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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Many of these questions arise on frequently on the talk page concerning Creationism.

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FAQ notes and references:

Former good articleCreationism 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.
Article milestones
January 22, 2006Good article nomineeListed
September 29, 2006Good article reassessmentDelisted
Current status: Delisted good article
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Creationism:

  • Add section on the differences/similarities/conflict between Intelligent Design and Creationism.
  • Add section on the beliefs creationists have on what the mainstream fields of science have to say on the origins of life and the universe.
Priority 2
Arbitration Committee Decisions on Pseudoscience

The Arbitration Committee has issued several principles which may be helpful to editors of this and other articles when dealing with subjects and categories related to "pseudoscience".

Four groups

IMPORTANT - If you wish to discuss or debate the validity of creationism please do so at 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.

Merriam-Webster definition of "mankind"[edit]

Merriam-Webster also has a definition of "mankind" that actually refers only to men.[1] Thinker78 (talk) 19:08, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

I'm sympathetic to your viewpoint Thinker78, but this isn't the place for that conversation - there's no impetus to return to 'mankind' here, we're good to stick with humans (or humanity, although personally I prefer humans for this page). This page is just for improving this article - the discussion of whether mankind is an appropriate word to use is happening over at the WP:MOS talk page.Girth Summit (talk) 20:59, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
I disagree with you, I think you didn't see the context. An editor posted in an edit summary in this article's page about Merriam-Webster, so this is relevant to this page specifically, that's why I posted it here. Thinker78 (talk) 21:10, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
Apologies - I'd forgotten about that. That was Mandruss - he's already accepted that 'humans' is a better word to use here; hopefully it's settled now, but I can see why you mentioned it.Girth Summit (talk) 21:27, 1 July 2018 (UTC)


King James Version?[edit]

Why does this article use the King James version of the Bible? KJV is not an authentic translation from the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts. It was directed by King James to make Christianity compatible with his non-Christian lifestyle (for example in the deliberate misinterpretation of baptism to make it compatible with the fact that King James was never properly baptized by immersion). The English Standard Version is a more authentic and recent translation based on newer information and is designed to remain true to the original languages of the Bible. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:58, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

That post is full of claims that demand reliable, independent sources. HiLo48 (talk) 11:01, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I assume you mean Genesis 1:1–2 and the like. Probably because the editors who inserted them thought it was a good idea/good as any. If you want to exchange them for New Revised Standard Version or whatever (see Template:Bibleverse), you can WP:BOLDLY do so. If someone reverts you, discuss per Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle.
If anyone knows a policy/guideline/etc for bibleverses, that could be helpful. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 12:18, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Where does this article use the Jim VI & I version? Looks like a false premise – there are references to other versions or glosses on the Bible; YEC refers to the Ussher chronology which postdates Jim by 25 years, OEC refers to the Scofield Reference Bible which expands on Jim's version. Both are specifically relevant to the topic. The #Religious views section implies reference to earlier versions, as used by the Church Fathers. . . dave souza, talk 16:56, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
"This version of creationism relies on a particular interpretation of Genesis 1:1–2." may be the only place, but at least once. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:21, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Ah, a missing link! That explains it – if you click on the link it get you, not James VI and I's s:Bible (King James Version, 1611)/Genesis, but s:Bible (King James)/Genesis of 1769, much modified by Benjamin Blayney, so in terms of monarchs it's actually the George III of the United Kingdom version (think that chap had some influence on colonials across the pond). Spot the difference: the KGIII version has a wee addition top right starting with "Year before the common Year of CHRIST 4004" – the classic YEC chronology as introduced by the Ussher chronology 25 years after Jim VI & ! had pegged it. . . . dave souza, talk 18:52, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

