Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What does Creationism mean

  1. May 24, 2004 #1
    I have read some other thread in which this word was mentioned, I check it out on the net, and 20% figured out what it is about. Would you please tell me again what it really is ? And why do people have to take it into consideration ???

    Thank you very much,
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2004 #2

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    "Creationism" usually means the belief in a sentient being (a God) that created the Earth and the life on it in its current state. It is contrary to the scientific belief that the Earth was created 4.6 billion years ago through natural events, and and it and the life on it has evolved since through natural events.

    - Warren
     
  4. May 24, 2004 #3
    Thank you very much,
    You think it will be worthy delving more into this subject if I would like to study about Earth history and its evolution ? Or just understand it as what You explained is enough ???

    Thank you

    [edit] It doesnt sound right, I reread and see it, I am so sorry about that[/edit]
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2004
  5. May 24, 2004 #4

    enigma

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Depends if you want to study science or US religious right propaganda
     
  6. May 24, 2004 #5
    Depends if you want to study science or US religious right propaganda

    I think that was a little harsh, and uncalled for.

    It is contrary to the scientific belief that the Earth was created 4.6 billion years ago through natural events, and and it and the life on it has evolved since through natural events.

    Not true. Most creationist do, but there is a sect of scientist, who are progressive creationist. All we believe is that biological evolution is mathmaticly impossible and that God, after starting the big bang and helping the universe to evolve, and directing events to accomplish what He wanted, placed life on Earth, in a series of steps. It's very complexed, so I sugect you check out their web site, as I don't have enough time to explain it all. if you are interested, I suggest you by a book or two from them.

    http://www.reasons.org


    ~Oochy
     
  7. May 24, 2004 #6

    jcsd

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    But the problem is it ain't science. There are some scinetists who are creationists, but in almost all cases they are speaking outside of their areas of expertise. There are also some pseudo-scientists who hold qualifications from non-accredited universities and publish in non-peer reviewed journals.

    Coming from the UK where there is no real analogy to the US religous right, the whole thing baffles me; when I first heard about creationists I thought is was some sort of joke. As I said before you might as well argue over whether the moon is made of cheese or not.
     
  8. May 24, 2004 #7

    Phobos

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Oochy - Yes, there is certainly a broad spectrum of beliefs on the subject and one description won't fit all.

    Pattielli - Check out these descriptions...
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/wic.html

    Oftentimes, the term refers to Young Earth Creationists (YEC) who are perhaps the most vocal group....although Intelligent Design Creationists are in the news a lot lately.

    YECs are usually fundamentalist Christians who interpret the Bible very literally and believe the universe is only a few thousand years old and that all "kinds" of species were created in their current form directly by God (i.e., no naturalistic evolution of one species into another).

    Oochy's link is that of Dr. Hugh Ross whose beliefs seem to lie somewhere between the Day-Age Creationism and Theistic Evolution in the link I provide (I don't know his work that well). From what I've seen, he believes that the universe & life are too complicated to have formed without (the Christian) God. So, he interprets the Bible in a different, and less literal way. For example, the "days" of Genesis are interpreted as meaning long (cosmological) periods of time. The Flood was not just global, but a metaphor for a universal change. From what I've seen, he is more scientifically literate than the YECs. But overall, Dr. Ross is dedicated to seeing how scientific facts fit the Biblical model. Whereas, in science (as enigma suggested) you start with the observational facts and then build the model from that.

    It comes from religion. Most people are religious, so they must consider the teachings of their church vs. what science finds. It's so often discussed because Creationists are working hard to have their views taught in science classes alongside scientific theories. It's a big, long-time debate in the U.S. and there even have been Supreme Court cases about it.
     
  9. May 24, 2004 #8

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    That creationist site so badly misrepresents the actual position of evolutionary biologists that it's barely worth reading. It's nice to see these people genuinely try, but when they butcher so many basic facts, it's difficult to take them seriously.
     
  10. May 24, 2004 #9

    jcsd

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Dr. Hugh Ross is a case in point, he is a legitimate scientist and though I'm not 100% famliar with all his beliefs none of them seem to contradict the orthodoxy in his particular area of expertise. However he is completely unqualified to give an expert opinion on the likelihood of abiogenesis and evolution.
     
  11. May 24, 2004 #10
    Oh well, it is truly unbelievable...and really against science...
    Thank you everyone for your ideas, :smile:
     
  12. May 24, 2004 #11

    enigma

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Harsh, yes. Uncalled for, I don't think so.

    You can believe that evolution is mathematically impossible all you want. Until you start producing numbers to back up your assertions, you're making propaganda... not science.

