God of the Gaps Theories
A God of the gaps argument is an argument that has a formal, logical structure. Logic is known as an argument from ignorance—an informal fallacy.
If I say, Cause 'A' is not sufficient to product Effect 'X' and then I say therefore Cause 'B' must have produced 'X' but I have no independent evidence that Cause 'B' can produce 'X', then I’ve committed a fallacy, and am arguing from ignorance.
Just because 'A' isn’t sufficient to produce the effect in question doesn’t mean that some other cause did it. You have to have independent evidence that the other cause is capable of doing it.
That then becomes a God of the gaps argument when you say Various natural processes
aren’t sufficient to produce, say, the origin of the first life, or origin of the first animals in the history of life. And then if I were to say Therefore, God did it, that would be a God of the gaps argument—an argument from ignorance.
Logic is known as an argument from ignorance—an informal fallacy.
Why the Argument for Intelligent Design is Different
But, that’s not how we’re arguing when we make the case for intelligent design because we’re adding an additional premise. We’re saying that various kinds of natural processes are not sufficient to produce the origin of new functional information, and we’re specifically dialed into the presence of the digital code that’s stored in the DNA molecule that performs important biological functions. It’s information in a very specific, technical sense.
We show that various natural processes are insufficient to produce large infusions of information we see rising in the history of life, that are necessary to build new forms of life.
This volume of more than two dozen essays written by highly credentialed scientists, philosophers, and theologians from Europe and North America provides the most comprehensive critique of theistic evolution yet produced, opening the door to scientific and theological alternatives.
But then we point out from observation of the world around us that we do know of a cause that does produce information. We have independent evidence that an intelligent agency, that a mind, that creative intelligence can generate information.
Information is, in our experience, a mind product. We have independence experience that minds produce information. So when we infer an intelligent agent as having acted in the past based on the presence of digital code stored in the macromolecules of life, we’re not arguing from ignorance, we’re arguing from our knowledge of cause and effect, and specifically what we know minds can do—namely produce information that merely undirected material processes can’t.
- Is Science the Only Source of Absolute Truth? (Mitch Stokes)
- The Most Comprehensive Critique of Theistic Evolution Yet Produced
- What Is Theistic Evolution? (Stephen C. Meyer)