Many of these questions arise on frequently on the talk page concerning Creationism.
To view an explanation to the answer, click the [show] link to the right of the question.
Q1: Should the article characterize creationism as a religious belief? (Yes.)
A1: Yes. Creationism is a religious belief; it is not a theory.
Q2: Should the article use the term myth? (Yes.)
A2: Yes. Myth as used in the context of the article means "a sacred narrative explaining how the world and mankind came to be in their present form." This terminology is extensively used in religion and comparative religion fields of study at the academic and scholarly levels, as well as in many of the reliable sources cited in the article. With this in mind, usage of the term is explicitly supported by WP:RNPOV and WP:WTA.
FAQ notes and references:
Creationism was one of the good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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IMPORTANT - If you wish to discuss or debate the validity of creationism please do so at talk.origins or Debatepedia. This "Discussion" page is only for discussion on how to improve the Wikipedia article. Any attempts at trolling, using this page as a soapbox, or making personal attacks may be deleted at any time.
In the opening sentence to the section Types of Creationism, I've changed "Creationism" to "Creationism (broadly construed)". This is because Theistic evolution no longer counts as Creationism, at least as this is now strictly (and I think correctly) defined in the lead.
I tried to make a minimal change without belaboring the point. (Peter Ells (talk) 16:19, 12 February 2014 (UTC))
I also have some issues with the first sentence defining creationism, similar to IRWolfie above. Particularly the last words "... in a single creation event." Are there any references for that definition with the "single event" distinction that includes all life? I understand that that definition probably covers many self-declared creationist viewpoints. But I wonder about what it excludes. For example, consider someone who believes that some god created the universe, when then unfolded through physical processes, including biogenesis and evolution. According to the "single event" and wording of the first sentence, that person would not be a "creationist", even though she believes that a supernatural being created the universe! (I know this is a contentious topic, and I don't mean to soapbox.) Perhaps my understanding of the term is incorrect, and my example should not be considered a creationist. Regardless, can we not find a WP:RS to cite for our definition? If I can find a candidate reference, does anyone reading have rights to edit the article? SemanticMantis (talk) 22:31, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
1) Generally speaking, for an example, the narrative described in the beginning of the Book of Genesis is thought to be "one single event," or at least, the part where God created the earth and Universe in the first day.
2) The idea that some god(s) created the universe, then unfolded everything through physical processes is "Theistic Evolutionism," and is considered very distinct from Creationism, especially since creationists often consider theistic evolutionists as being traitorous devilspawn as bad as, if not a thousand times worse than atheists.--Mr Fink (talk) 22:55, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying, User:Apokryltaros/Mr Fink. As I understand your point 1) though, even the Genesis story doesn't fit out exact definition, because (according to Genesis), the universe and living organisms were created in separate events (i.e. different "days")!
A related inquiry: I know that some (but not all) dictionaries put an emphasis on Genesis in the definition of creationism, too the point of making it a sine qua non. Does that not seem too limiting? E.g. If I believe in the Hindu (Norse, Shinto, etc) telling of creation, then I am not espousing creationism? I don't think I'm suffering from the etymological fallacy here, but I suppose that is a valid counterargument. Also, I guess that any -ism will have plenty of different opinions on how they should be defined. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:09, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
You're right, perhaps we should tweak the lede to "a single event or series of related events"?
As for your other inquiry, the article focuses primarily on the Genesis-based Creationism because it is the most prominent. Creationism as it is known today is the anti-science movement formulated and propagated by Christians, and Muslim Creationists crib/steal all of their arguments from Christian Creationists, and not the actual belief that the world/universe was created in a supernatural event or series of events: Mostly because most other recognized, organized religions either do not go out of their way to denounce the teaching of evolutionary biology, and other sciences that (potentially) conflict with their religious precepts, or they simply borrow/modify/steal the various anti-science arguments already put forth by Christian Creationists.--Mr Fink (talk) 16:51, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Uhhhh - what...? Creationism by definition IS the belief that God created the Universe the way it is now. I'm not sure where you are coming up with your POV that "as it is known today" has somehow changed the definition. Beyond that, claiming its an anti-science movement is clearly a biased non-NPOV on your part and clouds anything else you'd have to say on the subject.
