Cold-Case Detective Finds an Intruder in the Universe

Det. J. Warner Wallace

* Cold-case detective on RSR: Bob Enyart interviews J. Warner Wallace, cold-case homicide detective and adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University about his books, God's Crime Scene and Cold-Case Christianity. Det. Wallace applies crime scene investigation techniques to the universe to determine if God is the most reasonable inference for the evidence.

* Forensic science is a type of historical science: Not unlike Det. Wallace, Real Science Radio applies the concept of forensic investigation to the study of the universe and so beyond its customary criminal context. On a related matter, C.S. Lewis in Christian Reflections, pg. 77, wrote that, "If popular thought feels ‘science’ to be different from all other kinds of knowledge because science is experimentally verifiable, popular thought is mistaken. Experimental verification is not a new kind of assurance coming in to supply the deficiencies of mere logic. We should therefore abandon the distinction between scientific and non-scientific thought. The proper distinction is between logical and non-logical thought." Likewise, RSR notes a gradual broadening of the concept of forensics to include the use of scientific investigation to determine what events may have occurred in the past, whether criminal or not. (Examples include the "forensic investigation" of meteorites, soil engineeringEgyptian mummies, wetlandsfossilsplate tectonics, disastersNeanderthals, American historyall history, and supernovae.)

* The interview's unexpected development: An unexpected development in the interview occurred when Wallace, a defender of America's criminal justice system, and Bob Enyart, an outspoken critic, disagreed with each other over Bob's widely quoted assessment that, "It's no longer a justice system, now it's just a system." With Det. Wallace praising the jury system, Bob referred to it as "justice by committee" and pointed out that juries provide zero accountability, even when evidently guilty murderers are freed to commit more crime, for they are staffed by essentially anonymous individuals who immediately disband after rendering their verdict. (See also The guys did agree, however, that, biblically speaking, the two or three witnesses necessary for a conviction do not need to be eyewitnesses (physical and circumstantial evidence can do just fine). But then, briefly, they disagreed on the ubiquitous claim that America has "the best system in the world."

BEL's God's Criminal Justice System seminar CD* Results-based rating for U.S. justice system: With the U.S. having epidemic rates for violent crime, incarceration, and sexual assault, among the highest in the world, Bob argued that if a justice system is to be evaluated based on results (rather than on the claims of its beneficiaries), that our system's widespread failure suggests that we have not the best but one of the worst systems in the world. Perhaps that popular phrase only means that we have the highest paid lawyers in the world. Otherwise though, this fabulous interview discussed a great book of forensics and apologetics!