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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.
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.
The word "baramin" was coined in 1941 by Frank Marsh. Marsh never clearly defined the word and used it interchangeably in his writings with the word "kind", in reference to the phrase "after its kind" found repeatedly in Genesis. Marsh's interpretation of Genesis was that each kind or baramin had been directly created by God and that only members of the same kind could reproduce, with their offspring also being members of the same kind.
Marsh also originated "discontinuity systematics", the idea that there are boundaries between different animals that cannot be crossed with the consequence that there would be discontinuities in the history of life and limits to common ancestry.
In 1990, Kurt Wise introduced baraminology as an adaptation of discontinuity systematics, particularly the concurrent work of Walter ReMine, that was more in keeping with young Earth creationism. Wise advocated using the Bible as a source of systematic data. Barminology and its associated concepts have been criticised by scientists and creationists for lacking formal structure. Consequently, in 2003 Wise and other creationists proposed a refined baramin concept in the hope of developing a broader creationist model of biology.
Alan Gishlick, reviewing the work of baraminologists in 2006, found it to be surprisingly rigorous and internally consistent but concluded that the methods did not work.
ReMine's discontinuity systematics 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.
- Wood TC et al. (2003). "A Refined Baramin Concept". Occasional Papers of the Baraminology Study Group 3: 1–14.
- 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.
- Gishlick, Alan (2006). "Baraminology". Reports of the National Center for Science Education 26 (4): 17–21.
- 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.
- 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"