Glossary

abiogenesis: the alleged spontaneous generation of living organisms from non-living matter

adaptation: a physical trait or behavior due to inherited characteristics that gives an organism the ability to survive in a given environment

adaptive radiation: the process of speciation as populations spread and encounter different environments

allele: any of the alternative forms of a gene that occur at a specific spot (locus) in the DNA sequence (genome) of an organism

anthropology: systematic study of the characteristics of humans through history

archaebacteria: the kingdom of prokaryotic cells excluding eubacteria (considered as a separate domain in certain classification schemes) which is alleged to be ancestral to eubacteria by some evolutionists

Archaeopteryx: extinct species of perching bird (known from fossils) with teeth, wing claws, and a bony tail

Archaeoraptor: a fraudulent fossil from China that combined the body of a bird with the tail of a dinosaur

artifact: an item or its remains produced in the past by humans; generally recovered through archaeological exploration

atheism: the belief that God, or any supreme intelligence, does not exist

Australopithecus: genus of extinct apes known from fossils found in Africa, including the infamous “Lucy”

bacteria: a group of unicellular organisms that lack a true nucleus and membrane-bound organelles; including eubacteria and archaebacteria

baramin: (see created kind)

Bible: the collection of 66 books that is the inspired Word of God; used as the authoritative source for determining truth

biblical creation: the supernatural events, occurring over 6 approximately 24-hour days, described in Genesis 1 and 2, by which God caused the formation of heaven and earth and everything in them

biblical creation model: a scientific model based on the biblical account of creation, the curse of nature brought about by Adam’s sin, and the global catastrophe of Noah’s Flood

big bang model: the cosmological model suggesting the universe began as a single point which expanded to produce the known universe

biology: the systematic study of the characteristics and interactions of living things

beneficial mutation: a mutation which confers a survival advantage to an organism under certain environmental conditions; usually a result of the loss of genetic information (see mutation)

catastrophism: the doctrine that changes in the geologic record are a result of physical processes operating at rates that are dramatically higher than are observed today

cell theory: a theory of biology consisting of three parts: (1) cells are the basic unit of all living things; (2) all living things are composed of one or more cells; and (3) all cells come from preexisting cells

chemistry: the systematic study of the properties and interaction of matter

clone: an organism that is genetically identical to its parent

cloning: producing a new organism using the DNA of an existing organism

compromise: Reinterpreting Scripture based on outside beliefs and developing theology around this belief. Common origins compromise positions accept the secular view of millions of years, as opposed to the global Flood of Noah. Some of these popular views are: Progressive Creation/Day Age Theory, Gap Theory, Framework Hypothesis, and Theistic Evolution.

cosmogony: a belief about the origin of the universe

cosmology: the systematic study of the structure of the universe, including its origin

created kind (baramin): the original organisms (and their descendants) created supernaturally by God as described in Genesis 1; these organisms reproduce only their own kind within the limits of preprogrammed information, but with great variation. Note: Since the original creation, organisms of one kind cannot interbreed with a different kind, but individuals within a kind may have lost the ability (information) to interbreed due to the effects of the Curse.

Cro-Magnon man: an extinct people group of Europe and Eastern Asia

Darwinism: a belief that all organisms have a single common ancestor that has produced all living organisms through the process of natural selection; popularized by Charles Darwin in On the Origin of Species

day-age theory: a compromise belief that the days of Genesis 1 are actually vast ages of different lengths; based on secular dating methods

deism: a belief in a Creator God that denies His intervention in the history of the universe since its creation

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid): the basic molecule of hereditary information which serves as a code for the production of proteins and is common to all living organisms

eisegesis: an interpretation of Scripture that incorporates the interpreter’s ideas as opposed to the actual meaning of the text (taking ideas to Scripture and reinterpreting it)

endosymbiont hypothesis: the suggestion that mitochondria, chloroplasts, and other organelles originated as bacteria that were ingested and became a part of eukaryotic cells over evolutionary time

entropy (thermodynamics): the measure of the tendency of closed systems to increase in disorder

eubacteria: the kingdom of prokaryotic cells, excluding archaebacteria (considered as a separate domain in certain classification schemes); alleged to be descended from archaebacteria by some evolutionists

evolution: all life on earth has come about through descent with modification from a single common ancestor (a hypothetical, primitive singlecelled organism)

exegesis: critical interpretation of Scripture taking into account the writing style, meaning, and context of the passage (learning from what Scripture is saying)

extrapolation: inferring information outside of the range of the actual data based on trends

faith: belief in things that cannot be directly known or observed

Flood (Noah’s Flood): the supernatural event described in Genesis 6–10 that covered the entire earth with water, killing all land vertebrates except those aboard the Ark built by Noah

