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The article's lead currently assumes that 'Special Creation' = creation of the universe & life (the Creationist view)
It then goes on to document a Catholic view that is contradictory to that defined in #1
It finally briefly describes Smithson's view, the contents, relationship to #1 & #2, and prominence of which is unclear.
If we're going to cover all of these views, then we need to mention each of them in the lead (and move the bulk of the Creationist material into its own section. Otherwise we need to remove or split off the material that does not fit the lead's definition.
I am therefore tagging #2 & #3 with importance-section tags, relating to the relevance to the definition in the lead (both) and prominence/importance (#3). HrafnTalkStalk 05:12, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I freely admit to being a "layperson" when it comes to understanding what "special creation" is. However I feel that is self evident that special creation does not equal creation of the universe & life. The very presence of the adjective "special" implies that is a particular variant of the many possible types of creation mythology.
It also seems that to some extent, the modern fundamentalist creationists have appropriated the term for their own use and that in fact the use of the phrase "special creation" predates them by a very long time. As evidenced by the references to the use of the term by the Vatican and by 19th century author, Smithson, the phrase is not "owned" by the modern fundamentalists. It is possible even that the concept of special creation does not derive from the Book of Genesis but may in fact have come down to us from the writings of the classical Greek philosophers.A Critical-Historical Perspective on the Argument about Evolution and Creation, JOHN DURANT
What is so far missing from this article is a more detailed explanation of what the phrase actually means. As with many entries in a dictionary, one word can mean several quite different things depending on the context in which it is used. What is wrong with including all of the several possible meanings in the one article just as a dictionary gives not just one but all of the commonly used meanings of a word? To do otherwise is to adopt a point of view that one meaning is more important than another. Better to start of being impartial.--Kenneth Cooke (talk) 09:32, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Good call, Hrafn. The claim that "Special creation was the dominant theory of life's origins in the western world from the 16th century until the middle of the 19th century when it was supplanted by evolutionary thought." is particularly problematic, as evolution explains speciation and not life's origins, and creationist literalism about creation of the earth had been largely abandoned by the end of the eighteenth century, though attempts to reconcile an ancient earth with Genesis by catastrophism continued into the late 1820s. Kenneth Cooke is right that clearer definitions of various uses of the term are needed, though of course they have to be subject to giving WP:WEIGHT to majority expert views, and avoid giving "equal validity" to pseudoscience. . dave souza, talk 09:43, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you Dave on the timeline. However we really need to be able to cite sources to back up a more accurate version. The sources that are currently cited on this point aren't much use (one is to a 1908 book, the other lacks a page number to give any specificity). I've moved things around to create a lead that covers both Creationism & Catholicism. HrafnTalkStalk 11:42, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
The first sentence says in part a theological doctrine which asserts that the origin of the universe and all life in it suddenly sprang into being. When you analyze it you get: that the origin ... suddenly sprang into being This doesn't make sense because it is the universe and all life in it that sprang into existence. I'll change it to states that the universe and all life in it originated and leave out the 6-days part. Mthoodhood (talk) 06:31, 27 August 2011 (UTC)