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Baraminology is a creationist taxonomic system that classifies animals into groups called "created kinds" or "baramins" (pronounced with accent on second syllable) according to the account of creation in the book of Genesis and other parts of the Bible. Its proponents claim that kinds cannot interbreed and have no evolutionary relationship to one another.
Proponents of this classification reject the concept of common descent and that of accepted biological classification despite the observation that distinct kingdom, phylum/division, class, order, family, genus, and species of organisms share unique DNA identifiers indicating a past genetic relationship in the form of a single population of shared ancestors as the only viable way such groups could share these markers. Those identifiers might include for example retro-virus DNA insertions between humans and chimpanzees indicating additional DNA was inserted by the assimilation of the DNA of endogenous retroviruses 'before' a speciation event between these two organisms at some distant point in their ancestral line.
Baraminology developed as a subfield of creation science in the 1990s among creationists that included Walter ReMine and Kurt Wise. Creation science is considered to be pseudoscience by the scientific community, which accepts the evidence for the common ancestry of all life on Earth.
Interpretations of Biblical kinds
The Bible mentions kinds in several passages. Genesis 1:24–25 gives an account of the creation of living things:
24: And God said: 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind. ' And it was so. 25: And God made the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
Genesis 7:13–16 states that the cattle are a kind. In Deuteronomy 14:11–18 the owl, raven, and hawk are presented as distinct kinds. Apart from what is implied by these passages, the Bible does not specify what a kind is.
Modern versions of the Old Testament are translations of the Biblical Hebrew text. The Hebrew word מִין min is used exclusively in a set phrase of the form לְ l+מִין min+possessive pronoun suffix, which is translated as after their/his/her kind. Several other words are translated into English with the word kind, including the Leviticus 19:19 usage: כִלְאַיֶם kila'im. The word min is never used in relation to humans, but the Greek word γένος genos is used in 2 Maccabees 7:28 "... and so was mankind made likewise". The fact that kind is used in this set phrase, among other reasons, has led to the hypothesis that it is not a referential noun in Biblical Hebrew, but derived from לְמִינֶה l'mineh = of him/herself, of themselves.
One literal creationist interpretation of the Bible is that each kind was brought into direct physical existence by God and that consequently each original animal had no ancestry, common or otherwise. Baraminology emerged from an effort by young Earth creationists to make this interpretation scientifically appealing to those with a limited or misinformed understanding of how genetic diversity occurs. The idea of a baramin was proposed in 1941 by Frank Marsh, but was criticized for a lack of formal definition. In 1990 Kurt Wise and Walter ReMine introduced baraminology in pursuit of acceptable criteria for membership in a baramin.
ReMine's work specified four groupings: holobaramins, monobaramins, apobaramins, and polybaramins. These are, respectively, all things of one kind; some things of the same kind; groups of kinds; and any mixed grouping of things. These groups correspond to the concepts of holophyly, monophyly, paraphyly, and polyphyly used in cladistics.
Some advocates believe that major differences in the appearance and behavior of two organisms indicates lack of common ancestry. Others point to inter-fertility capability as a possible indicator. In all cases, methods found to place humans and other primates into the same baramin have been discarded.
Baraminologist Roger W. Sanders advocates a subjective approach to classification over a measurement-based one:
|“||The cognita are not based on explicit or implicit comparisons of characters or biometric distance measures but on the gestalt of the plants and the classification response it elicits in humans.||”|
Baraminology has been heavily criticized for its lack of rigorous testing and for post-study rejection of data not supporting desired findings. Universal common descent, which states that all life shares a common ancestor, is well-established and tested, and so this scientific theory is commonly described by biologists as the fact of evolution. However neither cladistics, the field devoted to classifying living things according to the ancestral relationships between them, nor the scientific consensus on transitional fossils are accepted by baraminologists.
Despite voluminous evidence for evolution at above and below the species level (population variation within one species and between one generation and another), baraminologists reject universal common descent and the emergence of new families and higher taxa.
- Wood, Wise, Sanders, and Doran, A Refined Baramin Concept
- The National Academies (1999). "Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition". National Academy Press. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved December 7, 2008. "creation science is in fact not science and should not be presented as such in science classes."
- "Evolution". "the NAS states unequivocally that creationism has no place in any science curriculum at any level."
- "Statements from Scientific and Scholarly Organizations.". National Center for Science Education. Retrieved April 1, 2008.
- Williams, J. D. (2007). "Creationist Teaching in School Science: A UK Perspective". Evolution: Education and Outreach 1 (1): 87–88. doi:10.1007/s12052-007-0006-7.
- Clines, David J. A. (2001). "מִין min". The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew 5. Sheffield Academic Press. p. 262. ISBN 1-84127-217-5.
- page 262 in "Studies in the Bible" by Chaim Rabin = Rabin, Chaim (1961). "Etymological Miscellanea". Scripta Hierosolymitana: Publications of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (Jerusalem: Magnes Press) 8: 384–400.
- Mark D. Futato (1997). "#מִין min". In Willem A. VanGemeren, ed. New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis 2. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House. pp. 934–935. ISBN 0-310-20217-5.
- Wood TC et al. (2003). "A Refined Baramin Concept". Occasional Papers of the Baraminology Study Group 3: 1–14.
- Frair, Wayne (2000). "Baraminology—Classification of Created Organisms". Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal 37 (2): 82–91. Archived from the original on 2003–06–18.
- Gishlick, Alan (2006). "Baraminology". Reports of the National Center for Science Education 26 (4): 17–21.
- Marsh, Frank Lewis (1941). Fundamental Biology.
- Marsh, Frank Lewis (1944). Evolution, Creation, and Science.
- Payne, J. Barton (1958). "The Concept of "Kinds" In Scripture". Journal of the American Science Affiliation 10 (2 (December 1958)): 17–20. Retrieved 2007–11–26. [Note this version appears to have been OCR-scanned without proofreading]
- Cracraft, Joel (1984). "Systematics, Comparative Biology, and the Case Against Creationism". In Godfrey, Laurie R. Scientists Confront Creationism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393301540.
- Wood, Todd Charles (2006). "The Current Status of Baraminology". Creation Research Science Quarterly 43 (3): 149–158.
- Don Batten, Ph.D, ed. (2004). "Chapter 7". The Revised and Expanded Answers Book. ISBN 0-89051-161-6.
- "About Us: Taxonomic Concepts and Methods". Baraminology Study Group. Retrieved December 7, 2008.
- Robinson; Cavanaugh. A Quantitative Approach to Baraminology With Examples from the Catarrhine Primates. "...We have found that baraminic distances based on hemoglobin amino acid sequences, 12S-rRNA sequences, and chromosomal data were largely ineffective for identifying the Human holobaramin. Baraminic distances based on ecological and morphological characters, however, were quite reliable for distinguishing humans from nonhuman primates"
- "A Review of Friar, W. (2000): Baraminology – Classification of Created Organisms".
- Sanders, Roger W. "A Quick Method for Developing a Cognitum System Exemplified Using Flowering Plants" (12.2MB PDF). Occas. Papers of the BSG (16): 1–63.
- See also the last two sentences of the abstract of Robinson and Cavanaugh,"A Quantitative Approach to Baraminology With Examples from the Catarrhine Primates".
- Theobald, Douglas (2007). "29+ Evidences for Macroevolution". TalkOrigins.
- "About the BSG: Taxonomic Concepts and Methods". Baraminology Study Group. Retrieved December 7, 2008. "The mere assumption that the transformation had to occur because cladistic analysis places it at a hypothetical ancestral node does not constitute empirical evidence, and A good example is Archaeopteryx, which likely represents its own unique baramin, distinct from both dinosaurs and modern birds"