Hovind Attacks Evolution Theory

Part One

This is the first section of three that analyses Kent Hovind's misrepresentation and attacks on Evolution Theory, both biological and any other science that contradicts a young Earth view.  Hovind's own words are in bold from Transcript 4a available from Hovind's own web site [no longer available].


[.....]

Historical Scoffers

James Hutton

Now, one of the scoffers in the last days was a guy named James Hutton.  James Hutton lived in the late 1700's.  He was a scoffer.  James Hutton did not like the Bible for some reason.  And James Hutton especially did not like the idea that the earth was only about 6,000 years old and God created it.  So in 1795, James Hutton wrote a book and said, “I think the earth is much older than most people think.”  I think they started off with about 80,000 years.  He said that the earth was about 80,000 years old.  By 1900 they were teaching the earth is 2 billion years old.  Now they're up to 4.6 billion years old.  So I figure the earth is getting older at the rate of about 65 million years per year.  It's aging rapidly folks!  But you have got to understand, in the late 1700's most people believed the Bible and most people thought the earth was about 6,000 years old.

Ad hominem Notice that Hovind has accused Hutton of being anti God, anti Bible and some type of 'scoffer of the last days' (which was over 200 years ago).  Hovind is attacking the man rather than the argument.

The reason the age calculations of the Earth changed was the discovery of the properties of radioactive decay.  It was with this independent measurement tool combined with developing knowledge in geology that extended the known age of the Earth.

Appeal to popularity Many things have been believed by the masses in other times. Popularity alone does not make an argument correct.

Contradiction Compare Hovind's statement here about the justification for popularity with these other statements where he argues that popularity should not be used to judge the merits of an argument.  Even the "Hovind $250,000 Challenge" forbids the use of popularity as a measure of accuracy.

Now, see, even the textbooks admit [that] in the late 1700's that almost everybody thought the earth was only a few thousand years old.  But James Hutton came along and developed his idea called uniformitarianism.  (Oh, big word - that will be on the test.)  Uniformitarianism means ‘the way things are happening now is the way they've always been happening.’   Long, slow gradual processes.  They've got a fancy phrase for that.  They say, “the present is the key to the past.”  Well, the problem they don't understand is that's just simply not correct.  The Bible is the key to the past.

Uniformitarianism is the concept that the processes which operate to modify the Earth today also operated in the geological past.  In other words, it is assumed that rocks decay at the same rate, that chemical reactions take the same time, that radioisotopes decay at the same rate. Not only does this apply to the past but also applies to projections about the future. In fact, all science is based upon this principle.

Contradiction Notice that Hovind says the Bible is the key to the past, yet in other areas he has stated that Creation Science can be taught independent of the Bible

Charles Lyell.

Charles Lyell was a lawyer from Scotland.  He also hated the Bible. .....

Ad hominem  Attacking the man instead of the argument.

The Geologic Column

And Charles Lyell in 1830, building on the work of some other guys and along with some other guys, he really developed what we call the geologic column.  How many have ever heard of the geologic column before?  All the textbooks teach this in the public school system and all the ones on earth science or geology or even biology.  The geologic column was invented in the early 1800's and it's by William Smith and Cuvier and some other guys, but Lyell was the primary culprit as far as I can figure out.  In that geologic column, they took the earth (which has many layers to it) and they gave each layer a name and they gave it an age and they gave it an index fossil.  Like, for instance, maybe you saw the movie Jurassic Park.  Well, the Jurassic was supposed to be an era that lived millions of years ago and they have an index fossil of the dinosaurs.  So each layer of the earth was given a name, an age and an index fossil.

Where's the Geologic Column?

Now, you might want to know a couple of things about this geologic column - and I taught earth science for 15 years<-

Mr. Hovind taught high school science.

..... it can only be found one place in the world - in the textbook. The geologic column does not exist in reality.  The textbooks admit that.  “If there were a column of sediments ... unfortunately no such column exists.”  The whole thing is imagination.

False  Here is an excellent explanation of the geologic column and it existence by a professional geologist and ex-Young Earth Creationist The Geologic Column and Its Implications to the Flood

Hydrologic Sorting

See, just the earth turning under the moon - the moon causes the tides, and if the earth were totally covered by water the tides would become harmonic.  You music folks understand that.  People have calculated that the tides would go [through a] 200 foot tidal change.  If the earth were covered with water, there would be no continents to stop them.  And with a 200 foot tidal change every 6 hours and 25 minutes, you would get reshuffling of the sediments down at the bottom for thousands and thousands of feet.  You would get over a mile of sediments down there in finely stratified layers.

Absolute rubbish.  The hydrologic sorting idea was put forward by Young Earth Creationists to explain stratification as well as fossil distribution in a global flood scenario.  Even if there were tides they would not disturb anything greater than the immediate surface. Secondly if such an absurd deep disturbance did occur then the sorting would be based upon density, which is not what has occurred.

You can get a jar [of mud] out of your yard here, put some water in it, shake it up and set it down it will settle out into layers for you.  Hydrologic sorting.

But notice these layers are based upon density. Is there ever a heavy layer on top of a light layer?

Contradiction It is interesting that Hovind is asking people to perform an experiment then assume that the same properties applied in the past, in other words, he is relying on uniformitarianism but Hovind has above declared this concept to be in error.

They say those layers are different ages, I have a hard time with that because don't you think if each one of those layers laid there for millions of years waiting for the next one there would be a few erosion marks in-between the layers?  Why are there no canyons and gullies and cricks in-between the layers?  I mean, why is it all stacked up like pancakes?

The reason, in the case of the Grand Canyon, is that the region was once a sea bed.  That is how, in that particular region the layers were laid down relatively evenly. As for canyons and gullies etc they too exist

Colorado River in Grand Canyon

I was in a debate a few months ago and the professor said, “Mr. Hovind, obviously the world is millions of years old.  Look at Grand Canyon.  It would take millions of years to form Grand Canyon.”  I said, “Sir, did you know that the top of Grand Canyon is higher than the bottom?”
He said, “Yes.”
I said, “Well, did you know the river only runs through the bottom?”
He said, “Well, yes.”
I said, “Did you know the top of the canyon is higher than where the river enters the canyon?  So if that river made that canyon, it had to flow uphill for millions of years to cut the groove deep enough to flow down hill.”
I don't think so.  I don't think the river made that canyon.  I think the flood made Grand Canyon, probably in a couple of hours when the mud was still soft and there was lots of water running through.

There is a rule on construction sites that walls of even moderately deep trenches must be reinforced. Why? Because even dry soil can be unstable. Not only is Hovind suggesting that trenches can be dug a mile deep, straight down, and the walls staying intact, he is also suggesting that the soft mud turned to stone before the walls were eroded. No wonder Hovind doesn't like the concept of uniformitarianism, for without any consistent properties of geology Hovind can change the properties of mud to fit any scenario he wants.

Rocks by Fossils or Fossils by Rocks?

So, let's see what the evolutionists say about this circular reasoning in the textbooks.  Do they really use the fossils to date the rocks and the rocks to date the fossils?  Well, here's Glenco Biology.   On page 306 they date the rocks by the fossils. On the very next page, page 307 they are dating the fossils by the rocks.  Circular reasoning right in the text book.

Straw man Hovind does not directly quote the text and I do not have access to the original text but here is what Hovind said about the same topic circa 1996.

You know, they date the fossils by the layers, and then they turn right around and date the layers by the fossils. That's what they do in the textbooks. One typical textbook example states, "Fossils . . . sedimentary rocks are laid down in horizontal layers. The fossils in these layers increase in age from top to bottom." (Glenco Biology, 1994.) Oh, if it's in the bottom, it must be early fossils, so they are dating the fossils by which layers they are found in, or their geologic position. Just four pages later in the same [sic] book it states, "Trilobite fossils make good index fossils. If a trilobite, such as this one, is found in a rock layer, the rock layer was probably formed 500 to 600 million years ago." (Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1989, page 290.) source

 

The first topic is that sedimentary layers are laid down with the oldest on the bottom and the youngest on the top, all factors being equal.  This is plainly obvious.

The second quote refers to index fossils.  These fossils give an approximate age for the layer. The reason index fossils are accepted is that they are consistently verified to be of a certain era when verified in relation to other geologic structures.

“The intelligent layman has long suspected the use of circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks.  The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling the explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results.”  (J.E. O’Rourke) [suspect American Journal of Science 1976, 276:51]

Quote mining  See quote mining response below for more detail.

“Ever since William Smith at the beginning of the nineteenth century, fossils have been and still are the best and most accurate method of dating and correlating the rocks in which they occur.  Apart from very modern examples, which really are archaeology, I can think of no cases of radioactive decay being used to date fossils.” (Derek Ager, "Fossil Frustration, New Scientist vol. 100 November 10 1983 p425)

Quote mining  Here is a more complete version

"Ever since ... the 19th century, fossils have been and still are the best and most accurate method of dating and correlating the rocks in which they occur. .... As for having all the credit passed to the physicists and the measurement of isotopic decay, the blood boils! Certainly such studies give dates in terms of millions of years, with huge margins of error, but this is an exceedingly crude instrument with which to measure our strata and I can think of no occasion when it has been put to an immediate practical use. Apart from very 'modern'' examples, which are really archaeology, I can think of no cases of radioactive decay being used to date fossils." (source)

Don't tell me they date those layers by carbon dating or potassium argon dating, or rubidium strontium, or lead 208, or lead 206, or U235 or U238; that's not how they date them!  They date the rock layers by the fossils in every case.

False Carbon dating is not used to date rocks.

False Fossils are not used exclusively to date layers

“Paleontologists cannot operate this way.  There is no way simply to look at a fossil and say how old it is unless you know the age of the rocks it comes from.” Quote goes on.  “And this poses something of a problem.  If we date the rocks by their fossils how can we then turn around and talk about patterns of evolutionary change through time in the fossil record.” [Eldrege, N "Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria" Simon and Schuster .... p52] That's Niles Eldredge, one of the biggest evolutionists there is.  American Museum of Natural History in New York.  He knows it's circular reasoning.

Quote mining  Click here for an excellent exposure of this misrepresentation.

How about this:  “The rocks do date the fossils but the fossils date the rocks more accurately.”  (Figure that one out)   “Stratigraphy cannot avoid this kind of reasoning if it insists on using only temporal concepts, because circularity is inherent in the derivation of time scales.”  (J.E. O’Rourke, "Pragmatism v Materialism in Stratigraphy" American Journal of Science, vol. 276 (jan 1975) p53)  They have to use circular reasoning.  “The charge of circular reasoning in stratigraphy can be handled in several ways.  It can be ignored, as not the concern of the public (In other words, it is none of your business)  or ... it can be denied, by calling down the Law of Evolution. It can be admitted, as a common practice…. Or it can be avoided, by pragmatic reasoning.”  (J.E. O’Rourke)

Quote mining O'Rourke has been one of the most often quoted by creationists.  See this link for explanation of some of the more common misquotes (including the ones Hovind uses) Mark Fox (Creationist) Caught Lying Again

Don't tell me that you know the age of those rocks or those fossils because they are both based upon each other.  It's all based on circular reasoning.

Non sequitur  That conclusion is not supported by the proceeding quote mining.

“…evolution is documented by geology, and… geology is documented by evolution.”  (Larry Azar, Biologist Help!)

Quote mining  I almost called this one a lie.  Hovind has severely altered the quote.  The original quote is in the form of question  "Are the authorities maintaining, on the one hand, that evolution is documented by geology and, on the other hand, that geology is documented by evolution?" source

Figure that one out, would you please.  It's all based on circular reasoning.  It cannot be denied.  “…from a strictly philosophical standpoint geologists here are arguing in a circle.”  (R.H. Rastall - "Geology", Encyclopaedia Britannica vol. 10 (1949))

Quote mining  Other sources give the citation for that quote as being, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1956, vol 10,
p 168.   I am understandably having trouble finding the original fifty year old text but here is a more complete quote (though from another creationist)

"It cannot be denied that from a strictly philosophical standpoint, geologist are here arguing in a circle. The succession of organisms has been determined by the study of their remains imbedded in the rocks, and the relative ages of the rocks are determined by the remains of organisms they contain." [emphasis added] source

 

They date the rocks by the organisms they contain and the organisms by the rocks they are found in.  Folks, it's all based on circular reasoning.

Non sequitur  That conclusion is not supported by the proceeding quote mining.

I like to show evolutionists the geologic column, and I ask them this question:  “now, fellows,” I’ll say, “you've got limestone scattered all throughout this geologic column.  I mean there is limestone and shale and sandstone and conglomerate and limestone and sandstone and limestone and shale.  And I say, “How do you tell the difference?  If I hand you a piece of limestone, how would you tell the difference between 100 million year old Jurassic limestone and 600 million year old Cambrian limestone?  I mean, how would you know how old it is?”

There is only one way they can tell the difference: that is by the index fossils. It's all based on that.  “Radiometric dating would not have been feasible if the geologic column had not been erected first.”  (J.E. O’Rourke, "Pragmatism vs Materialism in Stratigraphy", American.....)

Quote mining  Here is a more complete version of the quote

"Even after the analyses are calculated as dates, they have no geologic significance until placed in the context of previous work on maps. Otherwise each analysis represents only its particular sample. Structure, metamorphism, sedimentary reworking, and other complications have to be considered. Radiometric dating would not have been feasible if the geologic column had not been erected first." source

 

They don't date them by carbon dating folks; it's all based on fossils.

Straw man and false  Notice how Hovind is misusing the phrase carbon dating? Carbon 14 dating is not used in geologic dating. It can only be used on certain intact biological remains.  This is the second time in this article Hovind has misused C14 dating.  That shows signs of more than a slip of the tongue. Hovind is either deliberately or inadvertently ignorant.

Trilobites and Graptolites

This is from a textbook.  It shows a trilobite.  It says, “Trilobite fossils make good index fossils.  If a trilobite such as this one is found in a rock layer, the rock layer probably formed 500 million years ago.”  You think the rock with the trilobite is 500 million years old?  Well, I have a question.  How come somebody found a human shoe print where somebody with a shoe on had stepped on a trilobite?  ......

What Hovind is referring to is an unusual fossil called the Meister Print.  Unfortunately for Hovind the print is a combination of natural features.  See here for details

Anyway, if you took this fossil [not the trilobite] and showed it to any University professor who believes in evolution, and said, “Sir, how old is this rock?” He'd say, “Ah, this is an easy one.  This contains an index fossil.  That index fossil is in graptolite, and the graptolites lived 410 million years ago.  It's the New York State fossil.”  That's what they said until 1993 when they found that graptolites are still alive in the South Pacific. [Earth Magazine Sept. 1993]  Oops.  Well, now, think about it.  If they are still alive, maybe they lived between 400 million years ago and today.  Maybe they could be found in any rock layer.  Maybe all of the dating we've done by geologic positioning is bologna, and it is by the way.

For unknown reasons Hovind illustrates this section of the slide show version with two different photographs of a coelacanth.  The problem is coelacanths are not graptolites.

I believe the claim is based upon this article, Sue Rigby, "Graptolites Come to Life," Nature (vol. 362, March 18, 1993), pp. 209-210.   Watch this space.

Examples of Index Fossils from US Geological Survey.

http://129.252.37.27/erth_sci/Sediment/FossilT.htm

By the way, there is good indication that some trilobites are still alive in the Deep [sic] Peruvian [sic] Trench.  In the Pacific Ocean.

