Terms to Know

the alleged spontaneous generation of living organisms from nonliving matter
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
any of the alternative forms of a gene that occur at a specific spot (locus) in the DNA sequence (genome) of an organism
anthropic principle
life in our universe requires physical constants, laws, and properties that fall within certain narrow ranges; the universe appears designed to support life
systematic study of the characteristics of humans through history
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
extinct species of perching bird (known from fossils) with teeth, wing claws, and a bony tail
The Archaeoraptor [sic] is a fraudulent fossil from China that combined the body of Yanornis with the tail of a Microraptor.
an item or its remains produced in the past by humans; generally recovered through archaeological exploration
the belief that God, or any supreme intelligence, does not exist
genus of extinct apes known from fossils found in Africa, including the famous “Lucy”
a group of unicellular organisms that lack a true nucleus and membrane- bound organelles; including eubacteria and archaebacteria
(see created kind)
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 six approximately 24- hour days, described in Genesis 1 and 2, by which God caused the formation of the heaven and earth and everything in them
biblical creation model
a scientific model based on the biblical account of three key events—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
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)
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
the systematic study of the properties and interaction of matter
an organism that is genetically identical to its parent
producing a new organism using the DNA of an existing organism
a belief about the origin of the universe
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
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
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
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
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
all life on earth has come about through descent with modification from a single common ancestor (a hypothetical, primitive single-celled organism)
inferring information outside of the range of the actual data based on trends
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-dwelling, air-breathing animals except those aboard the Ark built by Noah
preserved remains or traces of once-living organisms
fossilized excrement
included fossils
organisms that are encased in a substance leaving the specimen virtually intact, as in amber
living fossils
living organisms that are virtually identical to fossil organisms; often thought to have been extinct and then discovered
mold and cast fossil
a type of replacement fossil which includes the concave or convex impression of an organism; typical of shells and leaves
permineralized fossil
an organism in which the porous parts are filled with mineral deposits leaving the original superstructure intact
replacement (mineralized) fossil
organism whose entire structure has been replaced by mineral deposits so that none of the original superstructure remains
trace/track/micro fossil
evidence of the activity of an organism, including tracks, burrows, root traces
the process of preserving the remains or traces of an organism, generally by some form of petrification
a segment of DNA that codes for the production of polypeptides
gene pool
the collection of varying alleles within a population of organisms
the study of characteristics inherited by the transmission of DNA from parent to offspring
the complete set of genetic material (DNA) of any cell in an organism
using the earth as a central frame of reference
geologic column
the layers of rock that compose the crust of the earth
the amount of time required for one half of the atoms of the parent isotope to decay into the daughter isotope
using the sun as a central frame of reference
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
historical theory
an explanation of past events based on the interpretation of evidence that is available in the present
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, Neanderthals, and other extinct human groups
any member of the species Homo sapiens
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
an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose
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, grows and develops, controls cellular organization and conditions including metabolism and homeostasis, and responds to its environment

Note: The Bible defines life in a different sense, using the Hebrew phrase nephesh chayyah, indicating organisms with a life spirit.

systematic application of principles of reasoning to arrive at a conclusion
a 40% complete fossil specimen of Australopithecus afarensis discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 by Donald Johanson
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
any organism that has fur and nurses young from mammary glands
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
term used by evolutionists to describe relatively small changes in genetic variation that can be observed in populations
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
physical, mental, or mathematical representations that can be used to explain observed phenomena and make specific, useful predictions
Mungo man
fossil human remains from Australia dated by evolutionists to 40,000 years or more
any change in the sequence of DNA base pairs in the genome of an organism
frameshift mutation
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 mutation
removal of one or more nucleotide pairs in the DNA sequence
duplication mutation
large segments of DNA that have been copied and inserted into a new position in the DNA sequence, possibly on different chromosomes
insertion mutation
addition of one or more nucleotide pairs in the DNA sequence
inversion mutation
a section of DNA that has been reversed within the chromosome
neutral mutation
any mutation that does not affect the function of an organism
point mutation
addition, deletion, or substitution of a single nucleotide pair in the DNA sequence
translocation mutation
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 confer a survival advantage in a given environment tend to leave more offspring on average that survive to reproduce in the next generation
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
an extinct human people group with relatively thick bones and a distinct culture; disease and nutritional deficiency may be responsible for the bone characteristics
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)
operational (observational) science
a systematic approach to understanding that uses observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable experimentation to understand how nature commonly behaves
operational theory
an explanation of a set of facts based on a broad set of repeatable and testable observations that is generally accepted within a group of scientists
any cell or group of cells that exhibits the properties of life (living things) (see life)
the systematic study of the history of life on the earth based on the fossil record
the filling of cavities of an object, usually organic, with minerals, which harden
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
a chain of amino acids formed from the DNA template and modified to produce proteins
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
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
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
not from a religious perspective or source
secular humanism
(see humanism)
the systematic study of a subject in order to gain information (see also operational science and historical science)
the process of change in a population that produces distinct populations which rarely naturally interbreed due to geographic isolation or other factors
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
layers of rock deposited by geologic events
(see historical theory and operational theory)
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)
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.

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 backwards through male ancestors

Evolution Exposed: Biology

This book helps teens discern the chronic bias towards belief in evolution that permeates today’s three most popular high school biology textbooks.

Read Online Buy Book


Get the latest answers emailed to you.

I agree to the current Privacy Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA, and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390