||Should a church hire Mr. Hovind to speak at their church?
||Because there is no benefit to anything Hovind says. Only harm. There are only errors intellectual and spiritual, the message to hate scientists, and the ego which drives wedges between people.
||Why do you call Kent Hovind "Mr. Hovind" and not "Dr. Hovind."?
||Because Mr. Hovind's doctoral degree is from Patriot University. Patriot University is on the list of unaccredited universities. It is a diploma mill. In many states, including Hovind's home state, using the title "Dr." is illegal.
||What is Hovind's basic belief?
||Hovind's entire crusade, his theme park, his books and everything he works on he bases on the assumption that the earth is 6000 years old. The 6000 year old earth is called the Young Earth doctrine.
Obviously this doctrine does not come from science. And surprise . . . the doctrine does not comes from the Bible either! The Young Earth doctrine comes from James Ussher, a man who lived in the 17th century. Click here for information on this topic.
The young earth debate truly stops here. There is no Biblical premise for a young earth. There is no reason for Hovind to defend a young earth. Similarly , there is no reason for the Institution of Creation Research (ICR) to defend a young earth. The existence of "Bible-based" ICR owes itself to its own ignorance of the Bible.
||What piece of Hovind's science particularly bothered you?
||Hovind starts his lecture by attempting to scientifically prove that the Big Bang Theory is wrong.
Let's address why he feels the need to do this. Hovind feels the need to discredit the Big Bang because the theory of evolution starts with the Big Bang. If he can discredit the Big Bang, then he can discredit evolution and interject that the earth is 6000 years old. If he shows that the earth can be 6000 years old, then in his mind, the Bible is right and scientists are wrong.
So . . . to the question. What piece of Hovind's science particularly bothered me?
Hovind's abuse of the Law of the Conservation of Angular Momentum. Hovind uses the law of the conservation of angular momentum and the astronomical observation that galaxies rotate in different directions to "disprove" the Big Bang.
Hovind imagines that since all galaxies exploded from an initial mass from a Big Bang, then according to the conservation of angular momentum, all galaxies should be rotating in the same direction. They should all be rotating clockwise, or they should all be rotating counter-clockwise. Since telescopes have viewed galaxies rotating both clockwise and counterclockwise, then Hovind concludes that the universe could not start in a Big Bang. Since there was no Big Bang, then there is no evolution.
The biggest problem with Hovind's imagination is that the law of conservation of angular momentum does not state what Hovind imagines.
||How did Hovind misapply the law of the conservation of angular momentum?
||The law of the conservation of angular momentum states that the sum of the angular momentums of the galaxies equal the angular momentum of the initial mass. Some galaxies can have a clockwise/negative spin. Some galaxies can have a counter-clockwise/postive spin. It's the sum that counts. Math allows one to add both negative and positive angular momentums together to get one single initial angular momentum. Conservation of angular momentum does not say that galaxies all must have positive spin or must all have negative spin.
And there goes Hovind's conclusion. Astronomical observations and the Law of the Conservation of Angular Momentum do coexist nicely together. There is no contradiction. There is no reason here to cast the Big Bang theory into doubt.
Hovind needs to shoot some pool. If he broke the balls even just once, he would see 11 balls scatter in all sorts of directions with all sorts of spins.
||Does Hovind elaborate on angular momentum more?
||Yes. He spends time on this topic because it forms his basis for discrediting scientists.
||What do you think about his merry-go-round example?
||Hovind illustrates the principle of angular momentum by showing a series of cartoon slides of children riding a merry-go-round.
The funny thing about this example, is that the example is supposed to exemplify conservation of angular momentum, but the example actually does not abide by the law. Funnier still, is that Hovind did not realize it.
The first slide showed 4 children going round on a merry-go-round.
The second slide showed the 4 children jumping off. Each child spun in the same direction as the merry-go-round. (This is more or less accurate.)
The third slide showed 1 child flying off the merry-go-round and then colliding into a tree. Hovind thought this was funny. But what Hovind didn't realize, is that he showed a system where angular momentum is visibly not conserved. The child that hit the tree is no longer spinning. The child's rotation changed! A collision! The system of 4 children does not conserve angular momentum. Without knowing it, Hovind disproved his own rotating galaxies argument.
In physics, even in the child-hit-tree case, angular momentum of the entire system is really conserved. You have to include the tree into the system. The child who hit the tree and is now sitting on the ground, imparted his angular momentum into the tree. The molecules of the tree spun a little, causing friction which eventually became waste heat. If you limited the system to just the children and the merry-go-round, you would see that angular momentum is not conserved.
||What about his shooting a rubber band demo?
||It is a ruse. Hovind wants to give you the impression that he has authority to speak about physics. Shooting a rubber band farther by stretching one side of a rubber band does not prove that Hovind is a kin to Einstein. It only shows you that Hovind knows a trick. It is a trick you know. It is the same trick you do to a Frisbee to make it fly farther. Spin. Hovind is only misdirecting the audience.
||Does Hovind think scientists are evil?
||Yes. Hovind attacks scientists. Hovind believes that scientists are godless people determined to steer people away from God. He also believes science is the devil's tool at odds with God.
||What does God think about scientists?
||God encourages scientists.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
To search out a matter is the glory of Kings.
That is a proverb of King Solomon.
||What is the goal of scientists?
||Scientists are determined to discover the truth of how the physical universe behaves.
A good scientist is objective. He does not care whether a person believes in Jesus, the Buddha or the Krishna consciousness. As my physics professor Dr.Tomizuka once said, a physicist asks 'how', 'where' and 'what.' It is not the job of a physicist to ask 'why'. 'Why' is a question left for metaphysics and religion."
||Are the Bible and science at odds?
||No. Both the Bible and science reveal truth. When their paths intersect, one only sees harmony. Which is what you better expect if both are true!
Science does not make statements about God. However, scientists are well aware that "God does not play dice." (A quote from Einstein.) Scientists see a pattern in the universe, but they stop short in declaring that there is a God because they cannot measure Him at the moment. However, science does make a statement about the Bible itself. Archaelogy stands by the Bible for its historical archaelogical accurateness.
Does the Bible make statements about the science? The authors of the Bible are not scientists, but sometimes the authors describe the nature of the universe to an almost scientific accuracy. For instance, Job wrote in 2200 BC that "the earth is suspended over nothing". Science revealed that the earth was suspended in empty space in the 20th century AD.
The Bible makes two references to the strong force. Col 1:17 and 2 Pe 3:12. Nuclear physicists themselves call the strong force the Colossian force since Colossians 1:17 states that Jesus holds the universe together. 2 Pe 3:12 states that God will destroy the current universe by "melting the elements in a fervent heat. " By Jesus removing the strong force, all the elements in the universe would instantly fission. Fission is most definitely a fervent heat as well as elements melting.
The creation story itself (Ge 1, 2) , read as Moses wrote it, makes profound insights into the order of creation. Darwin would even approve of it. Einstein would get a kick out of the fact that energy "Let there be light" turns into matter (stars and planets). (Day 4 immediately comes after Day 1 as Moses wrote the poem.)
||Does Hovind claim to be a ex-high science teacher ?
||He does. He didn't say why he left teaching. My guess, is that he got fired for his bad science, not his religious views.
||Aside from propagating the godless Big Bang theory, how else does Hovind present scientists as evil?
||Hovind presents a slide series showing the atomic reaction formulae for hydrogen fusion, then shows the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima. The insinuation is that the goal of science is to destroy people.
These slides embed several lies.
1. Hovind miscredits atomic fusion as the invention of scientists. Scientists did not invent atomic fusion. God did. God invented the atomic reaction formulae for hydrogen fusion. God uses it to power the Sun. Without the Sun, we'd all be dead. Hydrogen fusion, therefore, is not evil.
2. Hovind made a rather large historical science mistake. Hydrogen fusion had nothing to do with Hiroshima. The Hiroshima bomb was a uranium fission bomb. Fission and fusion are two different things. This was a subtle yet profound example that Hovind does not know science or history.
3. It may have been evil to use the atomic bomb on Japan. It's a question each of us has pondered for over 50 years. It was an awful thing to do to people . . . but then so was Japan destroying Pearl Harbor, hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans, Chinese and Indonesian people. America is the only country to ever use the bomb on people. In this case, the bomb stopped a world war. It was the only time in history were such a thing could be used to actually stop a war. At the time, one could not retaliate. I wonder what Jesus would have done if He limited his power to that at President Truman's disposal.
||What about school texts?
||Hovind declares scientists as egomaniacs who rashly elevate theories into facts in school text books. One particular attack was against a text book which elaborated on the Big Bang. In Hovind's slides, the text was explaining the possible outcomes of an expanding universe.
Hovind's slides were not complete. The text ran off the end of the slide. All Hovind's slide showed was the first of three possibiities:
1. The slide said, "The universe may stop expanding and shrink again."
Hovind, when talking, changed the word "may" to "will". Hovind wanted the audience to think that scientists are arrogant for making such long range suppositions, decreeing them as facts, and therefore brainwashing children. Well, the text showed a clear "may". Hovind was simply lying. By the time I read the "may" in the slide, Hovind whisked the slide away.
Well, I know outcomes to the expanding universe theory. My minor is in astronomy. So I'll fill in what Hovind left out. The 3 outcomes is a function of how much mass is in the universe:
1. If there is enough mass in the universe, then the collective gravity of the universe will eventually cause the matter in the universe to stop expanding and shrink back on itself again. This possible outcome is the oscillating universe.
2. If there is not enough mass, hence not enough gravity to pull the universe back into a ball again, the universe expands forever.
3. There is just enough mass to slow the expansion of the universe, but the universe stops expanding at infinity. This is a mathematically improbable outcome, but it is an outcome and so scientists mention it.
Scientists don't know which of the three outcomes our universe will have. Astronomers first have to figure out how much mass is in the universe. Astronomers call this problem the "missing mass" problem. While astronomers can visually see stars and galaxies, astronomers cannot see the dark matter between the stars and galaxies. That's because it's dark. Astronomers have been looking for "dark matter" for several decades now. Yes, it is an esoteric quest . I am sure the quest has begat many a thesis and disseration. As for practical value, even if astronomers found all the matter, it wouldn't matter.
||Why don't you have a face to face debate with Hovind?
||Because such topics are not settled by debate. They are settled by education.
I don't debate a person if he declares 2 + 2 = 5. The sum of 2 + 2 is 4 regardless of a debate.
Hovind's failures are of this nature. Hovind recites the law of conservation of angular momentum, but gets it wrong. Hovind bases his entire business on the works of Ussher, but the Church disproved the works of Ussher centuries ago.
There is no mystery or room for interpretation behind the law of conservation of angular momentum. There is no mystery or room for interpretation behind Usser's works. Both are like 2 + 2. The facts are available to anyone who bothers to look them up.
||So why does Hovind appear to have as much success as he does?
Because 99% of Hovind's audience is just like Hovind. They are not aware of the works of Ussher or the law of the conservation of angular momentum. They are just as much in the dark as he is.
This being so, Hovind can sway his audience easily--and take their money while doing it.
||What can one do about it?
||In a public setting, not much.
The audience that Hovind attracts lacks the patience to learn the fine points of truth. Benjamin Franklin would refer to such an audience as "the mob." The uneducated masses. These kind of people do not have the patience to learn the law of the conservation of angular momentum. Their eyes would gloss over before you could finish saying "Isaac Netwon".
The audience may be more apt to learn the works of Ussher. Ussher used only a Bible. No science was involved. But then the audience does not want to hear the reasons why Ussher was wrong. To show that Ussher was wrong, you have educate the people about different Hebrew literatary genres and literary devices. You have to tell them that they must read the Bible in context. Though obviously true, truth is not readily received by a mob. The mob is 1) generally too lazy to learn anything, and 2) predisposed to reject information that would indicate they have been wrong for years.
Though you can cite Bible chapter and verse that shows Ussher's mistakes, such people don't want to hear it.
||Did you try to cite chapter and verse?
||I did. After Hovind's lecture, there were about 25 people that came up to the pulpit to confront him. I was the first to open my mouth.
I confronted Hovind personally on the works of Ussher. I told him that the idea of the 6000 year old earth comes from Ussher. Hovind did not disagree. Hovind didn't know Ussher.
I addressed only one of Ussher's problems. Ussher stated that each creation day lasts 24 hours; however, Hebrews 4:4-5 says the seventh day has lasted since the creation of the world until this present day. This means that the seventh day is definitely not 24 hours. Therefore, given Hebrews 4:4-5, one cannot count number of the years since God created the universe, because one cannot assign a length of a creation day using the Bible. The creation "day", hence, is a literary device.
This tidbit took Hovind off guard. Hovind cracked open his Bible. And for about 5 minutes, Hovind tried to fathom the implications. What did I get after 5 minutes? What did I get for teaching Hebrews 4:4? Hovind damned me to hell. I asked him for a better answer than that. Then I was escorted out of the building.
||Anything else on Hovind?
||In August 2006, the IRS has just jailed Hovind for tax fraud. The last word says it all.