Straw man  After much searching I believe I have found the source of this claim.  The original claimants are Henry Morris (co-founder of the Institute for Creation Research) and Whitcomb, in the book The Genesis Flood [1].  Apparently, the idea stems from the article "Living Fossil Resembles Long Extinct Trilobite," Science Digest Vol.42, December 1957.

The Science Digest article refers to the presentation of a specimen of subclass Cephalocarida to the Smithsonian Institution.  Cephalocarida are not true trilobites.

Hovind may have also mixed in Bathynomus giganteusWhich, while superficially looking prehistoric, is also not a trilobite.

See also A Guide to the Orders of Trilobites

Also, the more formal name of the "Peruvian Trench" is the Peru-Chile Trench

[1]    John C. Whitcomb and Henry Morris, The Genesis Flood,  Presbyterian and Reformed Pub Co,
        Philadelphia PA, 1961

All that geologic dating is crazy.  However, it has a profound influence on folks.  As we'll see in a minute.

Other Evidences

“Dinosaur blood found in bone.  Medical pathologists examined dinosaur bone under a microscope and found dinosaur blood inside the bone.”  (Earth  June 1997)  How could the blood survive seventy million years? Well, it couldn't but they don't want to admit that.

Straw man No blood survived intact.  What was found were some of the chemical structures found in blood embedded into the matrix of the fossil.  See this article from New Scientist for further detail.  See also Dino-blood and the Young Earth

Eighteen million year old Magnolia leaves from Idaho shale were still green when the rock was cracked open. [Biology 3rd ed Campbell p494]  Kind of interesting don't you think?

Straw man Yes it is interesting but the facts are not what Hovind describes.  See here for further details

Folks, those layers are not different ages and if you've been taught that the earth is millions or billions of years old, you have been either lied to or deceived.  Hopefully, the teacher doesn't know they are lying to you.  But they are regardless.  It's a lie.  The earth is not millions of years old. Those layers are not different ages.

Petrified Trees

Here is a petrified tree standing straight up running through many layers of rock strata. Now, think about it for a minute.  If those layers are different ages, you've only got two choices: the tree stood there for millions and millions of years and didn't rot or fall down, or it grew through seventy-five feet of solid rock looking for sunlight.  Which do you prefer?  Petrified trees standing straight up are found all over the world, folks.  They are called Polystrate fossils.  Evolutionists have no explanation for this.  I've seen lots of them.  Petrified trees standing up.  How can this be?  Well, according to evolution, this is a real problem.  They call it a geologic enigma. Because it doesn't fit the theory.  Sometimes the petrified trees are upside down running through many rock layers.  Explain that one, would you please?  The tree grew upside down for millions and millions of years?  “That sun is up there somewhere, we've just got to find it, boys - keep growing!”  I don't think so.

Straw man This is the flawed "polystrate" argument, which is often used a Young Earth proof.  See this link for a rebuttal of this often used argument.  Even Kent Hovind has given an observed formation of possible future "polystrate" fossil at Mt St. Helens  See also A Whale of a Tale

The Geologic Column and Charles Darwin

Especially this had a very profound influence on Charles Darwin.  Charles Darwin graduated from Bible College to be a preacher.  The only degree he ever got, by the way.  Charlie Darwin, at age 22, fresh out of Bible College, couldn't get a job.  So his dad pulled a few strings and got him on board H.M.S. Beagle.  He was going to sail around on this ship for five years collecting bugs and birds for somebody back in England.

Where Darwin Went Wrong

While he sailed around on that voyage, he brought with him some books to read.  He brought his Bible (he had just gotten out of Bible College) and he brought with him this book, Principles of Geology.  As Charles Darwin read this book, Principles of Geology, it absolutely changed his life forever.  Later in life he said, “Lyell one of my favorite authors, has made a profound influence on my life.”  As he read that book, Charles Darwin began to doubt the Bible and began to think the earth is millions and millions of years old.  That's the book that changed his life.  Studying about Geology.  And it's amazing how many kids go through seventh or eighth grade in regular public school and they are taught in their earth science book that the earth is millions of years old and it destroys their faith in the Bible and they don't even realize it.  It undermines it.  Cuts it right out from under them.  That's where it all starts.

Later in life Darwin said, “Disbelief crept over me very slowly.  I felt no distress.”  By the way, he did not repent on his deathbed.  His wife started the rumor that he did and that rumor still circulates today.  But the best research says he did not repent on his deathbed.  He remained loyal to his atheism right up to the end.  But that is the book that changed Charles Darwin's life.

False Charles Darwin never once declared himself to be an atheist, only an agnostic. (source)

False The usual argument about the "death bed confession" is that Darwin confessed that his theories were wrong. No mention of atheism.  Hovind isn't even accurately representing the Lady Hope Myth  The irony is Hovind didn't even get a fictional story correct.

False Darwin's wife did not start the Lady Hope Myth .  Plus it was Darwin's daughter, Herietta, who had to publicly defend her father's memory.  The "death bed confession" is one of those urban legends that never seems to die.

