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Sep 19 2012

Kent Hovind writes

I staggered out of bed this morning, feeling much better — my guts are making some very peculiar noises and I have no appetite, but otherwise I’m getting by — and what do I find at the top of my inbox but a letter from Kent Hovind via some guy claiming to be his proxy. I’ve been challenged to a debate!

PZ Myers,

Recently, while researching items for Dr. Kent Hovind, I happened to stumble across your many mean-spirited attacks against him. I read on as you and your minions showed yourselves to be as the apes you claim to descend from (probably your best evidence for evolution). Since you, and most of your ape-like readers, have no point of reference for justifying morality within yourselves, you should be notified that your behavior is downright shameful.

Anyway, I have been informed by Kent Hovind personally that he is ready at any time to consider your best evidence for evolution (in writing). Further, since you have zero capacity to understand even the smallest of spiritual concepts, he is ready to also present empirical evidence in rebuttal to support his position.

While you excel at insult and insensitivity, we wonder how much actual empirical evidence feeds this pompous attitude of yours. For years evolutionists have desired to get Kent Hovind into an “email debate” and he always refused, preferring rather to meet face to face.

However, as you so joyously gloat, that is not currently possible, so you are now being given that opportunity. Kent is officially challenging you to an email debate (**white gloves smacking your face**) under the condition that only one topic at a time be discussed and that it begin with your most empirical, straightforward, undeniable evidence for evolution.

I will number the paragraphs for ease of reference and will post the debate online. I will forward said evidence verbatim to him and then I will return his rebuttal verbatim back to you. I will, that is, should you actually accept the challenge.

This challenge is posted online at www.2peter3.com

Jonn Mooney for Kent Hovind

Kent Hovind can’t write to me directly, of course, because he’s in prison and won’t be getting out until August 2015.

And no, I’m not interested in a ‘debate’ with Hovind. I’ve been following his poisonous trail for years, and one thing I’m absolutely certain of is that he knows absolutely nothing about evolution, so there would be nothing to argue about. Ignorance is not a credible side in a debate.

But I have a counteroffer, since I do have some sympathy for a guy who’s probably going stir-crazy right now (and started out in the position of the proverbial shithouse rat). Kent Hovind has lots of time to read right now. He can put down his Bible now and then and instead read some basic evolutionary biology, and then when he gets out in three years I’d be willing to have a conversation about it. Not about the Bible, but about a decent, informative text on evolution.

I recommend Why Evolution is True, by Jerry Coyne. It covers a wide range of the evidence for evolution, and would give us lots to talk about.

If Mr Mooney would send me Hovind’s prison address, I’d even be willing to buy and ship a copy to him. It would give him something useful to do to pass the time, too.

88 comments

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  1. 1
    thisisaturingtest

    Further, since you have zero capacity to understand even the smallest of spiritual concepts, he is ready to also present empirical evidence in rebuttal to support his position.

    I don’t think this guy knows what the word “empirical” means. It would be interesting to see what kind of “evidence” Hovind has for concepts of spirit and faith, which by definition cannot have and shouldn’t need evidence or even an empirical basis.

  2. 2
    richardelguru

    Sure this isn’t all an hallucination brought on by your illness?

  3. 3
    thisisaturingtest

    And, as for his “no point of reference for justifying morality within yourselves”- dude, if you need to just make up some other point of reference than yourself, and a degree of consensus with others, to know what’s right or wrong, you’re doing the whole thing wrong. A “get out of jail free” card is ok in a game of Monopoly because of the element of chance involved in getting one; it’s not so moral in real life to just give yourself one.

  4. 4
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    There’s a strange addendum at the bottom of the challenge, just beneath the sign off:

    “ape-speak” translation available here for those descended from apes.

    The link requires a username and password, however! Very strange.

  5. 5
    A. R

    Imagine it, Kent Hovind reformed by Evolution. (I’m not going to given even hypothetical credit to the American correctional system)

  6. 6
    hexidecima

    I rather think that the chances that Mooney has “personally” talked with Hovind are negligible. It is always enjoyable, though, to read the usual Christian attempts to be insulting. I mean, what could be more insulting than telling you that you have minions, Dr. Myers? :) And telling those that agree with you that we are “apes”? Yep, I’m rather more like an ape than like a Christian who goes out of his way to show me how much he doesn’t actually believe in the nonsense he spouts. Congrats, Jonn, you’ve shown that you intentionally ignore any morality your messy compliation of disagreeable books might have taught you. Chalk up one more instance where Christians and their actions are the best argument for atheism.

