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Theology of Creationism

(evolutionary, progressive, young-earth)

 What methods of creation were used by God? 

Sections in this page are:
Theological Questions 
Methods of Creation 
  Divine Action & Creation 
  Evolutionary Creation 
  Progressive Creation 
  Young-Earth Creation 
  Secular & Atheist Views 

This page describes educational web-resources with a variety of views, to stimulate your thinking and help you explore a wide range of ideas.   {information & disclaimer}

What is creationism?  In this page, creationism is defined by our responses to theologically important questions, not by questions that are less important.  When we focus on essential theology and beliefs, creationists include all Judeo-Christian theists who believe that God designed and created the universe, whether they think the process of creation was young-earth (by miracles), old-earth progressive (by miracles and natural process), or old-earth evolutionary (by natural process).

      Theological Questions

      Creation Questions with Easy Answers
      Should all Judeo-Christian theists believe that God intelligently designed nature?  Yes.  Does this intelligent design include some "self assembly" by natural process?  Should we give credit to God for a design of nature that allows the birth of a baby or a star (like our sun) by natural process?  During the FORMATIVE HISTORY of nature or the SALVATION HISTORY of humans, can God guide natural process to produce a desired natural-appearing result?  Should we challenge any implication, by a Christian or non-Christian, that "if it isn't a miracle then God didn't do it"?  Does a theory proposing "no miracles in formative history" require "no miracles in salvation history" or — if God designed nature so miracles in formative history would not be necessary — could God decide to use miracles only in the context of human salvation history?
      In my opinion (writing as editor), Judeo-Christian theists who believe the Bible should say "yes" for each question above, so we should say "no" to all of these questions:  Does "natural" mean "without God"?  A process of natural evolution can be interpreted atheistically as "an unguided process without plan or purpose" but — if God designed nature so it would naturally evolve, and if natural process can be guided by God — should it be interpreted this way?  And even though evolution can be associated with weak "no miracles" Christian theology (or with deism, atheism, or pantheism), does it always lead to weak theology?   {more about Divine Action in Creation}

      Creation Questions to inspire Thinking and Discussion
      The following questions (which are related to those above) don't have easy answers, and Bible-believers differ in their views:
      There is abundant scientific evidence that God's intelligent design of nature includes partial self-assembly by natural process, but was there total self-assembly?  Would a 100% natural assembly be theologically preferable, or not?  God can guide natural process, but does God guide (partially or totally, sometimes or always) during formative history or salvation history?  After we acknowledge that theistic evolution is compatible with strong Christian theology, we can ask "is evolution compatible with the best theology?"

      Methods of Creation — What types of intelligent design were used by God?
      Consider three types of divine intelligent design, with a feature of nature produced by:
• natural process because, before history began, the universe was designed so this would happen, or
• natural process that was supernaturally guided by God to produce a desired natural-appearing result, or
• design-directed action by God that was miraculous-appearing and is thus potentially detectable by observations.
      And consider three possible plans for creation:  God could have decided to create everything by natural process (perhaps guided) or create everything by miracles, or create some things by natural process and others by miracles.   Should we expect the creation-actions of God to be obvious, so everyone will recognize and acknowledge what He has done?

      What does the Bible teach about creation?
      by direct statement:  In the Bible, do specific verses (or general principles) provide support for a claim that God used one plan-for-creation instead of another?
      by historical analogy:  In the Bible, during salvation history God used two modes of divine action — natural (usually) and miraculous (occasionally) — so does this imply that during formative history God also used both modes of action?  Or did God decide to use miracles only in salvation history when the miracles would be observed by humans?
      And, regarding the origin of humans:  What was the historical context of Adam and Eve? (when and where did they live?)  Did nonhuman "hominids" exist before them?  Are the lists of their descendants complete, and are the long lifespans literal or symbolic?   { these questions are examined in HUMAN ORIGINS — THEOLOGY & SCIENCE }
      Scripture and Nature:  How should we use these two sources of information graciously provided for us by God?  Should we use information from nature — gathered and evaluated using scientific methods — to help us interpret the Bible, when we ask "what (if anything) does this passage teach us about the details of when-and-how God created?"
      What can a Christian believe about evolution?  Does the Bible teach us that it's "evolution versus creation" so we must choose, and "if the Bible is true, evolution did not occur" which means "if some evolution did occur, the Bible is not true"?  And how should we define evolution:  is it any view proposing a universe older than 6000 years?  a full common descent with all species related?  a natural development of all biocomplexity without miracles?  a complete formative history of nature without miracles?  Or is it more, indicating a world with only matter-and-energy, without God?

