Future evolution of Creationism isaak@aurora.com (Mark Isaak) Okay, I'll add my speculatio

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Future evolution of Creationism isaak@aurora.com (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