Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Gap Theory

Okay, let’s take a bit of a breather and think outside the box. The Gap Theory tries to bridge the gap between two camps: some Creationists who believe the universe is 6,000 years old (counting back in time to the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve) and science which claims the universe is around 14 billion years old.

Basically, the theory states there is an undetermined amount of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (insert Gap Theory). And the earth was without form, and empty; and the darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.

God created everything in Genesis 1:1. Following verse two, He simply spoke the world as we know it today into being since all the elements and forces had already been created in verse one. “And God said let there be …..”

This Gap Theory would allow for dinosaurs, cavemen, and the universe being 14 billion years old according to science. People in both camps make valid arguments for and against the Gap Theory and can be very passionate in their beliefs. Even hostile.

Me personally, I lean in the direction of the Gap Theory. I’ve heard both arguments in great detail and do not see a problem.

Question: What do you think of the Gap Theory?

You can find Stephen Tremp, Author of the Breakthrough Trilogy, at Breakthrough Blogs where we rights about all things science, science fiction, writing, and promoting.


Rob Z Tobor said...

Doing religion on the blog that is brave of you.

I personally think the human race is a confused and simple critter and has still not really worked out much about God or Science. And maybe one day a long time in the future assuming we don't zap ourselves the conflicts between both might get sorted. Sadly however we are a very long way from that at present.

So I believe in God but think most religions have got the entire thing wrong, and that so far science is doing OK but has barely scratched the surface and that both religion and science are full of huge GAPS . . . . . .

Brett Minor said...

My main complaint with the Gap Theory is the problem of sin. According to the Bible, death is the result of sin. Therefore, animals existing for millions of years before that sin happening goes against Scripture.

Jesus dying on the cross and being resurrected is him conquering death by relieving us of our sin. If death was happening before sin was introduced, then it negates the purpose of his crucifixion.

Without detail, that's my basic argument.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I don't see the issue. On one had you have Science with thousands of peer reviewed published papers in a few dozen different fields of investigation that correlate and support each other through thousands and thousands of experiments and observation. On the other you a single book, filled with contradictions written by a desert tribal people thousands of years ago when they still believed the sun went around the earth.

There is no contest here whatsoever. There is only the Scientific point of view.

PR said...

Oh that is pretty genius. I'm not religious but I also think anything is possible - no-one knows for sure how everything came into place, we could all be totally wrong! :)

Jo said...

As someone recently pointed out to me, who took notes on the creation?

Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by! I always appreciate it when anyone takes the time to read a post and comment!

This is one of my favorite topics. People on both sides of the argument can be very passionate. I like to hear what others have to say about this topic.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. I believe, yet see the scientific point of view ... I'd like to think we're learning as we learn about all things. Just let's not war about anything ...

Cheers - interesting post - thanks Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

Another great topic Stephen. The comments so far some of the widely divergent views about the theory and topic in general. It's interesting to speculate. Like you, I tend to lean in the direction of the Gap Theory as it would explain a lot of aspects brought up by all of the comments made so far.

A Faraway View

JoJo said...

Since I don't believe in god, I have to go with science the whole way. Big Bang Theory, evolution, etc. You can't argue with scientific fact. :)

HeatherL said...

The problem with Gap Theory is that it was developed to allow a compromise between science and religion which by their very definition is not possible. Religion requires faith and belief in something unprovable and science requires facts and evidence to be valid.

Tyrean Martinson said...

It's an interesting theory, and one that helps with the conundrum we face about the beginning of the world. The Bible answers questions about our relationship with the Lord and our salvation through his son, Jesus.
Science looks at the world with eyes of discovery and observation. Some of the original scientests saw their work as a way of discovering more about God as well as discovering more about the world we live in . . .I think science concepts and faith coexist in each of us.
Even when someone says they believe only in science, I believe they are exhibiting some faith. The big bang theory is interesting but it begs the question, what caused it? I think a person has to have a certain amount of raw faith to believe that something came out of nothing.
I am ok with the gap theory, although can see the issue with sin, etc that one of the earlier commenters mentioned . . .it's a sticky business, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Lots of differing viewpoints today, as there usually is. But often the answer is the simpliest solution. We often complicate matters when it isn't necessary.

A gap of time between Gen. 1:1 and Gen. 1:2? There's no problem here. My point is that one cannot prove it to be wrong.

Chiz said...

Personally, I think I'll have to agree with Brett Minor's argument. What would be the point of life and death if there's no presense of sin?