Also the narrative in Genesis is NOT "one single event" - since we are clearly not narrowing our scope to the creation of the Universe on this page, everything else is created on different days/by different events. Besides, if we want to narrow our scope to "life was created by a single event by process that are extra-normal", this would by definition include all evolutionists since "no one" can tell us what sparked life from non-life... Ckruschke (talk) 20:59, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
So, if Creationism is not an anti-science movement even though its proponents are united in their hatred of Evolutionary Biology, and are well-documented in their unceasing efforts to sabotage science education in the US in order to teach religious propaganda in classrooms, can you explain how Creationism is not an anti-science movement, or do you just enjoy trying to attack me through character-assassination, false accusations and really crude attempts at poisoning the well fallacies?--Mr Fink (talk) 23:07, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Mr Fink - I was simply pointing out the incredible bias and opinion in your argument of which you are claiming as truth. This is not an attack - this is an observation that your truth is really opinion. One should assume good faith - as I continue to do so - and I apologize if my reply to you came off as harsh. I realize that this is a hot issue and everyone has firey opinions on the matter, but we can have an intellectual discussion w/o getting our backs up. Creationists are not "united in their hatred of Evolutionary Biology" any more than Evolutionists are "united in their hatred of Creation". Creationists do not AGREE with Evolutionary science - plain and simple. Its a fallacy that some anti-Creationists spread that Creationism is anti-science (or attempt to frame the argument as "Christians don't believe in Biology/Geology/insert your science here) all in an attempt to corner adherents of this theory in the box of being "knuckle-dragging troglodytes".
So what is science? The further exploration of science theory follows through prediction, observation, and repetition. If something happens that isn't predicted by your experiment, either you did it wrong or you have further investigation to perform in order to produce science that confirms (or ultimately refutes) your predictions. If something happens during your experiment that isn't observable, did it really happen? Early claims of cold fusion are a good example of this - falsifying observations - which is one of the reasons why the Large Hadron Collider devotes so much electronics and hardware to detectors - they want to make sure they observe and document their science. Finally if you cannot repeat your experiment with the same findings, again either you did something wrong or the one time you got observation A you did something different then when you got observation B. Again, this requires further research to figure out what happened. So lets break Creation/Evolution down to the lowest common denominator - how did life come from non-life? So if I make the prediction that life came from "a rock" and then despite 150 yrs of testing I was unable to observe through experiment life coming from "a rock", is this science or anti-science? How about if I predict that life was planted here from a comet - that's an actual, credible prediction - right? However, I have neither observed actual life on comets or even the building blocks of life (more than just an amalgamation of elements) - let alone repeat this event - again is this science or anti-science? What the evolutionary model is based on is an EXTRA-normal event - life from non-life - or in other words, a miracle. In the same vein, Creationism hinges on life from non-life through an extra-normal event - the miracle of God's creation. So which theory is more hinged on faith and science or anti-science? Ckruschke (talk) 18:45, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
Among other things, you are assuming that Creationism and Evolution(ary Biology) are equal, equivalent alternatives, which they are not, and you are also conflating Evolution(ary Biology) with Abiogenesis, which are, in fact, two different sciences. And having said that, if we are to assume that Creationism and Evolution are two equal, equivalent alternatives, where is all the research and peer-reviewed studies done in Creationism, and why are Creationists so reluctant to use Creationism as a science?--Mr Fink (talk) 00:04, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Life from a "rock" and anti-science are both straw man arguments. Regardless, this talk page is not the place for this type of discussion. Has the issue of the "single creation event" been addressed, or what references are available and how should we proceed if a change is in order? Rmosler | ● 01:53, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Before this thread was derailed, I was going to suggest changing the lede from "single event" to "events" or "series of events"--Mr Fink (talk) 02:36, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
I guess since you want to split hairs rather than respond to my point on the "creation of life" event, since Evolution clearly hinges on Abiogenisis and is germain to this Creation page, we'll have to agree to disagree and an actual dialogue can be saved for a future time. Ckruschke (talk) 17:02, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
Except that the reason why I'm not addressing your alleged point on Evolution allegedly hinging on Abiogenesis is that you don't actually need to go through explaining how life first began 4.75 billion years ago in order to study lineages of trilobites, fishes, or orchids, nor do you even need to go through explaining how life first began 4.75 billion years to study the mechanics of how "descent with modification" occurs. I would ask "how is the topic of the Primordial Soup directly germane to studying the lineage of the "Dusty Miller" Phalaenopsis orchids, but, it's my personal experience with you that you automatically dismiss literally everything I say, using false accusations, character assassinations and poisoning the well fallacies as justification.--Mr Fink (talk) 17:23, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
That being said, I agree that we are way off point so please feel free to "re-rail", Mr Fink. Your suggestion sounds good to me. Ckruschke (talk) 17:02, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ Here is the first sentence as it currently stands: "Creationism is the belief that the universe and living organisms originate from specific acts of divine creation, as in the biblical account, rather than by natural processes such as evolution."
