God of the Gaps

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    Collins, Jack

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    Miracles, Intelligent Design, and God-of-the-Gaps

    "Both traditional Christian miracle claims and the newer project of 'intelligent design' have been held to commit the 'God-of-the-gaps' fallacy: that is, they depend on our ignorance of the material processes that produced them and invoke supernatural action to explain the unknown. By this argument, scientific research will eventually reduce the 'gaps,' and hence the motive for believing in God. In reply, I argue that a proper treatment of this question requires careful definitions of such terms as 'natural,' 'supernatural,' 'design,' and 'gap.' An attentive consideration of the Christian scholastic metaphysic provides definitions of 'supernatural' and 'design' that give criteria for detecting such events without committing the God-of-the-gaps fallacy. We must distinguish between different kinds of 'gaps': those that are simply gaps in our knowledge, and those that are genuine gaps between the properties of the components and the complex structure we are considering."
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    Isaac, Randy

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    From Gaps to God

    "Arguments for the existence of God that are based on design often specify an aspect of our natural world that cannot be explained by our current understanding of the laws of nature. Such a gap of knowledge is construed as evidence for the existence of a supernatural being. Critics of this approach label these arguments as 'God-of-the-gaps' fallacies that diminish the case for a Creator God as the gaps are filled in with increasing knowledge. Confident that all such gaps will some day be filled via the scientific method, many people reject design arguments for God. However, gaps of knowledge do exist in nature and the scientific community acknowledges that many cannot be filled, even in principle. This article surveys various types of gaps and considers their role in an argument for God."
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    Larmer, Robert

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    Is there anything wrong with “God of the gaps” reasoning?

    "Unfortunately, although the phrase 'God of the gaps' is widely and disparagingly used, and is understood by those employing it to refer to reasoning that is clearly fallacious, there has been little rigorous examination of this presumed fallacy. Exactly wherein the fallacy lies and whether those who defend the claim of divine intervention in the course of nature are really guilty of such reasoning gets little discussion. Equally, it seems to be assumed, rather than argued, that theologians in the past have typically been guilty of this fallacy and that the progress of scientific understanding has steadily undermined any prospect of justifying claims of divine intervention within the course of nature. My intention in what follows is to expose these assumptions to critical analysis in order to judge how seriously the 'God of the gaps' objection should be taken."
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    Moreland, J. P.

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    Complementarity, Agency Theory, and the God-of-the-Gaps

    "There has been a growing debate about the proper way to integrate science and theology. On the one side are those who accept a complementarity view of integration and claim that science must presuppose methodological naturalism. On the other side are those who accept some form of theistic science. Central to this debate is the nature of divine and human action and the existence of gaps in the natural causal fabric due to such action that could, in principle, enter into the use of scientific methodology. In this article, I side with the second group. To justify this position, I first state the complementarity view and its implications for the nature of human personhood, second, explain libertarian agency in contrast to compatibilist models of action, and third, show why 'gaps' are part of divine and human agency and illustrate ways that such a model of agency for certain divine acts could be relevant to the practice of science."
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    Snoke, David

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    In favor of God-of-the-gaps reasoning

    "I argue that rejection of 'God of the gaps' argumentation deviates from the mode of normal scientific discourse, it assumes a view of history which is incorrect, and it tacitly implies a naive optimism about the abilities of science. I encourage apologists to point out gaps of explanation in atheistic theories whereever they see them, and expect atheists to return the favor."