"God of the Gaps" fallacies are BS (sometimes)

I understand that it may be lazy to assume that God did it. However, even if we don’t know the science behind it, we would still know how to get on the right path to finding out the science behind it. If God wasn’t behind it, then the “gaps” would at least be closing gradually. One thing that I would like to bring up is that we have not a clue why a series of electrochemical impulses in our brain makes us sentient (conscious). This is a gap that has not closed at all. This gap is just as wide now as it was thousands of years ago.

Any sufficiently advanced evolution is indistinguishable from a divine creation.

In the last few thousand years, our understanding of how the brain, and human cognition, work, has improved a millionfold.

Of course the gaps close. And every time a gap closes, you now have two gaps instead of one.

When in the history of . . . well, history has “God” been the actual answer to a scientific question?

CMC fnord!

This part tweaked my inner pedant.

There are several things wrong with this statement.

First, the idea that the brain is the seat of intelligence IS new knowledge. It wasn’t until a couple thousand years ago that the idea promulgated widely.

Beyond that, the understanding of electrochemical impulses, especially as regards human thought, is itself hardly a couple centuries old.

Beyond that, within the last century, we have plenty of research into those impulses, how they work, how to replicate them (if poorly), how they are chemically modulated, etc.

That’s a rather large body of knowledge we’ve attained within the last few thousand years.

As noted above, with all that extra knowledge, we’ve created more gaps, though those gaps are narrower than the ones from which they derived. At the very least, we no longer believe the heart is the center of intelligence, as many people did a few thousand years ago. That’s a pretty big friggin’ gap to narrow.

Indeed, and that is why all neurology textbooks are in the form of cave paintings.

If there is any answer to anything in the physical world it has come in a form that is amenable to science. “god” has never been an answer…never. There has never been a time where an answer uncovered and defined through science has been usurped by one derived from revelation or religion…never, not once.

“god” has been used only as a placeholder where the answer is not yet known. That is why it was used for everything initially, then as our true knowledge increased it has shrunk further and further in usage and necessity. It is the oldest shell-game in history.

a) say that god did it
b) when a scientific answer is give say “ah, see how clever god is to set it up thus”
c) then say “but this thing over here hasn’t been explained and god was responsible”
d) rinse and repeat

It may be that some still want to use it to “explain” the as yet mysterious workings of the brain that give rise to consciousness. Fine, whatever.
The claim that we as far away from understanding as we ever have been? nonsense. Massive strides have been made and we’ve only just started.

All misstatements that have been pointed out aside-Which “god” are you referring to here?

When Eric Kandel went to publish the fifth edition of his seminal Principles of Neural Science he had to travel to Georgia to use the New Athos Cave in Iverian Mountain for have enough wall space for all the paintings.

While it is true we do not understand the process of sapience sufficiently to model or reproduce it, it isn’t because we don’t understand the physical processes within neurons; it is because we cannot model the incredibly complex interactions within the network of neurons from which self-awareness emerges.


While we don’t understand consciousness we do have plenty of evidence that it is not coming from outside the brain, in that physical changes to the brain change behavior. So if goddidit, we still need to figure out how he did it. Once we’ve figured that out, we can almost certainly show how the mechanism evolved. Making god once again unnecessary.

Since we’re talking about small gaps that can close up I’m voting for Cardea, Roman goddess of the door hinge.

I’ve got a friend who actually tried that on me the other day. He said, “No one knows how cell phones actually work.” I had to remind him (1) that the people who design them do, at a minimum, and (2) I’ve got a EE degree.

It’s time for new friends.

Once, I would love to see a faith based repeatable experiment. My world could be rocked. So, you know, waiting.

It is not entirely clear that behavior and consciousness are the same thing, or even closely related. For all we know, our inner singularity is but a spectator to our activities. I know that I have this window onto reality (or perhaps some sort of matrix), but I cannot specifically connect my view to my behavior, or even, really, to my mentation. It seems like there may be a connection, but that may also be an illusion.

Since God would be responsible for everything and everything is done in His will, God is not only in the gaps, but also outside the gaps as well.

The fallacy is assuming once we figure things out that God somehow leaves that thing.

By claiming it explains everything, you explain nothing.

My claim that the red biro currently on my desk is also responsible for everything is exactly as powerful as your claim and exactly as useful, i.e. not at all.

I fear for the day your red biro runs out of ink. Thoughts & Prayers!

Ha! the ink is eternal of course, have you not read my treatise on the miracle of constant ink manifestation? It was actually written using the holy red biro so the words themselves represent a tangible manifestation of its graphic perfection, right down to the cock and balls in the margin.

I thought everyone knew that.