As Christians organize their thinking to discuss origins with naturalists¹, consider this neo-generalization that they should be able to relate to:
For more use the DOOR.
A common criticism of naturalists debating Christians about origins, is that when Christians come to “changes²” that appear in different living creatures that they they can’t explain scientifically, they resort to the easy defense of “God did it,” which can, and has, been stereotyped as “God-of-the-gaps.” Then, when science closes one of these gaps, God is “off the hook” and no longer needed. This has happened now and then and seems to diminish need for a supernatural creator. Score a point for “science on its own”; subtract a point for God.
But this coin has two sides.
Naturalism has made huge claims based upon studies of pepper moths and fruit flies³ that have led to suggest that the environment alone can bring about change. Highly specific minor changes in appearance and function point to, they say, much larger changes that have occurred over long stretches of geologic time. We’re not detailing that here. Other sources do that.
But some scientists say that important, big changes that have been observed that occur naturally, with no possibility of outside supernatural or completely so-far unexplainable behavior involved. And to be a true scientist, one must accept such a posture on “pure faith”–with supportable evidence missing.
But other scientists say this “chain” of important changes has significant missing links.
Let’s call it “Naturalism-of-the-Gaps” and point out, where necessary, scientific evidence is completely lacking.
¹ We refer to “naturalists” as those who refuse accept any “outside help” (supernatural) to accurately explain reality. Parallel thinking emerges from Hugh Ross’s The Creator and the Cosmos (4th edition).
² Many expand this concern to inorganic change as well.
³ Please forgive overstatement here in needed brevity in a short post. Jonathan Wells gives greater detail in his Icons of Evolution.