Articles related to the creation-evolution controversy

Articles related to the creation-evolution controversy

The following is a clearinghouse of articles which refer to terms often used in the context of the creation-evolution controversy:


The creation-evolution controversy often is cast as a controversy surrounding the creation myths. The following articles explain the basic terms endemic to this:

*Cosmogony is the philosophical question as to why the universe came to be.
*Teleology is the supposition that there is design, purpose, directive principle, or finality in the works and processes of nature. This is often invoked in the context of::*First cause arguments for the existence of God.:*Cosmological argument for the existence of God.:*Design argument for the existence of God and the oppositional Argument from poor design against the existence of God. Design arguments are also noted in:::*Watchmaker analogy argued most famously by William Paley assumes creation has a creator as a watch has a watchmaker.:*ex nihilo beliefs in the creation of the universe from nothing.:*God of the gaps arguments that claim that mysteries in science can be explained by invoking God.:*Orthogenesis or the belief that life is developing because of a teleological purpose.
*Mainstream science offers accounts of the origin of various parts of the observable universe including::*Origin of the universe: see Big Bang:*Origin of the solar system: see Solar nebula:*Origin of the Earth: see Age of the Earth:*Origin of life:*Origin of humanity: see Human evolution

Evolution in context

The term "evolution" is often invoked by creationists to represent science in general, or specifically the scientific theories that are seen as directly opposing creationism. Additionally, the following terms related to evolution are often referred to:

*Microevolution, to describe the evolutionary processes that most creationists do believe have occurred and are occurring.
*Macroevolution, to describe the evolutionary processes that most creationists do not believe have occurred and will not occur.
*Darwinism is often referred to as a synonym for evolutionism, or with the prefix "neo" it is used to describe current mainstream evolutionary biology.
*Modern synthesis, to describe the modern evolutionary paradigm of evolutionary biology (sometimes called "NeoDarwinism" by the creationists).
*Evolutionism, to describe any number of philosophical beliefs based on the theory of evolution.
*Lamarckism is an alternative hypothesis to Darwinian evolution that suggested traits acquired during an organism's lifetime were inherited by offspring.
*Devolution is a concept that arises from fallaciously equating evolution with progress, a mistake made by some studentsFact|date=March 2008 of Herbert Spencer. Creationists have been known to attack evolution by claiming that the Spencer ideal of "survival of the fittest" is an immoral marker of modernism as a precursor of Social Darwinism.
*The general principle of self organization explains how observed processes can allow for the natural development of complex and ordered features.
*"The Origin of Species" is the book that is considered the groundbreaking work that established the theory of evolution scientifically. Its publication and adoption by the mainstream community is seen by creationists as the beginning of the controversy.

Natural history

The controversy often takes the tone of creationists attacking various aspects of natural history (or "evolution", within this context) with proponents of mainstream science claiming that there is evidence and theoretical infrastructure in sufficient amounts to answer creationist claims. The following disciplines and observations often appear in the context of the controversy:


*The Age of the universe is disputed by many Young Earth creationists.
*The Copernican principle is often criticised by creationists who see it as an affront to beliefs in special creation.
*The Anthropic principle is sometimes interpreted by creationists to be evidence for special creation.
*The Big Bang paradigm in cosmology is often derided by Young Earth creationists while Old Earth creationists such as Hugh Ross and William Lane Craig have interpreted it to imply evidence for God (see cosmological argument).


The following subjects are often criticised by creationists:

*Uniformitarianism vs. Catastrophism. Creationists generally criticize the former while suggesting the latter was dismissed inappropriately by scientists seeking to remove the global flood from scientific study.
*Plate tectonics is often rejected by creationists due to rejection of uniformitarianism and the timescales involved. (Some creationists substitute their own version of the theory, known as catastrophic plate tectonics.)
*Geochronology is heavily criticized by Young Earth Creationists including the specific subjects of::*Historical geology, which is described using:::*The geologic time scale and fossil evidence supporting it consisting of::::*Eons:::*Eras:::*Periods:::*Stages:*Stratigraphy, which is the study of layering including:::*Rock layers and Lithostratigraphy::*Fossil record and Biostratigraphy, which rely on understanding from:::*Fossilization:::*The principle of superposition:::*Principle of faunal succession:::*Transitional fossils, which are sometimes claimed by creationists to be missing gaps, even given specific examples cited by mainstream proponents.::*Archaeological stratigraphy:*Radiometric dating, including the following commonly used methods:::*Radiocarbon dating::*Uranium-thorium dating::*Potassium-argon dating and argon-argon dating:*Paleomagnetic dating:*Dendrochronology :*Ice cores :*Lichenometry:*Varves

