New-Earth Creationism (NEC), the notion that God created the Earth, or even the Universe, less than ten thousand years ago in six days, is clearly untrue. It is even untrue from a Christian perspective: either all those academics, who claim to be seeking the truth, and say the planet is 4.5 billion years old, are part of a Satanic conspiracy or they are deluded by God or Satan: either Satan has more power than Christianity would claim, or God is deliberately deluding people with false evidence, a mean and destructive thing God would not do. NEC is unChristian, and deeply irrational, involving denying large amounts of evidence and the honest perceptions of millions.
How many people believe it? According to a British Council survey, 43% of people in the US believe that all life on Earth was created by a God and has always existed in its current form. 53% agreed it was possible to believe in Evolution and still believe in God. 41% of those who know something of the theory denied that there is sufficient evidence to support it.
Christian pastors, educated people for the most part, need to stop demanding that people believe toxic rubbish and thereby leaving an open goal for anti-theists.
Between 587 and 538 BC, the Jews were captive in exile in Babylon, and were there exposed to Mesopotamian creation myths. It is likely that the first ten chapters of Genesis arise from that experience. The Flood is a story from the epic of Gilgamesh. The stories are rewritten in Genesis chapters 1-10 to give the God of the Jews- called Yahweh or Elohim- a central and causative role.
Genesis 1 contradicts Genesis 2. In chapter 1, human beings are created last, on the sixth day, both male and female, and God is referred to as “God”, a translation of “Elohim”, literally “Gods”. In chapter 2, Yahweh, translated “The Lord”, created a man, then plants, then animals, and finally a woman. The use of the words Yahweh or Elohim indicate different authors, commonly referred to as J for Jahwist and E for Elohist. Those who compiled Genesis, and those who decided that it was Holy Scripture, were not concerned by the contradiction, and so were clearly not giving a report on what had happened before the first human beings. Belief in NEC and denial of Darwinism means false belief about what the Bible actually is, or was ever intended to be. Some of it was written down before the Babylonian exile, some in the second century AD, by different authors with different intentions and even different beliefs, and different experiences of God. Possibly, some of Isaiah is written by a school of prophets seen as false prophets in Jeremiah.
I see Christianity as a Way: Spiritual path, Tao, whatever. What I believe is less important than who I am and what I do. Even Original Sin is a doctrine created by Augustine of Hippo, from a particular interpretation of the Bible and what texts are most important in it. Paradoxically, New-Earth Creationism arises from Enlightenment patterns of thought: what is true, and what logical deductions may be made from it? What should I believe, rather than how should I act? I value the Bible primarily to show me how I should act- no, not break babies’ heads open with stones, as in Psalm 137:9, or even to sell all I have and give the money to the poor, a direct command from Jesus, Matthew 19:21. It is more complex than that. Also, the question is always, What should I do Now? Not, how may I find the comprehensive moral belief system, from which I may always know what to do, because that is impossible.
Some people claim to be “spiritual but not religious”- that is an inadequate view of religion, or of Christianity, seeing it as primarily a matter of belief not of the Path. Unfortunately, Christians give ample support to that view. But Quakers say “Christianity is not a notion, but a way” (Advices and Queries 2) and in the Bible, it is a Way, and God shall come to teach God’s people Godself (Isaiah 30:21):
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’
Jesus (John 14:6):
‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’
Early Christians (Acts 19:9):
But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them.