This glossary is meant to provide definitions to many commonly (and uncommonly) used terms in the Creation v. Evolution Debate. Please note that this resource is far from complete, so if you have a term that you want to be included, or believe that one of the definitions provided is inaccurate, please contact us from the home page. Thank you, we hope you find this resource helpful!

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1. Abiogenesis-The term for the process by which life is said (in some evolutionist circles) to have come from non-life

2. Agnosticism-The open-minded skepticism as to the existence of a deity

3. Appearance of Age-The idea that the earth and/or universe appears to be ancient, but is actually young. 

4. Atheism-The belief that no deity exists

5. Avian Dinosaur-A bird (as in: dinosaurs evolved into birds)


1. Baraminology-The study (in Creation Science) of original created kinds


2. Bias-An opinion or other facet of a person’s worldview that influences that person’s judgments, see "Worldview"


3. (The) Big Bang-The theoretical explosion that (in evolutionist circles) is said to have created the universe

4. Biology-The study of life and living things

5. (The) Burden of Proof-The obligation a person has to prove his statement with evidence and logic etc.

Common Acronyms/Abbreviations-

1. YEC-Young Earth Creationism/Creationist

2. OEC-Old Earth Creationism/Creationist

3. TE-Theistic Evolution/Evolutionism/Evolutionist

4. ToE-Theory of Evolution

5. EC-Evolutionary Creationism

6. ID-Intelligent Design

Less Common Abbreviations-

1. GC-Grand Canyon

2. AoA-Appearance of Age


1. Carbon Dating-A scientific method to determine the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of


2. Catastrophism-The theory that the earth has been geologically shaped by sudden, hugely catastrophic and short-lived events, see “Uniforitarianism”


3. Climate Change-A change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time, see “Global Warming”

4. Cosmology-The scientific study of the origins of the universe

5. Creationism-The belief that the earth, and life, was created by a deity, specifically in Judeo-Christian Creationism, which has a literal interpretation of the Biblical Genesis account, see "Creation 2"

6. Creation 1-Term in some Creationist circles for the cosmos

7. Creation 2-See "Creationism"



1. Day-Age Theory-A non-biblical interpretation of the book of Genesis which states that the days in Genesis 1 are not literal, but are actually long periods of time, see Genesis


2. Dinosaur-A word describing the large, land-dwelling animals that was coined by Sir Richard Owen. Dinosaurs, according to the Evolutionary/Uniformitarianist timeline, went extinct approximately 65 million years ago, or evolved into birds. see “Avian Dinosaur,” “Pterosaur,” and “Plesiosaur”

3. Dogma-A rule or set of principles etc. laid down by an authority that are considered to be incontrovertibly true


1. (The) Enlightenment-A late 1600's to 1700's movement that emphasized reason, individualism, and skepticism as well as challenging established philosophical and religious views


 2. Evolution 1-(In some creationist circles) the all-encompassing term for the worldview that the cosmos, and ultimately life, was created and diversified by means of natural processes (ongoing for eons of time), and has been sustained since then by purely natural processes, see “Macroevolution,” “Microevolution,” and “Naturalism”

3. (The Theory Of) Evolution 2-The theory that types of organisms can change over time with the acquisition of new characteristics gained through a number of different mechanisms, see "Macroevolution" and "Microevolution"

4. Evolutionary Creationism-See "Theistic Evolution"

5. Evolutionism-See Evolution 1

6. Evolved-In evolutionary science, having achieved the point of having significantly changed as a species of organism, see “Macroevolution”


1. Fossil-The naturally (and in some cases artificially) preserved hard structures (and, in rare cases, soft structures), especially bones, of once-living organisms, see "Fossil Cast,"

"Fossil Mold," and "Trace Fossil"

2. Fossil Cast-A type of fossil where the organism has been replaced by minerals as the organism decomposes, see "Fossil Mold"

3. Fossil Mold-A type of fossil which consists only of an impression in the rock which show the shape of the organism which was once deposited there, see "Fossil Cast"

4. Fossilization-The process of how a fossil is formed. There are multiple processes for this, see "Petrification" and "Permineralization"

5. Framework Hypothesis-The non-literal interpretation of the Genesis creation account that organizes the days (which are viewed as long periods of time) into "triads" with day 1 corresponding to day 3 etc., see "Genesis"


1. Genesis-The first book of the Bible which contains the account of creation, see “Creationism”

2. Geologic Column-The Uniformitarianist paradigm for the alignment of geologic strata (layers) into an organized “column.” The lower the strata, the older it is said to be, see “Uniformitarianism”

3. Geology-The study of earth's physical structure and features, such as rocks, see "Geologic Column"


4. Global Warming-The hypothesis that the earth is getting warmer, especially that this warming is due to human influence, see “Climate Change”

5. Gospel (The)-The message that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world, and that all who trust in him will be granted forgiveness for all of their sins, and have eternal life. The Gospel is the basic doctrine of Christianity