      The questions above, which are answered by Christians in different ways, can inspire productive thinking and discussion.  Before we look at Divine Action and four types of creation theories — old-earth Evolutionary Creation, old-earth Progressive Creation (with independent creations, or by genetic modifications), and Young-Earth Creation — plus variations, let's think about some useful principles for deciding what we should do when we disagree.

      Understanding and Respect
      In my high school we learned valuable lessons from one of our teachers.  During a Monday debate, he convinced us that "his side of the issue" was correct, but on Tuesday he made the other side look just as good.  We soon learned that if we wanted to get accurate understanding, we should get the best information and arguments that all sides of an issue can claim as support.  When we did this and we understood more accurately, we usually recognized that even when we have valid reasons for preferring one view, people on other sides of an issue may also have good reasons for their views, so we learned respectful attitudes.
      But respect does not require agreement.  You can respect someone and their views, yet criticize their views, which you have evaluated based on evidence, logic, and values.  The intention of our teacher, and the conclusion of his students, was not a postmodern relativism.  Our goal was a thorough exploration and rational evaluation of ideas in a search for truth.
      For more about these ideas, and how they are used in our website, see Accurate Understanding and Respectful Attitudes.

      Competence and Character
      When we evaluate views of creation, two commonly used evaluation criteria — the competence and character of those claiming to be authorities — must be used very carefully because proponents of all three views include intelligent scholars with theological and/or scientific expertise who are devout Christians with high moral character, who sincerely want to find the truth.

      Appropriate Humility
      Prayerfully consider Job 42:3 ("surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know") and carefully think about the appropriate humility (not too little and not too much) of recognizing that we can answer some theological and scientific questions, but not others, with a high degree of justifiable confidence.  Therefore, you should consider the possibiity that your view (no matter what it is) may not be correct in every way.
      Then ask yourself whether you think each plan-for-creation would be sufficiently wise and impressive to satisfy you, so we could honestly say, along with the heavenly elders in Revelation 4:11, that "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
All of us should say in public — and believe in our hearts and minds — that "IF God created using a method differing from the way I think He created (regarding either age or evolution), then God is still worthy of our praise."  But this humility (if... then...) is compatible with humbly explaining, using arguments from theology and science, why we think a particular view is most likely to be true.  In this page you'll see arguments for and against each view.  These arguments about "when and how" are important, but it's more important to treat others respectfully with a love that transcends our differences, as commanded by Jesus, so "everyone will recognize that you are my disciples, when they see the love you have for each other. (John 13:35)"  Thinking and behaving with Christian love should be easier when we place things in proper spiritual perspective, when we compare all of our views and find that, although we disagree about a few minor ideas, we agree about many central beliefs that are much more important.

What methods of creation were used by God?

This page, about METHODS OF CREATION, builds on the foundation of the homepage for VIEWS OF CREATION (so you may want to read it first) where you'll find summaries-and-links for Three Questions (and Three Views), ASA's View, Overviews of the Views, and "THE Christian View of Creation?", plus a Logical Comparison of Evolution-Views.

In the rest of this page you'll see a wide range of perspectives on theological questions (above) about divine action from Christian creationists (evolutionary & progressive & young-earth) plus secular organizations and non-Christians.  Although in this page the main focus is theology, many writers also discuss science.  But scientific questions are the focus in ORIGINS EVIDENCE where we look at FOUR EVOLUTIONS (astronomical, geological, chemical, biological) and ask, "What can we learn about the formative history of nature by using scientific evidence-and-logic?"

An introductory overview about creationist views (evolutionary, progressive, young earth) — plus links to pages where you can explore more deeply — is in THREE VIEWS OF CREATION.  And questions about human origins are in HUMAN EVOLUTION? — THEOLOGY & SCIENCE.


