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Quran answers God of the Gaps argument
Author/Source: Erhan Erisken  (eerisken@gmail.com) Posted by: Erhan Erisken
Hits: 3205 Rating: 10 (1 votes) Comments: 0 Added On: Friday, May 04, 2007 Rate this article

What is the “God of the Gaps” fallacy?

To believe the existence of God because of the results which have a sensible reason behind it but not explained yet because of the gaps in the human knowledge, is called as the “God of the Gaps” by westerners. As an example, we can give the beliefs of the people who were living in the Middle Ages about the existence of God with thinking that the sky matters were being moved by the angels. It had not been clearly understood that this situation was not true until Newton explained his laws of movement.

If Koran was written 1400 years ago and if it was the sentence of a person who was conditioned to see God everywhere he looked at, we have to see the signs of this situation in Koran exactly.

THE WAYS OF EXPLAINING AN EVENT

There are 3 ways of explaining an event:
Necessity
Chance
Design

Necessity: These are the events which can be explained by the Laws of Nature. For example, remaining of the cloud in the air… Because of being lighter than the air, or rather its specific weight is lower than the specific weight of the air; it can remain in the air.

Chance: It is the way of explaining an event which can not be explained by a law of nature directly. For example, “the turning over and over of the wind”… The turning over and over of the wind is completely a chaotic process. The winds can blow in different directions and in different intensity because of various conditions.

We do not imply that these types of systems completely mean disorder and also are completely independent from the Laws of Nature with starting from the words of “Chaotic” and “Chance”. The chaotic systems are the systems which “are excessively sensitive against the beginning conditions” and because of this situation, it is too hard to estimate the results of them, although it is not impossible. This situation is known as the “Butterfly Effect”. The Butterfly effect expresses that the fluttering its wings of a butterfly causes little changes in the atmosphere, thus a tornado can exist (or not). Here, the fluttering its wings of a butterfly, expresses a little change in the beginning conditions of the system (atmosphere). Even this little change can affect the result of the system with causing a series of events.

The atmosphere events, the solar system and the movements of the earth’s surface layers can be included among these types of systems.

Of course, it can be said that showing all these as an example is falling into a kind of “God of the Gaps” fallacy, with starting from the relation of the “chaotic” systems with the laws of nature. But here, it is interesting that Koran only presents the chaotic systems or designs as an example and when it will present the things as an example which is directly the laws of nature, it especially avoids from explaining it by saying “God does this”.

Design: The events which can not be explained by the laws of nature or by chance, are in this category. The points where it is seperated from the chance are both the its incredibly small realization possibility and the fact that an “aim” can be seen in it. For example, the suitable structures of the birds to fly…

After “much ado about nothing”, we can make our distinction clear between necessity and chance/design by saying that “an event is an example of chance/design if you can not eliminate chance from the explanation of it at all”.
Infact you can not eliminate chance from the explanation of anything at all. But human beings tend to think by means of abstractions. When we see a cause-effect relationship, we call it a necessity by ignoring all the parameters that make up the cause. And scientists try to go all the way downto the big-bang by following the cause-effect relationships and hope to find just one parameter to explain everything with it. But then how will they explain that solely one parameter. Most probably with chance!
In this article, we will see that Koran also makes use of abstractions. For example, when referring to “sending water down from the skies”, after a certain point in the chain of events, Koran presents the last step (“rain”) as a necessity. So, do not get confused with what is infact a necessity or chance or design. Just remember that Koran is a book sent for human beings and it has to stick to the same abstraction principles as of human mind, and it calls an event as necessity if there is a certain cause-effect relationship in it by accepting all the parameters that make up the cause as given.

ABOUT THE METHOD AND THE VERSES OF THE KORAN WHICH WERE CHOSEN

This article was written to show that it was not fallen into “God of the Gaps” fallacy in the Koran. Well then, what kind of a method will be followed to show this? First of all, in an anthem book like the Koran, we have to accept that we will of course see verses in which God says “I perform this” for the things which are infact a “necessity”. It will be foolishness not to expect this. (Here, we mean the things which can be explained by a law of nature when we say “necessity”). Because, the Creator will of course say that “I created”, the Designer will of course say that “I designed”. Being a necessity of something, namely being explained by a law of nature directly can not change the reality of its being created by God. Thus, it does not mean the falling into “God of Gaps” fallacy even if there are some verses like these in the Koran (as long as they are not presented as “signs”).

Well then, finding what kinds of verses in the Koran means to fall into “God of the Gaps” fallacy? The answer of this question is hidden in the “necessity”… But, with an important point: If, in the Koran, anything arising from the necessity was shown as a sign for the existence of God without indicating that it is infact a necessity in any way, then it means Koran was fallen into the “God of the Gaps” fallacy.

Consequently, the verses which we will examine are the verses which were said as “there are proofs (or lessons or signs or rememberance) in this for the thinkers (for human mind)” by God or simply the verses in which God presents the events and the creatures to the human mind as the proofs (or signs …) of his existence/unity.

Well, which things are we waiting from God to be shown the proofs of his existence/unity and what kinds of things save the Koran to fall into the “God of the Gaps” fallacy? The answer of this is hidden in explaining the existence of any thing… As it was explained in the previous part, the existence of a thing can be explained in 3 ways: Necessity, Chance and Design… Then, we expect the thing which was presented by God as the proof of his existence/unity must hardly be a sample which can be explained either by the “chance” or by the “design”.

Of course, in a verse of Koran, there can be some things which can be explained both by chance, design and “necessity” which are presented as the proofs of God’s existence/unity. The natural flow of the subject may necessitate this. But, in this situaiton we are expecting that God will express that this thing is a necessity, without saying that “it happens because I did it”.

Let us explain our subject with an example, the 57th verse of Araf sura (section) of the Koran.

Araf-57
And He it is Who sends forth the winds bearing good news before His mercy, until, when they bring up a laden cloud, We drive it to a dead land, then We send down water on it, then bring forth with it of fruits of all kinds; thus shall We bring forth the dead that you may be mindful.

This verse is suitable for us to work on it because in this verse God is presenting some samples as the proofs to human intelligence. The verse starts with saying “And He it is Who sends forth the winds bearing good news before His mercy”. We are asking right now: Is “the sending of the winds” a necessity? Of course not! The blowing of the winds is a chaotic process which completely based on the chance. The verse is continuing with “until, when they bring up a laden cloud”. Here, this is a necessity. “The carrying of the clouds by the winds” can easily be explained by the natural law of lightness of the clouds than the air. The interesting part of this situation is that the Koran is expressing this as a necessity, too. Attention, the Koran is not saying that this is “realized by the God”. On the contrary, Koran emphasizes that this is a necessity! The verse is continuing as “We drive it to a dead land, then We send down water on it”. “Sending the clouds to a dead land and bringing down water there is completely a chaotic process which is based on chance. Here, it will be better to tell about an important method to define the chance. If an event can happen “in another way”, then that means it is based on chance. Here, “the sending of the cloud to a dead land” can happen in another way and also the “raining there”, too… The clouds can never come to that country or they can but without the rain. The verse is continuing with saying “then bring forth with it of fruits of all kinds”. This event is neither a necessity nor a chance. Well then, what is it? Of course, the “design”… God lets those plants to reproduce themselves from their seeds by the help of the rain and this is one of his designs, namely, it is related with the genetic programme which was placed in its seed by God. The verse is ending with saying “thus shall We bring forth the dead that you may be mindful”. The “we will take out the deads like this” part of the verse is not an example to take lessons, but news about the future.

In this single verse of the Koran, we see that the “chance”, the “necessity” and the”design” were used in a proper way and it was especially avoided from the “God of the Gaps” fallacy. Here, in the rest of this article, we will examine the other verses like this one under this frame of logic and we will try to prove that there is no “God of the Gaps” fallacy in the Koran. But, we will not explain the expressions again and again in every verse, which were explained before.

Besides, we have to explain this, too: from our point of view, the way of expressing the events, as they are presented to give a sign about the existence/unity of God, which can be explained either by chance or by design is not important. Namely, it does not change anything for us whether it is being said “We are sending the clouds to a dead country” or “the clouds are going to a dead country”. If it is once presented as “making of God” in a “sign” verse, then it is always taken as “making of God”. The only thing which is important for us is not to find a phrase like “God is directly doing this” in Koran when referring to a “necessity” as it is presented to give a sign about the existence/unity of God.

Another important point is related with the things which are “necessity”s: A necessary event, or rather an order which arises from a necessity, can not be used as a proof for the existence of God, but can be used as a proof for the “uniqueness” of God. For example, the “lower specific weight of the cloud than the air” which helps the cloud remaining in the air, and “the gravity force which prevents the cloud from escaping to space” and “the buoyancy feature of the air” is the proof of their creation by a “unique” God!

Now, let us start to examine the verses which are related with our subject. While doing this, we firstly will indicate the verse(s) and then we will try to explain them.

Nahl/79 and “Design”

Nahl/79
Do they not look at the birds, held poised in the midst of the sky? Nothing holds them up but Allah. Verily in this are signs for those who believe.
In this verse, it was said that the birds are kept by God in the sky. This situation is not unbelievable although it seems so. The staying of the birds in the sky is not a necessity, but the result of a design. Thus, the one who keeps them in the sky is only the God! This verse is clearly a design argument.
“Command”
Nahl-12
He has made subject to you the Night and the Day; the sun and the moon; and the stars are in subjection by His Command: verily in this are Signs for men who are wise.
Rum-25
And among His Signs is this, that heaven and earth stand by His Command: then when He calls you, by a single call, from the earth, behold, ye (straightway) come forth.

Rum-46
Among His Signs is this, that He sends the Winds, as heralds of Glad Tidings, giving you a taste of His Mercy,- that the ships may sail by His Command and that ye may seek of His Bounty: in order that ye may be grateful.
In these 3 verses it was emphasized that events are directed by God with the intervention of the things known as the “laws of the nature”, by the usage of the word “command”. In these verses, the usage of the word “command” and not saying that “God is doing” directly is so meaningful…
“Grace” and “Command”

Lokman-31
Seest thou not that the ships sail through the ocean by the Grace of Allah?- that He may show you of His Signs? Verily in this are Signs for all who constantly persevere and give thanks.

In this verse it is told that “ships are sailing with the grace of God”. If carefully read it will be easy to catch that it is not stated as float. Floating is based on the laws of nature. But the sailing is bound to this law of nature and the “grace”. This “grace” is the wind. Blowing of the wind is an example of the chaotic order and having this chaotic order as a benefit to human beings is a grace of God. The verse below is referring to the “command” of God for the buoyancy of water and its importance in this matter.

Rum-46
Among His Signs is this, that He sends the Winds, as heralds of Glad Tidings, giving you a taste of His Mercy,- that the ships may sail by His Command and that ye may seek of His Bounty: in order that ye may be grateful.

Night and Day

Nur-44
It is Allah Who alternates the Night and the Day: verily in these things is an instructive example for those who have vision!
Furkan-62
And it is He Who made the Night and the Day to follow each other: for such as desire to be mindful or to show their gratitude.

Neml-86
See they not that We have made the Night for them to rest in and the Day to give them light? Verily in this are Signs for any people that believe!

Yunus-6
Verily, in the alternation of the night and the day, and in all that Allah hath created, in the heavens and the earth, are Signs for those who fear Him.

Yunus-67
He it is that hath made you the night that ye may rest therein, and the day to make things visible (to you). Verily in this are Signs for those who listen (to His Message).

Nahl-12
He has made subject to you the Night and the Day; the sun and the moon; and the stars are in subjection by His Command: verily in this are Signs for men who are wise.

Ali Imran-190
Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,- there are indeed Signs for men of understanding,

Casiye-5
And in the alternation of Night and Day, and the fact that Allah sends down Sustenance from the sky, and revives therewith the earth after its death, and in the change of the winds,- are Signs for those that are wise.

