There are also fields where being a YEC [Young Earth Creationist] would be crippling – paleontology, geology, paleo-climatology anything involving radiocarbon dating, etc. And indeed, there is a decent fraction of climate science which would be problematic for YECs… so there’s a potential conflict between understanding climate science (and therefore, appropriate climate policies) and YEC. (not to mention people and politicians citing God’s promise that there will not be another Flood as evidence against sea level rise)
My writing may have been too glib on this point. So let me acknowledge that it is possible rejecting evolution can lead to very bad things. Some YEC do in fact reject climate change precisely because of their religious faith. But then again, some YEC care more about the environment for the same reason. Both groups presumably hold strong to God’s promises. Yet they reach opposite conclusions when it comes to climate change. So how can we be so sure one effect will win over the other?
When it comes to creationists, we are too quick to accept the worst possible outcome. And, unlike we do elsewhere, we don’t carefully accumulate evidence to make our point. Instead, we simply string together a series of plausible statements and leave it at that.
But if we’re going to play that game, this argument also works: “Since TOE has almost no practical value, we should just back off and let people believe what they want. Not attacking their worldview will make it easier to convince them about things like climate change that actually matter. Just look at all those folks in the creation care movement! We should be partnering with them, not attacking them.”
I’m not saying this approach will solve climate change. But since we don’t have any hard data, and that there are anecdotes all over the place, I’m not sure it’s any worse. Our blistering confidence that belief in creationism is uniformly bad is unwarranted.