YEC stands for Young Earth Creationism. It is the belief that the Earth (and the Universe) were created in six (6) twenty-four hour days. It also believes that the Creation is between 5,700 to 10,000 years old. Proponents do not simply argue that this is the way that it happened, but almost always go much farther. They also argue that failure to believe in YEC calls into question one’s commitment to the truth of Scripture. Thus, disagreement with them is tantamount to disagreeing with God, and calling him a liar. In contrast, Old Earth Creationists believe that God did create the Universe, but that the six days of creation are interpreted metaphorically.
In order to make their point, YEC adherents are not simply forced to deny archeological findings, but also to deny almost everything in science from radiocarbon dating to astronomy, cosmology, paleontology, to various aspects of physics and chemistry. In other words, to put it quite bluntly, YEC adherents hold an attitude toward Scripture that is not very different from that held by those Islamists who require that reality conform to Sharia law. Thus, anything outside of Scripture that even appears to contradict their interpretation of Scripture must, ipso facto, be wrong. The possibility that their interpretation of Scripture is wrong is denied as a not possible event.
The YEC viewpoint is not the one held throughout the world as the main way that Christians interpret the early chapters of the view of Genesis. For instance, Pope Benedict XVI said, “They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other. This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.” On the other hand he insisted that evolution without God is also an absurdity.
Pope Francis stated, “The evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.” He also said that the evolution of the Creation, “went forward for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia until it became what we know today.”
Nor is the stance of the two Popes an unusual one. As I commented it is a common one. Unfortunately, in North America that is not as true, which is what gives YEC its staying power here. Nevertheless, the comic above is one example of a known Christian cartoonist speaking out and pointing out at least one of the big flaws in the viewpoint. Normally, YEC would not be an issue, except that in this country (and Germany and a couple of others), YEC adherents undercut science, insist that their viewpoint must be taught, and accuse anyone, who is not willing to agree that the theory of evolution means that it is doubtful that anything like that existed, of being intolerant and against God. That stance has made this issue a perennial battle since the mid-20th century.
My problem is that frankly it requires both more faith and increasingly complicated reasoning to try to explain why science is so wrong and why all the evidence has to be re-explained. Moreover, it posits a God who seems bent on leaving evidence around that can be easily misinterpreted, even prior to the current scientific age. Ultimately, I have to violate any of several laws of sound reasoning, and ignore mountains of data, in order to buy into a particular interpretation of Scripture.