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History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences - Vol. 34, no. 3 (2012)
Article

Ulrich Charpa, “Origin,” “Creation,” and “Origin of Life” – Some Conceptual Considerations


Abstract

This paper opens by drawing attention to the fact that there is some conceptual confusion with regard to “origin” and “creation.” This has its historical roots in the beginnings of modern science and undoubtedly affects our positioning towards the evolutionism/creationism-debate. This article argues that there are relevant ontological, epistemological, thematic, methodological, and logical differences between “origin” and “creation.” As a result, the analysis suggests keeping the usage of both concepts strictly quite separate. Creation is not simply another word for origin nor does it stand for an (from a rigid scientific point of view) awkward example of an origin. Irrespective of the apparent similarities as explanatory factors, origin and creation belong to fundamentally different types of concepts. Consequently, “origin of life” and those scientific projects connected to it present themselves as something distinct that neither competes nor meshes with thinking about creation.


Keywords

Origin, origin of life, creation, creationism, conceptual analysis, logical analysis, vagueness, research guiding ideas


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