Ken Ham shows his sleazy colors a little more. Ham and Answers in Genesis have split from the organization that included Carl Wieland of Creation Ministries International. Big deal, you say; so what if a gang of creationist wankers can’t keep their act together?

The interesting thing is why Ham left the umbrella organization. It’s because Wieland insisted on “checks/balances/peer review” on some of their content. Where AiG formerly hosted a list of bad arguments that creationists ought to avoid, that list has been yanked from the AiG site at about the time they broke up with CMI.

I guess Ham didn’t want any constraints on his ability to lie for Jesus.

A significant revision and clarification: it wasn’t the ‘creationist arguments you should not use‘ article that was pulled, but rather a later article called “Maintaining Creationist Integrity” that directly confronted Kent Hovind.


  1. Pastor Maker says

    Ah, Ken Ham. Another proud Australian export.

    Maybe we can send you our federal defence minister too. When he was science and education minister last year, he said he was all for intelligent design being taught in science classrooms.

  2. says

    No!!!!! don’t send us anymore quacks!!!! please!!!!

    If anything, America should export quacks. We produce them in abundance over here. It’s a major industry.

  3. caerbannog says

    Oops. Wrong article. The article that was actually deleted was entitled “Maintaining Creationist Integrity”. *That* article has, in fact, disappeared into the aether. My bad…

  4. says

    Ken Ham sends out a fundraising letter in the wake of “Evolution Sunday” (hide your wallets):

    Dear magazine reader,

    Can you imagine attending a church service, where information provided by an organization led by an atheist (who was once named “humanist of the year”) was the basis of the sermon? And the “praise service” was dedicated to Charles Darwin?

    Friend, over 400 congregations in 49 states participated in what I would call a “Darwin praise service” on February 12—the 197th anniversary of the birth of Darwin. Some used NCSE materials, an organization led by atheist Dr. Eugenie Scott.

    More recently, Prof. Michael Zimmerman of the University of Wisconsin (the Oshkosh campus) has been leading what is known as “The Clergy Letter Project.”

    Using the university’s website, Zimmerman solicited clergy across America to sign a letter supporting evolution and rejecting the Genesis account of creation as literal history. As we went to print, over 10,250 clergy had signed this awful letter!

    The next stage in Zimmerman’s campaign was to promote a special “Evolution Sunday.” On his website he says:

    For far too long, strident voices, in the name of Christianity, have been claiming that people must choose between religion and modern science.

    More than 10,000 Christian clergy have already signed The Clergy Letter demonstrating that this is a false dichotomy.

    Now, on the 197th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, many of these leaders will bring this message to their congregations through sermons and/or discussion groups. Together, participating religious leaders will be making the statement that religion and science are not adversaries.

    Now think about this. Thousands of pastors are making a public statement that what,they call “faith” and what they call “science” (i.e., “evolution”) are compatible!

    The irony is that as this “Evolution Sunday” program was being ramped up, the world’s leading evolutionist, atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins from Oxford University, hosted a television program in the UK that stated the very opposite message!

    Dawkins, often visibly angry on screen, stated: “People like to say that faith and science [he includes evolution] can live together side by side. I don’t think they can.”

    Dawkins is right—evolution and Christianity are not compatible.

    In his program, Dawkins kept blasting Christians who believe the Bible: “Fundamentalist American Christianity is attacking science. But what is it offering

    instead? A mirror image of Islamic extremism. An American Taliban.” The next TV image was of the burning towers of the World Trade Center on 9/11!

    Dawkins likened Christians to terrorists! But he does not stop there:

    To understand the likes of Osama Bin Ladin, you have to realize that the religious terrorism they inspire is the logical outcome of deeply held faith. …

    What’s really scary is that religious warriors think of what they are doing as the ultimate good. Those of us brought up in Christianity can soon get the message: “Onward Christian Soldiers.” “Stand up for Jesus ye soldiers of the Cross.”

    But as far as I’m concerned, the war between good and evil is really a war between two evils.

    At the same time, atheists like Dawkins are gleeful when they see the clergy supportIng evolutIon. He knows that the next church generatIon wIll probably see the inconsistency of the clergy’s beliefs—and will soon give up God and the Bible!

    “Evolution Sunday” attacked God’s Word. It may lead many more people to hopelessness and despair. But we have a statement of hope to a dying world.

    As we often write about in our magazine, the war between Christianity and humanism is really heating up, with attacks increasing on Bible-believing Christians. Oh how we need to communicate the Bible’s life-changing message to the world.

    Through several outreaches like our magazine, AiG is at the cutting edge of today’s battle over the Bible. Won’t you pray for us? And please help financially—we need it at this strategic time to do the best we can to counteract anti-Christian poison.

    As you think about a gift, please know that I appreciate the fact that you are a subscriber. But your donation can help see lives changed as God blesses, like this one:

    I watched a video of Ken. After watching, years of confusion—and a pick-and-choose method of determining what to believe was true in the Bible—was replaced with certainty, and the knowledge that everything in the Bible was true. It was a “heart-opener” and eye-opener. For 8 years, I have

    treasured that moment all my lIfe. Thank you.—John S., Texas

    I trust that knowing there are so many testimonies like this coming in each month, you have confidence that your gift will be used by God to affect lives.

    Sincerely yours in Christ,

    Ken Ham

    P. S. Can you believe that so many thousands of pastors are undermining the authority of the Bible? Incredible! But thank you for standing up for the Bible.

  5. Pastor Maker says

    Are you talkin’ to me, Mr Ham? I don’t see any other pastors in the room, so you must be talkin’ to me!

  6. Mike says

    Maybe his Aussie counterparts objected to his recent fundraising drive which explicitly encouraged donors to give to his cause (AiG) so they could take advantage of tax breaks meant to help garner donations for Katrina victims.

    (Oh, and in an attempt to make this look a little less bad Ham graciously donated a couple of hundred school bags full of writing materials, and, you guessed it, creationist propaganda.)

  7. Rey says

    (who was once named “humanist of the year”)

    On the face of it, “humanism” seems like a good, or merely benign thing, but of course it’s a dirty word to the fundies. I just had an idea-start calling them “anti-humanists.” That seems like it would produce a pretty good gut reaction at least before your brain starts processing the word “humanist”. “Those people are against humans!” And they are, of course. They’re against the notion of humans using their brains and standing and falling on their own without the help of the Invisible Sky Daddy.

  8. Dustin says

    That’s just the kind of thinking we need, Rey! The religious right has this adept mastery of language and spin. That’s the way they continue to poison the public discourse and pollute the airwaves with nonsensical and simplistic talking points. Once people have filled their heads up with watchwords and catch-phrases, they become inpenetrable to everything we say, no matter how reasonable or coherent. It’s time to give them a taste of their own medicine.

  9. Dan S. says

    Speaking of creationists, the guy who hosted the ‘Darwin is Dead’ carnival just posted “a general narrative, an outline, of this particular [YEC] creationist’s view” – 6 day creation, kinds, mDNA eve only 6,500 years old (never heard that one!) Noah’s flood, simpler forms of life buried first, polystrate fossils, population consistent with Genesis-derived projections, microevolution . . . “It may be outside of your belief system, but you do have to admit that it is entirely logical and fits with what is seen in the real world.”

    Anybody want to go over and represent, in case somebody honestly questioning falls in ? I’m too tired (although there’s someone else over there doing a very nice job)

    -Dan S.

  10. 386sx says

    Maybe we can send you our federal defence minister too.

    Okay, but you guys get to take our “monkey boy”.

    Sincerely yours in Holy jumping Christ,


  11. Mark says

    “Maintaining Creationist Integrity” was cached by Google and available for your perusal.

  12. anonymous says

    This is a Google Cached version of the article mentioned here
    Maintaining Creationist Integrity
    A response to Kent Hovind

    by Carl Wieland, Ken Ham and Jonathan Sarfati

    11 October 2002
    updated 16 December 2002

    Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).

    Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend (Proverbs 27:17).