For what its worth, our article on the King James Version does give information on some royal biases and interference in this translation. "Instructions were given to the translators that were intended to limit the Puritan influence on this new translation. The Bishop of London added a qualification that the translators would add no marginal notes (which had been an issue in the Geneva Bible). King James cited two passages in the Geneva translation where he found the marginal notes offensive to the principles of divinely ordained royal supremacy : Exodus 1:19, where the Geneva Bible notes had commended the example of civil disobedience to the Egyptian Pharaoh showed by the Hebrew midwives, and also II Chronicles 15:16, where the Geneva Bible had criticized King Asa for not having executed his idolatrous 'mother', Queen Maachah (Maachah had actually been Asa's grandmother, but James considered the Geneva Bible reference as sanctioning the execution of his own mother Mary, Queen of Scots). Further, the King gave the translators instructions designed to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology of the Church of England. Certain Greek and Hebrew words were to be translated in a manner that reflected the traditional usage of the church. For example, old ecclesiastical words such as the word "church" were to be retained and not to be translated as "congregation".The new translation would reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and traditional beliefs about ordained clergy."

As for the source texts used, the translators of the Old Testament mostly used the Hebrew Rabbinic Bible of Daniel Bomberg as a guide, with some modifications to conform to the Septuagint and the Vulgate. They consulted both the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint. Dimadick (talk) 14:54, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

As discussed above, the crucial reason for referring to the greatly modified s:Bible (King James)/Genesis of 1769 was that it added "Year before the common Year of CHRIST 4004" and each chapter showed the Ussher chronology which wasn't in the original s:Bible (King James Version, 1611)/Genesis, and doesn't appear in newer translations. See s:Talk:Bible (King James) for discussion of how the [[Benjamin Blayney[[ edition became, by the 19th century, the standard Bible text for English-speaking Protestants whether inside or outside the Anglican tradition. . . . . dave souza, talk 19:03, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Extent of note[edit]

According to WikiPedia, Creation Science has branched "worldwide", and therefore the note that "Creation science refers to the pseudoscientific movement in the United States" should be truncated (i.e. remove "in the United States") in order to be more accurate.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:31, 31 July 2018‎ (UTC)

No. Learn to sign your posts. -Roxy, the dog. barcus 14:34, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

The first sentence is an incorrect citation and seems to be plainly false[edit]

Creationism is the religious belief that the universe and life originated "from specific acts of divine creation",[1][2] as opposed to the scientific conclusion that they came about through natural processes.[3]

[3]"creationism: definition of creationism in Oxford dictionary (American English) (US)". Oxford Dictionaries (Definition). Oxford: Oxford University Press. OCLC 656668849. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 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.

The Oxford Dictionaries only cites evolution as an example. Evolution by itself doesn't not explain the origin of life and even less the origin of the universe. While evolution is a consensus or a fact in the scientific community, I don't think there exists any "scientific conclusion" about the origin of the universe or life. In addition, using "as opposed" instead of "rather than" might not be a correct since it implicates that there is an "opposition" between religion and science, and from what I understand these 2 notions in general aren't "opposed" but refer to different subjects.

My suggestion would be to use the Oxford definition for the end of the sentence, if it is possible: Creationism is the religious belief that the universe and life originated "from specific acts of divine creation",[1][2] rather than by natural processes such as evolution.[3] Garyfr (talk) 23:20, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

