Stephen E. Jones: FAQs: Glossary

Stephen E. Jones

My FAQs: Glossary

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FAQs: Glossary (my definitions of key terms)

These are my definitions of key terms that I use in the creation/evolution context. Unless otherwise indicated, the definition here is
what I mean by a term. Where possible references will be given from mainstream sources. That I here define a term, does not
necessarily mean that I accept it as true. For example, I will here define what I mean by "evolution", but I do not accept that evolution is true.

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z] [Bibliography]

A [top]

B [top]

C [top]
common ancestry: (AKA "universal common ancestry"). All organisms, living and dead, share a common ancestor (Eldredge, 1985, p.28; Dawkins, 1986, p.258). They are therefore each related by common descent. Evidence for common ancestry includes the universality of: 1) the genetic code (with minor variations) (Scott, 1985); 2) biochemistry and molecular machinery [to be added] and 3) proteins like ubiquitin (Martin & Hine, 2000, p.607). Common ancestry is not necessarily evolution. For example, Intelligent Design theorist Michael Behe accepts that "all organisms share a common ancestor" (Behe, 1996, p.5), but he is regarded by evolutionists as a creationist because he does not accept that the mechanism was fully naturalistic (Pennock, 1999, pp.29, 264; Johnson, 2000). But common ancestry and creationism/ID (i.e. supernatural intervention/guidance by an Intelligent Designer/God) are not mutually exclusive (Ratzsch , 1996, pp.187-188). See also Common ancestry not necessarily evolution.

common descent: [to be completed]

creationism, creationist: The term "creationist" was apparently coined by Darwin in the 1840's to refer (pejoratively?) to anti-evolutionists (Numbers, 1998, p.50; Darwin F., 1898, 2:28). Creationist positions include Young-Earth Creation (YEC), Old-Earth Creation (OEC) and Progressive Creation (PC). [to be completed]

D [top]
Darwin, Charles R.: [to be completed]

Darwin's theory: [to be completed]

E [top]
evolution: By "evolution" I mean fully naturalistic evolution, "the standard scientific theory that `human beings [and all living things, past and present] have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but d no part in this process.'" (Shermer, 2002. My emphasis). [to be ced]

F [top]

G [top]
God: By "God" I mean the Judeo-Christian infinite-personal God of the Bible, who created (Gen 1:1; Neh 9:6; Eph 3:9; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11) and sustains all things (Col 1:17; Heb 1:3).

H [top]

I [top]
Intelligent Design (ID): "Intelligent Design" (ID) is the science based on the hypothesis that there is evidence of design in nature (in particular biological nature), that is empirically detectable (Dembski, 1998, pp.16-17; 1999, pp.109-110; 2004, p.34). ID 's primary focus therefore is addressing the question of the reality of design in nature. The question of the identity and origin of the designer is outside the scope of ID, being both superfluous to the question of design itself (Behe,1996, p.196) and belonging another domain, that of theology and philosophy (Behe, 1996, p.251).

J [top]

K [top]

L [top]

M [top]
materialism, materialistic, materialist, : "materialism" and its cognates are used in the context of the creation/evolution debate of one who claims that matter/energy is all there us (Gould, 1978, pp.13, 23-25; Honderich, 1995, p.530; Mautner, 2000, pp.341-342 ). It does not mean in this context "greedy for material possessions" (Johnson, 1997, pp.15-16). Evolutionists use the term "materialism" and "materialist" approvingly of themselves (Gould, 1978, pp.23-25; Lewontin, 1997) and of evolution (Simpson, 1949, p.343). Darwin was a philosophical materialist (Darwin, 1837; 1838; Desmond & Moore, 1991, pp.xv-xvi, 250-251), and "the primary feature distinguishing [Darwin's theory ] from all other evolutionary doctrines was its uncompromising philosophical materialism" (Gould, 1978, pp.23-25. Cf. Gould, 1983, p.122). Since matter/energy is usually held to comprise the entirety of nature, "materialism" is usually equivalent to naturalism (Johnson, 1997, p.16 Mautner, 2000, p.373).