I know just as many creation scientists that have just as much evidence that the world is thousands of years old than those who say it is billions of years old. We are far from perfecting the science of carbon dating.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

"Not proving it to be wrong" though is not science and you can't show anything that way.

I can say I have a best friend named Harvey. I can provide you with all sorts of "Evidence" to support my claim and really you can't prove me wrong. Sure you could follow me around for the next 5 years to see if I interact with Harvey, but I can still say "you have not proved me wrong".

Now say I make the same claim of my great grandfather who died almost hundred years ago. HE had a best friend named Harvey. You can't follow him around now. But you can't prove it wrong.

The issue here is "you can't prove it wrong" is not an argument. It's a dodge, it is there to fill in for what we really have to say and that is "I don't know". Scientists say I don't know all the time. Sometimes it is even "Wow! I don't know!" and it's followed by "Let's find out!"

In science and research we look to find something that would "prove you wrong" all the time. The difference is we are looking for the anomaly, the errant point of data that would cause our hypothesis to fail. We call this H0, the null hypothesis. If the null is true then we know we are wrong. If the null is false though, we know we are right.

I am not sure how the Gap Theory (which is not really a scientific theory at all) has a null hypothesis.

So I have to ask. What would need to be true to make the Gap Theory false? For it to be a good theory then there needs to be an answer to this question.

What would need to be true to say prove evolution false? That is is EASY. Find a newer form of animal below an earlier one in older rock strata. Show me a fossil of a bunny that is older than a fossil of an Eoraptor. Do that and the whole theory of Evolution goes back to square 1. Show me a rock that floats and you do the same to the theory of gravity.

StratPlayerCJF said...

I am someone who is both a Christian and a man of science, and yet my view of the origin of the universe and the true nature of Gad is best reflected by an ancient philosopher from China:

Wise men don't need to prove their point; Men who need to prove their point are not wise.

He who knows does not speak; he who speaks does not know.

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.

Since before time and space existed, the Tao exists -- it is beyond "is" and "is not".

The more you talk of it, the less you understand.

-- Lao Tze

StratPlayerCJF said...

LOL! Make that "...the True nature of God..."

Let's leave debates about Gad for another day, shall we? ;^)

Andrew Leon said...

The Bible says "God created;" it does not tell us -how- He created. The truth is that the focus on evolution vs creation is an unimportant distraction. If you believe in God, it doesn't matter how, just that he did. If you don't believe in God, it doesn't matter at all. We should stop getting hung up on this question.

Anonymous said...

Faith vs, the scientific method. Personally, I like to use them both. Why not? They both work.

D.G. Hudson said...

I'm voting for the science theory. I write science fiction, because I think science will help us become more than we are.

That said, I think both can survive, although religious wars would have us believe otherwise.

Touchy subject.

Renae Weight Mackley said...

Gap theory? Why not. It could happen that way but I don't think we need to worry over it. Dinosaurs existed then and we do now. That's what works well, don't you think? Seems to me if that was God's plan, it worked well.
I must say I'm impressed with the little drawing you used. Yours?
Thanks for the post.

Jarm Del Boccio said...

I believe when God said He created the world in 6 days, He meant it! Our work week was also based on the 6 days of would be one long week if it were millions of years. As far as dinosaurs...they were created on the 6th day along with man.
As has been proven throughout history, science ends up revealing that Scripture was right all along, not visa versa.

Good post, keeps us on our toes!

Tina said...

I've heard Christians argue that we can believe Genesis and still have the world be millions of years old, but I've never heard anyone explain how that could fit with the account of creation, which I've studied in great depth in a Precept class.
All things are possible with God.
God is outside time.
We can never understand all there is to know about the Bible or God or we wouldn't need faith.
The best explanation I heard about the account of creation was where the pastor likened it to how parents explain where babies come from in varying degrees as children age. He said that God gave us what we could handle, and eventually, we'll get the whole story. That's good enough for me. It is one of my first questions for God...
The Gap Theory certainly could be the explanation.
Great post and great discussion. I read all the comments and just want to say thank you to all the wonderful A-Z ers who aren't afraid to share their thoughts.
Tina @ Life is Good

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I have a lot of issues with this theory, but mostly it is one of intellectual laziness. It answers no questions and provides nothing new outside of a compromise to an a priori conclusion.

IF this is theory then why not just remove the supernatural element call it science and move on to the next question.

Dawkins has called god "God of the Gaps". In this case you are trying to find any hole still big enough to fit god, and these holes, these gaps, are getting smaller all the time thanks to science.

The Freedom of Nonbelief