It seems evolution is winning the debate against Special Creation, with Theistic Evolution largely unchanged over time. Big court cases (Kitzmiller,2005), flashy productions whining about persecution (Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, 2008), attempting to change things at a legislative level (Anti-Science bill in Indiana....., 2012) - are either backfiring or merely delaying the decline in YEC belief.
Sounds about right to me.
How long can this debate hold out?
On the fringes? Perhaps forever. Like flat-earthers and such.
Will YEC acceptance continue to crash?
I think so, yes. The internet is an amazing tool for young people to grow up with.
To put it in 'old-person-context' they basically have a set of encyclopedia's that's instantly updated while being attached to their hip to check at any instant. The searching mechanisms are also streamlined for their accessibility on any question they could possibly have. And it's thought to be "cool" to use it.
When thought of in that context.. it's pretty amazing.
Will we see acceptance of YEC beliefs drop beneath 25% within the decade?
I don't know. How fast do old people die?
quote:A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
...or something like that?
Will the rate increase or level out before then?
My guess is the rate-of-decline will level out or decrease, but the general decline will continue to happen until it becomes nothing more than a fringe-thing.
I believe therefore the decline is practically inevitable, though it may rally a few times before it becomes irrelevant.
Yeah. Pretty much what I think.
But... does this mean we will have a more evidence-driven society? I don't think so.
I don't think religion is the cause of non-evidence-driven ideas. I think it's just the main idea that won out historically (ie - was most socially acceptable.)
I think the only thing that will produce a more evidence-driven society is more education.
I think that if education does not increase (quantity AND quality,) then non-evidence-driven minds will simply latch onto something else if religion is no longer the "main non-evidence-driven idea" that is most socially acceptable.
quote:A great many atheists and agnostics, of course, do not think U.F.O.s exist. I’m not suggesting that if you reject traditional religious belief, you will necessarily find yourself believing in alien visitors. But because beliefs about U.F.O.s and aliens do not explicitly invoke the supernatural and are couched in scientific and technological jargon, they may be more palatable to those who reject the metaphysics of more traditional religious systems.
With the point:
quote:Consider that roughly 30 percent of Americans report they have felt in contact with someone who has died. Nearly 20 percent believe they have been in the presence of a ghost. About one-third of Americans believe that ghosts exist and can interact with and harm humans; around two-thirds hold supernatural or paranormal beliefs of some kind, including beliefs in reincarnation, spiritual energy and psychic powers.
These numbers are much higher than they were in previous decades, when more people reported being highly religious. People who do not frequently attend church are twice as likely to believe in ghosts as those who are regular churchgoers. The less religious people are, the more likely they are to endorse empirically unsupported ideas about U.F.O.s, intelligent aliens monitoring the lives of humans and related conspiracies about a government cover-up of these phenomena.
That is, there are plenty of non-evidence-ideas to believe in. Some are more socially acceptable than others.
If the social-acceptance of religion falls then those who were "religious" (in the sense that it was a non-evidence-driven idea that spoke to them personally) will likely just find another non-evidence-driven idea that speaks to them personally that is still socially acceptable.
It will take a bit more time to get society's head around to treating the problem instead of the symptom.
I think religion is only one symptom and being-attracted-to-non-evidenced-ideas-that-make-us-feel-special is the problem.
"Problem" may be the wrong word. I don't think it's entirely a bad thing to be attracted to non-evidenced-ideas. Imagination has it's time and place and I think we would be worse off as a living thing if we did away with it. I think it's simply a frame of mind that needs to be understood and dealt with accordingly as opposed to be allowed to 'run wild' or treated as if it's as good as any evidence-based idea when in competition and looking for a reliable answer.
Maybe they're getting stealthier - but the Creationist folks do seem to be less public these days...
It was a while ago (months? years?) so I don't consider this memory reliable:
But I think I remember someone on this board (jar, maybe?) mentioning their idea that Creationist are returning to the basics... doing what they know works. Basically hunkering down, keeping their "in-person" meetings private, contained and controlled. Very cult-like. Avoiding public ideas because everytime they venture into the public eye... they lose and therefore lose followers.
Maybe this is out of necessity. (Burned by fire? Stay away from fire!) Maybe this is out of excuses on some long-term plan simply to hold onto the control (and funds...) of the group-they-have-left. ("We will defend ourselves while we regroup and then... in the future... we will rise again and no one will be able to stop us!! In the future! Not right now!!") Maybe other things.
I don't think it really matter why it's happening. Just the fact that it is decreasing... and it has reached this point... and public opinion is open to "other non-Christian or even non-religious" ideas as well as public opinion even beginning to frown upon certain "cult-like" Christian sects... with these facts I don't think it really matters what they're planning. It's reached the 'point-of-no-return' so to speak whether they acknowledge it or not and I highly doubt it will ever recover to what it once was.
There's simply too much facts and education out there for any "significantly large" section of the population to push such belief-in-things-without-proper-support and sustain itself.
Not only can we latch on to bad scientific or social ideas like the rest of humanity - but one could even argue that the 'right' ideas are only accepted because they 'speak to us personally' with evidence being our rationalization. Though, as far rationalizations go - it's a pretty good one
The basic problem:
Who watches the watchers?
Especially where, in this context, "the watchers" are (and only can be) our own internal thoughts in our own brains. How to hold onto objectivity when the brain is, inherently on it's basic level, experiencing everything subjectively?
My best guess so far is merely: constant reminders of "I could be wrong..." and "nothing is certain..." and attempting to give all ideas their fair (as possible) review.
For example, remembering to apply such ideas even to The Scientific Method as being our best method for obtaining facts so far. Is there a better method? A better method in some situations perhaps if not all? I don't know. Maybe. I can't all-encompassingly prove that The Scientific Method is fundamentally "best" for everything for all time. I can't think of one that's better, though. Can someone else? I'll leave that open to anyone who thinks they can prove their method is better, and attempt to give it fair review.