Baraminology

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Baraminology is a creationist taxonomic system that classifies animals into groups called "created kinds" or "baramins" (pronounced with accent on second syllable) according to the account of creation in the book of Genesis and other parts of the Bible. It claims that kinds cannot interbreed and have no evolutionary relationship to one another.[1] Baraminology developed as a subfield of creation science in the 1990s among creationists that included Walter ReMine and Kurt Wise.

Baraminology is considered to be pseudoscience by the scientific community,[2][3][4][5] as the evidence for common ancestry of all life has widespread scientific acceptance. The system for representing biological diversity widely applied in modern biology is based on evolutionary relationships as determined by cladistics and other phylogenetic methods.[6] Proposed phylogenies of organisms are hypotheses of relationships that are objectively testable.[7]

Contents

Interpretations of Biblical kinds

The Bible mentions kinds in several passages. Genesis 1:24–25 gives an account of the creation of living things:

24: And God said: 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind.' And it was so. 25: And God made the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
The Creationist Orchard theory represents the way creationists approach Natural Selection; within the boundaries of the original Baramin, most YECs acknowledge that it plays a role.

Genesis 7:13–16 states that there are distinct kinds of cattle. In Deuteronomy 14:11–18 varieties of owl, raven, and hawk are presented as distinct kinds. Leviticus 19:19 is concerned with kinds of cloth, cattle, and seeds. Apart from what is implied by these passages, the Bible does not specify what a kind is.

Modern versions of the Old Testament are translations of the Biblical Hebrew text. The Hebrew word מִין min is used exclusively in a set phrase of the form לְ l+מִין min+possessive pronoun suffix, which is translated as after their/his/her kind. Several other words are translated into English with the word kind, including the Leviticus 19:19 usage: כִלְאַיֶם kila'im. The word min is never used in relation to humans, but the Greek word γένος genos is used in 2 Maccabees 7:28 "... and so was mankind made likewise". The fact that kind is used in this set phrase, among other reasons, has led to the hypothesis that it is not a referential noun in Biblical Hebrew, but derived from לְמִינֶה l'mineh = of him/herself, of themselves.[8][9][10] The word "baramin", which is a compound of the Hebrew words for created and kind, is unintelligible in Hebrew.

History

One literal creationist interpretation of the Bible is that each kind was brought into direct physical existence by God and that consequently each original animal had no ancestry, common or otherwise. Baraminology emerged from an effort by young earth creationists to make this interpretation scientifically appealing.[11] The idea of a baramin was proposed in 1941 by Frank Marsh, but was criticized for a lack of formal definition.[11] In 1990 Kurt Wise and Walter ReMine introduced baraminology in pursuit of acceptable criteria for membership in a baramin.[11]

ReMine's work specified four groupings: holobaramins, monobaramins, apobaramins, and polybaramins. These are, respectively, all things of one kind; some things of the same kind; groups of kinds; and any mixed grouping of things.[12] These groups correspond to the concepts of holophyly, monophyly, paraphyly, and polyphyly used in cladistics.[13]

Classification methodology

Conditions for membership in a (holo)baramin and methods of classification have changed over time. These include the ability to create viable offspring, and morphological similarity.[14]

Some creationists have suggested that kind refers to species, while others believe it might mean any animal which may be distinguished in some way from another.[15][16]

Another criterion is "baramin distance" which is based on the similarity of two or more organisms' characters and uses methods borrowed from phenetics.[17]

Some advocates believe that major differences in the appearance and behavior of two organisms indicates lack of common ancestry. Others point to inter-fertility capability as a possible indicator.[18] In all cases, methods found to place humans and other primates into the same baramin have been discarded.[19][20]

Baraminologist Roger W. Sanders advocates a subjective approach to classification over a measurement-based one:[21]

The cognita are not based on explicit or implicit comparisons of characters or biometric distance measures but on the gestalt of the plants and the classification response it elicits in humans.

Criticism

Baraminology has been heavily criticized for its lack of rigorous testing and post-study rejection of data not supporting desired findings.[22] Universal common descent, which states that all life shares a common ancestor, is well-established and tested, and so this scientific theory is commonly described by biologists as the fact of evolution.[23] However neither cladistics, the field devoted to classifying living things according to the ancestral relationships between them, nor the scientific consensus on transitional fossils are accepted by baraminologists.[24]

Despite voluminous evidence for evolution at and above the species level, baraminologists reject universal common descent and the emergence of new families and higher taxa.[24]

