There are a couple of interesting posts around the blogosphere related to young-earth creationism. Fred Clark has a delightful post with the title “Answers in Genesis teaches how not to read a story.” Here’s a sizable sampling:
I know, I know, picking on the young-earth creationists is too easy. Fish in a barrel and all that.
But they invite it. They’re not just wrong, but audaciously wrong. The weirdness of their conclusions becomes all the more horrifying when you try to trace the arcane routes they traveled to arrive at them.
Take for example the illiteralist fundies who sat down and calculated the hourly rainfall in the story of Noah’s flood.
This is how these folks approach this story. This is how they hear a story and how they read a story. They don’t seem to notice that the story has a narrative, themes, characters, a beginning, a middle and an end. Or if they do notice those things, they don’t care about them, because that’s not what they see as important in a story.
What they see as important are measurements, logistics and the calculating of numbers that do not actually appear in the story itself. They contemplate the buoyancy of gopher wood. They calculate the cubic cubitage of Noah’s ark, the rate of rainfall and the capacity of the firmament canopy (don’t ask).
This is a dim, illiterate and aggressively obtuse response to a story. This is ridiculousness that demands to be ridiculed.
Seriously, people, it’s a story. If you don’t know how to read stories, then you don’t know how to read.
If you don’t know how to read stories, then you become the literacy equivalent of that person who never lets you finish a joke because they’re always interrupting with irrelevant questions and thinking they’re particularly clever for pointing out that a bar stool probably couldn’t support the weight of a gorilla.
In the end, I didn’t “give up.” Rather, I realized I had been wrong. There’s a big difference there. And once I saw that creationism didn’t actually hold water, and that evolution was supported by the evidence, I had the intellectual honesty to change my mind. Why? Because that’s what you do when you realize you were wrong…
And that last sentence? After studying at Answers in Genesis’ knees for years, after attending their conferences and reading their literature, after searching the Bible and reading other creationist resources like the Institute for Creation Research and Henry Morris, I simply “misunderstood”? I simply had “exposure”? Dr. Purdom is wrong, very, very wrong…
I wonder if Ken Ham remembers the little girl in braids who stood in awe in his presence and eagerly asked him for his autograph all those years ago. Probably not. But that little girl, that little girl fascinated by science and ever eager to find truth, she’s still here. She’s just sitting on the other side of the fence now.