Oh the joy. Kent Hovind’s doctoral thesis has emerged courtesy of wikileaks.
For those who don’t know, Kent Hovind is a famous Creationist who is currently serving a ten year jail sentence.
I warn you: this post may contain snark.
A few observations (I’m writing as I’m reading, so later parts may contradict or correct earlier parts of the post):
The first sentence is “Hello, my name is Kent Hovind.”
There’s no bibliography.
The first reference to any external source comes nine pages after the thesis starts in earnest, and it’s to the book of Isaiah.
Plagiarism is one of many things this thesis should have failed for.
Almost none of these arguments is original, but I can’t find a single citation in this thesis (obviously, I haven’t read the whole thing, because I value my time more than that). Huge amounts of the thesis are given to trotting out standard evangelical theology, but Hovind is talking like they’re his own ideas.
The punctuation is novel.
We can conclude that Kent likes the exclamation mark. For example, in reference to God’s view of pride, he writes:
“He hates it!!”
I can’t give you a page number, because there aren’t any.
Kent almost seems to understand evolution.
I like this paragraph:
As we trace the history of evolution, it becomes slightly confusing at this point because there are going to be several different branches on the tree. I will focus on just two of the main branches.
By “the history of evolution”, Kent means the history of the idea of evolution (obviously, he doesn’t think evolution itself has a history, because he doesn’t believe it), which he claims originated with the fall of Satan (no, really). But I find it just too stunning that he would use the analogy of branches on a tree to describe the development of this idea. It’s almost as though the idea evolved. It’s almost as if branches on a tree are a superb analogy for evolutionary development…
There is at least one cited reference
Kent quotes a book called The Long War Against God, but unless there’s part of the thesis missing, he doesn’t give an author or a date.
Ooh, it’s quoted again later and turns out to be by another Creationist, Henry Morris. This is the only cited book so far in the entire thesis.
Kent on Islam
“The God of Mohammedism is not the God of the Bible by any stretch of the imagination. It is a little pantheistic God of nature. Because of this, the Islam religion accepts evolution very readily as a scientific fact because it fits so well with their teaching.”
Darwin invented racism, apparently
“Racism started, or was greatly enhanced by Darwin and Thomas Huxley.”
He quotes Darwin as writing, in The Descent of Man, “the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world.”
According to Talk Origins, this is a Creationist quotemine. Their discussion of the context is here. In any case, if Darwin was a massive racist, that doesn’t mean that modern evolutionary theory doesn’t have explanations which are both well supported by evidence and not racist.
OK, so we’re running at a whopping three books referenced now, and at least one of those quotes is possibly in context.
Oh no, the second half of thesis actually has quite a few quotes from books and magazines. I’d say parts of this border on an acceptable standard for GCSE coursework. I saw more than one quote from a scientist that had no citation whatsoever though.
He saves the best for last
“All of the ancient writings we have show a young age of the earth. Why don’t we have people writing about kings that lived fifty thousand years ago? Why is it that all of recorded history happened in the last four thousand years?”
OK, so I’ve wasted enough of my life on this crap. We’re going to play a game. Go and look up the thesis, scroll to a random page, and post your favourite quotes in comments!