Category Archives: Intelligent Design

Creationist Wisdom #559: Another Hovind Fan

Today’s second letter-to-the-editor appears in the Pensacola News Journal of Pensacola, Florida — home of the creationist ministry of Kent Hovind (a/k/a “Dr. Dino”), and also the site of his recent trial. It’s titled Free Kent Hovind. An icon below the headline will take you to the newspaper’s comments feature.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote her by using her full name. We’ll use only her first name, which is Louise. Excerpts from her letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Is the city of Pensacola run by complete morons? What is going on in your courts up there?

Louise apparently doesn’t know the difference between a municipal court and a federal court. Hovind was tried in the latter. If you’re new to this, see Kent Hovind Trial: He’s Guilty! Louise continues:

Did you know the average time for a murderer to be in jail is 229 months? Robbery runs about 83 months, rape 96.

We didn’t know that. Nor have we bothered to check those figures, because we don’t see that they’re relevant. Let’s read on:

But for withdrawing large amounts from his bank account instead of small ones, Dr. Kent Hovind has spent 98 months in jail. There’s no tax evasion about the case at all.

Aaaargh!! Hovind’s writeup in Wikipedia describes his 2006 conviction for tax evasion. That tells us:

On July 11, 2006, Hovind was indicted on 58 counts in the District Court in Northern Florida in Pensacola. Twelve counts were willful failure to collect, account for, and pay over federal income taxes and FICA taxes, totaling $473,818. Forty-five counts were knowingly structuring transactions by making multiple cash withdrawals totaling $430,500 in amounts just under the $10,000 which requires reporting … for which his wife was also charged. The last count was corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the administration of the internal revenue laws by falsely listing the IRS as his only creditor when filing for bankruptcy, filing a false and frivolous lawsuit against the IRS in which he demanded damages for criminal trespass, making threats of harm to those investigating him and to those who might consider cooperating with the investigation, filing a false complaint against IRS agents investigating him, filing a false criminal complaint against IRS special agents (criminal investigators), and destroying records.

[…]

On October 21, 2006, the trial began in which he hoped to convince a jury that his amusement park admission and merchandise sales belonged to God and cannot be taxed. … After closing arguments were presented on November 2, the jury deliberated three hours before finding the Hovinds guilty on all counts, 58 for Hovind and 44 for his wife.

Besides, that has nothing to do with Hovind’s latest legal troubles, which are due to his activities after his earlier conviction. Here’s more from Louise:

And now since the judge didn’t get a straight-up guilty verdict, she’s going to have him retried and it doesn’t take a genius to realize she’ll try and push the case toward her desired verdict.

He was found guilty on one count, but it was a hung jury on the others. And the new trial wasn’t the judge’s decision. It was up to the prosecutors. All the judge did was set a trial date — that’s 18 May. See Kent Hovind Will Be Tried Again. Louise concludes her letter with this:

Why? I don’t know. But she makes you guys look like a joke. However, I enjoy a good joke. See you in May.

What does that mean? Will Louise be in Pensacola for the new trial? Perhaps she hopes to see a flaming finger from above reach down and smite the wicked judge. Be careful, Louise — that flaming finger might be aimed at Hovind — or maybe you.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationist Wisdom #558: Origin of Everything

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in The Spectrum, a Gannett newspaper that doesn’t disclose its location, but their weather report reveals that they’re located in St. George, Utah. The letter is titled You have three choices. An icon below the headline gets you to the newspaper’s comments feature.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. We’ll use only his first name, which is Michael. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

You can’t have evolution without matter. So where did matter come from?

Wow — what a profound question! Michael is a deep thinker. Well, where does matter come from? Here’s what Michael says:

Three choices. The universe created itself, the universe is self existing or special creation.

Brilliant! It’s perfectly logical that those are the only possibilities. Let’s read on:

All three are religious.

Huh? We know that special creation is religious, but what about the other two? Michael explains:

“Nothing blew up and here we are” and “the universe is self existing” are not scientific statements. They take faith.

Oh. Okay. Here’s more:

To be scientific it must be demonstrable, repeatable and observable (unlike evolution).

