Forbes Supports Kent Hovind?

We don’t hear much about Kent Hovind these days. In his prime he was one of the flamingist creationists in existence — in the same category as Jack Chick. In fact, Chick’s website has promoted Hovind — see Jack Chick Presents Kent Hovind’s Videos. Not only that, but the classic Chick comic book, Big Daddy?, actually cites Hovind as an authority beneath one of the panels — the one where the creationist kid tells his teacher that the Lucy fossil isn’t a human ancestor.

Wikipedia describes Hovind’s conviction for tax evasion, and they present a few tidbits from his bizarre defense. In January of 2007 he was sentenced to ten years in the slammer, and that’s where he’s been ever since then. His appeals have all been unsuccessful.

Who writes about Hovind these days? Wouldja believe it, there’s a column about him at the website of Forbes: Doctor Dino – Kent Hovind May Lose In Court But Will Never Give Up. The columnist is Peter J Reilly, who says he usually writes on tax issues. Skipping some introductory stuff, he stunningly declares, with our bold font:

I’m probably something of a creationist myself. I have a really hard time accepting that we are the result of random interactions involving no teleology. That probably puts me at the far left of the creationist spectrum.

M’god! Before we saw this column, we always respected Forbes. And what’s this about “the far left of the creationist spectrum”? Does anyone know what Reilly is talking about? Anyway, let’s get into the meat of the column:

Six thousand years is not nearly enough time for evolution to work, so YEC will not be that popular in the biology departments of most universities. The astronomers and the geologists will also have a hard time with YEC believers. And of course, since academics sometimes stick together, they might get disciplines that don’t have a dog in the fight on their side. This accounts for the great need for creation scientists, since establishment science is so wrong. That’s where fellows like Kent Hovind come in.

Aaaargh!! We would expect that science conspiracy stuff from the Discoveroids or from ol’ Hambo. But from Forbes? Before this, the only journalistic organ that promoted Hovind’s cause was WorldNetDaily — see WorldNetDaily: Kent Hovind Is A Martyr. Now it looks like Forbes is bypassing WND; they may be competing for credibility with The Time Cube. Here’s more:

Kent Hovind is known as Doctor Dino. One of the implications of YEC is that people and dinosaurs must have been running around at the same time. That is why Kent Hovind opened Dinosaur Adventureland allowing for a combination of family fun, Biblical truth and sound science education. The troubles at Dinosaur Advetureland led to Kent Hovind being known as Inmate 06452-017 currently resident at FCI – Berlin NH with a projected release date of 8/11/2015.

“The troubles at Dinosaur Advetureland” led to Hovind’s conviction? Hey, that’s great journalism. One could also say that “the troubles” at the Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado led to the imprisonment of James Holmes. We wrote about some of Hovind’s disembodied “troubles” here, Kent Hovind: Creationist Role Model, and you can also read about “the troubles” Hovind experienced in Wikipedia. However, we suggest that the cause of Hovind’s imprisonment was a wee bit more than a troublesome day at the theme park. Anyway, let’s read on:

Kent Hovind has lately been claiming that his tax troubles are an early instance of the IRS targeting conservatives.


Hovind’s legal battles mainly concern trying to get his conviction overturned and the large tax deficiency covering the years 1998 to 2006 reversed. The Tax Court made a final determination on the deficiency on May 15th, 2013. He has asked to appeal to the 11th Circuit without paying a fee, since he is broke, being in prison and all. The 11th Circuit turned him down, because they thought he was being frivolous.

“Frivolous defenses” and “frivolous appeals” are the government’s terminology for the very familiar claims of tax protestors who have been using the same failed arguments for decades. We’ve written before that this is very similar to creationists’ behavior — see Creationists and Tax Protesters. Here’s more:

He filed a motion on August 5 that appeals the whole decision of the Tax Court. The motion says that he is exempt from taxation because he is a minister and the ministry was not owned by himself and his wife. He also presents an interpretation of his “IMF” file which he indicates shows that no tax is due. I’m pretty sure there are some holes in his ministry arguments and I have never seen the “IMF” argument work for anybody, but we’ll see. The IRS has indicated that it will not respond to his motion unless instructed to by the Court.

IMF? The Forbes columnist gives this link to something Hovind posted. We scanned it for “IMF” to see if it refers to the International Monetary Fund, but Hovind uses those initials to refer to the “Individual Master File” which the IRS maintains on him and everyone else. We’re sure they do have files, but we don’t know how that means Hovind doesn’t have to pay taxes, and we’re not interested enough to read what Hovind posted.

At the end, Forbes tells us this:

Hovind also has a lawsuit against prison officials for losing his records and a complaint against the judge in his case.

Smart move! Anyway, we shall henceforth consider Forbes to be a source of creationist news instead of business information. A pity, really. They used to be good.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Forbes Supports Kent Hovind?

  1. Thanks for the link Pixie. It appears that Reilly wrote a column sympathetic to Hovind back in January, yet Forbes keeps him as a contributor. By the way, I’m no fan of the IRS, and I wish none of us had to pay income taxes, but that’s the system we’re stuck with, and Hovind was convicted fair and square.

