A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Creationism, Evolution, and other science issues

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A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Post #1

Post by John Bauer »

I am trying to construct a continuum of the different views regarding origins and would like some suggestions and feedback on constructing this thing. Maybe you think the order should be different, maybe I missed one or two perspectives, etc.

Here's what I've hammered out so far:

A. Theism
----- I. Creationist
---------- 1. Young-earth creationist
--------------- a. Flat Earth Geocentrist
--------------- b. Round Earth Geocentrist
--------------- c. Round Earth Heliocentrist
---------- 2. Old-earth creationist
--------------- a. Gap creationist
--------------- b. Day-age creationist
-------------------- i. Progressive creationist
--------------- c. Evolutionary creationist
---------- 3. Intelligent design proponent
B. Deism
----- I. Theistic evolutionist
C. Atheism
----- I. Evolutionary naturalist

Updated to add: Revised list (February 13, 2021):

A. Theism
----- I. Creationist
---------- 1. Young-earth creationist
--------------- a. Flat-earth geocentrist
--------------- b. Round-earth geocentrist
---------- 2. Old-earth creationist
--------------- a. Gap creationist
--------------- b. Day-age creationist
-------------------- i. Progressive creationist
--------------- c. Evolutionary creationist
--------------- d. Intelligent design
----- II. Evolutionist (i.e., theistic evolution)
B. Deism
----- I. Evolutionist (i.e., deistic evolution)
C. Atheism
----- I. Evolutionist (i.e., naturalistic evolution)
Last edited by John Bauer on Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Post #11

Post by John Bauer »

Tcg wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:02 am
John Bauer wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:31 am
Why do you have "intelligent design" as a young-earth creationist view? According to my reading of the literature, [...] some [ID proponents] (e.g., Michael Behe) even accept much of evolutionary theory.
What aspect of the evolutionary theory does Michael Behe accept?
The following is taken from Wikipedia, s.v. "The Edge of Evolution" (accessed February 12, 2021):
.
Behe begins the book with an observation that the theory of evolution consists of a coherent relationship of three related ideas: common descent, natural selection, and random mutation. He continues by stating he believes they are distinct ideas, with implications for the theory as a whole; common descent and natural selection he accepts without question but questions the scope and power of random mutation to produce beneficial mutations that lead to novel, useful structures and processes. He terms "Darwinian evolution" the type of evolution relying on all three of these factors [...]
Last edited by John Bauer on Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Post #12

Post by Haven »

Tcg wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:02 am
What aspect of the evolutionary theory does Michael Behe accept?
From what I recall of Behe's arguments (this is 10+ year old knowledge, so I apologize if I get any details wrong):

-He affirms "change" of species into other species over time, but believes there are some "jumps" (like the bacterial flagellum, other hominids to man, etc.) too big for evolution to cross (because they would create reduced fitness for survival in the process of evolving to the new structure), and so deliberate design by an intelligent creator is necessary to explain them.

-He seems ignorant of the process of evolution in general, and seems to not understand that precursors to "new" structures can have valuable uses/. For example, Behe denies that dinosaurs' wings could have evolved, since a "half-wing" would be useless from a survival standpoint. He fails to understand that the precursors to wings--the arms of early theropods, were originally likely used in mating; after growing in size and gaining more prominent feathers, they were used for stability when running and eventually gliding, after further structural change toward a tree-based lifestyle, some eventually became capable of full flight--this process is strongly indicated by the fossil record. Every single case of "irreducible complexity" can be explained in evolutionary terms via similar processes.

Essentially, his entire reasoning is based on a fallacious appeal to incredulity, and a fallacious appeal to ignorance. God of the gaps.
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Re: A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Post #13

Post by Miles »

Tcg wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:02 am
John Bauer wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:31 am
Miles wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:49 pm
If I may. [...]
Why do you have "intelligent design" as a young-earth creationist view? According to my reading of the literature, the majority of ID proponents are old-earth creationists, and some (e.g., Michael Behe) even accept much of evolutionary theory.
My blunder (thanks for bringing it to my attention). And not being familiar with Evolutionary Creationists, I read up on them a bit and find their position doesn't fit under the category of I. Creationists, as creationism is commonly understood, but would be better categorized as II. Evolutionary Theists

A. Theism
----- I. Creationist
---------- 1. Young-earth creationist
--------------- A. Flat Earth Geocentrist
--------------- B. Round Earth Geocentrist
--------------- C Round Earth Heliocentrist
---------- 2. Old-earth creationist
--------------- A. Gap creationist
--------------- B. Day-age creationist
-------------------- a. Progressive creationist
----------------C. Intelligent design proponent
----- II Evolutionary Theists
B. Deism
----- I. Deistic evolutionist
C. Atheism
----- I. Evolutionary naturalist


.

