It is shocking to a Brit who’s country carries Darwin on the currency to hear the “rise of Creationism” in the USA.
When I was younger, I participated in the great creationist battles of the Internet. Back when a lot of the creationists genuinely figured that their research matched science.
But the legacy of those still remains. Many creationists “won their fights”. Hovind was one of them, with his mocking of science and utilisation of the common fallacies that people have with regards to evolution, Hovind managed to enthral millions with his bumbling biblical maceration of what evolution is.
But the poster child for all this was Ray Comfort. Him and Kirk Cameron’s unwittingly homo-erotic banana argument became the butt of nearly every joke. Far more than that stupid crocoduck that Hovind kept flogging.
And that argument rides again.
“Obviously, you and I come from opposing views then. Why should we let Christians teach their kids what they believe about Creation and do that in science? We find creation scientists all over the United States. It hasn’t kneecapped or handicapped them whatsoever.”
Ah Hovind! The problem is “calling yourself a scientist” is easy. It doesn’t make what you do “scientific”. What you do is what I like to call “applied theology”. Where you twist your entire world view to hammer the round pegs of evidence into the square holes of reality by stuffing the edges with Bible pages.
“I’ll tell you what’s even worse, In all fifty states, tax dollars are going to tell the kids that they’re cousins of bananas, and that they all evolved from rocks. That’s being forced, down the kids’ throats, in all 50 states.”
Yes but we are such distant cousins that we may as well declare ourselves to be “technically” in line for the Throne of England and it would be a more related relationship than our kinship with the contents of our salad bowl.
If this is the best modern Creationists are coming up with, we must ask ourselves “why the hell are there so many places in the USA where they teach magic as science and not laughing at such bad arguments.
“I’m saying that we did not evolve from a random process over billions of years, coming from the Earth, which was originally made out of rock, according to the evolution worldview, “Because we actually have revelation from God that tells us how it really did happen.”
Yes. By Magic. Which is why we don’t teach it. Sure we are polite but if we were trying to push a Native American or a Hindu or a African creation myth the Christians would not be “polite” and call it “divine”. It is what it is and what it is, is magic.
“Well,I have a big problem with your tax dollars, and my tax dollars, going to tell kids we all evolved from a rock, that the Big Bang created everything from nothing — that’s what they’re teaching.”
Because as every good Christian knows we are made out of clay! You got the geology all wrong!
“The universe is only 6,000 years old, and there’s a lot of evidence to support that. I was just talking to Bill Nye ["The Science Guy"] … and he brought up evidence that the human population is 7.1 billion today, but in 1964 when he was at the World’s Fair, it had just crossed the 3 billion mark. It’s an exponential growth curve. It’s very easy to do the math. If you average out those millions per day, it only goes back 4,400 years.”
Because for the majority of human existence populations didn’t grow quickly because most human beings didn’t survive to adulthood. Both natural famines, disease and war kept our population growing at a miniscule pace. We can observe this in places where hunter gatherer lifestyles still exist. However with the advent of “technology” not only did more children survive but more women too. This meant that despite having fewer children than the good olde days of keeping whatever lives you have more people survive for longer and a higher growth rate.
This is evident throughout most of history.
So let’s do some mathematics.
Hovind claims that humanity descended from “ginormous amounts of incest” at around the 4400 year mark. From 2 individuals (we can do a Noachian calculation too if you like!) it created a society of 7 billion.
In the past 50 odd years the population has effectively doubled. In Hovind’s mind this is probably the rate at which human population “grows”. This is 88 doublings of population over the alleged 4400 period of human existence.
So we can work it out either way. 2 x (2)^88 or 7,000,000,000/(2)^88
So the first way (assuming every 50 years the population straight doubled) you get 6.2 x 10^26 human beings which is a number MUCH larger than 7X10^9. So in order for this to work you have to “Methusalah” shit.
So let us work the other way.you end up with “less than 2 people”. Less than one person even. You end up with 2×10^-16 of a person.
Now what does this mean? To us it means Hovind is full of bullshit. But Hovind would pull the “AH! BUT METHUSALAH” argument.
See this effectively means the initial human beings lived long enough to skew the data towards our current rate. That there are fewer than the 88, 50 year doublings that we are working out from his time line.
So let us assume a straight run from Adam and Eve. If the human population doubles every 50 years and you replace losses to deaths to get to this doubling, how long does it take.
2(2)^x = 7,000,000,000
So we need to solve for x. I can’t be asked to calculus this so brute force and Excel come to my rescue.
It works out to be around 30 generations. Which is 1500 years.
Funny how the Bible is older than 2000 years. Oh the creationists will say “but this is not taking into account all the people who lived hundreds of years prior but who still bred. Frankly I am more amazed that all of world history circa 500 AD boils down to just 3 people.
Okay it’s very rough but it is a stupid premise. To mathematically calculate populations based on a story written by people who probably never even heard of the Chinese or the Indians (maybe, the Indica was already written by this point of time). Or the Native Americans.
And considering the usage of Mosaic law to shore up his arguments, the people of Jewish Israel probably would not have heard about the Britons or the Celts or indeed the Romans.
It’s such a mathematically faulty explanation that you have to invoke magic to make it work. Numbers literally have to stop meaning things for Hovind’s explanation to work.
I know enough of the Bible to know that Noah is the LAST long lived person in it. See the first “10″ live nearly a thousand years a piece. After Noah everyone dies like aged 100. I know the Methusalah argument does not work here because Methusalah is “Pre-Flood” I know Adam and Eve date back to around 4000 BC by the reckoning of the Usher Creation mythos. My calculations make it 29 generations for 7 people so 1450 years (which is worse for the likes of Hovind).
“I’m not the one advocating that the public system should teach this. It’s just science. Just do the math.”
I did it. The math is wrong. Either by your own argument the Bible is wrong by a factor of nearly 3000 years (Yeah I am arguing for Even Younger Earth Creationism!) or you have to invoke serious magic to make the graph fit into your idea of what the world was like.
Now I am no “scientist” (Okay, I am. Medicine is a science) but even I know that you should not invoke magical entitites to make your hypothesis function despite the evidence.
AND this is without the ludicrous notion that our entire genetics is down to a major bottle neck of the species where down to just Noah and His wife and the wives of their sons. Remember the genetics of Noah and his wife are the same as their sons and so their sons do not count to the diversity.
That all the human diversity that exists is down to just 4000 years of incredibly rates of mutation which is impossible especially considering the original breeding stock is so inbred as it is. When you invoke magic to explain the empirical genetic diversity of humanity you stop being science.
“It’s very scientific,” Hovind replied. “How is it that there are 20, or 26, doctorate degree, professor-level teachers just at Liberty University alone?”
Because Universities such as Liberty give out doctorates for “funsies”. You may as well dial a degree. Just because you have a degree in homeopathy doesn’t make your arguments “valid” when it comes down to medicine. A degree in Applied Theology doesn’t make you a biologist.
If you want to watch the exchange? Here it is in full.
But what I cannot believe the most is Eric Hovind raising the Lazarus of the Banana Argument in a new form.