien visitations. There is no evidence that 911 was a government conspiracy. There is no evidence for God. There is no evidence for the Illuminati. The example that triggered me to open this thread was from a scholarly work on the formation of planetary crusts. (Planetary Crusts, Their Composition, Origin, and Evolution. ISBN 978-0-521-84186-3). The authors declare the following about Venus. “Among other differences, the planet displays no evidence of the operation of plate tectonics……” And yet I can cite at least three peer reviewed papers that do offer evidence of plate tectonics on Venus. What those who use the term in this, to my mind casual, way appear to mean is: "there is no good evidence for ………" There is no good evidence for ghosts. There is no sound evidence for alien visitations. There is no significant evidence that 911 was a government conspiracy. There is no compelling evidence for God. There is no convincing evidence for the Illuminati. It would take little effort to aim for this precision of vocabulary. The scientific literature and forum posts would be better for it and I should not be so annoyed.