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Re: A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Post #14

Post by William »

[Replying to Miles in post #14]

Just out of interest, where would "Simulation Theory" be best placed in the categories?

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Re: A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Post #15

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to William in post #16]
Just out of interest, where would "Simulation Theory" be best placed in the categories?
Wouldn't that fall under the general catergory A:Theist, 3:Intelligent design proponent? If I understand your postulated simulation idea, it involves a "Creator" which is analogous to a god in religions. If a Theist is someone who believes in the existence of a Creator, does it matter whether that entity is called a "Creator", or a "God." Aren't they identical in the big picture? If this Creator created the simulation as an intelligent entity (sort of redundant with the idea of a Creator capable of such a thing I suppose), then this category would seem to work.

If "intelligent design" only refers to the work of a religious-defined "god" ... one that is named and defined specifically by a religion ... then maybe the Creator of this postulated simulation is in a different category than religious gods in general. You'd probably have to better define the characteristics of the "Creator" in your scheme vs. the more traditional "gods" of most religions who are also often referred to as a (or the) Creator. Or is your idea unrelated to Theism, Deism, or Atheism altogether requiring a new category? I am solidly in category C, so no troubles with how gods and creators are defined.
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Re: A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Post #16

Post by William »

DrNoGods wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:27 pm
[Replying to William in post #16]
Just out of interest, where would "Simulation Theory" be best placed in the categories?
Wouldn't that fall under the general catergory A:Theist, 3:Intelligent design proponent?
I agree.

If I understand your postulated simulation idea, it involves a "Creator" which is analogous to a god in religions. If a Theist is someone who believes in the existence of a Creator, does it matter whether that entity is called a "Creator", or a "God." Aren't they identical in the big picture?
I do not think this is the case. I look at it along these lines;
IF we exist within a Reality Simulation, then this does imply creator(s). "God" as a label for "Creator" has been hijacked by the Middle Eastern Religions. Christians have taken the label "God" and used it as an actual name for their idea of a Creator.
This does not mean they are identical in relation to what their natures might be.
I would suppose [for now] that there could be added a category for the position of "Agnostic Theist" in relation to this.
If this Creator created the simulation as an intelligent entity (sort of redundant with the idea of a Creator capable of such a thing I suppose), then this category would seem to work.
Understanding that we exist within a creation does not automatically mean that any of the very many humans idea regarding creator/creators are correct.
That is a whole other question.
If "intelligent design" only refers to the work of a religious-defined "god" ... one that is named and defined specifically by a religion ... then maybe the Creator of this postulated simulation is in a different category than religious gods in general. You'd probably have to better define the characteristics of the "Creator" in your scheme vs. the more traditional "gods" of most religions who are also often referred to as a (or the) Creator. Or is your idea unrelated to Theism, Deism, or Atheism altogether requiring a new category? I am solidly in category C, so no troubles with how gods and creators are defined.
While we might concoct various ideas as to the nature of creator(s) of this reality we call The Physical Universe [should it be simulated] this does not automatically mean we can find the nature of said creator(s) by examining the nature of the Simulation.

That is why I mentioned the idea of finding a way in which we could communicate with said intelligence [ as you point out - it/they must be intelligent] so that we at least have opportunity in which to ask rather than simply make up stories.

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Re: A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Post #17

Post by Kylie »

What in the world is an evolutionary creationist?

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Re: A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Post #18

Post by John Bauer »

Miles wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:21 pm
[N]ot being familiar with Evolutionary Creationists, I read up on them a bit and find their position doesn't fit under the category of Creationists, as creationism is commonly understood, but would be better categorized as Evolutionary Theists.
They would disagree with you on both counts, according to that same article you had read. The people at BioLogos prefer the term Evolutionary Creationists because, quite frankly, "we are essentially creationists. We are not mere theists. We believe that [the triune] God [...] created all things. Our beliefs about God and creation come first." That's a fair bit more specific than mere theists, especially when you take into account all that stuff about the Bible.

Please also consider, again, the statement by Denis Lamoureux (see post #5 for publication info): "The most important word in the term ‘evolutionary creation’ is the noun ‘creation.’ These Christian evolutionists are first and foremost thoroughly committed and unapologetic creationists. They believe that the world is a creation that is absolutely dependent for every instant of its existence on the will and grace of the Creator" (emphasis mine). Again, that is a belief far more specific than mere theism contains.

So if you want to say that their position disqualifies them as Creationists, you have an uphill battle to fight.

