Portal:Creationism

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Introduction

Creationism is the religious belief that the universe and life originated "from specific acts of divine creation", as opposed to the scientific conclusion that they came about through natural processes. Creationism covers a spectrum of views including evolutionary creationism, a theological variant of theistic evolution which asserts that both evolutionary science and a belief in creation are true, but the term is commonly used for literal creationists who reject various aspects of science, and instead promote pseudoscientific beliefs.

Literal creationists base their beliefs on a fundamentalist reading of religious texts, including the creation myths found in Genesis and the Quran. For young Earth creationists, these beliefs are based on a literalist interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative and rejection of the scientific theory of evolution. Literalist creationists believe that evolution cannot adequately account for the history, diversity, and complexity of life on Earth. Pseudoscientific branches of creationism include creation science, flood geology, and intelligent design, as well as subsets of pseudoarchaeology, pseudohistory, and pseudolinguistics.

The first use of the term "creationist" to describe a proponent of creationism is found in an 1856 letter of Charles Darwin describing those who objected on religious grounds to the then emerging science of evolution.

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Watchmaker analogy
Intelligent design (ID) is a form of creationism promulgated by the Discovery Institute. The Institute defines it as the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. It is a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God, presented by its advocates as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins" rather than "a religious-based idea". The leading proponents of intelligent design are associated with the Discovery Institute, a politically conservative think tank, and believe the designer to be the Christian deity.

The scientific community states unequivocally that intelligent design is not science; many scientists and at least one major organization of science teachers have also termed it pseudoscience and some have termed it junk science. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions, and propose no new hypotheses of their own. Intelligent design advocate Michael Behe has also testified, under oath, that there is no scientific evidence in support of the intelligent design hypothesis that has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Selected biography

Michael Behe
Michael J. Behe (born 1952) is an American biochemist, author, and intelligent design advocate. He currently serves as professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and as a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. Behe is best known for his argument for irreducible complexity, which asserts that some biochemical structures are too complex to be adequately explained by known evolutionary mechanisms and are therefore more probably the result of intelligent design. Behe has testified in several court cases related to intelligent design, including the court case Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District that resulted in a ruling that intelligent design was religious in nature.

Behe's claims about the irreducible complexity of key cellular structures are strongly contested by the scientific community, including the Department of Biological Sciences at his own Lehigh University. Likewise, his claims about intelligent design have been characterized as pseudoscience.

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Major topics

General Creationism | Creation myth | History of creationism | Creation according to Genesis | Allegorical interpretations of Genesis
Creation Ussher chronology | Adam and Eve | Omphalos hypothesis | Mosaic authorship of the Genesis | Documentary hypothesis | Creation myth | Great Flood | Confusion of tongues | Tower of Babel | Noah  | Anthropic principle  | Baraminology  | Flood geology
Types of creationism Creation science | Intelligent design | Islamic creationism | Modern geocentrism | Neo-creationism | Omphalos creationism | Old Earth creationism | Progressive creationism | Young Earth creationism 
Controversy Creation–evolution controversy | Creation and evolution in public education | Outline | Teach the Controversy | Kansas evolution hearings  | Edwards v. Aguillard  | Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
Bible Christianity | Exegesis | Genealogy | Great Flood | Jesus Christ | Judaism | Nephilim | Noah's Ark | Biblical inerrancy | Original sin | Theology | Tower of Babel 

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