Evolutionary Biology

By far the most often attacked scientific discipline by creationists is evolutionary biology, including the related subjects of:
*Common descent
*Abiogenesis and chemical evolution research associated with it such as the Miller-Urey experiment
*Timeline of evolution, which is often completely rejected by creationists, who also refer to::*Cambrian explosion, claimed by creationists as a paradox that shows evolution is incorrect.:*Mass extinctions, often claimed by creationists to be instead due to the flood described in Genesis.
*Evidence of evolution, which is generally rejected or dismissed by creationists. This includes::*Phylogeny and its associated subfields of ::*cladistics::*phenetics::*molecular phylogeny, based on either::::*maximum likelihood:::*Bayesian inference ::*Phylogenetics and the development of the trees that relate life biologically::::*Phylogenetic tree:::*Evolutionary tree::*Bioinformatics:*Morphology and the structural applications including:::*Homologous structures ::*Analogous structures ::*Vestigal organs:*Speciation, which is either suggested to have never occurred or is suggested to be limited and unable to account for the complete diversity of life, including such mechanisms as:::*Allopatric speciation::*Sympatric speciation ::*Peripatric speciation and the special case of:::*Punctuated equilibrium.:*Heredity, which is claimed by creationists to be unable to account for evolution, including:::*Epigenetic inheritance::*Structural inheritance::*Pangenesis, often completely dismissed.::*Gene pool::*Mutations, which are often claimed by creationists to be strictly harmful to the genome. Some mutations generally considered to be strong evidence for evolution are::::*Pseudogenes :::*Junk DNA::*Gene flow ::*Genetic drift :*Extinction
*Natural selection, which is rejected by creationists as an impossible mechanism including its associated types::*Ecological selection:*Sexual selection:*Positive selection:*Balancing selection:*Overdominance/heterozygote advantage:*Frequency-dependent selection:*Stabilizing selection :*Directional selection:*Disruptive selection
*Adaptation, which is rejected by creationists as a mechanism for evolution. Though normally instances of adaptation observed are not considered problematic to the creationists worldview including::*Maladaptation:*Acclimation


*History of creationism outlines its development
*Creation according to Genesis explains on what basis most creationists rely to explain their beliefs. This includes :*Dating Creation:*Global flood
*Young-Earth creationism is a creationist conceit that relies on a 6000 year old Earth and universe. Associated with it are::*Flat Earth creationism — a belief held by creationist Charles Johnson (died in 1991) that the Earth is not spherical. :*Modern geocentrism — the belief held by a small minority of creationists that the Earth is the physical center of the universe. :*Creation science — the program of research that attempts to provide scientific justification for creationism. Including the areas of:::*Creationist cosmologies — made by various creationists in order to explain the:::*Starlight problem — the fact that astronomical objects are measured to be billions of light years away, inconsistent with an age of the universe on the order of ten thousand years. One proposal that has largely fallen out-of-favor with creationists is::::*c-decay::*Radiohaloes — taken by at least one creationist to be evidence for a young Earth.::*Flood geology, as a replacement for geology. This includes a proposing mechanisms for a global flood::::*Vapor canopy:::*Catastrophic plate tectonics:::*Hydroplates::*Creation biology as a replacement for evolutionary biology. This includes its replacement for phylogeny::::*Created kinds:::*Baraminology
*Omphalos creationism is creationist conceit that in one form claims that the scientific evidence that doesn't support creationism is a result of the action of the devil.
*Old-Earth creationism is a creationist conceit that takes issue with evolutionary biology, but accepts geology and cosmology. This type of creationism comes in three kinds::*Gap creationism is the belief that there was a gap in the text of Genesis that allows for a long timescale.:*Day-age creationism is the belief that the "days" referred to in Genesis are really longer periods of time (up to billions of years). :*Progressive creationism is the belief that the timeframes need to be reconciled to a biblical account, but that lifeforms are created specially by God.
*Evolutionary creationism/theistic evolution are the beliefs that maintain a belief in creation by a deity while maintaining the scientific position.
(See also: Allegorical interpretations of Genesis)
*Neo-Creationism is a form of creationism that aims to re-frame the debate over the origins of life in non-religious terms to appeal to the public, policy makers, educators, and the scientific community. It also claims that orthodox science is actually a dogmatically atheistic religion. In the United States Intelligent Design is the most visible form of neo-creationism.
*Islamic creationism
*Judaism and evolution
*Hindu creationism

Intelligent design

Intelligent design is a relatively new proposal that claims there is teleological evidence that can be observed in nature. Related issues include:
*Showing evidence for an intelligent designer
*The Intelligent design movement with its associated programs::*Teach the controversy:*Wedge strategyThe following are considered by advocates to be evidence for intelligent design:
*Specified complexity
*Irreducible complexity
*Fine-tuned universe

Philosophy of science

Arguments are sometimes taken from subjects within the philosophy of science. These include:

