Intelligent Design

Another God of the Gaps Warning

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Theory protectionism comes in many forms. One of the most common protections for the theory of evolution is the so-called God of the gaps warning which casts evolution criticism as an argument for the existence of God that is from ignorance and therefore a danger to one’s faith. This warning appeared again this week when Mark Shea used it against Intelligent Design in the National Catholic Register.  Read more

13 Replies to “Another God of the Gaps Warning

  1. 1
    nightlight says:

    Mark Shea is correct — the Discovery Institute’s “Intelligent Designer” is part time intelligent designer who is invoked only to “help out” the “natural laws” do what they can’t do otherwise.

    For example according to the DI’s part time designer ‘theory’, the “microevolution” (or any instance of evolution replicated in the lab) is result of “natural laws” while “macroevolution” results from the intervention by “designer” who has somehow injected himself into the operation of the nature occasionally, to override or suspending the “natural laws” for a little while so he can help them do something his other hand making them go in the first place doesn’t want them to do.

    Hence DI’s designer is conceived as designer who had a stroke or brain tumor and now his left hand is fighting or helping out his right hand.

    It is an incoherent position resulting from thorough misunderstanding of how natural laws work, or of science and philosophy altogether, which is doomed to an continued series of defeats. If atheists wished to sabotage the idea of “intelligent design” or “theism” they couldn’t have come up with better strategy than what Discovery Institute is promoting as ID.

  2. 2
    johnp says:

    Wow. God of the gaps. Geez I bet those dumb ID guys never heard that one before. Obviously there’s no defense to that argument. They should just pack their bags and go home.

  3. 3
    tjguy says:

    Nightlight says:

    the “microevolution” (or any instance of evolution replicated in the lab) is result of “natural laws” while “macroevolution” results from the intervention by “designer”

    If you can show us how unguided directionless purposeless, random forces can actually create new proteins, genes, organs, body plans, software programs to run these organs, etc. that would be wonderful!!

    Just telling us that it happened is not sufficient. We would like actual evidence that this is possible, not just empty claims. Let’s take the dinosaur to bird idea. Can you show us a possible genetic pathway that random mutations could have taken where each step provides enough of a benefit to be selected for in that irreducibly complex systems like the feather and flight could have evolved? I doubt it. You just close your eyes to the difficulty of it and claim “Evolution did it.” How is that a scientific statement?

    From crev.info:

    This shows that ignorance is rife not only in the Darwin camp. The whole secular origin industry thrives on ignorance. It may be sophisticated ignorance, but it’s still ignorance. From the origin of the universe, to the origin of matter, to the origin of stars and galaxies, to the origin of planets, to the origin of earth’s crust and atmosphere, the entire prelude to life is a sorry tale of all the things they don’t know but love to speculate about. And that’s just the beginning of their woes. The origin of life is so profoundly rooted in ignorance and impossibilities, it is a show-stopper to top all show stoppers (how many show stoppers does it take to stop a show?). Everything beyond the origin of life – the origin of the genetic code, the origin of multicellularity, sex, body plans, sensation, every function from swimming to flight, the origin of sentience, behavior, the origin of humans, of consciousness, of the brain, of altruism, of music, of morality – there is not one of these areas where evolutionists know more than the geology described above. Secular evolution is an exercise in willful ignorance. It could be quickly cured by recognition of the necessity of intelligent design to even get to square one.

    See more at: http://crev.info/2013/11/what-.....mdUNX.dpuf

  4. 4
    nightlight says:

    @tjguy #4

    the “microevolution” (or any instance of evolution replicated in the lab) is result of “natural laws” while “macroevolution” results from the intervention by “designer”

    If you can show us how unguided directionless purposeless, random forces can actually create new proteins, genes, organs, body plans, software programs to run these organs, etc. that would be wonderful!!

    You misunderstood the argument entirely. My position is more ID than the half-hearted part-time ID position you are defending.

