Thursday, February 18, 2016

NATURALISM OF THE GAPS




In Shadow of Oz Theistic Evolution and the Absent God, Wayne D. Rossiter argues that theistic evolution (TE) compromises the Biblical faith in many ways. He uses the example of Karl Giberson, the co-founder of The Biologos Foundation whose vision is to convert the Church to TE:

* Giberson warns, “As soon as we start highlighting specific places where we think we glimpse God’s handiwork, we open ourselves to the old ‘God of the gaps’ problem.” This is telling. Giberson admits here that theistic evolutionists are not open to the possibility that any phenomenon is the direct work of God.

"The old ‘God of the gaps’ problem" is the false accusation that the God explanation exists only in the remaining gaps left by naturalistic science. However, as science continues to fill in the gaps of our knowledge, God will become increasingly more irrelevant.

However, such reasoning is illogical. It wrongly assumes that God is opposed to science. Instead, God - His creation and His elegant, universal, and immutable laws - serves as the foundation of science. Consequently, every finding of science should give credit to its Creator!

Likewise, Rossiter rips into the TE formulation:

* The claim is that, if there is a natural explanation for a phenomenon, God didn’t (directly) do it. At the same time, we’re not allowed to invoke God where explanations are lacking (i.e., the “gaps”). Said another way, if we can explain it, God is unnecessary, and if we can’t explain it today, we still shouldn’t invoke God, on the off chance an explanation emerges in the future. This is somewhat like betting on a coin flip where the rules are heads–I win, and tails–you lose. Both the explained and unexplained phenomena are off limits. That is, there is no situation where the agency of God can be invoked.

Hence, God has been eliminated by TE fiat. However, since the evolutionist cannot offer any evidence that anything is caused naturally and unintelligently, we can just as easily indict the TE position with the charge of "naturalism of the gaps."

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