Revisiting the "God of the Gaps"

Ronald Larson


Antipathy to "God of the Gaps" arguments, when taken to its extreme conclusion, leads to passiveness in the face of aggressive, naturalistic, science seeking to claim for itself alone all truth, including that traditionally the province of theology or philosophy. Such pretensions must be resisted for the sake of science as much as for the sake of theology, and this resistance must not shrink from calling attentio n to “gaps” or failures of science to explain credibly all that it sometimes claims as its own. This talk will explore the issues surrounding several chasms in modern scientific explanations, including the fine tuning of natural laws, the ori gin of life, of human consciousness, of morality, and of human spiritual experience. Ronald Larson is Chair and George Granger Brown Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan.