Absolute- 1) perfect, complete and ultimate in quality or nature 2) expressing finality with no implication of possible change

Absolute Certainty- ultimate sureness with no implication of possible change

Absolute Identity- the determination of identity by features whose frequency (or likelihood) of reoccurrence is ultimately impossible (Compare with Practical Identity)

Agree- to be similar

Agreement- to be similar or having harmony of character

Association- to join or connect together

Certainty- sureness

Consecutiveness- one right after another in order

Correspondence- be in conformity or agreement

Confirm- strengthen or make firm

Criterion- a standard on which a judgment or decision may be based

Distribution- the dispensing or imparting of physical features

Elements of Identity- elements of a tool's uniqueness which are resultant from the distribution random characteristics

Empirical- 1) that which is seen or observed 2) relying on or derived from observation

Empirical Knowledge- propositional knowledge obtained by experience or testimony of others

Empirical Research (Study)- Activity that uses direct or indirect observation as its test of reality. Empirical research in Toolmark ID attempts to describe accurate interaction between the examiner's instrument(s) and the object(s) being observed. The examiner is expected to calibrate his/her instrument by applying it to a known standard object and document results before applying it to an unknown object.

Error Rate- the frequency at which one deviates or strays from a correct standard

Feature- prominent part of a characteristic

Identification- the association of distinctive feature(s) to an individual

Identification, Laws of-

  • Uniqueness- individuality in nature that surpasses statistics or averages of occurrence
  • Entropy- close to others when manufactured then becomes dissimilar through age and/or wear

Individuality- distinguishing an individual from others by qualities

Individual- characteristic(s) that separates distinguishes one from all other items of the same kind of group or class

Individualization- 1) development of the individual from the universal  2) process by which individuals become differentiated

Numeric- denoting a number or system of numbers

Objective- 1) of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon or condition in the realm of sensible experience, individual thought & perceptible by all observers 2) expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feeling, prejudices or interpretations

Practitioner- one who practices a profession

Practical- relating to, or manifested in practice or action

Practical Certainty- sureness related to, or manifested in practice or action

In the context of a scientific conclusion, practical certainty occurs when an examiner can affirm all of the following necessary conditions:

  1. He or she believes the conclusion is true and accurate;
  2. He or she has rational grounds for believing the conclusion is true and accurate; and
  3. He or she acknowledges that, in the abstract, it is not possible to achieve absolute certainty for results flowing from a scientific theory or technique.

Practical Identity- the (subjective or empirical) determination of identity by features whose frequency (or likelihood) of reoccurrence is so remote that it can be considered virtually impossible (Compare to Absolute Identity)

Pattern Recognition- the cognitive discernment between two similar or dissimilar configurations

Phenomenon- 1) an observable fact or event 2) fact or event of scientific interest that is susceptible of scientific description and explanation

Probability- the ratio of the number of outcomes in an exhaustive set of equally likely outcomes that produce a given event to the total number of possible outcomes

Random- 1) having no specific pattern 2) produced by chance or unplanned in nature

Reliability- the extent to which an experiment, test or measuring procedure yields the same the same results on repeated trials

Standard- something established by authority, custom or general consent as a model or example

Study- careful analysis

Scientific method- procedures for the systematic gathering of knowledge.  These procedures generally involve:  

  • state the problem
  • develop a hypothesis
  • test the hypothesis
  • form a theory
  • use theories to predict events
  • theory becomes law

Science- a systematic gathering of knowledge. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation and the theoretical explanation of phenomena.

Scientist- one learned in science and esp. natural science

Science, Natural- systematized knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena (Compare to Science)

Testable- to be proven true or false

Testability- a critical evaluation process that supports or refutes a hypothesis

Theorem- an idea accepted or proposed as demonstrable truth; often as part of a general theory

Theory- most logical explanation of an event that occurs in nature

Validate- to support or corroborate on a sound or authoritative basis, i.e. confirm

Verification- to confirm the truth or correctness of something