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Baraminology is a creationist system that classifies animals into groups called "created kinds" or "baramin" according to the account of creation in the book of Genesis and other parts of the Bible. It claims that kinds cannot interbreed, and have no evolutionary relationship to one another. Creation science has been criticized for its pseudoscientific characteristics by the US National Academy of Science and numerous other scientific and scholarly organizations.
The term was devised in 1990 by Kurt P. Wise, based on Frank Lewis Marsh's 1941 coinage of the term "baramin" from the Hebrew words bara (create) and min (kind). The combination is not meaningful in Hebrew. It is intended to represent the different kinds described in the Bible, and especially in the Genesis descriptions of the Creation and Noah's Ark, and the Leviticus and Deuteronomy division between clean and unclean.
Baraminology borrowed its key terminology, and much of its methodology from the field of Discontinuity Systematics founded by Walter ReMine in 1990.
Distinction of created kinds
The question of determining the boundaries between baramin is a subject of much discussion and debate among creationists. A number of criteria have been presented.
Early efforts at demarcation
The concept of the "kind" or "baramin" originates from a reinterpretation of Genesis 1:12-24:
|“||And God said, let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind … And God created great whales and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind … And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind, and it was so.||”|
The traditional criterion for membership in a baramin was the ability to hybridize and create viable offspring. Frank Lewis Marsh coined the term baramin in his book Fundamental Biology (1941) and expanded on the concept in Evolution, Creation, and Science (c. 1944), in which he asserted that hybridization was a sufficient condition for being members of the same baramin. However, he asserted that it was not a necessary condition, as observed speciation events among drosophila had been shown to cut off hybridization.
There is some uncertainty about what exactly the Bible means when it talks of "kinds." Creationist Brian Nelson claimed "While the Bible allows that new varieties may have arisen since the creative days, it denies that any new species have arisen." However, Russell Mixter, another creationist writer, said that "One should not insist that "kind" means species. The word "kind" as used in the Bible may apply to any animal which may be distinguished in any way from another, or it may be applied to a large group of species distinguishable from another group ... there is plenty of room for differences of opinion on what are the kinds of Genesis."
In 1990 (and again in 1993), Walter ReMine proposed various criteria that he said were each sufficient by themselves to establish continuity between any two organisms. His criteria include (a) the ability to interbreed the two organisms, or (b) the ability to experimentally demonstrate comparable biological transformation in living organisms today, or (c) a clear-cut lineage between the two organisms. These criteria can be used in various combinations, among various organisms, to establish greater and greater continuity. He argued that the failure of all these methods is required in order to establish discontinuity.
Baraminology has been heavily criticized for its lack of rigorous tests, and post-study rejection of data to make it better fit the desired findings. Baraminology has not produced any peer-reviewed scientific research, nor is any word beginning with "baramin" found in Biological Abstracts, which has complete coverage of zoology and botany since 1924.
In contrast, universal common descent is a well-established and tested scientific theory. However, both cladistics (the field devoted to classifying living things according to the ancestral relationships between them) and the scientific consensus on transitional fossils are rejected by baraminologists.
- 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.
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.
- Payne, J. Barton (1958). "The Concept of "Kinds" In Scyipture". Journal of the American Science Affiliation 10 (December 1958): 17–20. Retrieved 2007-11-26. [Note this version appears to have been OCR-scanned without proofreading]
- "A Review of Friar, W. (2000): Baraminology - Classification of Created Organism". Archived from the original on 2007-04-22.
- An exhaustive search of the largest scientific publication database using the keyword Baraminology producees zero results
- February 2007 search of Biological Abstracts.
- Theobald, Douglas, 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution
- About the BSG: Taxonomic Concepts and Methods. Phrases to note are: "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."
- Phil Senter (2010). "Using creation science to demonstrate evolution: application of a creationist method for visualizing gaps in the fossil record to a phylogenetic study of coelurosaurian dinosaurs". Journal of Evolutionary Biology.
- Phil Senter (2010). "Using creation science to demonstrate evolution 2: morphological continuity within Dinosauria". Journal of Evolutionary Biology.
- Todd Charles Wood (2010). "Using creation science to demonstrate evolution? Senter’s strategy revisited". Journal of Evolutionary Biology.
- A Review of Friar, W. (2000): Baraminology - Classification of Created Organisms. (Thomas, August 2006)
- Friar, Wayne (Sep 2000), "Baraminology–Classification of Created Organisms", Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal 37 (2): 82–91, retrieved 2007-07-18
- About the BSG: Taxonomic Concepts and Methods
- Ligers and wholphins? What next? Crazy mixed-up animals … what do they tell us? They seem to defy man-made classification systems — but what about the created ‘kinds’ in Genesis?, Don Batten, Creation ex nihilo, 22(3):28–33, June 2000
- Gishlick, Alan, Baraminology: Systematic Discontinuity in Discontinuity Systematics, National Center for Science Education, retrieved 2007-07-18