A Look at the God of the Gaps Fallacy

by Eric Chabot

In studying the natural sciences, people are in agreement that those things which are directly observable or inferentially derived from the available evidence are truly real. Now, attempts to point to God as an explanation for the evidence is often what skeptics call the God of the Gaps fallacy. It works like this: a theist says that human knowledge, when using empirical science, reaches a point of mystery and the unknown. He or she might say, “We cannot explain the origin of the universe with science, so God must have created us.” On this line of thinking, there is a ‘gap’ in our knowledge, and ‘God’ fills in the gap which then provides closure to the mystery of cosmic origins. But then, a skeptic replies that when enough new information is gained, the gap in our knowledge closes, and ‘poof’—there goes the whole ‘God’ hypothesis. The whole idea of God as Creator went away as the gap closed…

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A Look at the God of the Gaps Fallacy

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