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God of the gaps

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God of the gaps is an argument often made by evolutionists meant to portray that God is merely an argument from ignorance and that science will eventually solve these gaps. Through this, they wish to make a contrast between religious explanations and natural explanations. According to evolutionists, this being would halt the process of science because anything can be explained by God and thus is of little explanatory power. In actuality, creationists such as Isaac Newton have long thought that such scientific discoveries helped them understand the Creator's thoughts and actions when the universe was created.


The argument goes like this:

Creationism is not valid, because it merely sticks "God" into the gaps in science.

It is meant to say that because science cannot know something yet, the creationist just ignorantly injects God as the explanation. However it is just as equal to say that there is a philosophical naturalism of the gaps where evolutionists just assume some natural mechanism is responsible even though no direct observation has occurred. In other words, evolutionists employ such an argument as a way to imply that God does not exist. If God did exist and created even a small thing then this intervention would mean that there is something that cannot be possibly explained by naturalistic processes.

Flaws of the Argument

Flaws in the argument include:

  • Double standard: While evolutionists accuse creationists of making a "god of the gaps" argument, evolutionists are making an "evolution of the gaps" argument. Just as the creationist says, "I don't know how it actually happened, but I know God did it and it didn't evolve," The evolutionist says, "I don't know how it actually happened, but I know it evolved and God didn't do it." The only important fact is that there are gaps.
  • Excluding action by God from the definition of science: The argument assumes that it is unscientific to credit God with acting in the universe. But certainly if God were to act in the universe, then science would have to acknowledge and even study those acts. The argument that it is unscientific to admit acts of God into science is premised on the philosophical assumption that God either does not exist or does not act in the universe. See Supernaturalism for a more complete discussion.
  • Expanding gaps: The god of the gaps argument assumes that it is inappropriate to credit God with acts because those beliefs are just "gaps in science." The unstated assumption, however, is that science will one day fill those gaps, and more specifically, fill those gaps with evolution. If the gaps were shrinking, perhaps this argument would carry some weight. But in fact, with scientific discovery, the gaps in our knowledge are expanding, and thus the "god of the gaps" is getting bigger. The more we study life, the more complex, intricate, and beautiful we realize it is, the more we discover exactly how impossible the theory of evolution is, and the more we learn about the power and intelligence of the Creator.
  • Expected gaps: The last issue is one of predictions and consistency. Creationism makes a limited number of claims about what God did. It claims that he created life (and life cannot arise spontaneously), that the forms of life were created fully formed and separate (and thus all life is not related), and that the dominant trend in genetics is one of genetic entropy rather than increases in information and complexity. The longer evolutionists fail to fill these "gaps," the more reasonable it is to believe that those gaps in evolution are permanent, because evolution did not occur.

Related References

See Also