20120915

A response: 'How Do You Define "Creationist"?'

Discovery Institute posted an article yesterday over at Opposing Views entitled 'How Do You Define "Creationist"?'. This post is a response to Larry Moran's comment on one of his posts where he says: 
If you believe in a creator then you are a creationist. There are several flavors of creationists. The most important ones are Young Earth Creationists (YECs), Old Earth Creationists (OECs), Intelligent Design Creationists, and Theistic Evolution Creationists.
For some reason, David Klinghoffer, presumably a person behind the nickname Discovery Institute, found this comment problematic, and felt the need to answer it both in another comment on Moran's blog, and on Opposing Views. He writes:
Larry, by your definition of "creationist," Ken Miller would be considered a creationist. Taking him at his own word, he believes in a creator. So as you use it, "creationist" tells nothing about whether a person is entirely convinced of the truth of Darwinian evolutionary theory, partly convinced, or entirely unconvinced. In the context of a debate about evolution, the term adds little or no relevant information. Yet you use it over and over.
In his post on Opposing Views he continues with:
So Moran is saying that no matter how committed a Darwinist you seek to be, no matter how firmly you hold the line against any critique of orthodox evolutionary theory, if you believe in a God as described by any religious tradition no matter how attenuated, you are hardly to be distinguished from those "creationists" who picture cavemen riding on the backs of tame dinosaurs some six thousand years ago when the earth was brand new.

Now, as for my response to Mr. Klinghoffer, I have only this to say:

By definition, "creationism is the religious belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe are the creation of a supernatural being [...]". So no matter if you believe in evolution as a process, if you also believe in a god, and consider him the creator of life and (presumably) the architect of evolution, you are by very definition 'a creationist'. As Larry Moran said, there are different flavors of creationists, but what all of them have in common is the belief that there is a creator, a supernatural being that created life and (if you accept evolution) set the course of evolution. So, yes, by definition, every person that believes in a creator is a creationist. This seems fairly obvious, simply considering that the word 'creationist' comes from 'creationism' which comes from 'creation' which, I would think, assumes also a 'creator'. What Mr. Klinghoffer is doing here is ascribing negative connotations to the word 'creationist', as if he believes atheists consider every creationist a caveman, no matter his flavor. This is wrong, which should be quite obvious to anyone who's ever read any piece of atheist literature concerning creationists. There is a huge difference in believing the Earth was created 6,000 years ago, and believing there's some supernatural being that set in motion the events that led to life as we know it. And while these two beliefs are quite different, both of them assume a creator and a creation, and are therefore both creationist beliefs. Which would, logically, make those who have these beliefs - creationists.

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