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Creationism: what it is and why it causes controversy

Creationism: what it is and why it causes controversy

December 4, 2020

Since the dawn of humanity, human beings have tried to explain their presence in the world. Where we come from, where we are going, how we have become what we are or why we exist are some of the questions that are still the subject of controversy and questioning even today. Religion, the firm and science have tried to formulate the answers, sometimes arising conflicts between the approaches of each other.

Within attempts to explain reality from a religious point of view, we can find creationism as one of the best known and at the moment controversial by its total rejection to the evolutionary theory.

  • Related article: "Types of religion (and their differences of beliefs and ideas)"

Creationism: what is it?

It is known as creationism a set of different beliefs based on religious doctrine , whose main characteristic is the consideration that everything that exists in the universe has been a divine work.


Although in principle it is creationist all that interpretation of the reality that has this base independently of the religion itself, it is generally known as creationism to that tendency or current of thought based on Catholicism and the Bible .

Your opposition to biological evolution

The most classical creationism is also characterized by maintaining a literal interpretation of the Bible and of Genesis, denying the evolutionary theory . Consider that the beings that exist today are those that have existed since the beginning of time, not accepting that they have an evolutionary origin and discarding existing evidence about it or reinterpreting them (for example fossils can be proof of the existence of the flood universal).


For those who hold this theory literally, the Earth would be no more than ten thousand years old. Although the amount of evidence that contradicts this idea is overwhelming and belong to different scientific fields (from geology to biology), among those who defend this vision of reality, men and women with university and scientific training stand out, not being their followers necessarily members of the clergy or with little educational level.

The main principles of this version of creationism are the sudden creation of the entire universe and everything existing from nothing, the consideration that evolution does not exist and although there may be changes in organisms only occur within limits and without greatly varying the animals and plants, which are those that they existed from the beginning of creation.

It also considers that the living beings that exist today are those that have always existed, and the orography of the Earth is explained by the presence of catastrophes such as the universal flood.


  • Maybe you're interested: "The theory of biological evolution"

The intelligent design

The principles of the creationist theory are little evidence and sustainable at a scientific level, which is why in principle they should have little acceptance within the academic world. However, later a theory based on creationism has arisen that has been tried defend the creationist position with a language similar to the scientific , proposing as hypothesis: the theory of intelligent design.

In this case, it is proposed that the model that natural selection and evolution does not sufficiently explain the development and origin of living beings from a few organisms. It also proposes that the great biodiversity, the functioning of the universe and natural laws make clear the existence of a creator who designed them with a purpose. Consider that chance can not explain the existence of reality and that there is a plan and designed by something or someone. However, this theory is not falsifiable, with what can not be verified and therefore can not be scientific.

Not all creationism is contrary to the theory of evolution

While the truth is that perhaps the most well-known type of creationism is anti-evolutionist creationism precisely because of the polemic it raised when denying the theory of evolution, the truth is that not all creationism is contrary to this.

In fact, there is a proevolution creationism that although considers that the universe has its origin in a creator , accepts the existence of evolution and the scientific theories that surround it, not denying its value. This shows that religious doctrine does not have to be opposite or confronted with science, but it can be complementary.

An expanded vision in America

Probably many of those who read these lines will have heard on occasion the existence of a powerful conflict between evolutionary theory and creationism in America, (although from the scientific point of view there is no debate). And is that in the United States the creationist theory has great power and expansion , coming years ago to be taught in schools in such a way that evolutionary theory was denied and not taught, under the name of intelligent design theory.

During 2004, however, teaching in the public school of intelligent design theory was declared unconstitutional and prohibited, but this has not prevented this doctrine from continuing to exert a great influence at the academic level. Based on this prohibition, the idea of ​​critical analysis of evolution was generated, which today still has a remarkable influence and even has achieved the advocacy of favorable laws . From this modality in which it is not presented directly, the influence exercised by anti-evolutionist creationism has an effect generating doubts about evolution and other issues such as abortion or cloning.

The conflict aroused between the evolutionist and the creationist perspective has been an issue that can have considerable effects on society. However, on the other hand it allows a debate that can cause both positions to be discussed and discussed, leaving in evidence the defects and weaknesses that both can have.

Bibliographic references:

  • Collado, S. (2009). Overview of the creationism-evolutionism debate in the last hundred years in the USA. Yearbook of the History of the Church XVIII, 41-53.

Richard Dawkins: One Fact to Refute Creationism (December 2020).


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