Challenge Response: Intelligent Design Is Just God of the Gaps

Posted: April 28, 2011 by Alan Shlemon in God is Real, Intelligently Designed, Weekly Challenge

Here’s my answer to this week’s challenge:

  1. bobby says:

    hasn’t Bacterial Flagellum been debunked to show thats its not ID – i heard Micheal Behe brought up Bacterial Flagellum in a court case on ID and he got laughted out of court

  2. Simon says:

    Bobby is correct. It has been shown multiple times that Behe’s claim that the bacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex is utterly false. Here is Ken Miller, a biologist and practicing catholic, refuting this claim:

    Are you seriously arguing that evolution is wrong… that it didn’t happen? The language of life, DNA, is essentially just a 4-nary code is it not? It’s not too different from the binary code in a computer program. Can you explain why it’s possible for me to evolve a computer program (just a string of binary bits analogous to the string of 4-nary bits in DNA) that synthesizes computational electronic circuits? This type of genetic programming uses the principles of darwinian evolution to evolve a program to complete a specified task from a base population of random programs. If random variation with natural selection acting on a population of 4-nary codes is insufficient for solving problems living organisms might face, then why does this method work so well for the binary codes of computer programs? The two concepts are exactly the same.

  3. Alan Shlemon says:

    I didn’t make a case that the bacterial flagellum is intelligently designed.

    I didn’t argue that evolution is wrong.

    The point of the video blog is to respond to the claim that ID is merely a God-of-the-gaps argument.

  4. bobby says:

    but alan do you accpet evoltuion, not not talking about evoltuion by a blinded processess im talkingabout Thieistic evoltuion

  5. Todd Overbeek says:

    A theist who claims that God created a perfect world and created it by an evolutionary process does not believe in the same God that I do. My God created a perfect world that then fell into sin. In this world death did not exist yet. An evolutionary cycle would require death, life, death, life, death cycles.

    Theistic evolution = Evolution = Lie straight from the pit of hell guys. If you claim Christianity use the brain God gave you and pull it out of the sand. If you are not Christian, then you will not understand anyways.

  6. William Soo Hoo says:

    One really has to be very careful about making your definitions clear. The two pillars of evolution are random mutation and natural selection. By this definition, both processes are known to occur, thus evolution is a fact. Now, are these processes sufficient to produce all of the biological diversity on Earth? I think it’s HIGHLY unlikely on at least two grounds.

    First, you have the problem of abiogenesis. So far, even with all the knowledge and skill we have amassed with molecular and cellular biology, we still can’t generate our own cell from scratch (not to mention how much intelligence THAT would require).

    Then you have the problem of TIMING: some serious estimates of the time between the Late Heavy Bombardment period (when the Earth was just cooling and getting pulverized by asteroid collisions) and the first evidence of unicellular life is only about 25-100 million years. THAT’S the time window you’re stuck with to get from chemicals to biologicals! A wink of an eye on a geological time scale! Not likely.

    I agree with the STR position on Theistic Evolution: it’s a contradiction in terms. Look at the definitions, make sure you have them clear and then see if it works. It just doesn’t unless you make some serious changes to your thesis.

    This is a great place for these discussions. Thank you for allowing participation!

  7. Udaybhanu Chitrakar says:

    God of the gaps

    I will begin this article with two suppositions: 1) God has created this universe; 2) He has brought man in this universe with some purpose.
    I am not claiming here that these two suppositions are true, or that I can prove them to be true. But I want to show here that if these two suppositions are true, then God will always be the God of the gaps. Anyone who will be reading this article should not forget that there is an “if” clause in the last sentence.
    Now I begin with the supposition that God has created this universe. If God has created this universe, then He could have created it in four different ways: 1) He created it in such a way that there was no necessity for Him to intervene in it after creation, 2) After creation He intervened in it, but these interventions were a bare minimum, that is, He intervened only when these were absolutely necessary. In order to clarify my point here, I will say that He intervened only when He found that without His intervention the universe would come to a standstill, 3) He created the universe in such a way that in order to keep it going He had to make very frequent interventions in it, 4) God’s total intervention after creation.
    If it was the purpose of God to keep mankind crippled in every possible way, then He would have adopted either the third or the fourth way while creating the universe. This is because in these two cases man, in spite of his having sufficient intelligence and reasoning power, will fail to unveil the secrets of nature, because in almost every phenomenon of nature that he will decide to study he will ultimately find that there always remains an unknown factor, for which he will have no explanation. For him the book of nature will thus remain closed for ever. But if it were God’s purpose that man be master of His creation, then it is quite natural for Him that He would try to keep the book of nature as much open to him as possible, so that with the little intelligence he has been endowed with man will be able to decipher the language of nature, and with that acquired knowledge will also be able to improve the material conditions of his life. In that case God will try to adopt the policy of maximum withdrawal from His creation. He will create the universe in such a way that without His intervention the created world will be able to unfold itself. However that does not mean that He will never intervene. He will definitely intervene when without His intervention the created world would become stagnant. In such a scenario man will be able to give an explanation of almost all physical events in scientific language. But in those cases where God has actually intervened, he will fail to do so.
    So I think there is no reason for us to be ashamed of the “God of the gaps” hypothesis. Yes, if God has created the universe, and if God’s purpose was that man be master of His creation, then He would try to keep as little gap in His creation as possible. But the minimum gap that would be ultimately left can never be bridged by any sort of scientific explanation. God will also reside in that gap. Why should we be ashamed of that?
    The whole matter can be seen from another angle. Those who strongly believe that God has created this universe also believe that He has created it alone. Now is it believable that a God, who is capable of creating such a vast universe alone, is not capable enough to keep a proof of His existence in the created world? So I think it is more reasonable to believe that while creating the universe God has also kept a proof of His existence in something created. This proof is open to us all, but we have not found it, because we have not searched for it. So even if it is the case that God has never intervened in the created world after its creation, still then there will be a gap in this natural world, purposefully left by God, for which science will find no explanation. This will be the ultimate gap that can only be filled up by invoking God.
    So it is quite logical that a God who will create man with some purpose will always prefer to be the God of the gaps. Yes, if we were really created by some God, and if it was not God’s desire that we be some sort of semi-savage beast, then it makes quite a good sense if I say that in that case God would try to keep the book of nature as much open to us as possible (policy of maximum withdrawal). In such a case man will also be able to explain almost everything of nature without invoking God. But then this “ability to explain almost everything of nature without invoking God” will not prove that there is no God, because it might also be the case that this ability itself is God’s design, God’s plan.
    Therefore, I am concluding this article with this: If God created this universe, and if God wanted man to be the master of His creation, then God would willingly choose to be the “God of the gaps”.