    For anyone coming ‘fresh’ to the creation/evolution issue, it must be confusing to note the variety of arguments that are used by various creation groups and speakers. One speaker enthusiastically uses an argument which another frowns on, or plainly says is wrong. So which ones are trustworthy? How should we tell?

    And then there is the fact that an argument used by a particular creation ministry some years ago has now been discarded by that organization itself. Isn’t that a black mark against that organization for using it in the first place?

    Actually, we need to realize that:

    a) all humans are fallen and fallible;

    b) science itself is a wonderful, but fallible human tool;

    c) all the hypotheses and speculations which one uses to explain things within the framework of Biblical history can only be tentative, since humanity will never have all knowledge, and new data is constantly becoming available. For the same reason, hypotheses and submodels within evolutionary theory are constantly changing. So the same thing will inevitably be true in the creationist scientific world.

    We would therefore suggest that one of the greatest strengths of any creationist organization or individual would be a willingness to keep up with new information, and to discard or modify one’s favorite arguments in the interests of the highest standards of integrity and accuracy.

    All this raises a legitimate question; however, namely that if everything is tentative, and all of us are fallible, should one simply accept that ‘anything goes’ in terms of theories and explanations? We think not; we think that Christians should be very much concerned about whether Biblical creation is being defended using arguments that are, for instance, factually incorrect, logically invalid, based on an incorrect understanding of the scientific evidence, etc. These sorts of things, often propagated by individuals who have very little scientific training, actually end up harming the cause of Biblical creation (and hence, by extension, the Bible itself). They can provide a potent justification/excuse for people to ‘write off’ creation.

    So what mechanisms can be used to make proper judgments? How can one help the Christian public to make wise and discerning choices, without setting up some sort of ‘elitist’ mentality?

    Over the years, AiG has had a deep burden to maintain the highest standards of integrity and accuracy in the vital creation ministry the Lord has entrusted to us. Recognizing the fallibility of all individuals, we recognize that there is an obvious need for continual peer review and ‘iron sharpening iron’ interaction between people with a high level of science understanding who are also totally committed to the truth of Biblical history.

    Keep up to date with the latest creation information!
    Creation Magazine (1-year subscription)

    Keep your family informed on the latest easy-to-understand evidences for creation and against evolution! This unique full-color family magazine gives God the glory, refutes evolution, and gives you the answers to defend your faith. Exciting articles and great witnessing material you won’t find anywhere else! Includes a beautifully illustrated full-color children’s section in every issue. Powerful ammunition to intelligently discuss nature, history, science, the Bible, and related subjects. Delivered to your home every three months!


    TJ: The In-depth Journal of Creation

    You’ll enjoy creation science in-depth! A great complement to Creation magazine! Read the latest in creation research, stay up-to-date on creation/evolution controversies, and find out the latest flaws in evolutionary arguments! This journal offers analytical and inclusive comments in well-referenced articles that will keep you powerfully informed on many topics.


    To this end, AiG has sought to develop a network of scientists, theologians and others to provide the checks and balances needed to try to ensure that our speaking, research and writing are as accurate as possible. Some of that network is internal within the organization; in addition, we network with talented people outside AiG, who may be employed in private research, for example.

    In addition to our carefully checked family magazine Creation, our refereed journal TJ (right) has become, along with the Creation Research Society Quarterly, a major forum for creationists to be able to formally present/debate various positions. Creationists are encouraged to present articles/papers for peer review and possible publication so that theories, evidence etc., can be tested by mainstream creationist experts in their field.

    We also wholeheartedly endorse the regular Pittsburgh International Conference on Creationism, a forum at which creationist scientists can present and publish their concepts following peer-review, submitting them to the ‘iron-sharpening-iron’ process which is so vital in any scientific endeavour.

    Despite our fallibility and fallenness, the existence of such peer-review processes has been a factor causing many who have developed their own personal creation ministries to look to AiG for advice to ensure they not only keep up with the latest arguments, but are consistent, logical and accurate in their portrayal of scientific and Biblical material relating to the creation/evolution issue.

    Over the years, AiG has published articles about certain ideas and interpretations of evidence that had been used in creationist presentations (including our own at times) but had been found to be incorrect or in need of substantial modification. Sometimes popular arguments (as in the ‘moon dust’ example following) have had to be abandoned because new research obtained new data. In such cases, there is always the theoretical possibility that later data may reverse the situation again, but this is no excuse for continuing to use the same argument in the same way without taking note of the newly obtained facts.

    Other times, it was found that a particular quote had indeed been used out of context, or proper research had not been conducted and the material should not have been used at all. As fallible human beings, we have sometimes discovered this sort of thing in our own publications. So if this could happen even with all the checks and balances in place with a large organization like AiG, how much more difficult must it be for those who do not have easy access to such a network of internal and external professional advisers. So we thought we should embark on a program to share this sort of thing publicly, so as to be a help to others.

    As part of this, AiG published a particular article entitled Arguments we think creationists should NOT use, and followed this with a related Creation magazine article Moving forward—arguments we think creationists shouldn’t use. This was not aimed at any particular person or organization, but was produced as a result of the collective wisdom of AiG’s trained scientists and other professionals, based on years of research and experience.

    When an attempted critique of this AiG article appeared on Kent Hovind’s Web site, AiG was somewhat surprised (and disappointed) to note that it frequently and significantly misrepresents and/or misunderstands the statements and positions made in our carefully researched document.

    In the interests of maintaining Christian/creationist integrity, we believed we had to respond to Kent Hovind’s critique (albeit with a heavy heart), particularly because of the mistakes in facts and logic which do the creationist cause no good.

    Before responding to specifics, it may be worth pointing out the obvious: If these arguments don’t convince fellow creationists, why would any creationist think they are going to convince evolutionists? And it would be worth revisiting our articles hyperlinked above for our motivation in compiling these dubious arguments.

    Our purpose is to encourage God’s people to avoid fallacious arguments and incorrect information that could become a stumbling block to those who have the background to understand the material. (By the way, AiG has met with Kent Hovind in the past to discuss many of the items below, including the fraudulent claims of Ron Wyatt.)

    Point-by-point response to Kent Hovind’s reply to our ‘Don’t Use’ page
    [KENT H]:

    Article 39
    Bad Creation Arguments?

    By Kent Hovind
    [12 August 2002]

    Many have asked me what I thought of the list AiG (Answers in Genesis) published about arguments that should not be used by creationists. I have avoided answering for months now. I do not wish to get into a battle over details with others who love the Lord. The Christian world is already far too fragmented on dumb topics to be the effective force needed to combat evil. While I love the work being done by my friend Ken Ham and the fine folks at AiG, sell many of their materials on my web site and would never want to harm their outreach for the Lord in any way, I must disagree with several items on their list below. I still encourage people to visit their web site and use their fine materials even though they apparently do not do the same for many other creationists including me.

    [AiG]: We certainly promote many materials produced by other creationists, but not just because they are ‘creationists’. We also promote material by some of the Intelligent Design movement for example, on merit. There are minimum criteria of quality and science understanding. We also have difficulty with the idea of promoting sites which have various overtly bizarre ideas, not just in creation issues, but also linking creation issues with other ‘fringe’ thinking (such as arguments against paying income tax, various cancer cures, etc.) which regardless of their merits or otherwise, have nothing to do with the creation issue. Our actions in this matter are not the product of aloofness, but of caution and concern for the credibility of the creation movement as a whole.

    As far as Web sites are concerned, AiG policy has always been that our site is a destination site not a linking site. Therefore we don’t generally link to other creation organizations per se, but will sometimes link to individual articles on other sites on merit.

    [KENT H]: Please remember that neither CSE nor AiG claim to be infallible and both ministries revise their teachings as needed when new facts come to light.

    [AiG]: This is an important point. Presumably, every individual, as well as ministry, involved in Bible-science apologetics would, by definition, subscribe to such an aim. In practice, however, things are not always like that. One reason for such a list is precisely because there are many arguments still being widely used which fly in the face of ‘facts’ and reason. Sometimes this is because the people concerned are not aware of the realities involved, sometimes because they do not understand them, or because they have not bothered to really assess something for themselves. It’s often ‘easier’ to just go with the arguments which seem to ‘work’ in convincing an audience. This is why certain practices and procedures of peer-review (as discussed in this entire document) are desirable, i.e. a ‘self-critical’ process within the creation movement. It is perhaps easier for an organization composed of a substantial number of scientists and thinkers to undertake such processes than organizations which are controlled by a single individual. Nevertheless, our list was not aimed at Kent Hovind, in spite of the defensiveness in his response overall.

    [KENT H]: There are many fine creationist organizations and speakers who are trying to stem the tide on humanism and evolutionism. It has been my privilege to meet many of them in the 14 years I have been involved in creation ministry. All creationists that I know are sincere and would not deliberately use false information but many differ on some issues. We all have points where we agree and points where we disagree with every one but that should not hinder our Christian fellowship with each other. Everyone needs to learn to eat the meat and spit out the bones.

    [AiG]: Fair comment, which is precisely why we provide the detailed arguments and information, and the links to the various papers, etc. for people to make informed judgments. One of the things AiG tries to do, as stated earlier, is to ensure that there is peer review of its thinking, i.e. ‘iron sharpening iron’ as the Bible puts it. That means there is no one individual in AiG who insists that such and such sounds like a plausible notion, but instead there are a good number of highly trained scientists and thinkers within our ministry who refine and test the major arguments and positions AiG adopts. We also attempt to network externally, i.e. interact with leading creationist scientists and thinkers outside the organization, e.g. working in research laboratories, etc.

    [KENT H]: To my knowledge, no one on earth has been assigned by God to police all of His children. Each of us must stand before God to give an account.

    [AiG]: This is certainly true for moral issues. It becomes a more dubious argument if it is meant to imply that ‘anything goes’ in creation apologetics. The nature of the comments suggests that AiG’s ‘Don’t Use’ article has ‘stung’ somewhat, although that was not the intent. AiG’s published list was not aimed at anyone in particular. The arguments listed are ones which many creation-supporting Christians have used, sometimes because they have been carelessly promoted by various public figures. Sometimes that was us in the past. AiG is not setting itself up as a ‘policeman’, but it is inviting people to think carefully and reason through the issues, based on the best interactive peer review processes available to the creation movement.

    Since Kent Hovind has published this commentary, we choose to engage with it seriously, because it continues to perpetuate some fallacies and misunderstandings. Such can only do harm to the creation movement. In one sense, individuals have the right to use any arguments they choose; but at the same time, particularly if there is talk of creationist cooperation, there needs to be an obligation by all to the greater Christian community to ensure that rigorous testing procedures are applied to the arguments. One of the reasons (there are others) why there is such difficulty getting creation accepted in some intellectual Christian circles is that so many weak (and worse, quite non-credible) arguments are circulating which they equate with all creationist thinking. In many cases, the skeptics deliberately use these as straw men although they know perfectly well that mainstream creationist organizations reject them.

    Hence it is a moral obligation, we believe, to explain openly why we, in concert with the bulk of those leading trained scientists worldwide who are fully Bible-believing, plead for certain arguments to be no longer used. We are not talking here about certain legitimate controversies in which there are preferred models, and so on, but arguments which are just plain spurious, in the main. And of course, the issue of using truthful arguments is a moral issue in itself as we pointed out. Note that we most definitely recommend/support some ministries that are not our own, but do not do so for others. We would not, for instance, be able to recommend people who do all or some of the following:

    Persistently use discredited or false arguments, with an unwillingness to correct when the weaknesses are pointed out, and more disturbingly, often fail to understand the reasoning involved.

    Persistently link (in at least some way) creationism with other matters which are of a dubious or ‘fringe’ nature, which have no direct bearing on creation issues but threaten to damage the creation movement by association. E.g.: Geocentrism, fraudulent archeological claims of Wyatt/Gray, etc.

    Fail to have acceptable standards of accountability in terms of truly independent boards.

    Fail to submit their claims to the normal peer review processes that have arisen/been set up within creationism, i.e., peer-reviewed journals such as TJ, CRSQ, etc.

    Most such ministries that complain of AiG’s failure to promote their work are in effect ‘one-man bands’. We do have cordial relations with some one-man ministries, but these inevitably are individuals who do interact with the broader creation network of scientists, which is much wider than AiG.

    [KENT H]: Since some of the items AiG had on their list are used in my seminar [and the seminars done by others] and many have asked me why I still use them, or what my reaction was, I thought a response was needed. My [Kent Hovind] comments are embedded in AiG’s list below.

    [AiG]: It’s also important to note that ‘AiG’ in Hovind’s response does NOT necessarily mean what AiG actually says, but Hovind’s attempt to summarize what we say. Sadly, this is sometimes far from accurate, as a cursory glance at our ‘Don’t Use’ page would show.

    [KENT H]: I would welcome any comments.

    [AiG]: Presumably, this will include ours below…

    [KENT H]: With my hectic travel schedule I simply do not have time for written debates or discussions. I hope you will understand. I will probably not respond in writing to rebuttals that may come. Feel free to call me if you would like more input on finer points. In my response I will refer to the parts of my seminar where these topics are addressed in greater detail. My entire seminar may be viewed on my web site may be obtained on DVD, VHS or audio from my bookstore, web site or by phone. I can assure you that if any information I use in my seminar is proven to be inaccurate, I will remove it immediately.
    According to AiG, these arguments should definitely not be used:

    Darwin recanted on his deathbed
    AiG: Darwin probably did not recant before dying.
    KENT H: I agree—there is no proof of this and much evidence against the story. To my knowledge I have never said he recanted in my seminar.

    [AiG]: As indicated, our list is not aimed at Kent Hovind. This particular one was mentioned because it is so commonly used.

    [KENT H]:
    Moon dust thickness proves a young moon
    AiG: Pre-moon landing calculations varied too widely to assume exactly what was expected with the first moon landing.

    [AiG]: This is so far off of the main thrust of our argument that, at the very least, it’s most unlikely that Hovind could have read the major paper we referenced, the comprehensive Snelling–Rush article Moon Dust and the Age of the Solar System in the TJ. In the final analysis, it matters not one bit what NASA did or did not expect. The issues are the actual thickness of dust, and the rate of influx.

    [KENT H]: I mildly disagree. The verdict is not in yet on this one.

    [AiG]: This seems an easy way out of having to engage with the data while sounding appropriately ‘tentative’. But we should point out something repeatedly overlooked in Hovind’s response. We were pointing out arguments that should NOT be used by creationists in discussions with evolutionists. So even if Hovind were right that ‘the verdict is not in’, surely this by itself is enough reason not to use it as if it were a refutation of evolution.

    Our point about the ‘moon dust argument’ was, and we repeat it here, that one should not use the argument in the way it was widely and persistently used for years, as proof for a young moon. To explain, the traditional argument was: The moon dust is coming in at rate x, which extrapolated at billions of years would mean a massive thickness, whereas the actual thickness is consistent with thousands of years. This argument in this way is wrong in the present state of knowledge (see shortly).

    [KENT H]: Walt Brown has done a great study on this topic on The rate of moon dust accumulation has only been estimated a few times and all of those were in the last 50 years. Only one part out of 67 parts of moon dust is actually from space and it is logical that space would contain more dust earlier and less as it gets vacuumed in by various planets and the sun.

    [AiG]: Such words cannot get around the simple fact that rate ‘x’ has been measured directly as being much less than the traditional assumption (the error was made by an evolutionist, incidentally). Until those measurements are found to be false, e.g. by further measurement which confirms something like the traditional ‘x’ rate, one cannot in honesty use the argument as it has been used. One can speculate all one likes about what might have been in the early stages of the solar system, but this is only very distantly related to the beautiful, simple, ‘moon dust argument’ that is still used by people ‘out there’ and which relates to current rates of influx of the dust.

    [KENT H]: I do not use the moon dust argument in my seminar except during Q&A but I think the argument is still valid. It has certainly not been proven wrong.

    [AiG]: We invite anyone to check the TJ article in question. Note that the data do not prove an old moon either by any means. But they firmly indicate by straightforward logic that the argument ‘should not be used’ in the way it has, which is quite different from saying it has ‘not been proven wrong’. To use it in a way which talks of current influx rate ‘x’ (i.e. without any numbers, implying that x is large enough that there should be a huge thickness after 4.5 billion years) is a form of bearing false witness. It verges on the painful to have to point out such simple, straightforward matters.

    N.B. Walt Brown has a long-standing invitation to submit a paper refuting the Snelling–Rush conclusions to TJ if there is hard data to show that ‘x’ is different, for instance. Such a well-reasoned paper, if it appeared and ‘had the goods’, would be a powerful boost to his standing in creation science circles. It would be preferable to merely hearing from his supporters a steady stream of complaints about why AiG does not support various of his positions.

    We should not have to point out that insistence on high scientific and intellectual rigor does not imply a bias against any individuals. Nor is it incumbent on creationists to be familiar with every (generally unrefereed) article on other creationist Web sites. If someone claims to have unseated a view held firmly by creationist thinkers en masse, and which view was based on a published paper, it is incumbent on the challenger to likewise submit the challenge to the same peer review process.

    [KENT H]:
    NASA computers, in calculating the positions of planets, found a missing day and 40 minutes, proving Joshua’s long day and Hezekiah’s sundial movement of Joshua 10 and 2 Kings 20
    AiG: This story is an urban myth.
    KENT H: I agree. This story still circulates but has never been verified.

    [AiG]: AiG’s point was much stronger. First, it is demonstrably an update to an old myth long predating NASA and modern computers. Second, it is in principle not possible to find such a ‘missing day’ from the sorts of measurements in question. A statement like his above might lead people to think that one day it just might be ‘verified’.

    [KENT H]:
    Woolly mammoths were snap frozen during the Flood catastrophe
    AiG: The mammoths were buried by wind-blown silt.
    KENT H: I disagree. Mammoths died a variety of ways including wind blown silt but some definitely appear to have frozen too rapidly for normal temperatures found on earth.

    [AiG]: This is a subtle (presumably inadvertent) ‘misrepresentation by abbreviation’ of AiG’s position. I.e. it makes it sound like some pile of sand in the desert, v. the ice we all know is associated with mammoths. We do not deny that huge, catastrophic drops in temperature occurred, for instance. Note that Mr Hovind’s disagreement here fails entirely to engage with the main point, a point that he even quotes, namely that we are saying that the catastrophic action associated with the mammoths occurred during the post-Flood Ice Age, not the Flood.

    [KENT H]: The Mammoth was not designed to be a cold weather animal.

    [AiG]: This ignores the definite adaptations to cold, such as woolly coat and small surface area of ears, trunk and tail, all of which would minimize heat loss. Of course AiG points out that this adaptation has nothing to do with goo-to-you evolution but has to do with natural selection for already-existing genes, via removing creatures lacking them.

    [KENT H]: I cover the mammoth topic in The Hovind Theory

    Mammoths and the Ice Age
    Mammoth: Riddle of the Ice Age?
    Dr Jonathan Sarfati

    News flashed around the world of what might be a nearly whole mammoth, found in Siberia. This booklet provides solid Biblical and scientific answers to the questions such a discovery arouses. Great for witnessing.


    Visit our Q&A Pages on
    Mammoths and the Ice Age
    [AiG]: However, even concerning the issue of ‘snap’ freezing v. less spectacular freezing, the point is not simply to ‘disagree’. Rather, it is to ensure that one’s disagreement with evidences and arguments published in peer-reviewed (creation-based) science journals engages with the actual arguments and evidences, rather than sidestepping or ignoring them. The world’s leading creationist researcher on the Ice Age and mammoths, Michael Oard, has published powerful reasons for putting aside some of the traditional arguments about ‘snap’ freezing, based on firsthand research. For example, the undigested food in the stomach is easily explained by the fact that the elephant stomach is a holding bay, not a digestion organ. And undigested stomach contents were found in mastodon remains in unfrozen soil at a much more southern latitude. See Oard’s detailed TJ article The extinction of the woolly mammoth: was it a quick freeze? or the Creation magazine article Mammoth: Riddle of the Ice Age (also a booklet — right).

    We know of no credible refutations, not even any serious attempts to answer the issues put forward by Oard. However, our journal TJ stands ready to accept (as we are sure does the CRSQ) quality papers refuting this position, if they are based on actual data. Our ‘list’ is a current list, subject to modification. But this is not the same as saying ‘anything goes if someone has an alternative opinion’—that opinion must be prepared to withstand critical scrutiny by the entire creation science community, not just be the subject of assertion on some personal Web site, for instance.

    [KENT H]:
    The Castenedolo and Calaveras human remains in old strata invalidate the geologic column
    AiG: These remains are not natural burials.
    KENT H: Moot point. The geologic column has been invalidated many ways. The entire geologic column is a house of cards. Human remains and artifacts have been found in most layers of the earth. I cover much on this topic in Lies in the Textbooks and the Question and Answer Session.

    [AiG]: This is a classic example of a ‘Clayton’s refutation’—i.e. the refutation you make when you’re not making a refutation, but still giving the impression that you have the higher ground. Let us ignore for the moment the issue of the geological column and the accuracy or otherwise of the various other ‘human remains and artifacts’ claims. (Many creationist researchers of substance say that the general notion of a column sequence is demanded by field data, without implying millions of years, and is explainable via the Flood, but we are deliberately leaving that aside here.)

    AiG’s point was/is that these two particular examples are dubious. Kent Hovind has not even engaged with this clear position, except by way of a dismissive comment and then immediately switching topics, in effect. Note that in reference to the other items in the AiG list, he has gone to great pains to say that he does or does not use the various arguments, but here there is silence. We are not actually concerned with whether his seminars have or have not used these particular arguments; the point is that he, along with other creation apologists, should now be aware that these are dubious examples to use. Our aim was a public service, not a tearing down.

    [KENT H]:
    Dubois renounced Java man as a missing link and claimed it was just a giant gibbon
    AiG: Dubois, discoverer of Java man, had an eccentric view of evolution that Java man did not fit.

    [AiG]: No, we said that his ‘giant gibbon’ claim was designed to reinforce his eccentric view of evolution. Hovind has turned our point around 180° !

    [KENT H]: I don’t know whether he did or didn’t. I don’t mention this in my seminar. Dubois was a committed evolutionist and deliberately withheld info that would damage his finds. I cover this on The Garden of Eden.

    [AiG]: Without meaning any disrespect, it is not really relevant to the purposes of our list to find out what Kent Hovind (or anyone else speaking on creation issues) does or does not happen to know, or does or does not use. What is relevant is what is truth and what is not. Nor does the issue of Dubois’ concealing the existence of the Wadjak skulls, alluded to above, have any bearing on the simple truth of our corrective comment, which had nothing to do with defending Dubois. Many creationists keep using the argument that Dubois renounced Java man. This is a myth commenced by evolutionists. It is not true. In the above paragraph by Hovind, it seems not to matter to him whether this argument is untrue or not. We believe it does matter.

    [KENT H]:
    The Japanese trawler Zuiyo Maru caught a dead plesiosaur near New Zealand
    AiG: Although it is impossible to make a 100% watertight evaluation of any creature based solely on a few photographs, an interpretative sketch and eye witness reports of the decomposing remains, the evidence collected so far overwhelming favours the basking shark identity for the Zuiyo-maru carcass.
    KENT H: I disagree. The similarity of protein structure between the carcass and shark protein was about 96%.

    No one has ever seen plesiosaur protein to know what it is supposed to look like and human and chimp DNA is 98.6% similar yet they are very different in hundreds of ways. I do not know for sure if the carcass was a plesiosaur but it has certainly not been proven that it was not.

    [AiG]: Once again, even granting that he were right, why should anyone think it’s effective to use an argument merely because it hadn’t been disproven?

    [KENT H]: The fishermen and the marine biologist that examined the carcass were baffled by it and did not think it was a shark. The jury is still out on this one. There was an excellent color pamphlet about this topic published in England recently that I read but cannot find now. If you know where I can obtain one please let me know.

    [AiG]: Actually, we can help with that. This pamphlet was published by the Creation Science Movement in Britain and written by Malcolm Bowden. One thing Kent Hovind overlooks is that now they are claiming that it was some ‘plesiosaur-type mammal’ hitherto unknown to science (as the title says explicitly!), not a plesiosaur (which is a reptile) per se.

    NB AiG would love the evidence to permit this creature to have possibly been a plesiosaur. But those (including the authors of the unfortunate pamphlet in question who posit this novel ‘plesiosaur-type mammal’ idea) who still maintain that it was (or even that it well might have been) a plesiosaur or some other cryptozoological novelty have either not read, or simply failed to grasp, the overwhelming array of facts and evidence amassed in the TJ publications on the subject by Dr Pierre Jerlström. This array has included information gleaned from translations of the original Japanese papers, and the strength of it cannot be gleaned from Hovind’s sketchy representation of AiG’s position. To say that the ‘jury is still out’ or it is ‘not proven that it was not (a plesiosaur)’ begs the question. It is hard to imagine what more evidence could possibly be needed to make people face the fact that there is not the slightest reason to believe that there is any mystery about this specimen which would make one think of a cryptozoological explanation. Suffice to say that:

    We don’t need to know what plesiosaur protein was like, because we do know what their vertebrae were like, including ‘vertebral processes’. These were radically different from the cylindrical one (typical of a shark, not a reptile—or a mammal for that matter) documented in this specimen. The CSM paper totally ignores this and other bone analyses explained in detail in Dr Jerlström’s article, which relied on original reports and later finds.

    The discussion about % differences in protein presented here is confused and , we submit, misleading. There are thousands of proteins in most organisms. No one tested the degree of total protein similarity between this creature and any other, as is implied here. In fact, there is no published report comparing the sequence similarity of any single type of protein in this carcass with the same protein in a basking shark. The protein whose presence was confirmed in the horny fiber of this specimen had essentially identical amino acid composition to basking shark elastoidin. The tiny differences are easily explained by the facts that it was heavily decomposed and excessively treated with sodium hypochlorite (bleach). Plesiosaurs are of course bony reptiles. There have been statements (including one put out by a former worker for AiG) of the discovery of the protein keratin, but we know of no evidence for this statement. Our list is concerned with trying to correct error, no matter what its source. It is not intended to be some sanctimonious ‘holier-than-thou’ declaration; we all need to be reminded of the need to be ready to modify our arguments the instant they are found wanting, not just give lip service to the notion.

    Cryptozoologists, who would also love to find a living plesiosaur, have long known of, and published about, these ‘pseudoplesiosaurs’ (their name for them). They form regularly from basking shark carcasses, simply because of which tissues rot preferentially. The ‘plesiosaur shape’ which forms looks nothing like the original shark, so it is not surprising that initial observers unaware of this phenomenon don’t recognize it as the shark it once was. The CSM pamphlet ignores this evidence too. (As a matter of fact, many marine biologists and fishermen have never seen a living basking shark, either, or a dead one for that matter.)

    Even a strong supporter of the ‘plesiosaur’ notion of the Z-M carcass has become totally convinced of the basking shark explanation because the beach where she lives (the same coast of NZ off which this specimen was caught, incidentally) has seen a number of them washed up, and she has physically observed and photographed them rotting to gradually look just like this famous ‘plesiosaur’. The CSM pamphlet author also ignores this direct observational evidence from ‘Letting Rotting Sharks Lie’. Actually he mis-cites both the title and TJ reference too, so one must wonder whether he even read it!

    Mr Hovind’s statement above is self-refuting. I.e. he says that the evaluation of the creature is based ‘solely’ (his word) ‘on a few photographs, an interpretative sketch and eye witness reports of the decomposing remains.’ If that were true, then his own subsequent comments re protein comparisons would be false, because there could be no such protein available. Photos, sketches, and eyewitness reports do not provide any samples of proteins.

    We urge those who want to continue using such a dubious argument to read the Jerlström papers carefully, and we think you will see why AiG staff scientists are concerned that papers and pamphlets are still being published, clutching at straws with facile arguments about e.g. flipper positioning and so on. Not one single fact exists to cast any doubt on the rational explanation that this was one more ‘pseudoplesiosaur’, a rotting basking-shark carcass. The facts fit this explanation with no difficulty at all (discounting fanciful objections which have no basis in fact, e.g. reports of non-existent proteins or protein comparisons). This pseudoplesiosaur phenomenon has been documented historically, observed repeatedly, and even photographed. Conversely, several hard facts have to be overlooked, or concealed, in order to substantiate the belief that the Z-M carcass was a real plesiosaur. Thus we claim that to continue to defy the facts is either not honest or not informed apologetics. There is no more excuse for remaining uninformed when the existence of the TJ papers in question has been made widely known. Our intention was to highlight the issue for our supporters’ information, and to allow them to use the best, most invulnerable arguments. If some wish to keep on using it, the onus is on them to provide detailed, rational explanations, in the peer-reviewed creation literature, of why this is justified in the face of such seemingly overwhelming evidence.

    Bottom line: Christians have the right to expect that the creationist community will have processes in place to give them a basis for choosing between various ‘opinions’. In particular, any attempts to refute the basking shark identification must come to terms with the massive evidence adduced by Dr Jerlström, not simply asserted. The processes of peer review are such a mechanism. As part of this process, those in the creationist community who are trained and experienced scientists have the responsibility to react to misinformation or poor understandings of the evidence.

    [KENT H]:
    The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics began at the Fall
    AiG: Death began at the Fall, not the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    [AiG]: This seems an odd way of putting what we say; at any rate it neither engages with nor clearly represents, either our comments or our reasons for making them.

    [KENT H]: I do not know how this could be determined …

    [AiG]: We presume that he means that it is impossible to determine whether or not the Second Law was operative before the Fall. However, our article deals with this as a logical and necessary deduction from knowing what the Second Law teaches (e.g. heat flowing from hot to cold bodies). This ‘objection’ is somewhat like saying ‘I do not know how it can be determined that Adam digested food pre-Fall’. The Bible says he ate food, therefore by deduction, he digested it. Digestive processes require the Second Law to be operative. Ergo, the Second Law was in operation, by simple deduction. To imply without qualification that there was no Second Law prior to sin may cause an unnecessary stumbling block to the thoughtful and informed unbeliever.

    [KENT H]: … and I do not address this in my seminar.

    [AiG]: Again, our article was concerned with common fallacies that tend to discredit creationism, not with who uses them or not.

    [KENT H]:
    If we evolved from apes, why are there still apes today?
    AiG: Evolutionists teach that humans and apes had a common ancestor, not that humans evolved from apes.
    KENT H: I agree. Most evolutionists teach that humans and apes had a common ancestor, which is just as dumb a theory.

    [AiG]: Here the whole point is missed. What he portrays as the ‘AiG response’ was actually an evolutionist response that we showed was weak! AiG went on to show the real problem with the argument, i.e. evolutionists believe that the variation happened in a small population isolated from the main group, and there was no obligation to believe that the main group likewise varied.

    [KENT H]:
    Women have one more rib than men
    AiG: Dishonest skeptics are usually the only ones who use this ridiculous argument to discredit creationists.
    KENT H: I agree. Only Adam was missing a rib and probably only for a short time. AiG has a great article on the fact that the lower rib will grow back if taken out.

    [AiG]: Good. No comment needed.

    [KENT H]:
    Archaeopteryx is a fraud
    AiG: Archaeopteryx is a genuine fossil of an unusual bird.
    KENT H: Scientists split on this one. Sir Fred Hoyle said it was a fraud. I teach in Lies in the TextBooks that it does not matter. Modern birds are found in “older” rocks (based on the evolutionists imaginary geologic column) and Archaeopteryx is moot. There is no evidence that any animal is now or ever has been capable of producing anything other than its kind. Also, no fossil could ever count as evidence for evolution since it could never be proven the fossil had any offspring that lived let alone different offspring.

