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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Creationism" can also refer to creation myths, or to a concept about the origin of the soul. For the movement in Spanish literature, see creacionismo.
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Creationism

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Intelligent design

Mythology and theology

Creation myth
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Genesis as an allegory
Omphalos hypothesis

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Flood geology
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Creationism is the religious belief[1] that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created in some form by a supernatural being or beings. The term is usually used to refer to the denial, on religious grounds, that biological processes (most commonly, evolution) can adequately account for the history, diversity, and complexity of life on earth—the creation-evolution controversy.[2] In the Jewish and Christian faith, such creationism is usually based on a literal reading of the Genesis creation myth.[3] Other religions have deity-led creation myths[note 1][4] [5] [6] which are quite different.

Since the end of the 19th century belief in creationism has decreased as scientific theories have been presented that support more naturalistic explanations for the universe and for life. While some have tried to refute these theories, others believe in types of creationism that do not exclude all of these theories. When mainstream scientific research produces conclusions which contradict a strict creationist interpretation of scripture, creationists often reject the conclusions of the research[7] and/or its underlying scientific theories[8] and/or its methodology.[9] Both creation science and intelligent design have been characterized as pseudoscience by the mainstream scientific community.[10] The most notable disputes concern the evolution of living organisms, the idea of common descent, the geological history of the Earth, the formation of the solar system and the origin of the universe.[11][12][13][14]

History

The history of creationism is part of the history of religions, though the term itself is modern. In the 1920s the term became particularly associated with Christian fundamentalist movements that insisted on a literalist interpretation of the Genesis creation myth and likewise opposed the idea of human evolution. These groups succeeded in getting teaching of evolution banned in United States public schools, then from the mid-1960s the young Earth creationists promoted the teaching of "scientific creationism" using "Flood geology" in public school science classes as support for a purely literal reading of Genesis.[15] After the legal judgment of the case Daniel v. Waters (1975) ruled that teaching creationism in public schools contravened the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the content was stripped of overt biblical references and renamed creation science. When the court case Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) ruled that creation science similarly contravened the constitution, all references to "creation" in a draft school textbook were changed to refer to intelligent design, which was subsequently claimed to be a new scientific theory. The Kitzmiller v. Dover (2005) ruling concluded that intelligent design is not science and contravenes the constitutional restriction on teaching religion in public school science classes.[16]

In Judaism and early and medieval Christianity

The Genesis creation myth appears in the Jewish Torah, and early Jewish teachers believed that the inspired biblical text contains layers of meaning, with the spiritual and allegorical interpretations of Genesis often being seen as more important than the literal. The first century Jewish writer Philo admired the literal narrative of passages concerning the Patriarchs, but in other passages viewed the literal interpretation as being for those unable to see an underlying deeper meaning. For example, he noted that Moses said the world was created in six days, but did not consider this as a length of time as "we must think of God as doing all things simultaneously" and the six days were mentioned because of a need for order and according with a perfect number. Genesis was about real events, but God through Moses described them in figurative or allegorical language. The tradition of such writers as Abraham ibn Ezra consistently rejected overly literal understandings of Genesis, and Maimonides described the story of Eve and the serpent as "most absurd in its literal sense; but as an allegory it contains wonderful wisdom, and fully agrees with the real facts".[17][18]

To a large extent, the early Christian Church Fathers read creation history as an allegory, and followed Philo's ideas of time beginning with an instantaneous creation, with days not meant literally. Christian orthodoxy rejected the second century Gnostic belief that Genesis was purely allegorical, but without taking a purely literal view of the texts. Thus Origen believed that the physical world is ‘literally’ a creation of God, but did not take the chronology or the days as ‘literal’. Similarly, Saint Basil in the fourth century while literal in many ways, described creation as instantaneous and timeless, being immeasurable and indivisible.[17]

Augustine of Hippo in The Literal Meaning of Genesis was insistent that Genesis describes the creation of physical things, but also shows creation occurring simultaneously, with the days of creation being categories for didactic reasons, a logical framework which has nothing to do with time. For him, light was the illumination of angels rather than visible light, and spiritual light was just as literal as physical light. Augustine emphasised that the text was difficult to understand and should be reinterpreted as new knowledge became available. In particular, Christians should not make absurd dogmatic interpretations of scripture which contradict what people know from physical evidence.[19]

In the thirteenth century Thomas Aquinas, like Augustine, asserted the need to hold the truth of Scripture without wavering while cautioning "that since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should not adhere to a particular explanation, only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it if it be proved with certainty to be false; lest holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing."[17]

Natural theology

From 1517 the Protestant Reformation brought a new emphasis on lay literacy, with Martin Luther advocating the idea that creation took six literal days about 6000 years ago, and claiming that "Moses wrote that uneducated men might have clear accounts of creation", though a German peasant listening to a translation would have different perceptions from a Jew familiar with early Jewish language and culture, and Luther still had to refer to allegorical understandings such as the meaning of the serpent. John Calvin also rejected instantaneous creation, but criticised those who, contradicting the contemporary understanding of nature, asserted that there are "waters above the heavens".[17]

Discoveries of new lands brought knowledge of a huge diversity of life, and a new belief developed that each of these biological species had been individually created by God. In 1605 Francis Bacon emphasised that the works of God in nature teach us how to interpret the word of God in the Bible, and his Baconian method introduced the empirical approach which became central to modern science.[20] Natural theology developed the study of nature with the expectation of finding evidence supporting Christianity, and numerous attempts were made to reconcile new knowledge with the biblical Deluge myth and story of Noah's Ark.[21]

In 1650 the Archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher, published the Ussher chronology based on Bible history giving a date for Creation of 4004 BC. This was generally accepted, but the development of modern geology in the 18th and 19th centuries found geological strata and fossil sequences indicating an ancient Earth. Catastrophism was favoured in England as supporting the Biblical flood, but this was found to be untenable[21] and by 1850 all geologists and most Evangelical Christians had adopted various forms of old Earth creationism, while continuing to firmly reject evolution.[17]

Growing evidence for naturalistic explanations

From around the start of the nineteenth century ideas like Lamarck's concept of transmutation of species had gained a small number of supporters in Paris and Edinburgh, mostly amongst anatomists.[17] Britain at that time was enmeshed in the Napoleonic Wars, and fears of republican revolutions such as the American Revolution and French Revolution led to a harsh repression of such evolutionary ideas which challenged the divine hierarchy justifying the monarchy. Charles Darwin's development of his theory of natural selection at this time was kept closely secret. Repression eased, and the anonymous publication of Vestiges of Creation in 1844 aroused wide public interest with support from Quakers and Unitarians, but was strongly criticised by the scientific community, which emphasized the need for solidly backed science. In 1859 Darwin's On the Origin of Species provided that evidence from an authoritative and respected source, and gradually convinced scientists that evolution occurs. This was resisted by conservative evangelicals in the Church of England, but their attention quickly turned to the much greater uproar about Essays and Reviews by liberal Anglican theologians, which introduced into the controversy "the higher criticism" begun by Erasmus centuries earlier. This book re-examined the Bible and cast doubt on a literal interpretation.[22] By 1875 most American naturalists supported ideas of theistic evolution, often involving special creation of human beings.[15]

The rapid developments in scientific understanding have led to detailed scientific and naturalistic explanations for the properties of both living things and non-living matter (from the tiniest sub-atomic particles to the development of the planets, stars and galaxies) which do not require the detectable intervention of a creator.

Theistic 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 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.[23] When On the Origin of Species was published, the cleric Charles Kingsley wrote of evolution as "just as noble a conception of Deity".[24][25] Darwin's view at the time was of God creating life through the laws of nature,[26][27] and the book makes several references to "creation", though he later regretted using the term rather than calling it an unknown process.[28] In America, Asa Gray argued that evolution is the secondary effect, or modus operandi, of the first cause, design,[29] and published a pamphlet defending the book in theistic terms, Natural Selection is not inconsistent with Natural Theology.[24][30][31] Theistic evolution 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.[32]

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 Vs. Creationism, Eugenie Scott and Niles Eldredge state that it is in fact a type of evolution.[33]

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 interpretation of the Genesis creation myth; however most adherents consider that the first chapters 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.[34]

In one form or another, theistic evolution is the view of creation taught at the majority of mainline Protestant seminaries[35] For 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."[36] 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.[37] 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, (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.[38]

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,[39] including atheists,[40] 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.

Re-emergence of creationist thought in the United States

In the United States, some religious communities have refused to accept, as theistic evolutionists have accepted, naturalistic explanations, and tried instead to counter them. In the United States the term started to become associated with Christian fundamentalist opposition to human evolution and belief in a young Earth in 1929.[41] Several U.S. states passed laws against the teaching of evolution in public schools, as upheld in the Scopes Trial. Evolution was omitted entirely from school textbooks in much of the United States until the 1960s. Since then, renewed efforts to introduce teaching creationism in American public schools in the form of flood geology, creation science, and intelligent design have been consistently held to contravene the constitutional separation of Church and State by a succession of legal judgments.[16] The meaning of the term creationism was contested, but by the 1980s it had been co-opted by proponents of creation science and flood geology.[41]

Such beliefs include Young Earth creationism, proponents of which believe that the earth is thousands rather than billions of years old. They typically believe the days in Genesis Chapter 1 are 24 hours in length, while Old Earth creationism accepts geological findings and other methods of dating the earth and believes that these findings do not contradict the Genesis myth, but reject evolution. The term theistic evolution has been coined to refer to beliefs in creationism which are more compatible with the scientific view of evolution and the age of the Earth. Alternately, there are other religious people who support creationism, but in terms of allegorical interpretations of Genesis.

By the start of the twentieth century, evolution was widely accepted and was beginning to be taught in U.S. public schools. After World War I, popular belief that German aggression resulted from a Darwinian doctrine of "survival of the fittest" inspired William Jennings Bryan to campaign against the teaching of Darwinian ideas of human evolution.[15] In the 1920s, the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy led to an upsurge of fundamentalist religious fervor in which schools were prevented from teaching evolution through state laws such as Tennessee’s 1925 Butler Act,[42][43] and by getting evolution removed from biology textbooks nationwide. Creationism became associated in common usage with opposition to evolution.[44]

In 1961 in the United States, an attempt to repeal the Butler Act failed.[16] The Genesis Flood by the Baptist engineer Henry M. Morris brought the Seventh-day Adventist biblically literal flood geology of George McCready Price to a wider audience, popularizing a novel idea of Young Earth creationism,[17] and by 1965 the term "scientific creationism" had gained currency.[45] The 1968 Epperson v. Arkansas judgment ruled that state laws prohibiting the teaching of evolution violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which prohibits state aid to religion.[46] and when in 1975 Daniel v. Waters ruled that a state law requiring biology textbooks discussing "origins or creation of man and his world" to give equal treatment to creation as per Book of Genesis was unconstitutional, a new group identifying themselves as creationists promoted a "Creation science" which omitted explicit biblical references.[16]

In 1981 the state of Arkansas passed a law, Act 590, mandating that "creation science" be given equal time in public schools with evolution, and defining creation science as positing the “creation of the universe, energy, and life from nothing,” as well as explaining the earth’s geology by "the occurrence of a worldwide flood".[45] This was ruled unconstitutional at McLean v. Arkansas in January 1982 as the creationists' methods were not scientific but took the literal wording of the Book of Genesis and attempted to find scientific support for it.[45] Undaunted, Louisiana introduced similar legislation that year. A series of judgements and appeals led to the 1987 Supreme Court ruling in Edwards v. Aguillard that it too violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.[43]

"Creation science" could no longer be taught in public schools, and in drafts of the creation science school textbook Of Pandas and People all references to creation or creationism were changed to refer to intelligent design.[43] Proponents of the intelligent design movement organised widespread campaigning to considerable effect. They officially denied any links to creation or to religion, and indeed claimed that "creationism" only referred to young Earth creationism with flood geology;[47] but in Kitzmiller v. Dover the court found intelligent design to be essentially religious, and unable to dissociate itself from its creationist roots, as part of the ruling that teaching intelligent design in public school science classes was unconstitutional.[43]

Creationist movements

Creationist movements exist among peoples with various religions perspectives such as Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.

Judaism and Christianity

Many Christians around the world today accept evolution as the most likely explanation for the origins of species, and do not take a literal view of the Genesis creation myth. The United States is the exception where belief in religious fundamentalism is much more likely to affect attitudes towards evolution than it is for believers in Europe. Political partisanship affecting religious belief may be a factor because whilst political partisanship in the U.S. is highly correlated with fundamentalist thinking this is not so in Europe.[48]

Most contemporary Christian leaders and scholars from mainstream churches, such as Anglicans and Lutherans, reject reading the Bible as though it could shed light on the physics of creation instead of the spiritual meaning of creation. According to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, "..for most of the history of Christianity (and I think this is fair enough) 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."[49]

Leaders of the Anglican[50] and Roman Catholic[51][52] churches have made statements in favor of evolutionary theory, as have scholars such as John Polkinghorne, who argue 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,[53] 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, the cultural environment, and comparison to non-Jewish "cosmologies" of that age. In fact, both Jews and Christians had been considering the idea of the creation history as an allegory (instead of a historical description) long before the development of Darwin's theory of evolution. Two notable examples are the first century Jewish neoplatonic philosopher Philo of Alexandria and Saint Augustine of the late fourth century who was also a former neoplatonist. Philo wrote that it would be a mistake to think that creation happened in six days, or in any set amount of time.[54] Augustine 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 Genesis would seem to require);[55] 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.

However, in the United States, an inversion has happened. Few Jews today (17%) are likely to accept the Biblical literal interpretation of the creation and favor an alternative explanation. However evangelical Christians have continued to believe the literal claims of Genesis. Members of Protestant (70%), Mormon (76%) and Jehovahs Witness (90%) sects are those most likely to reject the evolutionary interpretation of the origins of life.[56]

The historic Judeo-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.[57][58] They sometimes seek to ensure that their belief is taught in science classes, mainly in American schools (see Young Earth Creationism, for example). Opponents reject the claim that the literalistic Biblical view meets the criteria required to be considered scientific.

Many religious sects teach that God created the cosmos. From the days of the early Christian Church Fathers there were allegorical interpretations of Genesis as well as literal aspects.[17]

Types of Biblical creationism

Several attempts have been made to categorize the different types of creationism, and create a "taxonomy" of creationists.[59][60][61] Creationism covers a spectrum of beliefs which have been categorized into the broad types listed below. As a matter of popular belief and characterizations by the media, most people labeled "creationists" are those who object to specific parts of science for religious reasons; however many (if not most) people who believe in a divine act of creation do not categorically reject those parts of science.

Comparison of major creationist views
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.
Gap creationism Directly created by God. Directly created by God. Macroevolution does not occur. 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. e.g. 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 claim the existence of Earth is the result of divine intervention Scientifically accepted age
Theistic evolution Evolution from primates. Evolution from single common ancestor. Scientifically accepted age. No global flood. Scientifically accepted age.
Young Earth creationism

Young Earth creationism is the belief that the Earth was created by God within the last ten thousand years, literally as described in Genesis creation myth, within the approximate time frame of biblical genealogies (detailed for example in the Ussher chronology). Young Earth creationists often believe that the Universe has a similar age as the Earth. Creationist cosmologies are attempts by some creationist thinkers to 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 USA. Another organization with similar views, Answers in Genesis (AIG) Ministries based in both the US and United Kingdom, has opened a Creation Museum to promote Young Earth Creationism. Creation Ministries International promotes Young Earth views in Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. Among Catholics, the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation promotes similar ideas.

Modern geocentrism

Modern geocentrism holds that God recently created a spherical world, and placed it in the center of the universe. The Sun, planets and everything else in the universe revolve around it.

Omphalos hypothesis

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 universe can be taken as reliable.[62] The idea has seen some revival in the twentieth century by some modern creationists, who have extended the argument to light that appears to originate in far-off stars and galaxies (see Starlight problem).

Creation science

Creation science is the attempt to present scientific evidence interpreted with Genesis axioms that supports the claims of creationism. Various claims of creation scientists include such ideas as creationist cosmologies which accommodate a universe on the order of thousands of years old, attacks on the science of radiometric dating through a technical argument about radiohalos, explanations for the fossil record as a record of the destruction of the global flood recorded in Book of Genesis (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 creation biology) due to mutations.

Old Earth creationism

Old Earth creationism holds that the physical universe was created by God, but that the creation event of Genesis is not to be taken strictly literally. 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

Gap creationism, also called "Restitution creationism", holds that life was recently created on a pre-existing old Earth. This theory 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:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Original act of creation.)
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

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 creation according to the Genesis creation myth (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 theorists expand the basic theory 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.[63] 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 the Strong's Concordance, and Bible commentaries such as the Scofield Reference Bible and the Companion Bible.

Day-Age creationism

Day-Age creationism states that the "six days" of Book of Genesis are not ordinary twenty-four-hour days, but rather much longer periods (for instance, each "day" could be the equivalent of millions, or billions of years of human time). This theory often states that the Hebrew word "yôm", in the context of Genesis 1, can be properly interpreted as "age." Some adherents claim we are still living in the seventh age ("seventh day").

Strictly speaking, Day-Age creationism is not so much a creationist theory as a hermeneutic option which may be combined with theories such as progressive creationism.

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/life's 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[citation needed]. Organizations such as Reasons to Believe, founded by Hugh Ross, promote this theory.

Progressive creationism can be held in conjunction with hermeneutic approaches to Genesis chapter 1 such as the day-age theory or framework/metaphoric/poetic views.

Neo-Creationism

Neo-Creationists intentionally distance themselves from other forms of creationism, preferring to be known as wholly separate from creationism as a philosophy. Its goal is to restate creationism in terms more likely to be well received by the public, education policy makers and the scientific community. It aims to re-frame the debate over the origins of life in non-religious terms and without appeals to scripture, and to bring the debate before the public.

One of its principal claims is that ostensibly objective orthodox science 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. They argue that this effectively excludes any possible religious insight from contributing to a scientific understanding of the universe. Neo-Creationists also argue that science, as an "atheistic enterprise," is at the root of many of contemporary society's ills including social unrest and family breakdown.