You want to call them Evolutionary Theists, despite the fact that they explicitly rejected both terms. Again, from that article you had read: "We are not mere theists. [...] ‘Evolutionary’ is simply an adjective that describes creation and marks our acceptance of evolutionary science as the best scientific explanation we have for the diversity and similarity of life." They are not mere theists; they are first and foremost thoroughly committed creationists. Their view is not an alternative to creationism, as your list has it, but a form of creationism, as my original list had it—and the arguments put forward by Eugenie Scott with the National Center for Science Education concur, arguments which I had found influential in my efforts.[1] As she recognized, "The differences between [evolutionary creationism] and theistic evolution lie not in science but in theology, with EC being held by more conservative (evangelical) Christians who view God as being more actively involved in evolution than do most theistic evolutionists" (emphasis mine). Again, this is creationism, not mere theism. So,

Theism ---> Creationist ---> Old-earth creationist ---> Evolutionary creationist

(Notice that Eugenie Scott likewise has it listed as a form of old-earth creationism. She made a good case and it makes sense, so I accepted it.)

Judging by your reworking of the taxonomy (post #13), it seems you want to get rid of the term evolutionary creationist entirely, despite the prolific and cogent arguments by those who self-identify as evolutionary creationists. Why is that? By way of contrast, what is your opinion of Christians who want to get rid of the term "trans woman" despite the arguments made by those who self-identify as such?

Miles wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:21 pm
A. Theism
----- I. Creationist
---------- 1. Young-earth creationist
--------------- A. Flat Earth Geocentrist
--------------- B. Round Earth Geocentrist
--------------- C Round Earth Heliocentrist
---------- 2. Old-earth creationist
--------------- A. Gap creationist
--------------- B. Day-age creationist
-------------------- a. Progressive creationist
----------------C. Intelligent design proponent
----- II Evolutionary Theists
B. Deism
----- I. Deistic evolutionist
C. Atheism
----- I. Evolutionary naturalist
1. I accept your suggestion for "Evolutionist" as an alternative to "Creationist" (your first rework), adding it under "Theism" (i.e., theistic evolutionist).

2. I accept your suggestion of deistic evolutionist (your second rework), adding it as "Evolutionist" under "Deism" (i.e., deistic evolutionist).

3. I got rid of evolutionary naturalist under "Atheism" in order to maintain a consistent pattern, instead adding it as "Evolutionist" (i.e., naturalistic evolutionist).

4. At this point, I cannot accept getting rid of "Evolutionary creationist" entirely, nor calling them "Evolutionary theists" (the more common term for which is theistic evolutionist, and that's already included).

5. I eliminated "Round-earth heliocentrist," subsuming under "Young-earth creationist" generally, as that describes the majority of YECs anyway. Since geocentrists are an exception, not the rule, they get their own category.

6. Are there any geocentrists who hold an old-earth view? I'm not aware of any.

7. I categorized "Intelligent design" proponents as a type of creationist because, well, they are. And most of them are old-earth creationists so that's where I put it.

8. Since ID is inherent in YEC, it didn't warrant a separate category under YEC. Thoughts?

So, with that said, here is the revised ordering:

A. Theism
----- I. Creationist
---------- 1. Young-earth creationist
--------------- a. Flat-earth geocentrist
--------------- b. Round-earth geocentrist
---------- 2. Old-earth creationist
--------------- a. Gap creationist
--------------- b. Day-age creationist
-------------------- i. Progressive creationist
--------------- c. Evolutionary creationist
--------------- d. Intelligent design
----- II. Evolutionist (i.e., theistic evolution)
B. Deism
----- I. Evolutionist (i.e., deistic evolution)
C. Atheism
----- I. Evolutionist (i.e., naturalistic evolution)


_____
[1] "The Creation/Evolution Continuum," National Center for Science Education, January 22, 2016. "Much of the remainder of this essay is taken from Chapter 3 of Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction, second edition, 2009, by Eugenie C. Scott, published by Greenwood (with a paperback version by the University of California Press.)"
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Re: A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Post #19

Post by John Bauer »

Kylie wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:32 pm
What in the world is an evolutionary creationist?
Typically a Bible-believing Christian who accepts the scientific theory of evolution.

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Re: A Creation/Evolution Continuum

Post #20

Post by Haven »

John Bauer wrote: Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:30 am
Typically a Bible-believing Christian who accepts the scientific theory of evolution.
Wouldn’t this just be a theistic evolutionist?

I thought an evolutionary creationist believed in the basic science of evolution, but think a god / gods were heavily involved in the process (which could not have occurred naturally). I think of people like William Lane Craig and Mike Liconia hold to this standpoint.
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