Though many people focus on the scientific issues in the AIG version of YEC, the pseudo-history is just as interesting and important.
The Genesis Flood may be the best known expression of modern creation today but its content certainly wasn’t novel. Whitcomb and Morris mostly just modified the work of Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) George McCready Price’s writings from the first decade of the 20th century. Price’s student and a number of other SDA followers wrote numerous books and tracts on flood geology and the new “creationism.” In the 1930s they formed the Deluge Geology Society (DGS) which restricted member to those that believed that the creation week was “six literal days, and that the Deluge should be studied as the cause of the major geological changes since creation.”
One notable non-SDA member of this society was Henry Morris who would eventually co-author The Genesis Flood in 1961. In most versions of the history of creation science found on the Answers of Genesis website one could be forgiven for thinking that The Genesis Flood were a special creation itself.
Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter to Usher in a Modern Day Reformation? – Naturalis Historia
Then Ham responds with:
Dr. Duff is just following the distorted historical analysis of the openly agnostic, apostate Seventh Day Adventist historian, Ronald Numbers (whom he refers to in the article). Young-earth creation is not a novel view invented by Seventh Day Adventists. It was historic Christian orthodoxy until the 19th century when the millions of years myth was popularized by atheist and deist geologists (and some professing Christian geologists who ignored Genesis), as is documented in the first three chapters of Coming to Grips with Genesis . In the early 19th century, most of the church quickly compromised with millions of years, but the young-earth “scriptural geologists” at that time raised biblical, geological, and philosophical arguments against those old-earth ideas and reinterpretations of Scripture, as The Great Turning Point documents.
And @TedDavis’s conclusion?
Why do Ham and company go to such lengths to create an alternative history of creationism in which Price and the Adventists don’t receive proper credit? Is it because (like those Christians mentioned by Morris) they don’t want their movement associated with a Christian sect that is sometimes viewed with suspicion? Perhaps that is part of the picture, but I think there’s a much bigger reason behind it. The tangled history of modern creationism threatens the simplistic, highly inaccurate narrative AiG hammers into their followers: that Young-Earth Creationism is, and always has been, the “zero-compromise” option for all devout believers in the authority of the Bible. The real story, as we have seen, is much more complicated than AiG’s rhetoric indicates. The fact that Ham and AiG are so blatantly twisting the facts here, and are so critical of those like Duff (and Numbers) who are trying to set the record straight, does not reflect well on the credibility of their organization.
It is really worth reading this history. The origins of YEC is important for understanding our current situation. Far from being the “traditional” view, the AIG version of YEC is a large departure from traditional theology of Genesis.