Repeatable. Aaaargh!! We just discussed that in Creationist Wisdom #555: Evolution Isn’t Science, therefore — if you’ll pardon the expression — we won’t repeat ourselves. Moving along:

So, where did matter come from? Question: If you know ten percent of everything, is it possible God exists in the ninety percent you don’t know?

Jeepers — another great question! Michael is full of them — or something. Well, dear reader, what do you think? Is God in what you don’t know? Michael gives us the answer at the end of his letter:

Let me help you: Yyyyeeeessss.

So now you know — it’s all about what you don’t know. Thanks, Michael.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationists Claim Lucy Is a Fraud

Creationists have never liked Lucy — the first fossil found of the pre-human species formally known as Australopithecus afarensis. Numerous other fossils of that species have been found since Lucy, but that one gets all the press. The usual creationist websites deny the legitimacy of Lucy, including the Discoveroids — see Discovery Institute: Casey Luskin and Lucy.

Well, something has come up that is certain to thrill the creationists. You can read about it in the New Scientist in this article: Baboon bone found in famous Lucy skeleton. Whoa — that sounds serious! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Lucy, arguably the world’s most famous early human fossil, is not quite all she seems. A careful look at the ancient hominin’s skeleton suggests one bone may actually belong to a baboon.

[…]

[W]hen Gary Sawyer and Mike Smith at the American Museum of Natural History in New York recently began work on a new reconstruction of Lucy’s skeleton, with help from Scott Williams at New York University, they noticed something odd. “Mike pointed out that one of the [vertebra] fragments, which no one, including me, had really paid close attention to, looked fairly small to fit with the rest of Lucy’s vertebral column,” says Williams.

[…]

They soon concluded that it didn’t belong to Lucy. “It was just too small,” says Williams.

How much of a problem is this? Not much, apparently. Here’s another excerpt:

“Baboons were a close match, both in shape and size,” says Williams. “So we think we’ve solved this mystery. It seems that a fossil gelada baboon thoracic vertebra washed or was otherwise transported in the mix of Lucy’s remains.

He stresses, though, that the analysis, which he will present at a meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society in San Francisco next week, also confirms that the other 88 fossil fragments belonging to Lucy’s skeleton are correctly identified. And the mislabelled baboon bone fragment doesn’t undermine Lucy’s important position in the evolution of our lineage.

Well, these things happen. It’s only one bone, and as we mentioned, Lucy is only one of numerous other fossils of the same species. But this news is more than enough to get the creationists all worked up. Look what we found at the website of the Christian News Network — their headline screams: Evolutionary Embarrassment: Part of Famous ‘Ape-Man’ Skeleton Actually Came from Baboon. They say, with bold font added by us:

A team of scientists has announced that the famous “Lucy” skeleton, a specimen long heralded as proof of man’s evolutionary descent, likely includes at least one bone from a baboon.

Uh huh — “at least” one bone from a baboon. Let’s read on:

[M]any scientists, including those who believe in biblical creation, have long expressed skepticism toward the Lucy fossil. Sculptor and exhibit designer Doug Henderson wrote in a 2013 article for Answers in Genesis that depictions of Lucy are significantly influenced by biases and unfounded assumptions.

Answers in Genesis? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We continue:

If the Lucy fragment is indeed from a baboon, the incident would not be the first time evolutionists have misidentified fossils that allegedly prove the existence of ape-men. In the 1920s, a single fossil purportedly originating from a primate nicknamed “Nebraska Man”

Aaaargh!! We discussed Nebraska Man in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. It was a very brief mis-identification, quickly corrected. It now appears only in creationist literature. Then they quote David Menton, a writer for Answers in Genesis:

“No, we are not descended from apes,” Menton concluded. “Rather, God created man as the crown of His creation on Day 6. We are a special creation of God, made in His image, to bring Him glory. What a revolution this truth would make if our evolutionized culture truly understood it!”

So there you are. One wrong bone in one fossil and — Whammo! It’s all over. But there’s one thing that bothers us — if this one bone is so devastating to the theory of evolution, why did those scientists announce it? Shouldn’t they have hushed it up? That’s what creationists would expect. This is quite a mystery. Anyway, we’ll be hearing about this from the other creationist websites. This is their kind of science!

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Klinghoffer Gloats Over Louisiana’s Idiocy

Today’s news from the Discovery Institute is every bit as expected as yesterday’s news about the defeat of this year’s attempt to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act (the LSEA). The LSEA was based on the Discovery Institute’s anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act.

As usual, this year’s repeal bill was sponsored by Senator Karen Carter Peterson, and supported by Zack Kopplin. Yesterday, in Zack & the Louisiana Creationism Repeal Bill, just before the fatal hearing, we said:

The Discoveroids haven’t yet posted about the situation. No doubt they will. The LSEA is their biggest triumph, so they have to defend it. They’ve never made any contribution to science, and they never will, so Academic Freedom bills like the one they promoted in Louisiana (and later in Tennessee) are all they’ve got to show for the millions they’ve spent, and they won’t let it go down without a fight.

Late yesterday, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) posted Repeal effort fails again in Louisiana. They reported: “Louisiana’s Senate Bill 74 (PDF) was deferred on a 4-3 vote in the Louisiana Senate Education Committee on April 22, 2015, which effectively kills the bill in committee.”

Our pessimistic prediction had come true. It wasn’t a terribly difficult prediction to make. The repeal bill never had a chance. Almost the entire Louisiana legislature (which was then controlled by Democrats) voted for the LSEA back in 2008. The bill was enthusiastically signed by the state’s ambition-crazed governor, Bobby Jindal, the Exorcist. That august body of lawmakers is still solidly creationist, and so is Jindal.

But what about our prediction regarding the Discoveroids? No problem. Today at their creationist blog we find Finally, from Darwin Activist Zack Kopplin, a Journalistic Scoop?. It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger.

Whatever else one might say about the Discoveroids, it can’t be doubted that they’re a classy act. Klinghoffer is not only doing the creationist happy-dance about the repeal bill’s failure, but he’s also taking a poke at Zack and his article at Slate, titled Dismissing Darwin, in which Zack gives examples of creationist horror stories in Louisiana’s public schools. Here are some excerpts from Klinghoffer’s post, with bold font added by us:

That was a bit of an anticlimax. Louisiana Darwin activist Zack Kopplin has been crowing since February about what a big scoop he’d soon have, blowing the lid off how “creationism” is being taught in Louisiana public schools. In the wake of what he had to reveal, I’d be “frothing at the mouth,” Zack promised in a series of tweets. His journalistic coup was supposed to serve as an indictment of the Louisiana Science Education Act.

We’ll skip the tweets, but you can see them if you click over to Klinghoffer’s article. Let’s read on:

[I]f some instructor really was slipping Bible lessons into her biology class — teaching genuine creationism — that’s explicitly not protected by the LSEA.

Not quite. We’ve critiqued the LSEA and similar bills before — see the Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws. Klinghoffer continues:

At last Zack’s article appeared yesterday at Slate (“Dismissing Darwin”), and I think anyone would have to agree it was a letdown. We may have more to say on it in a little more detail later, but gosh, Zack has a whole lot of nothing here: at best, several confused or intemperate comments by citizens and office holders, including some who don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word “creationism.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! They keep claiming they’re not creationists, but no one believes them — see Discovery Institute: “Stop Calling Us Creationists!” If the LSEA didn’t protect creationism, there would be no reason for the Discoveroids to sponsor and defend it — or for the Louisiana legislature to enact it.

Klinghoffer goes on for quite a while, enjoying the creationist victory and trying to ridicule Zack. Go ahead, read it all at the Discoveroids’ website. And remember, although the Discoveroids claim to be a science outfit, stuff like this is all they’ll ever do. And when you think about it, the only thing they accomplished yesterday was to preserve a goofy law they got passed seven years ago.

All the celebrating at Discoveroid headquarters is because once again, Louisiana has decided to remain stupid. Great victory! Isn’t it time the Discoveroids had something else to show for all their efforts?

The LSEA says: “This [act] shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.” The same language is in the Discoveroids’ model statute. In that spirit, we say:

This post shall not be construed as being disrespectful of the Discoveroids.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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