Michelangelo of the Gaps

Christian Apologetics UK

DavidAsk a typical geologist, or even a competent GCSE student, how sand forms on the beach and you can expect a step by step procedure as large chunks of rock are split and weathered by the relentless beating of the ocean tides. This is a very slow, perfectly natural process that has been going on for millennia.

Ask how the famous Giant's causeway came about, those striking arrays of hexagonal pillars rising out of the sea on the Irish coast. You'll get a story that starts violently, with a rush of lava at hundreds of degrees, but again is both perfectly natural and unguided.

Ask about any rock form of any size on any continent, and through the gnarled roots of trees, the whipping of the desert winds, the pounding of rivers or the surging of magma from far below us they will provide an explanation, and for the most part those explanations will be perfectly solid.

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Now ask instead about David.  The seventeen foot tall marble replica of a man, complete with muscles, bones, joints, and even sideburns, has and can have no unguided natural explanation. The only explanation that explains this phenomenon is the meticulous planning and dexterous hand of the great Renaissance artist and sculptor Michelangelo. Geologists all agree with the accepted account of the origin of this sculpture, even as they agree on the natural processes that formed the smooth river stones the original David used in his most famous accomplishment.

When faced with the proposal that the best explanation for a phenomenon is not a famed sculptor but an almighty God, some people are inclined to baulk. Their motives vary, but one of the most common objections has to be their fear of a "God of the Gaps" mentality taking over scienceā€¦


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