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In Christian and Jewish creationism, a religious view based on the creation account of the book of Genesis, created kinds are purported to be the original forms of life as they were created by God. They are also referred to as kinds, original kinds, Genesis kinds, and baramin (a neologism coined by combining the Hebrew words bara [created] and min [kind], though the combination does not work syntactically in actual Hebrew). The idea is promulgated by Young Earth Creationist organizations and preachers as a means to support their belief in the literal veracity of the Genesis creation myth as well as their contention that the ancestors of all land-based life on Earth were housed on Noah's ark before a great flood. Old earth creationists also employ the concept, rejecting the idea of common descent. In contrast to young earth creationists, old earth creationists do not necessarily believe all land-based life was housed on the ark, and some accept some evolutionary change within the given kinds has occurred.
In contrast to the scientific theory of common descent, these creationists argue that not all life on Earth is related, but that life was created by God in a finite number of discrete forms. This viewpoint claims that kinds cannot interbreed and have no evolutionary relationship to one another.
The concept of the "kind" originates from a literal reading of Genesis 1:12-24:
And God said, let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind … And God created great whales and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind … And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind, and it was so.
There is some uncertainty about what exactly the Bible means when it talks of "kinds." Creationist Brian Nelson claimed "While the Bible allows that new varieties may have arisen since the creative days, it denies that any new species have arisen." However, Russell Mixter, another creationist writer, said that "One should not insist that "kind" means species. The word "kind" as used in the Bible may apply to any animal which may be distinguished in any way from another, or it may be applied to a large group of species distinguishable from another group ... there is plenty of room for differences of opinion on what are the kinds of Genesis."
Frank Lewis Marsh coined the term baramin in his book Fundamental Biology (1941) and expanded on the concept in Evolution, Creation, and Science (c. 1944), in which he stated that the ability to hybridize and create viable offspring was a sufficient condition for being members of the same baramin. However, he said that it was not a necessary condition, acknowledging that observed speciation events among Drosophila fruitflies had been shown to cut off hybridization.
Marsh also originated "discontinuity systematics", the idea that there are boundaries between different animals that cannot be crossed with the consequence that there would be discontinuities in the history of life and limits to common ancestry.
In 1990, Kurt Wise introduced baraminology as an adaptation of Marsh's and Walter ReMine's ideas that was more in keeping with young Earth creationism. Wise advocated using the Bible as a source of systematic data. Baraminology and its associated concepts have been criticized by scientists and creationists for lacking formal structure. Consequently, in 2003 Wise and other creationists proposed a refined baramin concept in the hope of developing a broader creationary model of biology. Alan Gishlick, reviewing the work of baraminologists in 2006, found it to be surprisingly rigorous and internally consistent, but concluded that the methods did not work.
Walter ReMine specified four groupings: holobaramins, monobaramins, apobaramins, and polybaramins. These are, respectively, all things of one kind; some things of the same kind; groups of kinds; and any mixed grouping of things. These groups correspond to the concepts of holophyly, monophyly, paraphyly, and polyphyly used in cladistics.
Baraminology employs many of the same methods used in evolutionary systematics, including cladistics and Analysis of Pattern (ANOPA). However, instead of identifying continuity between groups of organisms based on shared similarities, baraminology uses these methods to search for morphological and genetic gaps between groups. Baraminologists have also developed their own systematics software, known as BDIST, to measure distance between groups.
The methods of baraminology are not universally accepted among young-Earth creationists. Other creationists have criticized these methods as having the same problems as traditional cladistics, as well as for occasionally producing results that they feel contradict the Bible.
Baraminology has been heavily criticized for its lack of rigorous tests and post-study rejection of data to make it better fit the desired findings.
- Wood; Wise; Sanders; Doran (2003). "A Refined Baramin Concept". Occasional Papers of the Baraminology Study Group. pp. 1–14.
- Payne, J. Barton (1958). "The Concept of "Kinds" In Scripture". Journal of the American Science Affiliation. 10 (December 1958): 17–20. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- Gishlick, Alan (2006). "Baraminology". Reports of the National Center for Science Education. 26 (4): 17–21.
- Frair, Wayne (2000). "Baraminology—Classification of Created Organisms". Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal. 37 (2): 82–91. Archived from the original on 2003-06-18.
- Menton; Habermahl; DeWitt (2010). "Baraminological Analysis Places Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis, and Australopithecus sediba in the Human Holobaramin: Discussion" (PDF). Answers Research Journal. 3: 153–158.
- Wilson, Gordon (2010). "Classic Multidimensional Scaling Isn't the Sine Qua Non of Baraminology". Answers in Genesis.
- "A Review of Friar, W. (2000): Baraminology - Classification of Created Organism". Archived from the original on 2007-04-22.
- Phil Senter (2010). "Using creation science to demonstrate evolution: application of a creationist method for visualizing gaps in the fossil record to a phylogenetic study of coelurosaurian dinosaurs". Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 23 (8): 1732–1743. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02039.x. PMID 20561133.
- Phil Senter (2010). "Using creation science to demonstrate evolution 2: morphological continuity within Dinosauria". Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 24 (10): 2197–2216. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02349.x. PMID 21726330.
- Todd Charles Wood (2010). "Using creation science to demonstrate evolution? Senter's strategy revisited". Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 24 (4): 914–918. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02208.x. PMID 21401768.
- Definition of kinds as it relates to this topic
- "Ligers and wholphins? What next?" by Answers in Genesis, a creationist organization.
- "Variation and natural selection versus evolution" excerpt from Refuting Evolution by Jonathan Sarfati
- "'Species' and 'kind'" excerpt from Creation: Facts of Life by Gary Parker