Rob Derrick posted some information culled from creationist writings
about their "theory of creation".
Some time ago I put into a file the so-called "Tenets of Creationism",
written by Henry M. Morris in 1980.
I thought it worth posting this file, even though it's a bit long.
After you have read it you will see why Morris wasn't called for the
defense in the Arkansas trial. The plaintiffs' attorneys would have
had a field day!
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THE TENETS OF CREATIONISM
Issue no. 85 (July 1980) of the "Impact" series of leaflets,
produced by the Institute for Creation Research in El Cajon,
California, was written by Henry M. Morris, the guru of the
creationist movement, and entitled "The Tenets of Creationism".
The original document may not be readily accessible.
However the Institute for Creation Research has reprinted the early
issues of this in a series of books.
This one can be found on pages 59-65 of _Creation -- The Cutting Edge_,
edited by Henry M. Morris and Donald H. Rohrer, and published by
Creation Life Publishers in 1982.
It starts (with emphasis as in the original, except that "Scientific
crationism", "Biblical creationism", and "Scientific Biblical
creationism" were all in bold type):
Creationism can be studied and taught in any of three basic forms,
Scientific creationism (no reliance on Biblical revelation,
utilizing _only scientific data_ to support and expound the
Biblical creationism (no reliance on scientific data, using
_only the Bible_ to expound and defend the creation model).
Scientific Biblical creationism (full reliance on _Biblical
revelation_ but _also_ using _scientific data_ to support and
develop the creation model).
After some rambling about these different ideas he lists what he calls
the "Tenets of Scientific Creationism".
There are nine of these, and they read:
1. The physical universe of space, time, matter, and energy has not
always existed, but was supernaturally created by a transcendent
personal Creator who alone has existed from eternity.
2. The phenomenon of biological life did not develop by natural
processes from inanimate systems, but was specially and supernaturally
created by the Creator.
3. Each of the major kinds of plants and animals was created functionally
complete from the beginning and did not evolve from some other kind of
organism. Changes in basic kinds since their first creation are
limited to "horizontal" changes (variations) within the kinds, or
"downward" changes (e.g., harmful mutations, extinctions).
4. The first human beings did not evolve from an animal ancestry, but
were specially created in fully human form from the start.
Furthermore, the "spiritual" nature of man (self-image, moral
consciousness, abstract reasoning, language, will, religious nature,
etc.) is itself a supernaturally created entity distinct from mere
5. Earth pre-history, as preserved especially in the crustal rocks
and fossil deposits, is primarily a record of catastrophic intensities
of natural processes, operating largely within uniform natural laws,
rather than one of uniformitarian process rates. There is no
_a priori_ reason for not considering the many scientific evidences
for a relatively recent creation of the earth and the universe, in
addition to the scientific evidences that most of the earth's
fossiliferous sediments were formed in an even more recent global
6. Processes today operate primarily within fixed natural laws and
relatively uniform process rates. Since these were themselves
originally created and are daily maintained by their Creator, however,
there is always the possibility of miraculous intervention in these
laws or processes by their Creator. Evidences for such intervention
must be scrutinized critically, however, because there must be clear
and adequate reason for any such action on the part of the Creator.
7. The universe and life have somehow been impaired since the completion
of creation, so that imperfections in structure, disease, aging,
extinctions, and other such phenomena are the result of "negative"
changes in properties and processes occurring in an originally perfect
8. Since the universe and its primary components were created perfect
for their purposes in the beginning by a competent and volitional Creator,
and since the Creator does remain active in this now-decaying creation,
there does exist ultimate purpose and meaning in the universe.
Teleological considerations, therefore, are appropriate in scientific
studies whenever they are consistent with the actual data of observation,
and it is reasonable to assume that the creation presently awaits the
consummation of the Creator's purpose.
9. Although people are finite and scientific data concerning origins are
always circumstantial and incomplete, the human mind (if open to the
possibility of creation) is able to explore the manifestation of that
Creator rationally and scientifically and to reach an intelligent
decision regarding one's place in the Creator's plan.
Just reading the first of these is sufficient to refute the claim that
"scientific creationism" places "no reliance on Biblical revelation,
utilizing _only scientific data_ to support and expound the creation model".
Any document which refers to "a transcendent personal Creator who
alone has existed from eternity" is obviously religious, and has
nothing to do with science.
It is quite clear, to anyone not completely blinded by the rhetoric
of creationists, that these so-called "Tenets of Scientific
Creationism" do not derive in any way from science, but are simply
fundamentalist theology wrapped up in pseudo-scientific language.
Noah's Flood does not become science by relabelling it a "recent
global hydraulic cataclysm"!
Nor, at the other end of the Bible, does the book of Revelation become
science by claiming that "it is reasonable to assume that the creation
presently awaits the consummation of the Creator's purpose"!
