Circumstantial evidence in this respect is intrinsically no different from testimonial evidence. Admittedly, circumstantial evidence may in some cases point to a wholly incorrect result. Yet this is equally true of testimonial evidence. In both instances, a jury is asked to weigh the chances that the evidence correctly points to guilt against the possibility of inaccuracy or ambiguous inference. In both, the jury must use its experience with people and events in weighing the probabilities. If the jury is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, we can require no more.
For Those That Distrust Circumstantial Evidence, Direct Evidence Isn't That Reliable
There are those that may argue that direct evidence, especially in a murder case, should be the only evidence used to convict. However, in our imperfect world there usually isn't much direct evidence in most crimes -- and the direct evidence that may be had might not be the most reliable.
Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, for example - and you can't get more direct that a witness glaring at a defense table, pointing his finger and crying out, "he did it!"
Meanwhile, the slow and tedious introduction of pieces of circumstantial evidence, as time consuming as it might be, can provide a clear picture of the truth - I like to think of it as a "Lite-Brite" of sorts. Remember Lite-Brites? They were toys were white lights were hidden by thick black paper on a screen, and you had oodles of plastic buttons, or pegs, that you pushed one at a time into that black nothingness until an image emerged.
Perhaps those that distrust circumstantial evidence are more concerned, really, with the burden of proof that the State in a criminal case must meet in order to prove their case. Twelve jurors must use what they have (from Holland, their "experience with people and events") and determine if there is any reasonable doubt left that the defendant did the crime alleged.
Doubt can remain. It just cannot be a reasonable doubt. And logical reasoning can occur in that jury room. If it walks like a duck, and it talks like a duck, you can infer it's a duck.
Some Believe That Circumstantial Evidence is More Reliable That Direct Evidence
Note: In fact, there are those in the criminal arena that find circumstantial evidence to be more reliable than direct evidence (especially when we're talking eyewitnesses). If you are interested in learning more on that issue, I've downloaded Professor Heller's excellent article on this subject, "The Cognitive Psychology of Circumstantial Evidence," 105 Michigan Law Review (2006) at Google Docs.
The University of Michigan Law School is one of the most prestigious law schools in the country, and coming from UT Law, another top tier law school, maybe I should have found a UT Law Review article -- but I like Heller's article here and I think you will, too.