One quite interesting aspect of creationism is that there is a very wide diversity of quite different variations of belief, and because it is evolving all the time, it is almost impossible to keep up. Yes, that is a rather ironic observation – the evolution of Creationism.
Anyway, to give you an idea of how diverse the thinking is, I’ll take you on a very brief tour of the more common variations:
- Literalistic: Genesis is an accurate description of history, the earth was created in exactly six days and it happened 6,000 years ago. Modern science is all wrong, all the biologists and geologists on the planet are complete idiots.
- Omphalos: The science is correct, the earth is apparently old, but god made the world 6,000 years ago that way complete with mountains, fossils, etc… The term Omphalos is Greek for “navel” and is a reference to the idea that Adam and Eve were made with bellybuttons.
- Deism: A God started it all, but since that initial creation event has not been involved and everything since then has happened naturally.
- Theistic Evolution: God, as described in the bible, did it all. He just happened to do it using evolution, and is still personally involved.
- Progressive Creationism: The earth is truly old, science is right. However, God steps in and performs acts of creation, so evolution is wrong, species do not evolve, God is doing it by acts of creation. Humans were created by God as we are today.
- Day-Age Creationism: Each of the days in Genesis are not literal 24-hour days, but instead represent geological periods of millions or even billions of years. This was the specific variation I used to embrace.
- Gap Creationism: There is a huge span of time between Genesis 1:2 and Genesis 1:3, earth is really old and life existed for billions of years, but 6,000 years ago God stepped in and created humans on this old earth.
- Intelligent Design (rebranded from Creation Science): This is an attempt to present scientific evidence that an intelligent designer is the best means to explain the universe. It is creationism with all the religious bits removed to make it more palatable. The fact that all the key proponents just happen to be fundamentalist Christians is supposed to be a coincidence I guess.
Sadly, the above is a very incomplete list, I’ve not even started to list the various Hindu or Islamic variations.
Now why have I taken you on this little tour? Well, basically because a rather common creationist claim is that science is always changing but the bible remains the same. The reality is that science is based upon evidence, and as more data is gathered, our understanding grows and increases, but a general scientific consensus remains. In stark contrast, it is the creationists who simply cannot arrive at any consensus at all, there is no universal creationist claim that anybody actually agrees upon. Ask a Creationist from any specific variation, and they will advise that only they are right and all the others are wrong.
Now if only they could begin to ponder over why they dismiss all the other variations as silly, and then perhaps they might start to understand why we all dismiss their specific variation as equally silly.