Creationism is the religious belief that nature, and aspects such as the universe, Earth, life, and humans, originated with supernatural acts of divine creation. In its broadest sense, creationism includes a continuum of religious views, which vary in their acceptance or rejection of scientific explanations such as evolution that describe the origin and development of natural phenomena.
The term creationism most often refers to belief in special creation; the claim that the universe and lifeforms were created as they exist today by divine action, and that the only true explanations are those which are compatible with a Christian fundamentalist literal interpretation of the creation myths found in the Bible's Genesis creation narrative. Since the 1970s, the commonest form of this has been young Earth creationism which posits special creation of the universe and lifeforms within the last 10,000 years on the basis of Flood geology, and promotes pseudoscientific creation science. From the 18th century onwards, old Earth creationism accepted geological time harmonized with Genesis through gap or day-age theory, while supporting anti-evolution. Modern old-Earth creationists support progressive creationism and continue to reject evolutionary explanations. Following political controversy, creation science was reformulated as intelligent design and neo-creationism.
Mainline Protestants and the Catholic Church reconcile modern science with their faith in Creation through forms of theistic evolution which hold that God purposefully created through the laws of nature, and accept evolution. Some groups call their belief evolutionary creationism.
Use of the term "creationist" in this context dates back to Charles Darwin's unpublished 1842 sketch draft for what became On the Origin of Species, and he used the term later in letters to colleagues. Asa Gray published a 1873 article in The Nation saying a "special creationist" maintaining that species "were supernaturally originated just as they are, by the very terms of his doctrine places them out of the reach of scientific explanation."
A further important element is the interpretation of the Biblical chronology, the elaborate system of life-spans, "generations," and other means by which the Bible measures the passage of events from the creation (Genesis 1:1) to the Book of Daniel, the last biblical book in which it appears. Recent decades have seen attempts to de-link creationism from the Bible and recast it as science; these include creation science and intelligent design. There are also non-Christian forms of creationism, notably Islamic creationism and Hindu creationism.
To counter the common misunderstanding that the creation–evolution controversy was a simple dichotomy of views, with "creationists" set against "evolutionists", Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education produced a diagram and description of a continuum of religious views as a spectrum ranging from extreme literal Biblical creationism to materialist evolution, grouped under main headings. This was used in public presentations, then published in 1999 in Reports of the NCSE. Other versions of a "taxonomy" of creationists were produced, and comparisons made betewenthe different groupings. In 2009 Scott produced a revised continuum taking account of these issues, emphasising that intelligent design creationism overlaps other types, and each type is a grouping of various beliefs and positions. The revised diagram is labelled to shows a spectrum relating to positions on the age of the Earth, and the part played by special creation as against evolution. This was published in the book Evolution Vs. Creationism: An Introduction, and the NCSE website rewritten on the basis of the book version.
The main general types are listed below.
|Humanity||Biological species||Earth||Age of Universe|
|Young Earth creationism||Directly created by God.||Directly created by God. Macroevolution does not occur.||Less than 10,000 years old. Reshaped by global flood.||Less than 10,000 years old, but some hold this view only for our Solar System.|
|Gap creationism||Scientifically accepted age. Reshaped by global flood.||Scientifically accepted age.|
|Progressive creationism||Directly created by God, based on primate anatomy.||Direct creation + evolution. No single common ancestor.||Scientifically accepted age. No global flood.||Scientifically accepted age.|
|Intelligent design||Proponents hold various beliefs. (For example, Michael Behe accepts evolution from primates.)||Divine intervention at some point in the past, as evidenced by what intelligent-design creationists call "irreducible complexity."||Some adherents accept common descent, others not. Some claim the existence of Earth is the result of divine intervention.||Scientifically accepted age.|
|Theistic evolution (evolutionary creationism)||Evolution from primates.||Evolution from single common ancestor.||Scientifically accepted age. No global flood.||Scientifically accepted age.|
Young Earth creationists such as Ken Ham and Doug Phillips believe that God created the Earth within the last ten thousand years, literally as described in the Genesis creation narrative, within the approximate time-frame of biblical genealogies (detailed for example in the Ussher chronology). Most young Earth creationists believe that the universe has a similar age as the Earth. A few assign a much older age to the universe than to Earth. Creationist cosmologies give the universe an age consistent with the Ussher chronology and other young Earth time frames. Other young Earth creationists believe that the Earth and the universe were created with the appearance of age, so that the world appears to be much older than it is, and that this appearance is what gives the geological findings and other methods of dating the Earth and the universe their much longer timelines.
The Christian organizations Institute for Creation Research (ICR) and the Creation Research Society (CRS) both promote young Earth creationism in the US. Another organization with similar views, Answers in Genesis (AiG)—based in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom—has opened the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, to promote young Earth creationism. Creation Ministries International promotes young Earth views in Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, the US, and the UK. Among Roman Catholics, the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation promotes similar ideas. In 2007, Ken Ham founded the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter in northern Kentucky.
Old Earth creationism holds that the physical universe was created by God, but that the creation event described in the Book of Genesis is to be taken figuratively. This group generally believes that the age of the universe and the age of the Earth are as described by astronomers and geologists, but that details of modern evolutionary theory are questionable.
Old Earth creationism itself comes in at least three types:
Gap creationism, also called "restoration creationism," holds that life was recently created on a pre-existing old Earth. This version of creationism relies on a particular interpretation of Genesis 1:1–2. It is considered that the words formless and void in fact denote waste and ruin, taking into account the original Hebrew and other places these words are used in the Old Testament. Genesis 1:1–2 is consequently translated:
Thus, the six days of creation (verse 3 onwards) start sometime after the Earth was "without form and void." This allows an indefinite "gap" of time to be inserted after the original creation of the universe, but prior to the creation according to Genesis, (when present biological species and humanity were created). Gap theorists can therefore agree with the scientific consensus regarding the age of the Earth and universe, while maintaining a literal interpretation of the biblical text.
Some gap creationists expand the basic version of creationism by proposing a "primordial creation" of biological life within the "gap" of time. This is thought to be "the world that then was" mentioned in 2 Peter 3:3–7. Discoveries of fossils and archaeological ruins older than 10,000 years are generally ascribed to this "world that then was," which may also be associated with Lucifer's rebellion. These views became popular with publications of Hebrew Lexicons such as Strong's Concordance, and Bible commentaries such as the Scofield Reference Bible and The Companion Bible.
Day-age creationism states that the "six days" of the Book of Genesis are not ordinary 24-hour days, but rather much longer periods (for instance, each "day" could be the equivalent of millions, or billions of years of human time). The physicist Gerald Schroeder is one such proponent of this view. This version of creationism often states that the Hebrew word "yôm," in the context of Genesis 1, can be properly interpreted as "age."
Strictly speaking, day-age creationism is not so much a version of creationism as a hermeneutic option which may be combined with other versions of creationism such as progressive creationism.
Progressive creationism holds that species have changed or evolved in a process continuously guided by God, with various ideas as to how the process operated—though it is generally taken that God directly intervened in the natural order at key moments in Earth history. This view accepts most of modern physical science including the age of the Earth, but rejects much of modern evolutionary biology or looks to it for evidence that evolution by natural selection alone is incorrect. Organizations such as Reasons To Believe, founded by Hugh Ross, promote this version of creationism.
Creation science, or initially scientific creationism, is a pseudoscience that emerged in the 1960s with proponents aiming to have young Earth creationist beliefs taught in school science classes as a counter to teaching of evolution. Common features of creation science argument include: creationist cosmologies which accommodate a universe on the order of thousands of years old, criticism of radiometric dating through a technical argument about radiohalos, explanations for the fossil record as a record of the Genesis flood narrative (see flood geology), and explanations for the present diversity as a result of pre-designed genetic variability and partially due to the rapid degradation of the perfect genomes God placed in "created kinds" or "Baramin" (see creationist biology) due to mutations.
Neo-creationism is a pseudoscientific movement which aims to restate creationism in terms more likely to be well received by the public, by policy makers, by educators and by the scientific community. It aims to re-frame the debate over the origins of life in non-religious terms and without appeals to scripture. This comes in response to the 1987 ruling by the United States Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard that creationism is an inherently religious concept and that advocating it as correct or accurate in public-school curricula violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
One of the principal claims of neo-creationism propounds that ostensibly objective orthodox science, with a foundation in naturalism, is actually a dogmatically atheistic religion. Its proponents argue that the scientific method excludes certain explanations of phenomena, particularly where they point towards supernatural elements, thus effectively excluding religious insight from contributing to understanding the universe. This leads to an open and often hostile opposition to what neo-creationists term "Darwinism", which they generally mean to refer to evolution, but which they may extend to include such concepts as abiogenesis, stellar evolution and the Big Bang theory.
Unlike their philosophical forebears, neo-creationists largely do not believe in many of the traditional cornerstones of creationism such as a young Earth, or in a dogmatically literal interpretation of the Bible.
Intelligent design (ID) is the pseudoscientific view that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." All of its leading proponents are associated with the Discovery Institute, a think tank whose Wedge strategy aims to replace the scientific method with "a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions" which accepts supernatural explanations. It is widely accepted in the scientific and academic communities that intelligent design is a form of creationism, and is sometimes referred to as "intelligent design creationism."
ID originated as a re-branding of creation science in an attempt to avoid a series of court decisions ruling out the teaching of creationism in American public schools, and the Discovery Institute has run a series of campaigns to change school curricula. In Australia, where curricula are under the control of state governments rather than local school boards, there was a public outcry when the notion of ID being taught in science classes was raised by the Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson; the minister quickly conceded that the correct forum for ID, if it were to be taught, is in religious or philosophy classes.
In the US, teaching of intelligent design in public schools has been decisively ruled by a federal district court to be in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In Kitzmiller v. Dover, the court found that intelligent design is not science and "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents," and hence cannot be taught as an alternative to evolution in public school science classrooms under the jurisdiction of that court. This sets a persuasive precedent, based on previous US Supreme Court decisions in Edwards v. Aguillard and Epperson v. Arkansas (1968), and by the application of the Lemon test, that creates a legal hurdle to teaching intelligent design in public school districts in other federal court jurisdictions.
In astronomy, the geocentric model (also known as geocentrism, or the Ptolemaic system), is a description of the Cosmos where Earth is at the orbital center of all celestial bodies. This model served as the predominant cosmological system in many ancient civilizations such as ancient Greece. As such, they assumed that the Sun, Moon, stars, and naked eye planets circled Earth, including the noteworthy systems of Aristotle (see Aristotelian physics) and Ptolemy.
Articles arguing that geocentrism was the biblical perspective appeared in some early creation science newsletters associated with the Creation Research Society pointing to some passages in the Bible, which, when taken literally, indicate that the daily apparent motions of the Sun and the Moon are due to their actual motions around the Earth rather than due to the rotation of the Earth about its axis for example, Joshua 10:12 where the Sun and Moon are said to stop in the sky, and Psalms 93:1 where the world is described as immobile. Contemporary advocates for such religious beliefs include Robert Sungenis, co-author of the self-published Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right (2006). These people subscribe to the view that a plain reading of the Bible contains an accurate account of the manner in which the universe was created and requires a geocentric worldview. Most contemporary creationist organizations reject such perspectives.[note 1]
The Omphalos hypothesis argues that in order for the world to be functional, God must have created a mature Earth with mountains and canyons, rock strata, trees with growth rings, and so on; therefore no evidence that we can see of the presumed age of the Earth and age of the universe can be taken as reliable. The idea has seen some revival in the 20th century by some modern creationists, who have extended the argument to address the "starlight problem". The idea has been criticised as Last Thursdayism, and on the grounds that it requires a deliberately deceptive creator.
Theistic evolution, or evolutionary creation, is a belief that "the personal God of the Bible created the universe and life through evolutionary processes." According to the American Scientific Affiliation:
A theory of theistic evolution (TE) – also called evolutionary creation – proposes that God's method of creation was to cleverly design a universe in which everything would naturally evolve. Usually the "evolution" in "theistic evolution" means Total Evolution – astronomical evolution (to form galaxies, solar systems,...) and geological evolution (to form the earth's geology) plus chemical evolution (to form the first life) and biological evolution (for the development of life) – but it can refer only to biological evolution.
Through the 19th century the term creationism most commonly referred to direct creation of individual souls, in contrast to traducianism. Following the publication of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, there was interest in ideas of Creation by divine law. In particular, the liberal theologian Baden Powell argued that this illustrated the Creator's power better than the idea of miraculous creation, which he thought ridiculous. When On the Origin of Species was published, the cleric Charles Kingsley wrote of evolution as "just as noble a conception of Deity." Darwin's view at the time was of God creating life through the laws of nature, and the book makes several references to "creation," though he later regretted using the term rather than calling it an unknown process. In America, Asa Gray argued that evolution is the secondary effect, or modus operandi, of the first cause, design, and published a pamphlet defending the book in theistic terms, Natural Selection not inconsistent with Natural Theology. Theistic evolution, also called, evolutionary creation, became a popular compromise, and St. George Jackson Mivart was among those accepting evolution but attacking Darwin's naturalistic mechanism. Eventually it was realised that supernatural intervention could not be a scientific explanation, and naturalistic mechanisms such as neo-Lamarckism were favoured as being more compatible with purpose than natural selection.
Some theists took the general view that, instead of faith being in opposition to biological evolution, some or all classical religious teachings about Christian God and creation are compatible with some or all of modern scientific theory, including specifically evolution; it is also known as "evolutionary creation." In Evolution versus Creationism, Eugenie Scott and Niles Eldredge state that it is in fact a type of evolution.
It generally views evolution as a tool used by God, who is both the first cause and immanent sustainer/upholder of the universe; it is therefore well accepted by people of strong theistic (as opposed to deistic) convictions. Theistic evolution can synthesize with the day-age creationist interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative; however most adherents consider that the first chapters of the Book of Genesis should not be interpreted as a "literal" description, but rather as a literary framework or allegory.
From a theistic viewpoint, the underlying laws of nature were designed by God for a purpose, and are so self-sufficient that the complexity of the entire physical universe evolved from fundamental particles in processes such as stellar evolution, life forms developed in biological evolution, and in the same way the origin of life by natural causes has resulted from these laws.