1. Humanism-Belief that mankind is "the measure of all things" attaching primary importance to human and natural matters, rather than divine and supernatural matters, see "Naturalism"

2. Hypothesis-An educated guess/constructed outcome that is attempted to be proved scientifically, and must be modified or discarded when evidence that disagrees with it is discovered, see “Theory” and “Scientific Law”


1.Ice Age-The/A period in history where the earth was colder than usual


2. Intelligent Design-A theory that holds that features of life and of the origins of the universe are best explained by an intelligent cause for them, not an undirected process. Intelligent design differs from Young Earth Creationism in that it stresses empirical evidence 

3. Invertebrate-An animal that does not possess a backbone, see "Vertebrate"





1. Macroevolution-The theory that a specific type of organism, with acquired traits due to mutations and natural selection etc. accumulated over eons of time can change (evolve) into a completely different kind of organism, see “Evolution” and “Microevolution”


2. Magisterial Use of Reason-The use of the human intellect to judge scripture on the basis of reason and evidence (like a "magistrate"), see "Ministerial Use of Reason"

3. Metaphysics-The branch of philosophy that deals with the fundamental nature of reality


4. Microevolution-The theory that types of organisms can acquire traits over time, but that these traits do not change the organisms into different types of organisms (typically not changing their classification outside of the fundamental genus), see “Macroevolution”

5. Ministerial Use of Reason-The use of the human intellect as used in cooperation and respectful submission to God's word, see "Magisterial Use of Reason"


1. Naturalism-The belief that all features of life and of the origins of the universe came about by natural processes without reference to a deity etc., see “Intelligent Design”


1. Occam's Razor-The concept of placing belief in the hypothesis with the lowest number of assumptions

2. Old Earth Creationism-Division of Creationism that involves a usually non-literal interpretation of genesis, and belief in a universe that is many billions of years old, see "Theistic Evolution"

3. Origins-Encompassing term for the beginnings of the cosmos and life


1. Paleontology-The study of fossils and extinct life forms, see "Fossil"

2. Permineralization-A process of fossilization (and petrification) in which an internal cast of an organism is created by mineral-rich groundwater by filling spaces within organic tissue

3. Petrification-A process of fossilization during which the organic tissues and materials of a once-living organism are replaced with minerals, see "Fossilization" and "Permineralization"

4. Philosophy-the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, ultimately the search for truth

5. Plesiosaur-A classification of reptilian marine creatures that are said to have gone extinct millions of years ago. They are often mistakenly called dinosaurs, see “Dinosaur,” and “Pterosaur”

6. Progressive Adaptation-see “Macroevolution”

7. Pseudoscience-Activities and outlooks that are labeled as science, but are considered by the one using the term to fall into some different discipline, such as theology

8. Pterosaur-A classification of reptilian flying creatures that are said to have gone extinct millions of years ago. They are often mistakenly called dinosaurs, see “Dinosaur,” and “Plesiosaur” 



Radiometric Dating-A method of dating (usually) geological samples by determining the relative portions of a specific radioactive isotope within the sample, see "Carbon Dating"


1. Science-An endeavor dedicated to the accumulation and classification of observable facts, and forming views based on these observable facts, see “Hypothesis,” “Theory,” and “Scientific Law”


2. Scientific Law-A theory that has proven consistent with the evidence in practically every observed case, and is usually very reliable, see “Science,” “Hypothesis,” and “Theory”


3. Spontaneous Generation-The ancient hypothesis that life springs naturally from the surroundings, see “Abiogenesis”


1. Tectonic-Relating to the study of the Earth's crust and the momentous processes therein, see "Geology"

2. Theistic Evolution-The belief that God created the universe and life via evolutionary/uniformitarianist processes that are observed by science

3. Theism-The belief that a deity exists, see "Atheism"

4. Theology-The study of God and religion, specifically the Christian religion, see “Gospel (The)”

5. Theory-A reliable hypothesis that has stood up to generations of data, and proven consistent (or been modified in order to make it consistent), see “Science,” “Hypothesis,” and “Scientific Law”

6. Trace Fossil-A fossilized remnant of the activity of an ancient organism (such as fossilized footprints, see "Fossil"

7. Transcendence-Existence or experience beyond the physical level, see "Metaphysics"


1. Uniformitarianism-The theory that the earth’s geological features have been shaped by natural processes still observed today over eons and eons of time, as in "the present is the key to the past," see “Catastrophism”


1. Vertebrate-An organism that possesses a backbone, see "Invertebrate"


1. Worldview-A specific “Lens” through which a person views everything, a philosophy of life. For instance, Creation and Evolution as defined here are opposing worldviews



1. Young Earth Creationism-Division of Creationism that believes in a universe that is about 6000 years old, see "creationism"


1. Zoology-The study of animals, see "Biology"


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