We have seen that Victor Stenger’s case for atheism is built on the god-of-the-gaps argument. Yet Victor Stenger also dismisses arguments because they are god-of-the-gaps arguments. How does one explain this core inconsistency?
The problem is made worse in that scientist Jerry Coyne does the very same thing. First, he has endorsed Stenger’s god-of-the-gaps argument:
Stenger’s article, “”God is a testable hypothesis,” is very good, but overlaps substantially with his piece recently published on HuffPo, so you might not need to read it again. I do like his view (which I agree with, but P.Z. and others do not) that if you think God interacts with the real world, then his/her actions, at least, become a testable hypothesis.
But earlier, the same Jerry Coyne dismissed Conway Morris’s argument because it was a god-of-the-gaps argument:
4. Conway Morris is way, way peeved at atheists. He mentions them several times in his piece. He thinks he has vanquished them with his “unanswerable” evolutionary arguments. But he has not. He is simply proposing a “God of the gaps” argument, and here the gap is our mind. It’s Alfred Russel Wallace recycled. He is wrong: neither will atheism die, or even flinch a bit, and we will, I predict some day understand, as Darwin believed, that the human mind is simply a product of the blind and materialistic product of natural selection.
So what do we have here? Coyne and Stenger demand a Gap as evidence for God’s existence. But if someone were to offer up a candidate for such a Gap, they would immediately dismiss it. Why? Because it was a Gap.
Their approach is fundamentally irrational. Either that, or it’s just a propaganda ploy.