In one form or another, theistic evolution is the view of creation taught at the majority of mainline Protestant seminaries. For Roman Catholics, human evolution is not a matter of religious teaching, and must stand or fall on its own scientific merits. Evolution and the Roman Catholic Church are not in conflict. The Catechism of the Catholic Church comments positively on the theory of evolution, which is neither precluded nor required by the sources of faith, stating that scientific studies "have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man." Roman Catholic schools teach evolution without controversy on the basis that scientific knowledge does not extend beyond the physical, and scientific truth and religious truth cannot be in conflict. Theistic evolution can be described as "creationism" in holding that divine intervention brought about the origin of life or that divine laws govern formation of species, though many creationists (in the strict sense) would deny that the position is creationism at all. In the creation–evolution controversy, its proponents generally take the "evolutionist" side. This sentiment was expressed by Fr. George Coyne, (the Vatican's chief astronomer between 1978 and 2006):
...in America, creationism has come to mean some fundamentalistic, literal, scientific interpretation of Genesis. Judaic-Christian faith is radically creationist, but in a totally different sense. It is rooted in a belief that everything depends upon God, or better, all is a gift from God.
While supporting the methodological naturalism inherent in modern science, the proponents of theistic evolution reject the implication taken by some atheists that this gives credence to ontological materialism. In fact, many modern philosophers of science, including atheists, refer to the long-standing convention in the scientific method that observable events in nature should be explained by natural causes, with the distinction that it does not assume the actual existence or non-existence of the supernatural.
As of 2006, most Christians around the world accepted evolution as the most likely explanation for the origins of species, and did not take a literal view of the Genesis creation myth. The United States is an exception where belief in religious fundamentalism is much more likely to affect attitudes towards evolution than it is for believers elsewhere. Political partisanship affecting religious belief may be a factor because political partisanship in the US is highly correlated with fundamentalist thinking, unlike in Europe.
Most contemporary Christian leaders and scholars from mainstream churches, such as Anglicans and Lutherans, consider that there is no conflict between the spiritual meaning of creation and the science of evolution. According to the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, "...for most of the history of Christianity, and I think this is fair enough, most of the history of the Christianity there's been an awareness that a belief that everything depends on the creative act of God, is quite compatible with a degree of uncertainty or latitude about how precisely that unfolds in creative time."
Leaders of the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches have made statements in favor of evolutionary theory, as have scholars such as the physicist John Polkinghorne, who argues that evolution is one of the principles through which God created living beings. Earlier supporters of evolutionary theory include Frederick Temple, Asa Gray and Charles Kingsley who were enthusiastic supporters of Darwin's theories upon their publication, and the French Jesuit priest and geologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin saw evolution as confirmation of his Christian beliefs, despite condemnation from Church authorities for his more speculative theories. Another example is that of Liberal theology, not providing any creation models, but instead focusing on the symbolism in beliefs of the time of authoring Genesis and the cultural environment.
Many Christians and Jews had been considering the idea of the creation history as an allegory (instead of historical) long before the development of Darwin's theory of evolution. For example, Philo, whose works were taken up by early Church writers, wrote that it would be a mistake to think that creation happened in six days, or in any set amount of time. Augustine of the late fourth century who was also a former neoplatonist argued that everything in the universe was created by God at the same moment in time (and not in six days as a literal reading of the Book of Genesis would seem to require); It appears that both Philo and Augustine felt uncomfortable with the idea of a seven-day creation because it detracted from the notion of God's omnipotence. In 1950, Pope Pius XII stated limited support for the idea in his encyclical Humani generis. In 1996, Pope John Paul II stated that "new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis," but, referring to previous papal writings, he concluded that "if the human body takes its origin from pre-existent living matter, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God."
In the US, Evangelical Christians have continued to believe in a literal Genesis. Members of evangelical Protestant (70%), Mormon (76%) and Jehovah's Witnesses (90%) denominations are the most likely to reject the evolutionary interpretation of the origins of life.
Jehovah's Witnesses adhere to a combination of gap creationism and day-age creationism, asserting that scientific evidence about the age of the universe is compatible with the Bible, but that the 'days' after Genesis 1:1 were each thousands of years in length.
The historic Christian literal interpretation of creation requires the harmonization of the two creation stories, Genesis 1:1–2:3 and Genesis 2:4–25, for there to be a consistent interpretation. They sometimes seek to ensure that their belief is taught in science classes, mainly in American schools. Opponents reject the claim that the literalistic biblical view meets the criteria required to be considered scientific. Many religious groups teach that God created the Cosmos. From the days of the early Christian Church Fathers there were allegorical interpretations of the Book of Genesis as well as literal aspects.
Christian Science, a system of thought and practice derived from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, interprets the Book of Genesis figuratively rather than literally. It holds that the material world is an illusion, and consequently not created by God: the only real creation is the spiritual realm, of which the material world is a distorted version. Christian Scientists regard the story of the creation in the Book of Genesis as having symbolic rather than literal meaning. According to Christian Science, both creationism and evolution are false from an absolute or "spiritual" point of view, as they both proceed from a (false) belief in the reality of a material universe. However, Christian Scientists do not oppose the teaching of evolution in schools, nor do they demand that alternative accounts be taught: they believe that both material science and literalist theology are concerned with the illusory, mortal and material, rather than the real, immortal and spiritual. With regard to material theories of creation, Eddy showed a preference for Darwin's theory of evolution over others.
Hindu creationists claim that species of plants and animals are material forms adopted by pure consciousness which live an endless cycle of births and rebirths. Ronald Numbers says that: "Hindu Creationists have insisted on the antiquity of humans, who they believe appeared fully formed as long, perhaps, as trillions of years ago." Hindu creationism is a form of old Earth creationism, according to Hindu creationists the universe may even be older than billions of years. These views are based on the Vedas, the creation myths of which depict an extreme antiquity of the universe and history of the Earth.
Islamic creationism is the belief that the universe (including humanity) was directly created by God as explained in the Qur'an. It usually views the Book of Genesis as a corrupted version of God's message. The creation myths in the Qur'an are vaguer and allow for a wider range of interpretations similar to those in other Abrahamic religions.
Islam also has its own school of theistic evolutionism, which holds that mainstream scientific analysis of the origin of the universe is supported by the Qur'an. Some Muslims believe in evolutionary creation, especially among liberal movements within Islam.
Writing for The Boston Globe, Drake Bennett noted: "Without a Book of Genesis to account for ... Muslim creationists have little interest in proving that the age of the Earth is measured in the thousands rather than the billions of years, nor do they show much interest in the problem of the dinosaurs. And the idea that animals might evolve into other animals also tends to be less controversial, in part because there are passages of the Koran that seem to support it. But the issue of whether human beings are the product of evolution is just as fraught among Muslims." However, some Muslims, such as Adnan Oktar (also known as Harun Yahya), do not agree that one species can develop from another.