Leap of Faith

As Charlie sailed around the world, he came to the islands off the coast of Ecuador, South America, called the Galapagos Islands.  There on those islands Charlie noticed there were fourteen different varieties of finches.  He studied the finches carefully and he said, “You know what?  I think all of these birds came from a common ancestor.”  I bet you are right Charlie - it was a bird.  Which is all correct; they probably had a common ancestor.  But then Charlie made a giant leap of faith and logic in his book, which I have right here.  Charlie said on page 170, “It is truly a wonderful fact that all animals and all plants throughout all time and space should be related to each other.”  Whoa, now hold on a minute Charlie.  .... Charlie got all confused with the two different meanings of the word evolution.

..... Charlie actually observed what we sometimes call micro evolution.

Micro vs. Macro Evolution

Now, I object to the use of that term.  We really should just call it variation.  It's a variety. But they call it micro evolution.  Okay for the sake of argument, we will use their word but I don't like the word.  I think it is deceptive.  Micro evolution tells us that dogs produce a variety of dogs.  Nobody is going to argue with that.  Probably the dog, the wolf and the coyote had a common ancestor.  But stand 30 feet away and look at it.  It still looks like a dog. This is not a banana or a tomato, it's a dog.  Anybody can recognize that. And roses produce a variety of roses.

So now subjective viewing at a distance is now applicable to Creation Science? What Hovind has failed to mention is that the relationships between organisms are best studied at the genetic level.  To use an example, a paternity suit would not be settled by saying "the kid looks like the father".  Rather the verdict may be "the child presents the genetic markers that would be expected if they were the offspring of father X".

Now, if you are going to get into a discussion on evolution or a debate .....  First thing you must do is define the word.  “What do you mean ‘evolution’?”  Because there are two different meanings to the word and this is where all of the confusion comes in.

Contradiction  In his $250,000 Challenge, Hovind uses six different meanings.  He applies the term to every field of science which disagrees with Young Earth Creationism

And you will never get any place in the discussion unless you define the word. Micro evolution is a fact of science.  It is observable, it is testable, it is demonstrable it is also scriptural.  The Bible says, “They bring forth after his kind.”  You might get a big dog or a little dog, but it is still a dog.  And it could be the wolf, the coyote, and the dog are related.  I wouldn't argue about that.  They are still the same kind of animal.  And a three year old could tell the difference.  Okay boys and girls, here we have a dog, a wolf, a coyote and a banana.  Which one is not like the others?  Well, duh.  A three year old can figure that out.  .....

Straw man The closest a banana is related (if it is indeed related) to a dog is from a unicellular ancestor
3,500,000,000 plus years ago that was neither plant not animal

But what happened, Charlie somehow in his mind made a giant leap of faith and logic from seeing the micro evolution into believing in macro evolution.  See, macro evolution says the dog and the rose are related if you go back far enough in time. And the ancestor ultimately was a rock.  Now, the evolutionists really get upset when I say that but I say it anyway.  I'm not trying to upset them, but I'm trying to make them realize how dumb their theory is.  They believe 20 billion years ago, there was a big bang, where nothing exploded and produced everything.  Figure that one out.

Straw man See Hovind and the Professor for detail on how Hovind butchers the Big Bang Model

And then 4.6 billion years ago the earth cooled down and developed a hard rocky crust.  And it rained on the rocks for millions of years and turned them into soup.  And the soup came alive about three billion years ago.  And this early life form found someone to marry.  (A pretty good trick!)  And something to eat.

Straw man Nobody has suggested that the first forms of life reproduced sexually.  Micro-organisms, in general, consume "non living" material.  There is even a species of bacteria which eats nylon.

And very slowly evolved into everything we see today.  That is the evolutionary teaching in a nutshell.

Or a straw man argument depending on how many simplifications and misrepresentations are made

[.....]

Macro evolution is the other meaning of the word.  And what they do is give the kids millions of examples of micro evolution and try to make them believe in macro evolution, and that is where it gets deceptive.  Macro evolution is a fantasy.  It's based upon imagination.  We've never seen it in nature.  Can't find any fossil evidence of it.  You can't even imagine how it could happen.  It's just a fantasy; but they will give the kids millions of examples of micro evolution and try to make them believe in macro evolution, which has only been assumed - it has never been observed.  It's a religious world view.

Straw man Hovind is inventing a definition of macro evolution to suit his argument yet never defines what macro evolution is. He just alludes that macro evolution is some type of change that isn't micro evolution.  I think some clarification of the term macro evolution may be in order

 

So when I say evolution, I'm talking about macro evolution.  But if you get into a discussion with some professor someplace, and you start using the word evolution, and when you say, “I do not believe in evolution,” he will be thinking of millions of examples of micro evolution, which is true.  And he doesn't understand how you can't see it.  ‘How can you be so blind as to not see this?’  But you are thinking of macro evolution and you don't understand how he can see it.  And there is no communication taking place.  You are not talking the same language and that is why you will never get anywhere with this guy or girl.  If you are talking about evolution, you have to define the word.

This discussion about what is the true meaning of the word evolution is ironic coming from a man who has set up a publicity stunt called The Hovind Challenge in which he moves the goal posts for as many as six different definitions of evolution.  He then uses the claim that nobody can prove his definitions true to claim everything from cosmology to biological Evolution Theory to be wrong.

