Overwhelming the God of the Gaps

Pop Quiz

There are a few questions I always like to pose to intelligent design and creationism proponents. They're very simple questions, but for the proponents of intelligent design they are difficult, if not impossible, to answer logically within the framework of their beliefs.

So what I want to do is just throw these questions out there and discuss them. Hopefully, by examining these questions I can offer the viewpoint that the only explanation for our universe is a natural one that involves no creator god. Here we go.

1. What is necessary for life to exist on earth?

Now, this may seem like an intricate question. After all, from what we know we need a myriad of different particles as gases, liquids and solids. And there are all sorts of physics constants which must be in place. So at first this question my seem daunting. But what I'm getting at is something much simpler to explain. You see, in order for life to exist on earth we really only need three things.

First, we need the sun. Without a star giving off energy for life to feed on, life itself isn't possible. There are planetoids which do not have a central star to orbit floating out there in space. They are cold and desolate places where the only possible life present is locked in thick ice and awaiting the warmth of a star to be released. Without a star to orbit this would be the fate of even our tiny little space rock.

Secondly, we need the earth itself. Terra firma is a must for organic life. We don't see plants and animals simply floating through space. They need soil and rock and something of greater substance than themselves to live on. Furthermore, they need an expanse of this terra firma to be able to grow and reproduce. This also includes having liquid water, because without it almost no form of life can live for any prolonged period. Even the infamous tardigrade must have a drop every few years or it will perish.

Lastly we need the moon. It may just seem like a pretty rock that reflects the sun at night, but without the moon we'd have no weather. Without weather our planet simply wouldn't sustain life the way it does. Our tidal currents and weather patterns simply couldn't exist without the pull of the moon's gravity.

So there's the answer. We need a sun and an earth and a moon to exist. That's it. And in all honesty, that seems rather simple when compared with what we have. Given that those three are all we need, it begs yet another question...

2. Why does the rest of the universe exist at all?

For cosmologists and most atheists in general, this likely seems a silly question. From what we understand the rest of the universe, as well as our little corner, just is. It's the product of what happens when energy expands outward in the form of matter. As far as we can see there is no why to it at all other than that matter reacts with other matter in a way that is consistent with our fundamental understanding of physics.

But for the intelligent design crowd this is a question that begs an answer. If one is going to postulate that there is a grand design, then one must also postulate the purpose for creating so much wasted matter and space. In our little solar system there are 7 other planets which do not support life and have no discernable use to life here on earth or elsewhere in the universe. So how is it intelligent to bring them into existence at all? What purpose do they serve?

So for my part I see no logical answer to this within the framework of an intelligent design model that postulates a creator god. This by no means stands to prove there isn't one, but it does show that if one exists we may want to question its understanding of efficiency in design.

3. Where is everyone?

This is the big question. The coup de gras, if you will. It's a question we humans have been looking up at the stars and asking for nearly our entire existence. The more we've advanced and been able to search the cosmos and found no other life has compounded this question. With all the other stars and galaxies and planets out there it seems almost impossible that we're alone in the universe.

This question is even worse for the intelligent design crowd. You see, they postulate the idea of a creator god who has created the universe with the express purpose of harboring life. So where the hell is everyone? Surely no rational thinking being would create all this for just us. Out of billions of galaxies in the universe, surely at least one planet in every solar system in every galaxy should be teeming with life if life is the purpose of this supposed creator god.

Grading Papers

There are in fact very logical answers to these questions, however only from a naturalistic perspective.

Our existence only requires a few things. A sun, a planet with land and water, and a moon. The reason there are way more spatial bodies in the universe than what is necessary to support life is that life is a byproduct of the natural formation of the universe. The universe wasn't made for us, but rather the universe made us and we have learned to survive within it. And the reason we haven't found other life out there is because it's simply a very rare thing that doesn't happen all that often even in this vast universe. But in all likelihood we aren't alone.

Intelligent design in all its forms is merely a god of the gaps theory, and it's basis is human arrogance. We are able to think abstractly about things like purpose and we project that idea everywhere we look. We find purpose in the things we do and we project that idea on the universe and say it must have a purpose as well. But it doesn't have to, and it honestly doesn't make sense to believe it does. It doesn't make sense to believe that some incredible being intentionally created the universe like this. It is far better to know what we can know and continue to learn more as we grow, than to try to fill the gaps in our knowledge with a god.

In all the universe life is the most rare thing in all existence. More rare than gold or diamonds. Because of this it should be the most cherished thing in all of human existence. We should value it above gold and riches. We should protect it and nurture it. But we don't, and much of this is due to the idea that this universe and planet were made just for us. The universe will make gold and diamonds in abundance, but will likely never make human beings again. This is our one chance to exist in the universe as one of the most rare things to have ever existed. That run of existence can be as long or as short as we let it be.

Photo Credits:: v-collins

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