Creationism is the religious belief that life, the Earth, and the universe are the creation of a supernatural being.
Creationism is the belief that the Universe and living organisms originate “from specific acts of divine creation.”
For young Earth creationists, this includes a literalistic reading of the Book of Genesis and the rejection of evolution. As science developed during the 18th century and forward, various views aimed at reconciling the Abrahamic and Genesis creation narratives with science developed in Western societies.
Those holding that species had been created separately (such as Philip Gosse in 1857) were generally called “advocates of creation” but were also called “creationists,” as in private correspondence between Charles Darwin and his friends.
As the creation–evolution controversy developed over time, the term “anti-evolutionists” became common.
In 1929 in the United States, the term “creationism” first became associated with Christian fundamentalists, specifically with their rejection of human evolution and belief in a young Earth—although this usage was contested by other groups, such as old Earth creationists and evolutionary creationists, who hold different concepts of creation, such as the acceptance of the age of the Earth and biological evolution as understood by the scientific community.
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American Scientific Affiliation
Today, the American Scientific Affiliation, a prominent religious organisation in the US, recognizes that there are different opinions among creationists on the method of creation, while acknowledging unity on the Abrahamic belief that God “created the universe.” Since the 1920s, literalist creationism in America has contested scientific theories, such as that of evolution, which derive from natural observations of the Universe and life.
Literalist creationists believe that evolution cannot adequately account for the history, diversity, and complexity of life on Earth. Fundamentalist creationists of the Christian faith usually base their belief on a literal reading of the Genesis creation narrative.
Other religions have different deity-led creation myths, while different members of individual faiths vary in their acceptance of scientific findings.
When scientific research produces empirical evidence and theoretical conclusions which contradict a literalist creationist interpretation of scripture, young Earth creationists often reject the conclusions of the research or its underlying scientific theories or its methodology.
This tendency has led to political and theological controversy. Two disciplines have been labelled “pseudoscience” by scientists.
The most notable disputes concern the evolution of living organisms, the idea of common descent, the geological history of the Earth, the formation of the solar system and the origin of the universe.
Theistic evolution, also known as evolutionary creationism, reconciles theistic religious beliefs with scientific findings on the age of the Earth and the process of evolution. It includes a range of beliefs, including views described as evolutionary creationism and some forms of old Earth creationism, all of which embrace the findings of modern science and uphold classical religious teachings about God and creation.