In addition to the pages below, most pages in later sections — about creationism (evolutionary, progressive, young earth) and more — also talk about divine action in creation.
It's a Miracle! Or is it? by Krista Bontrager, who describes different ways God interacts with his world — in Ordinary Providence and Extraordinary Providence (with Nontranscendant Miracles and Transcendant Miracles) — to clarify the views of Hugh Ross.  (9 k + 3k)
Divine Action in the Process of Creation by Craig Rusbult, describes divine action (foundational and active, natural-appearing and miraculous-appearing), explains why "it happened naturally" does not mean "it happened without God," and shares ideas from 9 other authors: Keith Miller, Terry Gray, Loren Haarsma, Robert John Russell, Peter Rüst, and Graeme Finlay, plus Richard Bube, John Polkinghorne, and David Oakley.  (15 k + 20k-appendix)
• Later in this page, 3 authors ask, "Does evolution occur without purpose and without God?" and a prominent educational organization claimed that "evolution was an unsupervised process."
Special Providence and Genetic Mutation: A New Defense of Theistic Evolution is a summary (5 k) of a conference paper by Robert John Russell, who explains how quantum mechanics is "one domain where the effects of God's special action might occur."  {the paper is also available, in shorter/revised form, in Perspectives on an Evolving Creation}  Another summary of a Russell chapter is Divine Action and Quantum Mechanics: A Fresh Assessment. (6 k outline)
Word Studies in Genesis One by Hugh Ross, is the text of Genesis 1 plus definitions for each word.  (hint: open this page in two windows side-by-side, to show text & definitions)   /   IOU — Later, we'll find resources with differing views about what Genesis 1 says about creation.
The Robust Formational Economy Principle in a Generously Gifted Creation by Howard Van Till, who thinks "creation was gifted from the outset with functional integrity — a wholeness of being that eliminated the need for gap-bridging interventions to compensate for formational capabilities that the Creator may have initially withheld from it."  (6 k)
reflections on the Calvinistic theology (re: free agency) of Charles Hodge by Terry Gray, who is "sympathetic with Howard Van Till’s notions of functional integrity [with God designing nature so it could fully evolve]" but thinks "the traditional Calvinistic formulation is fully able to bear our current understanding without the problems that accompany [Van Till’s] appeal to process theology."  (16 k)
Science and Divine Action is a collection of pages from the Counterbalance Foundation, with general overviews plus descriptions of the views of Arthur Peacocke and John Polkinghorne, who is probably closer (than is Peacocke) to the views of most evolutionary creationists in ASA.
THE FINE TUNING OF NATURE - DIVINE DESIGN AND/OR A MULTIVERSE? is a links-page asking why nature is fine-tuned to allow life:  Is this fine tuning trivial (as described in the anthropic principle) or the inevitable outcome of an undesigned multiverse, or is it the result of extremely intelligent divine design?

God of the Gaps
What does "God of the gaps" mean?  When current naturalistic scientific theories seem implausible, in their attempts to explain some feature in the formative history of nature, is this science gap due to the inadequacy of current science, or does it indicate a nature gap (a break in the continuous cause-effect chain of natural process) that was bridged by miraculous-appearing divine action?  Should a theory proposing a nature gap be criticized by calling it a "God of the gaps" theory?  Is the term "God of the gaps" imprecise because it has too many meanings?  These questions are examined in another links-page, GOD OF THE GAPS.



DEFINITION — A theory of evolutionary creation proposes that God cleverly designed the universe so physical structures (galaxies, stars,... planets) and complex biological organisms (bacteria, fish, dinosaurs,... humans) would naturally evolve.

If evolutionary creation is true — IF in reality, God created by using a process of evolution — THEN we should believe in both Creation-AND-Evolution, instead of thinking that we must choose either Creation-OR-Evolution, and (because evolution was God's method of creation) it's wrong to define our "creation questions" as Creation-VERSUS-Evolution.

As explained earlier, "proponents of all four views include intelligent scholars with theological and/or scientific expertise who are devout Christians with high moral character, who sincerely want to find the truth."  Christians who are evolutionary creationists propose this view based on their careful examination of God's Word (in the Bible) and God's Works (in nature).  Even if your view differs from theirs, the pages below may show you that they "also have good reasons for their view" and they deserve to be treated with respect as fellow Christians.

