Terms to Know


Abiogenesis is the alleged spontaneous generation of living organisms from non-living matter.
absolute dating
Absolute dating uses radiometric dating to test a specimen in an attempt to estimate its age.
Adaptation is a physical trait or behavior due to inherited characteristics that gives an organism the ability to survive in a given environment.
anthropic principle
The anthropic principle states that life in our universe requires physical constants, laws, and properties that fall within certain narrow ranges; the universe appears designed to support life.
Anthropology is the systematic study of the characteristics of humans through history.
Archaebacteria is 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.
The Archaeopteryx is an extinct species of perching bird (known from fossils) with teeth, wing claws, and a bony tail.
The Archaeoraptor is a fraudulent fossil from China that combined the body of a bird with the tail of a dinosaur.
An artifact is an item or its remains produced in the past by humans, generally recovered through archaeological exploration.
Atheism is the belief that God, or any supreme intelligence, does not exist.
Australopithecus is a genus of extinct apes known from fossils found in Africa, including the famous “Lucy.”
Bacteria are a group of unicellular organisms that lack a true nucleus and membrane-bound organelles, including eubacteria and archaebacteria.
The Bible is the collection of 66 books that is the inspired Word of God, used as the authoritative source for determining truth.
biblical creation
Biblical creation is 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
The biblical creation model is 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 big bang model is the cosmological model suggesting the universe began as a single point which expanded to produce the known universe.
Biology is the systematic study of the characteristics and interactions of living things.
beneficial mutation
A beneficial mutation is 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).
catastrophic model of plate tectonics
The catastrophic model of plate tectonics is based on rapid movement of the plates associated with Noah’s Flood.
Catastrophism is 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.
Chemistry is the systematic study of the properties and interaction of matter.
A comet is a body of ice and dirt that orbits the sun as it constantly loses mass.
uniformitarian model of plate tectonics
continental drift
The uniformitarian model of plate tectonics or continental drift is based on the gradual movement of the plates over hundreds of millions of years.
A coprolite is fossilized excrement.
cosmic microwave background
Cosmic microwave background (CMB) is an invisible source of electromagnetic radiation (microwaves) which seems to be coming from all directions in space; big bang supporters interpret the CMB as radiation left over from the big bang.
A cosmogony is a belief about the origin of the universe.
Cosmology is the systematic study of the structure of the universe, including its origin.
created kind
Created kinds or baramins are 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.
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
The Cro-Magnon were an extinct people group of Europe and Eastern Asia.
Darwinism is 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.
daughter isotope
A daughter isotope is an isotope resulting from radioactive decay.
day-age theory
The day-age theory is a compromise belief that the days of Genesis 1 are actually vast ages of different lengths, based on secular dating methods.
Deism is a belief in a Creator God that denies His intervention in the history of the universe since its creation.
deletion mutation
A deletion mutation is the removal of one or more nucleotide pairs in the DNA sequence.
deoxyribonucleic acid
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the basic molecule of hereditary information which serves as a code for the production of proteins and is common to all living organisms.
duplication mutation
Duplication mutations are the large segments of DNA that have been copied and inserted into a new position in the DNA sequence, possibly on different chromosomes.
endosymbiont hypothesis
The endosymbiont hypothesis is 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)
In thermodynamics, entropy is the measure of the tendency of closed systems to increase in disorder.
The theory of evolution states that all life on earth has come about through descent with modification from a single common ancestor (a hypothetical, primitive single-celled organism).
Extrapolation is inferring information outside of the range of the actual data based on trends.
Faith is belief in things that cannot be directly known or observed.
Noah’s Flood
Noah’s Flood was the supernatural event described in Genesis 6–10 that covered the entire earth with water, killing all land-dwelling, airbreathing animals except those aboard the Ark built by Noah.
A fossil is the preserved remains or traces of once-living organisms.
Fossilization is the process of preserving the remains or traces of an organism, generally by some form of petrification.
frameshift mutation
A frameshift mutation in an 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.
