We explain what creationism is, how it originated, and the basis of its ideas. Also, what are its characteristics and pseudoscientific branches?
What is creationism?
It is known as creationism (also as creationist theory or fixist theory) to a form of religious thought that attributes the creation of the Universe and of life to a superior entity of a divine type , that is, to God . He maintains that this entity would have created everything (hence the name of the doctrine), planned everything and would also be involved in the maintenance of everything.
Those who opt for creationism reject other explanations regarding the origin of life and the universe , even those with greater scientific support, such as the “ big bang ” or evolution by natural selection, among other verifiable scientific findings. The various variants of creationist doctrines are mostly guided by a sacred text such as the Bible .
Types of creationism
Classical creationism literally interprets the sacred scriptures.
There is no official classification of creationist thought forms, but broadly speaking we can talk about:
- classic creationism. It is the one that adheres to the literal interpretation of the sacred scriptures, especially the Bible, and denies all forms of biological evolution, especially human evolution . They also do not believe in fossils , genetics , or geological evidence, adhering to the biblical Genesis cosmological account.
- contemporary creationism. Moving away from the most orthodox positions, he still opposes scientific explanations, but he does so through the presentation of allegedly logical, rational or even scientific reasoning, which often causes him to venture into pseudoscience. Their arguments often point to cataloging evolutionism as “just a theory” (in the popular and not the scientific sense of the term), ignoring decades of formal studies and verification, as well as the fact that there is no evidence of any kind that supports it. refute
Origin of creationism
The history of creationism is linked to that of the great human religions. They gave the ancient man an explanation of a mystical, magical or divine nature regarding the questions he could not answer, such as those referring to the origin of life, of the human being or of the universe .
However, “creationism” was never talked about until other explanations, of a scientific nature, emerged in the 19th century. This was mainly due to the success of the studies of Charles Darwin , who demonstrated the impact of natural selection on the generation of species.
The theories of this scientist were repudiated by conservative and religious sectors, who saw in them the possibility that their beliefs were contravened or demonstrated to be false, and for that reason they were called theists or, later, creationists . The first use of the term occurred in 1929 and is attributed to Harold W. Clark, a Seventh-day Adventist biologist.
foundations of creationism
The orthodox slopes of creationism deny all kinds of biological evolution.
The common precepts of creationism tend to be:
- God created everything. This includes the Universe, the Earth , the life on it and especially the human being, who would have been made in his image and likeness. Depending on the type of creationism, a certain margin of biological autonomy may be admitted in these processes, or not.
- The Earth is young. According to some creationists, the planet is much younger than what scientific findings indicate, at most about 10,000 years or about 6,000 years, when it was created by God. Thus, they rule out all kinds of astronomical findings and prefer to make calculations using the described ages of the characters in the Bible, despite the fact that the calendars would not be the same as the current ones.
- Earth is old. Some creationists admit the antiquity of the Earth, accepting that it was created thousands or millions of years ago, but that in its foundation, population with life and its subsequent evolution, the will of God intervened, who planned and controlled everything.
- There is no evolution, no extinctions. The most orthodox branches of creationism deny all kinds of biological evolutionary change, claiming that God would not create creatures so that they would later have to change to guarantee the survival of their species. He prefers to think that the current animals were saved from the universal Flood by Noah’s Ark, and some even claim that the presumed extinct animals actually live in remote regions, where they remained after the flood.
- There is divine-type extinction. It admits the possibility that God wanted to exterminate some species of his creations, but not that there is any type of subsequent evolution or to prevent it.
- There is evolution and extinctions. The most modern variant of creationism admits evolutionary dynamics and the existence of extinctions, but attributes everything to a plan devised by God and his will that determines everything.
- The Bible is the truth. In general, all creationists choose to trust what is reported in a sacred book, be it the Bible or the Koran, and their more or less orthodox position will depend on how literally they choose to interpret what is said within its pages.
Flood geology interprets terrestrial findings according to Noah’s flood.
Having applied the creationist doctrine to certain scientific or pseudoscientific resources, various branches of creationism arise, such as:
- Creation sciences. Also called “scientific creationism”, it attempts to demonstrate through pseudoscientific evidence that the events described in the biblical Genesis are true. It even goes so far as to create its own biological taxonomy.
- flood geology. An attempt to interpret the terrestrial geological findings according to the biblical account of the Universal Flood, considering the irrefutable biblical temporality.
- cult archaeology . A type of pseudoarchaeology, consists of a series of assumptions and reasoning that do not conform to what is contemplated by archaeology, but that are disguised as it to try to demonstrate the real and literal existence of the peoples, characters and events described in the Bible.
Relationship with evolutionism
The relationship between creationism and evolution, as well as other explanations already ruled out such as spontaneous generation, was initially contentious . It seemed impossible to reconcile the theories regarding natural selection and the accidental emergence of life, with the theological doctrine that assigned life a mission and importance in the divine order of things.
In modern times, on the other hand, their visions became less conflictive, as believers admitted the irrefutable evidence and preferred to think that the divine hand is behind these processes, which more or less reconciled the matter. Currently only fanatical religious sectors distrust the sciences of evolution.
Position of the Catholic Church
Unlike the Middle Ages, the Church is no longer opposed to the sciences.
Catholicism, unlike the Protestant churches, interprets what is narrated in the biblical Genesis in a non-literal way . For this reason, in principle, he does not have too many problems with evolutionism or with the sciences, a field in which he no longer gets involved as he used to during the Middle Ages .
In this sense, as long as its faithful abide by the philosophical and moral precepts , the Church does not have an antagonistic position with the Theory of evolution.
It is known by this name to a pseudoscientific argument that various creationist doctrines use as evidence of the existence of God. His logic is that the scientific evidence regarding the origin and functioning of life is more easily explained if there is an intelligent creator behind it, instead of a blind force such as natural selection.
In other words, certain biological processes are too complex and too precise to lack a creator with a design. Of course, this type of reasoning is not supported by any empirical evidence. It is just one way of interpreting existence, even though its supporters try to present it as an irrefutable scientific conclusion .
Modern science would be the way to appreciate God’s creation.
This is the name given to a way of reconciling evolution with the belief that the divine will is behind all things . It accepts what is described by the modern evolutionary synthesis, understanding it as precisely evidence of the designs of creation.
According to this perspective, modern science and its findings represent the way in which man, using the faculties with which God created him, can understand the magnitude of His work.
Creationism in schools
In 2005 in the United States, some Protestant minorities tried to reincorporate creationism into compulsory education in the classroom . This practice does not exist in any other country in the world, except in those that are governed by the Islamic Law of the Koran, in which the way in which God created the Universe is made explicit.
Creationist doctrines should not be confused with the literary and poetic movement led by the Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro , called precisely the same way. This movement belongs to the literary avant-gardes and took place during the first third of the 20th century .
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