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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
Previous Claim: CA045   |   List of Claims   |   Next Claim: CA100.1

Claim CA100:

It is inconceivable that (fill in the blank) could have originated naturally. Therefore, it must have been created.

This argument, also known as the argument from ignorance or "god of the gaps," is implicit in a very many different creationist arguments. In particular, it is behind all arguments against abiogenesis and any and all claims of intelligent design.


  1. Really, the claim is "I can't conceive that (fill in the blank)." Others might be able to find a natural explanation; in many cases, they already have. Nobody knows everything, so it is unreasonable to conclude that something is impossible just because you do not know it. Even a noted antievolutionist acknowledges this point: "The peril of negative arguments is that they may rest on our lack of knowledge, rather than on positive results" (Behe 2003).

  2. The argument from incredulity creates a god of the gaps. Gods were responsible for lightning until we determined natural causes for lightning, for infectious diseases until we found bacteria and viruses, for mental illness until we found biochemical causes for them. God is confined only to those parts of the universe we do not know about, and that keeps shrinking.


  1. Behe, Michael. 2003. A functional pseudogene?: An open letter to Nature.

Further Reading:

Drummond, Henry. 1904. The Lowell Lectures on the Ascent of Man, Glasgow: Robert Maclehose and Co. Ltd., ch. 10.

Van Till, Howard J. 2002. Is the Creation a 'right stuff' universe? Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 54(4): 232.
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created 2001-2-18, modified 2003-9-2