The Difference Between Creationism and Intelligent Design



Creationism supports the Biblically-based concept that God created the earth and all the other planets in the universe over a period of six days. Even though some creationists do not support the fact that Adam and Eve were the first human beings to be created, all creationists agree with the proposal that all species of plants and animals were produced by the Creator in their current form (Ayala, 2008). The theory of intelligent design, on the other hand, supports the notion that the universe, as well as all animal and plant species on earth, emerged as a result of the evolutionary process. Intelligent design theorists assert that it is not practical to assume that life on earth developed through the random actions of a divine being (Ayala, 2008). They also claim that the very features of different plants and animal species prove that they came to exist as a result of scientifically-directed intelligent cause.

The Differences Between Creationism and Intelligent Design

          There have been claims made by independent sources that there is not much difference between the theories of creationism and intelligent design as both support the notion that the intelligent cause behind the creation of the universe is inspired by a Divine Being (Pigliucci, 2005). This, however, is inaccurate. While the proponents of creationism believe that the world is less than eight thousand years old, the supporters of the intelligent design theory believe that the world is millions of years old (Ayala, 2008). Creationists also believe that God created the universe and all its life forms from nothing.

There are proponents of the intelligent design theory who support the notion that there is a supreme being that inspired the process of evolution. However, their interpretation of this Supreme Being differs from the creationists’ definition of God as the Creator and owner of all life. Creationists do not believe that God used an evolutionary process to create human beings. They reject Charles Darwin’s assertions that man originated from the lower primates (Fuller, 2008). William Paley, who encouraged public discussion on the theory of intelligent design, affirmed that the Bible could not be said to be the foremost authority on the original appearance of life on earth (Ayala, 2008).

He proposed the theory that life only emerged after an extensive process of evolution which happened over centuries. This process may have been inspired by a Supreme Being (Ayala, 2008). Another difference between creationism and intelligent design has to do with the reasoning methods used by the proponents of both theories. Creationists base their beliefs on the Bible which is a sacred text, while the proponents of intelligent design stress that only science can prove how life originally began on earth (Pigliucci, 2005).

While creationists support the theory that there is a definite Creator who formed the universe and the different life forms on earth, the proponents of the intelligent design theory have observed that scientific design may not adequately explain various aspects of life on earth, and so merely endeavor to speculate about the subject. Essentially, intelligence design theorists tend to limit their assertions on the origin of life to only those aspects that can be scientifically verified. Creationists, though, do not base their claims on scientific findings, but religious doctrine that provides definite explanations about the process of creation.


          The main difference between creationists and the proponents of the intelligence design theory lies in the role of a Supreme Being in the creation of life. Creationists assert that God formed the universe and all life on earth as dictated by the Bible, while the proponents of intelligent design affirm that a Supreme Being may have inspired the lengthy process of evolution in which plant and animal species slowly developed due to intelligent cause.


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