What is creationism?

Creationism is the belief that the universe was brought into being by a divine act of God. Most Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe the universe was initially made by a Creator, but within these groups, opinions differ as to how God did so.

The term “creationist” often refers to a subset of Christians who reject Darwinian evolution and hold that chapters 1 and 2 of the Bible’s book of Genesis provide a credible, scientific account of the origin of the world. Creationism contains a broad and diverse set of additional beliefs, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Six-Day Creationism: The universe was formed in six 24-hour days.
  • Young Earth Creationism: Following a biblical timeline, the world is about 6,000 to 10,000 years old. 
  • Gap Creationism: Certain moments in Genesis’ creation account signal “gaps” in time, making room for modern scientific dating.  
  • Intelligent Design: Certain phenomena are “irreducibly complex,” signaling the creative design of a divine intelligence.

What about the Flood and dinosaurs?

Two much-discussed subjects among creationists are Noah’s Flood, described in Genesis 7, and the existence of dinosaurs. Interpretations vary among groups of creationists, but those who accept the story of Noah’s ark and the Great Flood find evidence for the flood in sediment and geologic formations. Many creationists who believe the earth is young accept the existence of dinosaurs, but believe they co-existed with humans. Some believe dinosaurs are still on the earth today.
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