Proponents of Evolutionary Creation
Complexity, Design, and Miracles by Loren Haarsma & Terry Gray, who ask: Did God design nature to produce a full biological evolution? and should Christians hope the answer is yes or no?  (7 k +1k)
Researching Creation by David Wilcox, who defines questions (about Natural Selection, Genetic Mutation & Drift, Improbable Events, Limits to Change) and thinks that "God is free to act in the natural order as He chooses — suddenly or gradually, intrusively or immediately — but never occasionally" because God is continuously active in our world.  (6 k)
The Fish Wars: A Battle Between Two Worldviews ... Or is it? by Wendee Holtcamp, who explains why (if we think and behave with unity, liberty, and love) "the Fish Wars can move beyond foolish debate and into the realm of common sense and peacemaking."  (13 k total, for Parts 1 and 2)
Evolutionary Theory And Continuous Creation by Keith Miller, is an overview explaining why "there is no inherent conflict between evolutionary theory and a Christian faith with a high view of scripture." (20 k)
Evolution — without purpose and without God? contains excerpts from papers & letters in PSCF (the journal of ASA) by John McIntyre, Douglas Hayworth, and David Lahti (23 k total) describing two logical fallacies — "a dismissal of God's existence is not logically warranted on the basis of evolutionary theory" and "a belief in God does not logically warrant antagonism to evolution as science" (Hayworth) — and you can read the entire paper by Lahti, One Spiritual Danger in Creationism: Drawing a Red Herring Across a Track (12 k)
Beyond the "Evolution vs. Creation" Debate (audio with graphics) by Denis Lamoureux, explains why "It's time to move beyond the popular either-or understanding of the origins debate, where people are forced into choosing between either evolution or creation" because "the simple either/or approach to origins inhibits everyone from making informed choices."  The first part of Evolutionary Creation (18 k) outlines a theology that "fully embraces the foundational beliefs of the conservative Christian faith and the basic principles of the modern evolutionary sciences," and the second part (also 18 k) begins by describing "the greatest [perceived] problem with evolutionary creation" and then explains why this perceived problem isn't an actual problem.
A Personal View of the Evolution Issue by Alan Harvey, who thinks everyone should "reject the philosophical falsehood that having a scientific explanation for something in nature excludes God from being the creator and sustainer of that something."  (16 k)
Building a Community of Evolutionary Creationists by Steve Martin, who is concerned because most evolutionary creationists "would risk membership in their Christian community (Church, mission, etc.) if their views were known. ... The irony is that in seeking to bring together a community that values integrity in both science and faith, we risk being ostracized from both the community of faith and the community of science."  (4 k + comments)
Can a Christian be an evolutionist? Can an evolutionist be a Christian? by Terry Gray, "addressing skeptics and seekers" with the hope that "if your being convinced of evolution (together with your intellectual integrity) has prevented you from becoming a Christian, that this particular objection will be removed."  (16 k)  (other essays about faith-and-science by Terry Gray)
Plain Reading of Genesis 1 by Glenn Morton, is an invitation for anti-evolutionists (whether they think the earth is young or old) to "consider the grammar and what is actually said in Genesis 1, and I think you will have to agree that the Bible is perfectly consistent with evolution." (10 k)   Also by Morton, Does the Bible Teach Evolution? (6 k)
God and Evolution by Bethany Sollereder, is an essay review of four books.*  She thinks one book (by Dowd) is "disturbing and dangerous" but the other three (by Giberson, Miller, and Lamoureux) share ideas that are useful because the current young generation "generally has no problem with evolution. After all, the evidence has become so overwhelming in recent years that it is becoming impossible to contradict. The real danger now is that the youth and young adults are more likely to accept science and reject Christianity if the two come head to head. ... [We in the church should] come to terms with evolution and the nature of biblical revelation. If we do not, Christianity as a whole will be seriously compromised in the minds of the next generation, especially for those outside the faith community. The pastoral implications of this misguided debate are immense."   {* Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution by Karl W. Giberson, Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul by Kenneth R. Miller, Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World by Michael Dowd, Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution by Denis O. Lamoureux }
The Robust Formational Economy Principle in a Generously Gifted Creation by Howard Van Till
Chiasmic Cosmology and Creation's Functional Integrity by George Murphy, describes "a theology of divine action in which the self-limitation of God [as revealed in the incarnation of Christ and his humble death on the cross]... makes it possible to speak theologically about the design of a universe which displays functional integrity."  (28 k, PSCF)
How did it all happen? by David Wilcox (this is a links-page with two creation statements, book information, and more)
Theologies of an Evolving Creation by Robert J. Schneider, is an overview of responses to Darwin, evolution vs evolutionism, and theologies of evolutionary creation: immanence and panentheism, providence and causality, fully gifted creation, Creator as lover, vulnerable God on the cross, and Teilhard de Chardin. (40 k)
• Robert J. Schneider was co-chair of a science committee for the Episcopal Church that wrote a Catechism of Creation and, in June 2006, passed a resolution to Affirm Creation and Evolution (3 k);  also, Statements from 19 Religious Organizations (72 k total) assembled by NCSE, and more about NCSE and other science/education organizations.
• Keith Miller wrote An Evolving Creation: Oxymoron or Fruitful Insight (27 k + 8k) as the opening chapter (to address theological and scientific questions about interpreting scripture and nature) in a book he edited, Perspectives on an Evolving Creation;  and a decade earlier in 1993, Theological Implications of an Evolving Creation (17 k + 2k, PSCF) describes how "the creation-evolution debate has sapped vital energy from the Christian community,... it has been both destructive to the unity of the body of Christ and a distraction from its God-given mission... to live as God's image bearers, exercising stewardship over His creation, and proclaiming His message of reconciliation to the world."

