The term creationism refers to the belief that the universe and all living things are acts of divine creation, rather than natural processes. In America, we tend to think of creationism as having a biblical source. But just as not all Christians are creationists, not all creationists are Christian. Trace Dominguez explains in today's Seeker Daily report.
Technically speaking, creationism can apply to any religion in which God is the sole and absolute creator of the universe. In Christianity, creationism is generally sorted into three categories.
Old Earth creationists believe that, while the Earth and the universe were created directly by God, the act of creation should not be taken literally. Old Earth creationists still question the concept of evolution, but have no problem with the idea that the universe is billions of years old.
New Earth creationists believe in a literal reading of the Bible, and are happy to do their own math when necessary. As such, they believe that God created the Earth just a few thousand years old with the intention of making it appear to be older. Any evidence that suggests ancient eras -- a dinosaur fossil, say -- is actually just a test of faith.
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A relatively recent third variety is neocreationism, which holds that mainstream science is legitimate and actually a reflection of God's work. Neocreationists believe that life evolves, but that the process is guided by divine will.
Creationist ideas are also found throughout Islam and Judaism, with a similar range of interpretations. Polls suggest about half of Israeli Jews believe in evolution, while the more orthodox Jewish traditions incorporate creationist ideas.
Many Muslims see no conflict at all among modern science, evolutionary theory and Quranic teachings. On the other hand, a more fundamentalist movement has emerged in recent years, particularly in Turkey. According to a 2008 poll, only a quarter of the population believes in evolution.
American rationalists may be tempted to feel smug about these numbers, but things aren't much different in the U.S., actually. According to a 2014 Gallup poll, 42 percent of Americans subscribe to creationist beliefs.
-- Glenn McDonald
The Daily Beast: Creationist Lawmaker says Noah's Ark was Found, Rocks Prove God Created Earth
The New York Times: Creationism, Minus a Young Earth, Emerges in the Islamic World
The Washington Post: In Turkey, a Fertile Ground for Creationism