The Ahmadiyya movement actively promotes evolutionary theory. Ahmadis interpret scripture from the Qur'an to support the concept of macroevolution and give precedence to scientific theories. Furthermore, unlike orthodox Muslims, Ahmadis believe that humans have gradually evolved from different species. Ahmadis regard Adam as being the first Prophet of God – as opposed to him being the first man on Earth. Rather than wholly adopting the theory of natural selection, Ahmadis promote the idea of a "guided evolution," viewing each stage of the evolutionary process as having been selectively woven by God. Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has stated in his magnum opus Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth (1998) that evolution did occur but only through God being the One who brings it about. It does not occur itself, according to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
For Orthodox Jews who seek to reconcile discrepancies between science and the creation myths in the Bible, the notion that science and the Bible should even be reconciled through traditional scientific means is questioned. To these groups, science is as true as the Torah and if there seems to be a problem, epistemological limits are to blame for apparently irreconcilable points. They point to discrepancies between what is expected and what actually is to demonstrate that things are not always as they appear. They note that even the root word for "world" in the Hebrew language—עולם (Olam)—means hidden—נעלם (Neh-Eh-Lahm). Just as they know from the Torah that God created man and trees and the light on its way from the stars in their observed state, so too can they know that the world was created in its over the six days of Creation that reflects progression to its currently-observed state, with the understanding that physical ways to verify this may eventually be identified. This knowledge has been advanced by Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb, former philosophy professor at Johns Hopkins University. Also, relatively old Kabbalistic sources from well before the scientifically apparent age of the universe was first determined are in close concord with modern scientific estimates of the age of the universe, according to Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, and based on Sefer Temunah, an early kabbalistic work attributed to the first-century Tanna Nehunya ben HaKanah. Many kabbalists accepted the teachings of the Sefer HaTemunah, including the medieval Jewish scholar Nahmanides, his close student Isaac ben Samuel of Acre, and David ben Solomon ibn Abi Zimra. Other parallels are derived, among other sources, from Nahmanides, who expounds that there was a Neanderthal-like species with which Adam mated (he did this long before Neanderthals had even been discovered scientifically). Reform Judaism does not take the Torah as a literal text, but rather as a symbolic or open-ended work.
Some contemporary writers such as Rabbi Gedalyah Nadel have sought to reconcile the discrepancy between the account in the Torah, and scientific findings by arguing that each day referred to in the Bible was not 24 hours, but billions of years long. Others claim that the Earth was created a few thousand years ago, but was deliberately made to look as if it was five billion years old, e.g. by being created with ready made fossils. The best known exponent of this approach being Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson Others state that although the world was physically created in six 24 hour days, the Torah accounts can be interpreted to mean that there was a period of billions of years before the six days of creation.
In the creation myth taught by Bahá'u'lláh, the Bahá'í Faith founder, the universe has "neither beginning nor ending," and that the component elements of the material world have always existed and will always exist. With regard to evolution and the origin of human beings, `Abdu'l-Bahá gave extensive comments on the subject when he addressed western audiences in the beginning of the 20th century. Transcripts of these comments can be found in Some Answered Questions, Paris Talks and The Promulgation of Universal Peace. `Abdu'l-Bahá described the human species as having evolved from a primitive form to modern man, but that the capacity to form human intelligence was always in existence.
Most vocal literalist creationists are from the US, and strict creationist views are much less common in other developed countries. According to a study published in Science, a survey of the US, Turkey, Japan and Europe showed that public acceptance of evolution is most prevalent in Iceland, Denmark and Sweden at 80% of the population. There seems to be no significant correlation between believing in evolution and understanding evolutionary science.
A 2009 Nielsen poll showed that 23% of Australians believe "the biblical account of human origins," 42% believe in a "wholly scientific" explanation for the origins of life, while 32% believe in an evolutionary process "guided by God".
A 2013 survey conducted by Auspoll and the Australian Academy of Science found that 80% of Australians believe in evolution (70% believe it is currently occurring, 10% believe in evolution but do not think it is currently occurring), 12% were not sure and 9% stated they do not believe in evolution.
A 2012 survey, by Angus Reid Public Opinion revealed that 61 percent of Canadians believe in evolution. The poll asked "Where did human beings come from – did we start as singular cells millions of year ago and evolve into our present form, or did God create us in his image 10,000 years ago?"
In Europe, literalist creationism is more widely rejected, though regular opinion polls are not available. Most people accept that evolution is the most widely accepted scientific theory as taught in most schools. In countries with a Roman Catholic majority, papal acceptance of evolutionary creationism as worthy of study has essentially ended debate on the matter for many people.
In the UK, a 2006 poll on the "origin and development of life", asked participants to choose between three different perspectives on the origin of life: 22% chose creationism, 17% opted for intelligent design, 48% selected evolutionary theory, and the rest did not know. A subsequent 2010 YouGov poll on the correct explanation for the origin of humans found that 9% opted for creationism, 12% intelligent design, 65% evolutionary theory and 13% didn't know. The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, views the idea of teaching creationism in schools as a mistake.
There continues to be scattered and possibly mounting efforts on the part of religious groups throughout Europe to introduce creationism into public education. In response, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has released a draft report titled The dangers of creationism in education on June 8, 2007, reinforced by a further proposal of banning it in schools dated October 4, 2007.
Serbia suspended the teaching of evolution for one week in September 2004, under education minister Ljiljana Čolić, only allowing schools to reintroduce evolution into the curriculum if they also taught creationism. "After a deluge of protest from scientists, teachers and opposition parties" says the BBC report, Čolić's deputy made the statement, "I have come here to confirm Charles Darwin is still alive" and announced that the decision was reversed. Čolić resigned after the government said that she had caused "problems that had started to reflect on the work of the entire government."
Poland saw a major controversy over creationism in 2006, when the Deputy Education Minister, Mirosław Orzechowski, denounced evolution as "one of many lies" taught in Polish schools. His superior, Minister of Education Roman Giertych, has stated that the theory of evolution would continue to be taught in Polish schools, "as long as most scientists in our country say that it is the right theory." Giertych's father, Member of the European Parliament Maciej Giertych, has opposed the teaching of evolution and has claimed that dinosaurs and humans co-existed.
A 2017 poll by Pew Research found that 62% of Americans believe humans have evolved over time and 34% of Americans believe humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. Another 2017 Gallup creationism survey found that 38% of adults in the United States inclined to the view that "God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years" when asked for their views on the origin and development of human beings, which Gallup noted was the lowest level in 35 years.
According to a 2014 Gallup poll, about 42% of Americans believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so." Another 31% believe that "human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process,"and 19% believe that "human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process."
Belief in creationism is inversely correlated to education; of those with postgraduate degrees, 74% accept evolution. In 1987, Newsweek reported: "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared 'abruptly.'"
According to a study published in Science, between 1985 and 2005 the number of adult North Americans who accept evolution declined from 45% to 40%, the number of adults who reject evolution declined from 48% to 39% and the number of people who were unsure increased from 7% to 21%. Besides the US the study also compared data from 32 European countries, Turkey, and Japan. The only country where acceptance of evolution was lower than in the US was Turkey (25%).
According to a 2011 Fox News poll, 45% of Americans believe in Creationism, down from 50% in a similar poll in 1999. 21% believe in 'the theory of evolution as outlined by Darwin and other scientists' (up from 15% in 1999), and 27% answered that both are true (up from 26% in 1999).
In September 2012, educator and television personality Bill Nye spoke with the Associated Press and aired his fears about acceptance of creationism, believing that teaching children that creationism is the only true answer without letting them understand the way science works will prevent any future innovation in the world of science. In February 2014, Nye defended evolution in the classroom in a debate with creationist Ken Ham on the topic of whether creation is a viable model of origins in today's modern, scientific era.
