No. 85 - THE TENETS OF CREATIONISM
By Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.
Creationism can be studied and taught in any of three basic forms,
(1) Scientific creationism(non-relegious Biblical revelation,
utilizing only scientific data to support and expound the
(2) Biblical Creationism (no reliance on scientific data, using
only the Bible to expound and defend the creation model).
(3) Scientific Biblical creationism (full reliance on Biblical
revelation but also using scientific data to support and
develop the creation model).
These are not contradictory systems, of course, but
supplementary, each appropriate for certain applications. For
example, creationists should not advocate that Biblical
creationism be taught in public schools, both because of judicial
restrictions against religion in such schools and also (more
importantly) because teachers who do not believe the Bible should
not be asked to teach the Bible. It is both legal and desirable,
however, that scientific creationism be taught in public schools
as a valid alternative to evolutionism.
In a Sunday School class, on the other hand, dedicated to
teaching the Scriptures and all the counsel of God," Biblical
creationism should be strongly expounded and emphasized as the
foundation of all other doctrine. In a Christian school or
college, where the world of God is studied in light of the Word of
God, it is appropriate and very important to demonstrate that
Biblical creationism and scientific creationism are fully compati-
ble, two sides of the same coin, as it were. The creationist
revelation in Scripture is thus supported by all true facts of
nature; the combined study can properly be called scientific
Biblical creationism. All three systems, of course, contrast
sharply and explicitly with the evolution model.
The evolution and creation models, in their simplest forms,
can be outlined as follows:
'See Scientific Creationism, ed. Henry M. Monis (San Diego:
C.L.P. Publishers, 1974), p. 12.
Dr. Henry M. Morris is the Director of the
Institute for Creation
Research n e author of other numerous articles and books.
Evolution Model Creation Model
1. Continuing naturalistic I . Completed supernatural-
origin lstic origin
2. Net present Increase It* 2. Net present decrease in
3. Earth history dominated 3. Earth history domhiated
by uniformitarian-.m L-,y catastrophism
The evolution model, as outlined above, is in very general
terms. It can be expanded and modified in a number of ways to
correspond to particular types of evolutionism (atheistic
evolution, theistic evolution, Lamarckism, neo-Darwinism,
punctuated equilibrium, etc.).
The same is true of the creation model, with the Biblical
record giving additional specific information which could never be
determined from science alone. The three key items in the
creation model above are then modified as follows:
Biblical Creation Model
1 Creation completed by supernatural processes in six days.
Creation in the bondage of decay because of sin and the
Earth history dominated by the great flood of Noah's day.
Creationists, however, do not propose that the public schools
teach six-day creation, the fall of man, and the Noachian flood.
They do maintain, however, that they should teach the evidence for
a complex completed creation, the universal principle of decay
(in contrast to the evolutionary assumptions of increasing
organization) and the worldwide evidences of recent catastrophism.
All of these are implicit in observable scientific data, and
should certainly be included in public education.
Both the scientific creation model and The Biblical creation
model can be considerably expanded to incorporate many key events
of creation and earth history, in terms of both scientific
observation on the one hand and Biblical doctrine on the other.
These can, in fact, be developed as a series of formal tenetS2 of
scientific creationism and Biblical creationism, respectively, as
Tenets of Scientific Creationism
The physical universe of space, lime, matter and energy has
not always existed, but was supernaturally created by a
transcendent personal Creator who alone has existed from eternity.
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,
,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
'These tenets have recently been adopted by the staff of the
Institute for Creation Research and incorporated permanently in
(self-image, moral consciousness, abstract reasoning, language,
will, religious nature, etc.) is itself a supernaturally created
entity distinct from mere biological life.
primarily a record of catastrophic intensifies of natural
processes, operating largely within uniform natural laws, rather
than one of uniformitahan process rates. There is therefore no a
prioli 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 hydraulic cataclysm.
i 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 ac-don on the part of the
/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 created order.
,'-i, 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, The 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.
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 CreatOF rationally and scientifically, and
to reach an intelligent decision regarding one's place in the
Tenets of Biblical Creationism
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.
). The Bible, consisting of the thirty-nine canonical books
of the Old Testament and the twent-y-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 and theological.
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 20:8-1 1. The creation record is
factual, historical and perspicuous; thus all theories of origins
OF 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 spiritudi cFedtion,
Satan and his angels, rebelled against God after the creation and
are attemting to thwart His divine purposes in creation.
: The first human beings, Adam and Eve, were specifically
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
') The Biblical record of primeval earth history in Genesis I
- I I 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 worldwide
cataclysmic deluge in the days of North, the post-diluvian renewdi
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 resur-
rection of Christ is thus The focal point of history, assuring the
consummation of God's purposes in creation.
,'. 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
personal 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 who 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.
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 the earth of Jesus Christ to judge and purge sin
and to establish His eternal kingdom.
. 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
honored and supported as such.
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 Biblically] creationism and all
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