Special offer: Prove the Theory of Evolution is a fact, earn $250,000!
Easy money! A Dr. Hovind is offering a cool $250k payment to anyone who can prove that Evolution is real! My money problems are solved, I mean, Darwin provided pretty convincing proof for his theory over 150 years ago, and the evidence for Evolution has been mounting since. I figured I had to hurry and provide the evidence, since surely others would be rushing to claim the prize. However, upon reading further, I guess there’s no hurry. The good doctor has offered this reward since 1990 and no one has claimed it yet!
Uh oh, no one has won since 1990? Wow, this must mean that Evolution must not be a terribly convincing theory after all, in 17 years none of the world’s great scientists or bloggers (hehe) has provided the empirical proof required? Dr Hovind certainly thinks his uncollected prize is proof that the Theory of Evolution is merely a religious belief and not science. Could 150 years of science be wrong? Could I be mistaken about Evolution?
Well, sure, it’s possible. I’m wrong about stuff all the time. I’ve even made mistakes and logical fallacies in this blog. Though oddly enough I am rarely called on them. Sometimes after writing a paragraph I think “Gee, that’s a lame argument, I’m sure someone will spot the holes in it.” Happens far less that I expect, not sure why. Though I do have some speculations, for another day though. Am I wrong about Evolution?
Who knows. Until a better theory is offered I’ll stick with Evolution. (Actually, the last competing scientific theory, Lamarckism, has been dead for over half a century.) Unfortunately though I cannot offer scientific proof sufficient to claim Dr Hovind’s generous offer. Why not? Because he made up his own definition for Evolution, one so broad and all encompassing that I don’t think it’s even possible to prove it in any empirical way. For one thing he claims that Evolution says that the universe was created from nothing. No, Evolution says nothing about the origin of the universe. For another he claims that Evolution says that life arose out of non living matter. Actually, Evolution says nothing about the origin of life.
I could go on, but suffice it to say that all Dr Hovind has done is set up the equivalent of a rigged ring toss at a carnival. Toss the ring over the statue of the saint’s head, win the big prize! Of course the ring doesn’t actually fit over the statue’s head, so one could throw the ring for all eternity and not win the prize. The only real question for me is this, is Dr Kovind sincere but totally misinformed about the Theory of Evolution, or is this a cynical effort to attack science and “prove” creationist theory?
Sadly, judging from the well constructed nature of his web site, I have to conclude the later. This is just a clever guy constructing a contest that will promote his own cause. Which is Dr Kovind I assume. (Yes, that’s an ad hominem attack, kudos if you spotted it gentle reader.) Or possibly he’s one of these religious people who think it’s OK to do anything as long as the ultimate goal is the conversion…oops, salvation…of others. I’ll be generous and assume the later.
Personally I think that lying to spread one’s faith is basically Satan’s work and little better than forced conversion, though I assume not everyone thinks the same.
(Note: Kent Hovind isn’t a real doctor, he is in jail for income tax fraud among other things, and his views are viewed as unhelpful and extreme by many creationists. He should not be considered as representative of Fundamentalists in general, and my criticism of him should not be construed as criticism of all Fundamentalists or Creationists.)
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post. Credit: copyright © Northwest Creation Network)