—creationist, n., adj. —creationistic, adj./kree ay"sheuh niz'euhm/, n.1. the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed.2. (sometimes cap.) the doctrine that the true story of the creation of the universe is as it is recounted in the Bible, esp. in the first chapter of Genesis.3. the doctrine that God immediately creates out of nothing a new human soul for each individual born. Cf. traducianism.[1840-50; CREATION + -ISM]
* * *Theory that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing.Biblical creationists believe that the story told in Genesis of God's six-day creation of all things is literally correct. Scientific creationists believe that a creator made all that exists, but they may not hold that the Genesis story is a literal history of that creation. Creationism grew as a result of the advancement of the theory of evolution after the 1859 publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Within two decades most of the scientific community had accepted some form of organic evolution, and most churches eventually followed suit. Some conservative religious groups, however, have argued that Darwinian evolution alone cannot account for the complexity of the living world and have insisted that certain biblical descriptions of creation are revealed scientific truth. In the early 20th century, some areas in the U.S. banned the teaching of Darwinian theory, which led to the famous Scopes Trial (the so-called "Monkey Trial") of 1925. Many creationists now work toward ensuring that schools and textbooks present evolution as a theory that is no more provable than biblical creation.
* * *the belief that the universe and the various forms of life were created by God out of nothing (ex nihilo).Biblical creationists believe that the story told in Genesis of God's six-day creation of all things is literally correct. Scientific creationists believe that a creator made all that exists, but they may not hold that the Genesis story is a literal history of that creation. Both types of creationists, however, believe that changes in organisms may involve changes within a species or downward changes (negative mutations), but they do not believe that any of these changes can lead to the evolution of a lower or simpler species into a higher or more-complex species. Thus, the theory of biological evolution is disputed by all creationists.Creationism became the object of renewed interest among conservative religious (religion) groups following the publication in 1859 of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (Darwin, Charles) (1809–82), the first systematic statement of evolutionary theory. Within two decades most of the scientific community had accepted some form of evolution, and most churches eventually followed suit. In the early 20th century, some state legislatures in the United States banned the teaching of evolution on the ground that it contradicted the biblical creation story, which they considered a revealed truth. The result was the famous Scopes Trial (the so-called “Monkey Trial”) of 1925, in which a high-school teacher, John T. Scopes, was convicted of unlawfully teaching the theory of evolution (he was later acquitted on a technicality). Beginning in the late 20th century, many creationists advocated a view known as intelligent design, which was essentially a scientifically modern version of the argument from design for the existence of God as set forth by the Anglican clergyman William Paley (Paley, William) (1743–1805). Today most creationists in the United States continue to work toward their goal of ensuring that the biblical creation story, or at least the idea that the universe and living things were divinely created, is taught alongside evolution in the public schools.
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