    You may not be aware that in the history of ID, there has not been a single submission to a peer-reviewed journal. That's not: "HAHA look at this silly nitwit... we're not going to publish this garbage"... that's none. nada. zip. zero. zilch. even submitted.

    Sorry. If you can't even come up with an article, let alone one without drastic errors in thinking or research, you're not doing science.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2004
  13. May 24, 2004 #12
    ...he is completely unqualified to give an expert opinion on the likelihood of abiogenesis and evolution...

    Yes, he admits that. That is why he has a fellow on his team by the name of Fazale Rana, a Ph.D biochemist from the university of Ohio.

    Oochy's link is that of Dr. Hugh Ross whose beliefs seem to lie somewhere between the Day-Age Creationism and Theistic Evolution in the link I provide (I don't know his work that well). From what I've seen, he believes that the universe & life are too complicated to have formed without (the Christian) God. So, he interprets the Bible in a different, and less literal way. For example, the "days" of Genesis are interpreted as meaning long (cosmological) periods of time. The Flood was not just global, but a metaphor for a universal change. From what I've seen, he is more scientifically literate than the YECs. But overall, Dr. Ross is dedicated to seeing how scientific facts fit the Biblical model. Whereas, in science (as enigma suggested) you start with the observational facts and then build the model from that.

    Correct, and he has begun to create a scientific model of his veiws of creation, which is a theory, not a "this-is-how-it-is-because-the-Bible-says-so", on how the universe began and life, and I believe he is submiting his research to some scientific journals.

    You can believe that evolution is mathematically impossible all you want. Until you start producing numbers to back up your assertions, you're making propaganda... not science.

    Now that I can do, my friend. Now this is from ICR, which is a YEC group, and I most disagree with almost everything they say, for as you all have said it is not science. But this is one of the bases of the argument against evolution, besides a lack of fossil evidance(Which I would need to see before I would accept evolution[theistic or natualistic]).


    The Mathematical Impossibility of Evolution

    According to the most-widely accepted theory of evolution today, the sole mechanism for producing evolution is that of random mutation combined with natural selection. Mutations are random changes in genetic systems. Natural selection is considered by evolutionists to be a sort of sieve, which retains the "good" mutations and allows the others to pass away.

    Since random changes in ordered systems almost always will decrease the amount of order in those systems, nearly all mutations are harmful to the organisms which experience them. Nevertheless, the evolutionist insists that each complex organism in the world today has arisen by a long string of gradually accumulated good mutations preserved by natural selection. No one has ever actually observed a genuine mutation occurring in the natural environment which was beneficial (that is, adding useful genetic information to an existing genetic code), and therefore, retained by the selection process. For some reason, however, the idea has a certain persuasive quality about it and seems eminently reasonable to many people—until it is examined quantitatively, that is!

    For example, consider a very simple putative organism composed of only 200 integrated and functioning parts, and the problem of deriving that organism by this type of process. The system presumably must have started with only one part and then gradually built itself up over many generations into its 200-part organization. The developing organism, at each successive stage, must itself be integrated and functioning in its environment in order to survive until the next stage. Each successive stage, of course, becomes statistically less likely than the preceding one, since it is far easier for a complex system to break down than to build itself up. A four-component integrated system can more easily "mutate" (that is, somehow suddenly change) into a three-component system (or even a four-component non-functioning system) than into a five-component integrated system. If, at any step in the chain, the system mutates "downward," then it is either destroyed altogether or else moves backward, in an evolutionary sense.

    Therefore, the successful production of a 200-component functioning organism requires, at least, 200 successive, successful such "mutations," each of which is highly unlikely. Even evolutionists recognize that true mutations are very rare, and beneficial mutations are extremely rare—not more than one out of a thousand mutations are beneficial, at the very most.

    But let us give the evolutionist the benefit of every consideration. Assume that, at each mutational step, there is equally as much chance for it to be good as bad. Thus, the probability for the success of each mutation is assumed to be one out of two, or one-half. Elementary statistical theory shows that the probability of 200 successive mutations being successful is then (½)200, or one chance out of 1060. The number 1060, if written out, would be "one" followed by sixty "zeros." In other words, the chance that a 200-component organism could be formed by mutation and natural selection is less than one chance out of a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! Lest anyone think that a 200-part system is unreasonably complex, it should be noted that even a one-celled plant or animal may have millions of molecular "parts."