  2. Ceteris Paribus

    TSC says:
    “Anyway, we shall henceforth consider Forbes to be a source of creationist news instead of business information. A pity, really. They used to be good.”

    Well, “used to be” should refer to some time prior to 1989 when the Forbes science editor, Ronald Bailey, employed the standard creationist trick of quote mining to completely reverse the conclusions presented in the 1972 book “Limits to Growth”.

    In 1989 Bailey said in Forbes:

    “Limits to Growth” predicted that at 1972 rates of growth the world would run out of gold by 1981, mercury by 1985, tin by 1987, zinc by 1990, petroleum by 1992, copper, lead and natural gas by 1993.”

    And when 1993 arrived, Bailey claimed in his book “Ecoscam” that none of the 1972 predictions had turned out to be correct.

    But Bailey’s conclusion was the product of quote mining. As explained by Ugo Bardi here are the details of Bailey’s dishonesty:

    “Of course, Bailey’s accusations are just plain wrong. What he had done was to extract a fragment of the text of the book and [criticize] it out of context. In table 4 of the second chapter of the book, he had found a row of data (column 2) for the duration, expressed in years, of some mineral resources. He had presented these data as the only “predictions” that the study had made and he had based his criticism on that, totally ignoring the rest of the book.” [bold added]

    “The fact is that none of the numbers he had selected was a prediction and nowhere in the book it was stated that these numbers were supposed to be read as such. Table 4 was there only to illustrate the effect of a hypothetical continued exponential growth on the exploitation of mineral resources. Even without bothering to read the whole book, the text of chapter 2 clearly stated that continued exponential growth was not to be expected. The rest of the book, then, showed various scenarios of economic collapse that in no case took place before the first decades of 21st century.” [bold added]

    A year ago the Smithsonian magazine published an article showing that the findings of the original 1972 Limits publication appear pretty much on track.

  3. Steve Forbes has stated his creationist beliefs for at least 15 years or so. The author of the piece, Peter Reilly, wrote in the comments that he didn’t know anything about science in general or evolution in particular.

    It doesn’t excuse either a “writer” or a “journalist” from doing ten minutes of basic literature research through Google or Wikipedia to figure out what’s what.

    Forbes might have been an important name 30 years ago but it’s no more informative than the National Enquirer these days.

  4. I’ve read Hovind’s doctoral thesis as well as listened to his jail house phone calls. Hovind is an interesting case, I think his problems stem from the birth of Youtube shortly before he was convicted showing him in videos where he proudly states he doesn’t pay taxes. (Before Youtube it was just his DVDs that he distributed to followers) For his tax evasion I suspect he would have received a typical 3 or 4 year sentence, but if you listen to the jail house phone calls he was evading the forfeiture and the investigation that is why he received a more extreme 10 year sentence.

  5. Sigh, another creationist martyr wannabe.

  6. I have to put a word in to support one Forbes blogger, John Farrell, who, unlike so many in the media, was not fooled by the “Death of Junk DNA” hype. In this post, Farrel debunks the “Death of Junk DNA”, and who shows up in the comments but the Discovernaught Casey Luskin. Luskin’s comments are actually quite comical, if you know any genetics, and easily dispatched by Farrell.

  7. Stephen Kennedy

    How can Forbes claim to be a reliable source of information on our technology based economy when their lack of scientific literacy is so extreme that they will give credibility to the likes of Hovind?

  8. That probably puts me at the far left of the creationist spectrum.”

    That’s all I have to read to see that this guy is yanking your collective chains N, S, E and W. And that 99.9% of y’all will take the bait. But for fun I read 2-3 more of his sentences, and saw all the bait-and-switch nonsense (e.g evolution with “randomness”, YEC vs the “not enough time” nonsense that even OECs whine) that I need to confirm my suspicion that this is no clueless rube.

    He hopes you take the “far left” as sarcasm, and infer that he is of the Hovind variety of denier, which many of you would consider as further “right” than, say a Behe who’s concession of old earth and common descent supposedly puts him “closer” to “Darwinists”. But this guy is indeed far left on this issue, in the sense of being a bleeding heart liberal for Hovind, despite privately knowing that his “science” is pure nonsense.

  9. Frank,

    I think Peter appreciates your thoughts on the matter.

    I have worked with Peter for about 18 months now, from before he first reported on Jo Hovind’s Tax Court case. It took me that long for a connection between my young-earth creation-science hobby to manifest itself in a tax case that would provide the basis for pressing to write about it.

    Since that time he has written numerous articles and, being one who has offered numerous readers’ comments following those articles, I would not make the charges against Peter that some here have made.

    Peter might lament that some here don’t appreciate and recognize his irony, but I think you have said it at least better than I could. I would caution those who have criticized Peter such as has been done to be more careful in making such claims.

    As for me, I have noticed that Kent Hovind in his attempt to appeal his Tax Court decision to the 11th Circuit perjured himself before the 11th Circuit such as he did in his bankruptcy case. I would like to see more informed public comment about that.