Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Special offer: Prove the Theory of Evolution is a fact, earn $250,000!

with 19 comments

feeding_dinosaurs.jpg

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)

Written by unitedcats

August 22, 2007 at 8:11 am

19 Responses

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  1. Oooh, Satan..now there’s a fellow evolutionists need to throw into the mix. ; )

    (Sorry to hear the $250 K check isn’t on the way to a mailbox near you…so it goes.)

    Nancy

    August 22, 2007 at 9:43 am

  2. If you had just 5 minutes to convince a completely science-clueless farmboy that evolution is a real fact, what proofs would you point out to him? Ignore Dr. Hovind’s definition of evolution and proofs and use your own.

    Scott Thong

    August 22, 2007 at 7:17 pm

  3. Hmmm…Randi watch out! Now, where’s he gonna get that money in jail? Hmm…
    Not only is evolution often misunderstood, but creationists encourage it to be mistaught so that it is easier to criticize….

    PalMD

    August 22, 2007 at 8:23 pm

  4. It took Darwin an entire book to explain his theory, so that is quite a challenge. Fortunately a lot more has been discovered since Darwin’s day. Evolution can be seen in the fossil record, the evolution of the horse is a good example. It’s been observed in the wild, trout speciated into two species in just 70 years after being introduced into Lake Washington. And it has been demonstrated under laboratory conditions, in an experiment with fish on a Caribbean Island. I will post links and details in a future blog, Evolution is actually a wonderful and non threatening theory, and would make a nice blog post.

    unitedcats

    August 22, 2007 at 8:46 pm

  5. That would be nice. Keep it simple, the sort of experiments and proofs that laypeople can understand.

    Like Newton’s refracting white light into a rainbow with a prism, then recombining it with another prism – clearly understandable demonstration that shows white light is made up of various colours of light. Whereas trying to refract red light results in only more red light – showing that the prism doesn’t actually change the light, just splits it.

    Scott Thong

    August 23, 2007 at 5:49 am

  6. This post was too long for a comment, but I have posted it as a stand-alone post here.
    —Doug

    Jim

    August 23, 2007 at 9:43 am

  7. […] Post! Evolution vs Creationism comment Jump to Comments Well, my post about Dr Hovind’s $250k “prove Evolution” challenge got at least one impassioned response. This is kind of long, but I wanted to at least post it and […]

  8. I’ve got $250K for anyone that can prove God…

    solarkismet

    August 27, 2007 at 7:58 am

  9. okay that’s dumb cause evolution is no true the Bible has been proven to be scientifically and historically accurate there and there are not contradictions there fore i will base this on the
    Bible the 1st sentence in the Bible says and i quote, “In the beginning God…” now that right there is good enough for me sorry if it ain’t good enough for you, oh and by the way when Darwin died he admitted that all his THEORY’S were not true and he accepted Christ as his personal savor so if the person who started evolution says it’s wrong its WRONG!!!!!

    jj

    September 17, 2007 at 4:08 pm

  10. Well, I had never heard that about Darwin and I looked it up. Granted it has utterly no bearing on the validity of the theory, a scientific theory stands or falls on its own merits, and Evolution is going strong in that regard. However, the story that Darwin converted on his deathbed and renounced his belief in Evolution is just that, a story. All of his friends and family deny it happened. Thanks for dropping by, God bless! —Doug

    unitedcats

    September 17, 2007 at 6:33 pm

  11. the STORY of evolution is like believing in a frog that got kissed by a prince and became a princess! and why did his family deny it? were they too embarrassed? the man that rewrote Darwin’s origin of species said that he got confused!
    one more thing before i go if evolution is true then why are you gonna pay someone that much money to prove it’s true obviously you don’t even believe it’s true! sorry but no one will change my mind About God, He is my creator and my personal Savior and i love Him He’s my God and no one will ever change my mind about that!
    God bless you in your search
    jj

    jj

    September 21, 2007 at 5:47 pm

  12. First of all I am a saved christian and I do NOT believe in evolution…No one has ever proved evolution it is a theory, even a religion in itself. I’m not claiming to know much about any of this but my question is WHY would anyone want to believe that they are evolved from monkeys??? I am not evolved from a monkey even though it is questionable for some of you. I would much rather put my faith in the most high God than in an ancestral ape. And it is wrong for people to have to pay taxes. I do it and everyone I know does it but in the KJV bible it says nothing about paying taxes. Well cathch ya later my primates!

    Courtney

    November 5, 2007 at 10:41 am

  13. To all searchers,
    If your hearts are hard that is your choice. Might I suggust that no matter how much evidence you have or think you have against creation it is all a heart issue. You do not want to be accountable to a God bigger then you. You want to be your own god. Doesn’t change the fact that God is God.
    In Christ Love,
    Katrina

    Katrina

    December 8, 2007 at 11:27 pm

  14. Kent Hovind is an idiot. He doesn’t even know what the Theory of Evolution states, or what it is. It has nothing to do with the creation of the universe, it simply has to do with how life evolves from one stage to the next. He’s mixing in Big Bang Theory, abiogenesis and a handful of other assorted hypotheses and theories.

    What he’s asking isn’t possible because some of those lesser theories aren’t yet proven. The Theory of Evolution has mounds and mounds of empirical evidence in support of it, and has never ONCE been disproven. Big Bang Theory, abiogenesis and such are still in the research stages, making this wager unfair.

    Jason

    June 16, 2008 at 8:48 am

  15. “The Theory of Evolution has mounds and mounds of empirical evidence in support of it, and has never ONCE been disproven.”

    Who ever can make a statement like this is the real idiot. This statement obviously demonstrates the lack of intelligence for evolutionist.

    greg

    August 24, 2008 at 12:57 pm

  16. There’s no such thing as an “evolutionist” so I’m a little unclear on what you mean there. And there is indeed tons of empirical and experimental evidence supporting the Theory of Evolution. And while normally one does not try to “disprove” theories, no one has come up with an alternate theory since Lamarckism, nor have they tried and failed to replicate experiments which demonstrate the Theory of Evolution. If you know of any alternate scientific (not religious) theories or can provide links to experiments whose results cast doubt on the Theory of Evolution I’m sure my readers would be fascinated. And it would go far more toward changing people’s minds than just engaging in, well, pointless name-calling.

    unitedcats

    August 24, 2008 at 1:59 pm

  17. Tongue-in-cheek, if three cats are united and preeminently agreed on evolution could one call them a trinity? But seriously, I have a question about the implication in your 24 August post that religious theories are not a valid mechanism for describing the Universe. It sounds like an argument is deemed false or fatally biased if perceived to stem from a biblical or more specifically Christian world-view. At what point would you recognize the validity of a scientific definition of cosmic origin and biological diversity that was consistent with Genesis?

    Jonathan

    November 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm

  18. The theory concerning the evolution of man is under increased scrutiny due to the persistence of gaps in the fossil record, the inability to demonstrate “life-or-death” determining advantageous genetic mutations, and the lack of experiments or observations to truly confirm the evidence for speciation. Overall, the evolution of man pervades as the accepted paradigm on the origin of man within the scientific community. This is not because it has been proven scientifically, but because alternative viewpoints bring with them metaphysical implications which go against the modern naturalistic paradigm. Nevertheless, a closer examination of the evidence reveals evolution to be increasingly less scientific and more reliant upon beliefs, not proof.

    DW

    December 31, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    • God CREATED THE HEAVENS AND EARTH IF U NEED MORE OF A UNDERSTANDING THEN READ THE HOLY BIBLE[CHIRSTIAN] I NOE THAT HE IS REAL 4 I HAVE EXPERIENCED HIM AND HE’S MIRACHLES THEY FOUND HUMAN SKULLS 2 PICK THE LIGHT NOT THE DARK. TY XD

      tieeeeeeee

      April 19, 2010 at 1:38 am


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