  7. 7
    blf

    Sure this isn’t all an hallucination brought on by your illness?

    I am confident poopyhead’s hallucinations are more interesting, and with far fewer faeries-did-it, than the drivel from Mooney / Hovind.

    It probably features sniny squids.

  8. 8
    jeroenmetselaar

    Sure this isn’t all an hallucination brought on by your illness?

    If PZ is capable of copying and pasting a hallucinated E-mail to this blog he deserves a lot more credit than he gets.

  9. 9
    leonardtramiel

    On 2peter3.com the following is posted:

    Kent’s Mailing address.
    Kent Hovind 06452-017 FPC
    Box 5000 Florence, CO 81226.
    Updated: September 15th, 2012

    Just in case Mr Mooney doesn’t reply

  10. 10
    thisisaturingtest

    Oops- I see that in my first comment above, I misread his intent- he was speaking of empirical evidence to support Hovind’s position on empirical matters (evolution), not those of faith or spirit. Still, we know what Hovind’s “empirical” approach to evolution really amounts to; “nuh-UH!!!” doesn’t count as empiricism, does it?

  11. 11
    dccarbene

    Oh happy day!

    I am officially recognized as a Minion!

    Like in Despicable Me, eh?

    I have a macular problem in my right retina, so I get to be one of the one-eyed ones.

    Ok, Master, what is your command?

  12. 12
    aaronpound

    Since you, and most of your ape-like readers, have no point of reference for justifying morality within yourselves

    Hovind is a convicted felon. PZ is not. Who was it again that had no point of reference for justifying morality?

  13. 13
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    However, as you so joyously gloat, that is not currently possible

    …because Mr. Hovind is a convicted fraud and criminal.

    left that part out

  14. 14
    consciousness razor

    Since you, and most of your ape-like readers, have no point of reference for justifying morality within yourselves, you should be notified that your behavior is downright shameful.

    Your concern is noted.

    …. You know, it’s kind of impressive how quickly it goes from a cheap insult to finger-wagging at our shameful behavior. This one has had practice.

    Further, since you have zero capacity to understand even the smallest of spiritual concepts, he is ready to also present empirical evidence in rebuttal to support his position.

    The smallest of spiritual concepts: an angel dancing on the head of a pin. See, godbot, we do understand. I understand. I just don’t care.

    While you excel at insult and insensitivity, we wonder how much actual empirical evidence feeds this pompous attitude of yours.

    They wonder because they have no idea what the evidence is. They just know you’re wrong. They’ve got evidence this time, about *mumble mumble* among many other topics. You’ll see, PZ! Just you wait!

  15. 15
    IndyM, pikčiurna

    @ aaronpound:

    That’s just what I was thinking! These people are completely delusional and oblivious. I just can’t fathom the degree of cognitive dissonance Hovind and his lackey must possess.

  16. 16
    No Light

    Aww bless, he thinks “Ape” is an insult!

    @AaronPound – precisely. Goddy morals don’t seem to be working too well for poor Kent, do they?

  17. 17
    Randomfactor

    I had the experience of seeing Hovind speak in person shortly before he Went to his Just Reward.

    If you ever do speak to him in person, ask him to show you the rubber-band trick. It was the only interesting part of his slide-show-accessorized talk. (Well, apart from the Spongebob Squarepants slide.)

  18. 18
    thecynicalromantic

    For some reason, I thought the bit where he pretends to smack you with a glove was really adorable. Like a twelve-year-old at his first Renaissance Faire.

  19. 19
    Ingdigo Jump

    what is it with yiu and people named Moony?

  20. 20
    derekduknic

    PZ, please allow me the opportunity to provide that book to Mr. hovind. It would be a thrill, in exchange, to meet him for coffee when he leaves prison. I have watched so many debates with people of his ilk that I would enjoy the opportunity to see their off-camera persona, and hear their off-the-record thoughts.

  21. 21
    Alteredstory

    I recommend The Evidence for Evolution by Alan Rogers:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Evidence-Evolution-Alan-Rogers/dp/0226723828

  22. 22
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Better an ape than a sinner who is less than dirt to his creator.

  23. 23
    jaybee

    Creationists have all sorts of ready (and wrong) answers about fossil evidence. I recommend “Relics of Eden” by Daniel Fairbanks, which goes into genetic evidence for evolution and especially the human / chimp connection. I think trying to explain away why viral remnants of DNA code just happens to be in the same place in the corresponding bits of chromosome is just too compelling to ignore — and not just once, but thousands of times, each consistent with each other and with our understanding of the evolutionary tree.

    The only complaint about the book is that Fairbanks is a christian, and spends the last couple of chapters hand waving how science and faith are not in conflict.

  24. 24
    Sastra

    Kent is officially challenging you to an email debate (**white gloves smacking your face**) under the condition that only one topic at a time be discussed and that it begin with your most empirical, straightforward, undeniable evidence for evolution.

    One topic at a time? This will hamper motormouth Hovind enormously. Since he routinely fails to grasp virtually ANYTHING concerning the theory of evolution, it would end up being a one-topic debate.

    I’d say the most empirical, straightforward, undeniable evidence for evolution is the convergence of positive expert opinion in every scientific field, from genetics to paleontology to chemistry to physics. Which means that the only argument directly relevant to this point would be claiming a massive conspiracy from almost all the scientists, in all fields, for many years, for no discernible purpose — at least, none from a rational standpoint. “They’re following Satan” works from a religious one.

  25. 25
    lexie

    Sorry if I missed something Mr. Mooney but you admire someone who was sent to prison for tax fraud and you have the temerity to accuse PZ of behaviour which is “downright shameful”. I think you need to take some form of a class in ethics as you seem to have missed some crucial points. If you wished you could probably make some sort of silly tone troll argument against PZ, but, if you don’t like his tone you don’t have to listen. However, he is at least honest something which Kent Hovind could not claim. I don’t think you could make any sort of ethical case that being passionate, enthusiastic and occasionally insulting (which I personally don’t even think is wrong or any sort of ethical violation but none the less let’s pretend that your silly tone trolling is valid) is worse than intentionally lying to and defrauding someone. Please go to your local library and do some research into ethics as you clearly are a clueless baffoon.

    If I genuinely have got the take on this case incorrectly please correct me, I didn’t know too much about it so I checked out the pfft.

  26. 26
    oolon

    Ignorance is not a credible side in a debate.

    Unless PZ is willing to spend a lot of time going over the basics in order to demolish his points. This was the issue with AronRas debate with Ray Comfort – he did not know what AronRa was talking about half the time. Maybe in written form it would work better. But he’d have to have the time to go over these things and I doubt that is the case given PZ is co-blogging now. Using AronRa as an example again in his other debate pastor Bob used his minions to build his replies and rebuttals to AronRa, why couldn’t that work the other way around? I’m sure PZ knows the ability of some of the people who post here – could it not change to a Pharyngula Commentariat vs Hovind debate? I’d like to see that, they have plenty of experience of dealing with his minions coming here and ‘debating’?

    And ‘Apes’?? I thought FtBs bred Baboons and they are monkeys, so ‘ape’ might have covered it once but not correct any more. Bad start to the debate ;-)

  27. 27
    otrame

    Jonn,

    You might want to “research” a simple English to Spanish translator while you are at it. The phrase is “mano a mano” not “mano e mano”.

    However, you managed to spell Dr. Myers’ name correctly, which evidence suggests is not easy for one of Hovind’s minions, so well done there.

    Hey, since you claim to have Hovind’s ear, why not suggest a new profess for him, a sort of reverse-prison-conversion. He could study evolution, become convinced it is true, go to college, get a PhD in something biological and then write books about how he figured out evolution is true, and how sorry he is that he lied to all the sacrificial kiddies their parents brought to him. Those books would sell like hot cakes, especially if his own kid denounces him. Hell, they’d BOTH make a fortune.

    One thing, though. Most real PhD dissertations have to have real research in them, as well as display a detailed understanding of the subject, and none of them begin “Hi, my name is Kent.”

  28. 28
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The standard response to the “debate” should always be:

    Since the Theory of Evolution is science, which is only refuted by more science, the debate can only be held in peer reviewed scientific literature. Here is a link (link) to an appropriate forum. You post first with your properly cited scientific data. Any pure opinion and uncited data will *POOF* be dismissed as irrelevant.