Websites about Evolutionary Creation
An Evangelical Dialogue on Evolution is a blog with the goal of "sharing an Evangelical perspective on evolution and its implications for the Christian Faith."  It began in 2007 with a Welcome to the Dialogue by Steve Martin.  (7 k + comments)
BioLogos answers 32 Frequently Asked Questions about faith-and-science.  This website, including the FAQ and more, is produced by "believing scientists [mainly Francis Collins, Karl Giberson, and Darrell Falk] who are committed to promoting a perspective of both theological and scientific soundness, which takes seriously the claims of theism and of evolution, and finds compelling evidence for their compatibility."

Multi-Author Conversations about Evolutionary Creation
Evangelicals, Evolution, and Academics is a 13-part series (in the weblog, An Evangelical Dialogue on Evolution: Sharing an Evangelical perspective on evolution and its implications for the Christian Faith, 2008) by 9 prominent Christian scholars: Steve Martin, Keith Miller, Dennis Venema, Richard Colling, Stephen Matheson, Karl Giberson, Gordon Glover, Douglas Hayworth, and Ted Davis.  (95 k total, plus comments by readers)
When Faith and Reason Clash: Evolution and the Bible is the first article of an 8-part discussion (in The Christian Scholars Review and Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 1991-1993) written by five prominent Christian scholars: Alvin Plantinga, Howard Van Till, Pattle Pun, Ernan McMullin, and William Hasker.  In the first article, "Alvin Plantinga urges that Christian scholars, who are free from the naturalistic assumption that nature unaided must have produced everything which exists, need to make an independent assessment of the evidence for evolution."  This is followed by responses, with agreement on some issues but not others, and counter-responses.  (381 k total - 74 39 25 65 93 47 26 12 - plus endnotes that often contain ideas worth reading)   Yes, this is a long series, but it's an excellent resource if you want a deep understanding of questions about Christians and evolution.

Questions about Evolutionary Creation
What can a Christian believe about evolution? by Craig Rusbult, is a criticism and defense (19 k for Sections 5A-5G) that recommends appropriate humility, and is a shorter variation of Theistic Evolution & Theology (25 k + 7 k + 6k)
Some Problems for Theistic Evolution by Robert Newman  (56 k, PSCF)
• Young-earth creationists define all old-earth views as "evolution" so most arguments in 10 Dangers of Theistic Evolution (by Werner Gitt) apply to either evolutionary creation or progressive creation.  (9 k)   /   response by Greg Neyman, an advocate of progressive creation who defends the theology of evolutionary creation  (7 k)
The "sad and sorry god" of Theistic Evolution by Troy Lacey (young-earth), reports on a symposium about Evolution and God  (17 k)

Intelligent Design and Evolutionary Creation
There are three types of divine design and evolutionary creationists accept two (design of natural process, and design-action by a guiding of natural process) but reject the one type (design-action that is miraculous-appearing and thus might be scientifically detectable) that is most controversial and is the common meaning of Intelligent Design.  Much of this section explains why evolutionary creation involves intelligent design.  The relationships between evolution and design are also examined in INTELLIGENT DESIGN IN SCIENCE.

• The view of Peter Rüst is difficult to categorize, because (like Robert John Russell and other evolutionary creationists) he proposes only divinely guided natural process during creation, but (unlike Russell but like proponents of intelligent design) he thinks that maybe unguided natural process could not produce the biocomplexity (and associated information) we observe in the time available during the history of evolution.   Creative Providence in Biology by Peter Rüst (18 k) plus a response by Howard Van Till, Does God choose among hidden options? (21 k) and counter-response by Peter Rüst, God's Sovereignty in Creation (18 k), all in PSCF

Evolutionary Creation & Progressive Creation — Similarities and Diferences by Craig Rusbult, uses quotations — from Howard Van Till, Keith Miller, Terry Gray, Loren Haarsma, George Murphy, Robert John Russell, Peter Rüst, Gordon Mills, Stephen Jones, and Hugh Ross — to show their ideas, and his own, about divine guidance of natural process, evolutionary creation with intelligent design, progressive creation with common descent, and appropriate humility about theological & scientific questions.  (8 k intro-overview, then 67 k + 16k)



DEFINITION — A theory of old-earth progressive creation proposes that, during a long history of nature spanning billions of years, God occasionally supplemented natural process with miraculous-appearing creations, which distinguish this view from evolutionary creation (theistic evolution) in which God used only natural-appearing creation.

