I'm starting a research paper for my Sociology class. The research is to understand, who becomes a Creationist, why, where your from etc. Your help is most appreciated.
Please give basic background: Age, State of residence, Marital status, Education Level, Religious Affiliation, Occupation.
What type of Creationist are you? Examples:
Flat Earthers - believe that the earth is flat and is covered by a solid dome or firmament. Waters above the firmament were the source of Noah's flood. This belief is based on a literal reading of the Bible, such as references to the "four corners of the earth" and the "circle of the earth." Few people hold this extreme view, but some do.
Geocentrism - accept a spherical earth but deny that the sun is the center of the solar system or that the earth moves. As with flat-earth views, the water of Noah's flood came from above a solid firmament. The basis for their belief is a literal reading of the Bible. "It is not an interpretation at all, it is what the words say." (Willis 2000) Both flat-earthers and geocentrists reflect the cosmological views of ancient Hebrews. Geocentrism is not common today, but one geocentrist (Tom Willis) was intrumental in revising the Kansas elementary school curriculum to remove references to evolution, earth history, and science methodology.
Young Earth Creationists - claim a literal interpretation of the Bible as a basis for their beliefs. They believe that the earth is 6000 to 10,000 years old, that all life was created in six literal days, that death and decay came as a result of Adam & Eve's Fall, and that geology must be interpreted in terms of Noah's Flood. However, they accept a spherical earth and heliocentric solar system.
Old-Earth Creationists - accept the evidence for an ancient earth but still believe that life was specially created by God, and they still base their beliefs on the Bible. There are a few different ways of accomodating their religion with science.
Day-age creationists - interpret each day of creation as a long period of time, even thousands or millions of years. They see a parallel between the order of events presented in Genesis 1 and the order accepted by mainstream science. Day-Age Creationism was more popular than Gap Creationism in the 19th and and early 20th centuries.
Evolutionary Creationism - differs from Theistic Evolution only in its theology, not in its science. It says that God operates not in the gaps, but that nature has no existence independent of His will. It allows interpretations consistent with both a literal Genesis and objective science, allowing, for example, that the events of creation occurred, but not in time as we know it, and that Adam was not the first biological human but the first spiritually aware one.
Theistic Evolution - says that God creates through evolution. Theistic Evolutionists vary in beliefs about how much God intervenes in the process. It accepts most or all of modern science, but it invokes God for some things outside the realm of science, such as the creation of the human soul. This position is promoted by the Pope and taught at mainline Protestant seminaries.
Materialistic Evolution - differs from Theistic Evolution in saying that God does not actively interfere with evolution. It is not necessarily atheistic, though; many Materialistic Evolutionists believe that God created evolution, for example. Materialistic evolution may be divided into methodological and philosophical materialism. Methodological materialism limits itself to describing the natural world with natural causes; it says nothing at all about the supernatural, neither affirming nor denying its existence or its role in life.
Philosophical materialism - says that the supernatural does not exist. It says that not only is evolution a natural process, but so is everything else.
Vedic Creationism Hinduism speaks of a very ancient earth. One book influenced by Hindu belief argues that anatomically modern humans have existed for billions of years.
Finally, What brought you to believe what you believe?
Age 57 Texas, extreme red-state portion Married PhD, chemistry Previously Presbyterian preacher's kid/ then Episcopalian. Occasionally attend Episcopal church because I'm fond of my wife, and she likes going. Chemist/sales/dishwasher/oil-field technical guy
Somewhere between M.e. and P.m. - I'm unwilling to bet the farm on the nonexistence of the supernatural, but might bet next month's rent. Drawn to this position by the complete absence of evidence for the supernatural and pushed more quickly to it by dealing closely with professing "believers" who were indistinguishable in pettiness and venality from "non-believers" by any criterion but their whereabouts on Sunday morning. Motivated to mildly militant atheism by anti-science yahoos trying to further dilute education in this country.
Well I'm not a Creationist but I'll answer anyway.