*Methodological naturalism as an underlying assumption of science. Additionally, the following philosophies are sometimes assoiciated with it::*Materialism — the belief that the observable physical universe is all that exists.:*Reductionism — the belief that everything that exists is reducible to simple physical processes and laws.:*Positivism — the belief that the scientific method can be used to inquire about any subject.:*Natural philosophy — an approach to understanding the universe built on scholasticism rather than empiricism, sometimes considered the precursor to modern science.
*Scientific method as a means to understand the universe. Endemic to this are the ideas of:*Falsification:*Empiricism:*Observation:*Experiment:*Inference and induction
*Rejection of the supernatural is often considered to be a part of science, something to which creationists object.
*Scientific theories are referred to and considered in relation to reality by both sides of the controversy. They are sometimes compared and contrasted with facts.
*Scientific community and the processes within it such as::*scientific consensus and peer review:*work within paradigms:*the possibility for scientific revolutions
*The demarcation problem in determining what is and is not science. In particular, this has relevance for classifying::*Pseudoscience as a contrast to mainstream science. Creationism, Intelligent Design, and their associated ideas are often labeled as such by skeptics.

Philosophy of religion

Arguments are sometimes taken from subjects within the philosophy of religion. These include:
*Religion and science and Faith and rationality
* Natural theology
*Fideism — the belief that faith is the only justification needed for one's religion. This is often seen as being directly in conflict with creationist ideas that the one can make sensory observations that confirm one's religion.
*Apologetics and evangelism — the practices of certain religious people who are intent on providing justification and conversion opportunities to their respective faith. The controversy is sometimes claimed by creationists to be an opportunity for this.
*Theistic realism vs. Philosophical naturalism — the creation-evolution controversy can be summarized philosophically as a dispute between those two perspectives.
*Modernism vs. Antimodernism — an allusion to issues facing contemporary religions about how to accommodate the modern world. Sometimes the creationist are accused of being the latter.
*Biblical literalism and fundamentalism — often claimed to be the basis of creationism.
*Theism vs. Atheism/Agnosticism — often claimed by creationists to be the real conflict behind the controversy.
*Deism — a perspective that allows for a first cause deity that doesn't act in history. A popular position of Enlightenment scientists.
*Scientism — a quasi-religion that developed in the nineteenth century which sought to elevate scientific understanding to the status of an idea to be worshipped. Creationists have been known to criticize evolution as being scientistic.

Creation-evolution controversy

The controversy itself occurs in the public arena, most visibly in the United States. It has been especially noticeable in the context of:

*Culture wars
*Conflict thesis — a controversial model offered by John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White for describing the hostility between religion and science.
*Continuity thesis
*Public education which has led to political and legal action in the United States::*Scopes trial — A trial in 1925 which pitted evolution against creationism.:*Epperson v. Arkansas — Supreme court ruling which invalidated laws that prohibitted the teaching of evolution in the classroom.:*Edwards v. Aguillard — Supreme court ruling which invalidated laws that required equal time for teaching creationism and evolution.:*Kansas evolution hearings — A series of hearings and rulings by the Kansas School Board over whether evolution should be taught in the context of the controvesy.:*Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District — Federal Court ruling which found that Intelligent Design is not appropriate for inclusion in science classrooms and is essentially religious in nature.:*Selman v. Cobb County School District — A ruling that found disclaimers inserted into the front cover of books teaching evolution theory to be unconstitutional.

Sides in the controversy try to enumerate their supporters:
*A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism
*A Scientific Support for Darwinism
*Clergy Letter Project, a signed statement by 10,000 Christian clergy members rejecting Creationism.
*Project Steve
*Level of support for evolution
*Physicians and Surgeons who Dissent from Darwinism

Specific criticisms of creationist tactics include:

*Appeal to authority, especially related to certain creationists who have questionable academic credentials related to well-known institutions.
*Argument from ignorance, an informal fallacy claimed to be a major tactic employed by creationists when they attempt to cast doubt on modern science.
*Asserting guilt by association. In particular, creationists are known to criticize evidence for human evolution because of the famous Piltdown Man hoax with the implicit message that major paleontological discoveries about hominid evolution are frauds.
*Bad science. Some of the work of creationists are criticized by their opponents as being based on shoddy research or poor scientific understanding.
*Naturalistic fallacy, a fallacy related to the is-ought problem that critics claim is employed by creationists whenever they argue that evolution is wrong because it inspires immorality. (For example, creationists often claim that the moral issues surrounding Social Darwinism and eugenics cast doubt on evolutionary biology.)
*Quote mining as a means to promote the idea that there is active controversy over "evolution" in the scientific community.
*Straw men, which misrepresent the theory of evolution in order to make it appear more easily refuted than it actually is. (For example, a common straw man about evolution is the claim that it includes an ultimate goal.)

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