Re: [asa] Four myths - God of the Gaps

From: Loren Haarsma <lhaarsma@calvin.edu>
Date: Tue Jul 01 2008 - 19:40:58 EDT

Jon,

   You are right that the term God-of-the-gaps can be defined several ways.
Even the "milder" version that I wrote in my post would fit
"God-of-the-gaps" under some definitions of that term. So I'll try to
clarify things without using that term.

   If support for I.D. is stated this way:

> "If biological complexity can evolve, then atheists
> will have won that territory. We won't be able to point to living organisms
> as evidence of God's handiwork. However, there must be scientific evidence
> of God's existence and miraculous action somewhere in nature, and the
> complexity of life seems to be the best place to look for such evidence.
> Therefore, biological complexity must be scientifically unexplainable."

then a bad theological error has been committed. It is seriously out of
step with traditional Christian theology about God's governance of nature.

   But if support for I.D. is state this way:

> "But we think - for scientific reasons, or
> theological reasons, or both - that it is probably the case that God created
> the universe in such a way that natural mechanisms are incapable of
> producing biological complexity on their own, and that God chose to use
> methods beyond normal natural mechanisms to produce the biological
> complexity that we see. Therefore, we expect that scientists will not be
> able to find a satisfactory explanation for how biological complexity could
> evolve."

then no such theological error has been committed. It is in line with
traditional Christian theology about God's creation and governance of
nature. It might be a risky move to make. It might turn out to be
incorrect. But it is not theologically in error.

Loren

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Received on Tue Jul 1 19:41:35 2008

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