Sunday, 17 June 2018

"Ken Ham made me an atheist" - yet more reaons why evolution denialism erodes faith

Former young earth creationists who lose their faith after critically examining the tenets of YEC and finding them wanting are sadly numerous, with their stories depressingly alike. They were devout fundamentalist Christians whose loyalty to their community was unquestioned, whose faith began eroding when they began looking into YEC, and found that the standard fundamentalist anti-evolution arguments were unconvincing, pathetic, and intellectually dishonest. This, I have to point out, is without looking at a single mainstream scientific source attacking creationism.While there will always be people who will blindly follow the claims made by the elders in their faith tradition, what fundamentalists consistently fail to grasp is that there will always be curious, intellectually honest members who will critically examine the foundations of YEC and find them non-existent.

A former YEC, who produces material under the name Paulogia relates his journey away from belief in the video below. He was an active member of his church who saw no reason to question the YEC tenets until one day, when researching a graphic novel set in the past he was writing, wanted to find out the scientific consensus on when dinosaurs became extinct. In order to clear the cognitive dissonance he was experiencing as a result of trying to reconcile YEC chronology with the date of ~65 million years, he turned to the AiG "Answers" series of books, and instead of finding intellectual honesty, found answers that were "vague, insulting, and outright disingenuous". Well before reading mainstream science, he was utterly disillusioned with YEC, feeling that it had nothing and its leaders had lied to him:

I've said more than once that given fundamentalist Christianity - including sadly much of our community - insists on framing the debate as Christianity versus Evolution, it has only itself to blame for losses such as these. The fault and blame lies exclusively with fundamentalism. After all, when intellectually curious member start looking seriously at the question of evolution, quickly see that YEC is utterly wrong and the evidence for evolution beyond reasonable doubt and, taking their faith tradition seriously, assume that given evolution is true, Christianity is false, and deconvert. Whether fundamentalist Christianity faces up to the fact that it was wrong on evolution in the same way that Christianity was wrong about heliocentrism, and retool its faith in the light of reality, or fades into extinction remains to be seen.