What is the God of the gaps argument?


Question: “What is the God of the gaps argument?”

Answer: The “God-of-the-gaps” argument refers to a perception of the universe in which anything that currently can be explained by our knowledge of natural phenomena is considered outside the realm of divine interaction, and thus the concept of “God” is invoked to explain what science is, as yet, incapable of explaining. In other words, only the “gaps” in scientific knowledge are explained by the work of God, hence the name “God of the gaps.”

The idea is that as scientific research progresses, and an increasing number of phenomena are explained naturalistically, the role of God diminishes accordingly. The major criticism commonly states that invoking supernatural explanations should decrease in plausibility over time, as the domain of knowledge previously explained by God is decreasing.

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However, with modern advances in science and technology, the tables have been literally turned. With the advent of electron scanning microscopes, we have been able to observe the intricate workings of the cell for the first time. What had originally and simplistically been thought to be nothing more than a “blob” of protoplasm is now seen to be far more complex and information-packed than had ever been conceived of previously.

Much of what had once been filed away as “solved” in the early twentieth century is now found to be inadequately explained by naturalism. Twenty-first century technology is increasingly revealing gaping holes in conventional evolutionary theory. The information-rich content of the “simple” has only recently been understood at any real level and found to be anything but simple. Information can now be understood to be inherently non-material. Therefore, materialistic processes cannot qualify as sources of information…


What is the God of the gaps argument? | GotQuestions.org