Creationism and Baraminology Research News

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An ongoing list of creationist research projects. This is not a creationism-verse-evolution site, but a site to publicize the research work done by members of the creationist community and the intelligent design community, or research work by the science community at large constructively relating to creation topics. Evolutionary critiques may be included on occasion but only under special consideration, and especially where the research pertains directly to developing a creationist model.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

BACKDATED: Baraminologist Taxonomy

Taxonomy for baraminologists (biologists/paleontologists/zoologists who study the original created kinds) is one of detecting continuity and discontinuity. While the secular tree of life is essentially monophyletic (having one root), creationists view the tree of life as being polyphyletic (having multiple roots -- each root being a created kind, or "baramin"). Thus, we have continuity between created kinds and offspring, and discontinuity between separate created kinds. There is also another kind of continuity, and that is the continuity between all life -- the ability for each member to participate in the habitat in a useful way.

Baraminology is described very well in the book Understanding the Pattern of Life (link is to my book review of it).

You can also see The Refined Baramin Concept for information on baraminology.

The Hybridization Database

One of the primary tasks for baraminologists is determining what the original created kinds were. Historically, the gold standard for determining created kinds is hybridization, or cross-breading. This has been practiced since at least Linnaeus. In order to pursue research along these lines, the Bryan College Center for Origins Research has been working on putting together a hybridization database of all known hybridization studies.

BDIST Software

Recently, several statistical methods were developed for doing taxic analysis, which is especially useful when hybridization is impractical or not possible. Hybridization is an inclusive, not an exclusive, practice, meaning that failure of hybridization does not necessarily make two species belong to different baramins. For example, if a husband and wife can't have kids, it does not mean that they cease to be humans! There are certain animals who have diverged in ways that make breeding difficult (though sometimes it can be forced) or prevent it altogether. Therefore, statistical evaluation of character traits becomes important. However, note that all statistical methods rely on the choice of traits for examination.

BDIST is the first one of these, which stands for "baraminic distance". BDIST takes two species, and charts different character traits on a graph -- number of fingers, number of toes, average size, etc., using one species for the X line and the other for the Y line. The correlation between the species is then determined by viewing the "best fit" line that is generated. The nearer to a slope of 1 the line is, the more likely the two species are members of the same baramin.

Here is a description and download for the software.

A Quantitative Approach to Baraminology With Examples from the Catarrhine Primates, the original paper describing the method.


Anopa stands for "analysis of patterns", and it is used to view n-dimensional patterns in a 1, 2, and 3 dimensional space. Each character trait is considered a dimension. So, if you are studying 20 character traits across a number of species, your basic plot would have 20 dimensions. However, we can't really visualize more than 2 or 3 dimensions, so ANOPA projects the multidimensional patterns into 1, 2, or 3 dimensions. The way this projection is done is as follows:

  1. First determine the center point of the distribution (called the "centroid")

  2. Next, choose an "outlier" -- a species that is plotted but is assumed from the start to not be a member of the group. The patterns that are developed are in relationship to the line between centroid and the outlier.

  3. For each taxa, calculate:

    1. the distance along the line (the line between the centroid and the outlier) that they are at,

    2. the distance _from_ the line that they are at

    3. the rotation along the line that the are at, using the origin as a point of reference

  4. You now have the cylindrical coordinates.
  5. Convert the cylindrical coordinates to euclidean

I am personally working on an ANOPA calculator/viewer, though I haven't had time to work on it recently.


It's use in determining whether taxonomic groups are members of the same created kind is discussed here:

An Evaluation of Lineages and Trajectories as Baraminological Membership Criteria

I haven't read that one yet.

Classic Multidimensional Scaling

I haven't had time to look into this one yet. Sorry :( Anyway, here is the paper describing it:

Visualizing Baraminic Distances Using Classical Multidimensional Scaling

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