“The coming of the night and day one after another” is not a necessity. Actually, there is no need to look for an answer by the help of our intelligence. The answer is standing upwards in the sky. The people whos have knowledge about the Moon, the satellite of the World, all know that one surface of the Moon is never seen from the World, because of the same time periods of the turning of the Moon around itself and turning of it around the World. If the same situation was valid for the World and the Sun, one surface of the world would always be in daylight, namely daytime, and the other surface would always be dark, namely the night. But, this situation is not valid for the World and both the night and the day are continuously following each other in a time period of 24 hours. Of course, there are reasons of this situation. But, these reasons are never “necessities”, and a clear mind can see God behind this or a disbeliever can explain this by chance.

Besides, the Koran already explains the thing from which you can draw a lesson: the perfect harmony of the night and daytime periods with the living creatures! If the night and daytimes are like the ones in the Mercury, namely a daytime is equal to a time of over 50 days, then what can we do?

The orientation of the Winds

Sura-33
If it be His Will, He can still the Wind: then would they become motionless on the back of the (ocean). Verily in this are Signs for everyone who patiently perseveres and is grateful.

Rum-46
Among His Signs is this, that He sends the Winds, as heralds of Glad Tidings, giving you a taste of His Mercy,- that the ships may sail by His Command and that ye may seek of His Bounty: in order that ye may be grateful.

In these verses, the purpose of using the expression of the orientation of the winds is the resign of a benefit for the people from this chaotic system as it was said in these verses again, and this is not a necessity.


Bakara/164

Bakara-164
Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the water which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise.

“in the creation of the heavens and the earth”: is certainly not a necessity.
“in the alternation of the night and the day”: as we showed before, is not a necessity.
“in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind”: NECESSITY (and Grace)! The ships flow on the sea by the help of the buoyancy of water. It is interesting that the Koran did not say “God performs it” for this event! (also look at the “Grace and Command” section)
“in the water which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds”: none of them are the necessities as we show before. For example, the creation of the animals is a design but the changing of the winds is chaotic process based on the chance.
“and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth”: NECESSITY! The cloud is retsing between the sky and the earth because of its specific weight is lighter than the air. The Koran left this event as a necessity also and did not say “God performs it”!

In this verse, the chance, the necessity and the design were used in a way that we expect, namely without faling into the “God of Gaps” fallacy! (Note: As we mentioned before, anything which is a necessity can be used as a proof for the “uniqeness” of God.)

Zumer/21

Zumer-21
Seest thou not that Allah sends down water from the sky, and leads it through springs in the earth? Then He causes to grow, therewith, produce of various colors: then it withers; thou wilt see it grow yellow; then He makes it dry up and crumble away. Truly, in this, is a Message of remembrance to men of understanding.

This verse needs a special analysis. The pharase “He causes to grow, therewith, produce of various colors” is clearly a design argument. The verse goes on as “and leads it through springs in the earth”. Is the build up of the underground water resources a necessity?
One quotation of a text that I found on the internet about the underground water reservoirs says ”In order to collect underground water resources it is very important to give water the chance to penetrate beneath the surface by means of cracks and similar openings in the upper levels of soil. Exactly here there is another miracle of creation to be witnessed because the upper surface of soil constitutes of such a kind of sandy layers so that water can easily penetrate below the surface into the deep until it hits another kind of soil which is argillaceous soil. This type of soil serves as a boundary to water and prevents it from diffusing further to the ground and enabling it to collect.” As seen sandy soil and argil have great importance to the underground water reservoirs. According to Wikipedia: “Sand is a granular material made up of fine rock particles most commonly quartz. Sand is a naturally occurring, finely divided rock, comprising particles or granules ranging in size up to 2 millimeters.” Its most important element is silicon and no one can say that having the element silicon on earth is a necessity. You can trust to this comment. I have just remembered the following verse of Koran:
Hadid/25
We sent aforetime our messengers with Clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of Right and Wrong), that men may stand forth in justice; and We sent down Iron, in which is great might, as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help, Unseen, Him and His messengers: For Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might.
The verse continues as “then it withers; thou wilt see it grow yellow; then He makes it dry up and crumble away”. Drying up and dying of plants is a result of a design. In order to clarify the design lets look at this quote from the encyclopedia Britannica: “In summer, plants make and store food in their roots, stems, or seeds. In winter, they rest. Plants pass the winter in various ways. Annuals flower in the same season that they are planted. Then, transferring all their reserve food to their seeds, the plants wither and die”. Meaning that, they die because they are designed to transfer their reserve food to their seeds. This explains the phrase “then He makes it dry up and crumble away”. It is again an argument from design. But more interesting is that the yellowing, withering part is left as a necessity in the verse. Infact it is a necessity that drying plants will wither and become yellow.