Is it evolution?  Prominent young-earth creationists agree with this definition, but they acknowledge only two basic models — biblical young-earth creation and unbiblical evolution — so they consider ALL old-earth views, including progressive creation, to be evolution.  There is some basis for this term, because most progressive creationists think natural process was sufficient for two of the four evolutions: astronomical evolution and geological evolution.

VARIATIONS:  1) The miracles might have been independent creations "from scratch" (so a new species would not necessarily have any relationships with previously existing species) or creations by modification of genetic material (by changing, adding, or deleting it) in an existing species.   2) Progressive Creation is compatible with any interpretation of Genesis 1 (framework, day-age, ancient near east,...) except 144-Hour with a young earth.

Proponents of Progressive Creation
A Testable Creation Model from Reasons to Believe by Hugh Ross, explains how his model agrees with Genesis 1 and with scientific evidence about chronology (if each "day" is a long period of time) and biology (if "God repeatedly replaced extinct species with new ones" by independent creations).  (7 k)
Logical Evaluation of Evolution by Craig Rusbult, explains why "evidence for common descent... can count against one theory (with independent creation) but not another (with creation by genetic modification)."  (7 k for Section 4 plus "defining by descent" in the appendix;  and the whole page is 17 k, plus 9 k for the appendix)
Progressive (Mediate) Creation by Stephen Jones, proposes that God first created the materials of our universe from out-of-nothing, and then "God intervened/guided supernaturally working through existing materials and natural processes in the origin of life and major so-called 'macroevolutionary' events in the history of life."  This differs from Progressive (Fiat) Creation, where God "created whole new organisms which have no common ancestry with existing or previous organisms." (8 k)   {These types of progressive creation are also called genetic modification and independent creation.}   Jones rejects a fully naturalistic evolution, but explains Why I accept Common Ancestry for scientific & theological reasons. (80 k)
An Overview of Progressive Creation by Dale Tooley, compares progressive creation with theistic evolution and young-earth creation;  he rigidly defines progressive creation as "the day-age interpretation" but is open-minded about how God created, although (especially in the final section, on the origin of humans) he thinks genetic evidence indicates creation by genetic modification.  (25 k)
Is "Progressive Creation" still a helpful concept? by John Jefferson Davis, offers theological and scientific reflections on an influential book (The Christian View of Scripture and Nature by Bernard Ramm, 1954) a generation later, and explains why progressive creationism "is broad enough to encompass both the immanent presence of God working within the laws of nature and the transcendent power of God above the laws of nature."  (30 k + 17k, PSCF)
Integration and Confrontation of Contemporary Worldviews: Evolution and Intelligent Design (2007) and A Theology of Progressive Creationism (1987) by Pattle Pun, covering:  The Two Books of God, Immanence of God, Genesis Interpretation, Natural Selection in Creation, Fall & Incarnation;  Progressive Creation by Comparison (with Young-Earth Creation, Theistic Evolution, and Creation Myth of Neo-Orthodoxy) and by Definition, as an "attempt to delineate the immanence of God in His providential involvement in His Creation."  (50 k + references, PSCF)
Yes and No — by Craig Rusbult, asks "Is progressive creation inconsistent because it accepts one scientific consensus (the earth is old) but not another (the process was totally natural)?"  (15 k + 6k)
The Great Experimenter by James Morse, asks "why would an all-powerful Creator go about populating the Earth in the halting, roundabout ways of theistic evolution or progressive creation, if he knew from the beginning what he wanted and how to get there?", and proposes that God had limited foreknowledge of the creation process. (11 k, PSCF)  /  editor's question: When we consider the fine tuning of our world (it is "just right" for life), is this proposal by Morse more consistent with Intelligent Design of a Universe or Intelligent Design of a Multiverse?  /  Another answer to the question of "roundabout ways" is that God protects our free will by not allowing us to have proof for creation.
A Design Theory of Progressive Creation by Gordon Mills, is outlined in a collection of pages with lots of science content (which is more relevant for the "origins evidence" area) plus some theology.
IOU — Later, we'll have pages (about E and TE, OEC, divine action) by other OECs, plus more critiques (by YECs and ECs) below.

Criticism of Progressive Creation by Evolutionary Creationists
• Above, proponents of evolutionary creation defend their own postion and criticize other positions, including progressive creation.