    The evolutionist might react by saying that even though any one such mutating organism might not be successful, surely some around the world would be, especially in the 10 billion years (or 1018 seconds) of assumed earth history. Therefore, let us imagine that every one of the earth's 1014 square feet of surface harbors a billion (i.e., 109) mutating systems and that each mutation requires one-half second (actually it would take far more time than this). Each system can thus go through its 200 mutations in 100 seconds and then, if it is unsuccessful, start over for a new try. In 1018 seconds, there can, therefore, be 1018/102, or 1016, trials by each mutating system. Multiplying all these numbers together, there would be a total possible number of attempts to develop a 200-component system equal to 1014 (109) (1016), or 1039 attempts. Since the probability against the success of any one of them is 1060, it is obvious that the probability that just one of these 1039 attempts might be successful is only one out of 1060/1039, or 1021.

    All this means that the chance that any kind of a 200-component integrated functioning organism could be developed by mutation and natural selection just once, anywhere in the world, in all the assumed expanse of geologic time, is less than one chance out of a billion trillion. What possible conclusion, therefore, can we derive from such considerations as this except that evolution by mutation and natural selection is mathematically and logically indefensible!


    There. I know it's alot, but I have checked over it and found nothing wrong or incorrect as far as I can tell.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2004
  14. May 24, 2004 #13

    Janitor

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I am interested to see what sort of critique can be made of what Oochy posted about the impossibility of evolution. I can remember it being in vogue among creationists a decade ago to compare the evolution of life with a tornado blowing through a junk yard and whipping up a functioning 747 passenger jet.

    The hazards of taking parts of the Bible seriously are pointed out in a humorous way in the lead post of this thread at PF:

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=2945
     
  15. May 24, 2004 #14

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    There you go. There's your mistake right there, and this is why these are not sumbitted to peer-reviewed journals.

    This calculation assume that there is only one possible way in which a 200-part organism might evolve successfully. Obviously we can see that is not the case. There are literally millions of species, all with the same number of parts. It is erroneous to say that 200 mutations in a row must be successful, as well. All that has to happen is that 1 of the millions of individuals of this species must have one favorable mutation (out of a myriad that might be favorable in some way). Then when a million individuals have adopted this mutation, there must be one more. This is hardly improbable. In fact, we have seen microbes in lab cultures mutate and adopt favorable mutations at ridiculous rates that make this critique downright silly. It takes longer for larger organism (both because they reproduce slower and because there are less individuals of a given species), but the process is the same.
     
  16. May 24, 2004 #15

    enigma

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I do not mean to sound bellicose, Oochy. Really I don't. The problem is that pseudoscience like creationism and ID are the single greatest threat to scientific education in the US and the world to date. Evolution has been proven true over the past 150 years of study. If there were any doubt among scientists, creationism/ID might actually be given credence. It isn't. It hasn't been for decades.

    Now... to the essay.
    There is plenty wrong, first off.
    Second, it is not a scientific study. It is a thought experiment, at best. Count how many times he states something without backing it up with numbers. I'm not calling out all of them.

    Where are the numbers to back up this statement?
    what is "order"?

    Where are the numbers to back up this statement?
    Is a man with webbed toes suffering from a harmful mutation?
    What about a man with excessive body hair?
    An albino?
    Are these mutations harmful?
    How about a woman with 12 toes instead of 10?
    What about a person with extremely long earlobes?
    Harmful?

    How about a tricky one: Sickle cell anemia.
    Harmful? Sometimes...
    Depends if malaria is prevalent in the region. If no, it's harmful (or at least painful). If yes, it's an advantage.

    The problem with this argument, and honestly all creationist arguments about "most mutations are harmful" is that they think that the only mutations that are being considered are "extra leg growing out of the back" type mutations. They thoroughly ignore the little mutations which differentiate everyone and everything from others of the same species.

    This is an utter, total, and complete boldfaced LIE

    Ever heard of anti-biotic resistant bacteria?

    How about the strains of bacteria which can dissolve Nylon; a substance which has only been around for 50 years or so.

    Where do you think that new diseases come from? They mutate from existing strains, possibly strains that previously could only have attacked a type of animal.

    Sure, the mutations may not be beneficial to us, but the bacteria? Goldmine.

    Why does it seem like I'm only listing bacteria? Because we've only been looking for 150 years or so. Evolution is a sloooooow process. Bacteria have lifespans in the days. That way we can watch them changing in our lifetimes.

    Where are the numbers to back up this statement?

    At each successive stage it only needs to be good enough to survive. If it is marginally better than the previous iteration, it'll eventually dominate. According to research, we evolved and the Neanderthals did not because we were marginally better at obtaining food. We wandered away from "home base" to obtain food, especially seasonal food like salmon or berries. Neanderthals stayed near their caves and made due. It has been determined (and unfortunately, I cannot find a link to it) that a mere 2% advantage in birthrates would have caused us to completely dominate the niche we were competing for in a rediculously low number of years. 60K is what's coming to mind, but I am quite probably misremembering.