Nur/43-44

Nur/43-44
Seest thou not that Allah makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap? - then wilt thou see rain issue forth from their midst. And He sends down from the sky mountain masses (of clouds) wherein is hail: He strikes therewith whom He pleases and He turns it away from whom He pleases, the vivid flash of its lightning well-nigh blinds the sight.
It is Allah Who alternates the Night and the Day: verily in these things is an instructive example for those who have vision!

The “making the clouds move”, “joining them together” and “making them into a heap” are certainly not the necessities, but the chaotic processes. But after the making of the heap, the arising of the rain from cloud is a necessity. The verse emphasizes the arising of the rain as a necessity not “made by God”, and thus does not attribute it to God by saying “then wilt thou see rain issue forth from their midst”. The “flash of the lightning” was also emphasized as a necessity similarly!
Nahl/13
Nahl-13
And the things on this earth which He has multiplied in varying colors (and qualities): verily in this is a sign for men who are mindful.
In this verse, if it was said “God is painting” for the colours, and if this was presented as a lesson, then it would be fallen into “God of Gaps” fallacy. But, it is said that the colours was created / produced by God.
Besides, in this verse, it can be clearly seen that “a system arising from the necessity” was not emphasized… Namely, this verse was not presented as a proof for the uniqueness of God; on the contrary it had to be presented for the existence of him.
Well then, what is there in the colours to get a lesson? Here, the important word is “zerae” which was translated as the “multiply”… This word was used always for the living creatures namely the plants, the animals and the human beings. Namely, the Koran presents an event of design as a lesson again.
Rad/3
Rad-3
And it is He Who spread out the earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm and (flowing) rivers: and fruit of every kind He made in pairs, two and two: He draweth the night as a veil o'er the Day. Behold, verily in these things there are Signs for those who consider!
In this verse, it is necessary to explain the 2 subjects because they are seen as the necessities which were emphasized as the “made by God”. The first one “the spreading out of the world” is only possible with taking a spherical shape. Taking a spherical shape is not a necessity. For “becoming round” of a sky object, its mass must be greater than a definite size. To tell the truth, this is not necessity.
For becoming round of a sky object, its diameter must be 1000 km, at least. The diameter of the World is 7900 miles. Besides, the time period of becoming round of a sky object is important, too. A sky object which has a diameter of 1000 km will become round very slowly.
The second point is the formation of the mountains. This is also not a necessity. There must be solid stratum in a planet for the formation of the mountains and then these strata must be moving. Besides, the turning of that planet around itself is also necessary for the formation of the mountains, and none of these is a necessity.
Showing of the Lightning

Rum-24
And among His Signs, He shows you the lightning, by way both of fear and of hope, and He sends down water from the sky and with it gives life to the earth after it is dead: verily in that are Signs for those who are wise.

Do you say that “Here, this is a mistake”? “He is not showing the lightning, it is lightning because of the necessity”. All right, but in this verse, it was not said that the “flasher” of the lightning, but it was said that the “presenter” of it. Do you say that “he does not present, we see”? Do not forget that, yo can see by your eyes which are the designs of him.

“Sending down water from the skies” and the Rain

Casiye-5
And in the alternation of Night and Day, and the fact that Allah sends down Sustenance from the sky, and revives therewith the earth after its death, and in the change of the winds,- are Signs for those that are wise.

Bakara-164
Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the water which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise.
Enam-99
It is He Who sendeth down water from the skies: with it We produce vegetation of all kinds: from some We produce green (crops), out of which We produce grain, heaped up (at harvest); out of the date-palm and its sheaths (or spathes) (come) clusters of dates hanging low and near: and (then there are) gardens of grapes, and olives, and pomegranates, each similar (in kind) yet different (in variety): when they begin to bear fruit, feast your eyes with the fruit and the ripeness thereof. Behold! in these things there are Signs for people who believe.

