Skip to comments.Creation evangelist derides evolution as ‘dumbest’ theory [Kent Hovind Alert!]
Posted on 12/17/2005 3:58:48 AM PST by PatrickHenry
A former high school science teacher turned creation science evangelist told an audience at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee last Tuesday that evolution is the dumbest and most dangerous theory on planet Earth.
Kent Hovind, founder of Creation Science Evangelism, presented Creation or Evolution Which Has More Merit? to a standing-room only audience in the Union Ballroom on Dec. 6. The event was sponsored by the Apologetics Association, the organization that brought Baptist minister Tim Wilkins to UWM to speak about homosexuality in October.
Members of the Apologetics Association (AA) contacted biology, chemistry and geology professors at UWM and throughout the UW System, inviting them to debate Hovind for an honorarium of $200 to be provided to the individual or group of individuals who agreed.
Before the event began, the No-Debater List, which was comprised of slides listing the names of UWM science professors who declined the invitation, was projected behind the stage.
Dustin Wales, AA president, said it was his biggest disappointment that no professor agreed to debate Hovind.
No professor wanted to defend his side, he said. I mean, we had seats reserved for their people cause I know one objection could have been Oh, its just a bunch of Christians. So we had seats reserved for them to bring people to make sure that its somewhat more equal, not just all against one. And still nobody would do it.
Biology professor Andrew Petto said: It is a pernicious lie that the Apologetics (Association) is spreading that no one responded to the challenge. Many of us (professors) did respond to the challenge; what we responded was, No, thank you.
Petto, who has attended three of Hovinds performances, said that because Hovind presents misinterpretations, half truths and outright lies, professors at UWM decided not to accept his invitation to a debate.
In a nutshell, debates like this do not settle issues of scientific understanding, he said. Hovind and his arguments are not even in the same galaxy as legitimate scientific discourse. This is why the faculty here has universally decided not to engage Hovind. The result would be to give the appearance of a controversy where none exists.
He added, The faculty on campus is under no obligation to waste its time supporting Hovinds little charade.
Hovind, however, is used to being turned down. Near the end of his speech, he said, Over 3,000 professors have refused to debate me. Why? Because Im not afraid of them.
Hovind began his multimedia presentation by asserting that evolution is the dumbest and most dangerous theory used in the scientific community, but that he is not opposed to science.
Our ministry is not against science, but against using lies to prove things, he said. He followed this statement by citing biblical references to lies, which were projected onto screens behind him.
Hovind said: I am not trying to get evolution out of schools or to get creation in. We are trying to get lies out of textbooks. He added that if removing lies from textbooks leaves no evidence for evolutionists theory, then they should get a new theory.
He cited numerous state statutes that require that textbooks be accurate and up-to-date, but said these laws are clearly not enforced because the textbooks are filled with lies and are being taught to students.
Petto said it is inevitable that textbooks will contain some errors.
Sometimes, this is an oversight. Sometimes it is the result of the editorial and revision process. Sometimes it is the result of trying to portray a rich and complex idea in a very few words, he said.
The first lie Hovind presented concerned the formation of the Grand Canyon. He said that two people can look at the canyon. The person who believes in evolution would say, Wow, look what the Colorado River did for millions and millions of years. The Bible-believing Christian would say, Wow, look what the flood did in about 30 minutes.
To elaborate, Hovind discussed the geologic column the chronologic arrangement of rock from oldest to youngest in which boundaries between different eras are marked by a change in the fossil record. He explained that it does not take millions of years to form layers of sedimentary rock.
You can get a jar of mud out of your yard, put some water in it, shake it up, set it down, and it will settle out into layers for you, he said. Hovind used this concept of hydrologic sorting to argue that the biblical flood is what was responsible for the formation of the Grand Canyons layers of sedimentary rock.
Hovind also criticized the concept of micro-evolution, or evolution on a small, species-level scale. He said that micro-evolution is, in fact, scientific, observable and testable. But, he said, it is also scriptural, as the Bible says, They bring forth after his kind.
