In the United States, creationism is generally associated with Christianity. But the belief actually appears in a number of other faiths.
What Exactly is Creationism?
Creationist is a person who believes that God is the absolute creator of the universe and all life, and, as such, can choose to intervene as needed.
Christians and Creationism
There are many types of Creationists, but in Christianity, they generally come in three forms. Some are ‘Old Earth Creationists’, who believe that while the universe was created by God, the process of this creation should be not be taken literally. Under this pretext, Old Earth creationists believe that the Universe is, in fact, billions of years old, while the theory of evolution is questionable.
By comparison, ‘Young Earth creationists’ argue that God created the earth within the last 10 thousand years, as described in Genesis, with the intention of it appearing much older. Old and Young Earth Creationism are collectively known as ‘literalist creationism’, and their adherents are infamous for disregarding scientific theories like evolution.
A 2014 Gallup poll suggested that 42 percent of Americans subscribe to these beliefs. The third, slightly less common type is Neo Creationism, which is the belief that mainstream science is actually a reflection of God’s work.
However, while they believe that life evolves, they subscribe this the work of an ‘intelligent designer’ or all-knowing deity, rather than natural selection. For decades, neo-creationists have distanced themselves from literal creationists- selling the idea that creationism should exist harmoniously with science, politics and education.
Islam and Creationism
Creationist, and even neo-creationist ideas are also found in Islam. Although the Quran does not have its own Book of Genesis, it does have a comparatively vague account of creation, which has been interpreted in a number of ways.
Some Muslims believe that modern science and evolutionary theory coincide with Quranic teachings. While others believe that evolution and Islam cannot coexist. This ‘Islamic Creationist’ movement has grown in recent years, and is especially prevalent in Turkey, where, according to a 2008 poll, just a quarter of population believe in evolution.
Judaism and Creationism
The story of creation is also a subject of debate in the Jewish community. Some Jews, particularly the ultra-orthodox, implicitly accept creationism, and have gone as far as banning Jewish books that support evolutionary theory.
However, although Jews adhere to the book of Genesis, many reject the Biblical account of creation, arguing that it is an ancient document that should not be taken literally, and that a universe created in six days is implausible.
In fact, a 2016 it was suggested that more than half of Israeli Jews believe in evolution. The same could be said for many Christians and Muslims, who believe that the religious account of creation and the science of evolution are both morally permissible theories for the origins of the universe.
With the rise of neo-creationism and similar movements, we may one day see a world where religion and science can coexist peacefully.