  29. 29
    Quodlibet

    Aww bless, he thinks “Ape” is an insult!

    You– you– you primate, you!!!

    =========

    Further, since you have zero capacity to understand even the smallest of spiritual concepts, he is ready to also present empirical evidence in rebuttal to support his position.

    Well, that makes sense.
    /snark

  30. 30
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    This sanctimonious pearl-clutcher sure is ripe with assumptions, and has no irony meter to boot. The worst part is mistaking ‘gloating’ for an incredulous ‘WTF is wrong with you people?’ sentiment.

    In addition to Jerry’s book, I would hope a copy of Prothero’s What The Fossils Say would be packed in the crowbar hotel CARE package. It is the in-depth anti-delusional that every ‘no transitional fossils’ wonk must read.

  31. 31
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    This was the issue with AronRas debate with Ray Comfort – he did not know what AronRa was talking about half the time.

    I think that is kind of the point. These idiots don’t have a clue about the debate nor do they want to learn.

    Trusting them to make informed arguments against evolution is like trusting my dog in a discussion about Hawking Radiation.

    Though to be honest, my dog is much more trustworthy than Creationists even when he eats the toilet paper when I leave him alone in the house every now and then.

  32. 32
    Anthony K

    Since you, and most of your ape-like readers, have no point of reference for justifying morality within yourselves, you should be notified that your behavior is downright shameful.

    [Stops joyously dashing little ones' heads against the stones.]

    What? Am I doing it wrong?

  33. 33
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    I’m just wondering what the current batch of research on human evolution NECESSARILY coinciding with evolution of internal and external bacteria is going to turn up. I’m hoping fireworks level stuff to really throw not just a wrench, but the entire toolbox into ICR’s ‘research.’ It already brings an important question to the table: why do our ‘perfectly designed’ bodies need the symbiosis of trillions of conveniently bible-neglected little critters, especially if evolution is untrue?

  34. 34
    gussnarp

    Your response is probably perfect in the real world. But I had another thought, one that is not, in reality, worth the tremendous amount of time it would take, but would nevertheless amuse me. We all know that in live debates the creationist’s best tactic is the Gish gallop. And here we have a creationist asking for your best empirical evidence for evolution. The desire to just say, here, read this book that summarizes it all. But what if someone performed another version of the Gish gallop? What if someone scoured the academic literature for every paper that solidly presents evidence of evolution and stands the test of time. That would be a lot of papers, obviously, and would take too damn long. But what if someone did it anyway. And then didn’t summarize, because he wants the evidence, not a summary of the evidence. That someone would put all the papers together, organize them so that they followed each other in the way the evidence accumulated over time, and emailed that to Hovind and said when he has accumulated a similar volume of peer reviewed, non-repetitive studies that overturns the weight of all that evidence, addressing every point, he can reply. Otherwise, he should shut up. The thought of it brings me glee. I know, it wouldn’t accomplish much, but I can feel the joy of pressing the send button on it(OK, really it would take multiple emails to send that much data, but still)….Here Kent, here’s the best evidence for evolution, all of it, take your best shot.

  35. 35
    gussnarp

    Maybe you can get some grad students on compiling the literature…

  36. 36
    Gretchen

    (**white gloves smacking your face**)

    Okay, gotta be a Poe. Right?

  37. 37
    eric

    I think my response would’ve gone something like this:

    “Scientific debates about the evidence for evolution are carried out via articles submitted to peer reviewed journals, such as Nature or Cell. We look forward to your first contribution.”

    Sastra:

    One topic at a time? This will hamper motormouth Hovind enormously

    Not really. He chose ‘evidence for evoultion’ first, putting the burden of proof (wrongly) on PZ. He’d just keep muttering ‘insufficient!’ all day long and not allow the discussion to move to questions about evidence for creation. Its sort of like saying we won’t discuss anything else until you proved indisputably that you aren’t beating your wife.

  38. 38
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    Gretchen @36:

    I thought Christians were supposed to be all about the non-violence.
    .
    .
    .
    Except in this universe, naturally. But yeah, I never considered a Poe, and it is over-the-top enough.

