Kent Hovind is one of America’s leading young-earth Creationists. He offers a $250,000 award to anyone who is able to prove (to his satisfaction) that Evolution occurs. You can find more information about him at www.drdino.com. At www.biblebelievers.com they have a fifteen hour long video seminar featuring Kent Hovind. After watching the video series, I thought to myself, “People actually believe this?!?” So I took it upon myself to write rebuttals for each one. This is a work in progress and hopefully I will write a full rebuttal to each of his seminars by the year 2050! But since I don’t see anyone else debunking this hog wash, I took the liberty to do just that.
As a reference, you can view every single one of Kent Hovind’s video seminars here.
The Age of the Earth Video, Part 1A
Mr. Hovind starts off by saying,
“There are four great questions that man tries to answer in this life. These are called the four great philosophical worldview questions. Every religion in the world, including Atheism, which is a religion, every religion tries to answer these four questions.”
Atheism is a religion the same way not collecting stamps is a hobby…
Now throughout this whole seminar Kent uses the word “religion” very openly, and claims that Atheism and Evolution are both religions. The definition of the word religion is, “Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.” Atheism is exactly the opposite of this definition because it doesn’t believe in any supernatural power or creator. So I wonder why he claims that Atheism is a religion. Also, Evolution doesn’t have anything to do with a creator or supernatural power, it does not encourage nor discourage the belief in such. It’s neutral to the subject, and thus can’t be regarded as a religion like you will hear Kent claiming all throughout this seminar. Anyway, the four questions are as follows:
- Who am I? (What am I worth?)
- Where did I come from?
- Why am I here?
- Where am I going when I die?
“There are two ways to look at this earth. Some people look at this world and say, ‘You know it’s amazing! A ‘Big Bang’ made this from nothing!’ That’s the Humanist worldview which says, ‘Man is god.’ Other people look at the world and say, ‘You know its incredible design! There must be a smart designer.’ That’s the Creationist worldview which says, ‘God is God.'”
This is simply not the Humanistic worldview. I can’t speak for others, so I’ll just speak for myself. I do not believe that everything just came from nothing. That’s an absurd assumption that is way too immature to conclude. I simply don’t know because science doesn’t know yet. I’m not about to assume the Earth is the center of the universe before science is able to figure it out. Likewise, I’m not about to make assumptions about the origins of the universe beyond the Big Bang because science hasn’t figured it out yet. I don’t believe that man is God. I believe that there is no God, including human gods! Humanism isn’t about throwing in another theory about how we got here; it’s about living a fulfilling life without the need of a big brother figure looking over your back. By totally misinforming the spectators about the philosophy of Humanism, Kent is not only lying to them, he is putting it into their minds that anything other than Creationism sounds too fictitious to be true. This is a propaganda tactic that you will see Kent using very often.
In giving the Evolutionist perspective of the first question (Who am I and what am I worth?), Kent says,
“Well if Evolution is true, you’re just a bit of protoplasm that washed up on the beach. Matter of fact, you’re part of the problem because you’re one of the polluters of the environment and the more of you we can get rid of, the better. And by the way folks, if Evolution is true, that is normal thinking. Get rid of humanity because we’re the problem. But if Creation is true, we’re the purpose of this creation. God did it for us.”
Evolution is a theory, not a philosophy! This is like asking, “Where’s the happiness in the Theory of Relativity?” You can’t attack Evolution on the merit of morality because it simply doesn’t deal with moral positions. If Kent were actually telling the truth, don’t you think all of the Evolutionists would have killed themselves by now, or gone on killing sprees, since us humans are part of the problem and all? Knowing that we evolved from more primitive ancestors is as depressing as knowing that we weren’t born in our present state. The fact that we are the first living organisms on this planet to become aware of their own existence and mortality is a motivation for us to keep surviving. If Evolution were true, our species isn’t part of the problem, it’s an amazing example of the possibilities that Evolution can attain!
“Second question: If Evolution is true, how would you answer the question, ‘where did I come from?’ Well if Evolution is true, you came from a cosmic burp about twenty biiiillion [emphasis on billion] years ago. (audience chuckles)Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Well if Evolution is true, there is no purpose to life. So we might as well have fun. If it feels good, do it. Where am I going when I die? Well if Evolution is true, you’re just going to the grave and you’re going to get recycled into a worm or a plant. But the Bible says, ‘In the beginning, God created the heaven and the Earth.’ Now if that’s true, that puts a whole different set of answers to those questions.”
