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The first use of the term "creationist" to describe a proponent of creationism is found in an 1856 letter of Charles Darwin describing those who objected on religious grounds to the then emerging science of evolution.
Creationism covers a spectrum of views including evolutionary creationism, a theological variant of theistic evolution which asserts that both evolutionary science and a belief in creation are true, but the term is commonly used for literal creationists who reject various aspects of science, and instead promote pseudoscientific beliefs.
It is considered that the words formless and void in fact denote waste and ruin, taking into account the original Hebrew and other places these words are used in the Old Testament.
Genesis 1:1–2 is consequently translated: Thus, the six days of creation (verse 3 onwards) start sometime after the Earth was "without form and void." This allows an indefinite "gap" of time to be inserted after the original creation of the universe, but prior to the creation according to Genesis, (when present biological species and humanity were created).
Gap theorists can therefore agree with the scientific consensus regarding the age of the Earth and universe, while maintaining a literal interpretation of the biblical text.
Some gap creationists expand the basic version of creationism by proposing a "primordial creation" of biological life within the "gap" of time.
Organizations such as Reasons To Believe, founded by Hugh Ross, promote this version of creationism.
Progressive creationism can be held in conjunction with hermeneutic approaches to the Genesis creation narrative such as the day-age creationism or framework/metaphoric/poetic views.
Recent decades have seen attempts to de-link Creationism from the Bible and recast it as science: these include creation science and intelligent design.
Old Earth creationism holds that the physical universe was created by God, but that the creation event described in the Book of Genesis is to be taken figuratively.
This group generally believes that the age of the universe and the age of the Earth are as described by astronomers and geologists, but that details of modern evolutionary theory are questionable.
Progressive creationism holds that species have changed or evolved in a process continuously guided by God, with various ideas as to how the process operated—though it is generally taken that God directly intervened in the natural order at key moments in Earth history.
This view accepts most of modern physical science including the age of the Earth, but rejects much of modern evolutionary biology or looks to it for evidence that evolution by natural selection alone is incorrect.