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26-Oct-2015 18:26

Some creationists dismiss everyone who doesn’t hold their view as an “evolutionist” (using this term in a negative sense).Some evolutionists dismiss everyone who thinks that the world was created as a “creationist” (using this term in a negative sense).

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They’re calling each other names, and that doesn’t advance the discussion.And there are other positions yet, but most people in the present discussion seem to advocate a variant on one of the basic four described above.What bugs me is the way that advocates of these different positions often dump on each other: Of course, each of these schools of thought is different from the others, and people who hold different views inevitably have lapses in charity when discussing each other.But it seems that there is a huge amount of heat that is brought to this discussion, and at times the origins debate seems to degenerate into a mutual snarkfest.They’re also distorting the issue, because there are clearly middle positions on this question. It’s possible to divide up that spectrum in different ways.In fact, it’s possible to divide it into a mind-numbing array of fine-tuned categories.

That gets unwieldy, though, and it seems that, today, most participants in the origins discussion would say that they advocate one of four major positions: It is possible to carve out additional positions as well.

As with any spectrum, it’s hard to draw exact lines between them (e.g., where, exactly, on the color spectrum does red become orange? For example, some who would describe themselves as creationists (i.e., “old earth creationists”) would hold that the earth is much more than a few thousand years old but otherwise agree with much or all of the creationist viewpoint described above.

Creationism, Evolutionism, and Intelligent Design are three of the major positions on the question of how we got here. That seemingly straightforward question proves surprisingly controversial. Some on both sides of the issue would like to do exactly that.

It could be tempting to simply put participants in the discussion into two groups—creationists and evolutionists—and leave it at that.

The basic question at issue in the contemporary origins debate is whether or not the world was created.

In fact, some of the people who most readily identify themselves as creationists or evolutionists often speak as if these are the only two options.