It’s almost certainly not something you would think of as a helpful tool in determining where you stand on the “Does God Exist?” issue, but the “Inside-Or-Outside-The-Room” technique might still be just the thing.
The Inside/Outside technique, according to former Los Angeles homicide detective J. Warner Wallace — you may know him as the “Cold-Case Detective” on NBC Dateline —is this: Is it possible to know if a dead person was murdered, committed suicide or died from natural causes or in an accident by the information contained within the scene (the “Inside”) or is it necessary to go “Outside” to find the answer?
Working from his own experience and the textbook “Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation,” Wallace explains how he repeatedly employed this technique on the job as a detective, then he applies the same approach to the question of God’s existence.
Wallace explains how it works:
“Imagine, for example, a victim lying in a room with a gunshot injury. Next to his body there’s a handgun. The doors are locked from the inside, all the DNA and fingerprints in the room belong to the victim, the gun is registered to him, and there are no signs of an outside intruder. In this scenario, the cause for what we see in the room, appears to also be in the room. This is probably a suicide or accidental death.
“Now imagine the same room with different details. This time, you find fingerprints and DNA from an unknown suspect, the doors are unlocked, the gun doesn’t belong to the victim, and bloody footprints lead to the door.
“In our second scenario, the best explanation for what we find inside the room is a cause outside the room. It’s time to open a murder investigation – we have evidence of an unknown intruder, and intruders turn death scenes into crime scenes.”
See how that works? Now, here’s Wallace explaining it further and then applying it to the God question: