Intellectual basis of creationism
Intellectual basis of creationism
Many years ago I visited a biologist at the local Seventh Day Adventist college (I was interested in George McCready Price, an influential creationist, who spent influential years here in Lincoln.) His bookshelf surprised me; it was similar to mine as was his understanding of evolution. His training was very different so we had lots to talk about. After a stimulating discussion I asked why he remained with a church that rejected evolution. He told me that his father had been an SDA minister and that the church was important to him. More surprisingly he told me that intellectuals within the church accept evolution. The problem is the doctrinally conservative church bureaucracy.

For the first time I grasped the conservatism of church bureacracy. These are people who:
1- Were brought up on or "born again" to church doctrine
2- Were trained to rationalize and to suppress analytical skills
3- Learned little or no science
4- Were taught by people who were ignorant of and who perhaps disdained science
5- Were isolated from mainstream liberal education
Modern creationism is an evolutionary product of bureaucratic inertia. Religions created this form of anti-intellectualism. The grass roots anti-intellectualism promoted by church bureaucracies required an intellectual framework. From the grass roots demand, with support of wealthy religious conservatives, arose organizations like Answers in Genesis and the Discovery Institute. These organizations support church bureaucracies permitting them to avoid modern biology which promotes analytical skills which in turn threaten doctrine.

Bureaucratic inertia will slow adoption of modern biology as it slowed the adoption of the Copernican universe.

In summary, creationism results from the perceived threat of science to doctrine. It is perpetuated by conservative bureaucracies that rely on rationalizing.