A cosmic burp? Again, making a caricature about the opposition that just isn’t true to persuade the spectators. Kent also really emphasized the word “billion” in an attempt to make it sound as if it were a fairy tale. Again, you can’t attack Evolution on the merit of morality (the purpose to life) because it simply isn’t a philosophy. And what’s so bad about living by the philosophy of “if it feels good, do it.” . . . ? That’s quite a good philosophy to live by in my opinion. The great majority of us have a conscience and abide by it. This is the exact reason that stops most people from doing bad things and encourages most people to do good things. If they do something bad, they feel bad. If they do something good, they feel good! Also, knowing that we are mortal beings is only a greater motivation to cherish every moment you have, because it’s only going to happen once!
Mr. Hovind then makes remarks that imply that all doubters are the devil.
“The devil came to Eve in Genesis chapter three, ‘The serpent said unto the woman, ‘Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” First sentence out of the devils mouth was a question to make Eve doubt Gods word. He always does that by the way. He’s always going to make you try to doubt Gods word. The second thing he said to the woman was, ‘Ye shall not surely die:’ Now he’s calling God a liar. The third thing he said to the woman was, ‘Hey, if you eat off that tree, ye shall be as gods.’ And right there is where the whole idea of Evolution got started. It didn’t start with Charly Darwin. It started with Satan in the Garden of Eden. He wants you to think you can become like gods. Yes boys and girls, we are evolving. We started off like an ameba and we’re getting bigger and better a
nd stronger and smarter and in some day we’re going to sail around the universe and discover new life forms like ‘Star Trek.'”
Evolution is simply a theory; it doesn’t refer to God one bit. Neither does it state that you will become a god if you believe in Evolution. It’s as if Kent is creating his own cult based on the principles of Evolution, showing why this cult is a serious threat to all humanity, and then deeming Evolution itself to be blasphemy.
Mr. Hovind then quotes a few elementary school text books in which it says that the Earth is billions of years old. He questions the books references for when it says billions of years.
Of course there aren’t going to be any references to the statement of the Earth being billions of years old. It’s a book for children! Going into evidence of why the Earth is billions of years old doesn’t start at elementary school. If Kent really has a problem with public school textbooks saying that the Earth is billions of years old, then he should attack the evidence we have for our conclusion rather than just assert that all the evidence we have for such a statement is inside of a children’s science book.
After quoting a few more textbooks, Mr. Hovind says,
“We aught’ to be teachen’ the kids some real science instead. Like the First Law of Thermodynamics which tells us, ‘Matter (and/or energy) cannot be created or destroyed.’ Well everything’s made out of matter. You’re made out of matter. So if matter cannot be created or destroyed, how did the world get here? We’re here, you know. So that leaves only two choices. Somebody made the world or the world made itself. There’s no other choice. . . So either somebody made the world or the world made itself. Now the devil does not want you to believe in the beginning God created the heaven and the Earth. He sure does not want you to believe that. So the devil had to think up a way for the world to make itself. So he thought he thought he thought he thought, and finally he came up with the ‘Big Bang Theory.’ Now how many of you have ever heard of the ‘Big Bang Theory’ before?”
We should be teaching children in elementary school the first law of thermodynamics? At least wait until high school! Oh wait, that’s what we’re doing already! Kent uses the first law of thermodynamics to come to only two options as to how the universe got here. But the first law of thermodynamics is not meant to be applied before this universe was in existence! It’s only meant to be applied in the universe’s modern state. Kent really wants to jump to conclusions before science has all of the answers. But you can’t just act like science is contradicting itself. Science simply doesn’t know yet, the verdict isn’t in! So we wish not to jump to conclusions as to how the universe was created before the Big Bang. Then Kent strongly implies that the devil himself is the being that thought up the Big Bang Theory! Anything that Kent doesn’t agree with must be the work of the devil! Science is far more different than religion in that it looks at the evidence before making a hypothesis. Religion makes a hypothesis, and then only searches (or makes up) evidence that supports their hypothesis. The Big Bang Theory, like all other scientific theories, was not simply thought up. We first examined all of the evidence and tried to come to a hypothesis as to what could have made all of these results. We finally came upon the answer of the Big Bang. We didn’t think up an assumption just so that we can answer where the universe came from without God.
Mr. Hovind then talks about a story of him traveling on an airplane with a professor. He has a conversation with him about Creation and Evolution. Mr. Hovind asks the professor what his take is on the origins of the universe and then Mr. Hovind remarks,
“Yes you see boys and girls, you see we came from a dot and that dot came from nothing. Now they call that Science and put it in a Science book? I’d call that a fairy tale and put it in the garbage.”
