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                   Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 8:57PM CDT

A personal statement on "God of the Gaps"

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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One of the major philisophical misunderstandings that Christian professionals have had to field from critics regards the "God of the Gaps" fallacy. "God of the Gaps" is when a believer simply attributes to God things in the universe that he or she cannot explain. The danger, of course, in such thinking is that when science discovers a natural explanation for the previously unexplained 'gap', then there is no longer a need to appeal to God as the explanation. This accusation is a major component of many atheist authors and speakers in the quest against all religion, Christianity in particular.

For instance, someone using "God of the Gaps" may marvel at the expanse of stars in the night sky and say, "It's so complex and beautiful that God must have simply placed them there". But when space exploration missions with high-powered telescopes reveal the physical makeup, life-cycle and genesis of stars, then it seems somewhat irrational to invoke God alone as the source of the stars.

While many believers sadly do hold to some form of "God of the Gaps", many who are involved in fields of science - both as amateurs and professionals - approach the relationship between God and science in a better, sound way. Rather than using God to plug the holes in our yet-to-be-discovered knowledge, we see God in our scientific observations. It is evident to me that God is involved in the makeup and sustinence of reality just by observing the depth of complexity of nature. His involvement doesn't replace the "hows" and "wheres", but does explain the "whys".

Rational faith in Christ and the Bible does not impact good science in any way. For instance, what in the Bible forbids me from investigating the trigger mechanism for upward lightning leader initiation from ground objects, down to the atomic level and beyond? Or the source and processes behind tornadogenesis? The answer is nothing. There is nothing in Scripture that compels me to cast off my curiosity of nature to the point that I'm intellectually satisfied with applying a "God of the Gaps" solution to all of the current unknowns regarding the world we live in. The same goes for medicine. Molecular physics. Astronomy. Geology. Meteorology. Atmospheric physics and dynamics. Lightning. Tornadoes. Earthquakes. You name it! No aspect of correctly-applied faith handicaps one's science in any way.

Dr. John Lennox has a great short talk on "God of the Gaps" that can be found at this Youtube link.

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