8 Sep 2011

What is a God-of-the-Gaps argument?

Submitted by Stephen Winters
TitleWhat is a God-of-the-Gaps argument?
Publication TypeWeb Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsThe BioLogos Foundation,
Access Year2011
Access DateSept 8, 2011
Keywordscreation, god, God of the gaps, moral law

Defining God-of-the-Gaps

God-of-the-gaps arguments use gaps in scientific explanation as indicators, or even proof, of God’s action and therefore of God’s existence. Such arguments propose divine acts in place of natural, scientific causes for phenomena that science cannot yet explain. The assumption is that if science cannot explain how something happened, then God must be the explanation. But the danger of using a God-of-the-gaps argument for the action or existence of God is that it lacks the foresight of future scientific discoveries. With the continuing advancement of science, God-of-the-gaps explanations often get replaced by natural mechanisms. Therefore, when such arguments are used as apologetic tools, scientific research can unnecessarily be placed at odds with belief in God.1 The recent Intelligent Design, or ID,  movement highlights this problem. Certain ID arguments, like the irreducible complexity of the human eye or the bacterial flagellum, are rapidly being undercut by new scientific discoveries.

Citation Keyctkeybiologos.org

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