Nahl-65
And Allah sends down water from the skies, and gives therewith life to the earth after its death: verily in this is a Sign for those who listen.

Taha-53-54 (In the beginning of this verse, Moses talks to pharaoh, so don’t get confused with the word “carpet”)
"He Who has, made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels); and has sent down water from the sky." With it have We produced diverse pairs of plants each separate from the others.
Eat (for yourselves) and pasture your cattle: verily, in this are Signs for men endued with understanding.

Furkan/48-50
And He it is Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy, and We send down pure water from the sky,-
That with it We may give life to a dead land, and slake the thirst of things We have created,- cattle and men in great numbers.
And We have distributed the (water) amongst them, in order that they may be mindful, but most men are averse (to aught) but (rank) ingratitude.

Rum-24
And among His Signs, He shows you the lightning, by way both of fear and of hope, and He sends down water from the sky and with it gives life to the earth after it is dead: verily in that are Signs for those who are wise.

Araf-57
And He it is Who sends forth the winds bearing good news before His mercy, until, when they bring up a laden cloud, We drive it to a dead land, then We send down water on it, then bring forth with it of fruits of all kinds; thus shall We bring forth the dead that you may be mindful.

I used the A.Yusuf Ali’s translation for the above verses about water & rain. But I changed his usage of the word “rain” in some verses to “water”. If you look at M.H. SHAKIR’s translation, he always uses the word “water” instead of “rain” in these verses. So, the usage of “rain” in Yusuf Ali’s translation is his interpretation. And if you also look at the Turkish translations, you will always find the word “water”, not the word “rain”.

By saying “sending water down from the sky” it is meant the whole process of sending the clouds by the help of winds, routing the clouds to a specific land, then piling them up and finally let it rain. From where do we know that? Well, the phrase speaks for itself! But, continue to read!

God mentions about “sending down the water from sky” in all of these verses, not “bringing down the rain” or “let it rain”! Why is this so? Because, the “rain” is a word commonly used for the final step of the bringing water down from the sky and it indicates a necessity.

Thus, if we look at the verse Lokman-34 which is not delivered as a sign for human intelligence,

Lokman-34
Surely Allah is He with Whom is the knowledge of the hour, and He sends down the rain and He knows what is in the wombs; and no one knows what he shall earn on the morrow; and no one knows in what land he shall die; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware,

we can clearly see the distinction that Koran made between “sending down water from the sky” and the rain.
The following verses also explain Koran’s aim when using the phrase “sending down water from skies”:
Furkan/48
And He it is Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy, and We send down pure water from the sky,-
Hicr/22
And We send the winds fertilising, and cause water to descend from the sky, and give it you to drink. It is not ye who are the holders of the store thereof. (PICKTHAL’s translation)
You are expected to see the link between the winds and “sending water down from the skies”!
Nahl/65-66-67-69
Nahl-65
And Allah sends down water from the skies, and gives therewith life to the earth after its death: verily in this is a Sign for those who listen.

Nahl-66
And verily in cattle (too) will ye find an instructive sign. From what is within their bodies between excretions and blood, We produce, for your drink, milk, pure and agreeable to those who drink it.

Nahl-67
And from the fruit of the date-palm and the vine, ye get out strong drink and wholesome food: behold, in this also is a sign for those who are wise.

Nahl-69
Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth), and follow the ways of thy Lord made smooth: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colors, wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought.

In all of these verses, the “design” is being presented as a “lesson for the intelligence” and it is not being fallen into the “God of the Gaps” fallacy.

The samples from the other verses in which there is no “God of the Gaps” fallacy

Taha-53/54
Who made the earth for you an expanse and made for you therein paths and sent down water from the cloud; then thereby We have brought forth many species of various herbs.
Eat and pasture your cattle; most surely there are signs in this for those endowed with understanding.

Rum-22
And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colors; most surely there are signs in this for the learned.

Rum-24
And among His Signs, He shows you the lightning, by way both of fear and of hope, and He sends down water from the sky and with it gives life to the earth after it is dead: verily in that are Signs for those who are wise.