The most recognized form of Neo-Creationism in the United States is the Intelligent Design movement. 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. Common to all forms of Neo-Creationism is a rejection of naturalism, usually made together with a tacit admission of supernaturalism, and an open and often hostile opposition to what they term "Darwinism", which generally is meant to refer to evolution.

Intelligent design

Intelligent design (ID) is the 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".[64] All of its leading proponents are associated with the Discovery Institute,[65] 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.[43][66] It is widely accepted in the scientific and academic communities that intelligent design is a form of creationism,[67][60][61][68] and some have even begun referring to it as "intelligent design creationism".[69][70][71]

ID originated as a re-branding of creation science in an attempt to get round a series of court decisions ruling out the teaching of creationism in U.S. public schools, and the Discovery Institute has run a series of campaigns to change school curricula.[16] 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.[72]

In the United States, 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 Area School District, 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 Supreme Court decisions in Edwards v. Aguillard and Epperson v. Arkansas, 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.[43][73]

Hinduism and creationism

Some Hindus find support for, or foreshadowing of evolutionary ideas in scriptures, namely the Vedas.[74] An exception to this acceptance is the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), which includes several members who actively oppose "Darwinism" and the modern evolutionary synthesis[75].

Islamic creationism

Islamic creationism is the belief that the universe (including humanity) was directly created by God as explained in the Qur'an. While contemporary Islam tends to take religious texts literally, it usually views Genesis as a corrupted version of God's message. The creation myths in the Qur'an are more vague and allow for a wider range of interpretations similar to those in other Abrahamic religions. Several liberal movements within Islam generally accept the scientific positions on the age of the earth, the age of the universe and evolution.

Islam also has its own school of Evolutionary creationism/Theistic evolutionism, which holds that mainstream scientific analysis of the origin of the universe is supported by the Qur'an. Many Muslims believe in evolutionary creationism, especially among Liberal movements within Islam.

Khalid Anees, president of the Islamic Society of Britain, at a conference called 'Creationism: Science and Faith in Schools', made points including the following:[76] There is no contradiction between what is revealed in the Koran and natural selection and survival of the fittest. However, some Muslims, such as Adnan Oktar, do not agree that one species can develop from another.[77]

But there is also a growing movement of Islamic creationism. Similar to Christian creationism, there is concern regarding the perceived conflicts between the Qur'an and the main points of evolutionary theory.

There are several verses in the Qur'an which some modern writers have interpreted as being compatible with the expansion of the universe, Big Bang and Big Crunch theories:[78][79][80]

"Do not the Unbelievers see that the skies (space) and the earth were joined together, then We clove them asunder and We created every living thing out of the water. Will they not then believe?"[Qur'an 21:30]

"Then turned He to the sky (space) when it was smoke, and said unto it and unto the earth: Come both of you, willingly or loth. They said: We come, obedient."[Qur'an 41:11]

"And it is We Who have constructed the sky (space) with might, and it is We Who are steadily expanding it."[Qur'an 51:47]

"On the day when We will roll up the sky (space) like the rolling up of the scroll for writings, as We originated the first creation, (so) We shall reproduce it; a promise (binding on Us); surely We will bring it about."[Qur'an 21:104]

Jewish creationism

Judaism has a continuum of views about creation, the origin of life and the role of evolution in the formation of species. The major Jewish denominations, including many Orthodox Jewish groups, accept evolutionary creationism or theistic evolution. Many Conservative Rabbis follow theistic evolution, although Conservative Judaism does not have an official view on the subject. Conservative Judaism however, does generally embrace science and therefore finds it a "challenge to traditional Jewish theology."[81] Reform Judaism does not take the Torah as a literal text, but rather as a symbolic or open-ended work. For Orthodox Jews who seek to reconcile discrepancies between science and 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, our own epistemological limits are to blame for any apparent irreconcilable point. They point to various discrepancies between what is expected and what actually is to demonstrate that things are not always as they appear. They point out the fact that the even root word for "world" in the Hebrew language — עולם (Olam) — means hidden — נעלם (Neh-Eh-Lahm). Just as they believe God created man and trees and the light on its way from the stars in their adult state, so too can they believe that the world was created in its "adult" state, with the understanding that there are, and can be, no physical ways to verify this. This belief has been advanced by Rabbi Dr. 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. Other interesting parallels are brought down from, among other sources, Nachmanides, who expounds that there was a Neanderthal-like species with which Adam mated (he did this long before Neanderthals had even been discovered scientifically).[82][83][84][85]

Prevalence

Views on human evolution in various countries.[86][87]

Most vocal strict creationists are from the United States, and strict creationist views are much less common in other developed countries. According to a study published in Science, a survey of the United States, Turkey, Japan and Europe showed that public acceptance of evolution is most prevalent in Iceland, Denmark and Sweden at 80% of the population.[88]

Australia

According to a PBS documentary on evolution, Australian Young Earth Creationists claimed that "five percent of the Australian population now believe that Earth is thousands, rather than billions, of years old." [89] A 2009 Nielsen poll showed that almost a quarter of Australians believe "the biblical account of human origins" over the Darwinian account. Forty-two percent believe in a "wholly scientific" explanation for the origins of life, while 32 percent believe in an evolutionary process "guided by God".[90]

Canada

A 2008 Canadian poll revealed that "58 percent accept evolution, while 22 percent think that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years."[91]

Europe

In Europe, strict creationism is less well accepted, 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 evolution as worthy of study has essentially ended debate on the matter for many people. Exceptionally, in the United Kingdom the Emmanuel Schools Foundation (previously the Vardy Foundation), which runs three government-funded 13 to 19 schools in the north of England (out of several thousand in the country) teaches that creationism and evolution are equally valid "faith positions". One exam board (OCR) also specifically mentions and deals with creationism in its biology syllabus.[92] However, this deals with it as a historical belief and addresses hostility towards evolution rather than promoting it as an alternative to naturalistic evolution. Mainstream scientific accounts are expressed as fact. In Italy, prime minister Silvio Berlusconi wanted to retire evolution from schools in the middle level; after one week of massive protests, he reversed his opinion.[93]

There continues to be scattered and possibly mounting efforts on the part of religious fundamentalists throughout Europe to introduce creationism into public education.[94] In response, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has released a draft report entitled The dangers of creationism in education on June 8, 2007,[95] reinforced by a further proposal of banning it in schools dated October 4, 2007.[96]

Of particular note for Eastern Europe, Serbia suspended the teaching of evolution for one week in 2004, under education minister Ljiljana Čolić, only allowing schools to reintroduce evolution into the curriculum if they also taught creationism.[97] "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.[98] Čolić resigned after the government said that she had caused "problems that had started to reflect on the work of the entire government."[99] 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 however opposed the teaching of evolution and has claimed that dinosaurs and humans co-existed.[100]

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, views the idea of teaching creationism in schools as a mistake.[101] 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.[102][103]

United States

Anti-evolution car in Athens, Georgia

According to a 2001 Gallup poll,[104] about 45% 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 37% believe that "human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process",[105] and 14% believe that "human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process".[104]

Belief in creationism is inversely correlated to education; of those with postgraduate degrees, 74% accept evolution.[106][107] 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.'"[108][109]

A 2000 poll for People for the American Way found 70% of the American public felt that evolution was compatible with a belief in God.[110]

According to a study published in Science, between 1985 and 2005 the number of adult 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 United States the study also compared data from 32 European countries, Turkey, and Japan. The only country where acceptance of evolution was lower than in the United States was Turkey (25%).[88]

Education controversies

The Truth fish, one of the many creationist responses to the Darwin fish.

In the United States, 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.[73]

People for the American Way polled 1500 Americans about the teaching of evolution and creationism in November and December 1999. They found that most Americans were not familiar with Creationism, and most Americans had heard of evolution, but many did not fully understand the basics of the theory. The main findings were:

Americans believe that:[110]
Public schools should teach evolution only
  
20%
Only evolution should be taught in science classes, religious explanations can be discussed in another class
  
17%
Creationism can be discussed in science class as a 'belief,' not a scientific theory
  
29%
Creationism and evolution should be taught as 'scientific theories' in science class
  
13%
Only Creationism should be taught
  
16%
Teach both evolution and Creationism, but unsure how to do so
  
4%
No opinion
  
1%

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.[111][112]

Christian critique

Many Christians disagree with the teaching of creationism. Several religious organizations, among them the Catholic Church, hold that their faith is not in conflict with the scientific consensus regarding evolution.[113] The Clergy Letter Project is an "endeavor designed to demonstrate that religion and science can be compatible."

In the 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 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 Jesus." The basis of this theology is Isaiah 45:15, "Truly, thou art a God who hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Savior."

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 wrote, in Philippians 2:5-8,

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

Murphy concludes that,

Just as the son of God limited himself by taking human form and dying on the cross, God limits divine action in the world to be in accord with rational laws 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.[114]

Other Christians have expressed qualms about teaching creationism. In March 2006, 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, the American branch of the Anglican Communion, on teaching creationism are also the same as Williams.[115]

Scientific critique

Science is a system of knowledge that is based on empirical evidence and testable explanations. Natural causes can be reproduced so that they can be tested by other scientists. Explanations based on purported forces outside nature, such as supernatural intervention, cannot be confirmed or disproved by scientists as these explanations cannot be tested.[116] Stephen Jay Gould considered science and religion to be two compatible, complementary fields, whose authority does not overlap (Non-overlapping magisteria)[117] For these reasons some claims of Creationism cannot be evaluated by science, such as the idea of a divine being as a first cause. Other, more specific claims can and have in many instances been tested and disproved by science.[118][119] The non-overlapping magisteria has been rejected by some scientists such as Richard Dawkins, who hold that scientific methods disprove religion as an idea whilst disproving creationism. The scientific consensus is that any attempt to teach creationism as science should be rejected.[120][121][122]

See also

Notes on terminology

  1. ^ While the term myth is often used colloquially to refer to "a false story", this article uses the term in the academic meaning of "a sacred narrative explaining how the world and humankind came to be in their present form."

Notes

  1. ^ Evolution Vs. Creationism, Eugenie Scott, Niles Eldredge, p. 114
  2. ^ "NCSE : National Center for Science Education - Defending the Teaching of Evolution in Public Schools.". Creationism. 2008. http://ncse.com/creationism. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  3. ^ Ronald L. Numbers. "Creationism History: Topic Index". Counterbalance Meta-Library. http://www.counterbalance.net/history/intro-frame.html. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  4. ^ Dundes, Alan (Winter, 1997). "Binary Opposition in Myth: The Propp/Levi-Strauss Debate in Retrospect". Western Folklore (56): 39–50. 
  5. ^ Dundes, Alan (1984). Introduction. Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth. Ed. Alan Dunes.. University of California Press. 
  6. ^ Dundes, Alan (1996). "Madness in Method Plus a Plea for Projective Inversion in Myth". Myth and Method. Ed. Laurie Patton and Wendy Doniger.. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. 
  7. ^ Isaak, Mark (2004). "CA230: Interpretation and observation". Index to Creationist Claims. TalkOrigins Archive. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA230.html. Retrieved 2009–08-20. 
  8. ^ Isaak, Mark (2005). "CA215: Practical uses of evolution.". Index to Creationist Claims. TalkOrigins Archive. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA215.html. Retrieved 2009–08-20. 
    Isaak, Mark (2005). "CH100.1: Science in light of Scripture". Index to Creationist Claims. TalkOrigins Archive. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH100_1.html. Retrieved 2009–08-20. 
  9. ^ Isaak, Mark (2004). "CA301: Science and naturalism". Index to Creationist Claims. TalkOrigins Archive. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA301.html. Retrieved 2009–08-20. 
  10. ^ "Statements from Scientific and Scholarly Organizations". National Center for Science Education. http://ncse.com/media/voices/science. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  11. ^ Royal Society statement on evolution, creationism and intelligent design
  12. ^ National Association of Biology Teachers Statement on Teaching Evolution
  13. ^ IAP Statement on the Teaching of Evolution Joint statement issued by the national science academies of 67 countries, including the United Kingdom's Royal Society (PDF file)
  14. ^ From the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society: 2006 Statement on the Teaching of EvolutionPDF (44.8 KB), AAAS Denounces Anti-Evolution Laws
  15. ^ a b c "Creationism" Contributed By: Ronald L. Numbers, William Coleman: Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2007. Archived 2009-10-31.
  16. ^ a b c d e Creationism/ID, A Short Legal History By Lenny Flank, Talk Reason
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h Forster, Roger; Marston, Dr Paul (2001). "Chapter 7 - Genesis Through History". Reason Science and Faith. Chester, England: Monarch Books. ISBN 1854244418. http://www.ivycottage.org/group/group.aspx?id=6826. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  18. ^ The Works of Philo Judaeus, translated from the Greek by Charles Duke Yonge:
    Philo: Allegorical Interpretation, I
  19. ^ Davis A. Young (1988). "The contemporary relevance of Augustine". Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1988/PSCF3-88Young.html. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  20. ^ Moore, James. "Evolution and Wonder - Understanding Charles Darwin". Speaking of Faith (Radio Program). American Public Media. http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/darwin/transcript.shtml. Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  21. ^ a b History of the Collapse of "Flood Geology" and a Young Earth, adapted from The Biblical Flood: A Case Study of the Church's Response to Extrabiblical Evidence (Eerdmans, 1995) by Davis A. Young. Retrieved 2007-06-30.
  22. ^ Desmond, Adrian; Moore, James (1991). Darwin. London: Michael Joseph, Penguin Group. ISBN 0-7181-3430-3. 
  23. ^ Bowler 2003, p. 139
  24. ^ a b Darwin and design: historical essay. Darwin Correspondence Project. 2007. http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/content/view/110/104/. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  25. ^ "Darwin Correspondence Project - Letter 2534 — Kingsley, Charles to Darwin, C. R., 18 November 1859". http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-2534.html. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  26. ^ Quammen 2006, p. 119
  27. ^ Moore 2006
  28. ^ Barlow 1963, p. 207.
  29. ^ Dewey 1994, p. 27
  30. ^ Miles 2001
  31. ^ Gray, Asa (1860). "Natural Selection is not inconsistent with Natural Theology". Atlantic Monthly (Darwin Correspondence Project - Essay: Natural selection & natural theology). http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/content/view/84/69/. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  32. ^ Bowler 2003, pp. 202–208
  33. ^ Evolution Vs. Creationism, Eugenie Scott, Niles Eldredge, p62-63
  34. ^ Albrecht Moritz (October 31, 2006). "The Origin of Life". TalkOrigins Archive. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html#intro. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  35. ^ Science, Religion, and Evolution by Eugenie Scott (accessed at 2007-07-09).
  36. ^ Akin, Jimmy (January 2004). "Evolution and the Magisterium". This Rock. http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0401bt.asp. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  37. ^ Jeff Severns Guntzel. "National Catholic Reporter: Catholic schools steer clear of anti-evolution bias". http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/is_21_41/ai_n13592804/print. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  38. ^ Text of talk by Vatican Observatory director on ‘Science Does Not Need God. Or Does It? A Catholic Scientist Looks at Evolution’ - Catholic Online
  39. ^ The Tower of Babel by Robert T. Pennock, Naturalism is an Essential Part of Science and Critical Inquiry by Steven D. Schafersman, The Leiter Reports, Report on "Naturalism, Theism and the Scientific Enterprise" conference, The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion, 11: God, Science, and Naturalism by Paul R. Draper, Philosophy Now: The Alleged Fallacies of Evolutionary Theory, Statement on Intelligent Design, Science and fundamentalism by Massimo Pigliucci, Justifying Methodological Naturalism by Michael Martin (philosopher)
  40. ^ Butterflies and wheels article by Raymond D. Bradley, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the Simon Fraser University (New Zealand).
  41. ^ a b Ronald L. Numbers. "Antievolutionists and Creationists". Creationism History. Counterbalance Meta-Library. http://www.counterbalance.net/history/anticreat-frame.html. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  42. ^ s:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District/2:Context#Page 19 of 139
  43. ^ a b c d e f Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement: Its True Nature and Goals.PDF (413 KB) A Position Paper from the Center for Inquiry, Office of Public Policy Barbara Forrest. May, 2007.
  44. ^ TalkOrigins Archive: Post of the Month: March 2006, The History of Creationism by Lenny Flank.
  45. ^ a b c McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, Decision January 5, 1982.
  46. ^ Edwards v. Aguillard
  47. ^ Evolution News & Views: Dover Judge Regurgitates Mythological History of Intelligent Design, Discovery Institute, Posted by Jonathan Witt on December 20, 2005 4:43 PM. Retrieved 2007-07-01
  48. ^ "Public Acceptance of Evolution". Science 313 (5788): 765–766. 11 August 2006:. doi:10.1126/science.1126746. PMID 16902112. http://richarddawkins.net/article,706,Public-Acceptance-of-Evolution,Science-Magazine-Jon-D-Miller-Eugenie-C-Scott-Shinji-Okamoto. 
  49. ^ Archbishop of Canterbury, Transcript of interview with the Guardian
  50. ^ Archbishop of Canterbury backs evolution: Well, he is a Primate, Chris Williams, The Register, Tuesday 21 March 2006
  51. ^ What Catholics Think of Evolution? They don't not believe in it, Keelin McDonell, Explainer, Slate Magazine, July 12, 2005.
  52. ^ See also the article Evolution and the Roman Catholic Church.
  53. ^ see eg John Polkinghorne's Science and Theology pp6-7
  54. ^ The Works of Philo Judaeus, Chapter 2, translated by Charles Duke Yonge
  55. ^ http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Bible-Science/PSCF3-88Young.html Davis A. Young, "The Contemporary Relevance of Augustine's View of Creation" (From: Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 40.1:42-45 (3/1988)), The American Scientific Affiliation
  56. ^ Pugh Forum findings Page 95
  57. ^ Wayne Jackson. "Are There Two Creation Accounts in Genesis?". http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2194. Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  58. ^ "The Creation Myths: Internal Difficulties". http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/creationint.html. Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  59. ^ The Creation/Evolution Continuum, Eugenie Scott, NCSE Reports, v. 19, n. 4, p. 16-17, 23-25, July/August, 1999.
  60. ^ a b Wise, D.U., 2001, Creationism's Propaganda Assault on Deep Time and Evolution, Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 49, n. 1, p. 30-35.
  61. ^ a b Who Believes What? Clearing up Confusion over Intelligent Design and Young-Earth Creationism, Marcus R. Ross, Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 53, n. 3, May, 2005, p. 319-323
  62. ^ Gosse, Henry Philip, 1857. Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot. J. Van Voorst, London
  63. ^ "The Holy Bible, King James Version". http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=68&chapter=3&version=9. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  64. ^ "Top Questions-1.What is the theory of intelligent design?". Discovery Institute. http://www.discovery.org/csc/topQuestions.php#questionsAboutIntelligentDesign. Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  65. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover Testimony, Barbara Forrest, 2005.
  66. ^ Wedge Strategy, Discovery Institute, 1999.
  67. ^ "for most members of the mainstream scientific community, ID is not a scientific theory, but a creationist pseudoscience." Trojan Horse or Legitimate Science: Deconstructing the Debate over Intelligent Design, David Mu, Harvard Science Review, Volume 19, Issue 1, Fall 2005.
    • "Creationists are repackaging their message as the pseudoscience of intelligent design theory." Professional Ethics Report, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2001.
    • Conclusion of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District Ruling
  68. ^ The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, Expanded Edition, Ronald L. Numbers, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 30, 2006, ISBN 0674023390.
  69. ^ Forrest, Barbara (May,2007) (PDF). Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement: Its True Nature and Goals. A Position Paper from the Center for Inquiry, Office of Public Policy. Washington, D.C.: Center for Inquiry, Inc.. http://www.centerforinquiry.net/uploads/attachments/intelligent-design.pdf. Retrieved 2007-08-22. ; Forrest, B.C. and Gross, P.R., 2003, Evolution and the Wedge of Intelligent Design: The Trojan Horse Strategy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 224 p., ISBN 0195157427
  70. ^ "Dembski chides me for never using the term "intelligent design" without conjoining it to "creationism." He implies (though never explicitly asserts) that he and others in his movement are not creationists and that it is incorrect to discuss them in such terms, suggesting that doing so is merely a rhetorical ploy to "rally the troops". (2) Am I (and the many others who see Dembski's movement in the same way) misrepresenting their position? The basic notion of creationism is the rejection of biological evolution in favor of special creation, where the latter is understood to be supernatural. Beyond this there is considerable variability...", from Wizards of ID: Reply to Dembski, Robert T. Pennock, p. 645-667 of Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological, and Scientific Perspectives, Robert T. Pennock (editor), Cambridge, MIT Press, 2001, 825 p., ISBN 0262661241; Pennock, R.T., 1999, Tower of Babel: Evidence Against the New Creationism, Cambridge, MIT Press, 440 p.
  71. ^ The Creation/Evolution Continuum, Eugenie Scott, NCSE Reports, v. 19, n. 4, p. 16-17, 23-25, July/August, 1999.; Scott, E.C., 2004, Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction, Westport, Greenwood Press, 296p, ISBN 0520246500
  72. ^ Intelligent design not science: experts, Deborah Smith Science Editor, Sydney Morning Herald, October 21, 2005.
  73. ^ a b Full text of Judge Jones' ruling, dated December 20, 2005
  74. ^ Moorty, J.S.R.L.Narayana (May 18–21, 1995). "Science and spirituality: Any Points of Contact? The Teachings of U.G.Krishnamurti: A Case Study". Krishnamurti Centennial Conference. http://www.well.com/user/jct/science.html. Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  75. ^ http://news.iskcon.com/node/1592/2008-12-27/expelled_no_intelligence_allowed
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  77. ^ "Creationist offers prize for fossil proof of evolution". The Independent. 29 September 2008. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/creationist-offers-prize-for-fossil-proof-of-evolution-945289.html. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  78. ^ Harun Yahya, The Big Bang Echoes through the Map of the Galaxy
  79. ^ Maurice Bucaille (1990), The Bible the Qur'an and Science, "The Quran and Modern Science", ISBN 8171011322.
  80. ^ A. Abd-Allah, The Qur'an, Knowledge, and Science, University of Southern California.
  81. ^ Judaism and Evolution, Jewish Visrtual Library
  82. ^ Aviezer, Nathan. In the Beginning: Biblical Creation and Science. Ktav, 1990. Hardcover. ISBN 0-88125-328-6
  83. ^ Carmell, Aryeh and Domb, Cyril, eds. Challenge: Torah Views on Science New York: Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists/Feldheim Publishers, 1976. ISBN 0-87306-174-8
  84. ^ Schroeder, Gerald L. The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom Broadway Books, 1998, ISBN 0-7679-0303-X
  85. ^ Jeffrey H. Tigay, Genesis, Science, and "Scientific Creationism", Conservative Judaism, Vol. 40(2), Winter 1987/1988, p.20-27, The Rabbinical Assembly
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  87. ^ Jeff Hecht (19 August 2006). "Why doesn't America believe in evolution?". New Scientist 191 (2565): 11. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9786-why-doesnt-america-believe-in-evolution.html. 
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  89. ^ Evolution Revolution, Evolution, Public Broadcasting Service
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  91. ^ "Polling creationism in Canada". National Center for Science Education. August 8, 2008. http://ncse.com/news/2008/08/polling-creationism-canada-001375. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  92. ^ Exam board brings creationism into science class
  93. ^ Italy Keeps Darwin in its Classrooms, Deutsche Welle, 3 May 2004
  94. ^ In the beginning: The debate over creation and evolution, once most conspicuous in America, is fast going global, ISTANBUL, MOSCOW AND ROME, Evolution and religion, The Economist, April 19th 2007.
  95. ^ The dangers of creationism in education, Committee on Culture, Science and Education, Rapporteur: Mr Guy LENGAGNE, France, Socialist Group, Doc. 11297, Parliamentary Assemble Council of Europe, June 8, 2007.
  96. ^ The dangers of creationism in education - Resolution 1580, Committee on Culture, Science and Education, Rapporteur: Mr Guy LENGAGNE, France, Socialist Group, Doc. 11297, Parliamentary Assemble Council of Europe, October 4, 2007.
  97. ^ Darwin is off the curriculum for Serbian schools
  98. ^ Serbia reverses Darwin suspension
  99. ^ 'Anti-Darwin' Serb minister quits
  100. ^ "And finally...", Warsaw Business Journal, 18 December 2006.
  101. ^ Archbishop: stop teaching creationism-Williams backs science over Bible, Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent, The Guardian, Tuesday March 21, 2006.
  102. ^ Britons unconvinced on evolution
  103. ^ BBC Survey On The Origins Of Life
  104. ^ a b Majority of Americans Doubt Theory of Evolution
  105. ^ Substantial Numbers of Americans Continue to Doubt Evolution as Explanation for Origin of Humans
  106. ^ Frank Newport, "Evolution Beliefs." Gallup Organization, June 11, 2007.
  107. ^ "Public beliefs about evolution and creation." From: religioustolerance.org. Retrieved on November 11, 2007.
  108. ^ "Keeping God Out of the Classroom". Newsweek. June 29, 1987. p. 23. 
  109. ^ US poll results - "Public beliefs about evolution and creation", religioustolerance.org
  110. ^ a b Evolution and Creationism In Public Education: An In-depth Reading Of Public OpinionPDF (481 KB)
  111. ^ "Statement on the Teaching of Evolution" (PDF). American Association for the Advancement of Science. 2006. http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2006/pdf/0219boardstatement.pdf. Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
  112. ^ "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution" Finding the Evolution in Medicine National Institutes of Health
  113. ^ National Center for Science Education: Statements from Religious Organizations
  114. ^ Murphy, George L., 2002, "Intelligent Design as a Theological Problem," in Covalence: the Bulletin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Alliance for Faith, Science, and Technology
  115. ^ The Guardian, Archbishop: Stop teaching creationism, Williams backs science over Bible See transcript of Guardian interview for primary source
  116. ^ Committee on Revising Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2008). Science, Evolution, and Creationism (free pdf download ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. pp. 10–12. ISBN 0-309-10586-2. http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11876.html. Retrieved 2008-10-27. "In science, explanations must be based on naturally occurring phenomena. Natural causes are, in principle, reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others. If explanations are based on purported forces that are outside of nature, scientists have no way of either confirming or disproving those explanations." 
  117. ^ Gould, Stephen Jay (1997). "Nonoverlapping Magisteria". Natural History 106 (3): 16–22. http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_noma.html. 
  118. ^ "An Index to Creationist Claims". http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/index.html. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  119. ^ Futuyma, Douglas J.. "Evolutionary Science, Creationism, and Society" (PDF). "Evolution" (2005). http://www.biologi.kva.se/arkiv/FutuymaCh22final.pdf. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  120. ^ "Royal Society statement on evolution, creationism and intelligent design". The Royal Society. 2006-04-11. http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/news.asp?year=&id=4298. Retrieved 2007-04-23. 
  121. ^ Matsumura, Molleen; Mead, Louise (2007-07-31). "10 Significant Court Decisions Regarding Evolution/Creationism". National Center for Science Education. http://ncse.com/taking-action/ten-major-court-cases-evolution-creationism. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  122. ^ Myers, PZ (2006-02-15). "Ann Coulter: No Evidence for Evolution?". Pharyngula (ScienceBlogs). http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/06/ann_coulter_no_evidence_for_ev.php. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 

References

Further reading

  • Adams Leeming, David (1996). A Dictionary of Creation Myths. OUP. ISBN 978-0195102758. 
  • Anderson, Bernhard W. (editor) Creation in the Old Testament (ISBN 0-8006-1768-1)
  • Anderson, Bernhard W. Creation Versus Chaos: The Reinterpretation of Mythical Symbolism in the Bible (ISBN 1-59752-042-X)
  • Ian Barbour When Science Meets Religion, 2000, Harper SanFrancisco
  • Ian Barbour Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues, 1997, Harper SanFrancisco.
  • Stephen Jay Gould Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the fullness of life, Ballantine Books, 1999
  • Aryeh Kaplan, Immortality, Resurrection, and the Age of the Universe: A Kabbalistic View, Ktav, NJ, in association with the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists, NY, 1993
  • Stuart Kauffman Reinventing the Sacred, 2008
  • Numbers, Ronald (November 30, 2006). The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, Expanded Edition. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674023390. 
  • Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams In a Beginning...: Quantum Cosmology and Kabbalah, Tikkun, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 66–73

External links

Organizations

Young Earth Creationism

Old Earth Creationism

Intelligent design

Evolution


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Creationism and Intelligent Design article)

From Wikiquote

Quotations about Creationism and Intelligent Design.

Creationism is the position that the Universe, Earth, and life of Earth were created by one or more intelligent agents, usually the God of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism as recorded in Genesis and the Quran.

Intelligent Design (ID) the position that there is positive evidence that life on Earth was created by one or more intelligent agents, but without making any explicit claim as to the identity or divinity of the agent or agents.

Contents

Western thought

Hebrew scriptures

  • "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." -Psalms 19:1.
  • "Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind: 'Who is this that speaks so ignorantly? Stand up like a man: I will question you, and you will answer me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you are so smart. Who determined its measurements--surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" -Job 38:1-7.

Greek and Roman quotes

  • In the Timaeus, Plato wrote the following question and answer sometime around 350 BC:
"Is the world created or uncreated? -- that is the first question.
Created, I reply, being visible and tangible and having a body, and therefore sensible; and if sensible, then created; and if created, made by a cause, and the cause is the ineffable father of all things, who had before him an eternal archetype."[1]
  • "Only because the people see
So much in land and sky
For which they do not know the cause,
They think Divinities are working there.
If they could but see that
Nothing can be created from nothing,
Then they would advance one more step
Toward the answer that they seek:
Those eternal elements became
Everything that is,
Without interference from Gods."
--Lucretius, "[[w:On the nature of things | De rerum natura]]," written about 60 BC
  • "Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo." (The drop excavates the stone, not with force but by falling often.)

--Publius Ovidius Naso, Epistulae Ex Ponto (Letters from the Black Sea)

Christian New Testament

  • "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools." -Romans 1:18-22.
  • "First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions and saying:
'Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation.'
They deliberately ignore this fact: that by the word of God the heavens were created long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished." 2 Peter 3:3-6.

19th century and earlier

  • "The antagonism between science and religion, about which we hear so much, appears to me to be purely factitious–fabricated, on the one hand, by short-sighted religious people who confound a certain branch of science, theology, with religion; and, on the other, by equally short-sighted scientific people who forget that science takes for its province only that which is susceptible of clear intellectual comprehension; and that, outside the boundaries of that province, they must be content with imagination, with hope, and with ignorance." -Thomas Huxley, The interpreters of Genesis and the interpreters of Nature (1885)
  • "Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled." -Charles Darwin [2]
  • "Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books." -Francis Bacon
  • "The church is not a pioneer; it accepts a new truth, last of all, and only when denial has become useless." -Robert Ingersoll
  • "The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence." -Thomas H. Huxley
  • "History warns us, however, that it is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions; and, as matters now stand, it is hardly rash to anticipate that, in another twenty years, the new generation, educated under the influences of the present day, will be in danger of accepting the main doctrines of the 'Origin of Species' with as little reflection, and it may be with as little justification, as so many of our contemporaries, twenty years ago, rejected them. Against any such a consummation let us all devoutly pray; for the scientific spirit is of more value than its products, and irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors." -Thomas Huxley, The Coming of Age of "The Origin of Species (1880); Collected Essays, vol. 2
  • "I attacked the foundations of morality in Erewhon, and nobody cared two straws, I tore open the wounds of my Redeemer as he hung upon the Cross in The Fair Haven, and people rather liked it. But when I attacked Mr. Darwin they were up in arms in a moment." -Samuel Butler, Evolution Old and New, 1879, p. 54.
  • "I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use." -Galileo Galilei
  • "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." -Charles Darwin
  • "It is in the uncompromisingness with which dogma is held and not in the dogma, or want of dogma, that the danger lies." -Samuel Butler, The Way Of All Flesh
  • "Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it was done for. I suppose it is. I dunno. If the Eiffel tower were now representing the world's age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle-knob at its summit would represent man's share of that age; & anybody would perceive that that skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would. I dunno." -Mark Twain, "Was the World Made for Man?"
  • "Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night. God said 'Let Newton be!' and all was light." -Alexander Pope
  • "The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide.... Every influx of atheism, of skepticism, is thus made useful as a mercury pill assaulting and removing a diseased religion, and making way for truth." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Religions die when they are proven to be true. Science is the record of dead religions." -Oscar Wilde
  • "There is more religion in men's science, than there is science in their religion." -Henry David Thoreau
  • "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being." -Isaac Newton ("General Scholium," in Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Isaac Newton. 1687)
  • "When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled." -Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

20th century

Sourced

  • 16O has exactly the right nuclear energy level either to prevent all the carbon from turning into oxygen or to facilitate sufficient production of 16O for life. Fred Hoyle, who discovered these coincidences in 1953, concluded that "a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology. ~ Ross, Hugh; President, Reasons to Believe. " Design and the Anthropic Principle". Reasons.org. Retrieved on 2006-09-13.
  • "Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word 'miraculous' without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word." ~ George Ellis (British astrophysicist) Ellis, G.F.R. 1993. The Anthropic Principle: Laws and Environments. The Anthropic Principle, F. Bertola and U.Curi, ed. New York, Cambridge University Press, p. 30
  • "Another philosophical question regards the very definition of the word 'selection'. One of the original formulations of selection was 'the survival of the fittest'. If you open a standard textbook of genetics 'fitness' will probably be defined as 'the ability to survive' or something similar. But if the 'fittest' are defined as 'the best survivors' then the idea of natural selection becomes 'the survival of those best at surviving'. So what else is new? If there is no more to Darwinism than a truism then the whole theory rests on very shaky ground." ~ B. Leith, The Descent of Darwin: A Handbook of Doubts about Darwinism (Collins, 1982), p. 21
  • "Anthropological, biological, and genetic evidence all put the origin of modern humans at between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago, probably in Africa. There is also much data that show an outburst of cultural behavior occurring around 50,000-40,000 years ago in Europe. That's when archaeologists date the oldest evidence of burial ceremonies, body ornaments, and cave paintings." ~ William J. Cromie, Harvard Gazette article, 'Facing up to modern man - Evidence shows our brains and faces have gotten smaller', which discusses the work of Harvard professor of biological anthropology Daniel Lieberman
  • "Any competent biologist is aware of a multitude of problems yet unresolved and of questions yet unanswered. After all, biologic research shows no sign of approaching completion; quite the opposite is true. Disagreements and clashes of opinion are rife among biologists, as they should be in a living and growing science. Antievolutionists mistake, or pretend to mistake, these disagreements as indications of dubiousness of the entire doctrine of evolution. Their favorite sport is stringing together quotations, carefully and sometimes expertly taken out of context, to show that nothing is really established or agreed upon among evolutionists. Some of my colleagues and myself have been amused and amazed to read ourselves quoted in a way showing that we are really antievolutionists under the skin." ~ Theodosius Dobzhansky, Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution, 1973 [3]
  • "As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency—or, rather, Agency—must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?" ~ George Greenstein (American astronomer) Greenstein, George. The Symbiotic, Universe: Life and Mind in the Cosmos. (New York: William Morrow, (1988), pp. 26-27
  • "Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say 'supernatural') plan." ~ Arno Penzias (Nobel laureate in physics and co-discoverer of the radiation afterglow), quoted in Margenau, H and R.A. Varghese, ed. 1992. Cosmos, Bios, and Theos. La Salle, IL, Open Court, p. 83.
    • Alternative version: "Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly-improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan." ~ Arno Penzias, quoted in Walter Bradley, "The 'Just-so' Universe: The Fine-Tuning of Constants and Conditions in the Cosmos", in William Dembski and James Kushiner, eds., Signs of Intelligence. 168)
  • "Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled." ~ Charles Darwin [1]
  • "Biochemists and biologists who adhere blindly to the Darwinism theory search for results that will be in agreement with their theories and consequently orient their research in a given direction, whether it be in the field of ecology, ethology, sociology, demography (dynamics of populations), genetics (so-called evolutionary genetics), or paleontology. This intrusion of theories has unfortunate results: it deprives observations and experiments of their objectivity, makes them biased, and, moreover, creates false problems." ~ P. P. Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation (Academic Press, 1977), p. 7
  • "Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books." ~ Francis Bacon
  • "Churches are block-booking seats for March of the Penguins, which is apparently a "condemnation of gay marriage" and puts forward the case for "intelligent design", ie, Creationism. To be honest, this is good news. If American Christians want to go public on the fact that they're now morally guided by penguins, at least we know where we all stand." ~ Caitlin Moran, London Times Online, "Penguins lead way" section of 20 September 2005 column [4]
  • "The concept of relative adaptation removes the apparent tautology in the theory of natural selection. Without it the theory of natural selection states that fitter individuals have more offspring and then defines the fitter as being those that leave more offspring; since some individuals will always have more offspring than others by sheer chance, nothing is explained.… Unfortunately the concept of relative adaptation also requires the ceteris paribus assumption, so that in practice it is not easy to predict which of two forms will leave more offspring." ~ Richard Lewontin, "Adaptation", Scientific American 239(3), September 1978, pp. 166–167
  • "[Darwin's] triumph has won for us a common height from which we see the whole world of living beings as well as all inorganic nature; phenomena of every order we now regard as expressions of natural causes. The supernatural has no longer a standing is science; it has vanished like a dream, and the halls consecrated to its thraldom of the intellect are becoming radiant with a more cheerful faith." ~ Charles Otis Whitman, 1919 (posth.)
  • "The discipline of biology will not only survive but prosper if it turns out that genetic information really is the product of preexisting intelligence. Biologists will have to give up their dogmatic materialism and discard unproductive hypotheses like the prebiotic soup, but to abandon bad ideas is a gain, not a loss. Freed of the metaphysical chains that tie it to nineteenth-century materialism, biology can turn to the fascinating task of discovering how the intelligence embodied in the genetic information works through matter to make the organism function. In that case chemical evolution will go the way of alchemy—abandoned because a better understanding of the problem revealed its futility—and science will have reached a new plateau." ~ Phillip E. Johnson, Reason in the Balance, p. 92
  • "The fact that the theory of natural selection is difficult to test has led some people, anti-Darwinists and even some great Darwinists, to claim that is a tautology. A tautology like 'All tables are tables' is not, of course, testable; nor has it any explanatory power. It is therefore most surprising to hear that some of the greatest contemporary Darwinists themselves formulate the theory in such a way that it amounts to the tautology that those organisms that leave most offspring leave most offspring. And C. H. Waddington even says somewhere (and he defends this view in other places) that 'Natural selection … turns out … to be a tautology.' However, he attributes at the same place to the theory an 'enormous power … of explanation.' Since the explanatory power of a tautology is obviously zero, something must be wrong here." ~ Karl Popper, "Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind", Dialectica 32(3-4), 1978, p. 344 (ellipses in original)
  • "I am not arguing with the scientist who explains the elephant, but only with the sophist who explains it away." ~ G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man.
  • "I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing." ~ Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy) Willford, J.N. March 12, 1991. Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest. New York Times, p. B9.
  • "I have quoted some voices of dissent coming from biologists in eminent academic positions. There have been many others, just as critical of the orthodox doctrine, though not always as outspoken —and their number is steadily growing. Although these criticisms have made numerous breaches in the walls, the citadel still stands—mainly, as said before, because nobody has a atisfactory alternative to offer. The history of science shows that a well-established theory can take a lot of battering and get itself into a tangle of contradictions—the fourth phase of 'Crisis and Doubt' in the historic cycle and yet still be upheld by the establishment until a breakthrough occurs, initiating a new departure, and the start of a new cycle. But that event is not yet in sight. In the meantime, the educated public continues to believe that Darwin has provided all the relevant answers by the magic formula of random mutation plus natural selection—quite unaware of the fact that random mutations turned out to be irrelevant and natural selection a tautology." ~ Arthur Koestler, Janus: A Summing Up (Picador, 1983), pp. 184–185
  • "I meet many people offended by evolution, who passionately prefer to be the personal handicraft of God than to arise by blind physical and chemical forces over aeons from slime. They also tend to be less than assiduous in exposing themselves to the evidence. Evidence has little to do with it: what they wish to be true, they believe is true.… The clearest evidence of our evolution can be found in our genes. But evolution is still being fought, ironically by those whose own DNA proclaims it—in the schools, in the courts, in textbook publishing houses, and on the question of just how much pain we can inflict on other animals without crossing some ethical threshold." ~ Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, p. 325.
  • "If complex organisms demand an explanation, so does a complex designer. And it's no solution to raise the theologian's plea that God (or the Intelligent Designer) is simply immune to the normal demands of scientific explanation. To do so would be to shoot yourself in the foot. You cannot have it both ways. Either ID belongs in the science classroom, in which case it must submit to the discipline required of a scientific hypothesis. Or it does not, in which case get it out of the science classroom and send it back into the church, where it belongs." ~ The Guardian, "One side can be wrong", 1 September 2005
  • "In all their polemics, the anti-creationists invariably avoid discussing the actual scientific evidence for macro-evolution. If there were any such evidence, they could easily settle the whole conflict, merely by presenting the evidence! Instead they seem compelled to resort to bombast ridicule, defamation, intimidation, and distortion. Surely that great body of working scientists, largely uninvolved so far in the creation/evolution conflict will soon begin to see that a two-model approach to all scientific study is salutary and will persuade their more emotional brethren to open their minds to potential truth wherever it might be found." ~ Henry Morris, founder of the Institute for Creation Research
  • "IN SHORT, three concepts, evolution, in the minimal sense of "descent with modification" (no "emergence", no "higher and lower" allowed), variation, in the sense of Mendelian micromutation, tiny changes in the structure or arrangement of the genes, the ultimate material of heredity (no sweeping or sudden alterations allowed), and natural selection, the decrease in frequency of those variants that happen in each successive generation to be less well adapted than others to their particular environment: these three form a tight circle within which, in happy self-confirmation, neo-Darwinian thinking moves. To those who believe in it, this circle is an ample intellectual dwelling place, roomy enough in fact to house all the immense achievements of modern biological research. To those not so convinced, however, the circle seems a strangely constricted one. They may even agree with the Professor Emeritus of Zoology at Cambridge that 'no amount of argument, or clever epigram, can disguise the inherent improbability of orthodox (Darwinian) theory.'" ~ M. Grene, "The Faith of Darwinism", Encounter, November 1959, p. 50 (emphasis in original)
  • "In the American vernacular, 'theory' often means "imperfect fact"--part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is 'only a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): 'Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science--that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was.'
    Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.
    Moreover, 'fact' doesn't mean 'absolute certainty'; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
    Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory--natural selection--to explain the mechanism of evolution." ~ Stephen J. Gould, "Evolution as Fact and Theory"; Discover, May 1981
  • "Intelligent design is not an argument of the same character as these [evolutionary science] controversies. It is not a scientific argument at all, but a religious one. It might be worth discussing in a class on the history of ideas, in a philosophy class on popular logical fallacies, or in a comparative religion class on origin myths from around the world. But it no more belongs in a biology class than alchemy belongs in a chemistry class, phlogiston in a physics class or the stork theory in a sex education class. In those cases, the demand for equal time for 'both theories' would be ludicrous. Similarly, in a class on 20th-century European history, who would demand equal time for the theory that the Holocaust never happened?" ~ The Guardian, "One side can be wrong", 1 September 2005 [5]
  • "It is absurd for the evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything." ~ G.K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas.
  • "It may be true that scientism and evolutionism (not science and evolution) are among the causes of atheism and materialism. It is at least equally true that biblical literalism, from its earlier flat-earth and geocentric forms to its recent young-earth and flood-geology forms, is one of the major causes of atheism and materialism. Many scientists and intellectuals have simply taken the literalists at their word and rejected biblical materials as being superseded or contradicted by modern science. Without having in hand a clear and persuasive alternative, they have concluded that it is nobler to be damned by the literalists than to dismiss the best testimony of research and reason. Intellectual honesty and integrity demand it." ~ Conrad Hyers, The Meaning of Creation: Genesis and Modern Science
  • "A life-giving factor lies at the centre of the whole machinery and design of the world." ~ John Wheeler (American physicist) Wheeler, John A. "Foreword", in The Anthropic Cosmological Principle by John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler. (Oxford, U. K.: Clarendon Press, 1986), p. vii.
  • "The main task of any theory of evolution is to explain adaptive complexity, that is, to explain the same set of facts that Paley used as evidence of a creator." ~ John Maynard Smith, "The status of neo-darwinism", in C.H. Waddington, ed., Towards a Theoretical Biology (University Press, Edinburgh, 1969)
  • "The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history." ~ Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1973)
  • "No geological difficulties, real or imagined, can be allowed to take precedence over the clear statements and necessary inferences of Scripture." ~ Henry Morris [6]
  • "One way or another, Darwinists meet the question 'Is Darwinism true?' with an answer that amounts to an assertion of power: 'Well, it is science, as we define science, and you will have to be content with that.' Some of us are not content with that, because we know that the empirical evidence for the creative power of natural selection is somewhere between weak and non-existent. Artificial selection of fruit flies or domestic animals produces limited change within the species, but tells us nothing about how insects and mammals came into existence in the first place. In any case, whatever artificial selection achieves is due to the employment of human intelligence consciously pursuing a goal. The whole point of the blind watchmaker thesis, however, is to establish what material processes can do in the absence of purpose and intelligence. That Darwinist authorities continually overlook this crucial distinction gives us little confidence in their objectivity." ~ Phillip E. Johnson [7].
  • "Poll: Majority of Americans Reject Evolution. Accept 'The Flintstones'." ~ Ironictimes.com[2]
  • "Science is fundamentally a game. It is a game with one overriding and defining rule:
  1. Let us see how far and to what extent we can explain the behavior of the physical and material universe in terms of purely physical and material causes, without invoking the supernatural." ~ Richard Dickerson, Journal of Molecular Evolution 34:277, 1992
  • "The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero." ~ Ilya Prigogine (Chemist-Physicist) Recipient of 1977 Nobel Prize in chemistry I. Prigogine, N. Gregair, A. Babbyabtz, Physics Today 25, pp. 23-28
  • "Students are ill served by any effort in science classrooms to blur the distinction between science and other ways of knowing, including those concerned with the supernatural." ~ Association for the Advancement of Science, in a news release supporting the rejection by the National Academy of Science of the Kansas Board of Education's decision to a) rewrite the definition of science so that it is no longer limited to a search for natural explanations of phenomena and 2) teach Intelligent Design as a science in competition with evolution, which is presented as greatly more controversial in the scientific community than scientists themselves concede.
  • "The theory of natural selection may be so formulated that it is far from tautological. In this case it is not only testable, but it turns out to be not strictly universally true." ~ Karl Popper, "Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind", Dialectica 32(3-4), 1978, p. 346 (ellipses in original)
  • "The trouble was that in reading widely during my early teens I ran into the Darwinian theory, for a little while with illusions and then with less respect than adults with bated breath were wont to show. The theory seemed to me to run like this: 'If among the varieties of a species there is one that survives better in the environment than the others, then the variety that survives best is the one that best survives.' If I had known the word tautology I would have called this a tautology. People with still more bated breath, called it natural selection. I made them angry, just as I do today, by saying that it did nothing at all. You could select potatoes as much as you pleased but you would never make them into a rabbit. Nor by selecting oak trees could you make them into colonies of bats, and those who thought they could in my opinion were bats in the belfry." ~ Fred Hoyle, Mathematics of Evolution (Memphis, Tenn.: Acorn Enterprises, 1999), p. 2
  • "This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible: In the beginning God created heaven and earth... [But] for the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; [and] as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries." ~ Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers [New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1978], 116. Professor Jastrow was the founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute, now director of the Mount Wilson Institute and its observatory.)
  • "Today, almost half a century after the publication of the Encyclical, fresh knowledge has led to the recognition that evolution is more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge … [however,] theories of evolution which, in accordance with the philosophies inspiring them, consider the mind as emerging from the forces of living matter, or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter, are incompatible with the truth about man. Nor are they able to ground the dignity of the person." ~ Pope John Paul II [8]
  • "U.S. Falling Behind in Science, Engineering; Surging ahead in superstition, mumbo-jumbo." ~ Ironictimes.com [3]
  • "We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures ... If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in." ~ John O'Keefe (astronomer at NASA) Heeren, F. 1995. Show Me God. Wheeling, IL, Searchlight Publications, p. 200.
  • "We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world. We give little thought to the machinery that generates the sunlight that makes life possible, to the gravity that glues us to an Earth that would otherwise send us spinning off into space, or to the atoms of which we are made and on whose stability we fundamentally depend. Except for children (who don't know enough not to ask the important questions), few of us spend much time wondering why nature is the way it is; where the cosmos came from, or whether it was always here; if time will one day flow backward and effects precede causes; or whether there are ultimate limits to what humans can know." ~ Carl Sagan (From an introduction to "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking)
  • "We have the purpose of preventing bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the education of the United States, and you know it, and that is all." ~ Clarence Darrow, in response to William Jennings Bryant in the opening remarks of the Scopes Monkey Trial.
  • "What kind of God can one infer from the sort of phenomena epitomized by the species on Darwin's Galapagos Islands? The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror.… The God of the Galapagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray." ~ David Hull, reviewing Phillip Johnson's Darwin on Trial for Nature
  • "When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics." ~ Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics) Tipler, F.J. 1994. The Physics Of Immortality. New York, Doubleday, Preface.
  • "When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled." ~ Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
  • "Several thousand years ago, a small tribe of ignorant near-savages wrote various collections of myths, wild tales, lies, and gibberish. Over the centuries, these stories were embroidered, garbled, mutilated, and torn into small pieces that were then repeatedly shuffled. Finally, this material was badly translated into several languages successively. The resultant text, creationists feel, is the best guide to this complex and technical subject." ~ Tom Weller, 1990, Science Made Stupid. Houghton Mifflin Company (ISBN 0395366461).
  • "Creationism is wrong; totally, utterly, and absolutely wrong. I would go further. There are degrees of being wrong. The creationists are at the bottom of the scale. They pull every trick in the book to justify their position. Indeed, at times they verge right over into the downright dishonest. Scientific Creationism is not just wrong, it is ludicrously implausible. It is a grotesque parody of human thought, and a downright misuse of human intelligence. In short, to the believer, it is an insult to God." ~ Michael Ruse, 1982, Darwinism Defended. Addison-Wesley (ISBN 0201062739).
  • All the actions of created intelligences are not merely the actions of God. He has created a universe of beings which are said to act freely and responsibly as the proximate causes of their own moral actions. When individuals do evil things it is not God the Creator and Preserver acting. If God was the proximate cause of every act it would make all events to be "God in motion". That is nothing less than pantheism, or more exactly, pandeism. [However, t]he Creator is distinct from his creation. The reality of secondary causes is what separates Christian theism from pandeism. ~ Bob Burridge, Theology Proper - Lesson 4: The Decrees of God (1997)[9]
  • I cringe at the thought that Raymond Damadian was refused his just honor because of his religious beliefs. Having silly ideas in one field is no good reason to deny merit for great ideas in another field. Apart from the fact that this time the Creation Scientists will think that there is good reason to think that they are the objects of unfair treatment at the hands of the scientific community. ~ Michael Ruse, at Talk Origins
  • "We share most of our DNA with chimpanzees, but nowhere in the genome have we found what it is that makes us so different from chimps,"
- James Le Fanu, medical doctor and journalist, author of "Why Us? How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves" Timesonline.co.uk

Attributed

  • "To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today." -Isaac Asimov
  • "We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for awhile, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces." -Carl Sagan
  • "It is, for example, impossible for evolution to account for the fact than one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together."-Anthony Flew, Professor of Philosophy, former atheist, author, and debater
  • "Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it.… Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory." -Jimmy Swaggart
  • "We are convinced that masses of evidence render the application of the concept of evolution to man and other primates beyond serious dispute." -The Pontifical Academy of Sciences
  • "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture." -Pastor Ray Mummert, creationist/intelligent design proponent, March 2005
  • The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural 'constants' were off even slightly. You see, even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life -- almost contrived -- you might say a 'put-up job'. -Dr. Paul Davies (noted author and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Adelaide University)
  • "...how surprising it is that the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the universe should allow for the existence of beings who could observe it. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quantities had slightly different values." -Professor Steven Weinberg (Nobel Laureate in High Energy Physics [a field of science that deals with the very early universe], writing in the journal "Scientific American".)
  • "It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design." -Anthony Flew Professor of Philosophy, former atheist, author, and debater
  • "What turns a mere piece of matter from being mere matter into an animated being? What gives certain special physical patterns in the universe the mysterious privilege of feeling sensations and having experiences?" -D.R. Hofstadter
  • "The sacred myth of 'Creationism' and its ineffectually disguised equivalent 'Intelligent Design', are basically the pre-scientific modes of thinking of the limited and incurious who disdain the ability for critical inquiry and the life of the mind: it's integral to a culture that values superstition and dogmatism over learning." -The Times, Dec. 26, 2008 and Paul L. Buysrogge

Eastern thought

Hindu scriptures

Passage from the Creation Hymn in the Rig Veda (exact date of writing debated; around 3100-1500 BC).

  • "The non-existent was not; the existent was not at that time. The atmosphere was not nor the heavens which are beyond. What was concealed? Where? In whose protection? Was it water? An unfathomable abyss?
There was neither death nor immortality then. There was not distinction of day or night. That alone breathed windless by its own power. Other than that there was not anything else.
Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning. All this was an indistinguishable sea. That which becomes, that which was enveloped by the void, that alone was born through the power of heat.
Upon that desire arose in the beginning. This was the first discharge of thought. Sages discovered this link of the existent to the nonexistent, having searched in the heart with wisdom.
Their line [of vision] was extended across; what was below, what was above? There were impregnators, there were powers: inherent power below, impulses above.
Who knows truly? Who here will declare whence it arose, whence this creation? The gods are subsequent to the creation of this. Who, then, knows whence it has come into being?
Whence this creation has come into being; whether it was made or not; he in the highest heaven is its surveyor. Surely he knows, or perhaps he knows not."

See also

The following pages include extensive additional material on this subject:


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to creationist article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Noun

Singular
creationist

Plural
creationists

creationist (plural creationists)

  1. A supporter of creationism

Related terms

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