Therefore, according to the Bible and micro-evolution, dogs produce a variety of dogs and they all have a common ancestor a dog.
Hovind said, however, Charles Darwin made a giant leap of faith and logic from observing micro-evolution into believing in macro-evolution, or evolution above the species level. Hovind said that according to macro-evolution, birds and bananas are related if one goes back far enough in time, and the ancestor ultimately was a rock.
He concluded his speech by encouraging students to personally remove the lies from their textbooks and parents to lobby their school board for accurate textbooks.
Tear that page out of your book, he said. Would you leave that in there just to lie to the kids?
Petto said Hovind believes the information in textbooks to be lies because his determination is grounded in faith, not science.
Make no mistake, this is not a determination made on the scientific evidence, but one in which he has decided on the basis of faith alone that the Bible is correct, and if the Bible is correct, then science must be wrong, he said.
Petto said Hovind misinterprets scientific information and then argues against his misinterpretation.
That is, of course, known as the straw man argument great debating strategy, but nothing to do with what scientists actually say or do, he said. The bottom line here is that the science is irrelevant to his conclusions.
Another criticism of Hovinds presentation is his citation of pre-college textbooks. Following the event, an audience member said, I dont think using examples of grade school and high school biology can stand up to evolution.
Petto called this an interesting and effective rhetorical strategy and explained that Hovind is not arguing against science, but the textbook version of science.
The texts are not presenting the research results of the scientific community per se, but digesting and paraphrasing it in a way to make it more effective in learning science, he said. So, what (Hovind) is complaining about is not what science says, but what the textbooks say that science says.
Petto said this abbreviated version of scientific research is due, in part, to the editorial and production processes, which impose specific limits on what is included.
He added that grade school and high school textbooks tend to contain very general information about evolution and pressure from anti-evolutionists has weakened evolutionary discussion in textbooks.
Lower-level texts tend to be more general in their discussions of evolution and speak more vaguely of change over time and adaptation and so on, he said. Due to pressure by anti-evolutionists, textbook publishers tend to shy away from being too evolutionary in their texts The more pressure there is on schools and publishers, the weaker the evolution gets, and the weaker it gets, the more likely that it will not do a good job of representing the current consensus among biologists.
Hovind has a standing offer of $250,000 for anyone who can give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution. According to Hovinds Web site, the offer demonstrates that the hypothesis of evolution is nothing more than a religious belief.
The Web site, www.drdino.com, says, Persons wishing to collect the $250,000 may submit their evidence in writing or schedule time for a public presentation. A committee of trained scientists will provide peer review of the evidence offered and, to the best of their ability, will be fair and honest in their evaluation and judgment as to the validity of the evidence presented.
Wales said the AAs goal in bringing Hovind to UWM was to crack the issue on campus and bring attention to the fallibility of evolution.
The ultimate goal was to say that, Gosh, evolution isnt as concrete as you say it is, and why do you get to teach everyone this non-concrete thing and then not defend it when someone comes and says your wrong? he said. Its just absurd.
How long do you think would be long enough then? Give reasons for your answer. Take any well-known fossil sequence, and explain why the dates between the samples aren't long enough, by reference to known rates of allele frequency change. This will require you to debunk the work of those who have shown that measured rates of change are sufficient to account for modern genetic diversity, assuming the physicists measurements of the age of the earth are correct.
WRONG! When you make a claim and are asked to back it up you should do so, or withdraw. We aren't going to do your research for you.
How about the flood and the Grand Canyon? I have been waiting for somebody to support that little gem.
Simply pointing out that he cheats on his taxes, which he does, is not in and of itself fallacious. In fact, it can't be fallacious, insofar as it's not even an argument, per se - it's merely a statement of fact.
Quite so. If I were to assert that astrology is bunk, and that its original premises were debunked, I could back that up. Easily.
Right. In fact, Isaac Newton was apparently a genuine creep, and in some ways a total whack job. But that says nothing about his science work. Hovind, on the other hand, is apparently an all-round whack job. His "science" is a joke.
The thread's about Hovind; we're discussing Hovind. Who are you to say what can and can't be posted?
... AiG published a particular article entitled Arguments we think creationists should NOT use, and followed this with a related Creation magazine article Moving forwardarguments we think creationists shouldnt use. This was not aimed at any particular person or organization, but was produced as a result of the collective wisdom of AiGs trained scientists and other professionals, based on years of research and experience.
When an attempted critique of this AiG article appeared on Kent Hovinds Web site, AiG was somewhat surprised (and disappointed) to note that it frequently and significantly misrepresents and/or misunderstands the statements and positions made in our carefully researched document.
In the interests of maintaining Christian/creationist integrity, we believed we had to respond to Kent Hovinds critique (albeit with a heavy heart), particularly because of the mistakes in facts and logic which do the creationist cause no good.
Before responding to specifics, it may be worth pointing out the obvious: If these arguments dont convince fellow creationists, why would any creationist think they are going to convince evolutionists? And it would be worth revisiting our articles hyperlinked above for our motivation in compiling these dubious arguments.
Our purpose is to encourage Gods people to avoid fallacious arguments and incorrect information that could become a stumbling block to those who have the background to understand the material. (By the way, AiG has met with Kent Hovind in the past to discuss many of the items below, including the fraudulent claims of Ron Wyatt.)
[Hovind says he links to AiG's website even though they don't link to his.]
We certainly promote many materials produced by other creationists, but not just because they are creationists. We also promote material by some of the Intelligent Design movement for example, on merit. There are minimum criteria of quality and science understanding. We also have difficulty with the idea of promoting sites which have various overtly bizarre ideas, not just in creation issues, but also linking creation issues with other fringe thinking (such as arguments against paying income tax, various cancer cures, etc.) which regardless of their merits or otherwise, have nothing to do with the creation issue. Our actions in this matter are not the product of aloofness, but of caution and concern for the credibility of the creation movement as a whole.
One reason for such a list ["Arguments we think creationists should NOT use"] is precisely because there are many arguments still being widely used which fly in the face of facts and reason. Sometimes this is because the people concerned are not aware of the realities involved, sometimes because they do not understand them, or because they have not bothered to really assess something for themselves. Its often easier to just go with the arguments which seem to work in convincing an audience. This is why certain practices and procedures of peer-review (as discussed in this entire document) are desirable, i.e. a self-critical process within the creation movement. It is perhaps easier for an organization composed of a substantial number of scientists and thinkers to undertake such processes than organizations which are controlled by a single individual. Nevertheless, our list was not aimed at Kent Hovind, in spite of the defensiveness in his response overall.
Unfortunately, Kent Hovinds document repeatedly misrepresents or misunderstands not only our article, but the issues themselves. Our article was not aimed at any individual, but we plead with all creationist lone wolf popularizers to familiarize themselves with the immense amount of good science being done by qualified (though fallible) creationist researchers, most of them not even associated with our own ministry. These are people who have shown that they are willing to be corrected, and to interact with their critics formally in peer-reviewed fashion.
We plead for all of us to swallow pride and, without sacrificing independence of thought and originality, be prepared to submit to the rigors of peer review and to the thoroughly Biblical process of iron sharpening iron. That would be real working together, not some artificial unity in which scientifically trained creationists (i.e. Bible-believing scientists) are supposed to smile sweetly while plainly wrong and even fraudulent claims are being promoted in the name of Creationism.
Such a process, recognizing the fallibility of all of us, would also delineate more clearly such things as the burden of proof in regard to various claims, and would help separate shaky, flaky theories from reasonable speculationsi.e., legitimate hypotheses which seek to be constrained by Scripture, fact, and the faculties of rational thought with which our Creator has endowed us.
That is just ludicrously disingenuous.
Yes, but that isn't evidence, that's an explanation for a lack of evidence.
Anyone that read the articles could see this footnote is a quote and it did not come from Hovind
Its understood just fine
As I said, when Hovind stops labeling anyone who disagrees with him a liar, perhaps I'll take complaints about name-calling more seriously. As for the second part, post ten never "debunked" him because of his tax returns - in fact, it doesn't really mention his theories on evolution at all. If you insist on reading things that aren't there, I don't think anyone's going to be able to help you.