Enam-99
And He it is Who sends down water from the cloud, then We bring forth with it buds of all (plants), then We bring forth from it green (foliage) from which We produce grain piled up (in the ear); and of the palm-tree, of the sheaths of it, come forth clusters (of dates) within reach, and gardens of grapes and olives and pomegranates, alike and unlike; behold the fruit of it when it yields the fruit and the ripening of it; most surely there are signs in this for a people who believe.



Araf-26
O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition!

Nahl/10-11
It is He Who sends down rain from the sky: from it ye drink, and out of it (grows) the vegetation on which ye feed your cattle.
With it He produces for you corn, olives, date-palms, grapes and every kind of fruit: verily in this is a sign for those who give thought.

Muminun-21
And in cattle (too) ye have an instructive example: from within their bodies We produce (milk) for you to drink; there are, in them, (besides), numerous (other) benefits for you; and of their (meat) ye eat;

Suara/7-8
Do they not look at the earth,- how many noble things of all kinds We have produced therein?
Verily, in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe.

Rum-21
And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.

Casiye-4
And in the creation of yourselves and the fact that animals are scattered (through the earth), are Signs for those of assured Faith.

Casiye-13
And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: behold, in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect.



Zuhruf-12/13
That has created pairs in all things, and has made for you ships and cattle on which ye ride,
In order that ye may sit firm and square on their backs, and when so seated, ye may remember the (kind) favor of your Lord, and say, "Glory to Him Who has subjected these to our (use), for we could never be able to do it,

Yasin-37
And a Sign for them is the Night: We withdraw therefrom the Day, and behold they are plunged in darkness;

Zumer-42
It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed. Verily in this are Signs for those who reflect.

Rad-4
And in the earth are tracts (diverse though) neighboring, and gardens of vines and fields sown with corn, and palm trees - growing out of single roots or otherwise: watered with the same water, yet some of them We make more excellent than others to eat. Behold, verily in these things there are Signs for those who understand!
All of the above verses are examples of argument from design.
The verses which were possible to be fallen into the “God of the Gaps” fallacy, but it did not become so.
The movement of the sky objects
Enbiya-33
It is He Who created the Night and the Day, and the sun and the moon: all (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its rounded course.

Lokman-29
Seest thou not that Allah merges Night into Day and he merges Day into Night; that He has subjected the sun, and the moon (to His Law), each running its course for a term appointed; and that Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do?

Yasin-38
And the Sun runs unto a resting place: that is the decree of (Him), the Exalted in Might, the All-Knowing.

Yasin-40
It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon, nor can the Night outstrip the Day: each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit (according to Law).

In these verses, by meaning the movements of the sun and the moon, it was expressed that they were “rendered at his disposal by God”. But the surprising thing in here is the lack of usage of the expression of “made by God” about the movements of the sun and the moon, and thus not being presented as a proof of the existence/unity of God…

When we take into consideration the beliefs of the people who were living in the Middle Ages, about the sky objects were being moved by the angels and thought that there is God with starting from this point, the importance of not being fallen into a fallacy like this in Koran can be more easily comprehended.

Kaf/6-8
6- Do they not look at the sky above them?- How We have made it and adorned it, and there are no flaws in it?
7- And the earth- We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and produced therein every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs)-
8- For an insight and a reminder to every servant turning (to Allah).
“The fact that there is no flaws in it” which is expressed within the verse is a necessity. Within the verse this phrase is not referred to God and is used solely on its own. But the making and adornment of the skies is definitely referred to God. Actually the making of the skies and “adornment” (the term used for the stars) of the sky is strongly bound to the parameters during the creation of the universe. For example a slight difference in gravity constant or the masses of electrons or protons would make it impossible today for us to talk about stars. Scientists call this “the fine tuning of the universe” and science could not yet prove that these specific parameters were as they were because of necessity.

M. H. Shakir’s translation of Kaf/6 is also very interesting:

Kaf/6 (M.H. Shakir)
Do they not then look up to heaven above them how We have made it and adorned it and it has no gaps?

