[asa] YEC social dynamics

From: Randy Isaac <randyisaac@adelphia.net>
Date: Mon Sep 04 2006 - 21:36:08 EDT

This ongoing discussion about the various outlandish claims touted and
believed by AIG and other YEC'ers has led me to wonder more about the
psychology and group dynamics of the whole business. Back in the 60's when
I was a YEC, and I presume it is still the case, part of the whole paradigm
was the "they vs us" perspective. Growing up in an isolated Christian
community that tended to shun "the world" it was easy to believe the story
that the world was characterized by Galations 5:19-21. Lying was an
expected characteristic of "the flesh" and it made sense that the world
would flaunt an untrue objection to every aspect of the creation story.
Meanwhile, the "fruit of the Spirit" crowd would never tell a lie.

Hence, every shred of evidence or logical argument presented against
creationism was surely a lie but well covered up while every argument for
creationism was surely correct and all objections were evidence of "the big

One of the biggest hurdles I faced in turning away from YEC was coming to
terms with whether such a large cross-section of the "spiritual" folks could
be so mistaken and could perpetrate such a web of inaccuracies. As Burgy
points out, "they really do believe it." And they believe it's a grand play
in the "church" vs "the world" scenario. Scientific evidence and logic have
little impact in such a worldview.

Forgive the analogy but I couldn't help but see some point of analogy while
watching the classic movie "To Kill a Mockingbird" this weekend. A jury of
all white men is not at all swayed by evidence or by logic when it's the
word of an African-American vs that of a white. Gregory Peck is merely a
turncoat. Similarly, evidence and logic hold little sway in the face of our
task of helping the church to stand fast against the world. Those of us who
claim to find compatibility between the doctrine of creation and an old
earth, let alone evolution, are simply turncoats and can't be trusted.

I rejected YEC intellectually many years before I could reject it
psychologically and emotionally. Then I had to deal with the emotional
backlash I felt.

This leaves us with a question of how best to deal with the situation.
Evidence and logic continue to be important. Some will recognize it and be
convinced. But it isn't enough to help the ordinary churchgoer believe that
such a large segment of the church is caught up in a fantastic tale of
science fiction. What else does it take?


Burgy commented:

> Bob commented on AIG's argument:
> "Have they no shame?"
> I think the argument they present, in the context of their worldview, is
> fairly persuasive. Certainly it appears they believe it. So "shame" is
> not involved unless you posit that they are being deliberately
> untruthful. From my discuusions with Morris and Gish and Ham back in 1988
> that does not appear to be the case. Tey really do believe this crap.

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Received on Mon Sep 4 21:37:10 2006

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