Understanding the Different Types of Creationism

Like evolution, creationism can have more than one meaning. At its most basic, creationism is the belief that the universe was created by a deity of some sort - but after that, there is quite a lot of variety among creationists as to just what they believe and why. People may lump all creationists together in one group, but it is important to understand where they differ and why. Not every critique of creationism and creationist ideology will apply equally well to all creationists.

Scientific Creationism

When the evolution vs. creationism debate comes up, we are usually speaking of a more specific type of creationism: the fundamentalist Protestant version of creationism. This creationism (usually called Scientific Creationism or Creation Science) involves a literal interpretation of the Bible that is incompatible with evolution as well as with much other science and history, but which fundamentalists attempt to harmonize with scientific investigations of nature.

Flat Earthers & Geocentrists

Flat Earthers believe that the Earth is flat rather than round. The sky above is a dome or “firmament” which holds back the waters which once covered the Earth in Noah’s Flood. This position is most commonly based upon a literal reading of the Bible, for example references to the “four corners of the earth” and the “circle of the earth.” Although some believe that all Christians used to think that the Earth is flat, that isn’t the case.

Young Earth Creationism

Young Earth Creationists (YEC), the largest and most vocal group of creationists active in America, rely upon the most literal interpretation of the Bible in comparison to other forms of special creationism. At its heart, the Young Earth Creationist movement is a movement of conservative Christians. It is rare to find a Young Earth Creationist making a case either for creationism or against evolution without doing so from a deliberately religious and, usually, fundamentalist Christian position.

Old Earth Creationism

Sometimes, special creationism accepts the existence of an “old earth,” such that an ancient earth is accepted, but not evolution itself. This requires rejecting a completely literal interpretation of Genesis, but not abandoning it wholly and not simply reading it as metaphorical in the manner of Theistic Evolutionists. When reading Genesis, Jewish and Christian Old Earth Creationists (OEC) can take a number of different paths...

Theistic Evolution & Evolutionary Creationism

Creationism does not have to be incompatible with evolution; there are many who believe in a creator god(s) and who also accept evolution. They may have deistic beliefs and believe a god started everything then let it run without interference. Theistic Evolution encompasses theism, some system of traditional religious beliefs, and the idea that a god or gods used evolution to develop life on earth.

Intelligent Design Creationism

Intelligent Design is the most recent form of creationism to develop, but its roots go back much further. Fundamentally speaking, Intelligent Design is based upon the idea that the existence of God could be deduced from the existence of intricate design in the universe.