    [AiG]: Of course we believe that birds did not evolve from reptiles, and we do not think that Archaeopteryx proves otherwise. However, simply quoting a scientist who believed that it was a fraud avoids engaging with the reasons why AiG would take such a strong stand, explained in the article to which we hyperlink. It also tends to muddy the waters. Once again, if there are rational, quality papers showing why, for example, the discovery of microscopic feather impressions in the bones does not (inter alia) invalidate the argument by Hoyle and others, we would be interested in publishing them in TJ.

    By way of aside, the argument in the last sentence of the response above is not one that we would recommend using. It is like saying that there is no conceivable fossil evidence that would validate evolution, and comes dangerously close to Gosse-type arguments that the mere presence of a fossil can never prove anything. For instance, one can never prove that the fossil was not created in the rocks to look like that. (For that matter, nothing, even our own existence, can be rigorously ‘proved’.) No evolutionist we know of has ever claimed (for any of the handful of alleged ‘transitional forms’) that a particular fossil specimen was necessarily the actual ancestor of a particular present-day type. E.g. that the actual individual Archaeopteryx preserved in the rock that was dug up was the actual one which had ‘different offspring’ which were the next step in the evolutionary chain leading to birds.

    The very reason why it was alleged that Archaeopteryx was a fraud (until that became untenable for a number of reasons) was because it was perceived that it was being used as evidence in support of Darwinian transformism, not ‘final rigorous proof’. Again, the real point is that it does matter very much if creationists are going to have egg on their faces (as Hoyle very much did) defending a notion which seems like simply a desperation to ‘explain away’ evidence. The very fact that there is so much good reason to believe that Archaeopteryx does not qualify as a good ‘evidence for transformism’ is even more reason to eschew dubious and conspiratorial speculations about alleged frauds.

    Dr Joachim Scheven, German creationist, paleontologist and ‘living fossil’ expert, personally examined the specimen, and was very amused at the notion that anyone could seriously think it were a forgery. And this was even before the microscopic feather insertion points were discovered. These are the ‘clincher’, since no forger would have been able or wanting to reproduce these. Bottom line: it is an argument which is far more likely than not to discredit creationism.

    [KENT H]:
    There are no beneficial mutations
    AiG: We have yet to find a mutation that increases genetic information, even in those rare instances where the mutation confers an advantage.

    Time and chance can’t explain life’s amazing design—get your answers here!
    Not By Chance!
    Dr Lee Spetner

    Dr Spetner’s book aims a death-blow at the heart of the whole neo-Darwinism story. The crucial battleground has always been the origin of information. Spetner shows that time and chance cannot produce new (more) genetic information. This book is a must for everyone who desires to defend the Bible in this increasingly ‘educated’ society.

    See also this review by Dr Carl Wieland.


    Visit our Q&A pages on mutation,
    information and natural selection!
    [AiG]: This again ‘fudges’ the issue by failing to point out that we are specifically saying that there are indeed, by any meaningful definition of the term, beneficial mutations, which is why it is a poor argument to use. The above sentence is the alternative argument which we suggest creationists should use.

    [KENT H]: The terms would need to be defined here.

    [AiG]: Indeed, which our repeated comments on the matter have done, most carefully.

    [KENT H]: Most creationists that make this comment mean that there are no mutations with a proven benefit that would change anything major about the animal or plant.

    [AiG]: Not so. Based on nearly a quarter of a century of ministry experience, this is overwhelmingly not the case. E.g.: A beetle is born with functionless wings on a windy island, and therefore has the undisputed benefit that it won’t fly up and be blown into the sea and drown. Can that be said to be a ‘minor’ change, from winged to wingless? And even if it were true, it would be a very strange and disingenuous use of language bordering on dishonesty. Because to say, ‘There are no beneficial mutations’ says or implies nothing about whether such changes are minor or major. The degree of change is beside the point, anyway, since Darwinism is all about the notion that even the smallest change, if inherited, could add up to large change. If one says there are no beneficial mutations, in the normal use of English this means that there are no changes which benefit the organism. And this is overwhelmingly not true, which is why such arguments discredit creation apologetics. See Beetle Bloopers: Even a defect can be an advantage sometimes. This will make it clear why we encourage people to use the powerful information argument concerning mutations.

    [KENT H]:
    No new species have been produced
    AiG: New species have been observed to form.
    KENT H: I agree but the terms need to be defined here also. Who is deciding when a new species is produced and exactly what is a “species?” The Bible clearly teaches the plants and animals will bring forth after their “kind.”

    [AiG]: It is hard to be sure what this comment was meant to convey. If the writer agrees that new species have formed, then such agreement must—can only—be on the basis that he has some definition acceptable to him of what constitutes a new species. If it is not so, the statement ‘I agree’ becomes meaningless. Our articles on the subject have carefully discussed and defined the terms.

    Our point is that it is a bad argument to say, ‘No new species have ever been produced’. In part this is precisely because species is a somewhat fluid, man-made definition. And once again, it’s up to those who propose the argument to define the terms. Certainly one common criterion is reproductive isolation, and by this criterion the argument that no species have been produced is indisputably wrong. So if you use this, most evolutionists will be able to shoot you down.

    And yes, the Bible does teach about fixity of ‘kinds’ which is exactly why the AiG statement deserved wholehearted support, not the grudging equivocation which appears evident in so many places throughout this response. Kent Hovind’s response ignores what we said in our ‘Don’t use’ article, i.e., “But this speciation is within the ‘kind’, and involves no new genetic information.”

    [KENT H]:
    Earth’s axis was vertical before the Flood
    AiG: There is no basis for this claim.
    KENT H: I don’t think it is possible to know the truth of this one but it has not been proven that it was not. I address the possibility in The Hovind Theory.

    [AiG]: Our comment ‘there is no basis for this claim’ means exactly that: that there is no reason to believe that it was vertical. It does not mean that it can be proven that it was not. In a similar vein, it is logically possible that the core of Pluto is made of green cheese, but there is no reason to believe that it is. Thus we stand by our statement that it is not an argument that one would recommend at this point in time — unless such a reason were forthcoming.

    And once more, AiG did provide a basis for our claim, which Hovind leaves off. That is, the existence of seasons from Creation Week (Genesis 1:14).

    [KENT H]:
    Paluxy tracks prove that humans and dinosaurs co-existed
    AiG: Some of the allegedly human tracks may be artifacts of erosion of dinosaur tracks obscuring the claw marks.
    KENT H: I disagree. 1. We do not need to find tracks together since, A. There is ample evidence from many sources that man and dinosaurs coexisted.

    [AiG]: The repeated use of this approach (defending against something that was not stated, is beside the point, and equivocates on definitions) is hopefully not deliberate. Our point was simply that this particular line of evidence should not be used in its present condition of weakness.

    [KENT H]: B. The Bible says all things were made in six days.

    [AiG]: We agree, of course, but how does this add anything to the argument?

    [KENT H]: C. No one has ever found human and chicken footprints in the same rock.

    [AiG]: Ditto here again. It is as if we were evolutionists, and we were saying that, because the Paluxy tracks evidence is shaky (which is true), one should abandon Genesis creation (which is not our position at all, as anyone with even a passing understanding of our materials would realize). This wording of his may inflame some less-than-careful readers of this piece, which is a great pity, as it is inappropriate.

    [KENT H]: With that said, I have been to the Paluxy four times and have seen the evidence first hand.

    [AiG]: So have several of AiG’s researchers. The evidence of genuine tracks is not in dispute. Where we urge great caution is in using this evidence as proof that they are of human origin.

    [KENT H]: There is ample evidence that the tracks [except for a few known and obvious frauds] are genuine. Many intelligent and godly people have devoted hundreds of hours to this study and disagree with AiG here.

    [AiG]: Sadly, the implication here is that AiG’s position somehow impugns the intelligence or, worse still, the godliness, of the people who have come to this conclusion. It is not a question of godly vs. ungodly.

    [KENT H]: It appears that AiG may have been taken in by the computer programmer Glen Kuban who poses as a creationist. He has been thoroughly discredited on I cover this topic in The Garden of Eden and Dinosaurs and the Bible.

