Re: [asa] YEC social dynamics

From: Merv <>
Date: Tue Sep 05 2006 - 00:11:33 EDT

One way to approach the problem may be to help YEC folks see that they
are, in an ironic way taking sides with the hardest core atheists by
granting science more authority than they ought. So those most likely
to issue the challenge: "What do Christ and Belial have in common"
need to take stock of their own position. I had fun devising a
simple chart illustrating this, and tried to embed the jpg in my
email. I think the server prevented that from going through, so I'll
just provide a link to it: Most YECs would think of
their battle lines as marking off their corner in this matrix, but in
actuality the real battle line they function by may be horizontal.
They depend too much on the fuel provided by their partners to the right
side (on the chart) to expend too much of their vitriol in that
direction. And speaking of vitriol, it is amazing how many words are
spent even here in ASA heaping contempt on discredited YEC positions.
And (except for Vernon?) -- no opponents are even present to
"appreciate" the sting of the rapier wit. One could suspect that among
ourselves we perhaps "protesteth a bit too much"? And if any YECs
were present, we could rightly inquire whether or not such sharp
contempt has been effective in helping them reconsider their position.
Methinks along the lines of the golden rule that respect (even a
manufactured semblance if the genuine article isn't forthcoming) could
go a long ways to softening the emotional shakeup involved with the


"There are two kinds of people in the world: those who think there
are two kinds of people in the world, and those who don't." -- Father Joe

Randy Isaac wrote:
> 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 lie."
> 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?
> Randy

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Received on Tue Sep 5 00:10:41 2006

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