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100 Reasons Why Evolution is Stupid is Stupid

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posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 12:58 PM
Recently a friend of mine here on ATS posted a thread regarding the evolution-creationism debate/conspiracy. The main source of information for the post was the seminar (sermon) given by creationist Kent Hovind entitled 100 Reasons Why Evolution is So Stupid. In the following thread I hope to go over Hovind's claims and the entirety of his sermon in an attempt to debunk them and show why evolution is one of the strongest theories in science while creationism is not science at all. It is my opinion that Hovind's video is what's stupid (hence the title of my thread)

A disclaimer here that in no way am I an evolutionary biologist or a scientist of any kind. I do however have a fairly decent grasp of basic science, including biology, and a good grasp on how skepticism, the burden of proof and logical fallacies work. This is not going to be an academic criticism of Hovind's work, as such would require more time, effort, and a larger headache, than this outdated fossil of creationism is worth. And so without further ado I will begin my critique and I encourage everyone to watch and read along, pausing when necessary.

Part One

In the beginning... Hovind created (I mean talked about) stuff that has nothing to do with evolution-

Within the first minute of his talk Mr. Hovind has already revealed his true intentions are not to use facts to convince anyone. Hovind's goals can be paraphrased as followed:

1. Strengthen your faith in the word of God
2. Get you to convert to Christianity (get you “saved”)
3. Motivate the converted who are lazy

So how exactly is Hovind going to accomplish these goals? And if these are his goals than why is he giving a talk about evolution? After all evolution is part of biology, it's meant to explain bio-diversity, it is not a religious dogma (more on that later I think).

The first truly substantive claim that Hovind makes is the claim that there is no evidence for the Big Bang. Apparently Hovind missed out on the fact that our Universe is expanding and that distant stars are moving away from us. Thanks to the Doppler Effect, something I learned about from a high school physis class years ago, the light from these stars appears redshifted. So if the Universe is rapidly expanding, and galaxies and stars are following this expansion, than at some point everything was much closer together, in fact you might say that everything would have been right on top of each other.

This is, of course, only one evidence for the Big Bang, but I don't feel like educating Hovind on physics that most children know, especially when the Big Bang has nothing to do with biological evolution.

In fact you might find yourself asking why Hovind is even bringing up the Big Bang at all, well it's because like many creationists he believes biological evolution is somehow contingent upon an atheistic world-view and he believes that his own views of God creating life are somehow contingent upon the Earth being thousands, not billions, of years old.

To save space in this thread I'll skip ahead a bit. At about twelve minutes in Hovind, still talking about the Big Bang, claims that evolution is religious. This claim has no basis in reality and Hovind offers no evidence or arguments to back it up. He may as well be claiming that belief in heliocentricity is sun worship.

Most of the time thus far has been spent discussing the Big Bang in-between flat attempts at humor, neither or which have any relation to the theory of evolution.

Hovind's next comment is about where the laws of nature come from. Again this is irrelevant and has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution. Arguments in favor of God's existence based on the laws of nature are commonplace and stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of what is meant by the term “Laws of Nature” or “Laws of Physics” or “Laws of the Universe”. When scientists describe such laws they are not referring to actual laws written down somewhere by some angelic legislature or grand reality programmer. These laws are merely descriptions of how the Universe is observed to function. Gravity, for example, was discovered during Newton's famous observation of an apple falling to the ground. Objects with mass attract one another. Asking who put those “laws” in place is like asking who makes fire burn or whose hand pushed that apple off the tree.

Hovind rambles on some more about subjects that have nothing to do with evolution before finally reaching the formation of the Earth. His rebuttal to the claim that Earth was molten in it's early years is a Bible verse. Bravo Hovind, you really showed those damned scientists. Say, Kent, if the Earth was completely covered with water after it's formation by God than why is the inner core of the Earth still so damned hot, and why does lava still ooze from the crust? I can see why Hovind spends so much of his time trashing scientific theories other than evolution, he seems to disagree with all of science including grade school level plate tectonics. Pretty sure there's an episode of Bill Nye about this one Kent (not sure if they get that sort of TV in prison).

