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This is the fifth of nine posts describing "Reasons for Skepticism" derived from scientific discovery, not from wishful speculations about the supernatural. These will be followed by several "Reconciliation Theories" for bridging the growing chasm between science and religion.
5. The disappearing "god of the gap." The earliest deity was probably the sun, followed by the moon, then by additional gods controlling seasons, fertility, and other mysterious events. As science emerged as an alternative method of comprehending those mysteries, religious authorities eventually acknowledged that the sun was not a deity, that seasons are explained by planetary motion, that fertility is explained by biology, and other prior mysteries are understood without resorting to religion for explanation. No less an authority than Pope (now Saint) John Paul II declared in 1996 that, "Truth cannot contradict truth," meaning faith cannot contradict science.
The gap between scientific knowledge and the remaining mysteries has narrowed significantly. Within the past century, science has produced astounding insights into the nature of the world and the universe, further narrowing the gap to a small slice of the huge and baffling pie of mystery that confronted our pre-science ancestors as they sought to understand their world.
Yes, mysteries remain, but given the remarkable and accelerating progress made by science in debunking previously held religious "truths," is it not more reasonable to regard the remaining mysteries as natural phenomena that can eventually be understood by science, rather than continue to attribute them to some decreasingly necessary supernatural deity for which there exists no empirical evidence whatsoever?