  39. 39
    gussnarp

    Ultimately, the notion of a debate is silly, as we all know. Debates are for discussing opinions, they must begin from a mutually agreed upon set of facts, and they require basic honesty about those facts and the interpretation thereof. Which is why every political debate, every debate with a creationist, Dan Savage’s debate with the NOM, are all wastes of time. They may reveal some of the thinking of either side (or their skill at hiding their real thinking), but in all these cases the sides do not agree upon the facts (in other words, at least one side is lying or repeating honestly believed lies). Debates don’t change facts, facts are facts. Evolution is a fact. One can debate whether evolution has the power to dispense with the notion of God, or whether it renders God at least unnecessary. But there is no debate with regard to whether evolution is responsible for the panoply of life on this planet.

  40. 40
    Glen Davidson

    Let’s debate the morality of lying for Jesus, being stupid for Jesus, misrepresenting your expertise, for Jesus, and stealing for Jesus, Mooney.

    No, you don’t really want that, do you?

    But why debate anything else with liars like yourselves?

    Glen Davidson

  41. 41
    Loqi

    Convicted felon tellsus we have no morality. I’m starting to think we need to change the definition of “fundamentalist christian” to “one who does not understand irony.”

  42. 42
    David Marjanović

    I’d say the most empirical, straightforward, undeniable evidence for evolution is the convergence of positive expert opinion in every scientific field, from genetics to paleontology to chemistry to physics.

    Eh, but that doesn’t work for PZ! Being an expert himself, he doesn’t give a shit what the other experts think per se – he can evaluate on his own why they think what they think.

    In addition to Jerry’s book, I would hope a copy of Prothero’s What The Fossils Say would be packed in the crowbar hotel CARE package. It is the in-depth anti-delusional that every ‘no transitional fossils’ wonk must read.

    Add a note about the fact that it was written before Tiktaalik was discovered.

    Or just add Your Inner Fish!

  43. 43
    RFW

    Richard Dawkins’ “The Ancestor’s Tale” is also a very worthy book for the stated purpose.

    Too bad Pharyngula doesn’t do threaded comments. Otherwise we could have an organized discussion of the many excellent modern expositions of evolution for the Ordinary Josephine, their pros, their cons, where they overlap, where they complement one another.

  44. 44
    DutchA

    Indeed, pure Poe-Try. And when those moonies mention ‘the smallest of spiritual concepts’ I have to think of beer. Must be my dutchness. Can’t help it.

    Have a speedy recovery. :)

  45. 45
    gussnarp

    I’m a big fan of Your Inner Fish. I love the way it builds up a powerful narrative of evolution as well as the scientific search for evidence of evolution, which builds a strong case without ever overtly making a point that it is building the case.

  46. 46
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Too bad Pharyngula doesn’t do threaded comments.

    kill

    with

    fire

  47. 47
    chigau (違う)

    We have many organized discussions without the mess of threaded comments.

  48. 48
    Sili

    Mooney?

    Nice to know that he’s found honest employment instead of sniping at atheists.

  49. 49
    PZ Myers

    Yes, there are lots of other books I could have recommended — Coyne’s is nice for marching through a diverse set of evidence with a ‘nothing but the evidence’ attitude. It would make for a good start for a discussion.

  50. 50
    Chris Clarke

    Ape-like?

    Ape-LIKE?

  51. 51
    tbp1

    From #27: You might want to “research” a simple English to Spanish translator while you are at it. The phrase is “mano a mano” not “mano e mano”.

    —–

    (The block quotes just won’t work for me–sorry.)

    Yes, I once had someone in an internet discussion challenge me to go “mono o mono,” which means “monkey or monkey.”

    As it happens I am reasonably fluent and literate in Spanish, and incorrect Spanish really bugs me. You see a LOT of bad Spanish around. In fairness, it’s very easy to make a mistake in a language not your own, but it’s really pretty easy to check on things these days, especially with a common phrase like “mano a mano.”

  52. 52
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    I read on as you and your minions showed yourselves to be as the apes you claim to descend from

    We’re descended from apes in much the same way that dogs are descended from canids.

  53. 53
    Ingdigo Jump

    Manos the Hands of Faith

  54. 54
    ricardodivali having sniffles over stiffles

    Given his attempt at insults, I think Mooney needs the intro to evolution book more. At least he is merely deluded (oh my is he deluded)

  55. 55
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    As it happens I am reasonably fluent and literate in Spanish, and incorrect Spanish really bugs me.

    Eh, mano e mano isn’t much different from a lot of the English tpyos you see on the interweb.

    Mono o mono, on the other hand–¡qué mono!

  56. 56
    Argle Bargle

    RFW #43

    Too bad Pharyngula doesn’t do threaded comments.

    This is a feature not a bug.

  57. 57
    kreativekaos

    Sastra @ 24:

    I’d say the most empirical, straightforward, undeniable evidence for evolution is the convergence of positive expert opinion in every scientific field, from genetics to paleontology to chemistry to physics. Which means that the only argument directly relevant to this point would be claiming a massive conspiracy from almost all the scientists, in all fields, for many years, for no discernible purpose — at least, none from a rational standpoint. They’re following Satan” works from a religious one. [emphasis KreativeKaos]

    Well stated. It would be an interesting irony for Jonn Moony to use the Satan’s puppet defense in your last sentence, since that would include Francis Collins, Kenneth Miller, and no doubt other Christian/religious biologists that obviously agree with and vigorously defend evolution while still maintaining a religious conviction.

  58. 58
    niam_krawt

    leonardtramiel is mostly correct on Kent’s mailing address, but you are supposed to specify the prison or the satellite camp. See here…:

    http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/InmateFinderServlet?Transaction=NameSearch&needingMoreList=false&FirstName=kent&Middle=&LastName=hovind

    …and here:

    http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/InmateFinderServlet?Transaction=NameSearch&needingMoreList=false&FirstName=kent&Middle=&LastName=hovind

  59. 59
    montanto

    Further, since you have zero capacity to understand even the smallest of spiritual concepts, he is ready to also present empirical evidence in rebuttal to support his position.

    Wait they’ve been quoting the same bible passages over and over again when they actually have empirical evidence? That seems counterproductive. I wonder what it’s going to be… an angel autopsy? or perhaps someone bothered to set up a camera the time they “found god” I can’t wait to see it.

  60. 60
    coreyschlueter

    Kent also wants to debate Bill Nye. I pointed at the flaw of the oldest tree argument and asked him about his leaked dissertation. He gave his standard rebuttal that it does not matter.

    He should be more concerned about whether he needs “to render what is Caesar’s.”

  61. 61
    robro

    Ing @53 : Ah, the ultimate proof that humans were not created by god in his own image.

  62. 62
    carlie

    (**white gloves smacking your face**)

    He wrote that.

    He wrote that.

    HE REALLY WROTE THAT.

    *headdesk*

    Oh wait, I have a use for it.

    Too bad Pharyngula doesn’t do threaded comments.

    **white gloves smacking your face**

  63. 63
    Kagehi

    Hmm. I say you send him back a photo of those lines in the bible about fools making up more shit it an hour than can be answered in years, cut out of an actual bible, with just enough of the source visible to make it clear that it was cut out. No point in making a point if you don’t piss in his cereal when you do it. ;) lol

  64. 64
    Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff

    What I find most ironic about the pissant’s letter are his tone and tactics. He’s fired his first shot, and I know what happens next:

    GOD-BOTHERING FOOL: You understand nothing I value, you value nothing I value. You are amoral scum! A mere animal, a stupid, soulless brute, by your own philosophy. (Strikes triumphant pose)

    Now I DEMAND that you spend a significant amount of your time, effort, and expertise to publicly debate me on a topic I am ignorant of, and which I, moreover, will never admit to being wrong about!

    YOU: No.

    GOD-BOTHERING FOOL: I thought so! You’re a coward! A hypocrite! A lazy, sniveling loon lurking about the dark corners of society where we, in our Christian kindness, suffer you to live! Ha ha! The threat of exposure paralyzes you!

    YOU: I have better things to do with my time.

    GOD-BOTHERING FOOL: Awww, c’mon! Please! Pretty please! It’ll be fun!

    YOU: (sighs and rolls eyes)

    GOD-BOTHERING FOOL: (not so stupid he does not catch the contempt and exasperation of your response) You will suffer eternities of torment in Hell! And I shall watch it all with pleasure from my high seat beside God himself!

    YOU: (Considers asking, “Would a loving Jesus approve of your attitude?” but decides against it) (Walks away)

    GOD-BOTHERING FOOL: Come back! Come back! I INSIST you pay attention to me!

  65. 65
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    TRIGGER WARNING: WHAT FOLLOWS COULD BE DESCRIBED AS GROUSING

    …under the condition that only one topic at a time be discussed and that it begin with your most empirical, straightforward, undeniable evidence for evolution.”

    *comic sans*
     
    What? What is the evidence for the hypothesis that the earth is round? We’ve seen it. Directly. Observed it and shit. It was a hypothesis before Magellan’s crew* observed it directly. It isn’t a hypothesis anymore, but a fact.
     
    Evolution is simply descent with modification. When Buffon proposed it and Darwin wrote about it, it was a hypothesis. Things have changed. We have seen evolution in a multitude of systems: viruses bacteria, grasses, fruitflies, finches, etc. That descent with modification occurs is not a hypothesis. It is a fact. As a fact, it requires explanation. Evolutionary theory explains the fact of evolution. It makes testable predictions in regard to a great many things.
     
    I don’t actually recommend Coyne’s book to beginners because the distinction between fact and theory that Coyne makes in the first chapter is just plain wrong.

    “In Darwin’s day, the evidence for his theories was compelling but not completely decisive. We can say, then, that evolution was a theory (albeit a strongly supported one) when first proposed by Darwin, and since 1859 has graduated to “facthood” as more and more evidence has piled up.

     
    I’ll overlook the fact that evolution had been proposed more than a hundred years befor OoS. Coyne then goes on to produce six-lines of evidence that support the hypothesis of descent with modification. None of these evidences serve as direct witness to the event of descent with modification itself–even though we have witnessed evolution directly. This clearly is what is needed in any beginning text on evolution. One needs to inform the reader of what can be disputed (as theoretical) and what cannot (as factual).
     
    I mean the title of the book is Why Evolution is True. It’s like titling a book Why Sunlight is True and then explaining fusion reactions. We don’t need to understand how the sun produces light to say confidently that it does, because we see it, and because without it we wouldn’t see anything.
     
    I admit though that I loved the final chapter.
     
    IIRC, Dawkin’s Greatest Show on Earth is a little more clairvoyent in regards to the structure of evolution fact/theory. In my opinion, it ignores some of the best evidence for components of evolutionary theory which come from plants. I may just be biased.

    *Magellan tripped at precisely the wrong moment.

  66. 66
    drksky

    Mono o mono, on the other hand–¡qué mono!

    Wait, I’ve never had Spanish, but Google Translate tells me that, in context, mono can mean monkey, ape or cute?!?! That’s messed up.

    One that bugs the bejeebus out of me is “wa-la” (voila). It makes me look up to the sky and scream “Kaaaaaaaaaahn!!”

  67. 67
    vaiyt

    Manos the Hands of Faith

    *sporfle!*

  68. 68
    Cosmas

    Brilliant solution. Ken is offered a chance not to schlep his argument from ignorance around anymore. hope he takes it.

  69. 69
    paulhands

    Wikipedia gives the Hovind buffoon’s current residence as…

    Florence, Colorado, currently incarcerated at USP Florence ADMAX in the Florence Federal Correctional Complex by the Federal Bureau of Prisons

    Send any books to him there :-)

  70. 70
    Sastra

    Further, since you have zero capacity to understand even the smallest of spiritual concepts …

    No. That is not the problem. We actually have a very good capacity to understand spiritual concepts, big and small. Better than you, in fact. That’s the problem.

    Well … problem for you, that is. Not so much for us.

    Ing #53 wrote:

    Manos the Hands of Faith

    Okay — I’m borrowing those white gloves from carlie…

  71. 71
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    Wait, I’ve never had Spanish, but Google Translate tells me that, in context, mono can mean monkey, ape or cute?!?! That’s messed up.

    Monkeys are cuter than buttons.

  72. 72
    Kristjan Wager

    I think you should ask Kent Hovind what he thinks of Christian Identity and the Patriot movement – after all, his lawyer hangs out with that crowd.

  73. 73
    Kristjan Wager

    Lawyer should of course be “lawyer”

  74. 74
    Argle Bargle

    Monkeys are cuter than buttons.

    How cute are buttons and how is this general cuteness less cute than monkeys’ cuteness?

  75. 75
    Air

    @32

    A version of this evidence has already been published. Two papers in Science – one that analyzed Polynesian language phylogeny, rooting it on the East coast of Taiwan (Gray et. al Science 323 476 2009)and a second independent paper that analyzed the phylogeny of Helicobacter pylori from the mouths of Polynesian native speakers, which exhibited parallel phylogeny and rooting with the language study (Moodley et al Science 323 529 2009). Makes a fun lecture. All of the data are in historical time (less than 6,000 years) which makes it a nice example of convergent evidence for nested hierarchies.

    Air

  76. 76
  77. 77
    Ingdigo Jump

    @air
    Indulge me…I don’t see the obvious relevence

  78. 78
    DLC

    For Kent Hovind : All your base are ours.
    Ape ? Ape ? No, I’m not Air Force Security Police.
    Oh wait… you mean primate ?
    Yup. definitely a primate. An intelligent, tool-using primate, the same as you allegedly are. As for moral: No,I do not require another person telling me what my imaginary friend wants me to do in order to be “moral”. All I have to do is adhere to some fairly basic rules that we apes have developed over the last 10 millenia or so. They’re simple things, like “don’t do harm to another without cause ” and “don’t take what doesn’t belong to you” and “clean up your camp and leave it a little better than when you found it” . What part of any of these don’t you “get” ?

  79. 79
    Goomba

    @64

    You forgot the most important part:

    Several hours later…
    GOD-BOTHERING FOOL goes before his church full of other GOD-BOTHERING FOOLS

    GOD-BOTHERING FOOL: Brothers and sisters in Christ, I have faced down an agent of satan! He spoke to me of Darwinism. After I faced off with him, this agent of Satan fled from the truth of the bible. These Darwinist fools cannot stand up to the proof of the bible. They are cowards before us. THE END

    That’s how it usually ends. Even when Ray Comfort got his ass handed to him by AronRa he still pretended he was victorious.
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/aronra/2012/09/19/the-black-knight-always-triumphs/

  80. 80
    Usernames are smart

    Hovind is in an ADMAX?

    The Administrative Maximum (ADX) facility in Florence, Colorado, houses offenders requiring the tightest controls.

    That’s fucked-up. Look, I don’t like the guy, but it is more of pity than antipathy. Reading ‘tight controls’ brings to (my) mind torture chambers and other shit like that.

  81. 81
    Ingdigo Jump

    Oh yes let us all lament that a white guy got sent to prison…please

  82. 82
    Air

    @Ing

    Apologies – I misreferenced the comment I was replying to – 33, in which McC2lhu said:

    I’m just wondering what the current batch of research on human evolution NECESSARILY coinciding with evolution of internal and external bacteria is going to turn up.

    I was offering an example of a correlation of a human cultural evolutionary trait with the coincident evolution of their internal bacteria. Not a perfect example, admittedly, but a pretty interesting case study imho.

    Air

  83. 83
    phillipbrown

    I would just get him to actually read “The Origin of Species”

  84. 84
    paulburnett

    Don’t waste your time or money or effort, PZ or anybody else – because Hovind (or Moon) would just crow about wasting your (and therefore Satan’s) time. While the rest of us have life, Hovind’s got nothing better to do. I wonder if Moon is his cellmate or something?

  85. 85
    myeck waters

    Well, probably not any more.

  86. 86
    Travis

    That’s fucked-up. Look, I don’t like the guy, but it is more of pity than antipathy. Reading ‘tight controls’ brings to (my) mind torture chambers and other shit like that.

    Is he really in the supermax part of the prison though? Wikipedia says he is in FPC Satellite Camp of the ADX Florence prison. I have not been able to find much info about it in a quick Google search but it appears to be rather different than the ADMAX prison.

  87. 87
    John Phillips, FCD

    I am not a minion, I am a free ilk. (/#6)

  88. 88
    microraptor

    one thing I’m absolutely certain of is that [Kent Hovind] knows absolutely nothing about evolution

    Is there anything (besides what the inside of a prison cell looks like) that Kent Hovind does know something about? Because even if you compare him to the very low standard of most creationists he comes across looking pretty stupid.

    Also, is it acceptable to express the desire that he be stuck with a cell-mate who drinks milk at every meal despite having lactose intolerance?

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