After this we soon move on to the origin of life, abiogenesis, which is at least, tangentially, connected to evolution. Finally, after twenty-two minutes of low-grade humor and endless misrepresentations of science Hovind is moving into territory that is related to the subject of his talk. He begins ridiculing the claim that the first cells emerged via natural processes on the early Earth, going so far as to call the idea a “fairy-tale”.

Life is natural, to deny that is just plain stupid. All life on this planet is comprised of the same elements that the planet is made of and all life, at its most, is chemistry. So, which sounds more like a fairy-tale? That something natural happened naturally, or that the Bible is absolutely true? Because those are the only choices that Hovind wants you to have (remember his three goals here).

So which is it, did a primordial Earth give rise to the first self-replicating proto-cells naturally or did a supreme timeless spaceless infinite all-powerful God speak the Earth and its creatures into existence before creating a garden with a talking snake in it? Seems to me that Hovind's idea is carrying an awful lot of extra baggage in the form of the Bible, while abiogenesis is merely suggesting that a natural process (life) came about naturally.

Hovind next attempts to go through the Urey-Miller experiments which attempted to recreate early Earth conditions in the laboratory. He glanes over the fact that this experiment DID produce amino acids to talk about how the rest of the experiment was a complete failure. He rambles on attempting to diminish the importance of the experiment but even in admitting that the experiment produced amino acids he has already dug his own grave. Our bodies as human beings are made primarily of water, the next item on the list after water, you guessed it – AMINO ACIDS.

Urey-Miller may not have proven abiogenesis entirely but it was a big step in showing that it was possible to produce some of the building blocks of life in conditions similar to those on early Earth. That alone is far more than Hovind or any creationist has ever done to show the process their God used to create life. Perhaps it's because the “science” book they're using just says God commanded things to exist.

Continued in next post

edit on 4-10-2012 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-10-2012 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-10-2012 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:01 PM
People around here very much dislike Kent Hovind, but he's always sparked my interest.

Here is another video I uploaded to YouTube page about his:

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:03 PM

Part 2:

Gotta Catch'em all (mistakes that is)

After nearly a half an hour of bad jokes and discussions on scientific ideas that have no bearing on evolution Mr. Hovind has finally begun talking about the theory of evolution. And what is his first point about evolution? That, according to him, college professors are teaching their students that dogs evolved from rocks.

Oh boy. This is really his first point? This is a fundamental misrepresentation of the theory of evolution. He may as well have skipped straight to “scientists think human beings evolved from rocks”. Earlier in his talk he drilled the idea that life evolved in the oceans of early Earth, soon after that he talked about the primordial soup, and now he's claiming that it wasn't soup, or the sea but ROCKS that scientists claim we evolved from. So which is it Hovind?

Our chemical make-up is very similar to that of the Earth, for example we are what's known as carbon-based life-forms. Perhaps if we were made up of more exotic materials we would have reason to suspect a supernatural intervention, but the fact remains that life is self-replicating chemistry, in fact it's Earth related chemistry, we're made of commonplace elements. The claim that dogs evolved from rocks is, in fact, a projection, as Hovind believes men were made from dirt. In the Bible God creates Adam out of dirt.

Hovind's next point is about the origins of reproduction. He claims that the first cells had no incentive to reproduce because this would somehow create competition for the food supply. Given that the basis of life is self-replicating protein chains (chemistry) I think Hovind is putting the cart before the horse here. The first cells are likely basic reproduction machines, in order for something to even be classed as the first cell it has to be capable of reproduction. In biology's eyes being able to reproduce is one of the fundamental requirements to define something as alive (not so much talking on an individual basis). Reproduction is a perquisite for life.

Hovind moves on to the question of where sexual reproduction came from, as opposed to asexual. This is one of the unanswered questions of evolutionary biology but if Hovind has his way the answer is “God created sex, and then punished you for what he did”. His next strawman fallacy is the claim that scientists believe organisms can produce “other than their own kind”. The term kind is a loosely defined word which has different meanings for different believers at different times.

What Hovind is referring to, specifically, is the idea that, for example, a wolf gave birth to a non-wolf (the first dog). Some creationists, life Hovind, have this Pokemon-esque idea of evolution burned into their brain and believe that evolution entails a full on ape giving birth to a fully human baby at some point. It is apparently lost on Hovind that evolution is about gradual change. It's not so much about Charmander into Charmeleon as it is about charmander into slightly larger charmander and maybe we get to see one of these in 50 million years:

Continued in Next Post

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:06 PM

Part 3

No bucks, but lot's of whammy's

Hovind races through the next few points, likely hoping his audience will not let what he's saying sink in. He quotes Stephen J. Gould in reference to inferences made about evolution. Yes indeed, sometimes scientists look at the evidence and try to use it to fill in the gaps using inductive or deductive reasoning.

His next big statement is that there are no transitional forms. This, of course, is absolutely ridiculous. There are many transitional fossils that have been found. A simple google search can sort this out, with the evolution of whales being perhaps the most well-documented and having the most obvious transitional forms. Tiktaalik, another obvious transition, marks part of the evolution from fish to the earliest amphibians.

After this he begins talking about the so-called “missing links” and once again drills home the idea that “dogs produce dogs folks”. He slips up for a moment during this rambling speech claiming that if we find a dinosaur bone we don't know that that creature had “different kids”.

What he means by different, of course, is his comical pokemon evolution again - one animal giving birth to a fundamentally different kind of animal (which is not what evolution claims). BUT, as anyone WITH kids can tell you there are differences, each new generation is not an exact copy of the genes of the last. So if this dinosaur did have kids than they were guaranteed to be different in some subtle way yes? If generation 2 goes on to have kids, than 3 will be slightly different, and 4, and 5 and 6. Now extrapolate out to generation 100000, will they be the same KIND as generation 1 after 100000 generations of slight variation?

His point about missing links? “THE WHOLE CHAIN IS MISSING”. Again Hovind has slipped up here. The idea that there could ever be a continuous chain of evolutionary transitions reveals his fundamental misunderstanding of how evolution works. As explained in the above example each generation is slightly different, meaning that we'd need a fossil from every generation of every species of every population within that species to have a continuous chain with no “missing” links. Does Hovind really expect us to have all THOSE pieces to the puzzle or is it possible that we could determine what the puzzle is a picture of WITHOUT all those pieces?

Take the television show Wheel of Fortune as an example, according to Hovind evolution is like solving the puzzle without having any letter, in other words its a blind stab in the dark. BUT we DO have fossils and we also have other things we know about life. For example the oldest fossils we have are of microscopic or single-celled organisms and as we search later and later into geologic time we find bio-diversity growing immensely. We have our DNA and we've compared it and found it massively similar to other ape species, meanwhile our physical appearance, intelligence and behavior match more closely with apes than any other group of animals. We have fossils which are clearly transitional, including dinosaurs that have primitive feathers. So what we're actually dealing with is a Wheel of Fortune Puzzle where we have quite a few letters filled in for us. Hovind's claim that the entire chain is missing is, well:

Hovind moves on, but not really, talking this time about Darwin's Finches in order to drive home the fact that “birds produce birds”. So in Hovind's mind all birds are the same “KIND”? I guess we should pay no attention to the shifting sands of the definition of that word. What he fails to mention is that Darwin's Finches are not all the same species of bird. Hovind next admits to microevolution and commits the self-decapitating finisher move that many creationists fall victim to. There is no difference between microevolution and macroevolution, they are the same thing. Remember my example above about how each generation was slightly different? Well after millions of years those slight differences can add up to be quite substantial.

He claims that “giving it a fancy name doesn't change it, a dog is still a dog”... in Hovind's world details are not important, all dogs are the same and the fact that they share a common ancestor with wolves and coyotes (his admission, not mine) is also an unimportant detail. Hovind attempts to claim that pig breeding disproves macroevolution because pig farmers can't breed pigs the size they want to. Evolution is not something which happens overnight nor would we expect drastic changes in the size of pigs. Evolution also depends on environment pressures, nutrition, size of the gene pool, and a whole host of other factors. All of this ridiculous nonsense is meant to reinforce the idea that animals cannot produce different “kinds” because of “limits” on “variation”. What these limits are, how far they extend, and what form they take is never discussed.

Continued in Next Post

edit on 4-10-2012 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:13 PM

Part 4

Vestigial Stupidity

Hovind next makes the bizarre claim that information to the genes can be LOST but cannot be GAINED. I have to admit that I was not familiar with this claim before. Information can be LOST in the gene pool? Does this mean that it could all decay down to zero? Does Hovind believe we could revert into single-celled organisms again?

Sometime later Hovind begins talking about comparative anatomy and how it is meant to prove a “common designer” to life. This would make some sense if the Bible had anything to say about God designing something... except that it doesn't. Let's look at God's design process shall we:

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.

And it was so, yep, sure sounds like there was an awful lot of thought put into the designs. Hovind's claim doesn't explain anything about why human being, for example, share so many physical and behavioral similarities with apes and other mammals in general. Why, for example, do all mammals have mammaries to feed their young milk? Where did God get that idea and why did he decide to implement it? Was he drunk when he drew the first penis but too embarrassed to admit it was a horrible design (hence the later circumcision revision)? Why did God design his most beloved creatures – human beings presumably – with horrible design flaws such as bad vision, vestigial organs, and too many teeth to fit comfortably in the jaw (wisdom teeth)? These are NOT the watermarks of a divine craftsman. AND IT WAS SO...

And here we are, not even an hour into Hovind's video and he has yet to make a single solid point. Most of his points thus far aren't even about evolution but he has made himself look stupid. The stupid continues as he brings up the Flood and how Noah's Flood explains sedimentary layers. His claims here have already been debunked of course, so I'll let Potholer54 handle this one for me to give my fingers a few seconds of rest.

Never mind the fact that the Grand Canyon has nothing to do with evolution. Hovind moves on to his actual point, which is that the dates attached to strata layers by geologists are wrong. His only evidence for this claim is that he believes in Noah's flood. Hovind claims that scientists are using the fossils to date the strata and the strata to date the fossils, nevermind the proven radiometric dating techniques used to actually date the rocks (and fossils).

After an hour Hovind finally gives his audience a much needed break. Immediately upon his return he delves into a deeply flawed and long-winded explanation of carbon-dating followed by the claim that the Earth's ages of billions of years old is supposedly supported by carbon-dating. This isn't true because Carbon-dating cannot be reliably used to date things that old. Scientists are well aware of the limits of carbon-14 dating. He beats the dead horse of carbon-dating for the next few minutes, ignoring the fact that scientists are more than aware of carbon-dating's short-comings when it comes to marine environments.

Hovind moves on after this to Haeckel's drawings, an old creationist canard. Haeckel's drawings have been replaced by photographs of embryos in modern textbooks. While the man's mistake is regrettable his basic premise, that stages in the development of an embryo mirror evolution, is obviously true. Even humans begin as a single zygote. There isn't a single modern scientist who stakes the accuracy of evolution upon Haeckel's drawings, so why Hovind brings this up is beyond me.

Hovind bounces right into one of the biggest and boldest claims of evolution, that dinosaurs evolved into birds. His first attempt to proving this claim is “stupid” is to go after archeopteryx. He mentions that archeopteryx has claws and says “so what, some modern birds have claws”. SO WHAT? Really? What, exactly, would a bird be doing with such a vestigial feature Kent? We're not talking about talons here, mind you, but claws on the arms/wings of the bird. If God created life why would he give some birds claws? Why would he give archeopteryx such an interesting blend of dinosaur features and bird features? The only reason I can think of is that God WANTED people to believe in evolution, because Ostriches that can't fly and birds that have claws simply SCREAM evolution in the same way that whales with hip-bones do. Hovind even attempts to debunk the vestigial whale bones. How, you ask? By simply claiming that they are “differences” between male and female whales. I think Hovind must be misreading the word bone here.

Continued in next post

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:14 PM
So what's next in line? Creationism, as according to the popular belief?

I know the image says "intelligent design", I'm just speaking to one type of intelligent design in particular. Who says evolution can't be another kind of intelligent design? DNA was engineered to think for itself - how's that for intelligence?

edit on 4-10-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:16 PM

Originally posted by AfterInfinity
So what's our alternative? Creationism, aka Intelligent Design?

edit on 4-10-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)

Kent Hovind covers this pretty damn well, if you ask me

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:16 PM
is stupid is stupid? what what?!

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:19 PM

Part 5

Mutations, Living Dinosaurs, and Conclusions, oh my

Cryptozoology is where Hovind goes next, claiming that Mokele Mbembe is real. He then revisits the claim that dinosaurs and man lived together and that blood was found in a dinosaur bone (which has been debunked over and over again). He shows various photos and makes various claims of monsters, sea serpents and dinosaurs co-existing with man and that “man exterminated most of them”. Man exterminated most of them? So people went around slaying sauropods and T-rex's? I would have thought that God drown them all, I mean he drown everything else, infants, puppies, vegetation, so why not dinosaurs too?

He scrambles through this section before moving on to mutations. I

Mutations can add new information. I'll let Don Exodus explain:

Hovind moves into Survival of the Fittest and misrepresenting the way natural selection works. It is not about being the FITTEST but about being FIT ENOUGH. He gives the analogy of a school of fish, claiming that those who survive the attack of a hungry whale are merely lucky. How does he know that luck is the only factor at play here? Surely those swimming on the outside of the school had a better chance to disperse, or perhaps those with a stronger more sturdy fin structure. Let's say that in this hypothetical school of fish there are two traits for tail-fins, strong-fins and weak-fins... along comes the whale, the ones with the trait for stronger fins will likely be able to swim away from the hungry whale and pass on those genes. Survival of the fittest is a simple concept.

Towards the end of the video Hovind delivers the true and final death-blow to his own act by claiming that Adolf Hitler was a big believer in evolution. Not only is this a shameless attempt to blame Hitler's atrocities on evolution but it's also patently false. This is what's known as an argument from consequences, the idea being that if we accept that we're all animals and we all evolved that we might, then, adopt views similar to Hitler. This, of course is absurd. If anything evolution has the potential to bring us all together and strengthen animal rights as well as human rights. Evolution suggests that we are all connected by a thread of life stretching back eons and destroys the idea of race by proving that we humans all came from Africa originally.

Hovind's ideas have been debunked time and time again over the years and it truly saddens me to see that his lies are still swaying minds. Evolution is one of the strongest theories in science and the underlying scientific fact of evolution, that populations vary genetically over time, is undeniable. Hovind on the other hand is undeniably stupid, for more than 100 reasons.

Please remember that these were his three goals:

Strengthen your faith in the word of God
Get you to convert to Christianity (get you “saved”)
Motivate the converted who are lazy

Anyone suddenly feel like praising Jesus after suffering through his video?

Here's a few videos to cleanse the palette and reward those who made it through the whole thing:

edit on 4-10-2012 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:21 PM
reply to post by CALGARIAN

You missed my point entirely. Try reading the picture; it was clearly mocking Creationism in favor of evolution.

Again, try reading. Are you not fluent in sarcasm? My apology, I'll include a manual next time. Oh, and you know those vestigial structures? We have one too. At the base of our tailbone. Thing is, it isn't vestigial. Know what it does?

Next time you have to go to the bathroom but opt for holding it, thank that bone. It anchors the necessary muscles.
edit on 4-10-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:24 PM
reply to post by ThisToiletEarth

Please read before posting. The title of the video I am critiquing is "100 Reasons Why Evolution is So Stupid", my claim is that the video itself is stupid. Hence the title "100 Reasons Why Evolution is stupid is stupid" I left out the SO so that the title would fit (please don't be confused by the two so's right next to each other in this sentence).

