Creationism is the position that the totality of the universe had its origin in the action of an uncreated being (a supernatural being, or creator). Creationism contrasts with the steady state theory of Uniformitarianism, the idea that the Universe has existed as it is now for an infinite time and will continue to exist for ever.
... something about the Big Bang might be appropriate here ...
The particular details of what was directly created, and in what order, vary from culture to culture according to their origin belief.
As applied to living things and the origin of life, creationism is the idea that God rapidly and independently formed every basic kind of animal, plant, and other living thing from inanimate materials. From then on, those creatures reproduce "after their own kind". This contrasts with spontaneous generation, the idea that living organisms are generated by decaying organic substances or other non-living matter. This also contrasts with exogenesis, the idea that the basic seeds of life came from somewhere off-planet, and gradually developed into forms adapted to Earth.
People who believe in creationism generally reject the idea that "humans are simply another kind of animal", and typically believe that humans are somehow superior to all other living things. Living things, including humans, are often called "creatures" by those who believe in creation.
People who believe in creationism generally also believe that the creator intended some particular purpose or destiny for mankind. See eschatology for details.
Under construction. Care to take a first crack at the rewrite? Rednblu 19:14 16 Jul 2003 (UTC)