Saturday, November 16, 2013

Another God of the Gaps Warning

The Ultimate Protection

Theory protectionism comes in many forms. One of the most common protections for the theory of evolution is the so-called God of the gaps warning which casts evolution criticism as an argument for the existence of God that is from ignorance and therefore a danger to one’s faith. This warning appeared again this week when Mark Shea used it against Intelligent Design in the National Catholic Register.

Shea is thought provoking but makes several mistakes that are typical (no, ID is not a theistic argument, it is not an appeal to inexplicability, and the history of God of the gap arguments is nothing like Shea’s portrayal). But nonetheless the God of the gaps warning is another powerful metaphysical mandate for evolution. The many scientific failures of evolution become irrelevant and even disallowed. It doesn’t matter how the science bears on the theory, it is always protected.

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