The "Tenets of Scientific Creationism" are followed by the "Tenets of
Biblical Creationism". These are also nine in number, and read:
1. The Creator of the universe is a triune God -- Father, Son and Holy
Spirit. There is only one eternal and transcendent God, the source
of all being and meaning, and He exists in three Persons, each of
Whom participated in the work of creation.
2. The Bible, consisting of the thirty-nine canonical books of the Old
Testament and the twenty-seven canonical books of the New Testament,
is the divinely-inspired revelation of the Creator to man.
Its unique, plenary, verbal inspiration guarantees that these
writings, as originally and miraculously given, are infallible and
completely authoritative on all matters with which they deal, free
from error of any sort, scientific and historical as well as moral
3. All things in the universe were created and made by God in the six
literal days of the creation week described in Genesis 1:1-2:3, and
confirmed in Exodus 20:8-11. The creation record is factual,
historical, and perspicuous; thus all theories of origins or
development which involve evolution in any form are false.
All things which now exist are sustained and ordered by God's
providential care. However, a part of the spiritual creation, Satan
and his angels, rebelled against God after the creation and are
attempting to thwart His divine purposes in creation.
4. The first human beings, Adam and Eve, were specially created by
God, and all other men and women are their descendants.
In Adam, mankind was instructed to exercise "dominion" over all
other created organisms, and over the earth itself (an implicit
commission for true science, technology, commerce, fine art, and
education), but the temptation by Satan and the entrance of sin
brought God's curse on that dominion and on mankind, culminating in
death and separation from God as the natural and proper consequence.
5. The Biblical record of primeval earth history in Genesis 1-11 is
fully historical and perspicuous, including the creation and fall of
man, the curse on the creation and its subjection to the bondage of
decay, the promised Redeemer, the world-wide cataclysmic deluge in the
days of Noah, the post-diluvian renewal of man's commission to subdue
the earth (now augmented by the institution of human government), and
the origin of nations and languages at the tower of Babel.
6. The alienation of man from his Creator because of sin can only be
remedied by the Creator Himself, Who became man in the person of the
Lord Jesus Christ, through miraculous conception and virgin birth.
In Christ were indissolubly united perfect sinless humanity and full
deity, so that His substitutionary death is the only necessary and
sufficient price of man's redemption. That the redemption was
completely efficacious is assured by His bodily resurrection from the
dead and ascension into heaven; the resurrection of Christ is thus
the focal point of history, assuring the consummation of God's
purposes in creation.
7. The final restoration of creation's perfection is yet future, but
individuals can immediately be restored to fellowship with their
Creator, on the basis of His redemptive work on their behalf,
receiving forgiveness and eternal life solely through trust in the
Lord Jesus Christ, accepting Him not only as estranged Creator, but
also as reconciling Redeemer and coming King. Those who reject Him,
however, or neglect to believe on Him, thereby continue in their
state of rebellion and must ultimately be consigned to the everlasting
fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
8. The eventual accomplishment of God's eternal purposes in creation,
with the removal of His curse and the restoration of all things to
divine perfection, will take place at the personal bodily return to
earth of Jesus Christ to judge and purge sin and to establish His
9. Each believer should participate in the "ministry of reconciliation,"
by seeking both to bring individuals back to God in Christ (the
"Great Commission") and to "subdue the earth" for God's glory (the
Edenic-Noahic Commission). The three institutions established by the
Creator for the implementation of His purposes in this world (home,
government, church) should be honoured and supported as such.
So there we have them! The second group are quite clearly religious, and
just as clearly come from the fundamentalist wing of Protestant
Christianity. It is interesting that Morris used the word "tenet" to
describe these. _Webster's New 20th Century Dictionary_ (1962 printing)
gives as the meaning of "tenet": "any opinion, principle, dogma, or
doctrine which a person, sect, school, etc., believes or maintains".
If the creationist sect wishes to maintain this collection of dogmas,
that is their right. But they have no right to try to force their dogmas
onto people outside the sect.
The final paragraph in the "Impact" article reads:
Even though the tenets of scientific creationism can be expounded
quite independently of the tenets of Biblical creationism, the two
systems are completely compatible. All the genuine facts of science
support Biblical creationism, and all the statements in the Bible are
consistent with scientific creationism. Either system can be taught
independently of the other or the two can be taught concurrently, as
the individual situation may warrant.
The mind boggles! I am quite sure that the televangelists have not been
informed that they do not need the Bible to preach about sin, damnation, hell,
redemption, and the second coming -- these are all supported by "the genuine
facts of science"! Since we live in a scientific age, why haven't we seen
lots and lots of scientific papers pointing these things out? Or, just
possibly, could it be that Morris and his followers are on the wrong track,
and that traditional Christianity, based on faith and _not_ on science, is
the preferred option.
There are two references given at the end of the article.
The second of these states
"These tenets have recently been adopted by the staff of the Institute
for Creation Research and incorporated permanently in its By-Laws".
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Can someone post the full By-Laws of ICR?
They should make interesting reading!