The God of the gaps argument for God fails when a plausible scientific account for a gap in current knowledge can be given. I do not dispute that the exact nature of the origin of the universe remains a gap in scientific knowledge. But I deny that we are bereft of any conceivable way to account for that origin scientifically.
VICTOR J. STENGER
When you talk to atheists and debate with them, they will throw out the “God of the gaps” tripe. They assert that God is nothing more than the putty believers use to fill in the gaps of our scientific knowledge about the universe. This is how Zeus gave way to positive and negative electrical charges in explaining lightning. The assumption is that myths fall as science increases. But is this really the case?
I think we can shed more light on the issue by actually making a list of the gaps. Here is that list:
GAP #1–Something from nothing.
Why is there something instead of nothing? How did this truly vast universe spring from nothing? Once upon a time, atheists denied that the universe had a beginning. Then, the Big Bang was theorized and proved with various scientific tests. Apparently, Aristotle got that part right. So, how did the universe get here? The best guess scientists have now is the multiverse theory which is an idea beyond any scientific verification.
GAP #2–Chemistry to biology.
This is Darwin’s primordial soup. How did non-life spontaneously turn itself into life? The primordial soup has given way to geothermal vents above ground and in the oceans. Then, there is the piggy backing on crystals hypothesis. They don’t know, and attempts to duplicate the primordial accident in the laboratory have been fruitless. But if we can find microbial life on Mars or Titan or wherever, this will be enough to establish the idea of biology springing spontaneously from chemicals. Then, there is the idea of panspermia which is the biological equivalent of the multiverse theory. Life got here by comets. Of course, no one can tell us how life got on the comets in the first place.
GAP #3–From primates to human beings.
Despite all that you read and hear, no conclusive evolutionary link has been established between humans and non-humans. When the missing link is found, you will definitely know about it because it will be frontpage news and literally shake civilization to its foundations. In the meantime, anthropologists uncover a femur and some teeth and build stories around these artifacts in much the same they did with the Piltdown Man until it was ascertained that particular specimen was a hoax. I’m not sure where the imagination ends and the science begins with anthropology.
Those are the gaps. Science has not filled those gaps. But I am supposed to trust that one day science will fill those gaps. In the meantime, I should take it on faith that God does not exist.