Very interesting… I appreciate Joel’s perspective on not only the science, but the culture around it. It remains to be seen whether TNCs can break out of the polarization around YECism in general. If not, I think the “big box” YEC movement will have shot themselves in the foot.
I recently read a review Tim Keller wrote about a book called “Breaking the Social Media Prism.” It focused a bit on polarization and extremism, which is why this article made me think of it. One point it makes about social media and politics (which I think is still applicable to the origins debate) is that social media tends to bolster extremism and mute moderates:
Third, as we have seen, moderates are often attacked with enormous vitriol as moderates. Extremists need to do this in order to create the image of a political reality that supports their chosen identities. Moderates find their views attacked either with ‘bad faith readings’ (construing the statement in the worst way possible) or by being themselves assigned a social location or identity that they don’t recognize or own.
That made me think of the “compromisers” designation that flies so easily when anyone takes a position that deviates in any small way from AIG/Ham’s. The thing about extremism is that it doesn’t always age well. Eventually YECism will have to, uh, “evolve” to some degree to remain relevant.