Comment: Anecdotal testimony

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Anecdotal testimony

may not be scientifically rigorous proof, but it IS substantiation. "Substantiation" means: "To support with proof or evidence." Anecdotal testimony (from a trustworthy source, about their personal experience) does constitute "evidence."

For example, a recommendation from a friend may be worth a lot more than a "study" done by a drug company. Drug companies have an incentive to fake studies "proving" their products' safety and effectiveness; whereas a friend giving you "anecdotal" testimony about their personal experience has an incentive to be genuinely helpful.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose