Horn and Dillahunty – Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

In the debate between Trent Horn and Matt Dillahunty on the resurrection in Pints with Aquinas, Dillahunty stated:

The claim needs to be extraordinary because of the narrative so you know extraordinary claims require
extraordinary evidence. Oh wait a minute is that actually true? Everybody’s heard that. I’ve said it, other people said it.
I accept that aphorism for what it means. But not as it’s written because all claims require sufficient evidence
and then and what what counts as sufficient evidence to believe a claim is going to differ based on how consistent that
claim is with reality.

That’s what’s being reported as this actually happened so what evidence do we have copies of
copies of translations of copies from unknown sources that may have been but probably weren’t eyewitnesses.
And even if they had been eyewitnesses it wouldn’t be sufficient to confirm that someone actually rose from the dead
what sort of evidence would we expect for a claim where someone rose from the dead? It depends on the time frame.
Sure back in first century Judea probably not a lot how you don’t have a way to
test for sure that somebody’s dead. You don’t have like x-rays you don’t have DNA.
Well what’s the question is what sort of evidence could a god provide?
Well god could provide the best evidence possible such that there would be no reasonable debate to be had at all.

It is unreasonable to believe it because there isn’t sufficient evidence. No physical evidence nothing about this
claim would pass muster today. There’s no body no tomb no blood no sword no cross no dna no burial rags
despite the fake shroud of turin. No witnesses to question currently no crime scene investigators
no findings of fact at all.

Interestingly he mentioned the TS. But I would highly doubt he knows much about the shroud since he just casually dismisses it.

He also makes the common charge from skeptics that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. This is regularly asserted by skeptics in debates on the resurrection.

Even if the promoters of the resurrection concept could provide plausible explanations why everything except the 1980s tracts was hushed up, ordinary people would still be skeptical. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.


I would answer this charge by saying the Shroud is Turin is your extraordinary evidence.

First, it is artifact evidence that is empirical evidence. It is not textual evidence that all debates, discussions, books, papers, videos, and podcasts on the resurrection have focused on. With the shroud, we can hold it, measure it, study it, and scientifically analyze it.

It is extraordinary because it is the most scientifically studied artifact in human history. The shroud has been intensely studied by scientists and hasn’t really been studied much by Biblical scholars. I’ve tried to find any material from Biblical scholars on the shroud and the only thing I can find are from Gary Habermas and Dale Allison. Whereas if you want to find papers from scientists and shroud scholars, just go to shroud.com and you can spend forever reading all the materials there.

It is extraordinary because it is the only evidence that we have that dates to the first century. We have no original manuscripts of the gospels or Paul’s writings that date to the first century.

It is extraordinary because it is the only thing that is claimed to be present at the moment Jesus resurrected from the dead. There were no eyewitnesses inside the tomb to see Jesus resurrect except the shroud.

It is extraordinary because every single feature of the shroud is a mystery and inexplicable. We really have no idea how the body image got there. We have no full explanation how the blood stains were formed. We have no full explanation of the photographic negative effect, the x-ray effect, the depth encoding effect, the halftone effect, superficiality of the image on the topmost fibers, etc.

It is extraordinary evidence because it has survived to this day. Even none of the original manuscripts of the Bible have survived. There were many moments the shroud could’ve been lost in history, but it somehow escaped all of them.

The Shroud of Turin is the extraordinary evidence that supports the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.