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Tell me what you believe and why and let’s talk about it.” Similarly, if someone came from an entirely different religious perspective and said, “I don’t believe in any of the four views articulated here.I think that the universe was produced in a giant conflict between Apsu and Tiamat and Marduk,” my response would be the same.And there are other positions yet, but most people in the present discussion seem to advocate a variant on one of the basic four described above.What bugs me is the way that advocates of these different positions often dump on each other: Of course, each of these schools of thought is different from the others, and people who hold different views inevitably have lapses in charity when discussing each other.The questions of how, when, why, and by whom (if anyone) the world came to be are all separate questions and can be answered different ways.

If an old-earth creationist were to say, “Please don’t lump me in with the young earth creationists,” I would say, “No problem!

Talking as if there are only two views—creationism and evolutionism—and then using the name of the position that isn’t yours as a swear-word does not help the discussion.

It also does not respect the people you’re talking about.

The four positions articulated above are just four positions that happen to be common in modern American culture. Another step in treating each other with respect is presupposing each other’s good will.

It’s easy for people of different perspectives to suspect each other of having bad motives.

That gets unwieldy, though, and it seems that, today, most participants in the origins discussion would say that they advocate one of four major positions: It is possible to carve out additional positions as well.

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