In the US, creationism has become centered in the political controversy over creation and evolution in public education, and whether teaching creationism in science classes conflicts with the separation of church and state. Currently, the controversy comes in the form of whether advocates of the intelligent design movement who wish to "Teach the Controversy" in science classes have conflated science with religion.
People for the American Way polled 1500 North Americans about the teaching of evolution and creationism in November and December 1999. They found that most North Americans were not familiar with Creationism, and most North Americans had heard of evolution, but many did not fully understand the basics of the theory. The main findings were:
In such political contexts, creationists argue that their particular religiously based origin belief is superior to those of other belief systems, in particular those made through secular or scientific rationale. Political creationists are opposed by many individuals and organizations who have made detailed critiques and given testimony in various court cases that the alternatives to scientific reasoning offered by creationists are opposed by the consensus of the scientific community.
Most Christians disagree with the teaching of creationism as an alternative to evolution in schools. Several religious organizations, among them the Catholic Church, hold that their faith does not conflict with the scientific consensus regarding evolution. The Clergy Letter Project, which has collected more than 13,000 signatures, is an "endeavor designed to demonstrate that religion and science can be compatible."
In his 2002 article "Intelligent Design as a Theological Problem," George Murphy argues against the view that life on Earth, in all its forms, is direct evidence of God's act of creation (Murphy quotes Phillip E. Johnson's claim that he is speaking "of a God who acted openly and left his fingerprints on all the evidence."). Murphy argues that this view of God is incompatible with the Christian understanding of God as "the one revealed in the cross and resurrection of Christ." The basis of this theology is Isaiah 45:15, "Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour."
Murphy observes that the execution of a Jewish carpenter by Roman authorities is in and of itself an ordinary event and did not require divine action. On the contrary, for the crucifixion to occur, God had to limit or "empty" himself. It was for this reason that Paul the Apostle wrote, in Philippians 2:5-8:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Murphy concludes that,
Just as the Son of God limited himself by taking human form and dying on a cross, God limits divine action in the world to be in accord with rational laws which God has chosen. This enables us to understand the world on its own terms, but it also means that natural processes hide God from scientific observation.
For Murphy, a theology of the cross requires that Christians accept a methodological naturalism, meaning that one cannot invoke God to explain natural phenomena, while recognizing that such acceptance does not require one to accept a metaphysical naturalism, which proposes that nature is all that there is.
The Jesuit priest George Coyne has stated that is "unfortunate that, especially here in America, creationism has come to mean...some literal interpretation of Genesis." He argues that "...Judaic-Christian faith is radically creationist, but in a totally different sense. It is rooted in belief that everything depends on God, or better, all is a gift from God."
Other Christians have expressed qualms about teaching creationism. In March 2006, then Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leader of the world's Anglicans, stated his discomfort about teaching creationism, saying that creationism was "a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories." He also said: "My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it." The views of the Episcopal Church – a major American-based branch of the Anglican Communion – on teaching creationism resemble those of Williams.
The National Science Teachers Association is opposed to teaching creationism as a science, as is the Association for Science Teacher Education, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the American Anthropological Association, the American Geosciences Institute, the Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, and numerous other professional teaching and scientific societies.
In April 2010, the American Academy of Religion issued Guidelines for Teaching About Religion in K‐12 Public Schools in the United States, which included guidance that creation science or intelligent design should not be taught in science classes, as "Creation science and intelligent design represent worldviews that fall outside of the realm of science that is defined as (and limited to) a method of inquiry based on gathering observable and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning." However, they, as well as other "worldviews that focus on speculation regarding the origins of life represent another important and relevant form of human inquiry that is appropriately studied in literature or social sciences courses. Such study, however, must include a diversity of worldviews representing a variety of religious and philosophical perspectives and must avoid privileging one view as more legitimate than others."
Randy Moore and Sehoya Cotner, from the biology program at the University of Minnesota, reflect on the relevance of teaching creationism in the article "The Creationist Down the Hall: Does It Matter When Teachers Teach Creationism?" They conclude that "Despite decades of science education reform, numerous legal decisions declaring the teaching of creationism in public-school science classes to be unconstitutional, overwhelming evidence supporting evolution, and the many denunciations of creationism as nonscientific by professional scientific societies, creationism remains popular throughout the United States."
Science is a system of knowledge based on observation, empirical evidence, and the development of theories that yield testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena. By contrast, creationism is often based on literal interpretations of the narratives of particular religious texts. Creationist beliefs involve purported forces that lie outside of nature, such as supernatural intervention, and often do not allow predictions at all. Therefore, these can neither be confirmed nor disproved by scientists. However, many creationist beliefs can be framed as testable predictions about phenomena such as the age of the Earth, its geological history and the origins, distributions and relationships of living organisms found on it. Early science incorporated elements of these beliefs, but as science developed these beliefs were gradually falsified and were replaced with understandings based on accumulated and reproducible evidence that often allows the accurate prediction of future results.
Some scientists, such as Stephen Jay Gould, consider science and religion to be two compatible and complementary fields, with authorities in distinct areas of human experience, so-called non-overlapping magisteria. This view is also held by many theologians, who believe that ultimate origins and meaning are addressed by religion, but favor verifiable scientific explanations of natural phenomena over those of creationist beliefs. Other scientists, such as Richard Dawkins, reject the non-overlapping magisteria and argue that, in disproving literal interpretations of creationists, the scientific method also undermines religious texts as a source of truth. Irrespective of this diversity in viewpoints, since creationist beliefs are not supported by empirical evidence, the scientific consensus is that any attempt to teach creationism as science should be rejected.
Creationism is not a single homogenous doctrine ... Evolution, as a process, is a tool God uses to continually create the world. Here we have arrived at another sub-category of creationism called 'evolutionist creationism'
creationism comes in many forms, and not all of them reject evolution
The belief that the universe and living organisms originate from specific acts of divine creation, as in the biblical account, rather than by natural processes such as evolution.
...for most members of the mainstream scientific community, ID is not a scientific theory, but a creationist pseudoscience.
Creationists are repackaging their message as the pseudo-science of 'intelligent design theory.'
Answers in Genesis (AiG) is a fundamentalist Christian apologetics parachurch organization. It advocates Young Earth creationism on the basis of its literal, historical-grammatical interpretation of the Book of Genesis. Out of belief in biblical inerrancy, it rejects the results of those scientific investigations that contradict their view of the Genesis creation narrative and instead supports pseudoscientific creation science. The organization sees evolution as incompatible with the Bible and believes anything other than the young Earth view is a compromise on the principle of biblical inerrancy.
