How Modern-Day Young-Earth Creationism Pushes People To Atheism

This video was posted to the PS Facebook group. I am re-sharing it here not so much for the content as for the source. Zach Miller appears to be a your Evangelical who was distressed to learn that that he had been taught about evolution was a lie, and now he is trying to do something about that. The video quotes heavily from @GutsickGibbon, and Zach adds his own commentary.

I recognize the YEC mentioned in the video as Calvin Smith, who represents “AiG Canada”, or at least claims to on FB. My own experience with Smith on FB is that he is wrapped up in his own political agenda, and bashing evolution is (for him) a politically neutral stalking horse to air his political views.

IOW, nothing new here, except that at least one person is vying to be the replacement for Ken Ham.

And what are you trying to do, Dan?

Are you suggesting Dan is vying to replace Ken Ham?

I have family roots in Kentucky, but I can’t even fake a good Bluegrass accent any more.

Recruiting. I thought I might entice Zach to sign-up to the forum. :slight_smile:

One of the YEC people who used to post on here was a help in pushing me towards atheism and I wasn’t even a YEC believer. Watching their interactions and the confidence that they had in their arguments, despite all the time that professionals took to show why they were wrong kinda shook my faith in my own arguments. Realising that I was similarly limited in my understanding of things basically stuck me into a long period of almost total intellectual uncertainty about anything but the most basic things.
I am currently in a lengthy back and forth with a young earth creationist friend, and their arguments from incredulity and other logical issues have further pushed me down that route.
Worth remembering - bad arguments might not just be losing a “debate” with someone, they may be actively alienating people from your view


The church I grew up on was YEC-lite. There was an occasional mention of it, but I could count on one hand the number of times it was taught seriously on any given Sunday in my 20 odd years in the church. I was big into science and biology in particular in my teens into adulthood, but I never saw YEC as a reason to leave the faith given the number of Christians I knew who were theistic evolutionists. My move towards atheism was a result of theological problems and basic skepticism, unrelated to any of the classic science v. church that are often pointed to.

There is another side to this. Many YEC are taught their faith is under attack by an increasingly secular world. From their perspective such arguments validate and reinforce these beliefs

Back in the 60’s/70’s ,the churches I was raised in were as fundamentalist and literal as they come, and even there nobody talked about dinosaurs and humans living together or boarding the ark. The occasional message touching on origins would present older earth Genesis interpretations like the gap theory and day age.

The church considered evolution to be verbotum, but back then outside of higher education, one really did not have to contend with it. So allowing for an old earth, and not much encountering discussion of evolution, there was little to induce any cognitive dissonance with science. As a kid, it was easy to be a literalist and have fun with your chemistry kit.

Since then, chemistry kits have removed all the toxics and open flames and become boring, and YEC has become dominant in many evangelical denominations. At the same time, the evidence for evolution has become more pervasive and compelling, and all this information is a search away on the internet. The challenge is more unavoidable, and therefore the response more desperate. Many immerse themselves in a YEC bubble, others (as myself) make some sort of accommodation with science and faith, and others are pushed to atheism or agnosticism. Individual’s stories tend to be more textured and complex, with personal events in their life often playing a role.


Which is true. Moreover, they should be under attack. Science denialism is the single greatest threat facing our species at the moment. If anything, the attacks against YEC and similar ideologies is far less severe than it should be.

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That diabolical plan is supposed to be a secret. @Dan_Eastwood has just one more plastic surgery to go (along with the construction of a special prosthetic mask) before the Impossible Mission Force will secretly airdrop him into the president’s suite at Answer in Genesis headquarters. Once in power, Dan will immediately convert the Ark Encounter into an outlet mall with a luxury casino on the top floor and a helicopter landing pad on the roof for the visiting high rollers (and holy rollers.)

In a tribute to Ken Ham’s homeland, Dan will add an Outback Steakhouse right next to the Ark Encounter’s Ararat Ridge Zoo—with a daily blue plate special featuring goat, mutton, or rabbit called “Petting Zoo Stew.”

When Georgia Purdom starts getting suspicious and sheepishly objects, Dan will let out a fiendish laugh, rip off his mask, and make his escape by helicopter:


It is true for YEC and some extreme beliefs. I don’t think it’s true in general. My point wrt YEC is this becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, thus validating the belief.

Criticism (IMO) can be made in ways that do not feed into this cycle of self-validation, but it takes a little more effort.


You forgot the exciting Zipline chase scene for my getaway to the helicopter pad!


24 posts were split to a new topic: Welcome rtmcdge

@rtmcdge, this has been an interesting excursus but we are more interested in seeing you address the OP topic of this thread:

How Modern-Day Young-Earth Creationism Pushes People to Atheism

Do you deny that modern-day YECism has pushed many people to atheism? If so, why?


I haven’t watched the video and apologize in advance if this point was already made there.

The factors that lead to deconversion are very interesting to me but I am unaware of any systematic quantitative work on the topic. (Given that people are complicated, and thus that their reasons for changing their minds about gods are complicated, this would be a hard job but I think it is doable in principle.) I do know that the number of people “pushed to atheism” by YECism is much greater than zero, because such people occasionally sought me out when I was a Christian scholar. A group of friends, four couples, once met with my partner and I to discuss how they all (together) lost their faith when they realized that YECism was false. I don’t have the right to tell their stories but their common point that evening was that once they learned that they had been taught falsehood of that magnitude and duration, they asked the dangerous and fateful next question: what else did they tell me that was false?

I don’t know how common this is nor do I mean to claim that these young people left their faith due solely to their discovery that YECism is false. But that is one way that “modern YECism pushes people to atheism.”

See you again in six months :smiley:


Just what are you claiming to be MODERN DAY YECism?
If you are talking about holding to what the Bible has said about how God created. Then there should be no diversion from what God has said about this. Because, in that same source we find the promise of God that tells us we are forgiven and that He is going to return for us.
To deny one part and not the other, only contradicts our faith.

We may need some clarification. Modern Young Earth Creationism borrows from SDA, but many here won’t know the particulars unique to SDA. (I don’t)

Likewise, I have a lot of anecdotal experience from stories of people leaving YEC for atheism. Not all become atheists, of course; there are FB groups where former TEC (but still Christian) are common. There is also a book “Already Gone” by Ken Ham where he discusses the problem.