As we seek to make the Forum even more diverse and dynamic, it would be helpful to get a sense of the demographics of our community. So I’ve put some poll questions below. It’s totally anonymous, trust me. Thanks in advance for all who participate.
How would you describe your perspective on origins? NOTE: If you are an ID proponent, pick the option that best suits you. I’m aware that you don’t like to be pigeonholed, but this is anonymous.
Here’s how I define each perspective: - Young-Earth/Recent Creationist: Days in Genesis are 24 hour periods, earth and universe are approx. 6000 years old. Macroevolution (common descent of all life) is false. No animal or human death before the Fall . - Old-Earth/Progressive Creationist: Days in Genesis correspond to “eons” of time and periods of God’s creative activity. Macroevolution (common descent of all life) is false, but animal death happened before the Fall. - Evolutionary Creationist: Evolution and natural processes explain the development of the universe, earth, and all life. God’s creative power is expressed alongside “natural” processes rather than interrupting them. Death occurred before the Fall. - Atheist/Secular: The universe can be entirely explained by natural processes. Physical reality is all that exists; the supernatural is a myth. Evolution describes the development of all life.
Which continent do you call home?
What age are you?
What is the highest level of education you’ve attained?
Thank you so much for helping us out, and for your contributions here.
Before I respond to this poll, I’d like to find a resource that would define those categorical terms. How do you distinguish between Old=Earth/Progressive Creationist and Evolutionary Creationist. Does the former means one believes God created the Universe and is modifying it at his pleasure as time goes on and the latter that God created the Universe and then let evolution take its course, unmodified or directed by Him?
Can you assist?
Well… let’s just bring those definitions right here! @BradKramer, add a reference to these quotes … or something better that you can post (either next to the survey … or down at the bottom):
HERE THEY ARE!!!
YOUNG-EARTH/RECENT CREATIONIST - I think we all know what that is. "According to Young Earth Creationism (YEC), a faithful reading of Scripture commits Christians to accepting that the earth is young, between 6,000 and 10,000 years old. YEC claims that Scripture is not compatible with the idea that humans share common ancestry with other life forms on earth, and most YEC proponents feel that evolution is a direct threat to Christianity. "
OLD-EARTH/PROGRESSIVE CREATIONIST - " According to Old Earth Creationism (OEC), the scientific evidence for the great age of the earth (4.6 billion years) and universe (13.7 billion years) is strong. This view typically maintains that the days of creation in Genesis 1 each refer to long periods of time. OEC does not accept the common ancestry of all life forms, often opting instead for a theory of progressive creation in which God miraculously created new species at key moments in the history of life."
EVOLUTIONARY CREATIONIST - “At BioLogos, we present the Evolutionary Creationism (EC) viewpoint on origins. Like all Christians, we fully affirm that God is the creator of all life—including human beings in his image. We fully affirm that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative word of God. We also accept the science of evolution as the best description for how God brought about the diversity of life on earth. But while we accept the scientific evidence for evolution, BioLogos emphatically rejects Evolutionism, the atheistic worldview that so often accompanies the acceptance of biological evolution in public discussion.”
Thanks for the link Brad. I guess I misunderstood the definitions as I read them on the web, so my vote should be changed from Old Earth/Progressive Creations to Evolutionary Creationist, but it’s really a mix of the two. I believe in common descent; I don’t believe in the Darwinian model (interpreted as survival of the fittest) for evolution; I do believe that God tweaks evolution at His pleasure to achieve desired ends, consistent with my belief as a Catholic that God continuously sustains His creation.
By the way is the question on fruit preference designed to probe psychological correlations or is it some test of statistical fitness, or just whimsy?
I agree with you somewhat, Doctor. Even though I am a Southern Baptist, I feel the Roman Catholic Church is correct on its view in creation. I used to have the Maryknoll Book of Peoples when I was a child. I wish I still had the book.
Charles E. Miller, BA in German; MA in Religion (Theology and Biblical Studies,) Abschlussurkunde in Biblische Studien
A lot of people here have very nuanced understandings of the issues, which is unusual for the general population but I suppose makes sense in the context of this Forum. But if I was to make categories for everyone, the poll would be cumbersome.
Yes, @Christy and I will be psychoanalyzing everyone’s anonymous fruit preferences!!
A lot of people here have very nuanced understandings of the issues, which is unusual for the general population
Brad, obviously people here are a self-selected interest group, but my impression from the big national polls (and personal experience) is that people’s views often are more nuanced than the polls allow them to state. That leads to many of the anomalous results that have been discussed a few times here.
One recent example - Ted Davis quoted Stephen Barr on another post, whose strong doctrine of providence in whatever processes govern evolution elides the difference between “natural causes” and “supernatural”. Clearly a “natural cause” guided moment by moment by God to its ends is a radically different kind of “natural cause” to one set up to be free to decide its own outcomes.
Since to me those are the key “nuances” I’m unable to answer the survey (and hope no national pollsters accost me in the street and force me into the “Don’t Know” category!).
You do notice that the “Evolutionary Creationist” discussion is only fully understandable by reading reading the “Atheist/Secular” discussion?
To Make the “Evolutionary Creationist” discussion stand on its own, I wonder if this wording is a little more complete?
"Evolution and natural processes explain the development of the universe, earth, and all life, according to God’s guidance. Death occurred before the Fall. "
Notice that the additional words, “according to God’s guidance”, doesn’t attempt to restrict WHEN God does his guidance - - it could be “front-loaded” … AND/OR it could be punctuated with God making miraculous interventions at one or more points during the unfolding of the Universe.
Is it possible to change one’s vote to other? I’ve decided I like tangerines better than apples, or possibly passion fruit, or possibly pomegranate, or possibly nectarines, or possibly apricots. Similar possibilities for my views on evolution.