Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories and Young-Earth Creationism

I have a serious question for the BioLogos regulars. (Anyone else who cares to weigh in also may do so.) All of us bemoan the COVID-19 and end-times conspiracy theories swamping social media and wonder what to do about it. Facts, evidence, reliable sources. Yes to all of that. But we’ve been presenting facts and evidence for years to people who still refuse to believe the earth is more than 10,000 years old. With COVID-19, time is short. We have months, not years, to change minds.

What chance is there to move the needle in such short time?

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Besides the usual suspects, I’d especially like to hear the opinions of @Sy_Garte, @Joel_Duff, and @davidson, if they have any thoughts on the topic.

Is this what you meant to write?

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My initial response is one of both hope and despair. Hope because unlike the effects of YEC thought which will be played out over a long time because we have seen that no single piece of data, news or event will make a substantial change, this effects of wrong views of COVID are seen in real time. The results will become relatively clear and conspiracy theories laid bare. But I’m also a realist and we have seen that one conspiracy is often quickly replaced with another. Now that the response to COVID is inextricably conflated with politics is there any hope that there will always be a multiplicity of sides which which will prevent the unity necessary to have a better outcome?

BTW, with respect to YECs and COVID, Todd Wood has once again shown that he can rise above the conspiratorial inclinations of many of his peers. He has written two responses to COVID both of which I can wholeheartedly endorse:

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None. New minds are our only hope, and thankfully, fewer of them are following the destructive paths of religion.

Right. Wrong. Religion is doing fine and will do better thanks to Covid-19. Urban poverty spawns it. Hence the Syrian civil war. The luxury of secular education dominating in the West is over, let alone starting anywhere else. Progress was over and reversed by the end of Soviet communism, by winning (like early Christianity in the Roman Empire), by China becoming the world’s factory, by the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan post 911, by the failed CIA orchestrated Arab Spring, by Brexit maiming the EU before all this. Social conservatism, anti-pluralism, nationalism rules with religion playing its part, Beast and Whore, as well shown in Russia, India. Poland, Austria, Brazil. Above all in The United States of America. Islam is untouchable. The Enlightenment is extinguished.

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LOL Looks like @Jay313 has flipped the switch on us.


Is that a bash against the Christian faith? Or do you generally speaking of the organations behind such faiths?

All religion, apart from true religion, comes at an opportunity cost for doing true religion.

Some might say that the truest religions come with the greatest opportunity costs of all. The words “cross” and “cost-benefit analysis” are rarely heard in the same conversation, much less the same sentence!

I was using true religion as Jesus’ brother James did.

Frequently I have to remind myself that we are only somewhat advanced from this.

The same fears and other emotions which animate chimps flow through us as well but we more often express them with words. But it occurs to me that not everyone is able to handle impulses equally well. Just as my younger dog is very wary of strangers and wants no human contact from anyone outside the few he knows, so some humans may have less tolerance for fear of strangers especially under the crowded conditions in which so many of us live. Paranoia and the appeal of conspiracy theories may be one way that manifests.

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Less is more. Haha. Good catch.

@sfmatheson is a former Christian.

Thanks, Joel. Good thoughts. Todd Wood is such an outlier among his tribe that he doesn’t give me much hope for change.

What drives me insane is the fact that the wrong views and conspiracy theories will result in tens of thousands of needless deaths. And what is driving that bus off the cliff? The same fundamentalist, anti-science, anti-intellectual mindset that started the culture war in the first place.

The YEC/Fundamentalist propaganda machine has been churning out lies cloaked in Christian garb for decades. If people can be convinced that every scrap of scientific evidence for evolution and the age of the earth is faked or misrepresented to further “the atheist agenda,” then they already are conditioned to believe in vast conspiracies. The age of the earth is the greatest conspiracy theory of all time!

The culture war is nothing more than a war on truth. Data? Atheist scientists can’t be trusted. News? The liberal media can’t be trusted. COVID death counts? The “deep state” bureaucrats can’t be trusted.

I’m sorry, but right now I’m more inclined to despair than to hope. The chickens have come home to roost. When this scourge passes and the final accounting begins, one of the casualties will be evangelical Christianity – tarred and feathered by its own hand.

Anyone care to talk me off that ledge?

I don’t find anything here to disagree with.

What I am constantly noticing is the huge gulf between the intelligent, well educated and reflective few and the great number of Christians who merely follow and if they read the bible at all it is to quote passages to convey precise meanings they’ve heard from others. Religion shouldn’t be such a spectator sport. People need to be more actively engaged and not just root for the home team.

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Yep. Ever since Francis Schaeffer, evangelicals have blamed the Enlightenment for everything that is wrong with the modern world. Whole rafts of worldview and apologetics books depend on that premise. But what comes after rationalism? Nihilism? Was Nietzsche right?

I dont think that gives someone the right to do such thing but ok. U was just curious what he meant by that so i asked i didnt meant anything towards anyone

Yeah, pretty much. Evangelicalism is damaging people’s minds. I consider that to be obvious. Plenty of Christians aren’t evangelicals, and this whole thread shows that there are Christians who escape the damage to minds. On the whole, though, I share the despair expressed by others right in this thread.

None of my words even hint at organizations.

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You don’t think people should have the “right” to refer to belief systems as destructive???

Great observation. A big part of the problem.

Fixed it for you. haha. Just don’t go into full-on Facebook mode. The forum might go up in flames!

Jay … let’s go find your happy place. Did you remember your meds this morning? :japanese_goblin:

Seriously, though. Any of us not parked out on that ledge with you are probably the happy delusional ones. :crazy_face:

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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