I have a few suggestions: (1) Replace ", as in the biblical account," with ", such as in a literal reading of Genesis,". My reason for this is that the lead sentence should be merely mention a certain 'brand' of Christianity as a notable example. (2) Keeping 'specific acts' as plural is good because Creationism then includes Intelligent Design. (3) My preference would be to leave 'the universe' out of the initial sentence because the coming into being of the universe is a metaphysical rather than scientific question. Having said all this, my intention is to leave making changes to other people. (Peter Ells (talk) 21:42, 25 February 2014 (UTC))
Peter Ells - I agree completely with your comments up to the "universe" word. Creationary/Biblical belief is that God also created the Universe early in the creation week while there are two theories that Cosmologists propose about this event - either the universe had a specific start point (all matter was created in one event) or the universe continues to expand and contract for enternity and thus the single event that created it is somewhat "unimportant". These two theories are divided by our understanding of the total mass of the universe and whether it will continue to expand w/o end or whether it will reach a critical diameter before re-contracting. So this "can be" a metaphysical discussion, but is not for 100's of Astronomers/Cosmologists who are attempting to "push back" and understand the early phase of the Universe. Probably splitting hairs (again), but I think the word should say. Ckruschke (talk) 17:22, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
Dear Ckruschke - I tried to justify omitting the word 'universe', which I still mildly prefer, but could not do so without writing a long, technical screed. Since we are discussing a brief opening sentence, I am happy to let the word stay. (Peter Ells (talk) 23:12, 26 February 2014 (UTC))
Sounds good. Wasn't trying to be obtuse. Ckruschke (talk) 19:08, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke
I've made the small change to the opening sentence, as discussed between Ckruschke and myself. I went ahead as no-one commented on our discussion. (Peter Ells (talk) 23:48, 1 March 2014 (UTC))
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
why does at the top of the article that Creation science is pseudoscience? why isn't evolution called pseudoscience?The K (talk) 22:08, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Please read the articles on science and also on pseudoscience. If you then have any questions, I am more then willing to answer them on my talkpage. As this talk page is here to improve the article not to discuss the if creationism is pseudoscience yes or no. NathanWubs (talk) 22:25, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
"Creation science" is a pseudoscience because no one has ever demonstrated how to use it as a science, nor how to use it to do science. Evolution is not a pseudoscience because it is a biological phenomenon, and people use the science of Evolutionary Biology to describe how and why evolution occurs. So, unless until you can provide reputable sources that support your claim that "evolution (is) called pseudoscience," or provide reputable sources that explain and demonstrate how Creation science is "science," as Nathan pointed out, please use the talkpage to discuss how to improve the article, and not to whine about how the article is not a pro-Creationism propaganda fluff piece.--Mr Fink (talk) 23:40, 10 April 2014 (UTC)|}
This is going the wrong way, the same regarding Creation science, the same regarding Intelligent design. You can tag one "discipline" as pseudoscience, this, is loosing credibility where it concern philosophies and systems. "Pseudoscientific" could be accurate, not "pseudoscience". Further, that bias is all over the articles. Pseudosciences are systems that have their niche. Here it is absolutely not the case. --Askedonty (talk) 17:56, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
It's important to always distinguish between 'the theory of evolution' and 'Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection'. The two are not the same thing. The theory of evolution pre-dates Darwin and is essentially regarded as 'proven fact' in scientific circles. Darwin's theory is about the mechanism of evolution not about evolution itself: there remains some debate within the scientific community about the role of natural selection . Cassandra. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 07:59, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Ok. So what is your suggested edit to the page? Ckruschke (talk) 19:15, 17 June 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke