Why compare the two? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Let’s start things out with being clear. My wife is a YEC and my ministry partner is a YEC. Nothing I say here is to insult them. However, a YEC friend did message me and say that sometimes when I am engaging with mythicists, I tend to bring up YECs as a comparison point. He thought this was a way of insulting YECs. It’s a good concern to have and I wanted to address it.
I refer to mythicism as a conspiracy theory for atheists. It is a joke in the academy, even among atheists there, at least in New Testament and historical Jesus scholarship, and yet mythicists cling to it and consistently cite Richard Carrier as their prophet. No matter who you cite, Carrier is the answer.
However, Carrier would also admit his position is definitely in the minority here. Most atheists have no idea. I have heard them tell me point blank that scholars don’t even know if Jesus existed. Not only is that false, most of them know a lot of things about the historical Jesus.
But here’s something else most mythicists would have in common. Most of them are atheists. Most of them can’t stand fundamentalist Christians. Most of them especially can’t stand YECs. YECs are to them those big anti-science people who not only deny evolution, but deny simple facts of cosmology. Please keep in mind I am not speaking from my position as I am not a scientist. I am speaking from how I see mythicists seeing YECs.
So if I want to shame a mythicist, and I do, I compare them to being like what they really can’t stand. Their position is quite similar. Oh wait. There are some differences. Let’s look at them.
The big one is God. Many YECs can also make a good case for the resurrection and the reliability of Scripture and the existence of God. Now if you think your book is inerrant and infallible and that you have a message from God that tells you that the Earth is young, it makes sense to believe the Earth is young. I don’t hold to that interpretation, but I at least understand it. Mythicists have no such source unless they want to count Richard Carrier
Also, there are more PhDs in the field who are YECs than there are in the field who are mythicists. If we play the numbers game then, mythicism is in a worse case than YEC is in the academy. If we go beyond YECs and include all who question evolution, then the number greatly increases.
James McGrath at Exploring Our Matrix has a great quote that illustrates this.
So if a mythicist wants to be consistent, then they need to avoid mocking YECs because if YECs are seen as a joke because of their position among the educated, then mythicists should be in a worse camp as the numbers are lower for them across the board. If not, then we get into a thing of parodying Ricky Gervais. “Everyone else’s conspiracy theory is false, but not yours. Yours is true.”
Nothing here said then is meant to mock YECs, but it is meant to go after mythicists. If mythicists can’t stand YECs, then the worst thing they would want is to be compared to them. The goal is to embarrass mythicism, which doesn’t take much, and not YECs.