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.
Actually, at this point, scripture isn't in category a either, insofar as no known version is old enough to have been written by the actual eyewitnesses themselves. Perhaps there are still older versions in existence, but for the moment, the earliest known written version of the Gospels dates to almost 100 years after the Crucifixion.
I'm sure you'll point me to the post where I say that, because Hovind cheats on his taxes, his opinions on evolution should be summarily dismissed. Otherwise, this looks more to me like you seeing something that isn't there. He is, in fact, a fraud and a tax cheat, but anything you infer from those facts is your handiwork, not mine.
It was a particularly offensive post. At one time I'd have called abuse on it myself. But I've come to realise that such posts should be preserved in their magnificent insanity. They argue against creationism as eloquently as anything produced by Gould, Dawkins, or Darwin.
Well, perhaps. But my point (not well expressed above) is that if a later commentary is using only scripture as its source material, than it's no more reliable as a "witness" or a "documented source" than would be a commentary written by someone today using scripture. What I had in mind as a strong category (a) source would be the official reports of Pontius Pilate, which are presumably lost.
Perhaps you'd care to cite some of Hovind's arguments (particularly the ones that even AiG says are bogus) so that we can all debate them if you don't think he is being taken seriously enough. Take your pick of them.
I'm saying I don't know what Tacitus' source was. Obviously there were lots of Christians running about, Tacitus' conceivably could have just taken their word for his existence. Look, I agree with you that Jesus probably existed, but you have to concede that there really isn't much in the way of historical evidence, especially outside of the Bible.
Gimmie one example please. Just one is all I ask!
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?