God of the Gaps

In Aztec belief, Tlaloc was the god of rain and water and was feared for his ability to send hail, thunder and lightning.

As for wind, we have lots of gods to choose from including Aeolus, the Greek wind God, Fujin, the Japanese wind God, and Vayu the Hindu wind God.

Then there is a large collection of dieties who take care of thunder for us. That includes well recognsed names such as  Zeus (Greek), Jupiter (Roman), Thor (Norse),  and Salar (Aztec). In fact most cultures had a personification for thunder.

Today nobody would seriously advocate that wind, rain or thunder is the work of the Gods (well almost nobody, there are of course folks out there who still claim to worship the Greek gods, just google “hellenistic paganism” to find out more. They even have a Facebook page).

So, why don’t we have Gods for the elements anymore? The answer is obvious, we don’t need them. We now understand what causes and drives wind, rain and thunder, so having a God to explain them is redundent.

Now picture in your mind a very long list of ancient gods standing outside the dole office waiting for a handout because they have been laid off and made redundent. :-)

Unfortunately, we still have what can be best termed the “God of the gaps” syndrome. Whenever science cannot explain something, believers jump in and declare, “Ah … but we can explain it … God Did It”. An example of this is the logic behind the “Intelligent Design” movement. Because science has not yet worked out the precise mechanism that started life, the proponents of “Intelligent Design” claim that God started life.

The delightfully bizzare outcome from this is that we now have a scenario in which God is apparently shrinking, because the gaps are getting smaller.

There is no ‘God of the gaps’ to take over at those strategic places where science fails; and the reason is that gaps of this sort have the unpreventable habit of shrinking.” – Charles Coulson a prominent researcher in the field of theoretical chemistry: 1955 book Science and Christian Belief

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