Considering just the evidence here at EvC Forum, there does seem to have been a crash in YEC beliefs. We currently have Faith and ICANT - am I forgetting someone who's been active recently?
But is EvC representative? EvC isn't the whole world, and given my limited time my participation in the debate is limited to EvC, so I don't have any recent experience from other creation/evolution discussion sites. I'll have to rely on others' knowledge of other sites.
Another factor is books. In some thread I recently mentioned that at a Barnes & Noble I didn't see a single book written from the creation science perspective (I did see a couple about the creation/evolution debate, but they were written from a science perspective). Ten and twenty years ago the religious section of Barnes & Noble had plenty of creation science books, like Darwin's Black Box and Darwin on Trial and many others (I can only recall the most popular ones). Does the decline in creationism books at Barnes and Noble indicate declining YEC belief? I'm not sure.
ICR still exists, but it moved from California to Texas and number of years ago, and in Texas it could not attain accreditation of its college program. I wonder if that had an influence on the popularity of YEC belief.
Then there was the Dover trial (also known as Kitzmiller). I noticed a marked decline in participation by informed creationists here shortly after Judge Jones issued his ruling. At least at discussion boards, serious interest in giving the Biblical story a scientific underpinning (by people who actually understood science) seemed to dry up after that.
What I've read about the trend of religion here in the US is that increasing numbers of people identify with no religion. Such people are probably mostly Christian and probably mostly believe in God, so they're not exactly non-Christians and certainly not atheists or agnostics, but they are not a member of any church and do not attend church. Perhaps they could be called areligionists? Found this nice graph:
The numbers of the strongly affiliated are not declining - they remain roughly constant. But the numbers of their potential allies in the more loosely affiliated are declining. The graph isn't about YECism, but I'll argue as if the YEC numbers are analogous. This data might make it seem that YECism is declining, and while in a sense this is true the strong core of YEC remains unchanged. I don't think they're necessarily dying off - the Bible belt is fertile ground in more than one sense.
I do think YEC increasingly lacks advocacy from a scientific perspective. Not that those attempts ever had any legitimacy, but they were successful in that they were able to muddy the waters for school board members and such (both state and local levels), something that seems less the case today, but is that really true? For example, are treatments of evolution in high school biology textbooks expanding now? I couldn't find any summary articles, but my sense is that the battle to keep evolution in and creationism out continues with no clear winner.
Not that this is on-topic, but if you're going to comment on yourself then I will, too.
When I became a Christian and a YEC I didn't turn into somebody else.
Yeah, you actually did. There is no hint within you today of liberal compassion for their fellow man. You're all full of Old Testament vengeance and barbarity. One might ask, "What happened to change you so alarmingly?"
I lived the first 45 plus years of my life as a secular liberal who believed in evolution and had a good reputation among my intellectual friends.
Was your ignorance of evolution as great then as it is now? Is your reputation among those intellectual friends as good now as it was then?
I don't think there's been any falling off of YEC beliefs. I think it's just become less overt, more insular, more canny, less confrontational.
Never been in a debate with a Muslim but I don't see why I wouldn't extend the benefit of the doubt in the relevant context. Same with Catholics and liberals.
I've never seen you extend the benefit of the doubt to anyone you disagree with, regardless of context. Muslims are members of a murderous religion, Catholics aren't Christians, and liberals are taking away your rights.
Bringing this into the thread's context, these same intolerant and inflexible attitudes extend to scientifically established understandings about Earth and life history and are responsible for the persistence of YEC beliefs.
I think we've all seen you express your anti-Muslim, -Catholic, -liberal attitudes enough times that no rebuttal is necessary.
So there's no such thing as established truth about anything according to you, one must always be "flexible" even if one knows something for a fact.
While I wouldn't express it this way, you're describing the tentativity of science, which has no "established truth." But YECs do think they have "established truth," and this explains their intolerant and inflexible attitude toward scientifically established theories that conflict with their religious beliefs
You don't believe that yourself of course, you just have a different set of inflexible dogmas than I do, "scientifically established understandings" as opposed to divinely established understandings for instance.
If there is any dogma in science it is that data from the real world will set you free.
How "flexible" are you about YEC? About the Bible? About the dates of the Earth?
Will you be responding to requests for evidence and questions about your scenarios, or will you be ignoring them?
How flexible are you about my motives in this particular discussion for instance. How much benefit of the doubt, as a matter of fact, do you ever extend to me on this very subject where you always lambast and excoriate me? Based on your own inflexible beliefs.
