Portal:History of science/Article/22

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The creation–evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) is a recurring dispute in the popular arena about the origins of the Earth, humanity, life, and the universe. The debate is most prevalent and visible in certain regions of the United States, where it is often portrayed in the mass media in the broader context of the culture wars or a supposed dispute between religion and science. The main opposing positions are held by those who espouse the validity and superiority of a particular creation myth and those who support naturalistic or scientific accounts provided by astrophysics, geology and biology. Despite the controversy, many people believe that scientific ideas, including biological evolution, need not contradict their personal religious beliefs.

The conflict centers primarily on the defensibility of creationism (especially the forms of creationism derived from fundamentalist or religiously conservative Abrahamic accounts of origins), a view that regards scientific explanations of origins as antithetical to divine creation, and often, more specifically, Creation according to Genesis. The key contention of such creationists is that only a supernatural miracle and not "unguided evolution" can account for origins. This view is overwhelmingly rejected by the scientific community and academia, who point to the strong correspondence of reality with the theory, and how, as in the title of a famous essay by Theodosius Dobzhansky, Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution.

Evolution is often expanded by creationists to include such things as the Big Bang Theory, abiogenesis, and the formation of stars, however, although the word evolution is used as part of several astronomical terms such as stellar evolution, none of these are implied by the term evolution alone. Which specific scientific ideas conflict with their concept of creationism, and would therefore comprise "evolution", can vary from creationist to creationist.