I lifted this meme from a Facebook group for Christian scientists and science enthusiasts–yes, such things do exist. It’s funny because when atheists can’t explain something using science, that’s the same thing as using God to explain something without a known answer, get it?! Except that it’s not the same thing at all, and it’s a ridiculous meme for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost (and as I pointed out to them) all scientific inquiry begins with ignorance. That’s not fallacious–that’s what spurs people to look for answers in the first place. Virtually every single scientific principle we take for granted today started out basically like that cartoon chalkboard: someone observes a phenomenon, makes a hypothesis, tests said hypothesis, and either accepts or rejects the hypothesis based on the outcome of the test. The example I gave in my FB reply involved heredity.
Most people are familiar with Mendel and his pea plants. At some point, Mendel noticed that breeding a pea plant with a purple flower with one that had a white flower yielded another purple flower instead of some mixture of the two. So essentially Mendel was saying or thinking at some point, “I have a white and purple flower and breed the two, something something something in the middle, and then I get a purple flower instead of a cross between the two.” At this point, there’s no fallacy, contrary to what the meme claims.
And, spoiler alert, it was only through careful scientific observation and measurement that Mendel arrived at his now famous theory of inheritance.
So I find it somewhat comical that a group of Christians who profess to love science and be friendly with the scientific community would post a meme that essentially mocks the entire scientific process. I did not point this out to them because I don’t want to be a dick.
But this also brought up something that I thought was funny: many Christians, including ones in this Facebook group, complain that atheists are arrogant and selfish. Well what the hell is so arrogant about admitting ignorance?! But hey, at least they appear to be admitting that using God as a fill-in explanation is a fallacy.
I’ll give this group credit: they aren’t all YECs and they do a good job of actually highlighting and exploring scientific principles and discoveries…they just always find a God angle in there somewhere. Which is fine, whatever, as long as you don’t think that the world is 6,000 years old and some invisible man in the sky made us out of dust so that a talking snake could trick us into knowing evil. I can coexist with people who just take the Christian teachings and a belief in God, but view the rest as metaphor and allegory. And I’m all for people attempting to lead more scientific lives, even if that reason is to justify a belief in God.