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I Don't Think That Can Be Equated To My Argument...

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Posted by Mark on October 25, 2001 18:00:38 UTC

I've never heard that "God of Gaps" line of reasoning, but it does make sense that somebody would reason that "that which can't be explained by science, is the work of God."
As the relentless forces of science press forward, taking more and more territory ... religion is forced to retreat, however, there will always be some gap that is as of yet unexplained by science, whereby the notion of "God" is forced into refugee for the time being.

Does that sort of sum up what you were saying Harv?

Well I contend that there is a profound difference between my line of reasoning and the "God of Gaps" approach.

See, my previous post may have taken on such an appearance as to be "God of Gaps" in diguise, but mine is based on an entirely different concept. Where GO simply uses a [we don't know yet, therefore it must be God] weak line of reasoning... my argument is based on an intrinsic aspect of matter.

The major difference is, that GOG uses a lack of understanding or evidence, as a means of proving their case (i.e. lack of fossil findings, incomplete physics theory, gap in current knowledge). The reason this is a very weak argument is because it is based on a lack of knowledge on behalf of the opponent's side, rather than being a solid argument based upon strong supporting evidence on GOG's side. Since the scientific community is always reducing the size of this "lack of knowledge" by research and experiment, so it is that GOG is always having to reduce the number of areas where this line of reasoning can be applied. Therefore, it is GOG that is always on the retreat.

My post however, wasn't based upon a lack of knowledge (although I will admit that I did bring up questions pertaining to the nature of the Wave Function), it was based on a well understood and time-tested theory of nature. Quantum mechanics, although odd and very counter intuitive, has shown that nature simply has an "alter-ego" on the micro-scale. The most important concept that I'm relying upon here, is the ABSOLUTE LIMIT placed on the amount of information one can extract from the constituents of a system to gain knowledge of the state of that system. Although this may seem like another retreat for GOG, it is not. It is an absolute and well understood, fact of nature. It is not just another gap of knowledge that the scientists will someday fill... this aspect of nature is intrinsic to matter and all force fields that govern the motion of matter. Therefore, my line of reasoning is based upon the knowledge of physics, not the ignorance thereof. One can say that it is simply not known what exactly causes the collapse of the wave function, but that is only a minor concern here.

Also, what I set out to debate in the first place was not how God does his work... I was simply trying to show Alex that perhaps the notion of a "God" interfering in the natural course of events, can't be ruled out solely on the basis of what's allowed by the laws of physics. It turns out that these laws of physics, ironically, were the foundation of my argument.

-In a nut shell-
Since elementary particles set the initial conditions for macroscopic phenomena, then my argument asserts that God only need tamper with the outcome of quantum events to influence our everyday lives (were he capable of having complete control over matter at the quantum scale). Mathematics and physics will dictate the "domino effect" of what's to come as a consequence. God only need set the stage for a chaotic chain reaction of events, in which case we'll never even know he "saved our life". This is not inconsistent with QM, and I don't think I'd call it a "retreat".

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