Confusion Arising From Differing Uses of the Term 'Origins'

For YE Creationists, the origin of life itself and of the diversity of life are one and the same thing, or at least something that occurred over 6 days. For OECs, perhaps it still occurred as a single process over 6 days, just longer ago, or recently but non-living matter was there sooner, and so on.

So to say ‘origins’ is to conflate both things together - the origin of life and the diversity of life.

For those who accept - fully or partially - evolutionary mechanisms, the origin of life itself - abiogenesis - is a separate process from the origin of the diversity of life - evolution.

So ‘origins’ has two parts from that perspective.

I wonder whether this simple difference, rather than disingenuousness, explains creationists frequent desire to conflate abiogenesis and evolution into a single bundle called ‘evolution’, and therefore bring criticisms of abiogenesis to discussion of evolution?


No, they are not one and the same thing for YEC.

They are conflated because they are seen as one improbable scientific framework or narrative to get where we are today. It’s viewed from the perspective of a narrative rather than what kinds of sciences address the narrative.

People who want to make claims in the domain of science need to speak in the language of science.

Certainly they’re free to use whatever narrative frameworks they like in the domains of literature and theology.

If the belief is that God created all life in pretty much its present form about 6000 years ago, it seems to me as though it is. Can you explain how that perception is inaccurate?

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Origins??? I’d go every year if I could!

Just adding to the confusion … I’ll let myself out … :wink:


I’d be happy to find you quotes from Mayr about evolution as a narrative and a timestamp from the conversation with @NLENTS and @swamidass and Eugenie Scott where they explain you teach in the framework of a narrative.

That’s the way the general public understands it. Yes, those who are writing technical papers should use the language of science, but if you’re explaining something to the general public, I fail to see where someone would not talk about the narrative.

This is a strawman of the position that’s outdated.

God created everything with the potential for the diversity we see today.

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And some YEC complain that science is always changing! :wink:


I’m not complaining - that’s my whole argument for not accepting mainstream scientific explanations! :slight_smile:

Careful there - because I’m pretty sure you do accept a great number of “mainstream” scientific explanations. What make one explanation acceptable and another not?

You don’t really need to answer that, just something to think about. :slight_smile:


You’re right; thanks for letting me clarify. Of course I do. :slight_smile: I only don’t accept the ones inconsistent with what I think the Bible clearly teaches, or that I think are just poor science.

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I agree that the term ‘origins’ is nebulous (appropriately so IMO). More to the point, I agree that a reasonable but uninformed person might initially presume that OOL is a part of evolutionary biology and/or evolutionary theory. But I don’t think that is a helpful observation for the most part, because once that reasonable person learns about evolutionary biology, even the most rudimentary one-paragraph understanding, then they are being disingenuous (translation: dishonest) if they repeat the falsehood. I don’t think we need semantics to understand that.


My personal mental association was more this:

But that requires evolution at a pace vastly faster than any naturalistic evolution! If the diversity of life was not in pretty much its current form a few thousand years ago, the rate of evolution and specifiation would need to be so rapid that we would be observing it happening around us.

It’s not a straw man just because it’s not the view you personally hold: most ‘6/6000’ YECs believe exactly what I described.


Read these and see what you think. Jeanson claims Darwin’s finches may show we are observing it.

Oh my goodness. That is just an astonishingly dumb argument!

Jeanson takes 11,000 bird species now extant and divides by 4,500 years post-Flood to get ‘his’ speciation rate, or by 66 million years to get ‘evolution’s’ speciation rate.

Guess he never heard of archaeopteyrx, the moa, the dodo, and all the other species of birds that have become extinct, some within recent history, some (lesser known) even within living memory.

New species do arise all the time. It’s true that some YECs have been dragged kicking and screaming to accept that fact, and have adapted their beliefs accordingly.

But the arguments tend to be of this sort of quality.


OK, so you’re saying we should observe it.

Now you’re saying we do observe it.

Now you’re saying he’s dumb because he confirmed his own prediction?

And YEC just adapted our beliefs because you’re confirming the rapid specification you just said we shouldn’t observe?

How else am I supposed to understand you?

His prediction:

(a) does not distinguish: both evolution and he predict speciation, we see speciation, both theories are supported. A test would be something that one theory predicts and the other doesn’t.

(b) is based on complete nonsense. Do you understand why his math is complete nonsense?

Edit: It’s why I mentioned extinct species. How many bird species have become extinct in 66 million years? The current bird extinction rate is 26 species per million species per year, which is about 0.3 species per year. Now, clearly that is not the on-going rate: current human population levels have a huge impact. But Jeanson’s ‘calculation’ assumes that there were 0 bird species 66 million years ago, 11,000 now, and the rate of growth has been linear and there have been 0 species extinctions.

I normally want to err on the side of the charitable interpretation that these kinds of mistakes are due to ignorance rather than dishonesty. But Jeanson apparently has a doctorate. If he doesn’t understand that this claim is arrant nonsense, he should be seeking a refund from every school and university he studied at. (Edit: LOL, Harvard)


Yes, you just said:

The distinguishing factor is that you said we should be observing it happening. He’s saying we’ve observed it happening. Therefore, his predictions are right by your definition.

Observed speciation also does not distinguish between YEC, OEC, ID and theistic evolution. If the claim is ‘God somehow put the potential for evolution into the genome’, which now seems to be part of all of these[1], then observed speciation does not distinguish between those, and between those and naturalistic evolution.

  1. I suspect for many people in the pews, it is still ‘God created all life in pretty much its present form - there have been minor adaptations (microevolution) but not meaningful speciation[2]’)

  2. ‘meaningful speciation’ for those types doesn’t mean ‘finch with a different beak’, it means ‘fish turns into a bird’.

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No. “I predict that the sun will rise tomorrow because the sun god will triumph, one more time, in his overnight battle against the night demons.”

My prediction can be correct, but if the theory on which I base my prediction is nonsense, and there is a much, much more plausible candidate theory that makes the same prediction, the evidence cannot meaningfully be said to support my claims.


You are saying all of creationist science predictions will always be wrong, therefore all evidence will fit my version of evolution, correct?