One objection to creationism is simply the fact that so many scientists subscribe to evolution. Why would they do that? Is there a scientific conspiracy to reject Christian theology? Did they get together and take a vote?
i) To begin with, a certain percentage of scientists are, in fact, hostile to Christianity, Christian ethics, the idea of God. That's clear from surveys as well as outspoken critics. That's not a hidden agenda. That's upfront.
ii) But another factor is the power of a paradigm. By "paradigm" I mean an interpretive grid. People who are trained in a particular way of seeing a problem and solving a problem may find it almost impossible to conceive of any other way to analyze problems in their field. To deny the paradigm is a hallmark of irrationality.
Paradigms have a powerful conditioning effect on how we frame issues, what solutions we consider to be acceptable. Many people find it difficult, even for the sake of argument, to step outside of their paradigm and consider the evidence from a radically different perspective. They've lost the capacity for critical detachment. They are so used to operating with the paradigm that it dominates their thinking.
Paradigms are appealing or seductive because they seem to offer a unified explanation for complicated phenomena. You're confronted with a range of apparently disparate factors. How do you sort it out? Is there a common thread?
A paradigm offers a unifying principle. A way to simplify the analysis by reducing it to some general explanatory dynamics.
For instance, some people have compared reading Marx to a religious conversion. Suddenly, all the pieces fell into place.
This is true for many academic disciplines. Take different approaches to psychology, viz. behaviorism, depth psychology, evolutionary psychology.
Take different theories of mind, viz. functionalism, computationalism.
Take different theories of historical causation. What's the "root cause"? Is history driven by ideas, individuals, economics, luck?
Some paradigms have, or seem to have, great explanatory power. An ability to integrate wide swaths of data. They can be very persuasive.
A breaking point is when a paradigm tries to explain too much. The paradigm no longer explains the evidence; rather, the theorist labors to show how the evidence is consistent with the paradigm. He may introduce makeshift modifications to the paradigm, or speculate on how the total evidence would be consistent with the paradigm if only we had a larger sample.
A paradigm may explain, or appear to explain, a lot of evidence, but when it becomes strained or overextended, that reveals internal weaknesses in the paradigm. It's like a half-truth. It may capture some truth, approximate the truth in some respects, but it's off the mark.
When we evaluate a paradigm, we need to take into account, not only what it seems to explain, and so without difficulty, and what it fails to explain. It's a question of starting-points. Do you begin with what the paradigm seems to explain with ease, take that as confirmation that the paradigm is roughly on target, then chalk up difficulties to remaining problems to be resolved, which you have faith are ultimately soluble within the parameters of the paradigm?
Or do you begin with problems it has difficulty assimilating? Do you take that as an indication that the paradigm may be flawed? When you evaluate a paradigm, do you begin with apparent problems or apparent solutions? With what it can it explain or what it can't? Which endpoint is your frame of reference?