I don't think anyone ever finds ignorance, intolerance and silence very persuasive. But erecting walls has proven effective at maintaining religious belief, YEC belief in the case of this thread.
"Scientifically established understandings" was your phrase, and you were condemning me for denying those understandings.
This reads like you think I contradicted myself, but what's really happened is that you responded to what I said in one paragraph while citing what I said in a different paragraph. You would really be better served quoting what you're responding so it can be right there in front you. That way you wouldn't make silly mistakes like this.
Which denial as a matter of fact only pertains to the historical sciences which I consider to be bad science, no other kind of science.
This has been rebutted numerous times, you just never respond. All scientific data is historical, even if it was from a nanosecond ago. Forensic science that you love so much analyzes data from the past. Evidence has no expiration date.
In any case your unwarranted personal attacks on me continue and as a result I continue to ignore you when I choose to.
You do what you always do, make up excuses for not responding to that for which you have no answer.
Oh, and let me repeat: Islam is an evil ideology that seeks the murder of "infidels" as well as a world-wide caliphate; and Roman Catholicism is a power-hungry pagan superstitious ideology that also seeks the murder of "infidels." Two peas in a pod really, as some of the Reformers also noted. There are Muslims who fortunately don't follow their ideology very closely and the same with Catholics, but that doesn't change the fact that the ideologies are pure evil.
Yep, you're really giving those Muslims and Catholics the benefit of the doubt.
But getting back to the topic, you're providing a good example of why YEC is not declining. You subordinate scientifically established understandings to the Bible. If your Biblical way of "knowing" things could produce thermometers and hygrometers and barometers and steam engines and periodic tables of the elements and vacuum cleaners and vaccines and cell phones and mass spectrometers and space probes and so forth, then you could claim your way of "knowing" is just as good as science.
Of course the Bible produces no such understandings, but that does not dissuade YECs from their chosen course of ignorance and denial, and as long as they maintain that course YEC will not decline.
Before I get to your post I'd like to respond to something you posted a few messages further on in Message 169 to Phat:
Faith in Message 169 writes:
Phat, you should close this thread too. And suspend me indefinitely please. I can't take this place any more and I don't want to keep being tempted to respond.
About asking Phat to close the thread, that's not your call, nor anyone's at present because no one is moderating the thread. Phat is a participant.
About suspending you indefinitely, forum policy is "warn, then act." Phat, Modulous and myself are participants and would have to recuse ourselves for a couple days before we could announce that we're changing to a moderator status. Adminnemooseus or AdminNosy could moderate the thread if they so choose.
That said, it is apparent, to everyone including yourself, that you've again lost your self control and are attempting an analog to "suicide by cop." I don't see why forum moderation should oblige. It does remind me of an old joke: "A masochist says to a sadist, "Beat me!" The sadist replies, 'No.'" Anyway, I expect you'll recover your self control at some point, and in the meantime it isn't like your current misbehavior is something we're unfamiliar with.
Responding now to the current message:
You're accusing me of being a liar as usual. Some Admin.
I think this must be your own guilt talking, because I didn't call you liar. I did say that you'd made a silly mistake.
You can't rebut the objection to the historical sciences because it is true that they cannot be tested and proved the way the hard sciences can. Rebut away, you're just blowing hot air.
Well, you didn't respond to anything I said, you simply repeated your familiar errors, and this isn't the topic anyway, so moving on...
You, like everybody else here, don't know what giving the benefit of the doubt even means. Once you know what an ideology teaches what benefit of the doubt can there be? It teaches what it teaches.
So in other words I was right, you're not extending Muslims and Catholics the benefit of the doubt, because you already know what those ideologies teach.
Just another Liberal Nazi. And here's an attempt at a definition of that: someone who accuses someone else of some kind of personal immorality instead of dealing with facts. All the Politically Correct smears. That's SOP at EvC. And especially someone who won't understand what this means.
I just wonder if it should be Liberal Nazi or Nazi Liberal or Leftist Nazi or Nazi Leftist. Decisions decisions.
That's right, get it all out of your system.
You didn't comment on the on-topic portion of my post, so I'll just repeat what I said before. YEC subordination of science to the Bible is a path of ignorance and denial that guarantees YEC will not decline. You're providing an excellent example right here in this thread. You're ignoring the topic (and in fact drawing attention away from it with your distracting behavior), threatening to ignore some participants, denying facts, and are still largely ignorant of evolution and geology, and probably huge swatches of the rest of science, too.