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You're an Idiot

Posted on: 7/1/2005

All correspondence received by Skeptic Friends Network or its staff becomes the property of Skeptic Friends Network, and may be printed without the consent of the author.

The Bible's Bad Fruits and Kent Hovind, both in one email. Can our irony meters take the strain?

Re: SFN Articles “The Bible’s Bad Fruits” and “Kent Hovind is a Big Phony!

From: KAM (kool-aid-man)
Date: June 30, 2005

Those Bible Verses you put your site about bad fruits. You are taking all
those verses out of context. You need to put them into context.

Also if you think Kent Hovind is wrong about creation why don't you do a live
debate with him? You say he's wrong, but you never did a live debate. He
challenges every evolutionist to do a debate with him, but they are afraid. So
why don't you get ahold of him and prove that evolution is right and creation
is wrong. Or are you one of them who is afraid to be proven wrong like so many
evolutionist who debated with him?

To:   KAM
From: Dave W.
Date: July 1, 2005
Thank you for writing to the Skeptic Friends Network. Tommy Huxley — author of the articles you’re talking about — isn’t available for comment, so I’ll be answering your email.

First, many people — yourself included — miss the point of “The Bible’s Bad Fruits.” Yes, the Bible verses are “taken out of context,” but that is precisely what creationists do when they make claims about evolution leading to racism or bestiality. Creationists take single pieces of evolutionary theory, or single quotes from evolutionists, rip them from their contexts, and then scream about the “evils” of evolution. Tommy put the article under “Humor & Satire” for a reason: he was demonstrating how faulty the practices of the creationists are by turning their own method against them.

Don’t like it? Good, you shouldn’t like it, and hopefully you have refrained from doing it, and will continue to do so. That is the lesson to be found in that article.

Second… Kent Hovind. Where do I begin?

How about with the fact that Dr. Hovind will never participate in a written debate, despite being challenged to do so, numerous times? You see, Hovind’s debate tactic is to throw out hundreds of little “facts” with the assurance that his opponents won’t have the time to counter all of his nonsense and have the debate audience remain awake. You do know, I hope, that most of these debates have rather short time limits, and that Hovind speaks quickly, which lets him spew a lot of junk. This practice is often refered to as the “Gish Gallop,” after Duane Gish, another creationist who would “win” debates in this fashion.

Instead, most “evolutionists” (as if there is such a thing) would prefer a debate in writing, where every assertion can be checked and double-checked, and rebutted in detail. And, of course, the prefered location for such a debate would be the pages of a scientific journal, since Hovind claims to have science on his side, but a Web forum such as ours would do almost as well. He’s been challenged numerous times to written debates, and he refuses to engage in them. Even though he could participate from the comfort of his own home, rather than interrupt his busy lecture schedule. His refusal is probably because the “Gish Gallop” doesn’t have the proper rhetorical effect in such a format.

For instance, back when Hovind wrote to Tommy (see “Dr. Dino Doesn’t Like our Jack Chick Spoof!”), it would have been a good opportunity for a written exchange, based upon Hovind’s complaints about Tommy’s comic. Hovind refused to even provide more details about what displeased him, however.

And it’s not just Tommy. See Comment 19450 on the Panda’s Thumb blog for another example of Hovind refusing to respond to written questions. Comment 30036 over there also remarks on Hovind’s refusal to debate.

So you see, it isn’t fear which leads people to avoid debating with Hovind, it is his seeming inability to treat others honestly. Heck, Hovind is so transparently lacking in integrity that even Answers in Genesis (a strictly creationist organization) raked him over the coals.

Frankly, I don’t know why anyone would want to debate such a character. Besides, what would be the point? I doubt that there is a single person who has attended a live creation/evolution debate and changed his/her mind about the subject, either way. Creationists walk in creationists, and later walk out creationists. But if a person is not already a creationist, Hovind’s rhetoric is unconvincing (to put it mildly).

You might think the point of a live debate is to nail down the truth, and prove evolution is wrong (or creationism wrong), but you’d be mistaken. The point — for creationist speakers — is to preach to their flocks, and pump up their own egos (and sales of books and tapes) by claiming victory in debates with “evolutionists,” regardless of the actual outcome. There is no reward for anyone who debates Hovind, as Hovind, his lackeys and his proselytes will keep on preaching creationism no matter what gets said.

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