See also

  • International Conference on Creationism

References

  1. ^ Wood, Wise, Sanders, and Doran, A Refined Baramin Concept
  2. ^ "creation science is in fact not science and should not be presented as such in science classes." (Note that baraminology is a type of creation science.) The National Academies (1999). "Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition". National Academy Press. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=6024&page=1. Retrieved December 7, 2008. 
  3. ^ "the NAS states unequivocally that creationism has no place in any science curriculum at any level." http://www.nationalacademies.org/evolution/
  4. ^ Statements from Scientific and Scholarly Organizations. National Center for Science Education. Retrieved on April 1, 2008.
  5. ^ Williams, J. D. (2007). "Creationist Teaching in School Science: A UK Perspective". Evolution: Education and Outreach 1 (1): 87–88. doi:10.1007/s12052-007-0006-7.  edit
  6. ^ O'hara, Robert (1993). "Systematic generalization, historical fate, and the species problem". Systematic Biology 42 (3): 231–246. 
  7. ^ http://www.nhc.ed.ac.uk/index.php?page=236.273.444
  8. ^ entry for מִין min Clines , David J. A. (2001). The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. 5. Sheffield Academic Press. p. 262. ISBN 1-84127-217-5. 
  9. ^ page 262 in "Studies in the Bible" by Chaim Rabin = Rabin, Chaim (1961). "Etymological Miscellanea". Scripta Hierosolymitana: Publications of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (Jerusalem: Magnes Press) 8: 384–400. 
  10. ^ Mark D. Futato, #מִין min in Willem A. VanGemeren, ed. (1997). New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis. 2. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House. pp. 934–935. ISBN 0-310-20217-5. 
  11. ^ a b c Wood TC et al. (2003). "A Refined Baramin Concept". Occasional Papers of the Baraminology Study Group 3: 1–14. http://www.creationbiology.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=201240&module_id=36952. 
  12. ^ Frair, Wayne (2000). "Baraminology—Classification of Created Organisms". Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal 37 (2): 82–91. Archived from the original on 2003-06-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20030618153040/http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/37/37_2/baraminology.htm. 
  13. ^ Gishlick, Alan (2006). "Baraminology". Reports of the National Center for Science Education 26 (4): 17–21. http://ncse.com/rncse/26/4/baraminology. 
  14. ^ Fundamental Biology (1941), Evolution, Creation, and Science (c. 1944), both by Frank Lewis Marsh
  15. ^ Payne, J. Barton (1958). "The Concept of "Kinds" In Scripture". Journal of the American Science Affiliation 10 (2 (December 1958)): 17–20. http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1958/JASA6-58Payne.html. Retrieved 2007-11-26.  [Note this version appears to have been OCR-scanned without proofreading]
  16. ^ Cracraft, Joel. "Systematics, Comparative Biology, and the Case Against Creationism". Godfrey, Laurie R., ed. Scientists Confront Creationism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company: 1984.
  17. ^ Wood, Todd Charles (2006). "The Current Status of Baraminology". Creation Research Science Quarterly Journal 43 (3): 149–158. http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/43/43_3/baraminology.htm. 
  18. ^ The Revised and Expanded Answers Book, Edited by Don Batten, Ph.D, copyright 1990, Thirtieth printing, April 2004, ISBN 0-89051-161-6, Chapters 7
  19. ^ "About Us: Taxonomic Concepts and Methods". Baraminology Study Group. http://www.bryancore.org/bsg/aboutconcepts.html. Retrieved December 7, 2008. 
  20. ^ Robinson and Cavanaugh, A Quantitative Approach to Baraminology With Examples from the Catarrhine Primates. ...We have found that baraminic distances based on hemoglobin amino acid sequences, 12S-rRNA sequences, and chromosomal data were largely ineffective for identifying the Human holobaramin. Baraminic distances based on ecological and morphological characters, however, were quite reliable for distinguishing humans from nonhuman primates. See also A Review of Friar, W. (2000): Baraminology – Classification of Created Organisms.
  21. ^ Roger W. Sanders. "A Quick Method for Developing a Cognitum System Exemplified Using Flowering Plants" [12.2MB PDF]. Occas. Papers of the BSG No. 16, pp. 1-63.
  22. ^ A Review of Friar, W. (2000): Baraminology – Classification of Created Organisms. See also the last two sentences of the abstract of Robinson and Cavanaugh, A Quantitative Approach to Baraminology With Examples from the Catarrhine Primates
  23. ^ Theobald, Douglas (2007). "29+ Evidences for Macroevolution". TalkOrigins. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/. 
  24. ^ a b About the BSG: Taxonomic Concepts and Methods. Phrases to note are: "The mere assumption that the transformation had to occur because cladistic analysis places it at a hypothetical ancestral node does not constitute empirical evidence" and "A good example is Archaeopteryx, which likely represents its own unique baramin, distinct from both dinosaurs and modern birds"

Further reading


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