Perkins vs. D’Souza: Gaps

In his third essay criticizing Dinesh D’Souza, Greg Perkins discusses the “God of the gaps.”

D’Souza claims that, because science cannot fully explain the history of the universe, the nature of physical laws, and human morality, therefore “the God hypothesis seems unavoidable.”

Perkins sensibly replies:

If only his opponents had the philosophical foundation to resist all those temptations for distraction in debate. In response to this sort of thing, they should be asking a simple question to expose a pervasive methodological problem in religious thought: Since when did not knowing the answer to a puzzle entitle us to go and make one up?

In fact, these sorts of arbitrarily asserted “explanations” pulled out of thin air should be simply dismissed out of hand — a principle long recognized in logic and law. When someone brings a baseless charge before a court, it is to be dismissed as beneath consideration (and could even earn penalties for wasting the court’s time). Likewise, when someone brings a baseless idea before a rational mind, it should be simply dismissed as beneath consideration. And D’Souza consistently relies on the logical fallacy of the “argument from ignorance,” taking peoples’ lack of knowledge around this and that as evidence in support of “the God hypothesis.”

Perkins reminds us that various other natural events once were attributed to supernatural forces, including lightning, earthquakes, and disease.

Perkins also notes that D’Souza’s appeal to faith rests on the knowledge of science.

After all, you can’t wonder about the design of the inner workings of the cell until you find out there are cells and that they contain marvelous machinery, and you can’t explore the delicate interplay of cosmological constants until you have discovered those constants in the first place.

Science depends upon our observations of reality governed by natural law. D’Souza pretends that the products of science point to a super-reality governed by God.