I do think there’s some selecting going on but I have a little bit different take on how it operates.
First, I think contradictory logic happens in a lot of groups, but it’s far easier to see from the outside than the inside. An easy example is politics - I feel like I’m constantly seeing inconsistent arguments from the far left or right as people try to fit complex situations into a simple worldview or maintain polarized/tribalistic identities. And intelligence doesn’t necessarily save you - due to cognitive biases and motivated reasoning, sometimes more intelligent people are just cleverer at coming up with convoluted reasoning and additional confounding factors, however implausible, to justify a position that is strongly held for some other reason. So there are many situations where what sincerely looks like an obvious contradiction to an outsider sincerely does not look like a contradiction to an insider.
Second, I think there’s an important element of theology that can be hard to appreciate if you’re an outsider. Suppose A) you are very strongly convinced that Christianity is true, for any number of reasons (personal experiences, shared experiences in your community, apologetics, etc). And suppose B) you are also very strongly convinced that from premise A it follows that the Bible is true and that a coherent interpretation of its text requires a young creation - you may even apply very detailed and coherent logical analysis of the text to conclude this. Now you are highly motivated to C) interpret scientific evidence in a way that supports your view and downplay evidence that doesn’t, or forever hope that future explanations will come along in the future to resolve all those pesky “mysteries” or “apparent contradictions”… Why? Because the weight of all of that evidence (depending on how strongly it is presented or how strongly you seek it out) does not feel as strong as the weight of A and B, so there must be some explanation.
I propose that members are not abandoning logic, but actually seeking to employ the same logic they developed to analyze the Bible in B to explain C, and not realizing the contradictions that it may lead to. And it’s actually kind of fascinating the level of plausibility you can reach depending on how closely you look. After all, lots of fossils were deposited by water… And fossil layers don’t always appear in the correct order… (It’s easy to imagine various configurations of Earth’s history where a global flood would be less plausible than it is.) Etc, etc.
So what kind of selecting is going on?
Here’s my working theory, first articulated just now: Well, as members wrestle with C, some of them never come across anything challenging enough to disrupt A and A=>B, and/or they reach a C that’s plausible enough for them that they chalk the rest up to mystery or the hope of future discoveries that explain them somehow. Others do come across information that is too challenging to be satisfied, and they tend to react in one of two ways. Some realize D) that the logical complexities they employed to deduce C from B are also applicable to the logic they used to deduce B from A, so they hold on to A while questioning their textual interpretations with the same rigor they questioned their scientific interpretations, and may find a theology that seems satisfyingly coherent with both A and their understanding of the scientific evidence. Others, however, don’t see a coherent way to disconnect B from A and end up E) throwing both out and leaving Christianity altogether.
Which route you take depends on a lot of variables, including 1) how strongly you’re convinced of A, 2) how strongly you’re convinced that A => B, 3) how plausible you find what you’ve heard of C, 4) what sort of anti-C information you come across, 5) how interested you are in seeking out that information, 6) what sort of alternate B theologies you’ve been exposed to, 7) how plausible you find those theologies and how interested you are in seeking those out, and probably other related factors.
But in general, for example, C may select for those who are less interested in seeking out anti-C information, those who are most strongly convinced that A => B, those who have been less exposed to alternate B’s or find them less plausible, etc.
I think you have a grain of truth, though, in the possibility of some leaders who come across enough anti-C information that they cannot maintain a personally plausible C, but are so strongly convinced of A and A => B that they justify minor amounts of misinformation/illogic/etc (or as much as they can tolerate) as a lesser evil than abandoning both.
That’s my working theory as someone who grew up C and went D. (Though I have no idea if any of this even makes sense outside my head or how well it resonates with other people’s experiences or even if it sounds patronizing or otherwise irritating to those who remain in C, and it remains wide open to refinement or abandonment…)