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:26 PM
why do religious folk think the world/universe and humans came into being a few thousand years back...

hubble discovered that the universe is moving apart at great speed and using smart mathematicians of the time to figure out how long they have been moving away from one and other and when they were all as one
turns out it was 13,750,000,000 years ago something blew up and made everything we see today

those dinosouar bones are put there to test your faith!!!
ignore that science man he is the devil!!!
the earth is the centre of the universe and the sun revolves around us in such a fashion as to make it appear we revolve around it instead!!!
god created man and woman in garden of eden then cursed them to live on earth when they did not follow his command!!!

no matter how much people say "its a miracle!!!" it is never a miracle at all
it was just a highly HIGHLY improbable set of circumstances
governed by the laws of physics with a pre-set end scenario
that miracle was pre-determined by the laws of nature long before it ever happened

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:29 PM

Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by CALGARIAN

You missed my point entirely. Try reading the picture; it was clearly mocking Creationism in favor of evolution.

Again, try reading. Are you not fluent in sarcasm? My apology, I'll include a manual next time. Oh, and you know those vestigial structures? We have one too. At the base of our tailbone. Thing is, it isn't vestigial. Know what it does?

Next time you have to go to the bathroom but opt for holding it, thank that bone. It anchors the necessary muscles.
edit on 4-10-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)

LOL. That's the point. You are mocking creationism and that video proves why you shouldn't.

Watch the video.

I know. Kent Hovind is a creationist and explains why the whale needs that (for reproduction).
Yes, we need our Coccyx and it wasn't an evolve "tail".

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:32 PM
reply to post by CALGARIAN

Vestigial doesn't mean function-less, it merely means the part has lost its original function. The whale has vestigial hip and pelvic bones, the fact that it still finds some use for them is irrelevant, they are still hip/pelvic bones just as our tail bone is still just that, a place where our ancestors tails attached.

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:34 PM
reply to post by CALGARIAN

I mock a very specific kind of creationism because it was done poorly, if at all. Also, because it was done poorly and we're still expected to be thankful for it.
edit on 4-10-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:54 PM
S&F, just for the work you put into this. You must have the patience of a saint.

OP. What you have to understand about guys(gals) like Hovind is, that "sermon" isn't meant for the unbeliever. He has no interest in converting anyone. If that happens, then it's just icing on the cake, so to speak.

His interest is in perpetuating Christian dogma and doctrine in the church itself. Doing that requires just enough big words and science to sound like he knows what he's talking about. He is preaching to the choir. He is keeping those who are of the faith, grounded in the faith. That's all this amounts to.

ETA: BTW, you may want to re-read your thread title. You have "is stupid" twice.
edit on 10/4/2012 by Klassified because: eta

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 02:13 PM
reply to post by Klassified

Thanks Klassified.

I'm aware that Hovind is preaching to the choir but he is also preaching to the folks on the fence, those who erroneously assume that creationism and evolution are on equal footing. For some reason people give this guy credence even now that his son Eric has taken over the family "business".

I'm also aware that I have the "is stupid" twice, that's because I am calling Hovind's original video, entitled "100 Reasons Evolution is So Stupid" stupid.

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 02:17 PM
I get the joke in the title and the aim of the thread. You've put a lot of effort into your polemic and I'll weigh yours and his arguments when I get home. Thanks for sharing.

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 05:57 PM
Good thread...can link to it whenever someone repeats one of that clownish Hovind's stuff

posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 07:35 PM
The "flood" or "deluge" is not quite "debunked". Actually its a huge pain for historians to deal with it because although theres no "proof" of it, you have to admit that from the Sumerians to north america, going to through germany and india, people, both in different times and at the same time in different places, with no connection to each other, all of them have a "great flood" on their "tales".

So... its kinda hard to call it a coincidence.

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