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Friday, July 14, 2006

Origins Flowchart

Origins flowchart

This flowchart isn't exhaustive, but it points out some of the main points of separation between different ideas of origins. Here are some additional questions that might be asked:
Should the 6 days of creation in Genesis 1 be interpreted to mean six consecutive days of approximately 24 hours?
Did non-human animals and plants die before the Fall?
Was the Flood of Noah's time responsible for a significant part of the geological features of the earth, world-wide?
Were there human-like beings, existing before humans appeared, or existing at the same time as Homo sapiens?

The Christianity Today editors, in an article, "Guideposts for the Current Debate Over Origins," published October 8, 1982, listed, if my memory serves, some seventeen different views of origins held by Christians (one belief apiece, generally!). All of the possibilities, save atheism and deism were included in these views.

I have a web page which gives some of the strengths and weaknesses of some of the main views of origins. I have attempted to be fair to all views.

You may want to see my next post, "Quotes on origins, 1," or the following one, which indicates that Young-Earth Creationism and the Intelligent Design movement have some substantial differences. This post gives more quotes on origins, perhaps ones dealing more fundamentally with the issues.

Please feel free to comment on this, including making suggestions. Also, feel free to use this chart, if it is helpful to you. The chart should be larger, and neater, than it appears here, if you download it. (Right-click on the graphic, and save it.) Thanks for reading.

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This post, and the flow chart itself, were modified on July 20, 2006, to accomodate a more correct interpretation of deism, which, contrary to the earlier version, does not necessarily include a belief that God no longer "interferes" in the unfolding of the universe. However, both this reference source and this one indicate a relationship between deism and a belief in a god who does not intervene in nature.

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The chart was edited a little, to make it better looking, and the meaning clearer, without changing the substance, on September 4, 2009. I did change the substance, clarifying Intelligent Design, and its relationship to other beliefs, on September 19, 2009. A post documenting that Young-Earth Creationism and Intelligent Design are not really compatible is here.


Elliot said...

I'm not able to view it, unfortunately.

Martin LaBar said...

Sorry. I'm not sure why, as it's supposed to be an ordinary .GIF file.

My Bubble Life said...

This is definitely thought-provoking. Thanks for sharing.

Jeremy Pierce said...

This is good, but what you're calling deism isn't what deists would describe their position as. Deism is just theism arrived at via natural philosophy without appeal to special revelation. Deists can occupy any position on your chart except atheism. In popular apologetics books, deism often gets misrepresented as the view that God created and then doesn't care about anything that further happens, but if that's deism then almost no one has ever been a deist. Jefferson, for instance, thought God had high expectations for us morally, and the moral law God built into the universe was for Jefferson the foundation of political organization. Those who called themselves deists simply denied revelation. It wasn't really about how or if God continues to interact with the world.

Martin LaBar said...


I knew I should have looked up deism before I made this chart. I'll do so, and try to fix it.