Research On YEC vs Atheism?


Is there any research on YEC giving up their faith because they are basically told that you can’t be a Christian if you’re not a YEC? Any numbers on this anywhere?

(Christy Hemphill) #2

I don’t think most people who lose their faith have one simple reason. It’s usually a combination of factors. It’s not like there are YEC cults that people join where that is the one and only driving belief system, so it would be hard to study as an isolated factor. Since YEC beliefs tend to be emphasized as non-negotiables in churches that have other fundamentalist commitments that may become distasteful or untenable to young people, who is to say what the final straw is?

There was this research by Barna that noted that “churches come across as antagonistic to science” as a reason young people leave.

(Phil) #3

I enjoyed this book:
You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church . . . and Rethinking Faith

It is geared towards looking at Millennials, but lists a series of reasons they are leaving the church. I think the attitude toward science was noted by 20-30 percent of those leaving.

Yikes! I should read more closely, Christy’s post is about the same book.

(Jonathan) #4

I had heard that the more liberal church bodies have been losing more members, but I think the reason for that (if true) would not necessarily be (completely) that they accept old earth creationism…

Suffice it to say, it appears to me that accepting OEC (etc.) has disastrous side effects because it undermines the authority of the scriptures (at least subconsciously). The scriptures being the source of Christian doctrine, it is not surprising that the churches that (intentionally or unintentionally) undermine biblical authority end up in trouble…When examining the annals of theological history, it may be seen that compromise does not typically end well, and I would be inclined to say that EC is no exception…

My respectful 2 cents worth.


Conservative, fundamental church bodies are also losing members at a rapid clip.

(Jonathan) #6

But probably for different reasons…

(I am currently reading Already Gone by Ken Ham etc. which may explain some of these different reasons…)


Telling people that they have choose between Christian doctrine and science is probably just as disastrous. If they have to adopt an interpretation of the Bible that is demonstrably false as it applies to natural history, wouldn’t that undermine the Bible’s authority in other matters?


I don’t want to spoil the ending, but Ken has millions and millions of reasons :wink:

(Jonathan) #9

What? There are many, many reputable scientists out there that hold a young-earth anti-evolution view.

Evolutionists do not have the monopoly on science…!

(James McKay) #10

Do you have any specific data to back up this claim? In particular, data that:

  1. is expressed as percentages of the scientific community as a whole, rather than just “x hundred” or “x thousand” scientists
  2. distinguishes between young-earth and old-earth anti-evolution views, and
  3. is broken down by subject?

I’m aware of the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, but please be aware that the word “Darwinism” is so broadly defined that you could acknowledge molecules-to-man evolution all the way and still dissent from it. You’ll probably find a lot of biologists who would sign a “scientific dissent from Darwin” but not a “scientific dissent from universal common ancestry.”

(Stephen Matheson) #11

I have strong anecdotal evidence—or I guess I should say significant personal experience—of young people identifying YEC as their reason for leaving faith. Their report to me was that they had been raised to believe that the falsity of evolution was strong and necessary evidence for the reliability of the bible and therefore for the soundness of their faith. On discovering the evolution was not false, they discarded the whole edifice.

Besides noting that this is anecdotal and not quantitative, I will add that it is hard to believe that YEC falsehoods were solely responsible for the turn to unbelief. At the least, I would suggest that there were other related factors in the construction of their faith that made it fairly easy to unravel. Humans are complicated, and so is faith.

I do agree that more and stronger data about how and why people transition away (and toward) faith would be of tremendous interest. (And maybe of value; not as sure about that.)

(Matthew Pevarnik) #12

You mean millions and billions?

(James McKay) #13

These reasons — they wouldn’t be called “dollars” by any chance, would they? :wink:

(Matthew Pevarnik) #14

Oh that’s what he meant! I thought it was meant to parrot the millions and billions of years that he talks about so much

(Jonathan) #15

Well (to answer your question, since this discussion apparently got lively while I was gone :wink: ), I would first consider the many scientists at AIG, ICR, CMI and other smaller creationist ministries. Then, I would consider the many young-earth-creationist scientists out there that keep a lower profile about their origins beliefs (and yes, there are some).
That covers the “many, many” that I asserted in my post…:wink:


When somebody tries to turn the Bible into a science book, he Is actually claiming that scientific knowledge is the supreme form of knowledge, more important than spiritual knowledge.


Relative to the rest of the scientific community, there really isn’t.

Then why aren’t these YEC scientists doing science? They seem more interested in creating websites than in doing science and getting it published in scientific journals.


Ken’s catch phrase is millions of years.

Ken blames everything on the “disease” of millions of years. While Ken and his family makes a good living off of AIG I don’t think he is in the millions quite yet. :wink:

(Christy Hemphill) #19

In the interest of maintaining a gracious tone, let’s refrain from speculating about Ken Ham’s motivations, financial or otherwise.


There is some research on the liberal churches: it’s because they reject the essentials of Christianity: the Resurrection, plus they take the “go and make disciples” literally, which I think needs to be taken literally. Also ‘clarity’ in their beliefs, ie not wishy-washy fluffy universals.

" liberal theology are just as likely as conservative pastors to experience church growth, provided they are firm and clear in their religious convictions."

None of the reports state Young Earth Creationism encouraged peole to go and stay in churches. I would think the opposite, which is why I’m curious to know how many young people leave the church because of this?