Believing in intelligent design is just like believing that lightening “bolts” are actual bolts thrown by a god.
The god of the gaps is part of our intelligent design of models. It is our way of handling, quite elegantly, our distaste for impenetrable complexity. We simply cannot explain all the complexity that goes into the production of a lightening bolt. A proper explanation, after all, would also explain the Big Bang and prior. A full explanation, as Kant says, would be either an endless list of conditions (a fractal explanation) or include something that is unconditioned.
But even if we settle for a surface explanation (one that just takes elementary particles and forces as basic), we must still tell a long and complicated story. We must include, for example, the whole body of physical knowledge plus all of neuroscience of perception, recognition, and consciousness.
The intelligent design theorist admits that complexity is the problem, but she makes this problem ontic instead of epistemic, and only a god can surmount such a problem:
There is just too much that has to be set-up and in-place before a lightening bolt can fly. There is just so much and it all has to be just right. The probability that atoms and electrons would simply organize themselves into just the right arrangement of differential charges necessary to create a bolt is basically zero.
Ergo lightening bolts cannot just arise by chance. The preconditions for their possibility are vast—possibly bottomless. And the idea that such richly complex of preconditions can arise from nothing is preposterous.
Actually, the complexity basis for intelligent design applies to every event in the universe. The chance of every event that happens is zero. This cup of water standing 8 inches to the right of my computer. What are the chances, given any average universe, that things “in the typical universe” would be just right for the cup to be where it is right now?
This is the conundrum: Given randomness or chaos as a foundation, the chance that THIS would arise is zero. Also, given the fact that nature is the way it is, the change that THIS would arise is 100%. We know, deep down, that things had to be this way. We know that the Principle of Sufficient reason must bottom out in necessity.