    The point is that neither “microevolution” not “microevolution” is the result of “unguided directionless purposeless, random forces”. There is no proof that even the instances of microevolution demonstrated in the lab, such as antibiotic resistance in bacteria, are the result of “random” mutations i.e. attribute “random” is gratuitous, parasitic attachment assigned to mutations for ideological purposes (promotion of atheism), not a scientifically established fact.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    The ‘God of the gaps’ story, (the story that naturalism/materialism continues to explain more and more of reality whilst the ‘gaps’ in our knowledge that God used to explain continues to shrink), has to be one of the most ludicrous arguments in the naturalists arsenal. For anyone who has an ounce of unbiased objectivity the ‘gap story’ is completely opposite to what naturalists pretend it is. The actual ‘gap story’ is the further science advances the wider the chasms grow that naturalism/materialism did not predict nor can naturalism/materialism rationally explain. For instance,,,

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted time-space matter-energy always existed. Whereas Theism predicted time-space energy-matter were created. Big Bang cosmology now strongly indicates that time-space energy-matter had a sudden creation event approximately 14 billion years ago.

    2. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the universe is a self sustaining system that is not dependent on anything else for its continued existence. Theism predicted that God upholds this universe in its continued existence. Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence.

    3. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that consciousness is a ’emergent property’ of material reality and thus should have no particularly special position within material reality. Theism predicts consciousness precedes material reality and therefore, on that presupposition, consciousness should have a ‘special’ position within material reality. Quantum Mechanics reveals that consciousness has a special, even a central, position within material reality. –

    4. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe. Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time. – Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, is relative and comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. (Psalm 90:4 – 2 Timothy 1:9) –

    5. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and that life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind. Scientists find the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. –

    6. Naturalism/Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe. Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex organic life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe. –

    7. Naturalism/Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11). Geo-chemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photo-synthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth. –

    8. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the first life to be relatively simple.. Theism predicted that God is the source for all life on earth. The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) –

    9. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse animal life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas. –

    10. Naturalism/Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record. Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. –

    11. Naturalism/Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man (our genus homo) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. –

    12. Naturalism/Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. –

    13. Naturalism/Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) –

    Clearly, the progress of science has been very favorable to Theistic concerns. Clearly, if anyone is clinging to shrinking gaps in knowledge as science advances it is the Materialist/Naturalist himself and it is not the Theist. In fact, I seriously can find no gaps in which the naturalist can hide his beliefs anymore from penetrating criticism (save of course for in their own imagination).

    Verse and Music:

    Proverbs 21:30
    There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.

    Hillsong – Mighty to Save – With Subtitles/Lyrics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-08YZF87OBQ

  6. 6
    TSErik says:

    What is it called when NDE-ists stake a position by saying, “You can’t build a theory on what is missing in NDE. Sure, there are gaps in our understanding, but the answer IS there and it WILL be explained under NDE’s paradigm”?

  7. 7

    TSErik @6:

    “Darwin of the Gaps.”

  8. 8
    buffalo says:

    Let’s work backwards for a moment. There will always be a least one gap or we would be God. Catholics understand the universe is sustained by God full time, not part time. A question to be explored is the quantum effect of prayer. How much of an active role do His people play?

  9. 9
    buffalo says:

    It seems to me we end up with a choice – God or the god of BUC (blind unguided chance). The god of BUC is called upon to fill many more gaps than God.

  10. 10
    reductio says:

    Once again BA77 nails it. I would add that when we come to the quantum interpretation problem, the final “gap” that naturalism is faced with is one that by it’s very definition cannot be filled by naturalism, because every attempt at measurement is altered by the conscious observer on which the observation cleary depends. Determinism breaks down, free will is made not only possible but necessary as the independent consciousness of the observer is shown to precede (not arise from) the material world and the whole materialist program is turned upside down.

    Moses asked God for a name, expecting a proper noun. God replies with a verb: “I AM”. That’s not just good theology; that’s what underpins all of reality. Consciousness (God’s first, ours second) is primary; the nouns (material) come later.

  11. 11
    Axel says:

    ‘Moses asked God for a name, expecting a proper noun. God replies with a verb: “I AM”. That’s not just good theology; that’s what underpins all of reality. Consciousness (God’s first, ours second) is primary; the nouns (material) come later.’

    A profound grammatico-teleological insight by your good self, too, reductio, if I may say so.

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    nightlight:

    the Discovery Institute’s “Intelligent Designer” is part time intelligent designer who is invoked only to “help out” the “natural laws” do what they can’t do otherwise

    This, to me, is the most significant criticism of ID that can be offered from a theological standpoint, and one that I am personally sympathetic with.

    It leads to all those accusations of God as “interfering” with otherwise “natural” processes.

    But what if the “intelligent designer” is not God? Then the “intelligent designer” becomes oh so human.

  13. 13
    bb says:

    buffalo @9 I give you the god you named BUC. Or was that Uncle BUC? Sorry but the picture came to mind when I read your comment.

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