Well, no comment! (PS: This is the solely one place in his translation of Koran that the word “gap” is used – In Yusuf Ali’s translation the word “gap” never occurs.)
Explaining the “explanation”!
Rad/2
Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; then He established Himself on the Throne; He has subjected the sun and the moon! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.
Yunus/5
It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light (of beauty), and measured out stages for it; that ye might know the number of years and the count (of time). Nowise did Allah create this but in truth and righteousness. (Thus) doth He explain His Signs in detail, for those who know.
Isra/12
We have made the Night and the Day as two (of Our) Signs: the Sign of the Night have We made dark, while the Sign of the Day We have made bright; that ye may seek bounty from your Lord, and that ye may know the number and count of the years: all things have We explained in detail.
God said that “I am performing” for the things which are the necessities (which I underlined) in these above verses and presented them as “signs” for human intelligence. Eventually, we had fallen into the “God of the Gaps” fallacy! But, is it really so? Here the word “explain” comes to our help. The “explain” in these verses implies that human beings can not see the “signs of Allah” directly from the events mentioned in these verses. Those kinds of signs are hidden to our eyes, because they are necessities. So they need to be explained!
Is there a need for further explanation!
More samples from the other verses which were possible to be fallen into the “God of the Gaps” fallacy, but it did not become so.
Rad/12
It is He Who doth show you the lightning, by way both of fear and of hope: It is He Who doth raise up the clouds, heavy with (fertilizing) rain!
Lokman/10
He created the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; He set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and He scattered through it beasts of all kinds. We send down rain from the sky, and produce on the earth every kind of noble creature, in pairs.
God said that “I am performing” for the things which are the necessities (which I underlined) in these verses, but neither in these verses nor in the continuous ones, these events were not presented as the proofs for the intelligence!

Conclusion-I

Think about the times of Koran’s revelation. Although some claim that ancient Greeks knew even at those times that earth is spherical, Koran’s claim is not that simple. During those ages, people were thinking that the alternation of day and night was because of Sun’s movement around earth. But, Koran states that Sun’s movement is a necessity while stating that the alternation of day and night is a “sign” of God. That was certainly a contradiction at those times. But as of today, we know that this is not a contradiction but a truth. This situation implies that the Author of Koran is aware of this situation and also is aware of earth’s spherical shape and of the rotation of earth around itself and around sun (otherwise, the alternation of day and night is impossible without falling into the contradiction that we mentioned above!). This is not due to our imagination. Look at the following verses of Koran:

Yasin/40
It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon, nor can the Night outstrip the Day: each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit (according to Law).

Enbiya/33
It is He Who created the Night and the Day, and the sun and the moon: all swim along, each in its rounded course.

The word “each” and “all” in these verses also cover the night and day. It implies that (themselves and the place of) night and day (earth) also swims along their orbits. Arabic verb used in these verses is also in a special plural form used for more than 2 objects.
Also look at the following:

Zumer/5
He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): He makes the Night overlap the Day, and the Day overlap the Night: He has subjected the sun and the moon (to His law): each one follows a course for a time appointed. Is not He the Exalted in Power - He Who forgives again and again?

The Arabic word for “overlap” is “yukevviru.” The word is used to describe the act of wrapping a turban around someone’s head. This verse implies the spherical shape of earth.
Being aware of earth’s spherical shape and seeing the spherical shapes of sun and moon, and still insisting on that earth’s spherical shape is a matter of chance/design! The Author is really aware of how sky objects become spherical!

Conclusion-II

As you see, everything (necessity/chance/design) is properly used in Koran. Everything is in its proper place just like the universe. Every verse, and even the words, contributes to building a pattern. And for me, understanding is seeing the patterns.
Today, there is no way other than embracing Quran to be an intellectually full-filled believer. Quran is God’s answer to hopelessly crying people of modern ages for a miracle to believe. Is it not interesting finding a book like Quran playing with the “God of the Gaps” argument? And it is certainly justice! Justice for people of modern ages who had not a chance to see prophets performing their miracles! Justice for a time in which people bombarded with atheist arguments!

One final word: “Just follow the evidence, wherever it leads”.


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