A gene is a segment of DNA that codes for the production of polypeptides.
gene pool
The Gene Pool is the collection of varying alleles within a population of organisms.
Genetics is the study of characteristics inherited by the transmission of DNA from parent to offspring.
A genome is the complete set of genetic material (DNA) of any cell in an organism.
The geocentric model uses the earth as a central frame of reference.
geologic column
The geologic column is the layers of rock that compose the crust of the earth.
A glacier is a mass of ice formed from compacted snow which is thick enough to flow.
The half-life is the amount of time required for one-half of the atoms of the parent isotope to decay into the daughter isotope.
The heliocentric model uses the sun as a central frame of reference.
Heredity is acquiring traits by transfer of genes from parent to offspring.
historical science
origins science
Historical science is interpreting evidence from past events based on a presupposed philosophical point of view.
historical theory
A historical theory is an explanation of past events based on the interpretation of evidence that is available in the present.
Hominids are extinct and living members of the family Hominidae, including modern humans and their ancestors.
Homo erectus
The Homo erectus fossils are fossils of extinct human people groups that are misinterpreted as missing links in human evolution.
Homo habilis
Homo habilis is an invalid category consisting of various ape and human fossil fragments.
homologous structure
A homologous structure is 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
Homo sapiens is the category that includes modern humans, Neanderthals, and other extinct human groups.
A human is any member of the species Homo sapiens.
secular humanism
Secular humanism is a belief in mankind as the measure of all things, based on relative truth and morality and rejecting any supernatural authority.
Ice Age
The Ice Age is the period of glaciation following Noah’s Flood during which a significant portion of the earth had a cold climate.
included fossils
Included fossils are organisms that are encased in a substance leaving the specimen virtually intact, as in amber.
Information is an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose.
Inflation is a variation of the big bang theory in which the universe experiences an accelerated phase of expansion shortly after the big bang.
insertion mutation
An insertion mutation is an addition of one or more nucleotide pairs in the DNA sequence.
Interpolation is inferring information within the range of the actual data based on trends.
inversion mutation
An inversion mutation is an a section of DNA that has been reversed within the chromosome.
Java man
Java man is the first fossil specimen of Homo erectus.
Kennewick man
Kennewick man is the human remains found in Washington State in 1996.
life (biological)
Biological life is 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.
The Bible defines life in a different sense, using the Hebrew phrase nephesh chayyah, indicating organisms with a life spirit. Plants are not described as having nephesh chayyah.
living fossils
Living fossils are living organisms that are virtually identical to fossil organisms; often thought to have been extinct and then discovered.
Logic is the systematic application of principles of reasoning to arrive at a conclusion.
Lucy is a 40% complete fossil specimen of Australopithecus afarensis discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 by Donald Johanson.
Macroevolution is a term used by evolutionists to describe the alleged, unobservable change of one kind of organism to another kind by natural selection acting on the accumulation of mutations over vast periods of time.
A mammal is any organism that has fur and nurses young from mammary glands.
Materialism is 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
Metamorphic rocks are rocks that have been altered in texture or composition by heat, pressure, or chemical activity after they initially formed.
Microevolution is a term used by evolutionists to describe relatively small changes in genetic variation that can be observed in populations.
Mineralization is the replacement of material from an object, usually organic, with minerals that harden.
mitochondrial DNA
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a small circular loop of DNA found in the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells.
mitochondrial Eve
Mitochondrial Eve is 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.
Models are physical, mental, or mathematical representations that can be used to explain observed phenomena and make specific, useful predictions.
mold and cast fossil
A mold and cast fossil is a type of replacement fossil which includes the concave or convex impression of an organism, typical of shells and leaves.
Mungo man
Mungo man is the fossil human remains from Australia dated by evolutionists to 40,000 years or more.
A mutation is any change in the sequence of DNA base pairs in the genome of an organism.
natural selection
Natural selection is 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.
Naturalism is 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 is an extinct human people group with relatively thick bones and a distinct culture; disease and nutritional deficiency may be responsible for some of the bone characteristics.
A nebula is an interstellar cloud of gas and dust.