Criticism of Progressive Creation by Young-Earth Creationists
• Henry Morris, who revived young-earth flood geology with his 1961 book, The Genesis Flood, is a vigorous opponent of all old-earth creationists.  He set a tone.  In 1973, he declared that despite its "occasional acts of creation," old-earth progressive creation "is less acceptable than theistic evolution, however.  It not only charges God with waste and cruelty (through its commitment to the geologic ages) but also with ignorance and incompetence.  God's postulated intermittent creative efforts show either that He didn't know what He wanted when He started the process or else that He couldn't provide it with enough energy to sustain it until it reached its goal.  A god who would have to create man by any such cut-and-try discontinuous, injurious method as this can hardly be the omniscient, omnipotent, loving God of the Bible. (from Evolution and the Bible)"  In The Compromise Road (1988) Henry said, about ALL old-earth views, "The basic conflict of the ages is between the two world views of evolutionism versus creationism.  In its most explicit form, this conflict comes down to Biblical revelatory creationism versus evolutionary humanism. ...  The road of compromise, however attractive it seems, is a one-way street, ending in a precipice and then the awful void of ‘rational religion,’ or atheism." (10 k)   Recent Creation is a Vital Doctrine by Henry Morris (11 k)
• The currently prominent young-earth creationists define all old-earth views as "evolution" in their two-model simplification.  Therefore, most of their arguments — like those in "10 Dangers of Theistic Evolution" above — apply to all old-earth views, including both progressive creation and evolutionary creation.
What's wrong with Progressive Creation? by Ken Ham & Terry Mortenson, from AIG's War of the Worldviews  (19 k)
Progressive Creationism by John Whitcomb (2003), co-author (with Henry Morris) of The Genesis Flood  (8 k)

Criticism of Hugh Ross by Young-Earth Creationists
The Days do Matter by Henry Morris, reviewing a book by Hugh Ross, A Matter of Days  (9 k)
young-earth response by Jonathan Sarfati (11 k) to 10 similarities & 10 differences by Hugh Ross (3 k total)
critique of Progressive Creation / Rossism by Ken Ham  (10 k)
critique of a Hugh Ross intro-chapter by Jonathan Sarfati, as part of AIG's Operation: Refuting Compromise  (59 k)
• more pages criticizing Ross (some very harshly) are in AIG's links-page for Creation Compromises



DEFINITION — A theory of young-earth creation proposes that God miraculously created everything in the universe during a 144-hour period less than 10,000 years ago.  Later, most of the earth's geology and fossil record were formed in a global flood.   { In a variation that is less common, the earth is young but the universe is old. }

Proponents of Young-Earth Creation
Tenets of Creationism (Biblical and Scientific) by Henry Morris (1980), leading pioneer of the modern young-earth creation movement, summarizes his educational philosophy (for public and Christian schools) and his TWO models — not three or more — of origins history.  (12 k)
Let the Word of God be True by Henry Morris, criticizing ASA in 1953 (plus most Christian scientists since then) because they "took strong exception to my premise that the Bible should govern our interpretation of the geological data."  (10 k)
• IOU — I've found suitable pages by the most prominent ye-C organizations (AIG and ICR) and authors (Morris, Morris, Ham,...) plus others, and some of these will be here soon, maybe by mid-October 2010;  but separating age-questions and methods-questions will be difficult (well, impossible) so there will be some mixing of age & methods.

Criticisms of Young-Earth Creationism
Introduction to the Creation-Date Debate by Lane Coffee & Darrick Dean, provides a good overview with an introduction followed by a discussion of problems (re: the Bible, science, and apparent age) for young-earth creationism.

Age of the World: the Young-Earth View by David Clotfelder, is a respectful-yet-critical summary (17 k), and The Scientific Consensus about Age is about age-science (astronomical, geological, radiometric) and appearance of age (26 k).
• Some papers in other sections, by proponents of old-earth views — either evolutionary creation or progressive creation — offer theological (and scientific) arguments against young-earth views.