  • I disagree, seems fine to me. -Roxy, in the middle. wooF 08:11, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Agree with Roxy the dog - our opening sentence is fine. GirthSummit (blether) 08:20, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Garyfr. I think your argument is a bit of a straw man. The current text just says natural processes, it does not elaborate on them and certainly does not delve into any "scientific conclusion" about the origin of the universe or life. This is the lead and the issue of non-overlapping megesteria is dealt with in the section on scientific criticism, where it belongs. - Nick Thorne talk 10:10, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
    • The current text is "the scientific conclusion that they [the universe and life] came about through natural processes". That's an incorrect sentence IMO and that's why no professional or scientific publication will state this. Garyfr (talk) 12:32, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I think that Garyfr makes an interesting argument. There really is an invalid citation here, I think. Is there really a 'scientific conclusion' that the universe and life originated through natural processes? Citation? There's definitely a lot of speculation in that area, but as far as I remember, there is no information about what happened at the 'moment' of the Big Bang or the 'moment' of abiogensis; therefore there is no scientific conclusion that there was definitely a natural process involved at those 'moments'- only speculation (however valid). Creationism directly and specifically addresses those 'moments'. I would say "Creationism is the religious belief that the universe and life originated "from specific acts of divine creation",[1][2] rather than by natural processes.[3]" (I would omit mention of evolution in the first sentence because, in context, the Oxford American dictionary is just trying to give readers a one sentence summary with a pertinent example, whereas Wikipedia is giving readers a general introduction to the topic that is then immediately followed by detailed description of the multifaceted conflicts between Creationism and various academic disciplines in the following sentences and paragraphs.) I will not participate in any further discussion or editing on this topic so as to avoid being drawn into any editing wars. Geographyinitiative (talk) 10:16, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
My only response to this is that this is a classic god if the gaps argument and just because science cannot at this moment explain everything about the big bang and abiogenesis it does not rule out natural processes. In light of the lack of evidence for any unnatural processes I am comfortable with the status quo on the first paragraph. The Royal Society statement on evolution, creationism and intelligent design, which is used as a reference in the scientific criticism section, seems entirely apropos. - Nick Thorne talk 10:35, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for your response. I think I know where you are coming from. I'm not saying that the process was either supernatural or natural or anything: I'm saying that there is definitely no scientific conclusion about the origin of the universe and the origin of living organisms: we technically don't even know whether or not these origins were the result of a "natural process". I'm not trying to put any gods in the gaps, I'm just saying that there is a kind of a gap there as in: no information. No information; no scientific conclusion. We can't put "scientific conclusion of natural processes" in the gap there. It's just a gap- call it a 'gap of the unknown'. (I am currently not able to access the page you cited) Geographyinitiative (talk) 11:58, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Geographyinitiative, the question is not what we believe about origin of universe or life. Stating that scientifics have concluded anything about those, especially origin of universe, is a disservice to this page. Also evolution is not about the origin of life, evolution starts when life already exists. Garyfr (talk) 12:32, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I got the flame war going, but I am not going to write any more on this page. I am not going to look at this page again for a while. Good luck! Geographyinitiative (talk) 12:42, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
It doesn't matter whether two or even two hundred creationists agree with each other that this article is wrong. What matters is that the RSes are in agreement, and that our article reflects the RSes. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:51, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Which creationists are you talking about? I understand why Geographyinitiative wants to stay out of this talk and I will be happy to do the same. Garyfr (talk) 13:00, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
You and Geographyinitiative. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:08, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Defamation is nothing to be proud of.Garyfr (talk) 13:13, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
LOL That's adorable. If you honestly thought that being called a creationist was "defamation", you never would have started this thread. And you'd also be completely ignorant of what "defamation" is. Of course, that last situation applies even if you don't honestly believe this. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:30, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Two points: the range of beliefs in the creation–evolution continuum which come under "creationism" all feature opposition to scientific explanations; views in agreement with science (from theistic evolution to agnosticism and materialist explanations) don't come under the modern label of creationism, though TE at one time may have claimed that label.
    Point 2: the wording of "the scientific conclusion that they came about through natural processes" is wrong in implying a scientific "conclusion" about abiogenesis or origins of the universe; inherently science seeks natural explanations, without concluding whether or not there is a TE "creator". Suggest "Creationism is the religious belief that the universe and life originated "from specific acts of divine creation",[1][2] as opposed to scientific explanations of features as the result of natural processes." Agree that a better source is needed for this point, should be covered by some of the sources in the article. . . dave souza, talk 17:05, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Point 2: the wording of "the scientific conclusion that they came about through natural processes" is wrong in implying a scientific "conclusion" about abiogenesis or origins of the universe; Science has, in fact, long since concluded that abiogenesis and the origin of the universe came about through natural processes. The reason people keep mentioning the "god of the gaps" argument in this thread is because that is exactly what claims like this are doing: Science presupposes that "natural processes" can explain literally everything. To say that science doesn't insist that the universe came about through natural processes is to display ignorance about science. Just because science hasn't documented the specific natural process that gave rise to the universe or life doesn't mean that science in any way countenances any non-natural explanations for them. That is not how science works. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:14, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
See methodological naturalism – science has no use for supernatural explanations. Lack of conclusions about how abiogenesis works don't imply any position on the supernatural, other than the ground rule that it isn't science. . . dave souza, talk 20:43, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
The universe and life are natural phenomenon. Hence, they must have natural origins, according to the scientific method. This is epistemology 101 stuff. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:24, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • A Primer on Science, Religion, Evolution and Creationism --Moxy (talk) 01:07, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
  • This sounds like the "god of the gaps" argument. It is not really valid here, the lede summarises the subject at a high level and this is indeed an accurate and neutral summary. Science does not invoke supernatural explanations, pretty much by definition. Guy (Help!) 12:49, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

Why is the Oxford Dictionary definition cut? The allusion to evolution is deleted[edit]

Hi! I just wanted to ask something. Why is the Oxford Dictionary definition cut? This is complete the Oxford Dictionary definition:

"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 believe the evolution part is essential, since creationism by definition implies the negation of evolution. In the United States, creationism is (shamefully) taught as an alternative explanation to evolution. Personally, I don't understand why the evolution part is deleted from the lead sentence. Can't we have the following lead sentence?:

Creationism is the religious belief that the universe and life originated "from specific acts of divine creation",[1][2] as opposed to the scientific conclusion that they came about through natural processes such as evolution.[3]. James343e (talk) 23:43, 19 October 2018 (UTC)

@James343e: You don't think that the thread above covers this? Jim1138 (talk) 20:55, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
Hi @Jim1138: I believe it is very different, since the former user was asking to delete "as opposed to the scientific consenssus". For me, it is fine if "as opposed to the scientific consensus" is included. What I personally don't understand is the deliberate deletion of the word evolution, which is included in the Oxford Dictionary definition. This is the complete Oxford Dictionary Definition:
"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".
As I said, I believe the evolution part is essential, since creationism by definition explicitly implies the negation of evolution. In the United States, creationism is (shamefully) taught as an alternative explanation to evolution. So this is my question. Can't we have the following lead sentence?:
Creationism is the religious belief that the universe and life originated "from specific acts of divine creation",[1][2] as opposed to the scientific conclusion that they came about through natural processes such as evolution.[3]. James343e (talk) 22:17, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
No, creationism is not just the denial of evolution, it is the denial of evolution, geology, cosmology and physics and basically the entire scientific method. The main point is that it the denial of natural causes, the OED entry is just using evolution as an example. This article covers the subject in some depth so we do not need to include everything in the lead. - Nick Thorne talk 05:21, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Tower of Babel[edit]

In the paragraph "Biblical Basis" shouldn't the Tower of Babel be included ? Also: there's no mention of the stance creationism takes in the field of linguistics except for the vague term "pseudolinguistics ".

It seems that from a creationist point of view world's creation, man's formation and languages' confusion follow the same divine phenomena. Creationism confronts comparative linguistics and natural science in quite the same manner eg. adherence to the holy scriptures. Here is a citation from a creationist site:

"Because God does all things well, nothing half-heartedly or without complete effectiveness, the languages created at Babel will almost certainly turn out to be radically distinct from each other. That is what the current evidence already suggests". Hexagone59 (talk) 14:28, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Needs a secondary source, may be worth looking in Robert T. Pennock's Tower of Babel, or ToA, though nothing obvious on first search. . . dave souza, talk 15:32, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
Thank you dave souza.
In google's presentation of Tower of Babel by Robert T. Pennock it reads:
"One of Pennock's major innovations is to turn from biological evolution to the less charged subject of linguistic evolution, which has strong theoretical parallels with biological evolution, both in content and in the sort of evidence scientists use to draw conclusions about origins. Of course, an evolutionary view of language does conflict with the Bible, which says that God created the variety of languages at one time as punishment for the Tower of Babel".

