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Creationism, in its most general form, is the belief that intelligence (particularly a supernatural intelligence) was involved in the origin of life or the universe. This concept is not particularly controversial, in and of itself, but in the context of the creation/evolution controversy, several forms of creationism are characterized by the belief that this intelligence is scientifically demonstrable. This latter form is rejected by the vast majority of the scientific community, as well as by many Christians.

Methodologies of science and creationism compared

While some creationists refer to themselves as "scientific creationists" or "creation scientists", very little of creationism is actually scientific - and that is either falsified, poorly evidenced or in agreement with mainstream science. Typically, scientific literature is used by scientists to glean information useful in their own areas of expertise. Often however, creationists seem to read the scientific literature solely for the purpose of "quote-mining" (collecting textual snippets which, when removed from their proper context, will make the original author appear to be denouncing some aspect of mainstream science, typically the theory of evolution). When an argument is shown to be contradicted by the physical evidence, a scientist should either stop using that argument or else modify it to accommodate the evidence which contradicted the original argument; many creationists simply continue to use the original argument in its original (discredited) form for years, even decades, after being informed of the contradiction.

Creationism is a broad category, and specific forms of creationism vary considerably. The word "creationism" is usually applied just to those groups who actively reject evolution, but is also used to describe all groups who believe that a supernatural being created the universe:

  • Young Earth creationism (YEC) - Believe in a literal Genesis account of creation and that the earth & universe is ~6,000-10,000 years old. Usually accept microevolution but not macroevolution, and do not accept that humans are related to other animals.
  • Old Earth creationism (OEC) - Do not believe in a literal genesis, usually accept micro-evolution but not macro-evolution, and may not accept that humans are related to other animals. Accept mainstream estimates of the age of the Earth (~4.6by).
    • Gap creationism - Believe there is a large gap between genesis 1:1 and genesis 1:2, accounting for the age of the Earth.
    • Day-age creationism - Interpret the the 7 "days" of creation in genesis as a metaphor for the development of earth over ~4.6by.
    • Progressive creationism - Accept science as a creation of God, but do not accept modern biology. Believe in "kinds" of animals which are unrelated to other kinds, each kind created by God.
  • Intelligent design (ID or IDC) - Usually accept micro-evolution, but believe that a "Designer" (God) is necessary to explain life's complexity. Usually accept mainstream estimates of the age of the earth. This group often claims to be separate from creationists, despite sharing many of the same techniques as YECs. Many other types of creationist support the ID movement because of its attacks on evolution.
  • Evolutionary creationism - Accept all mainstream science, but believe that God guides nature and evolution. Usually distance themselves from other creationists.
  • Theistic evolution - Usually accept all mainstream science, but believe that God is responsible for creating the universe and laws of science, and thus creating evolution. Usually distance themselves from other creationists.
    • Deistic evolution - Like theistic evolution, but believing that God(s) created the world, but are completely removed from it and like theistic evolutionists they usually accept all mainstream science and distance themselves from the other creationists.

Many of these types of creationism are mutually exclusive and do not overlap. The most vociferous group of creationists are probably YECs in the United States, where a large proportion of the population are creationists. In Europe, Canada and Australasia most of the religious community are theistic evolutionists, and other creationist groups are small and insignificant - although even in these areas creationists can be well-funded and obstreperous. In Africa and South America large proportions of the Christian population are YECs. In the Arab world and other countries with large muslim communities young earth creationism, and other beliefs, such as the Flat Earth and geocentrism are widely held[citation required].

There are other creation myths, not of Judeo-Christian origin:

There are also other forms of anti-evolutionism not involving creation:

Links & References

See also

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