AiG began as the Creation Science Foundation in 1980, following the merger of two Australian creationist groups. Its name changed to Answers in Genesis in 1994, when Ken Ham founded the organization's United States branch. In 2006, the branches in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa split from the US and UK to form Creation Ministries International. In 2007, AiG opened the Creation Museum, a facility that promotes young Earth creationism, and in 2016 the organization opened the Ark Encounter, a Noah's Ark–themed amusement park. AiG also publishes websites, magazines, and journals.Creation and evolution in public education
The status of creation and evolution in public education has been the subject of substantial debate and conflict in legal, political, and religious circles. Globally, there is a wide variety of views on the topic. Most western countries have legislation that mandates only evolutionary biology is to be taught in the appropriate scientific syllabuses.Creation science
Creation science or scientific creationism is a branch of creationism that claims to provide scientific support for the Genesis creation narrative in the Book of Genesis and disprove or reexplain the scientific facts, theories and paradigms about geology, cosmology, biological evolution, archaeology, history, and linguistics.The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is that creation science fails to produce scientific hypotheses, and courts have ruled that it is a religious view rather than a scientific one. It fails to qualify as a science because it lacks empirical support, supplies no tentative hypotheses, and resolves to describe natural history in terms of scientifically untestable supernatural causes. Creation science is a pseudoscientific attempt to map the Bible into scientific facts. It is viewed by professional biologists as unscholarly, and even as a dishonest and misguided sham, with extremely harmful educational consequences.Creation science began in the 1960s, as a fundamentalist Christian effort in the United States to prove Biblical inerrancy and nullify the scientific evidence for evolution. It has since developed a sizable religious following in the United States, with creation science ministries branching worldwide. The main ideas in creation science are: the belief in "creation ex nihilo" (Latin: out of nothing); the conviction that the Earth was created within the last 6,000–10,000 years; the belief that humans and other life on Earth were created as distinct fixed "baraminological" kinds; and the idea that fossils found in geological strata were deposited during a cataclysmic flood which completely covered the entire Earth. As a result, creation science also challenges the commonly accepted geologic and astrophysical theories for the age and origins of the Earth and universe, which creationists believe are irreconcilable with the account in the Book of Genesis. Creation science proponents often refer to the theory of evolution as "Darwinism" or as "Darwinian evolution."
The creation science texts and curricula that first emerged in the 1960s focused upon concepts derived from a literal interpretation of the Bible and were overtly religious in nature, most notably linking Noah's flood in the Biblical Genesis account to the geological and fossil record in a system termed flood geology. These works attracted little notice beyond the schools and congregations of conservative fundamental and Evangelical Christians until the 1970s, when its followers challenged the teaching of evolution in the public schools and other venues in the United States, bringing it to the attention of the public-at-large and the scientific community. Many school boards and lawmakers were persuaded to include the teaching of creation science alongside evolution in the science curriculum. Creation science texts and curricula used in churches and Christian schools were revised to eliminate their Biblical and theological references, and less explicitly sectarian versions of creation science education were introduced in public schools in Louisiana, Arkansas, and other regions in the United States.The 1982 ruling in McLean v. Arkansas found that creation science fails to meet the essential characteristics of science and that its chief intent is to advance a particular religious view. The teaching of creation science in public schools in the United States effectively ended in 1987 following the United States Supreme Court decision in Edwards v. Aguillard. The court affirmed that a statute requiring the teaching of creation science alongside evolution when evolution is taught in Louisiana public schools was unconstitutional because its sole true purpose was to advance a particular religious belief.In response to this ruling, drafts of the creation science school textbook Of Pandas and People were edited to change references of creation to intelligent design before its publication in 1989. The intelligent design movement promoted this version. Requiring intelligent design to be taught in public school science classes was found to be unconstitutional in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District federal court case.Creation–evolution controversy
The creation–evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) involves an ongoing, recurring cultural, political, and theological dispute about the origins of the Earth, of humanity, and of other life. Creationism was once widely believed to be true, but since the mid-19th century evolution by natural selection has been established as an empirical scientific fact.
The debate is religious, not scientific: in the scientific community, evolution is accepted as fact and efforts to sustain the traditional view are almost universally regarded as pseudoscience. While the controversy has a long history, today it has retreated to be mainly over what constitutes good science education, with the politics of creationism primarily focusing on the teaching of creationism in public education. Among majority-Christian countries, the debate is most prominent in the United States, where it may be portrayed as part of a culture war. Parallel controversies also exist in some other religious communities, such as the more fundamentalist branches of Judaism and Islam. In Europe and elsewhere, creationism is less widespread (notably, the Catholic Church and Anglican Communion both accept evolution), and there is much less pressure to teach it as fact.Christian fundamentalists repudiate the evidence of common descent of humans and other animals as demonstrated in modern paleontology, genetics, histology and cladistics and those other sub-disciplines which are based upon the conclusions of modern evolutionary biology, geology, cosmology, and other related fields. They argue for the Abrahamic accounts of creation, and, in order to attempt to gain a place alongside evolutionary biology in the science classroom, have developed a rhetorical framework of "creation science". In the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover, the purported basis of scientific creationism was exposed as a wholly religious construct without formal scientific merit.
The Catholic Church now recognizes the existence of evolution (see Catholic Church and evolution). Pope Francis has stated: "God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life...Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve." The rules of genetic evolutionary inheritance were first discovered by a Catholic priest, the Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel, who is known today as the founder of modern genetics.
According to a 2014 Gallup survey, "More than four in 10 Americans continue to believe that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago, a view that has changed little over the past three decades. Half of Americans believe humans evolved, with the majority of these saying God guided the evolutionary process. However, the percentage who say God was not involved is rising." A 2015 Pew Research Center survey found "that while 37% of those older than 65 thought that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years, only 21% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 agreed."The debate is sometimes portrayed as being between science and religion, and the United States National Academy of Sciences states:
Today, many religious denominations accept that biological evolution has produced the diversity of living things over billions of years of Earth's history. Many have issued statements observing that evolution and the tenets of their faiths are compatible. Scientists and theologians have written eloquently about their awe and wonder at the history of the universe and of life on this planet, explaining that they see no conflict between their faith in God and the evidence for evolution. Religious denominations that do not accept the occurrence of evolution tend to be those that believe in strictly literal interpretations of religious texts.Day-age creationism
Day-age creationism, a type of old Earth creationism, is an interpretation of the creation accounts in Genesis. It holds that the six days referred to in the Genesis account of creation are not ordinary 24-hour days, but are much longer periods (from thousands to billions of years). The Genesis account is then reconciled with the age of the Earth. Proponents of the day-age theory can be found among both theistic evolutionists, who accept the scientific consensus on evolution, and progressive creationists, who reject it. The theories are said to be built on the understanding that the Hebrew word yom is also used to refer to a time period, with a beginning and an end and not necessarily that of a 24-hour day.
The differences between the young Earth interpretation of Genesis and modern scientific theories such as Big Bang, abiogenesis, and common descent are significant. The young Earth interpretation says that everything in the universe and on Earth was created in six 24-hour days, estimated to have occurred some 6,000 years ago. Modern scientific observations, however, put the age of the universe at 13.8 billion years and the Earth at 4.5 billion years, with various forms of life, including humans, being formed gradually over time.
The day-age theory attempts to reconcile these views by asserting that the creation "days" were not ordinary 24-hour days, but actually lasted for long periods of time (as day-age implies, the "days" each lasted an age). According to this view, the sequence and duration of the creation "days" may be paralleled to the scientific consensus for the age of the earth and the universe.Edwards v. Aguillard
Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987), was a United States Supreme Court case concerning the constitutionality of teaching creationism. The Court considered a Louisiana law requiring that where evolutionary science was taught in public schools, creation science must also be taught. The Court ruled that this law violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because the law was specifically intended to advance a particular religion. It also held that "teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to school children might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction."In support of Aguillard, 72 Nobel Prize-winning scientists, 17 state academies of science, and seven other scientific organizations filed amicus briefs that described creation science as being composed of religious tenets.Gap creationism
Gap creationism (also known as ruin-restoration creationism, restoration creationism, or "the Gap Theory") is a form of old Earth creationism that posits that the six-yom creation period, as described in the Book of Genesis, involved six literal 24-hour days (light being "day" and dark "night" as God specified), but that there was a gap of time between two distinct creations in the first and the second verses of Genesis, which the theory states explains many scientific observations, including the age of the Earth. It differs from day-age creationism, which posits that the 'days' of creation were much longer periods (of thousands or millions of years), and from young Earth creationism, which although it agrees concerning the six literal 24-hour days of creation, does not posit any gap of time.Hindu views on evolution
Hinduism includes a range of viewpoints about the origin of life, creationism and evolution. There is no single story of creation, due to dynamic diversity of Hinduism, and these are derived from various sources like Vedas, some from the Brahmanas, some from Puranas; some are philosophical, based on concepts, and others are narratives. The Rigveda mentions the Hiranyagarbha ("golden egg") as the source of the creation of the Universe, similar to the world egg motif found in the creation myths of many other civilizations. It also contains a myth of proto-Indo-European origin, in which the creation arises out of the dismemberment of a cosmic being (the Purusha) who is sacrificed by the gods. As for the creation of the primordial gods themselves, the Nasadiya Sukta of Rigveda takes a near-agnostic stand, stating that the Gods came into being after the world's creation, and nobody knows when the world first came into being. In the later Puranic texts, the creator god Brahma is described as performing the act of 'creation', or more specifically of 'propagating life within the universe'. Some texts consider him equivalent to the Hiranyagarbha or the Purusha, while others state that he arose out of these. Brahma is a part of the trinity of gods that also includes Vishnu and Shiva, who are responsible for 'preservation' and 'destruction' (of the universe) respectively.
Many Hindu texts mention the cycle of creation and destruction. The Shatapatha Brahmana states that the current human generation descends from Manu, the only man who survived a great deluge after being warned by the God. This legend is comparable to the other flood legends, such as the story of the Noah's Ark mentioned in the Bible and the Quran.Hindus find support for, or foreshadowing of evolutionary ideas in scriptures. For example, the concept of Dashavatara can be seen as having some similarities to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.The first incarnation of Vishnu in the form of a fish resembles the evolutionary origin of fish in the Silurian Period.
In a survey of 909 people, 77% of its respondents in India agreed that enough scientific evidence exists to support Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, and 85% of God-believing people said they agree with evolution as well. According to the survey conducted by Pew Forum in the United States, 80% of Hindus agree that evolution is the best explanation for the origin of human life on earth. However, in India, there were minimal references to Darwinism in the 1800s. Elements of Victorian England opposed the idea of Darwinism. Hindus already had present notion of common ancestry between humans and animals. The Hindu dharma believes that the gods have animal features, showing a theory that humans can be reborn again as animals or with their features.Intelligent design
Intelligent design (ID) is a pseudoscientific argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins". Proponents claim that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." ID is a form of creationism that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses, so it is not science. The leading proponents of ID are associated with the Discovery Institute, a fundamentalist Christian and politically conservative think tank based in the United States.Though the phrase "intelligent design" had featured previously in theological discussions of the argument from design, the first publication of the term intelligent design in its present use as an alternative term for creationism was in Of Pandas and People, a 1989 creationist textbook intended for high school biology classes. The term was substituted into drafts of the book, directly replacing references to creation science and creationism, after the 1987 United States Supreme Court's Edwards v. Aguillard decision, which barred the teaching of creation science in public schools on constitutional grounds. From the mid-1990s, the intelligent design movement (IDM), supported by the Discovery Institute, advocated inclusion of intelligent design in public school biology curricula. This led to the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial in which U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III found that intelligent design was not science, that it "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents," and that the school district's promotion of it therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.ID presents two main arguments against evolutionary explanations: irreducible complexity and specified complexity. These arguments assert that certain features (biological and informational, respectively) are too complex to be the result of natural processes. As a positive argument against evolution, ID proposes an analogy between natural systems and human artifacts, a version of the theological argument from design for the existence of God. ID proponents then conclude by analogy that the complex features, as defined by ID, are evidence of design.Detailed scientific examination has rebutted the claims that evolutionary explanations are inadequate, and this premise of intelligent design—that evidence against evolution constitutes evidence for design—is a false dichotomy. It is asserted that ID challenges the methodological naturalism inherent in modern science though proponents concede that they have yet to produce a scientific theory.Is Genesis History?
Is Genesis History? is a 2017 American Christian film that uses creation science, a pseudoscientific concept, to promote Young Earth creationist beliefs that contradict established scientific facts regarding the origin of the Universe, the age of the Earth, and the common descent of all lifeforms.The film was written, directed, and produced by Thomas Purifoy Jr., who said he was inspired to make it after his daughter watched the Bill Nye–Ken Ham debate in 2014 and began asking him questions about the creation–evolution controversy. Del Tackett, the creator of Focus on the Family's "The Truth Project", narrates the film. Interviewing thirteen creationists, the narrator of the film argues that Genesis portrays real historical events. Other speakers include George Grant, Paul Nelson, Marcus R. Ross, Andrew A. Snelling, and Kurt Wise, as well as Larry Vardiman in the film's bonus features.
Is Genesis History? was released into American theaters on Thursday, February 23, 2017. It was shown in 704 theaters and grossed $1.8 million in one night. Over 143,000 people saw the film that night, and its box office earnings were the highest of any film in theaters in the United States that night. The film was shown again in theaters on March 2 and 7, 2017 in the United States, as well as in Canada on March 14, 2017. The film went on to earn a total box office of $2.6 million, after the encore showings. The film was re-released in around 850 theaters for an anniversary showing on February 22, 2018, with a bonus scene of Wheaton College students touring the Ark Encounter, a creationist attraction operated by Answers in Genesis. The students were members of a creationist club which had requested a screening of the film, leading to controversy among the Christian school's faculty, nearly all of whom reject the "historical creationism" that Is Genesis History? presents.Islamic views on evolution
Islamic views on evolution are diverse, ranging from theistic evolution to Old Earth creationism. Some Muslims around the world believe "humans and other living things have evolved over time," yet some others believe they have "always existed in present form." Muslim thinkers have proposed and accepted elements of the theory of evolution, some holding the belief of the supremacy of God in the process. Usaama al-Azami suggested that both narratives of creation and of evolution, as understood by modern science, may be believed by modern Muslims as addressing two different kinds of truth, the revealed and the empirical. Muneer Al-Ali argues that faith and science can be integrated and complement each other.Jainism and non-creationism
Jainism does not support belief in a creator deity. According to Jain doctrine, the universe and its constituents—soul, matter, space, time, and principles of motion—have always existed. All the constituents and actions are governed by universal natural laws. It is not possible to create matter out of nothing and hence the sum total of matter in the universe remains the same (similar to law of conservation of mass). Jain text claims that the universe consists of jiva (life force or souls) and ajiva (lifeless objects). The soul of each living being is unique and uncreated and has existed since beginningless time.The Jain theory of causation holds that a cause and its effect are always identical in nature and hence a conscious and immaterial entity like God cannot create a material entity like the universe. Furthermore, according to the Jain concept of divinity, any soul who destroys its karmas and desires achieves liberation (nirvana). A soul who destroys all its passions and desires has no desire to interfere in the working of the universe. Moral rewards and sufferings are not the work of a divine being, but a result of an innate moral order in the cosmos; a self-regulating mechanism whereby the individual reaps the fruits of his own actions through the workings of the karmas.
