Re: Varieties of Creationism
While we're at it, we could also throw in some of the terms of some religious beliefs that seem to necessitate a creationist view. What I mean is, there seem to be elements of some doctrines that, once you've accepted those doctrines, you're logically committed to side with creationism rather than Darwinian evolution. Offhand, I can think of one:literal interpretation
-- that is, the belief that everything written in a holy text is not only true, but a realistic (rather than symbollic, metaphoric or allegorical) account of history.
Allied with that is another, less obvious one:historicism
-- by which I mean, the view that the events related in the Bible are historically contiguous with what we perceive as secular history. That may seem like something of a given, but a broader view of the history of religion demonstrates that the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition is somewhat novel in this regard. Other religions situate their mythological histories in a kind of parenthesis that isn't necessarily continuous or contiguous with natural time. Someone who makes a strong distinction between what Mircea Eliade called sacred time and profane time can conceivably hold a scientific theory like evolution to be true, while simultaneously believing in the events of the sacred time. Once you've braided the two together, though, it becomes difficult to accept a modification to your worldview (like the conclusions supported by Darwinian evolution) without doing damage to your religious convictions.
And a third occurs to me, one that isn't necessarily limited to religious belief, but the appeal of which can be strengthened by religion:division into transcendent kinds
-- I mean, for example, the desire to maintain a rigid distinction between man and other primates, just to give a familiar example. Traditional Christian doctrine doesn't make much of a point about speciation of that sort, so it makes sense to me to treat it as an element that is, in some ways, distinct from religion, although Creationists have looked to the Bible for scriptural justification of this desire. I suspect that it's a pretty complex bias, and it may be worth talking about the complications that underly it. Obviously, one element may be a sense of shame, but I think that's too easy an answer to account for the prominance of the "special kinds" argument. In that regard, I think it makes sense to look at other aspects -- for example, the complications that arise in morality once you're no longer capable of drawing a strict natural distinction between one species and another.