Does denialism sprout from creationism? I don’t think so but creationism is certainly, at least in the last few decades, a major enabler of denialism. Or twins, perhaps, both sides of the wingnut coin flip. Maybe, but most creationists are generally deluded and there isn’t much profit in creationism.
There is a denialist crowd about anything, even if today is Wednesday. Denialist fit in two categories: a) the truly insane, or, b) the cynical. The truly insane denialists are almost always enabled by the cynical denialists if there is some money on the table, like fossil fuel profits. Creationists, OTOH, are mostly defensive. Their myths are clearly ragged and getting even harder to believe (as well as generally less popular) so they’re doubling down on crazy as a proof of conviction (if you can believe dinosaurs were on a non-existent ark you can believe any made-up story from the “book”). But both types believe the best defense is offense, especially against a Congress where Science Committee members believe science is from a pit in hell (an actual claim of one of the wingnuts, remember too, brilliant “legitimate rape” Todd Akin used to be on that committee).
I’m reading through Michael Specter’s book on Denalism and I’m still a little bit out if his views are still one-sided (only knocking leftie wingnuts). There is little mention of right wingnuts who are more common and virtually no mention of creationism. Maybe Spencer just figures these have been flogged enough.
But to his credit he does reference a few blogs, including this one with an interesting detailed article about denialist tactics here. It was reading about the tactics that I realized most of these are the same as the creationists, especially the politically active ones trying to get religion in the schools and drive real science out.
I’ve always thought there was an unholy alliance between the two and in terms of my two categories (insane and cynical) the creationist provide a big chunk of the insane base that the cynical approach. After all if the creationist insane don’t believe science over the truth of evolution then it’s really easy to decide driving a gas guzzler is fun and so why not discount global climate change. But the exploitation of the insane by the cynical has led to (almost entirely in the Repug party, and the majority of the Repug party, since we get to throw reproductive issues in there too, yet another thing to deny, while meanwhile supporting guns in limited quantity and lethality, so I guess you could say the entire Repug party is denialist, which then is exploited by the rich to denounce reasonable economic policies in lieu of unrestrained greed, esp. in tax avoidance).
But cynical denialism started earlier than that. I think it’s fair to label McCarthy’s witch hunts as denialism (that maybe China didn’t actually like the corrupt KMT and choose to kick them out, not traitors in the State Dept). I could research more as I’m sure it existed (undoubtedly slavery would demonstrate a ton of denialism) but the real event for the cynical denialism, denying science purely for the pursuit of unbridled greed would have to be tobacco wars.
And it’s interesting that much of the same organization built up to oppose restrictions on tobacco (or requiring auto safety) has now be mobilized to the astroturf movement funded by the Kochs (for climate change denialism) and the completely fake tea party (a bunch of leftover segregationists that still remember George Wallace and Storm Thurmond personally).
In short the wingnuts get dragged out of the woodwork to create political havoc, which the main co-conspirator, the Repug party, fans the flames (because tax cuts for the rich will fall out of there somewhere and more guns everywhere and more corporate funding of elections). Creationism is the fertile ground where this terrorism spreads.