Naturalistic attempts to account for such phenomena as the three-dimensional, superficial and non-directional image, plus additional details such as its resolute and unsaturated nature, have failed to produce a viable alternative theory that explains all of the data. The scientists reported that they were unable to discover any known natural causes that could account for the shroud’s image. In scientific terms, the image is a “mystery.”^25
Perhaps even more amazing, the shroud contains no bodily decomposition, indicating that the body exited the cloth after a comparatively short interment. Furthermore, according to the scientific team pathologist, the body was probably not unwrapped, as indicated by the fact that many of the bloodstains were intact (including the blood clots), since such action would have disturbed the bloodstains. Even more interesting is the possibility that the image was caused by some sort of light or heat scorch that emanated from a dead body in the state of rigor mortis.^26 In short, the converging scientific facts show that the body left the cloth by some as yet unknown means. Since the man buried in the shroud is possibly Jesus, we also have some possible empirical evidence for his resurrection.^27
23 Stevenson and Habermas, Verdict, chapters 3, 10.
24 For details concerning this correspondence that cannot be presented in this book, see ibid., chapter 9.
25 Heller, Report, p. 218.
26 These conclusions do not necessarily represent the views of any other researchers. See Stevenson and Habermas, Verdict, chapter 11. For a more detailed and intricate argument concerning the shroud as evidence for the resurrection, see also Gary R. Habermas, “The Shroud of Turin: A Rejoinder to Basinger and Basinger,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society25 (1982), pp. 219–227.