2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 9:45 AM


WISE, Kurt P., Bryan College, Box 7802, Dayton, TN 37321-7000, wise@bryancore.org

The logarithmic-like increase in the number of young-age creation (YAC) books published since 1800, the increase in number of books written by YACists with earned doctorates, the growth in number of YAC professional organizations and YAC professional conferences and YAC professional journals, as well as the results of Gallop Polls since 1980, all suggest that YACism is thriving in the U.S. YACists will compose a significant minority of students in classrooms at all levels for decades to come. Thus it is suggested that educators develop methods which encourage peaceful coexistence between creationists and evolutionists in the classroom.

A survey of textbooks indicates that virtually all make incorrect statements about creationism which YACists find inflammatory. Since history indicates that Christianity has expanded during times of persecution and many specific legal battles perpetrated by YACists are in response to inflammatory comments, suggestions of higher antagonism against creationists would likely be counterproductive. Rather, it is recommended that educators increase the accuracy and sensitivity of comments about YACism. Consultation with competent YACists can lead to increased accuracy without having to include YAC claims.

Since YAC epistemology accepts Biblical claims over physical evidence and human reason, logical or evidential arguments for evolution and/or against YAC are likely to be ineffective in converting most YACists. This is consistent with repeated examples of YACists receiving the highest training as YACists, as well as the growth of the YAC movement despite better arguments against creation and for evolution. For the YACists in the classroom, acceptance of evolution is not an achievable educational goal. At the same time, teaching of alternative positions (including evolution) is embraced in virtually every YAC institution. Therefore, improving arguments and evidences for evolution will strengthen evolutionary claims without enraging YACists. The education goal recommended is increased familiarity with evolution and its evidences, while evaluation should be based upon cognitive knowledge, and not beliefs.