In Page: There's a drawing comparing the creationist and evolutionist belief in linguistics. Pic:

In the other source Claim CG110 (The first known human languages were already very complex. Languages do not show the evolutionary progression we would expect if humans evolved gradually).
Source: Skjaerlund, David, n.d. Creationism explains human diversity.
We read: "Evolutionists, in particular, have no explanation for the origin of languages. They’ve tried to explain it on the basis of gradual development of communication forms, starting with the early grunts of cavemen and, over time, resulting in our complex form of communication. However, man’s unique ability for communication has always posed a problem"
It continues: "There is no explanation for the origins of different languages except in terms of the special purpose of the Creator. .., men tried to unite themselves into a very centrally located political system around the Tower of Babel (see Genesis 11). We are told that God confused their language, and that mankind was then scattered over the face of the earth"
Should I search for other sources or check more thorougly in Pennock's book ( If I find it... ) Hexagone59 (talk) 02:11, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
Since this article is an overview of creationism, Isaak, Mark. "CG110: Complex early language". TalkOrigins Archive. Retrieved 29 December 2018. is a good simple source for a mention, for this article we're less interested in the detail of the creationist claim (you link to a primary source for it), but the TalkOrigins Archive page gives both a brief overview of the claim, and a secondary source showing the mainstream response (see WP:PSTS for policy on that).
Pennock's book may go into excessive detail and isn't concise, but if you're interested in the topic it's well worth reading. Robert T. Pennock (28 February 2000). Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism. MIT Press. pp. 117–179. ISBN 978-0-262-26405-1. covers the topic, that link should show you some of the pages.
Pennock gives good mainstream context for the Creation Ministries International young Earth creationist web page which comes down to "if you believe in our literal reading of the Bible, languages are explained by the tower of Babel." The CMI author mentions William Jones (philologist)#Scholarly contributions – the wikipedia page is, I think, more informative. See Proto-language for a nice diagram.
Another book worth looking for as an authority on creationism is Numbers, Ronald L. (2006). The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design. Harvard University Press. pp. 102–103. ISBN 978-0-674-02339-0. which briefly covers the influential George McCready Price's YEC ideas of human races being formed by Babel followed by environmental influence so that "The poor little fellow who went to the south Got lost in the forests dank; His skin grew black, as the fierce sun beat...", while pages 246 has Lammerts of the Creation Research Society explaining Babel as designed change in DNA. . . . dave souza, talk 20:26, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
Hello dave souza, thank you for your guidance. I managed to read the third chapter of Tower of Babel, where Pennock uses the term creationist linguistics all along. The text is interesting and clear.
I would like to add a paragraph in Robert T. Pennock's entry in Education and Carrear as a last paragraph. Here is a possibilty:
===The book: Tower of Babel===
In his book Pennock addresses the issue of creationist linguistics. In chapter 3 he quotes Henry M. Morris, the young Earth creationist saying " There really seems no way to explain the different languages except in terms of the special creative purpose of the Creator " (p. 123), Pennock goes to describe the evolution of linguistics in the last 200 years. He also quotes Darwin saying "the formation of different languages and of distinct species, and the proofs that both have been developed through a gradual process, are curiously the same."(p. 125). Once he shows that biology and linguistics share the evolutionary rational as they share the same opponents, Pennock uses the later to support the former: " The evidence that supports the evolution of species is of the same kind and is as incontrovertible as that which supports the evolution of languages, so accepting creationist biology is as absurd as accepting creationist linguistics" (p. 147).
I will appreciate any comment on this. Hexagone59 (talk) 22:07, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • This looks like an unnecessary rabbit trail. Guy (Help!) 22:24, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Oh I like the quote and think we should use it. I meant to look at my own copy of Pennock but didn't have time. Doug Weller talk 09:52, 11 January 2019 (UTC)