The reputation and a detail of events that Tacitus provided was evidence apart from a Biblical account. The reason why Jesus was not splattered all over the Roman Empire by secularist because it was forbidden and probably considered Christianity to be only about worshiping an insane Jew. Not a very popular idea to the elites who could read and write.
Also I find Books of the Bible to be highly accurate in regards to historical events. The Bible, even among secularist, should not be frowned upon in regards to it's historical accuracy.
Considering that the term "straw men" has been used five times on this thread, one of which was in the article itself, three of which were by you, andthe last of which was not referring to any known scientific fraud, I guess I'm not sure why I should feel compelled to "explain" something that you're pretty clearly imagining. That is, I guess I could speculate on why you see things that aren't there, but I don't think you'd like my suggestions.
Don't think I would go there. Some of the dumbest people I have known were Mensa.
Anyway, I am just lurking, as I have truthfully never heard of Hovind, and am just watching the thread unfold. Don't have a horse to ride in this race.
I'm pretty sure a goldfish evolving into a cat isn't an example of a "known scientific fraud". You'll pardon me if I don't assign your complaints much weight.
That's backwards from the actual anthropic principle. It's like saying voles live in my house because the house was created for them. It's even more like saying owls live in back of the house created for them because voles live in the house until they are caught and thrown out into the yard for the owls.
How much weight were you asked to assign them when considering his arguments on evolution? None. So I guess everybody's happy, right?
Doesn't Batboy prove evolution?
Common creationist tactic - Lie & duck!
Oops, sorry! The real Patrick Henry, the Creationist, is dead.
Well, there you go.
Darwin lovers don't like to debate...every time they do, they lose. They would rather scream and yell and hide behind the status quo...hateful atheists ...
Can you honestly reply that you've never read, heard, or seen posted evidence that some of Darwin's original postulations have been debunked or "revised to fit current knowledge"?
Yet another joke at the expense of the Clown Prince of AstroPhysics, aka the Freeper formerly know as "medved" (and about 20 other screen names since that one) and his faithful mascot, Splifford the ASCII Bat?
So they tell me. It may interest you to know that he died in 1799, sixty years before Darwin published Origin of Species (in 1859), so it's difficult to imagine how the original PH could have been anything other than a creationist. But perhaps I've missed some profound point you were trying to make.
Watch it, sport!
Yes the 28MY estimate is Cooper's, and it was published in ex Nihlo, but Cooper's a bloody Pom!
He is a/the leading light of the Creation Science Movement - it and him can be located at
Creation Science Movement
His principal claim to fame appears as the author of After The Flood
Bill Cooper is a council member and trustee of the Creation Science Movement. He is married with two daughters and has recently been awarded an Honours degree by Kingston University (England) for combined studies in the History of Ideas (Religion, Philosophy and Political Theory) and English Literature. He has lectured on The Table of Nations, under the auspices of the CSM, in Germans, Belgium and at many venues in England including Leeds University.More Creteanist sources claim he is alos an archaelogist with a Th.D and a Ph.D.
He has written numerous articles for the Creation Science Movement and for the Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal published by the Creation Science Foundation of Australia, on the Table of Nations (The Early History of Man series), the historical Jonah and other subjects.
This book shows how European history can be traced right back to the flood and the descendants of Japheth, through contemporary accounts and a table of nations.
Tried for a better photo, but do you know how many middleaged heavy-set Bill Coopers there are on Google?
no. please give me an example.
..And just because *you're* sadly duped into believing such cultist B.S. doesn't mean it's evidence for anything.
Possibly another keeper. But the list is already long enough. I'll wait for something really spectacular.
LOL!It's amazing to see how this cult of evolution takes over seemingly intelligent minds...
I've never seen so many smart people duped buy such obvious crappola, that which they would throw logic "holy" out the window!
LOL!It's amazing to see how this cult of evolution takes over seemingly intelligent minds...
It is amazing. How does this happen?