In The Lie, I explained how the Young Earth Creationists try to make you choose between atheism and their beliefs. I said that there was no simple this or that decision, and here I will survey all the options. Its obvious what I think from the main Origins page, but this is meant to be objective. Im just going to say what the labels mean.
So, starting with the most literal, we have:
Flat Earthers believe that the Bible teaches that the earth is flat. Therefore it is, and any science that says otherwise is in error. This is not a large group; I believe it numbers in the hundreds world-wide. It goes without saying that they believe the world was made in six days.
Whilst rejecting a flat earth, Geocentrists take literally Biblical statements about the sun rising and so forth. Therefore the Earth is at the centre of the universe and the sun goes round it. Again, it goes without saying that the six days of Genesis 1 are taken literally as well.
This is the largest YE grouping. They hold that science is correct in what it describes now, but wrong about the inferences it makes for the past. The six days of Genesis 1 are to be taken literally, but the discoveries of the ancient Greeks about the shape of the world, and those of Copernicus and Kepler about the shape of the Solar System, are accepted.
The Gap-Age theory exploits a possible alternative reading of the Hebrew 'the earth was without form and void' and suggests that there is a big gap in Genesis 1:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth
GAP - millions of years
And the earth was (became) without form and void.
From then on, the Genesis story is literally true as a story of recreation.
Consequently, the Gap-Age theory does not accept evolution, at least of current organisms, because all the current creatures were created during the Creation week. The strata and the fossils in them were (presumably) laid down during the Gap.
The Day-Age reconciliation of Genesis and Science sees the six days of Creation as being ages of indeterminate length millions of years in many cases. However, the fossil record does not agree with the order of Genesis, so many Day-Age Theorists hold that the ages overlap rather than being consecutive.
This view says that the days of Genesis are not indicative of Chronology. The fossil record is fully accepted, but Progressive Creationists hold that each new form in the record was created by God rather than evolving from existing species.
This is a fairly new grouping. Intelligent Design Theory accepts a certain amount of evolution, although the amount greatly from virtually Progressive Creationist to virtually Theistic Evolutionist. But it holds that some things cannot be explained by natural explanations alone, such as the eye, bacterial cilia and some biochemical pathways, and that these things indicate an intelligent designer.
This fully accepts the position of mainstream science on evolution, but considers that it is the work of a theistic God. Some Theistic Evolutionists prefer the term Evolutionary Creation, to emphasise that their acceptance of evolution does not mean that they have abandoned belief in a creator.
As this is my position, I wont go into details here, but see the main Origins page.
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