Creation Science and Creationism
Creationism and creation science have a long, storied history – from ancient Christian philosophers such as Origen or St. Thomas Aquinas, up until modern proponents like Ken Ham or Hugh Ross, a vigorous dialogue continues.
With terms like “Young Earth Creationism,” “Old Earth Creationism,” or “Theistic evolution” though, who believes what can be confusing.
Fortunately, we’re here to help make things simple for you! Beyond this introduction, there are many wonderful videos and complete courses online. One from Farhaven Baptist College is immediately below and providers like Compass Classroom offer an entire curriculum for homeschooling purposes, plus they even have biology homeschool lab materials for your kids. To start with our own introduction however, let’s take a look at some important terms and what they mean.
What is creationism? Simply put, it’s the idea that the universe and all life within it – including humans – was created by God. Whereas mainstream, secular science does not assume the existence of a Deity and tries to ascribe the universe and life to natural processes (Big Bang, evolution, etc.), creationism takes the creation account written in the Book of Genesis as historically accurate (whether literally or figuratively).
Creation Science is when the scientific method is employed to find data that corroborates accounts given in the Bible. For example, one subset of creation science is flood geology, where scientists discuss evidence of Noah’s flood as described in Genesis 6:9 – 9:17. Another is baraminology, which describes the relatedness of life through created animal “kinds.”
Young Earth Creationism
Young Earth Creationists are the most common Creationist group. Young Earth Creationism opts for a literal reading of the Bible: for example, Young Earth creationists believe that the six days of creation were six, literal 24-hour periods and that around 6,000 years have passed between now and the creation of the Earth. This number is mainly derived from genealogies in the Books of Genesis and Luke.
Old Earth Creationism
Mainstream scientists argue that the Earth is around 4.5 billion years old. Old Earth Creationism generally agrees with this number but rejects the theory of evolution. Old Earth Creationists believe that each of the days of creation described in Genesis 1:1 to 2:2 are not literal 24-hour periods, but rather long periods of thousands, millions, or billions of years.
Intelligent Design challenges the theory of evolution in a unique way: by arguing that there are certain biological systems that are “irreducibly complex.” Irreducible complexity is an important tenet of intelligent design and means that, if you remove one part of the system everything falls apart. So, how did it evolve? Intelligent design is not necessarily Christian but usually is.
Theistic evolution accepts all of mainstream, secular science’s assertions – that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and that all life on the planet today developed over time from a common ancestor. The difference between theistic evolution and secular science is that the former sees evolution as something that was directed by God (i.e., that evolution was the mechanism God used to create life).
If you are considering homeschooling your child in order to provide them with a Christian education, you’ll be able to find plenty of resources whether you want to teach Young Earth Creationism, Theistic evolution, or anything in between.
If you were simply confused about all these different terms, we hope we’ve helped you distinguish them and encourage you to continue your research in a faith-based direction.
Either way, best of luck in your journey!