Is Eric Hovind trying to provoke me?

He’s succeeding. He has this new series of videos titled “Beyond Darwin,” in which he tries to claim that fossils disprove evolution. It’s warmed-over Harun Yahya bullshit. You know, show a picture of a fossil, then show a picture of a modern animal, and declare, A-ha! There’s no difference between them!

It’s all perfectly ignorable nonsense, except he roused me from my slumber with this: SPIDERS DISPROVE EVOLUTION!

What a pitiful effort. Let’s scrutinize his example of failed evolution, shall we?

On the right, that’s a familiar beast: that’s a modern Araneus diadematus, or European garden spider, a big ol’ common orb weaver. It is most definitely a true spider.

On the left is a grainy photo of a fossil. It took me a moment to figure out what that is — you might look at it and notice that it seems to have only 6 legs. Actually, it has 8, but the 2nd pair is thin and attenuated. It also has a segmented abdomen, unlike most modern spiders, and there’s something going on with it’s mouthparts. It’s an arachnid all right, but it’s not a spider. That’s a fossil whip scorpion, Weygoldtina. Here’s a reconstruction that will clarify the details.

So here’s dumbass Hovind showing us a photo of two animals with radically different morphology, coming from two different distinct orders, the Araneae and the Amblypygi, and trying to tell us they look completely the same. Then he says Maybe evolution didn’t work on that one, or it just evolved as high as it can go, two excuses that aren’t valid evolutionary concepts. He riffs absurdly, pointing out that spiders still die, as if that’s something that wouldn’t happen under evolution.

Hey, Eric, does the fact that you’re still ignorant mean that education doesn’t exist? Do you think The Atlas of Creation is a biology textbook, rather than a religious scam written by a convicted con man? This approach didn’t work out so well for him, or your dad, you know.

I guess the rotting apple hasn’t fallen far from the dying corrupted tree, I guess.

Wait! I just watched the full video from Eric Hovind (the clip above is just an excerpt), and would you believe…he comes right out and cites The Atlas of Creation at the 21 minute mark and credits it for his ideas!

He is literally pulling out examples and photos from that discredited and blatantly silly book and quoting them as evidence that we have to move beyond Darwin. (Here’s a hint, Eric: we have. Darwin didn’t have genetics or molecular biology as tools.)


  1. birgerjohansson says

    I believe Darwin died in the 19th century. And the modern synthesis linking evolution with mutations etc happened in the 1940s, or thereabout.
    So, yes, we have moved quite a bit beyond him.

  2. dbinmn says

    (In my best Chris Farley voice) “Remember when you evolved from a scorpion into a spider? That was awesome.”

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Hovind and Herr von Däniken have the same first name. This proves flaws in the frontal lobe of the brain that permits dishonesty spreads from one Eric to another through morphic resonance.
    Time to give Robert Sheldrake the Nobel Prize.

  4. mordred says


    You know, I recently wondered if that Däniken guy is still alive and looked him up on the net.
    Seems he’s still breathing and publishing. With one of his more recent books, he seems to have taken on evolution. From the description I’d say he’s about as competent here as he is when waffling about history. No English translation so far:

    Oh, his current publisher “Kopp Verlag” is well known for printing fascist conspiracy theories..

  5. wzrd1 says

    Here, let me try an equally well qualified explanation.
    See the bird on the left? It proves evolution is fake, as is proved by the giraffe on the right.

    Hey, total improvement, got both taxa wrong, equally badly.
    It’s just a pity that he didn’t evolve an operational brain.

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    Do you think The Atlas of Creation is a biology textbook, rather than a religious scam written by a convicted con man?

    In its defense, the Atlas of Creation is a religious scam written by a convicted con man that has incredible production values. Large format, thick paper, hundreds of pages of (plagiarized) color images, 3D pictures on the cover.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    Hey, spiders and stromatolites look completely different, so evolution is BS.
    The Bible clearly categorises bats as birds, so they cannot have evolved from synapsid ancestors as the bogus evilutionists claim.