Variation of Corn and Cows

Now, I come from Illinois, corn country.  .....  You can cross breed your corn from now until the cows come home and you're always going to get corn.  You will never get a hamster, or a tomato or a whale to grow on that cornstalk.  It won't happen.   All you are going to get is a variety of corn.  Sometimes pretty wild varieties, but you are just going to get a corn that's all you are going to get.

Sometimes you get a variety of cows.  This is what farmers do for a living.  They try to get a new variety that's bigger and better or something.  And the cows probably all had a common ancestor.  A cow. That's not evolution, that's variation (which they like to call micro evolution).  But really it is a variation.  That's not evolution.

Straw man Nobody should claim Hovind's "corn and cows" as examples of "macro evolution"

Variation with Limits

See, variations do happen.  That's not the question.  However, they have limits.  Haven't the farmers been trying to raise bigger and bigger pigs?  Do you think they will ever get a pig as big as Texas?  Probably not.  I bet there is a limit in there, isn't there.  Haven't roaches become resistant to pesticides?  They will say, “See, Mr. Hovind, roaches have become resistant to pesticides, that's evolution.”  No, no it is still a cockroach.  And their resistance has limits.  I bet they will never become resistant to a sledgehammer.  In an evolutionist's mind, they have no limits.  This variation that does happen and is observable and stays within the kind, somehow the Devil has tricked them into believing that this goes on forever and there are no limits to these evolutions.  Plus they are still the same kind of animal.  It's still a pig, or still a cockroach, or still a dog - it's not anything different.

What is missing from Hovind's speech is an actual mechanism which stops change beyond the "kind" barrier.

Genetic Information Already Present

And another major point, the information was already present in that creature for the variation.  If you had a million cockroaches and you sprayed pesticide on them and it kills all but a hundred of them, the resistance was already in the cockroaches.  The pesticide didn't add the resistance.  It just allowed that section of the population to survive.

Straw man Hovind appears to be implying Lamarkism; the idea the environment changed an organism's characteristics and that of its offspring. Natural selection works on what is inside an organism i.e. its genes.

Another major factor they don't like to admit, when you get done going through this resistance phase, you have now limited the gene pool.  What you have left is roaches that are resistant to a particular pesticide, but the genetic information is very limited from the original grandpa cockroach.  So it's not going to help the species anywhere.  Somehow in their mind they think it does.

Straw man Genetic mutation and errors are occurring with every replication of DNA.  To be accurate, from a evolutionary perspective it is only those errors in the genetic material passed onto offspring which are of interest.  Most errors are harmless.  Some are fatal. Then there are those mutations that depending on the environment are beneficial.  Lets use Hovind's cockroach example to highlight a possible scenario of mutation and adaptation.  Lets assume that a sub population of cockroaches is carrying a genetic mutation that is totally harmless yet allows a roach to survive a particular type of pesticide.  Introduce the pesticide into the environment and all non mutated roaches are removed via natural selection.  We have both created new genetic material and a new variety of roach right before our eyes with simple mutation and natural selection.  Will a mutation result in a new type of roach body type?  Perhaps, if the mutations occur in the sections of code which specify body configuration and the environmental conditions are supportive.

Three Bad Books (Overview)

Several books had a profound influence down through history.  Charlie Lyell's book is based on James Hutton's book.  James Hutton really said the earth is millions of years old.  He took away the authority of the scripture in the time factor.  Along came Charlie Lyell's Principle of Geology, published in 1830, and he took away the flood.  The Bible says there was a flood that destroyed the world and made all of the sediment layers, and Charlie Lyell took that away from us.  He said the present is the key to the past.  Then along comes Charles Darwin's book, published in 1859, and he said all things come from a common ancestor.  He took away the Creator.  These books had an incredible influence on the world.  And what this book particularly did to different people is unbelievable folks.  .....  All three of these false teachings: Millions of years, uniformitarianism, slow gradual processes, and evolution saturate textbooks today.

Lies in the Textbooks

[.....]

No Evidence

There are some lies in the textbooks.  The textbooks say, “Boys and girls we've got evidence of evolution.  We have evidence from fossils.”  Not true at all.  No evidence what so ever for evolution from the fossils, as we'll see later.  But they say, “Boys and girls we have evidence from structure.  The design of the bones, we'll talk about that in a minute. Evidence from molecular biology.  Evidence from development Embryology.  We will talk about that in a minute.  And they say natural selection is what causes all of this.

False  Natural selection is the filtering mechanism.

Now, just hold on a minute.  Evolution is based on two faulty assumptions: number one, they assume mutations make something new and natural selection makes it survive and take over the population.  Neither of those has ever been observed.

False  Here is a quick link to a short list of observed beneficial mutations

But that's what they base everything on.  The textbooks say, “mutations provide the source of variations.”   That is how evolution is supposed to work.   A mutation causes something new.  Well, mutations do happen, that's not a question.  Here's a five legged bull.  He has an extra leg growing out of his back.  Now, he can't run any faster.  Mutations do happen but they are harmful or fatal or neutral.  And even if you can get one that you can claim might be good, who is it going to marry?  And who are its kids going to marry?  It is going to get blended back into the population.  The chances of it taking over a population are zero.  This is not going to happen.

Straw man  Hovind begins by stately correctly a beneficial mutation is filtered by natural selection to become dominant in a population.  He then asks the daft question of who a "mutated" individual would "marry". Hovind has forgotten this individual exists within a population of similar organisms.  The trait will not get blended if the natural selection pressures are strong enough to change the allele frequency of the population.  Of course smaller populations make this process more certain.

See, mutations are harmful or fatal or neutral.

False

 

A mutation is a scrambling up of information already present.  It doesn't add something new.  It takes information already there and scrambles it up.  It's like taking the letters of the words Christmas.  You can scramble them up and get all kinds of different words. But you are never going to get Xerox, zebra or queen from the letters in Christmas.  It's not available.  And a mutation can only take gene pool information already present; it can't get something new.  The bull got an extra leg.  He did not get a wing, a feather or a beak.  He already had information to make a leg and it made one in the wrong place, that's all.  That's not going to make something new.  But somehow these evolutionists think mutations can create something new.  And that simply does not happen.

Straw man  Using words as an analogy for DNA is faulty for numerous reasons.  DNA has only four "letters" All combinations of base pairs have the potential for meaning.

Straw man  Hovind seems to be implying that the parts of the genome which code for body parts are immune from alteration

Natural Selection

Then they say natural selection makes the new one survive.  This textbook says, “Natural selection causes evolution.”  Now, just hold on a minute.  Natural selection is kind of like God's quality control....... And natural selection cannot change the animal.  It just makes it good.  Keeps it good.  That's all it can do.  Christians have nothing against natural selection.  We thought of it first.  It happens folks.  Natural selection can only act on properties that are already present.   It cannot create anything new.

Straw man Natural selection does not create anything new, the process may however favor a new development which was caused by other processes.

So don't let them tell you that natural selection is part of evolution.  It is not!  It is part of Creation.  God wants a species to stay strong.  And by the way, ‘survival of the fittest’ is a phrase they often use, but ‘survival of the fittest’ does not explain arrival of the fittest.  It doesn't tell you how it got there does it?  And if a whale goes through a school of fish and eats 80% of them, it's not survival of the fittest.  It is called survival of the luckiest.  Which is really a little more toward reality.  What really happens.

Contradiction  Hovind first said natural selection is how God keeps a species strong. Then he immediately says that natural selection is just pure luck with no bias towards fitter individuals of a population.  Of course "fit" organism will occasionally get eaten or meet untimely ends, however natural selection involves populations.  It is the probability of survival across an entire population which is important, not of one individual organism.

Contradiciton  Another interesting point, slightly off topic, is that according to Hovind there was no death in the original creation, therefore natural selection (which implies removal from the gene pool) could not occur.  So the advent of natural selection as a "God" mechanism is obviously a later development. However there is no Scriptural mention of such an mechanism being introduced into Creation.

Contradiction  Also, if there was no death prior to "The Fall" there could not be any birth or populations would smother Eden. So either the whole of creation was on the cosmic equivalent of the Pill or reproduction (and all the organs necessary) evolved within centuries.  Both scenarios are ludicrous.

Good Observation, Bad Conclusions

Fruit Flies

For instance, when I was in school we did the fruit fly experiment.  They raised flies in the laboratory.  They nuked them, they microwaved them, and they x-rayed them.  They got those flies to have mutated babies.  They got flies with curled wings.  They fly around in circles and couldn't go anywhere.  Flies with red eyes, and white eyes and brown eyes.  They got flies with no wings at all!  What do you call that?  A crawl?  Can't fly.  After raising 80,000 generations of flies, they concluded: “well, boys and girls, we have some conclusions to reach.  All the mutations that we observed made the fly worse off than great, great, great, great grandpa fly.”  Good observation.  Everything they did to those flies wrecked them.  Conclusion:  “Flies must have evolved as far as they can go.”  No, no, no.  (Jump, frog, jump.)  You've got the wrong conclusion.  It could be that God made the flies right the first time.  Why do they have to conclude evolution is done?

Moth Population

I know in England someone went around and counted the moths on the trees.  (Must have been a government project.)  They discovered it was 95% light colored moths only 5% black.  Then they started burning coal in the factories and the trees turned black and they went around and counted the moths again and found that it was now 95% black moths and only 5% light.  They said, “Wow, look at this!  Evolution right in front of our eyes! The white moth evolved into a black moth!”  No, no, no.  See, when the tree turned black the white moth lost his camouflage.  They were burning coal in the factories and made the trees turn black and he lost his camouflage.  He stuck out like a sore thumb and he got eaten by a bird.  And the black moth had more babies that survived.  But they said, “Boys and girls we can conclude that the moth population ratio shifted from mostly white to mostly black.”  That's true.  “The moth population was able to adapt to a new environment.  See, boys and girls, this helps prove we all came from a rock.”  No, no, no.  Actually the peppered moth is proof of design.

Straw man The moth study is the most famous study of natural selection changing allele frequency in a population.  This is important because overall evolution requires the concentration of new traits.

Actually the peppered moth is proof of design.  God designed the animals to survive in any environment.  If it is dark or light they can still survive.  That's called planning ahead.  By the way, the variations in the moth, the dark and the light variety, it's still a moth.  And it has limits.  They never got a pink one, or an orange one or a green one.  There are limits to the variations, and it was already programmed into the code of the moth gene pool.  That's not evolution.

Straw man See previous plus Hovind has made the false claim that new traits can not develop in the genetic profile of a population

Comparative Anatomy

Then they tell the kids, “Boys and girls, we have evidence from structure.  Yes, boys and girls, did you know you have two bones in your wrist?  The Radius and the Ulna.

False  Humans have eight bones in the wrist.

False The radius and ulna are in the forearm.

And do you know, boys and girls, that the whale has two bones in the flipper and they are called the Radius and the Ulna.”  Wow.  Who named them teacher?  The whale?  I doubt it.  “Yes boys and girls all these animals have similar bone structure.”  Here is what the textbook says; “Comparative anatomy provides further evidence of evolution.  The commonalities suggest that these animals are all related.  They probably evolved from a common ancestor.”  Uh, excuse me teacher.  There may be two ways to look at that.  .....  Maybe this proves that they have a common designer.  A similar structure might prove that the same guy designed all the animals instead of a common ancestor.  But they conclude many animals have similar forelimb structures.  That's true.  They must have had a common ancestor.  False.  This helps prove it came from a rock.  False.  But that's supposed to be evidence for evolution.  They've got it in the textbooks.

So the instantaneous Designer (usually capitalised, never assumed to be plural) actually created creatures to look like they evolved?    Unfortunately, I cant falsify Hovind's idea here because it involves an undefined entity unlimited by natural laws.  When a hypothesis moves into the supernatural it ceases to be science.  The supernatural can not be measured, predicted, falsified etc.

Embryology

Then they are going to say, “Boys and girls, we've got evidence from development.”  What do you mean by that teacher?  “Well, you know, when the babies develop inside the mother they go through similar stages.  And evolution is broken down into four stages.  We went through the fish, amphibian, reptile and mammal.  Just memorize the word ‘farm’.  F.A.R.M.  And you got it.  Fish, Amphibian, Reptile and Mammal.  And, boys and girls, the embryos growing inside the mother go through similar stages.”  That's bologna, by the way!  They say the human starts out with gill pouches.  Gills?  You mean like a fish?  Gills?  Oh, that's exactly what they mean.  They are going to say the human has gills.

Straw man No, only Hovind is saying this. To be fair this is an outdated concept called Recapitulation which had a short life in science about 100 years ago (see below)

Now, just hold on a second.  There are folds of skin in the embryo but those are not gills.  They are little folds of skin that later develop into the Mandible, the Masseter muscle, and the Sternocleidomastoid.  It has nothing to do with breathing.

Straw man  Nobody said it did. The interesting thing about these "gill slits" is that all embryo's have them; fish, chicken, cattle and even humans.  The ultimate result of this structure varies.  However one must wonder why all organisms start out with these structures then take different paths from the same starting point.

I've seen fat people with five or six chins.  They can't breath though any of them but the top one.

Red herring What does that have to do with "gill slits"?

Haeckel's Lie

A guy named Ernst Haeckel made up this whole thing back in 1869.  See, Charlie Darwin's book came out in 1859.  He said, “We should find evidence for my theory.”  Ten years later they had none.  So Ernst Haeckel in Germany - who also hated God -

Ad hominem Attacking the man and not the argument

Ernst Haeckel said, “ I'm going to make some evidence.”

He took the drawing of a human and a dog embryo at four weeks development and he changed them and made them look exactly alike.  There are the drawings he made.  He traveled all over Germany with his fake drawings and just about single-handedly converted Germany to being atheistic.

LIE!  Where are the statistics to support this claim of one man almost turning a nation into atheists?

Ernst Haeckel was the evangelist for evolution in Germany in 1869.  He took his drawings, right here, made huge posters and he went around holding seminars like I'm holding today.  He held seminars on evolution in Germany.  He had these drawings that he made right there showing the different animals and how their embryonic stage is nearly identical.

Contradiction  First Hovind said, Haeckel made the drawings "look exactly alike" then Hovind says Haeckel drew the embryonic stages "nearly identical"

Well, somebody a few years ago decided to check out his drawings and see how accurate they were. On top are Ernst Haeckel's drawings; on the bottom are actual photographs.  He blew it.  He lied, actually.  And it was proven that he lied.  He was taken to court at his own university, the University of Jena.  And he was convicted of fraud in 1874.  One hundred and twenty-five years ago Ernst Haeckel confessed to lying about this embryology thing.  He lied.  And he confessed it.

But guess what.  That concept is still in textbooks today.  Holt Biology 94 edition shows the human embryo with gill pouches.  Proven wrong 125 years ago.  Glenco Biology showing the human embryo with gill pouches.  Simply a lie.  College textbooks still have it.  Proven wrong in 1874.

Contradiction No, the exaggerated drawings were proven wrong.  Hovind has admitted above that humans do have these gill like structures. Does Hovind acknowledge these gill like structures exist or not?  If he does, then a picture of a human embryo with such structures is therefore correct.

Actually I will give Hovind a small victory on the issue of Haeckel's original illustrations.  They should not be used in textbooks (assuming they are still used somewhere). There are now far better forms of illustration to use.

.....

January, 1999

 CONTINUE

 

 

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