Nebular Hypothesis
The Nebular Hypothesis is the belief that the solar system formed from a spinning, collapsing nebula; the sun formed at the center with the planets forming at various distances.
Neo-Darwinism is an extension of Darwinism, which includes modern genetic concepts to explain the origin of all life on earth from a single common ancestor.
neutral mutation
A neutral mutation is any mutation that does not effect the function of an organism.
Oort cloud
The Oort cloud is a hypothetical cloud if icy masses that orbits the sun at a great distance and is the alleged source of long period comets.
operational science
observational science
Operational or observational science is a systematic approach to understanding that uses observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable experimentation to understand how nature commonly behaves.
operational theory
An operational theory is 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.
An organism is any cell or group of cells that exhibits the properties of life (living things) (see life).
Paleontology is the systematic study of the history of life on the earth based on the fossil record.
Paleomagnetism is the record of magnetic field strength and direction recorded in basalts.
parent isotope
A parent isotope is an original isotope before it has undergone radioactive decay.
Permineralization is the filling of cavities of an object, usually organic, with minerals, which harden.
permineralized fossil
A permineralized fossil is an organism in which the porous parts are filled with mineral deposits leaving the original superstructure intact.
Petrification is the processes, including mineralization, permineralization, and inclusion, which change an object, usually organic, into stone or a similar mineral structure.
phylogenetic tree
Phylogenetic trees are diagrams that show the alleged evolutionary relationships between organisms.
Piltdown man
Piltdown man is a fraudulent “prehuman” fossil consisting of the skull cap of a modern human and the jaw and teeth of an orangutan.
plate tectonics
Plate tectonics is the systematic study of the movement of the plates that make up the earth’s crust.
point mutation
A point mutation is an addition, deletion, or substitution of a single nucleotide pair in the DNA sequence.
A presupposition is a belief that is accepted as true and is foundational to one’s worldview.
progressive creation
Progressive creation is a compromise belief accepting that God has created organisms in a progressive manner over billions of years to accommodate secular dating methods.
punctuated equilibrium
Punctuated equilibrium is an evolutionary model that suggests evolution occurs in rapid spurts rather than by gradual change.
radioactive decay
Radioactive decay is the breakdown of unstable nuclei of atoms releasing energy and subatomic particles.
radiometric dating
Radiometric dating uses ratios of isotopes produced in radioactive decay to calculate an age of the specimen based on assumed rates of decay and other assumptions.
A religion is a cause, principle, or belief system held to with zeal and conviction.
replacement fossil
mineralized fossil
A replacement or mineralized fossil is an organism whose entire structure has been replaced by mineral deposits so that none of the original superstructure remains.
relative dating
Relative dating estimates the age of a fossil or rock layer by comparing its position to layers of known age.
ribonucleic acid
Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a molecule found in all living things that serves various roles in producing proteins from the coded information in the DNA sequence.
Secular defines that which is not from a religious perspective or source.
Science is the systematic study of a subject in order to gain information (see also operational science and historical science).
Speciation is the process of change in a population that produces distinct populations which rarely naturally interbreed due to geographic isolation or other factors.
A species is a group of organisms within a genus that naturally reproduce and have fertile offspring.
spontaneous generation
Spontaneous generation is the false belief that life can arise from nonliving matter.
Strata are layers of rock deposited by geologic events.
trace fossil
track fossil
micro fossil
A trace, track, or micro fossil is evidence of the activity of an organism, including tracks, burrows, root traces.
transitional forms
Transitions or transitional forms are 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).
translocation mutation
A translocation mutation is the movement of a section of a chromosome from one position to another, generally between different chromosomes.
Uniformitarianism is the doctrine that present-day processes acting at similar rates as observed today account for the change evident in the geologic record.
vestigial organ
A vestigial organ is any organ that has a demonstrated reduction and/or loss of function.
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 virus is a nonliving collection of proteins and genetic material that can only reproduce inside of a living cell.
Y-chromosome Adam
Y-chromosome Adam is the most recent common ancestor whose lineage can be traced backwards through male ancestors.


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