fossil: preserved remains or traces of once living organisms

   coprolite: fossilized excrement

   included: organisms that are encased in a substance leaving the specimen virtually intact, as in amber

   living: organisms that are virtually identical to fossil organisms; often thought to have been extinct and then discovered

   mold and cast: a type of replacement fossil which includes the concave or convex impression of an organism; typical of shells and leaves

   permineralized: an organism in which the porous parts are filled with mineral deposits leaving the original superstructure intact

   replacement (mineralized): organism whose entire structure has been replaced by mineral deposits so that none of the original superstructure remains

   trace/track/micro: evidence of the activity of an organism, including tracks, burrows, root traces

fossilization: the process of preserving the remains or traces of an organism, generally by some form of petrification

framework hypothesis: a compromise belief that Genesis 1 is written in a non-literal, non-chronological way; based on secular dating methods

gap theory: a compromise belief that a vast period of time exists between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 during which time the geologic eras can be fit

gene: a segment of DNA that codes for the production of polypeptides

gene pool: the collection of varying alleles within a population of organisms

genetics: the study of characteristics inherited by the transmission of DNA from parent to offspring

genome: the complete set of genetic material (DNA) of any cell in an organism

geocentric: using the earth as a central frame of reference

geologic column: the layers of rock that compose the crust of the earth

glacier: large mass of ice that has accumulated from snow over the years and is slowly moving from a higher place

half-life: the amount of time required for one half of the atoms of the parent isotope to decay into the daughter isotope

heliocentric: using the sun as a central frame of reference

heredity: acquiring traits by transfer of genes from parent to offspring

historical (origins) science: interpreting evidence from past events based on a presupposed philosophical point of view

hominid: extinct and living members of the family Hominidae, including modern humans and their ancestors

Homo erectus: fossils of extinct human people groups that are misinterpreted as missing links in human evolution

Homo habilis: an invalid category consisting of various ape and human fossil fragments

homologous structure: any feature that shares a common design with a similar feature in another species of organism (alleged to support common ancestry in evolutionary models)

Homo sapiens: the category that includes modern humans, Neandertals, and other extinct human groups

human: any member of the species Homo sapiens

humanism: a belief in mankind as the measure of all things; based on relative truth and morality and rejecting any supernatural authority

ice age: the period of glaciation following Noah’s Flood during which a significant portion of the earth had a cold climate

Ice Age: when denoted in caps is referring to the biblical post-Flood Ice Age

ice cores: cores of ice that have been drilled down into a glacier

interglacial: short period of warming between glacier growth/movement that caused it to melt away

information: an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose

interpolation: inferring information within the range of the actual data based on trends

Java man: the first fossil specimen of Homo erectus

Kennewick man: human remains found in Washington State in 1996

kind (see created kind)

life (biological): anything that: contains genetic information, can reproduce offspring that resemble itself, grow and develop, control cellular organization and conditions including metabolism and homeostasis, and respond to its environment Note: The Bible defines life in a different sense, using the Hebrew phrase nephesh chayyah, indicating organisms with a life spirit.

local flood: a nonscriptural compromise belief that Noah’s Flood was an event confined to the Mesopotamian Valley

logic: systematic application of principles of reasoning to arrive at a conclusion

Lucy: a 40% complete fossil specimen of Australopithecus afarensis discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 by Donald Johanson

macroevolution: term used by evolutionists to describe the alleged, unobservable change of one kind of organism to another by natural selection acting on the accumulation of mutations over vast periods of time

mammal: any organism that has fur and nurses young from mammary glands

materialism: a belief claiming that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all organisms, processes, and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or interactions of matter

metamorphic rocks: rocks that have been altered in texture or composition by heat, pressure, or chemical activity after they initially formed

microevolution: term used by evolutionists to describe relatively small changes in genetic variation that can be observed in populations

mineralization: replacement of material from an object, usually organic, with minerals that harden

mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA): small circular loops of DNA found in the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells

mitochondrial Eve: the most recent common ancestor of humans whose lineage can be traced backward through female ancestors; alleged support for the out-of-Africa hypothesis of human evolution

model: physical, mental, or mathematical representations that can be used to explain observed phenomena and make specific, useful predictions

moraines: stones, boulders, and debris that has been carried and dropped by a glacier

Mungo man: fossil human remains from Australia dated by evolutionists to 40,000 years or more

mutation: any change in the sequence of DNA base pairs in the genome of an organism

   frameshift: addition or deletion of one or more nucleotide pairs in the coding region of a gene causing the triplet codons to be read in the wrong frame

   deletion: removal of one or more nucleotide pairs in the DNA sequence

   duplication: large segments of DNA that have been copied and inserted into a new position in the DNA sequence, possibly on different chromosomes

   insertion: addition of one or more nucleotide pairs in the DNA sequence

   inversion: a section of DNA that has been reversed within the chromosome

   neutral: any mutation that does not effect the function of an organism

   point: addition, deletion, or substitution of a single nucleotide pair in the DNA sequence

   translocation: the movement of a section of a chromosome from one position to another, generally between different chromosomes

natural selection: the process by which individuals possessing a set of traits that confers a survival advantage in a given environment tend to leave more offspring on average that survive to reproduce in the next generation

naturalism: a belief denying that an event or object has a supernatural significance; specifically, the doctrine that scientific laws are adequate to account for all phenomena

Neanderthal/Neandertal: an extinct human people group with relatively thick bones and a distinct culture; disease and nutritional deficiency may be responsible for the bone characteristics

neo-Darwinism: an extension of Darwinism which includes modern genetic concepts to explain the origin of all life on earth from a single common ancestor

Noah’s Flood: (see Flood)

old-earth creation: any compromise position that accepts the millions-ofyears idea from secular science and attempts to fit that time into the events of Genesis 1–2

operational (observational) science: a systematic approach to understanding that uses observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable experimentation to understand how nature commonly behaves

organism: any cell or group of cells that exhibits the properties of life (living things) (see life)

paleontology: the systematic study of the history of life on the earth based on the fossil record

permineralization: the filling of cavities of an object, usually organic, with minerals which harden

petrification: processes, including mineralization, permineralization, and inclusion, which change an object, usually organic, into stone or a similar mineral structure

phylogenetic tree: diagrams that show the alleged evolutionary relationships between organisms

Piltdown man: fraudulent “prehuman” fossil consisting of the skull cap of a modern human and the jaw and teeth of an orangutan

plate tectonics: the systematic study of the movement of the plates that make up the earth’s crust

   uniformitarian model: based on the gradual movement of the plates over hundreds of millions of years

   catastrophic model: based on rapid movement of the plates associated with Noah’s Flood

polypeptide: a chain of amino acids formed from the DNA template and modified to produce proteins

presupposition: a belief that is accepted as true and is foundational to one’s worldview

progressive creation: a compromise belief accepting that God has created organisms in a progressive manner over billions of years to accommodate secular dating methods

punctuated equilibrium: an evolutionary model that suggests evolution occurs in rapid spurts rather than by gradual change

radioactive decay: The breakdown of unstable nuclei of atoms releasing energy and subatomic particles

radiometric dating: using ratios of isotopes produced in radioactive decay to calculate an “age” of the specimen based on assumed rates of decay and other assumptions

   parent isotope: original isotope before it has undergone radioactive decay

   daughter isotope: isotope resulting from radioactive decay

   half-life: the amount of time required for one half of the parent atoms to decay into the daughter atoms

   relative dating: estimating the age of a fossil or rock layer by comparing its position to layers of known age

   absolute dating: using radiometric dating to test a specimen in an attempt to estimate its age

religion: a cause, principle, or belief system held to with zeal and conviction

RNA (Ribonucleic Acid): a molecule found in all living things that serves various roles in producing proteins from the coded information in the DNA sequence

secular: not from a religious perspective or source

secular humanism: (see humanism)

science: the systematic study of a subject in order to gain information (see also operational science and historical science)

speciation: the process of change in a population that produces distinct populations which rarely naturally interbreed due to geographic isolation or other factors

species: a group of organisms within a genus that naturally reproduce and have fertile offspring

spontaneous generation: the false belief that life can arise from nonliving matter

strata: layers of rock deposited by geologic events

theistic evolution: a compromise belief that suggests God used evolutionary processes to create the universe and life on earth over billions of years

theory: an explanation of a set of facts based on a broad set of observations that is generally accepted within a group of scientists

transitions/transitional forms: species that exhibit traits that may be interpreted as intermediate between two kinds of organisms in an evolutionary framework, e.g., an organism with a fish body and amphibian legs

uniformitarianism: the doctrine that present day processes acting at similar rates as observed today account for the change evident in the geologic record

vestigial organ: any organ that has a demonstrated reduction and/or loss of function Note: Vestigial organs include eyes in blind cave-fish but not organs that are assumed to have had a different function in an unknown ancestor.

virus: a nonliving collection of proteins and genetic material that can only reproduce inside of a living cell

Y-chromosome Adam: the most recent common ancestor whose lineage can be traced backward through male ancestors

Yom: one of the Hebrew words for “day” encompassing several definitions such as the daylight portion of a day (12 hours, Genesis 1:5a), a day with one evening and one morning (24 hours, Genesis 1:5b) or a longer period of time (Genesis 2:4). The context reveals which definition is in use.

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