Menu

Is It Ever Appropriate to Say “God Did It” in Response to a Scientific Challenge?

From Issue: R&R – Issue 44#6

When a naturalist encounters a scientific challenge he cannot explain naturally, he cannot claim a supernatural explanation to his problem without contradicting his belief in naturalism. Having examined sufficient evidence to be a supernaturalist, a biblical creationist does have the option of claiming a supernatural explanation, but when is it appropriate to do so?

Of course, the most obvious time that it is appropriate to say “God did it” as a response to a proposed scientific difficulty with Creation is when the Bible explicitly says He did something. From time to time, however, we might come across a new quibble, about which Scripture is silent, and to which we cannot immediately give a reasonable answer. It would be easy to respond to such quibbles by simply saying “God did it” as our answer to the problem. Such an answer, however, becomes a form of the “God of the Gaps” argument, where God is inserted to solve a problem (or as proof that God must exist in order for the problem to be solved). As we have shown elsewhere,1 the God of the Gaps Argument is not a good argument to use in favor of God’s existence.2 Quickly using “God did it” as our explanation for new quibbles could be claiming that God did things that He did not do, bearing false witness against Him (1 Corinthians 15:15; Job 13:7, ESV). It also encourages scientific laziness, when God wants us to study to be able to find and defend the truth (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:15), including doing science and learning about the great things He has done (Psalm 111:2), only drawing conclusions that follow from the evidence we gather (1 Thessalonians 5:21). So, how should we respond to new quibbles about which Scripture is silent?

First, we should keep in mind that, regardless of the new quibble, there is no single quibble that is capable of disproving the many evidences for the existence of God or the inspiration of the Bible. Those two fundamental planks of our faith still stand on mountains of evidence,3 regardless of any new, for example, Creation or Flood quibbles. Since the Bible is inspired by God, we know that it is true, and it clearly teaches, for example, that a global Flood occurred. So, while we may not immediately have an answer to the new Flood quibble, we know that there is an answer. We should not, therefore, allow it to concern us. Instead, we should study the subject to learn about God and His amazing work in the Flood.

Now, it is true that God can do anything as long as it is in harmony with His perfect nature. So, sometimes the answer to an unknown quibble may be that He did choose to miraculously involve Himself in the process (as He did many times throughout Bible history, according to Scripture), but we should not be too quick to assume that option if there is not scriptural evidence that would suggest it. In some biblical contexts (e.g., Genesis 1), it is clear that God is miraculously involved. So, it would be appropriate to suggest “God did it” as a possible answer to a quibble (e.g., starlight from distant stars reaching Earth rapidly during Creation week4).

Concerning Flood-related quibbles, one example of an important textual clue in the Flood narrative that suggests God’s miraculous involvement in the event is found in Genesis 8:1, where the text says that “God made a wind to pass over the earth”—suggesting that God created a wind that was not a “natural” wind during the Flood. Creation scientists and Flood critics alike have questioned how anything could have survived the Flood (creatures in the water or on the Ark) due to the amount of heat that was being generated by lava, meteorite activity, and accelerated nuclear decay. Since wind is an extremely effective way to transfer heat from an object (through convection), it is possible that the wind God made was a miraculous one that cooled the Earth during the Flood. While Creation scientists are studying other possible explanations for that particular quibble, Genesis 8:1 provides a prime example of a case where Scripture implicitly provides a Bible believer with justification for suggesting as an answer that “God did it.”

Endnotes

1 Kyle Butt (2024), “The ‘God of the Gaps’ Argument: A Refutation,” Reason & Revelation, 44[2]:2-4, February.

2 If nothing else because, as science reveals natural answers to various quibbles, God would be viewed as less and less “necessary” in the Universe.

3 See, for example, Dave Miller, ed. (2017), Does God Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press) and Kyle Butt (2022), Is the Bible God’s Word? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

4 Jeff Miller (2019), “Does Distant Starlight Prove an Old Universe?” Reason & Revelation, 39[5]:58-59, May.

Does God Exist?


Published

A copied sheet of paper

REPRODUCTION & DISCLAIMERS: We are happy to grant permission for this article to be reproduced in part or in its entirety, as long as our stipulations are observed.

Reproduction Stipulations→