Through the ages, Jain philosophers have rejected and opposed the concept of creator and omnipotent God and this has resulted in Jainism being labeled as nastika darsana or atheist philosophy by the rival religious philosophies. The theme of non-creationism and absence of omnipotent God and divine grace runs strongly in all the philosophical dimensions of Jainism, including its cosmology, karma, moksa and its moral code of conduct. Jainism asserts a religious and virtuous life is possible without the idea of a creator god.Neo-creationism
Neo-creationism is a pseudoscientific movement which aims to restate creationism in terms more likely to be well received by the public, by policy makers, by educators and by the scientific community. It aims to re-frame the debate over the origins of life in non-religious terms and without appeals to scripture. This comes in response to the 1987 ruling by the United States Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard that creationism is an inherently religious concept and that advocating it as correct or accurate in public-school curricula violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.One of the principal claims of neo-creationism propounds that ostensibly objective orthodox science, with a foundation in naturalism, is actually a dogmatically atheistic religion. Its proponents argue that the scientific method excludes certain explanations of phenomena, particularly where they point towards supernatural elements, thus effectively excluding religious insight from contributing to understanding the universe. This leads to an open and often hostile opposition to what neo-creationists term "Darwinism", which they generally mean to refer to evolution, but which they may extend to include such concepts as abiogenesis, stellar evolution and the Big Bang theory.
Notable neo-creationist organizations include the Discovery Institute and its Center for Science and Culture. Neo-creationists have yet to establish a recognized line of legitimate scientific research and as of 2015 lack scientific and academic legitimacy, even among many academics of evangelical Christian colleges. Eugenie C. Scott and other critics regard neo-creationism as the most successful form of irrationalism. The main form of neo-creationism is intelligent design. A second form, abrupt appearance theory, which claims that the first life and the universe appeared abruptly and that plants and animals appeared abruptly in complex form, has occasionally been postulated.Old Earth creationism
Old Earth creationism is a form of creationism which includes gap creationism, progressive creationism, and theistic evolution. Old Earth creationism is typically more compatible with the scientific evidence on the issues of physics, chemistry, geology, and the age of the Earth, in contrast to young Earth creationism.Omphalos hypothesis
The omphalos hypothesis is one attempt to reconcile the scientific evidence that the universe is billions of years old with the Genesis creation narrative, which implies that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. It is based on the religious belief that the universe was created by a divine being, within the past ten thousand years (in keeping with flood geology), and that the presence of objective, verifiable evidence that the universe is older than approximately ten millennia is entirely due to the creator introducing false evidence that makes the universe appear much, much older.
The idea was named after the title of an 1857 book, Omphalos by Philip Henry Gosse, in which Gosse argued that in order for the world to be "functional", God must have created the Earth with mountains and canyons, trees with growth rings, Adam and Eve with hair, fingernails, and navels (ὀμφαλός omphalos is Greek for "navel"), and that therefore no empirical evidence about the age of the Earth or universe can be taken as reliable.
Various supporters of Young Earth creationism have given different explanations for their belief that the universe is filled with false evidence of the universe's age, including a belief that some things needed to be created at a certain age for the ecosystems to function, or their belief that the creator was deliberately planting deceptive evidence.
The idea was widely rejected in the 19th century, when Gosse published his book. It saw some revival in the 20th century by some Young Earth creationists, who extended the argument to include visible light that appears to originate in far-off stars and galaxies.Progressive creationism
Progressive creationism (see for comparison intelligent design) is the religious belief that God created new forms of life gradually over a period of hundreds of millions of years. As a form of old Earth creationism, it accepts mainstream geological and cosmological estimates for the age of the Earth, some tenets of biology such as microevolution as well as archaeology to make its case. In this view creation occurred in rapid bursts in which all "kinds" of plants and animals appear in stages lasting millions of years. The bursts are followed by periods of stasis or equilibrium to accommodate new arrivals. These bursts represent instances of God creating new types of organisms by divine intervention. As viewed from the archaeological record, progressive creationism holds that "species do not gradually appear by the steady transformation of its ancestors; [but] appear all at once and "fully formed."The view rejects macroevolution, claiming it is biologically untenable and not supported by the fossil record, as well as rejects the concept of universal descent from a last universal common ancestor. Thus the evidence for macroevolution is claimed to be false, but microevolution is accepted as a genetic parameter designed by the Creator into the fabric of genetics to allow for environmental adaptations and survival. Generally, it is viewed by proponents as a middle ground between literal creationism and evolution.The Creationists
The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design is a history of the origins of anti-evolutionism by Ronald Numbers. First published in 1992 as The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism, a revised and expanded edition was published under the current title in 2006.
The book has been described as "probably the most definitive history of anti-evolutionism". It has received generally favorable reviews from both the academic and the religious community.Theistic evolution
Theistic evolution, theistic evolutionism, evolutionary creationism or God-guided evolution are views that regard religious teachings about God as compatible with modern scientific understanding about biological evolution. Theistic evolution is not in itself a scientific theory, but a range of views about how the science of general evolution relates to religious beliefs in contrast to special creation views.
Supporters of theistic evolution generally harmonize evolutionary thought with belief in God, rejecting the conflict thesis regarding the relationship between religion and science – they hold that religious teachings about creation and scientific theories of evolution need not contradict each other.Young Earth creationism
Young Earth creationism (YEC) is a form of creationism which holds as a central tenet that the Earth and its lifeforms were created in their present forms by supernatural acts of a deity between approximately 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. In its most widespread version, YEC is based on the religious belief in the inerrancy of certain literal interpretations of the Book of Genesis. Its primary adherents are Christians who believe that God created the Earth in six 24-hour days in contrast with old Earth creationism (OEC), which holds literal interpretations of Genesis that are compatible with the scientifically determined ages of the Earth and universe.Since the mid-20th century, young Earth creationists—starting with Henry Morris (1918–2006)—have devised and promoted a pseudoscientific explanation called "creation science" as a basis for a religious belief in a supernatural, geologically recent creation. Contemporary YEC movements arose in protest to the scientific consensus, established by numerous scientific disciplines, which demonstrates that the age of the universe is around 13.8 billion years, the formation of the Earth happened around 4.5 billion years ago, and the first appearance of life on Earth was at least 3.5 billion years ago.A 2017 Gallup creationism survey found 38 percent of adults in the United States held the view that "God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years" when asked for their views on the origin and development of human beings, which Gallup noted was the lowest level in 35 years. This level of support could be even lower when poll results are adjusted after comparison with other polls with questions that more specifically account for uncertainty and ambivalence.
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