Creationism et al
mrorganic: Betcha didn't expect you'd start a minor religious bunfight (not really big enough to be a "flamewar" yet) on Advogato, didja? :-)
How can any reasonably intelligent person believe in this trash?
Until relatively recently in history (couple of hundred years ago at the most), pretty much every intelligent person in the West did. So don't be so surprised.
The current theories about the age of the earth and the origins of life are not obvious. Neither is the theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun, to an Earth-bound observer. Quantum mechanics certainly isn't obvious. Sure, these things are scientific facts, but they're not obvious and they're not trivial. Therefore there are going to be reasonably intelligent people who dissent from the popular wisdom. You shouldn't be surprised.
As a theist, I strongly agree with you about the whole "hell" thing, though. I'm yet to work out why anyone thinks they'll persuade people to follow a religion with promises about what happens after death. Now, I admit it, I'm as morbid as the next person, but this is just Wrong(tm). The man himself put it best: "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." People who are in their chosen religion because of perceived or real threat of punishment after death are in it for the wrong reasons. They just Don't Get It(tm).
As a parting shot to this rant, I must echo the words of Dr Peter Carnley, who noted that "God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world" (John 3:17), but His followers have more than made up for that omission.