Obviously, many theists invoke the “god of the gaps” theory whenever they can. “Oh, you don’t know how that happened? Must be God.” This is TERRIBLE reasoning. However, even non-believers have fallen into this type of trap. In a recent discussion online, someone quoted how quantum theory was not complete and that some form of this could explain the universe. That is all fine and dandy, but it bears a striking resemblance to the “god of the gaps” argument. “Well, we don’t know now. But I’m sure we will figure it out in the future.” Both simply appeal to some unknown factor that may be right or may not be. Both with the same amount of reasoning behind them.
So my question is… When are we justified in saying that “God did it” or “We may figure out in the future?” Because I do believe that there are situations when this IS merited.
When other ideas fall into the same category. What I mean by this is simple. I will use the example of DNA, since it is information that is read, translated, and rewritten in the cell. We know that books are read, translated, and rewritten, and we know that humans “design” or wrote the books and programs to copy, translate, and paste the book as well. We are intelligent creatures. It then seems merited to infer that an intelligent something rather or another “designed” or wrote DNA, since it bears a great resemblance and is actually more in-depth than a book. This also applies to the future theory, though both are pretty subjective, since it is really an inference to the best explanation, but what is best to me may be different than your view of best.
Many people don’t like this concept. They say it is worthless and is never necessary. The inly problem is, this is how we operate in our everyday lives. We don’t usually have a deductive logical argument for the best course of action to take, or how someone will respond to an action, but rather we infer based on previous knowledge and assumptions. So are we stupid to do this? It appears not, as we are able to function quite well in this manner. And if it is highly successful in our day to day lives, why not in this situation as well, when there doesn’t appear to be a very strong deductive argument ether way.
(More to come on inference to best explanation)