ARGUMENT #2: The “gaps” in scientific knowledge have been closing due to scientific discovery. Eventually, supernatural explanations will be rendered unnecessary.

RESPONSE: In one sense, this statement is true. Modern science has been learning more and more about our world over the last several hundred years. However, in another sense, this statement is false. In some areas, the “gaps” in our scientific knowledge have not been closing but opening over the last fifty years.

Here, we need to distinguish between scientific experimentation and scientific explanation. While scientific experimentation has grown in all areas of science, scientific explanations have shrunk in certain areas. For instance, the origin of the universe, the fine-tuning of the universe, and the origin of first life are just as inexplicable now, as they were when they were first studied. Just consider the origin of first life. In his book The Fifth Miracle, agnostic Paul Davies writes,

When I set out to write this book, I was convinced that science was close to wrapping up the mystery of life’s origin… Having spent a year or two researching the field, I am now of the opinion that there remains a huge gulf in our understanding… This gulf in understanding is not merely ignorance about certain technical details; it is a major conceptual lacuna.[1]

In his book The Way of the Cell, agnostic Franklin Harold writes,

Of all the unsolved mysteries remaining in science, the most consequential may be the origin of life… The origin of life is also a stubborn problem, with no solution in sight.[2]

Naturalistic scientists are just as far from explaining the origin of first life, as they have ever been. In fact, the more we learn about these “gaps,” the less we are able to explain them –apart from an intelligent cause. Moreover, if science is truly explaining away the supernatural, then why have devout atheists like Antony Flew come to faith in God due to these recent scientific discoveries? In his book There is a God, Flew writes,

The only satisfactory explanation for the origin of such ‘end-directed, self-replicating’ life as we see on earth is an infinitely intelligent Mind.[3]

I must say again that the journey to my discovery of the Divine has thus far been a pilgrimage of reason. I have followed the argument where it has led me. And it has led me to accept the existence of a self-existent, immutable, immaterial, omnipotent, and omniscient Being.[4]

Flew claimed that his other atheistic colleagues –like Bertrand Russell and J.L. Mackie –would have been “impressed” with this “evidence,”[5]if it had been discovered earlier.

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[1] Davies, P. C. W. The Fifth Miracle: the Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1999. 17-18.

[2] Harold, Franklin M. The Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms, and the Order of Life. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2001. 235-236.

[3] Flew, Antony, and Roy Abraham. Varghese. There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. New York: HarperOne, 2007. 93.

[4] Flew, Antony, and Roy Abraham Varghese. There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. New York: HarperOne, 2007. 155.

[5] Antony Flew & Gary Habermas My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism 2004.