Age: 21 State: Florida Marital Status: Single Education level: 3 years of college, majoring in Integrative Biology. Religious affiliation: None. I'm an atheist, perhaps a humanist. Occupation: currently unemployed. Sometimes I sell plasma.
I'm between Materialistic Evolution and Philosophical Materialism because I feel that there is no proof that the supernatural does not exist, but there is also no reason for me to believe in it. I believe that the universe probably came along through natural processes.
When I was young I liked dinosaurs and was told that they lived millions of years ago. I've since learned in high school, college, and from books and websites that there is a lot of evidence supporting the current theories explaining how things came about through natural causes. I see no reason why the world would be only a few thousand years old. I've found no evidence that I should feel any other way. I try to think about matters such as religion in as logical a manner as possible, and have found no reason to follow a religion as though its teachings were scientific fact.
Age: 25 State: Missouri, late of Minnesota Marital: Married Education: Pursuing Bachelor's Degree, on Hiatus Religious Affiliation: None (Agnostic Atheist) Occupation: Nothing of consequence (with a career aim towards technical writing/science journalism) Position: Methodological Materialist Evolution.
What brought me to this conclusion? The evidence, and no particular religous committment to believe anything else.
Age: early 40s State: A midwestern US state Married. Education: Ph.D. , physics. Religious affiliation: Catholic. Occupation: applied physicist/industry.
Position: Essentially theistic evolution.
I see the universe as implementing an optimization algorithm constructed by God to cause sentient life to evolve. Humans are one realization of this; there may be others in the universe. What Cathollicism calls the soul I see as a certain level of sentience which entails moral awareness and responsibility.
I find the "intelligent design" theory of Dembski/Behe technically weak in that it contains errors and misuses of information theory, with which I am somewhat familiar through my work. Unfortunately these errors are well-concealed and not obvious to someone without graduate level training in applied mathematics, so they seem to be gaining some traction.
I find the young Earth position completely untenable and contraindicated by the physical evidence.
So, among Catholics, I guess I agree more with Teilhard de Chardin than Micheal Behe.
I just realized I hadn't answered the last question in the OP:
Finally, What brought you to believe what you believe?
I think my trip to PM and ME began in the same place, but took alternate trajectories - the shores of Lake Erie.
My atheism derived from a rather uninspired (albeit Old Rite) suburban Episcopalian upbringing that did nothing really to drive me away from religion/belief but did nothing to restrain me, either. From Sunday School lessons which I remember were indistinguishable from Saturday morning cartoon shows to the final separation when as a 13-14 yr old my "burning" questions concerning the existence of evil, etc, were unanswered/unanswerable by our kindly-but-non-confrontational pastor, it was a process of "drift" rather than reason or rebellion. What finally "did it" for me was the rather obvious realization that for thousands of years billions of believers of all faiths had unceasingly sought for evidence of the existence of their deities and the supernatural, and had yet to produce any. I made a conscious decision at that point that it made more sense to accept the world as it WAS, as a humanist seeking human solutions to what were human problems, rather than putting any "faith" in the assistance of a quite evidently non-existent entity.
My trip towards ME started at a small, community nature center, a fascination with the fossils so abundant along the lake, a decent education system (even for those long-vanished times) and an inquisitive mind. I became fascinated with the living world, and the evidences of long-vanished organisms I could see everywhere. I was an avid, if indescriminant reader. I gradually formed an opinion (more like a "feeling") for what was bogus and what was genuine - although I still get tripped up on that one. In a sense, my arrival at methodological naturalism as the best explanation derived from how bad everything else was. In essence, I owe my ME position not to religion, but to Eric Von Daniken. :D
Age: 34 Location: Essex UK Status: Single (never married) Education: Degree (BA hons) RA: Atheist (Strong) Occupation: Senior Computer Games Artist Type: PM (no need to invoke the supernatural) Why I believe what I believe: evidence.
Guidelines were not broken by you or holmes. They were blatantly broken by other individuals. In any case I'm not interested in dicussing politics. Now was there a science topic you wanted to discuss ?