I agree with you on all points except this one, so I'll only quote it. I think if you take any fundamentalists claim they will point to what they think is evidence.
Evidence the earth is 10,000 years old:http://www.bible.ca/tracks/dino-fossils.htm
Evidence against evolution and for creation: http://www.bestbiblescience.org/top.htm
Even fundamentalists don't just rely on faith alone. They do however cling to fallacious and easily dismissed arguments because their faith is too important to them, and because those arguments are expressed with as much, often more, confidence and positivity than scientific arguments. Simple cognitive dissonance at work.
And I do agree that ultimately faith is believed by most religious people to be virtuous. I think that is part of what drives them to cling toward arguments that reinforce their faith, rather than their doubt.
Yeah, you're correct here. The more (and I use this word in the loosest sense imaginable) "sophisticated" fundamentalists will employ things that resemble arguments. I guess I was more referring to the typical person you may talk to that believes in those claims. This is mostly based on my own experience, which isn't the best evidence, I admit, but on numerous occasions when I've talked to people who don't accept evolution, or who believe that the Earth is 10,000 years old, they ultimately fall back on faith when pressed. They say foolish things like, "Humans couldn't have come from monkeys, because the Bible says that God created man in His own image, as is. And I have faith that the Bible is the word of God." Or, in the end, it's always a similar assertion for anything ranging from gay marriage to the age of the Earth. And since they don't have the slightest idea how natural selection actually operates, or why we know the Earth is much older than 10,000 years, they can't even begin to provide any argument against them. My own inkling is that they often remain purposefully ignorant of any evidence to the contrary because of, like you said, the desire to avoid cognitive dissonance. Although I grew up in rural Minnesota in a pretty religious community, I can't help but think a lot of fundamentalists would say the same thing anywhere in the United States, and that the ones who actually use arguments similar to the ones in the links you provided are in the minority.
I think it's also worthwhile to point out that even for the "sophisticated" fundamentalist the faith comes first, prior to any rationalization or "argument" against modern knowledge. That is, they aren't attempting to reason from
any sort of "argument" or "evidence" and then
concluding that evolution isn't true or that the earth is actually 10,000 years old. But, instead, they first have faith in these positions, and when someone presses them only then are they forced to provide some feeble ad hoc rationalization. This leads me to believe that faith is, indeed, mostly what they rely on.