And the "young or old" question is examined (with links to pages both for and against it) in other LINKS-PAGES:
• SCIENCE — According to most Christians who are scientists, strong evidence against a young earth comes from nature, in many areas of science spanning a wide range.  This evidence, which indicates that the earth and universe are old, is examined in AGE OF THE EARTH — SCIENCE.   But advocates of a young earth think we should use information from scripture to interpret nature, not vice versa.  How should we use THE TWO BOOKS OF GOD?
• SCRIPTURE — Proponents of other views also challenge young-earth interpretations of Genesis 1 (the six days) and Genesis 6-9 (the flood), as you can see in CREATIONIST INTERPRETATIONS OF GENESIS 1 and NOAH'S FLOOD IN GENESIS — THEOLOGY & SCIENCE which compare young-earth and old-earth interpretations.
• RIGIDITY — Prominent young-earth creationists claim they have the only view of creation that is authentically Christian.  Unfortunately, their claim — "if the Bible is true, the earth is young" — is logically equivalent to claiming "if the earth is old, the Bible is not true."  When a Christian who thinks "believing the Bible requires belief in a young earth" examines the scientific evidence and concludes "the earth is old" and then "if the Bible is wrong about the earth's age, maybe it's also wrong about the rest," faith can be weakened or abandoned.  /  Is it wise to link The Gospel of Jesus with Young Earth in a package deal, by claiming that young-earth beliefs are necessary for Bible-based theology?  Is a young earth an essential doctrine that is certain and important, that is taught with certainty in the Bible and is theologically important?  These questions are examined in AGE OF THE EARTH — THEOLOGY which describes (and links to) an important example of young-earth rigidity, the TWO Histories of Death (only young-earth Christian and old-earth atheistic) proposed by Ken Ham — who claims "the battle between Creation and evolution, between young-Earth and old-Earth views, is a battle between two totally different histories of death" — in which he gets two histories by intentionally denying the third view (old-earth Christian) in THREE Histories of Death.
• IOU — Later there will be other non-yeC responses, to explain how THE evolutionary philosophy/worldview (as defined by YECs in their TWO-MODEL perspective that contrasts YEC with everything else) differs from actual old-earth views, in both progressive creation and evolutionary creation;  these responses will include pages that already exist, and maybe commissioned pages, or a "sampler page" containing excerpts from pages in other sections.

IOU — The sections above and below, about young-earth and secular views, need to be developed more thoroughly, although young-earth views are treated comprehensively (re: science, scripture, and rigidity) in the "other LINKS-PAGES" cited above.



PAGES BY SECULAR ORGANIZATIONS (for science & science education)
Here, secular means "not overtly or specifically religious" (Webster's Dictionary) which is not necessarily "atheistic".
• You can see a fascinating story in the views & actions of the National Association of Biology Teachers who, from 1995 to 1997, declared that evolution is an "unsupervised" process so "natural" means "without God".  (this is a links-page with stories about NABT plus a wide range of responses, 5 k + 2k)
• For more about the views & actions of organizations, see ORIGINS EDUCATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
• a theist-friendly, pro-evolution approach by Phina Borgeson (a Christian, writing as Faith Network Director for the secular National Center for Science Education) who explains Why NCSE Should Be Involved in the Science-Religion Dialog (5 k);  but a young-earth response from Answers in Genesis claims that Atheists Infiltrating Churches is the strategy of NCSE (7 k);  later there will be more information about NCSE and Borgeson, who is an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church and is a self-proclaimed Christian, not an atheist.
A Spoonful of Jesus Helps Darwin Go Down by Jerry Coyne, "complains about scientific organizations that sell evolution by insisting that it’s perfectly consistent with religion" which he doesn't like because "by consorting with scientists and philosophers who incorporate supernaturalism into their view of evolution, they erode the naturalism that underpins modern evolutionary theory." (23 k + comments)   This page is on the website of The Reason Project, which is "devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society, ... to erode the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world."  For different comments, but the same article, the link for "read the full article" takes you to the website of "Why Evolution is True."
• I.O.U. — Later we'll have links to pages by outspoken atheists (Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, A.C. Grayling,...) who claim that evolution and theistic religion are not compatible, because evolution shows us that God does not exist, and also from atheists (or agnostics, pantheists,...) who are less hostile, such as Michael Ruse, Stephen J. Gould,...

These pages look at various aspects of people with a range of worldviews: agnostic, pantheistic, deistic, atheistic, or possibly Christian.
Was Darwin a Christian? by Michael Roberts  (5 k, PSCF)
Theological Insights from Charles Darwin by Denis Lamoureux  (30 k + 18k, PSCF)
Finding Gould's God by David Wollert, about views of Darwin and Gould  (19 k, PSCF)
The Cosmos According to Carl Sagan: Review and Critique by Mark McKim, who criticizes the "scientism" in Sagan's claim that science supports his atheistic worldview  (28 k, PSCF)

INFORMATION for readers is in a brief page about our Goal (a quick education for you), Quality (because we've made choices) and Variety (you'll see multiple positions, hence the disclaimer below), Exploring with Freedom (you can use sections and page-links in any order), Size (what does "20 k + 5k" mean?), and Links (that open in a new window). 


In this page you'll find links to resource-pages expressing a wide range of views, which don't necessarily represent the views of the American Scientific Affiliation.  Therefore, linking to a page does not imply an endorsement by the ASA.  We encourage you to use your own critical thinking to evaluate everything you read.

This website for Whole-Person Education has TWO KINDS OF LINKS:
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this page, written by Craig Rusbult (editor of ASA's website for Whole-Person Education),
and was revised September 13, 2010

( almost all links were checked-and-fixed in April 2008 )

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