Sunday, July 5, 2015

Are Creationists Wired Differently? A Reader Explains the Appeal of Genesis

Why are some people religious and others not? Why are some better able to accept evolution?

Are Creationists Wired Differently? A Reader Explains the Appeal of Genesis


It can be hard for people who are not deeply religious to understand the mindset of creationists. I’ve gotten several letters from this reader, who explains why creationism is much more satisfying to her.

Hi Faye. This is my third letter to you.  I read with interest your article, as I always do, and especially noted the many indefinites  such as "what may be, may account for, origin is murkier, might have been, may have contributed, appeared by magic, may have triggered".  I was also intrigued by "the invention of pregnancy".  Then I went to my Bible and read, "So God created man in His own image, male and female created He them. And God said unto them, 'Be fruitful and multiply (invention of pregnancy!) and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and he fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth'." (Genesis 1:27,28) They were all created by God in the same time period.  It's beyond my comprehension how people can stake their lives on maybes and might haves when this is so clearly presented.  It has been suggested that many refuse to believe in a higher power because they would be accountable to Him if they believed in Him, which is true, but certainly a positive thing. I'm sure there are many reasons people can't accept this creation story, but there it is in black and white, straight from the mouth of God our Creator to us - no maybes, might have beens, or murkiness.   Thanks for listening again

This aversion to uncertainty is so alien to the way I think that it makes me wonder whether religious orientation is a choice. Could it be that some of us are just wired to crave this kind of certainty, and to be satisfied by it, and others of us are wired to question and doubt?

Others apparently have contemplated the origin of religiosity and creationist thinking, as summed up in this commentary piece from The Los Angeles Times. I think this calls for further examination in a future Planet-of-The-Apes column.

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About this blog
Faye Flam - writer
In pursuit of her stories, writer Faye Flam has weathered storms in Greenland, gotten frost nip at the South Pole, and floated weightless aboard NASA’s zero-g plane. She has a degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology and started her writing career with the Economist. She later took on the particle physics and cosmology beat at Science Magazine before coming to the Inquirer in 1995. Her previous science column, “Carnal Knowledge,” ran from 2005 to 2008. Her new column and blog, Planet of the Apes, explores the topic of evolution and runs here and in the Inquirer’s health section each Monday. Email Faye at Reach Planet of the at

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