Last modified on July 26, 2016, at 03:01


Baraminology is the study of baramins, also known by the Biblical term kinds.

A baramin is a lineage of earthly life which is believed by Young Earth Creationists to be created by God during the creation week, and corresponds in some functional aspects to the secular concept of species. However, unlike species concepts that are based on Darwinian thinking, the baraminic barrier is inviolable, as other baramins do not evolve from earlier baramins.

Jonathan Sarfati writes regarding the Biblical kinds of organisms:

Based on the Biblical criterion for kinds, creationists deduce that as long as two creatures can hybridize with true fertilization, the two creatures are (i.e. descended from) the same kind. Also, if two creatures can hybridize with the same third creature, they are all members of the same kind. The hybridization criterion is a valid operational definition, which could in principle enable researchers to list all the kinds. The implication is one-way—hybridization is evidence that they are the same kind, but it does not necessarily follow that if hybridization cannot occur then they are not members of the same kind (failure to hybridize could be due to degenerative mutations). After all, there are couples who can’t have children, and we don’t classify them as a different species, let alone a different kind.[1]

Baraminology, as a model of origins, complements the Linnaean taxonomic system, which is also based on the Biblical view of origins. Baraminology is seen as an alternative to the evolutionary system of cladistics, which is generally considered incompatible with Linnaean taxonomy since cladistics proposes an unfixed hierarchy.[2]


The term baramin was coined in 1941 by Frank Marsh from the Hebrew words bara (create) and min (kind).

It was resurrected in 1990 by Kurt Wise for use as the unit of creation in his discontinuous biosystematical system. From this came the term baraminology. That same year at the Second International Conference on Creationism in Pittsburgh, Walter ReMine introduced additional sub-terms to help clarify baraminological discourse: holobaramin, monobaramin, apobaramin, and polybaramin.[3]

Baraminological Terms

  • Holobaramin: A Holobaramin is a grouping that contains all organisms related by descent, not excluding any. For example, Humans are a holobaramin, meaning all members of our species (Homo sapiens) are descended from a singular creation event (i.e. the creation of Adam and Eve) and will always be fully and completely human. Culturally, many racial ideas and myths still stubbornly linger on, but recent research regarding genetic diversity in humans, has convinced a great majority of scientists that "race" is no longer a useful concept in understanding our species. An example would be dogs, which form a holobaramin since wolves, coyotes, domesticated dogs and other canids are all descended from two individuals taken aboard the Ark, and there are no other creatures that are genetically continuous with them. This term is synonymous with the use of "baramin" above and is the primary term in baraminology.
  • Monobaramin: A monobaramin is an ad hoc group of organisms who share common descent. Any group of specific members of a holobaramin such as wolves, poodles, and terriers or the humans Tom, Dick, and Harry are monobarmins. Holobaramins contain monobaramins; for instance, wolves are a monobaramin of the Dog holobaramin.
  • Apobaramin: An apobaramin is a group of holobaramins. Humans and Dogs are an apobaramin since both members are holobaramins. A group containing Caucasians and wolves is not an apobaramin since both members are monobaramins.
  • Polybaramin: A polybaramin is an ad hoc group of organisms where at least one of the members must not be a holobaramin and must be unrelated to any or all of the others. For example: Humans, wolves and a duck are a polybaraminic group. This term is useful for describing such hodgepodge mixtures of creatures.

Three additional terms introduced by Wise:[3]

  • Archaebaramin: An archaebaramin is the originally-created individual(s) of a given holobaramin. For instance, Adam and Eve form the archaebaramin of the holobaramin of Humanity.
  • Neobaramin & Paleobaramin: A neobaramin is the living population of a given holobaramin, whereas a paleobaramin represents older forms of a given holobaramin. Neobaramins have undergone genetic degradation from their perfectly created forms (archaebaramin) and so may differ from their paleobaramins in notable ways. For example, the neobaramin of Humanity has a much shorter lifespan and greater prevalence of genetic diseases than the Human paleobaramin (e.g. Adam lived for 930 years[4] and his children could interbreed without fear of deformity[5]).

Baraminic Demarcation

In order to determine the baraminicity of a given group of organisms, baraminic demarcation must be evaluated. This process involves four foundational concepts:[6]

  • Biological Character Space (BCS): A theoretical multidimensional space in which each character (e.g. height or color) of an organism comprises a dimension, and particular states of that character occupy unique positions along the dimension. A single organism is therefore precisely defined by a single point in the multidimensional space.
  • Potentiality Region: A region of that biological character space within which organismal form is possible. Therefore, any point in the biological character space that is not within a potentiality region describes an organism that cannot exist.
  • Continuity: describes the relationship between two organisms which are either in the same potentiality region, or linked to each other by a third, such that transmutation between the two is theoretically possible.
  • Discontinuity: describes the relationship between two organisms which are in disconnected potentiality regions, such that transmutation between the two is impossible.

Thus, organisms that are found to be continuous in a BCS potentiality region form a holobaramin or monobaramin (depending on if all organisms within the potentiality region are considered), whereas those that are discontinuous form a polybaramin or apobaramin (again, depending on completeness of the organisms considered).

Evolutionist view

Evolutionary scientists criticize Baraminology, claiming that it lacks rigorous testing and fails to produce any peer reviewed scientific research.[7] It is regarded as pseudoscience by evolutionary scientists. However their claim has been rejected by creation scientists who described it as a young field still in development and stated that criticism can be resolved with further research.[8]

No creature has ever been observed changing from one Baramin into another. Evolutionist Richard Lenski claims to have observed a bacteria evolving, but even if the unproven claim[9] is true, the bacteria is still bacteria, it has not left its Baramin.

Further Information


  2. The impracticality of reconciling the Linnean and the cladistic systems
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Baraminology -- Classification of Created Organisms", by Wayne Frair, Ph.D, Originally published in CRS Quarterly, Vol. 37, Num. 2, Sept. 2000.
  4. Wieland, Carl, "Living for 900 years", Creation 20(4):10–13, September 1998.
  5. "Cain's wife -- who was she?", Answers In Genesis
  6. "A Refined Baramin Concept", Wood et al., 2003, Baraminology Study Group.
  8. The Current Status of Baraminology, Todd Charles Wood, CRSQ Vol 43 No 3, December 2006
  9. Batten, Don, Bacteria ‘evolving in the lab’?, 14th June 2008 (Creation Ministries International)