"I can't understand this so God did it."
I like what Iron Chariots says about this argument: It is a form of non sequitur, since the hand of God is posited without proof and often with complete disregard to other possible explanations. In a nutshell, this is an argument from ignorance. But ignorance is never an argument for something. It just means we don't yet know the cause of something.
This is Part 11 in a series about Logical Fallacies. We are going through one fallacy at a time. There are many types of fallacious arguments. I’m going to try to explain them with examples then find ways to help you refute those arguments when they occur. Please comment or email if there’s a particular fallacy you want me to tackle, or if you have success with refuting an argument using a good technique you can share.
I want to share this video of a talk by Neil deGrasse Tyson from 2006 is about 38 minutes long. He talks about the god of the gaps throughout scientific history, intelligent design and then about Stupid Design. Highly recommended watching:
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who brings passion to science and scientific literacy. Tyson has written several books.
I've shared the Stupid Design part before (where I reproduced most of his slides in the article for your convenience) , but the god of the gaps part in the beginning is also very interesting.
The God of the Gaps argument is one of those, that when confronted with it, vexes me. In my experience when someone sees their god in things they don't understand, I have found that person to be bound by lazy acceptance of easy answers to complex questions, their minds tightly closed to critical thinking and wonder in the natural universe.
How to Refute:
I usually don't try to argue with someone who sees god in everything they don't understand. It's almost always futile. To make matters worse, as I wrote about before, we naturally justify our false beliefs in any way we can, so many people fortify their belief in their god through confirmation bias or just plain resistance to any new information, just to name a few.
I might mention that science closes the gap more each day, and maybe add a few studies I've heard about that are amazing.
"I'd rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned."