Simply stated, a creationist is one who rejects scientific explanations for the origin of life and the universe, preferring a hypothesis of supernatural creation by God. The majority of creationists in the United States are fundamentalist Christian Protestants, but there are creationists of other denominations as well.
There are many different varieties of creationists, some of which are the following:
- Flat-Earthers: The most extreme position on the creationist spectrum, flat-earthers insist on a word-for-word literal reading of the biblical book of Genesis or other scripture, leading them to believe that the earth is a flat plane covered by a domelike solid “firmament.” Though there are very few of them today, they still exist.
- Geocentrists: Another extreme position occupied by a small minority of creationists, geocentrists accept the sphericity of the Earth but believe that it occupies a fixed, motionless position in space, with the sun and the other planets orbiting around it – the pre-Galilean view, in other words.
- Young-Earth Creationists: The most popular and politically active faction of creationism today, young-earth creationists (or YECs for short) also occupy a very extreme position on the creationist spectrum. They accept a spherical Earth rotating around the sun, but read the rest of the Book of Genesis literally, resulting in a belief that the Earth, along with the rest of the universe, was supernaturally created by God in six 24-hour days approximately 6000 years ago. Typically they also believe that the fall from Eden and Noah’s global flood were real, historical events, and that any evolution occurring today is nothing more than the result of degenerative mutations occurring as a consequence of sin.
- Old-Earth Creationists: Old-earth creationists typically accept the scientific consensus for the age of the Earth and the universe, but reject evolution as YECs do, believing that life was the special creation of God. How they harmonize this belief with the Genesis account varies, though OECs frequently also take the position that the Noachian flood was a local event, not a global one.
- Day/Age Creationists: A form of old-earth creationism, Day/Age creationists believe that each of the six days of creation in the Book of Genesis represents a period of thousands or millions of years.
- Gap Creationists: Also a form of old-earth creationism, gap creationists believe that there was a long time lapse between the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis, with a six-day recreation of the world occurring after the gap.
- Progressive Creationists: Another form of old-earth creationism and a more liberal position on the creationist spectrum, progressive creationists accept that both the Earth and life are ancient. However, they hold that there were several independent, sequential creation events, with new life forms being brought into being consistent with the order seen in the fossil record. Many of history’s great geologists who lived prior to Darwin were progressive creationists.
- Intelligent Design Creationists: Employing a modern version of an old creationist argument, intelligent design creationists (IDers for short) hold that evidence of God’s design can be seen in the complexity of life and the “fine-tuning” of physical constants of the universe to support life. Typically, IDers believe that ordinary evolutionary explanations break down at some level, leaving supernatural intervention as the only plausible explanation for the complexity and information content of living organisms. IDers vary on how much of evolutionary theory they accept; some are young-earth creationists, while others accept common descent of all living things.
It is important to note that creationism in all its forms is invariably a religious position. While most creationists freely admit this, some strenuously deny it, especially advocates of intelligent design, who take great pains to avoid mentioning just who they think the “Intelligent Designer” might be; but in the end, the tenets of creationism invariably arise from religious scripture.
Creationism was the default hypothesis before Charles Darwin’s day, but when the theory of evolution was proposed, its superior evidentiary support and explanatory power led it to quickly win scientists over and dominate the field of biology. Contrary to creationist assertions, today there is no serious scientific debate between evolution and creationism. That debate happened during Darwin’s lifetime, and creationism lost.
However, the creationists have never been prepared to take defeat lying down. The past few decades have seen a resurgence of this movement in America, with creationist groups attempting to bypass the scientific community entirely and insert their beliefs directly into the public school system through political action. Several legal cases of this kind have played out in recent years, but the creationists have invariably met defeat in the courts, which have consistently ruled that creationism is a religious position and laws forcing it to be taught constitute a breach of the separation of church and state. (This explains why creationists today sometimes try to disguise their true motives and claim creationism is a scientific and not a religious position; it is another attempt to get past the courts.) However, the fight is ongoing.
This page was founded with the intent of serving as another volley in the battle. It is the opinion of the author that creationism is completely lacking in any scientific validity, and it is the author’s hope that he may convince other people of this by exposing them to the evidence and arguments that first convinced him.