Future evolution of Creationism email@example.com (Mark Isaak) Okay, I'll add my speculatio
Future evolution of Creationism
firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Isaak)
Okay, I'll add my speculations.
The primary purpose of the modern Creationism movement is to spread
hate. Many religious groups use it both to redirect scrutiny from
themselves and to unite the groups against a common "enemy." (If you
doubt this, just look at the "fruits of evolution" exhibit at the
ICR's Creationism Museum.) Most Creationists probably don't
consciously look on it that way, but they adopt an "us vs. them"
mentality and go along with it nonetheless. As a tool for gaining
and holding power, such hatemongery can be highly effective; just
consider how long the Inquisition lasted.
However, such a policy has two inherent weaknesses. First, making an
enemy of someone is usually a reciprocal arrangement, and after a
while, you will find that the group you are fighting is fighting you
back. Of course, even though this does hurt individuals, it can work
to your group's advantage, as you can then show concrete examples of
enmity where you only had propaganda before.
The more serious problem is that when you focus all your energy on
finding fault with other people, you have no time left to find and
improve your own faults. (In fact, I suspect that a major attraction
of fundamentalist religions is that they give people an excuse to
judge other people and to avoid looking at their own problems.) Left
alone, your character defects may flourish and may eventually destroy
you, much as Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart self-destructed. Based on
how seldom we see Creationists discuss Creationism, it appears that
Creationism is already rotten to the core with this disease of denial.
It's only a matter of time before the symptoms become more pronounced.
Where then, is Creationism headed? In an open society, I don't think
they can make too much headway, especially the young-earth Creationists.
There's just too much evidence that they are dead wrong, and they won't
be able to suppress all of it. They will gain power in times of
economic and political uncertainty when people want something concrete
to hang their fears on, but their numbers will drop again during times
of prosperity. In the less open societies, however, especially Eastern
Europe and Latin America, they have great opportunities to establish a
modern Creationist Inquisition. If they succeed (and I think they will,
in at least a few countries), Creationism will hold sway for another
century or more until its own weaknesses make those places susceptible
to conquest by nations which didn't stop their scientific advancement.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank