Is Baraminology Valid Science?

Continuing the discussion from Why Todd Wood Matters:

@John_Harshman finds baraminology to be a fundamentally flawed approach…

Let us first start with a description of what Baraminology exactly is first, so others can catch up with us.

A really good article summarizing Baraminology, and even conceding that Genesis does not require kinds to be reproductively isolated.

You state a 2006 paper as the “current” state of Baraminology. In the fast moving world of science, 12 years is a long time removed from “current”.

Maybe baraminology does not move as fast as well known areas within science.

And maybe it is not science. :sunglasses:

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I very carefully worded my previous reply, to make sure that it does not imply a recognition of baraminology as a science.

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Yes, I realize that. It still amazes me that such nonsense is still discussed. Well I guess there were 860,000 people (over the age of 5) who when to Ark Encounter the past year. So I guess baraminology is valid to some of them.

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I find the label “baramin” a flawed term based on the faulty use of the Hebrew. I also find the name “Todd Woods” flawed based on the fact that his name is Todd Wood not Woods :slight_smile:

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Oops. I’ll fix that.

Tell us more? Are just objecting to the portmanteau?

More accurately, it is the best review I’ve seen, and I am not up to date on where things stand currently. There be more recent reviews.

The first use of the term “baramin” comes from 1940’s Chrisitian Scientist Marsh, which was picked up by Whitcomb & Morris (The Genesis Flood), and then capitalized by Wise and Wood (et al.). I wish the latter came up with a different term altogether b/c it’s freighted with difficulties. The meaning of bara’ (“create”) does not mean “originally created” or “created out of nothing.” And the latter term min (“kind”) means…well, that’s debated but certainly does not have any specific, scientific-like defintiion. So the term “baramin” sounds erudite but really means nothing. The assumption–and that’s all it is, an assumption–is that God “created” (from the beginning? from nothin?) specific “kinds” of creatures from the start. Of course, this carries a further assumption that the genre of Gen 1 (et al.) is a science-like, historical account of the “literal” beginning. It’s all fraught IMO with a whole set of presuppositions that need to be argued for rather than assumed. And I say this as a biblical theologian rather than a scientist (though I think science, as a subset of general revelation, ought always to be considered).

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I always considered ‘Baramins’ a rebranding of ‘Kinds’. Old wine in a new bottle…

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Apparently one of the tools of Baraminology was helpful in, well helping demonstrate evolution:
Using creation science to demonstrate evolution: application of a creationist method for visualizing gaps in the fossil record to a phylogenetic study of coelurosaurian dinosaurs

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Welcome @pevaquark. Great to have you here. What title for you want? Maybe we can both you and @Elle “Biologos Moderator”? :slight_smile:

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Not exactly. The tool being used is principle components analysis, which is not exactly a baraminological tool, just one that creation scientists accept. Creationists have their own private multidimentional scaling tool, ANOPA, which nobody else uses.

Ack!: principal.

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What if we go with ‘Skeptical Christian Physicist’ if that’s alright with you.

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Thanks for clarifying! The sarcasm was strong in my head when I was typing the words at least, but even then I got some facts wrong.

@pevaquark,

Hey! Good to see you!

Just so I can maintain my bearings… what exactly are you skeptical about?

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Everything. I at least try to demand evidence for claims as much as is possible. I interact a lot with various forms of creationism, alternative medicine, and various supernatural claims. Probably most people are exposed to conflicting narratives about reality and many are ill equipped to be able to discern between them. Typically most people, including myself, tend to be less ‘skeptical’ towards things that are closer to what we already hold to be true. But what warrants one changing their mind on something? How much evidence is required? I suppose it depends on the claim?

Also, there is a tension that exists within certain Christian positions where a huge amount of scrutiny is applied to other faith traditions and unreasonable demands are made of scientists- yet to turn the same scrutiny around on one’s own position (some form of Christianity) is to leave many aspects of it bankrupt. At some point, faith is required for a faith based tradition and I’m presently okay with that.

What I am not okay with is making claims beyond what evidence can support (and not clearly communicating where the evidence stops and with God claims- where faith begins)- like with the fine tuning argument. I’ve fleshed out many of my thoughts on this in this thread over at BL:

I hope that clears some things up- I am in the process of putting together a video on my current thoughts (at least related to fine tuning and what physicists actually think and how they came up with these numbers).

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