N [top]
naturalism, naturalistic, naturalist,: "naturalism" and its cognates are used in the context of the creation/evolution debate of one who claims that nature is all there is (Johnson, 1995, pp.7-8; 1997, pp.15-16; Mautner, 2000, p.373). Since nature is usually held to be comprised entirely of matter/energy, "naturalism" is usually equivalent to materialism (Johnson, 1997, p.16 Mautner, 2000, p.373).

O [top]
Old-Earth Creation (OEC): [to be completed]

P [top]
Progressive Creation (PC): By "Progressive Creation" (PC) I mean the position that God intervened supernaturally at strategic points in natural history (Pennock, 1999, pp.26-27). PC maintains that "God is free to create through natural or supernatural means, and by rapid processes or over long periods of time," by "ordinary providence, special providence, and miracle" (Davis, 1998), i.e. God working through natural processes, God supernaturally guiding natural processes, and God supernaturally intervening in natural processes. Progressive Creation is usually, butnot necessarily, synonymous with Old-Earth Creation (OEC). There are two main varieties of Progressive Creation, what I call Progressive (Fiat) Creation (PFC) (probably the majority position) and Progressive (Mediate) Creation (PMC) (my position).

Progressive (Fiat) Creation (PFC): [to be completed]

Progressive (Mediate) Creation (PMC): [to be completed]

Q [top]

R [top]

S [top]

T [top]

U [top]

V [top]

W [top]

X [top]

Y [top]
Young-Earth Creation (YEC): [to be completed]

Z [top]

Bibliography [top]
Behe M.J., 1996, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," Free Press: New York NY.
Darwin F., ed., 1898, "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II., 
	1959, reprint.
Darwin C.R., 1837, "C Notebook," in Gruber, 1974.
Darwin C.R., 1838, "M Notebook," in Gruber, 1974.
	Gruber H.E., 1974, "Darwin on Man: A Psychological Study of Scientific Creativity," together 
	with Barrett P.H., "Darwin's Early and Unpublished Notebooks," E.P. Dutton & Co: New York NY.
Davis J.J., 1998, "Is `Progressive Creation' Still a Helpful Concept?: Reflections on Creation, Evolution, and 
	Bernard Ramm's Christian View of Science and  Scripture A Generation Later," American Scientific 
	Affiliation, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Vol. 50, December, p.250. 
Dawkins R., 1986, p.258, "The Blind Watchmaker," Penguin: London, 1991 reprint.
Dembski W.A., 1998, "Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design," InterVarsity Press: Downers 
	Grove IL.
Dembski W.A., 1999, "Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology," InterVarsity Press: 
	Downers Grove IL.
Dembski W.A., 2004, "The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent 
	Design," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL.
Desmond A.J. & Moore J.R., 1991, "Darwin," Penguin: London, 1992, reprint.
Eldredge N., 1985, "Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated 
	Equilibria", Simon & Schuster: New York NY.
Gould S.J., 1978, "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History," Penguin: London, 1991, reprint.
Gould S.J., 1983, "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History," Penguin: 
	London, 1986, reprint.
Honderich T., ed.., 1995, "The Oxford Companion to Philosophy," Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Johnson P.E., 1995, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education," 
	InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL.
Johnson P.E., 1997, "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL.
Johnson P.E., 2000, "Evolution and the Curriculum: A Conversation with Phillip Johnson and Gregg 
	Easterbrook," Ethics and Public Policy Center, February, No. 4.
Lewontin R., 1997, "Billions and Billions of Demons." Review of "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as 
	a Candle in the Dark," by Carl Sagan. New York Review, January 9.
Martin E. & Hine R.S., eds., 2000, "Oxford Dictionary of Biology," [1985], Oxford University Press: 
	Oxford UK, Fourth edition.
Mautner T., 2000, "The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy," [1996], Penguin: London, Revised.
Numbers R.L., 1998, "Darwinism Comes to America," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA.
Pennock R.T., 1999, "Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism," The MIT Press: 
	Cambridge MA, Fourth printing.
Ratzsch D.L., 1996, "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution 
	Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL.
Scott A., 1985, "Genetic code is not so universal," New Scientist, 11 April, p.21
Shermer M., 2002, "The Gradual Illumination of the Mind," Scientific American, February.

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Created: 16 February, 2005. Updated: 8 April, 2005.