  8. says

    (In my best Chris Farley voice) “Remember when you evolved from a scorpion into a spider? That was awesome.”

    “And I got to watch the WHOLE THING from a VAN down by the RIVER!!!”

  9. birgerjohansson says

    Christianity has re-invented itself and changed so much it is a walking talking proof things do not need to look like their ancestors.

    Moar religion…
    As you have heard, the Norwegian author Jon Fosse just received the Nobel Prize in literature.
    He used to drink like a sponge, until he converted to the boss-with-funny-hat branch of Christianity, after which he sobered up.
    This is one of the few occasions (alongside religious charity) that religion is genuinely positive.
    Four degrees of separation:
    Däniken, Kopp verlag and fascism…
    -Hamsun, a Norwegian author and Nobel Prize recipient became a pro-nazi ‘Quisling’.
    And he was so goddamn ancient he could have met Darwin in his youth.

  10. John Harshman says

    Just to remind everyone how silly Atlas of Creation is: fossil crinoids are consistently matched with living featherduster worms. Deuterostome vs. lophotrochozoan; top that! And for PZ: a fossil spider crab is matched with a living crab spider. Hey, at least the fishing lures (one of them is a spider) actually fit the taxon they’re supposed to represent.

  11. Walter Solomon says

    Why didn’t it evolve the ability not to die?

    Why didn’t it evolve a spider-sense? Why didn’t it evolve the ability to have decent sequels?

    These are mysteries that’ll never be solved.

  12. StevoR says

    Beyond Darwin?

    Well, head due South & you go through Alice Springs following the Ghan railway basically down to my hometown of Adelaide. Keep going & you reach Antarctica.

    Go north and you’re heading through Indonesia across the Arafura Sea & Pacific Ocean and into China then maybe a small slice of far eastern Mongolia and then Siberia and eventually the Arctic sea.

    Due west? Well there’s a lot of Indian Ocean before you scrape a slice through northern Madagascar then Mozambique, Zambia, Angola then you’ll hit the South Atlantic Ocean, then strike Brazil, Bolivia and Chile after which you face the vast vastness of the notoriously violent Pacific Ocean and eventually end up back in Darwin again. Go east, same journey in reverse.

    Come to think of it, go pretty much anywhere except there and you’re beyond Darwin because it’s one small Aussie city with extremely hot and humid weather and lots of thunderstorms and famously reptiles in the Crocodylidae family.

    Oh wait, that’s not what he meant? How sad. He shoulda spoken with the non-astronaut Ken Ham really. Or not.

  13. StevoR says

    @15. wzrd1 : Empire Strikes Back? Terminator II? Australia II the winged keel yacht that won the Amercia’s Cup? Voyager II if that counts as being a sequel but, well, that was the second spaceprobe there? <VIking II & Mariner II ditto?

    So, not always. Anyhow.

  14. mathman85 says

    Young-Earth creationists: failing to understand that evolution does not require any specific amount of morphological change per unit time, and (apparently) that whip scorpions are not spiders, since time immemorial.

  15. quotetheunquote says

    @birgerjohansson #3:

    Time to give Robert Sheldrake the Nobel Prize.

    That has got to be one of the most horrifiying scenarios I’ve come across in a long, long, time…

  16. says

    Goes to show that creationists still rely on the time-honored method of “kinda looks like, to me”.
    Very science, to be sure.

  17. benedic says

    Harun Yahya or Adnan Oktar as he really is is purging 8658 years in prison in Turkey. Perhaps Mr Hovind could take this into consideration as a proof against evolution

  18. Steve Morrison says

    Re von Däniken: it’s worth pointing out that he has all kind of racist baggage, and his “ancient astronaut” ideas are part of that racist worldview.

  19. birgerjohansson says

    So Eric Trump, his dad and Erich von Däniken all have racist baggage, once again proving morphic resonance is real.

    And Eric Hovind is also affected by Däniken; “beyond Darwin” obviously refers to the ‘up’ direction.

  20. weylguy says

    I suppose Hovind could just repost his comment with the photo of a whip scorpion, and he’d be good to go again.