Again, Mr. Hovind is making a caricature about the opposition that simply isn’t true.
Mr. Hovind then asked the professor:
“‘Where’d all this dirt come from? Who made matter? I mean there’s an awful lot of matter in the universe. Who made it?’ He said, ‘Well we don’t know that for sure.’ (audience gasps)I say, ‘Now hold on sir, just a minute. If I tell you that I believe about six thousand years ago, God created the heaven and the Earth, you’re going to say, ‘Where did God come from?’ and I don’t know. But you said twenty biiiillion years ago there was a big bang and you don’t know where the dirt came from. So basically I believe in the beginning God, and you believe in the beginning dirt.’ (audience laughs)Don’t tell me my theory is religious and yours is scientific. Oh no sir, they’re both religious.”
Once again, Kent is using the same propaganda tactic that he’s used time and time again. He uses the word “dirt” instead of matter so that he can make it sound too stupid to be true. When the professor answers, “Well we don’t know that for sure” he was simply being honest. We don’t know for sure. We probably won’t know for a while to come. Science doesn’t know all of the answers and it’s quite ignorant of Kent to act like it does. He then says that since the professor doesn’t know where all of the matter came from and he doesn’t know where God came from that they’re both religions. Wrong. The Big Bang Theory wouldn’t be a religion even if it was solely supported by opinions and beliefs. The key reason why, because the Big Bang Theory doesn’t have a God in it! Thus it is not a religion. The major difference between the Big Bang Theory and Kent’s beliefs is that the Big Bang Theory was formed FROM evidence and Kent’s beliefs are exactly the opposite. They are beliefs that form their own evidence!
After Mr. Hovind makes his fictitious remarks about Evolution being a religion (since Evolution and the Big Bang Theory are, of course, the same thing, or so Mr. Hovind implies), Mr. Hovind then argues that Evolution is a tax supported religion.
Since I’ve already shown that Evolution isn’t a religion, I have no need to comment.
Evolution is Atheistic?
Mr. Hovind then remarks,
“So you can get thousands of people together for a church on Sunday. You cannot get thousands of Humanists together, at their own expense, for any kind of service. Run an add in the biggest newspaper you could find. ‘Atheist Meeting tomorrow night.’ four people will show up.”
Well obviously Kent isn’t aware of the Godless Americans March on Washington that was held on November 2nd 2002. Or all of the other marches that have been held. Perhaps he should check it out, www.godlessamericans.org. Most atheist’s don’t meet together every week because there is no atheistic doctrine that states that there must be a holy day each week. Also, I’d like to remind Kent that the majority of Christians go to church about once a year or less.
Mr. Hovind then says,
“If somebody says, ‘Oh Evolution is not a religion. It’s a part of Science.’ Well, I’ve had a long time standing offer. For about ten years now, I’ve been offering ten thousand dollars to anybody with any scientific evidence for Evolution.”
Well the offer is now $250,000. Why hasn’t anyone claimed it? There’s a catch. You have to prove that Evolution occurs to his satisfaction in order to get the $250,000! However, it sure does make a good impression on all of the Creationists that Evolution isn’t real. Well offer a nonbiased challenge and you won’t hold onto that money for a day. Evolution has already won the battle in the courts and all other forums except public. Why? Because the majority of people are uninformed enoug
h to confuse Creationist propaganda with real science.
Mr. Hovind then comes back to his conversation with the professor and brings up the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum. Basically, the law says that if you are on something that’s spinning clockwise, and you jump off of it, you will be spinning clockwise as well until another force stops you, like the ground. He asks the professor, “‘If our universe began as a swirling dot, shouldn’t everything be spinning the same way?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Well it’s not. We have two planets for sure, possibly three, we don’t know about Pluto, but two for sure spin backwards. Why?’ He said, ‘That’s interesting.’ (audience laughs) I said, ‘No sir, that’s more than interesting. That’s pretty hard on your Big Bang Theory.’ I said, ‘Not only that. At least six moons spin backwards in our solar system. Why?’ He said, ‘I don’t know. Why do you think they’re going backwards?’ I said, ‘Well sir it’s very simple. I believe that in the beginning, God created the heaven and the Earth and he did it that way on purpose just to make the Big Bang Theory look stupid.'”
