The "God Of The Gaps" Argument

This argument has the form

This is not based in logic. It is simply a statement of pessimism about the future progress of science.

Down through the centuries, science has eliminated a great many of its gaps. People who had used the Gap argument were embarrassed, since their God shrank in power with each new scientific advance. For example, after the work of Galileo and Newton, it was no longer thought that angels pushed the planets across the heavens.

A more recent example is the argument by some Creationists that complex molecules (such as amino acids) could not have arisen by natural processes on the early earth. Hence, life could not have arisen by natural means, and God must have miraculously created these chemicals while creating life. The chemicals were part of a Purpose.

The basis of this argument was a gap in scientific knowledge. This basis fell apart when molecules (including organic molecules) were detected in interstellar space by astronomers. The argument came further apart when amino acids were found inside the Murchison meteorite. Apparently the basic molecules of life form naturally in some quite harsh places, and there is a way for vast quantities to have arrived intact on the early earth. So, their existence has Purpose only to the extent that the entire galaxy does.

Last modified: 1 January 2000

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