Ah, the Spider-Man fallacy. It’s a card that skeptics love to play. While I can define it, you’ll recognize it better if I give you an example:
Christian apologist: “Critics of the New Testament have repeatedly been proven wrong by archaeology. Some skeptics have said that Nazareth wasn’t a real city, or that there couldn’t have been a synagogue in 1st-century Capernaum. But archaeologists have proven them wrong.”
Internet atheist guy: “Bro, you’re committing the Spider-Man fallacy. 2,000 years from now archaeologists could dig up the ruins of Columbia University or the Empire State Building. Does that prove that Spider-Man exists? LOL.”
Or to give another example:
Christian apologist: “Jesus’ crucifixion is historically certain. Even if any of his followers didn’t write anything about it for a hundred years, we’d still know about it from two authors who weren’t his supporters: Tacitus and Josephus. And they wouldn’t think he was crucified if he didn’t exist.”
Internet atheist girl: “There was also a real Transylvanian prince named Dracula. Does that prove vampires exist?” 😂
Sigh. This is just not a very clever response. It’s a straw man fallacy and fails to understand the genre of the Four Gospels.
Erik is a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He’s a former freelance baseball writer and the co-owner of a vintage and handmade decor business with his wife, Dawn. He is passionate about the intersection of apologetics and evangelism.