That would have been a good point by Kent, if only planets were the direct result of the Big Bang, and if only we knew for sure that the point of singularity was spinning, and if only we knew that angular momentum applied to the laws of physics back then. But the Big Bang didn’t just turn into spinning planets. So what can make up for some of the planets and moons in our solar system that are spinning backwards? Rogue planets that get in orbit with another celestial body is a perfect explanation. You think that all of our planets were just remnants of our stars leftover matter that wasn’t consumed? Also, a great impact by another celestial body can definitely change its rotation. Shouldn’t Kent know this after teaching 15 years of high school science?
Mr. Hovind moves on saying,
“Now the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us everything tends toward disorder. Everything is falling apart. Nothing gets better by itself. You leave things alone for a while and they rot, rust, break down, die, they fall apart. Nothing gets better automatically. The Bible teaches that in Hebrews chapter one ‘the heavens are the works of the hands: They shall perish:’ Nothing gets better without work. Input, energy, input. Ah, but the textbook says, boys and girls, we are getting better. ‘Humans probably evolved from bacteria that lived more than four biiiillion years ago.'”
Not exactly. The Second Law of Thermodynamics basically states that within a closed system, entropy can never increase. Entropy basically means unavailable energy. If you haven’t guessed it already, the Second Law of Thermodynamics does not apply to Evolution either. Evolution is referring to life, not matter. It is also not a closed system. Evolution is supplied energy from the sun and earth. Thus, the Second Law of Thermodynamics in no way applies to Evolution. Next please.
A Society Gone to Hell
Mr. Hovind then accuses Evolution of being responsible for society deteriorating.
“You know we’ve been teachen’ the kids that they’re nothing but animals and today a lot of them act like animals.”
Sure, Evolution teaches that we’re all animals, but I don’t see why this is a depressing view. In my opinion, accepting that we’re all animals motivates us to care for one another because we can understand their feelings and thoughts. Think about that statement for a moment, that we’re all animals. Is it not a fact that most species on this planet don’t hunt and kill each other? Knowing that we’re all animals, to me, isn’t at all as depressing as Kent likes to portray. I happen to think that if we acted like most animals, we’d be a much more moral species!
Before Mr. Hovind illustrates his next point, he confirms that it’s perfectly OK to teach Creationism in public schools and quotes Supreme Court decisions to back up his claims.
No, the Supreme Court found that it was OK to teach the Bible in public schools as long as it is taught in a secular manner. But Creationism is anything but secular, and isn’t looking to be taught in theology classes. In fact, there have been repeated rulings by the Supreme Court declaring it illegal to teach Creationism in public schools. Try to see the difference between Creationism and the Bible. Creationism is a religion and the Bible is a book.
“Folks it can be done. What’s happened, though, the ACLU wants teachers to believe they cannot teach Creation in the public schools. That just is a lie. By the way, encase you don’t know, ACLU stands for the America Communist Lawyers Union. The stated purpose of the founder was to advance communism. That’s the purpose of the ACLU. Now maybe all the lawyers involved don’t know that. But that is the stated purpose of that organization. They want to advance communism around the world.”
That’s right; anything or anybody that disagrees with you must have sold their souls to the devil and are secretly communists. Besides, the last time I checked, this is a free country and people can be communists if they want to.
The Year When Everything Went Downhill
“1963 is when prayer and Bible reading was taken out of the American school system. Anybody remember that? Madalyn Murray O’Hair? Her son, by the way, became a preacher. His mom used him to get prayer taken out. But in 1963, sexually transmitted diseases began to climb. This is for kids 10 to 14 years of age. 1963 is when divorce rates began to go up. By the way, premarital sex and divorce go hand and hand. If you don’t trust ’em before you’re married, you won’t trust ’em after you’re married. 1963 is when violent crimes began to increase. There’s been nearly a 1000% increase in violent crimes. 1963 is when unwed birthrates began to incline. 100% increase for girls 10 to 14. By the way, pregnancies have increased 553%. SAT scores have dropped off incredibly since 1963. 1963 is when we saw an incredible rise of married couples living together in adultery. Teen suicide rate has gone crazy.”
On a side note, yes, Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s (once president of the American Atheists who was referred to as “the most hated woman in America”) son, William, was used to get the Bible out of public schools. William severed from the family in his teens and then later converted to Christianity and is now an evangelist. Just comes to show that religion really is very tempting and is able to suck in anyone who is willing to sacrifice a little bit of reality for a false belief no matter whose son they may be. Anyway, these statistics that Kent presents is probably the strongest part of his argument. If only they were proof of the result of taking the Bible out of schools. Let me explain.
