Return of the God of the Gaps

Book cover

I have not read Stephen Meyer’s new book, Return of the God Hypothesis, subtitled “Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe,” and possibly will not. I had not been aware that the God hypothesis had ever gone away, and 700-odd pages of what looks like old hat seems perhaps a bit excessive.

Fortunately, what may look to some like an unlikely source, the right-wing blog Ricochet, may have saved me the trouble: They recently ran a splendid “critique” of the book by Henry Racette.

According to Mr. Racette, the book stands on three pillars:

  1. The universe had a beginning.
  2. The universe is fine-tuned for life.
  3. The genetic code is evidence of an intelligent designer.

Mr. Racette considers the fine-tuning argument to be the strongest of the three. Nevertheless, he ultimately dismisses it and wisely invokes the God of the Gaps before concluding,

Meyer has written a book that could have been written at any time during our long quest for understanding. The details would change, the sophistication would vary, but the product would be similar: a man standing on the edge of the unknown surveys the wisest men around him and concludes that, since they have no wholly satisfactory answers, one or another god is the most plausible explanation.

I think I shall have no need to read this book, since Mr. Racette has done so for me.

Acknowledgment. I am indebted to several colleagues, who provided some links and a brief discussion of Mr. Racette’s review.