    [AiG]: Again, false. AiG researchers, along with almost every other creationist researcher who is taken seriously in creationist science circles, have concluded in favour of extreme caution re Paluxy tracks because of reasons which have nothing to do with Glen Kuban, and none of us have ever thought that Kuban is a creationist. His Web site makes it clear that he is not, as does his alliance with the atheistic organization pretentiously calling itself ‘The National Center for Science Education’.

    Those researchers who were previously enthusiastic about the Paluxy tracks and have now withdrawn their unqualified support include such creationist notables as John Morris (who even wrote a book about them, but had the courage to publicly withdraw) and Paul Taylor (head of Films for Christ, which made the famous film Footprints in Stone). It cannot be said of either of these people that they did not personally study the trails in great depth, nor that they had a motive for not wanting them to be human tracks—quite the opposite. Taylor had the courage to withdraw his popular film because he had seen enough evidence, even in the famous ‘Taylor trail’, to have to say that one should not use them anymore. I.e. he went from open enthusiasm to extreme caution, which is our view. It seems some quarters in creationism are stuck in somewhat of a time warp in this matter. We take no pleasure in the conflicts that arise from our sticking to a rigorous standard in evaluating these tracks, as was the case for a Creation Research Society team which some time back evaluated the whole matter of what they called ‘quasi-human ichnofossils’. For Hovind to blame some masquerading computer programmer is, frankly, a bizarre caricature. Once again, if new evidence should turn up, the whole matter of the Paluxy tracks may take on new significance. We repeat that TJ, the Creation Research Society Quarterly, and the ICC are all available as platforms to get such new evidence (should it arise) proper peer acceptance.

    [KENT H]:
    Darwin’s quote about the absurdity of eye evolution from Origin of Species
    AiG: Citing his statement at face value is subtly out of context.
    KENT H: I am not sure exactly what they mean here but as I understand their position, I disagree. Darwin did indeed say: “To suppose that the eye . . . could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” Charles Darwin The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life 1859 p. 217. He went on to explain that he believed it must have happened anyway and even made feeble attempts to invent a way it “might have” happened but he did make the statement above. I cover this in detail in Lies in the Textbooks.

    [AiG]: The uncertainty in the above comment might have been dealt with by carefully reading not only our comments, but Darwin’s book. Note that we are here chastening ourselves, too, as this has been favourably cited in some of our own publications in earlier years. However, this comes from misunderstanding how Darwin wrote as a typical Victorian gentleman-scientist. I.e. he tried to give the impression that he had carefully considered opposing views as strongly put as possible, but then answered them.

    So in this particular case, quoting the above paragraph out of context, it makes it sound as if Darwin agrees that it is absurd. His own words, however, make it clear that he does not think so at all; he is merely saying that at first glance, without considering the whole issue of natural selection, it seems absurd. Darwin then goes on to say the heliocentric theory likewise seems absurd on first impression but is not. Not, as Kent Hovind implies here, that he believes in eye evolution in spite of its absurdity, but that he believes it on what he thinks is a rational basis because of the arguments he has already developed which make it no longer absurd to believe it (in his view). Read how Darwin continued (Origin, 6th Ed.):

    ‘When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself originated; but I may remark that, as some of the lowest organisms in which nerves cannot be detected, are capable of perceiving light, it does not seem impossible that certain sensitive elements in their sarcode should become aggregated and developed into nerves, endowed with this special sensibility.’

    NB we are not saying here that Darwin is right (see Eye evolution), and it pains us to have to defend someone like him from misrepresentation, but integrity demands it. The reason for including it in our list is also because it can be a stumbling block to a seeker who has read Darwin’s book, who would be readily led to the conclusion that creationists must be deliberate distorters of truth.

    [KENT H]:
    Earth’s division in the days of Peleg (Gen. 10:25) refers to catastrophic splitting of the continents
    AiG: The ‘Earth’ that was divided was the same Earth that spoke only one language, i.e. ‘Earth’ refers in this context to the people of the Earth, not Planet Earth.
    KENT H: I may agree if they mean this should not be taught dogmatically. There are at least four theories about the meaning of this verse. 1. The languages and nations were divided at the tower of Babel. 2. The continents moved and split. [this is unlikely due to the devastating effect even small plate movements have, but it has not been proven wrong] 3. The water came up and divided the high spots into islands and continents. 4. The land was surveyed “divided” to avoid disputes due to population increase. I cover this in more detail in The Hovind Theory.

    [AiG]: Note that AiG was not really saying that only our understanding of the verse can possibly be right, although we await someone to try to refute our reasons for accepting it. Our emphasis was concerning not using one particular argument as if it were ‘factual’ Bible teaching. But it is important to investigate whether the Biblical text comes down clearly on one side or the other by the normal rules of exegesis. We think it does, but this is not worth making a big fuss about. However, since the ‘continental breakup at Babel’ argument suffers from huge physical problems (a rerun of the Flood catastrophe, no less) we think it relevant and important to recommend against using that particular argument, which is widespread.

    [KENT H]:
    The Septuagint records the correct Genesis chronology
    AiG: The Septuagint chronologies are demonstrably inflated, and contain the (obvious) error that Methuselah lived 17 years after the Flood.
    KENT H: I do not address this topic but the entire topic of which version of the Bible is reliable is covered on my seminar part 7 and on [another website]. I stick with the KJV for many reasons covered on our new Question and Answer Session.

    [AiG]: Since the pro-Septuagint argument we addressed here has nothing to do with the KJV-only issue (just about all English translations, including the KJV, use the Masoretic chronology) the introduction of the KJV-only issue conflates two things, and muddies the water, even introducing an unwarranted area of potential prejudice in the reader. The KJVO debate involves the Greek New Testament.

    [KENT H]:
    There are gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 so the Earth may be 10,000 years old or even more
    AiG: The language is clear that they are strict chronologies.
    KENT H: I agree. The three missing names between the various genealogies do not justify adding thousands of years and there are several reasonable explanations for the missing names given in the book The ‘Errors’ in the King James Bible available on my web site. While I disagree with the author, Peter Ruckman and several key topics I think he has done a fine job refuting many of the so called errors.

    [AiG]: Once again we are unsure why the KJV issue has been raised here.

    [KENT H]:
    Jesus cannot have inherited genetic material from Mary, otherwise He would have inherited original sin
    AiG: This is not stated in Scripture and even contradicts important points.
    KENT H: I do not address this topic in my seminar.

    [AiG]: Fine.

    [KENT H]:
    The phrase “science falsely so called” in 1 Timothy 6:20 (KJV) refers to evolution
    AiG: The original Greek word translated ‘science’ is gnosis, and in this context refers to the élite esoteric ‘knowledge’ that was the key to the mystery religions, which later developed into the heresy of Gnosticism.
    KENT H: This phrase probable [sic] refers to evolution as well as many other false doctrines. I would never say it does not refer to evolution. I also get nervous when someone says, ‘the original Greek…’ There are two very different Greek sources. I cover this in the Question and Answer Session.

    [AiG]: This is again conflation and muddying the waters; the existence of ‘two very different Greek sources’ is irrelevant to this particular point, since they both say the same thing here (as they do over 98% of the time). Whether someone gets ‘nervous’ or not is not relevant to the point at hand, which is totally evaded. Note that the word ‘science’ in the KJV cannot be legitimately appealed to, since the word ‘science’ in those days meant precisely what the original Greek gnosis did, i.e. ‘knowledge’. Words often change their meaning over time.

    Another example is the English word ‘replenish’, the KJV translation of the Hebrew meaning simply ‘fill’. The KJV did not get it wrong, it is just that the English has changed so that replenish now no longer means ‘fill’ but ‘refill’. However, one old-Earth gap-theory promoting site promotes this error largely on the basis that the ‘inspired’ KJV translators chose to use ‘replenish’. I.e. they are using the same argument as Kent Hovind uses against ours.

    To support this further, let’s see below how Hovind himself argues (correctly) against this fallacious argument for the gap theory, but we have added in square brackets and a different color the AiG argument above (we think it will be clear that the AiG argument Hovind tries to counter is actually identical in principle to the argument which Hovind correctly uses below):

    [KENT H]: Genesis 1:28 is undoubtedly the verse most quoted by gap theorists. Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Much of the validity drawn from this verse centers on the usage of the word replenish. Gap theorists believe that this is God’s command for Adam and Eve to refill, or repopulate, the earth, assuming the previous inhabitants of the earth were destroyed in the Genesis 1:2 catastrophe.

    The problem that gap theorists [those who support the argument AiG addresses] encounter stems from misunderstanding the word replenish [science]. The Hebrew word used here is male [Greek word is gnosis], which means, “to fill” [“knowledge”]. In 1611, the time of the King James translation, English dictionaries defined the word replenish [science] as “to supply fully, to fill” [“knowledge”]. Nearly a century later, a second definition arose,“to fill or build up again” [“investigation of nature”]. Most dictionaries still list both meanings. If the author of Genesis 1 had been attempting to convey the idea that God wanted Adam and Eve to repopulate the earth, He would have used the Hebrew word Shana, which means “to fill again.”

    Languages change:

    English words frequently change meanings over the years. In Romans 1:13, Paul said he wanted to come but was let, a word which used to mean “hindered,” but today means “allowed.” Forty years ago, the word gay was the common English word to mean “happy.” James 2:3 “And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, …”

    [AiG]: From the above, it’s clear that AiG’s argument is identical in principle to that which Hovind rightly uses against the Gap Theory. This is a good lesson on the trouble that can arise from being far too defensive on arguments that should be ‘held loosely’, which can cause one to lose objectivity.

    [KENT H]:
    Geocentrism (in the classical sense of taking the Earth as an absolute reference frame) is taught by Scripture and Heliocentrism is anti-Scriptural
    AiG: AiG rejects dogmatic geocentrism, and believes that the Biblical passages about sunset etc. should be understood as taking the Earth as a reference frame, but that this is one of many physically valid reference frames; the center of mass of the solar system is also a valid reference frame.
    KENT H: As surprising as it may sound, the jury is still out on this topic. I am open for discussion but so far remain convinced of the heliocentric position. I think the terms need to be carefully defined. Could the Bible be saying that the earth is in the center of the “universe” and of God’s attention but not of our little “solar system?”

    [AiG]: No-one reading AiG’s articles on the subject could be mistaken as to the definition of the terms. Of course the Earth is the centre of God’s attention, which has nothing to do with the arguments advanced for physical geocentrism. That is, the claim that the Earth is an absolute stationary reference frame, so that the only acceptable description is that the sun actually goes around the Earth, and not vice versa. To say that the ‘jury is o

  13. says

    I found the document that was taken down (a criticism of bad arguments by Hovind) very interesting for what it shows of a particular young earth creationist mindset. The people who wrote it are (what I was taught to see as) “good” Christians — they sincerely attempt to be honest, calm, charitable in their understanding of others, etc. Furthermore (and very significantly) they have accepted the norms of science as far as judging (and making) arguments, interpreting evidence, etc. However they also take the literal truth of the bible as a fixed principle, so of course they are cognitively crippled.

    They are obviously not happy with Hovind et al who do not accept these norms — these “bad” Christians are willing to willfully misinterpret, quite likely lie, certainly mislead, etc. and this upsets the Creation Ministries International folks a lot. As “good” Christians their criticisms are restrained, but the message is clear.

    The interesting question to me is whether the CMI stance can possibly be stable over the medium to long term. Even in their document it is clear that a lot of explanations they were using have become untenable (by their standards). I see no hope for them finding a defensible position; it will continue to erode. At some point they must have a crisis in which they give up Biblical literalism, OR rational norms of judgement, OR intellectual integrity. I don’t know the history of these groups well enough to know how this has played out in the past.

    I found this group sad but uplifting in a way. The recent history of religiously motivated responses to evolution in the US has been dominated by mendacity, bad faith and implict contempt for the masses of believers, who are manipulated rather than given an honest perspective. This group, however misguided, is attempting to retain their intellectual and moral integrity. It is just sad that in order to do so, they have to accept so much cognitive damage, and will almost certainly fail in the end.

    In fact, their worldview reminds me of certain amazing neurological syndromes, such as agnosognosia, in which the patient seems to lose some key awareness of conflicts between their beliefs (e.g. that they can walk) and their immediate reality (e.g. that one of their legs is completely paralyzed). Like I say, sad.

  14. Chris Ho-Stuart says

    Careful folks; this is a story that grows in the telling; or could be easy to represent. AiG did not pull the list of bad arguments. What has been pulled is rather a subsequent article “Maintaining Creationist Integrity”, which is quoted above, and is now available only at CMI, not AiG. The list of bad arguments is still present, at both sites.

  15. Dustin says

    You know, if I had adopted a position or world view that was causing me to consistently write embarassing things that were humiliating to the point that I was constantly pulling them off of my website shortly after posting them, I’d probably re-think my position.

    But that’s just me.

  16. says

    Well, here’s another crack at creationists: right now they’re even more ineffective than the various leftist movements of the 1970s. Monty Python’s Life of Brian may have mocked left-wing groups when it represented the various resistances to the Romans, but right now the left is acting less and less like the People’s Front of Judea whereas creationists are acting more and more like it.

  17. G-Do says

    That would be real ‘working together’, not some artificial unity in which scientifically trained creationists (i.e. Bible-believing scientists) are supposed to smile sweetly while plainly wrong and even fraudulent claims are being promoted in the name of ‘Creationism’.

    It’s comforting to know that some of the people working with AiG are just as annoyed by Hovind’s antics as everyone else is.

    As an afterthought, if anyone wants to see Kent Hovind in action, some of his videos are freely available on Google Video now. The man is smoove.

  18. G-Do says

    Whoa! Sorry about the goofy characters – those are supposed to be single-quotes. Don’t know why they got messed up.

  19. michael i says

    The “goofy characters” appear to be due to incompatibilities between “Unicode (UTF-8)” and “Western (ISO-8859-1)” character encoding.

    I have no idea what those are. I just know that some english-language pages show weird characters on one “Character Encoding” setting while other english-language pages show weird characters on the other setting.

  20. melior says

    James 2:3 “And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, …”

    (snork) I bet that one bothered Kent for a while.

  21. Brian says

    [quote]Umm, I think you should check your facts.[/quote]

    Umm, I think you should read all the responses. ;)

    many already posted that it was the response to Hovind that was removed.

  22. MikeHol says

    In the reply to Ham, AiG said that one should not use anecdotal evidence to support a scientific position, but last year as I was browsing AiG the best evidence that they could muster for the idea that dinosarus were still alive was that a Christian on a camping trip with his kids claimed to have seen one. Did they show dinosaur tracks or poop or anything to support the idea. Nope. Just the anecdote from some unnamed Seventh Day Adventist. If you are gonna have standard, a double standard must be twice as good.

  23. says

    In an earlier comment, I linked to both the Google cache and the Wayback Machine’s snapshot of the expunged page.
    Now I note with some interest that my comment never appeared, but an anonymous comment containing the entire text of that page did.
    It seems at least likely that ScienceBlogs is filtering comment spam so aggressively as to block any comment containing more than one link.
    Now, my vanity does not require that every word I write be printed, but I can see some problems arising if any comment containing a link (or several) is automatically flagged as spam. We should probably not encourage wholesale duplication of content by discouraging the alternative. PZ – can you find out what the link threshold is, and let us know how to comment without being blocked?

  24. matt says

    Alon… didn’t you mean the Judean People’s Front? Bah, I get them all confused.

  25. CanuckRob says

    “When an attempted critique of this AiG article appeared on Kent Hovind’s Web site, AiG was somewhat surprised (and disappointed) to note that it frequently and significantly misrepresents and/or misunderstands the statements and positions made in our carefully researched document. ”

    This is from the article linked to and also posted above. Imagine that, creationsists surprised and disappointed that someone would misrepresent careful research!

    I also love the idea of calling fundies anti-humanists. It makes perfect sense when you think that what they are doing is demeaning people by stating humans are incapable of ethical behaviour without the fear of the skybeard.