All of these things didn’t start at exactly after the Bible was taken out of schools, you can’t be that specific with statistics. They all started to happen around the early 1960’s. The early 60’s were a time of great Revolution and change for our society. A time in which great speakers like Martin Luther King, Jr. strived for racial equality. A time in which the National Organization of Woman strived for gender equality. By the way, Kent neglected to mention that 1963 was the year that President Kennedy was assassinated sending a shockwave throughout America. 1962 was when we had the Cuban missile crisis. The early 60’s were a time of Cold War tension and the U.S. and U.S.S.R. were a button away from wiping out the human race. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize what’s responsible for the great changes of statistics that Kent gives. This is even going under the assumption that the statistics are accurate! Oh, and one more thing, I doubt th
at the result of keeping or taking out the Bible from schools would have any effect on the divorce rate! Primarily because I doubt that many married couples attend high school!
But let’s take a closer look at the statistics that Kent presents. For the sexually transmitted diseases beginning to incline: First of all, the 60’s were the sexual rEvolution as well. Also, they began to rise before 1963. Kent neglects to mention that the birth control pill was invented in 1960. It sent a message to all of the young females that they could have all of the sex they wanted and never have a baby. It’s quite obvious that the effect of the invention of the birth control pill is responsible for the rise in STD’s.
For divorce rates going up in 1963: I can’t understand how keeping or taking out the Bible from schools would affect divorce rates so quickly since most senior high school students in 1963 won’t get married until many years afterwards. Anyway, the divorce rate only began to start to rise above normal in the late 60’s. It only rose slightly in 1963. This is all according to his statistic.
But let’s look at other countries. In 1996, our divorce rate was 49%. Canada close behind at 43%. The United Kingdom at 53%. That’s according to the Human Development report, 1999, United Nations. What does this tell us? It tells us that the cause of our divorce rate being almost 50% is from an international source because all other western countries are roughly around 50% as well. The Bible being taken out of our countries public schools have absolutely no effect on our divorce rate and absolutely no effect on other countries divorce rates. Thus, the Bible being taken out of schools must be eliminated as a possible cause.
For violent crimes beginning to increase in 1963: assuming that violent crimes began to increase in the early 60’s, if his statistic is accurate, this would be expected from all of the 60’s Revolutions taking place. For unwed birth rates beginning to climb in 1963: Actually if you take a closer look at the statistic, unwed birth rates were actually at a low in 1963! Lower than years before it! It gained a slow and steady increase afterwards, according to Kent statistic. But according to the Center for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports, vol. 49, no. 10, Sept. 25th 2001, “Teenage childbearing has been on a long-term decline in the United States since the late 1950s, except for a brief, but steep, upward climb in the late 1980s through 1991. The 2000 rate (49 births per 1,000) is about half the peak rate recorded in 1957 (96 per 1,000).” That’s right, birth rates are actually declining.
As with SAT scores dropping dramatically since 1963, the statistics that I have say somewhat of the contrary. According to the U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics 2001, in 1966-1967, the average SAT verbal score was 543 with 200 being the minimum and 800 being the maximum. In 2000-2001, the average SAT verbal score was 506. A decrease, but not at all an incredible drop off since 1963 as Kent puts it. But in 1966-1967, the average SAT mathematical score was 516. In 2000-2001, the average SAT mathematical score was 514. Not at all a dramatic decrease. This wouldn’t even amount to a 1% decrease.
And last but not least, Kent makes the claim that teen suicide rates have gone crazy. Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, from Health, United States, 2002, the average suicide rate was 12.5 in 1960 and 10.6 in 2000. Again, decreasing and not increasing. I’m not sure where Kent is getting his statistics from, but they seem to have quite a few contradictions with the statistics I’m finding.
Mr. Hovind then claims that Evolution says that we evolved from frogs.
No, Kent, at least educate yourself about the opposition before attacking it. You’d think if Evolution really is wrong that you wouldn’t need to spread lies about it just to make people think that it sounds ludicrous. Evolution is a tree with an infinity of branches. Although present species may have all had a common ancestor at one time or another, humans did not evolve from any present-day species.
Mr. Hovind ends seminar 1A claiming that it is impossible to know that the Earth is billions of years old. It is only possible to believe that it is.
I’ll get around to this subject in later seminars. Until then, suffice it to say any credible evidence Mr. Hovind has presented for his case so far complete contradicts what is found when doing a little research.