5 Ways Creationism Is Bad For Christianity

Sure creationism makes us look silly, but it does so much more than that.

I fancy myself a creationist in the sense that I believe God is the initial cause of the universe, but I am not a “creationist,” because I do not believe Genesis 1-3 reflects scientific history. You can read why here, here, here, and here.

creationism is bad

The chronically infamous Pat Robertson has offered some choice words for Ken Ham after his highly publicized debate with Bill Nye the Snappy-Dressing Science Guy, claiming that Ham’s specific form of creationism (young earth) makes the wider movement itself look like a joke.

But jokes are mostly harmless.  Creationism, whether “young-earth” or “old,” is not.


1. It suppresses critical thinking.


Demanding conclusions which rise from evidence is part and parcel of human reasoning. If Christians say, along with Ken Ham, that no evidence could ever change their mind about Genesis 1-3 (or anything else for that matter), then they turn off the only function by which we arrive at logical thought and rational conversation.

Jesus himself gave shout-outs to reason.

Yet I continue to hear that faith contrary to evidence possesses a quality of its own.

The problem with this faith-over-reason is that it involves a huge measure of chance. If this kind of faith is indeed preferable, why should anyone question the tradition into which they were born? One can only hope they are in the right system, defending the right doctrine.


2. It consciously promotes a lying God.

Photo Credit: Leonard John Matthews
Photo Credit: Leonard John Matthews

The creation of a “mature” Earth is one way creationists attempt to explain a whole host of scientific evidence. But isn’t it troubling to think that God should make a universe which only looks old and life that looks evolved, then bequeath humanity a contradictory account of the real “truth” on the situation?

If God is the author of both special and general revelation (read: Scripture and nature), then creationism makes God out to be a tricky trickster.


3. It disrespects the legitimacy of human culture and the meaning-making power of literature.


Ken Ham has said time and again that the Bible rises and falls with the scientific viability of Genesis. In fact, I’d venture to guess that most avid creationists feel this way;  they deny that God could/would speak to humankind through ancient, scientifically inaccurate, mythology.

I am reading through Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey at the moment and find myself comparing this sort of disposition with that of the odious John Thorpe, detester of novels.  According to John, novels are excusable as woman’s literature, but a man’s reading includes no such triviality.

Austen, as I take it, suggests that such a soul as cannot locate worth in the novel is a sad specimen indeed.

And I must agree, for I have met some of the truest truths while reading Steinbeck.

Should there exist a God desiring to communicate with the minds of humans, it comes as no surprise to me that this God might choose to inform human culture (ancient culture at that!) through a work of the truest fiction.


4. It hinders our vision of Jesus.

christ of the abyss

Tethering creationism to Christianity places an unnecessary obstacle between us and Christ. The slippery-slope rhetoric of creationist pastors and theologians has regrettably set up a false dichotomy between evolution and “true” Christianity.

Is it no surprise to us, then, that our adolescent children are shrugging off the faith altogether whenever they discover creationism’s lack of tenability?


5. And yeah, it makes us look really, really silly.


The silliest (read: saddest) part of fighting, speaking, preaching, and spending millions of dollars touting creationism is that our fights, speeches, sermons, and millions of dollars are needed elsewhere.

Allen Marshall O'Brien

Allen Marshall O’Brien is the pastor of a UCC church in Northern California and co-host of the Irenicast. He believes in the importance of education, peace, and ecology, throws things to his border collie Sonata, and writes for multiple platforms.

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  • In his Word God actually claimed to make the earth in six days! And if God could not actually create the World and Universe in 144 hours then he would not be God. The evolution theory with it’s fabricated timeline has been inserted into science books and is all a bold faced lie. Real science allows mankind to create useful things from raw materials like automobiles, airplanes, spaceships, computers, wireless devices, and all manner of commercial products. Christians scientists will never bow before the gods you have created out of your own corrupt imagination.

  • Evolution goes against laws of science, such as the 2nd Law of thermodynamics. As a scientist/engineer i had to study plenty of thermodynamics in college. The sad thing is, only someone with at least two semesters of calculus and two semesters of thermo can understand it. That is why so few people understand that it disproves evolution. There is no scientific proof of evolution and lots of indication that it is not true at all.
    No missing links have ever been found to show evidence of evolution between species. Micro evolution exists, but cats have never changed to dogs or fish to birds. there is absolutely no evidence that they ever have. There millions of fossils, if there were missing links, they would have lasted for millions of years and left tracks in the fossil records. Not one fossil of any missing link exists.
    When Darwin came up with the idea of a cell evolving, scientists had no idea how complex cells were. Now we know that no one can build a cell, and it certainly couldn’t happen by chance. Most people believe everything they are told by scientists, no matter how unreasonable it is, and since few people have studied enough science to understand the basics of evolution theory, they blindly believe the “experts.”
    There is much fraud in textbooks about evolution. Many textbook writers know that some of the evolution theory is not true, but they have an agenda, and that is more important than truth.

  • Both these guys have a B.S. Neither guy is well qualified to debate the science. It was a PR event for both. And Ham adds to what the Bible says. Most Christians do not accept his YEC view. http://textsincontext.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/in-the-beginning/
    Here was a recent debate by real scientists.

  • Kenny

    Ism.s in general can be annoying, i watched the question answer portion on you tube of the nye hamm debate and the science guy did not have answers or opinions to some of the questions. but expressed excitement for the search of the answers. He never addressed the where does DNA come from? But Ham relied on its in the Book ( Bible) when he could have used science. There is no evidence of cross specieces evolution.

  • Brad, I used to agree with you about certain biological constructions being irreducibly complex (I assume you’re familiar with Michael Behe’s _Darwin’s Black Box_?).

    But I was wrong. And it were prominent Christian biologists that convinced me otherwise.