Just putting out this observation for some general discussion and feedback.
We’re told that “God of the gaps” type arguments are poor arguments for design or for the existence of God. The BioLogos common questions page, “Are gaps in scientific knowledge evidence for God?” says this:
Every field of science has unanswered questions and gaps in our understanding. Scientists typically view these as open research questions. Others sometimes argue that if science can’t explain how something happened, then God must be the explanation. Such arguments are called “god-of-the-gaps” arguments. The risk in these arguments is that science is always developing. If gaps in scientific knowledge are the basis for belief in God, then as scientists fill in the gaps, the evidence for God disappears. The God of the Bible, however, is much more than a god of the gaps. Christians believe that God is always at work in the natural world, in the gaps as well as in the areas that science can explain.
While this article does make some valid points – we shouldn’t limit our acknowledgement of God’s activity to just what fits in the “gaps” – as far as I can tell, its central premise is incorrect.
As scientific knowledge increases, gaps don’t simply get filled in: new gaps appear in their place. What is dark energy? Why are the charges of the electron and proton so finely balanced? How do we reconcile quantum mechanics with gravity without sending everything off to infinity? And so on and so forth. (The book We Have No Idea by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson is a particularly entertaining read in this respect.)
In fact, there are even mathematical reasons to believe that there will always be gaps. Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems, for example, show that it’s impossible to produce a mathematical system that can prove everything, or even that can prove its own self-consistency, while Tarski’s undefinability theorem shows that mathematics can not even answer the question “what is truth?”
Regardless of whether this means that God-of-the-gaps type arguments have some merit after all or not, I think it’s hubristic if not misleading to portray science as a relentless onward march that will eventually have all the answers and drive a “God of the gaps” out of the picture altogether. Rather, it seems that science is a fractal that includes ever finer and more intricate detail, with more questions popping up all the time, the further in you go. Discussions about the merits of such arguments need to be a bit more nuanced than “meh, God-of-the-gaps, not convincing.”