Anyone, of course, is free to believe whatever they wish. But why train to become a biologist, or a doctor, when you deny the very foundations of your subject? For a biology student to refuse to accept the fact of evolution is equivalent to choosing to do a degree in English without believing in grammar, or in physics with a rooted objection to gravity: it makes no sense at all. The same is true for doctors. How can you put a body right with no idea as to why it is liable to go wrong?
I suppose the idea is that you do it by following the instructions, with no need for actual understanding. Lots of people apparently don’t care all that much about real understanding…though that could be just because they haven’t learned to care about it. It can be taught, after all.
The problem is not with any particular belief system but with belief itself.
Belief understood as “faith”; not reasoned belief but belief as obedience; not belief based on understanding but belief in what you’ve been told by authorities.
I sometimes wonder how many of those who pour their inane opinions about creationism into their young pupils’ ears ever consider the damage they are doing; not to my science, but to their religion. Why, when a student begins to learn the simple and convincing facts, rather than the fantasies, about how life emerged, should he believe anything else that his pastor, his rabbi or his imam has told him? Why build a philosophy based on fixed untruths, when we have so many truths, and so many things still to find out?
The growing tide of fact‑denial is a statement of failure, not by students but by their teachers, up to and including those at university level. We do our best, I think, but faced with schools or faith groups that get their ignorance in first, we seem to be fighting a losing battle.
And the schools and faith groups in question think it’s a virtue to get their ignorance in first, which is why the battle is so hard to win.