Understanding Special Creation

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

The title may prompt the reader to expect an article about the importance of creation science from both science and biblical standpoints, but that is not the case. For Question Evolution Day, it seemed like a good idea to go back to one of the basics.

I did not practice what I preach on getting a definition nailed down. This error illustrates how we can make assumptions about word meanings, then have confusion if people do not have a meeting of the minds on terminology.

Sunrise, Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, 1904
Regular readers have known this child to emphasize how we must be careful in discussions to make sure all parties understand what is being discussed. Otherwise, there can be arguments, then shootouts in the saloon which startle the horses outside. Okay, I mean that confusion can also lead to anger. The word evolution has several meanings, and Darwinists often conflate change, variation, speciation, and other things with particles-to-painter evolution. You can see that I narrowed my usage of evolutionist by using Darwinist. You savvy that?

My problem (and inspiration for this article) came about when a theistic evolutionist was very sneaky, saying he believed in special creation. But his books refers to Darwinism as having grandeur. Survival of the fittest, nature red in tooth and claw, death and suffering lead to life — ain't no way there's anything other than ruthlessness and brutality in evolution. He made false statements about me, and about biblical creation science [1]. So where does this tinhorn get the idea that he can claim to believe in "special creation"?

There is the possibility that he's lying, and the fact that he has a book to sell may be something to consider. I think he's being disingenuous with the definition.

People who are not familiar with creation science may bring their own preconceptions and definitions. Unfortunately, false definitions are plopped along the trail that seem to have been made up, even as far as poisoning the well. Merriam-Webster says, "the theoretical independent origin of each biological species through a special act of creation —opposed to doctrine of descent [emphasis added]."[2]

Encyclopedia.com reads:

The belief, in accordance with the Book of Genesis, that every species was individually created by God in the form in which it exists today and is not capable of undergoing any change. It was the generally accepted explanation of the origin of life until the advent of Darwinism. . . . special creation is contradicted by fossil evidence and genetic studies, and the pseudoscientific arguments of creation science cannot stand up to logical examination. [3]

That execrable definition also states that special creation affirms what is known as the fixity of species, but major creationist organizations (and knowledgeable laypeople) do not hold this view. The word fundamentalist is clearly a pejorative. It is also misleading because the Fundamentalist movement had old-earth and theistic evolution compromisers [4]. The rest of the definition is unsupported anti-creationist bigotry, and easily refuted by an examination of what biblical creationists believe and teach.

YourDictionary repeats some of the same nonsense, and a brief note states that special creation  is the Roman Catholic belief in the origin of the human soul [5]. I did a quick search and saw many views on that aspect, but it is interesting that Catholicism originally held to literal recent creation [6] before accepting theistic evolution!

I have used the term special creation numerous times, assuming that people knew what I meant because of the context. Context is essential in so many ways, whether examining Bible texts, listening to Senator Snakeingrass when he's a-speechifyin', and very often in everyday conversation. When encountering biblical creationist material, people are likely to pick up what we're laying down: that we mean recent ex nihilo six-day creation. [7] Making that assumption may be problematic at times, however.

Unfortunately, it seems that other creationists also make assumptions and do not spell it out in a concise manner for quick reference — if at all [8],[9].

After wading through several sites, I reckon that I am able to pull it together and provide a definition upon which biblical creationists can agree. My email information is at the upper left if a creationist wants to make a suggestion.

Special creation is understood by biblical creationists to mean that God miraculously created everything out of nothing as described in the book of Genesis. This was done in six literal days and is consistent with other passages in the Bible. God did not use long ages or evolution, and Genesis is not myth or allegory. It is history.

Oh, and that thing with Seymour Garte? I don't see how he can legitimately claim to believe in special creation, whether the real definition or something...truly bizarre.