    Numbers? Proof?

    Numbers? Proof?

    emphasis mine

    Numbers? Proof?

    Uh? Lie.

    Numbers? Proof?

    (fabrications...)

    Numbers? Proof?

    Why does it have to be either/or? The examples I've listed above are a short list of mutations which are present in our collective gene pool.

    This is a gross oversimplification brought about by a complete lack of understanding of genetics. There is a change in the genetic code EVERY SINGLE TIME a new generation is born. If it's better than the rest, it continues. If it isn't, it dies out eventually. Doubt it? Look at children. Are they all exactly alike? Are some of them taller? Do some stand straighter? Can some run faster?

    clip similar oversimplifications.

    Look, it took less than 20,000 years of artificial selection to turn wolves into wienerdogs AND great danes. You are saying it is impossible for a wolf to turn naturally into ANYTHING without guidance in a million?

    Speaking of that, take a look at the attachment. Can you honestly tell me you can't see a sequence there? Except for the first (modern chimp) and the last (modern human), you're looking, in chronological order, at 2.6My of human evolution. I'll guess that's somewhere near 100,000 generations.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 24, 2004
  17. May 24, 2004 #16
    I found an article that elaborates on the reasonings that YEC's have about the universe (some of it is quite funny).

    Here is an 'argument' about salt. "Another young-earth argument is that not enough salt or minerals are in the bottom of the oceans. Here young-earth creationists base their assumptions on the supposition that if the earth was old, oceans would be 4.6 billion year-old stagnant basins. They ignore the universally-accepted documentation of sea floor spreading and plate tectonics that depict the earth as a vibrant and living surface."

    And also, "In 1857, Phillip Gosse wrote Omphalos (navel), a book advocating that God created false records in nature to date his recent creation artificially. Just as Adam must have been created an adult, Gosse argued, the Creator designed the earth to look old. The earth would be young, but would have the 'appearance of age.'" This sounds absurd in itself and is without motive. Why would god make the earth look older?

    http://www.orisol.com/chap04.html
     
  18. May 24, 2004 #17
    He needed to a way to help populate Hell. :approve:
     
  19. May 25, 2004 #18
    This is an utter, total, and complete boldfaced LIE

    Ever heard of anti-biotic resistant bacteria?

    How about the strains of bacteria which can dissolve Nylon; a substance which has only been around for 50 years or so.

    Where do you think that new diseases come from? They mutate from existing strains, possibly strains that previously could only have attacked a type of animal.


    I should have edited this article and made it more acurate, and left out the fluff. You are correct, but I've never seen a fossil of a fish turning into a land animal or many other "missing links". You only have evidance for fungi changing, not animals. And even if you can prove evolution works, you have just begun the solve the problem. Your main problem will always be, life's beginings....



    You, uh.. Skiped this part, why?


    Look, it took less than 20,000 years of artificial selection to turn wolves into wienerdogs AND great danes. You are saying it is impossible for a wolf to turn naturally into ANYTHING without guidance in a million?

    That's with in the canine genus, not a dog into a sheep or a goat.

    ...nearly all mutations are harmful to the organisms which experience them.

    They said NEARLY, not all.

    This is a gross oversimplification brought about by a complete lack of understanding of genetics. There is a change in the genetic code EVERY SINGLE TIME a new generation is born. If it's better than the rest, it continues. If it isn't, it dies out eventually.

    You failed to adress the subject, the mathematic impossility of evolution.

    You kepted asking for "Where are the numbers to back up this statement?", then they gave them, and you changed the discussion. Now I ask you: Where are the numbers to back up your statements?

    You never addresed the problem of the possibility of evolution.
     
  20. May 25, 2004 #19
    Creationism is religious belief, parading as science. American christians have managed to get their beliefs taught in public schools as a kind of co-science, since Darwinism counters the biblical story of creation. Some people believe that just by dangling their religious concepts in front of children, they have done their righteous duty on earth, and their God will be pleased with them, and not kick the holy poop out of them when he comes back to earth and is really angry about how we behave, or the fact that we just don't fawn enough. I think that their system of belief, and thought, projected as an energy; is one of the most damaging forms of electromagnetic pollution, ever. I would never want a child of mine, exposed to this stuff.
     
  21. May 25, 2004 #20
    The fossil as a test of humans

    ...Because we are "not [to] put the LORD ... God to the test." Fossil dating provides a means at hand for human testing of the Lord. The bait lies in wait as the Lord's test of His subjects.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: What does Creationism mean
  1. What is that? (Replies: 6)

Loading...