Eric Hovind

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Eric Hovind is an uneducated huckster[1] who has followed in the footsteps of his father Kent Hovind, a convicted felon and creationist wingnut. After his father's ten year prison sentence in 2007, Eric took over Creation Science Evangelism and renamed it Creation Today in 2012. Hovind uses YouTube to sell nuggets of wisdom, like his home-produced DVD Creation Today series[2] and is now asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce Genesis: Where Creation and Evolution Collide to sell.

Contents

[edit] Lack of qualifications and education

Eric Hovind attended Pensacola Christian Academy, a kindergarten to grade twelve Christian school operated by Arlin Horton that teaches young Earth creationism, finishing in 1997.[3] Hovind's one attempt at completing a credential in higher education was Jackson Hole Bible College in 1999[4], which is not a real college. Jackson Hole is an unaccredited, one year Christian school at a campsite[5] that offers a "Diploma in Biblical Foundations"[6] (not to be confused with real credentials such as degrees that take years of study complete). Unlike real college classes that are taught by people with PhDs for several weeks, Jackson's classes last only a week, such as its "backpacking" class.[7]

This means Hovind has no education or credentials in science. He has admitted that he has never taken a class on evolution at a secular college[8] and judging from Hovind's own biography he hasn't even spent one day in any science class at an accredited community college. This is despite him operating a million dollar store that specializes in DVDs that accuse scientists (people who have spent decades in classes and labs) of being wrong.

In 2013, Eric Hovind served as a "teacher", if one calls it that, at Jackson Hole Bible College, where he taught "Presuppositional Evangelism in the 21st Century" for a week.[9] This is the same argument that got publicly torn apart by a child in 2012.[10] Apparently, the students and operators of the "college-camp site" aren't as smart as the child and can't see the flaws in Hovind's arguments as he was invited back to teach "Presuppositional Evangelism in the 21st Century" in 2014.[11]

[edit] Creationism

Hovind does not accept the scientific fact of evolution and ignores the fossil evidence, DNA evidence, Amino acid evidence and several branches of science that support common descent as well as mounds of scientific literature. Like his father, Eric Hovind produces inept Young Earth Creationist arguments including Noah's flood. For example, Eric Hovind produced a "Creation Minute" episode that claims the Grand Canyon is proof of Noah's Flood. The crux of Hovind's argument was that in his words: "The Colorado River exits the Canyon at 1800 feet above sea level, it enters the Canyon at 2800 feet above sea level." The problem with this is it is flat out wrong. Thunderf00t's video "The Art of PROFESSIONAL stupidity" exposed this and other Eric Hovind nonsense.[12]

Recently, Hovind's fellow young Earth creationists are critical of Hovind adding Sye Ten Bruggencate to his ministry because of Sye's promotion of Calvinism.[13]

[edit] Thunderf00t debate

In March 2012, Eric Hovind publicly debated Thunderf00t at Reason Rally for almost an hour.[14]. Hovind argued that complete certainty is preferable (in the case of religion) and partially argued the straw man that atheists pretend complete certainty. In one exchange, Hovind told Thunderf00t he "had to give up atheism to" say he doesn't believe in God. Thunderf00t wanted confirmation for this insane contradiction and asked, "are you saying to a man who has told you, 'I know no God exists' that you're not an atheist." Hovind replied, "yeah."

Thunderf00t has produced other videos about Hovind, revealing the flaws his reasoning, and calling him out for his marketing practices.[15]

[edit] Outwitted by an 11 year old at Portland State University

In November 2012, Eric Hovind debated Bernie Dehler at Portland State University[16]. The arguably best part of the debate was when an 11 year old boy quizzed Hovind about his argument for the existence of God.[17][18] Eric Hovind says: "I'm saying if you don't know everything then you can't know anything to be absolutely true."[19] The boy then asks Hovind: "If I don't know everything in the world then I don't know you exist. . . So that means if I don't know everything then I don't know God exists." Realizing, he was just outwitted by an eleven year old child, Hovind then proceeded to bully the child and said, "I'm not trying to pick on you because you're an eleven year old young man." That's true as Eric was "picking" on the child because the 11 year old destroyed Eric's argument that was the centerpiece of DVDs and seminars.

[edit] Desperate for publicity

In June 2013, a granite bench and monument with quotes on atheism, rationalism, and freethought was unveiled in front of the Bradford County courthouse in Starke, Florida. The objects were erected following a lawsuit by American Atheists, which sued when in 2011 Christians permanently placed a Ten Commandments monument on the lawn. The city then allowed the atheists to place their own monument in front of the courthouse to prevent a lawsuit.[20]

Despite not being a part of the legal dispute, Hovind saw a chance to get his name on some blogs and drove the 336 miles for about five hours[21] from his home in Pensacola to Starke, which is on the other side of the state. While there in front of the press and his own camera person, Hovind climbed atop the monument after the dedication ceremony and began to preach, before he was shouted down by the crowd shortly after.[22] Hovind posted the video on youtube, calling it the "official" video. PZ Myers wrote that atheists would not be tolerated doing anything similar to a religious monument.[23]

[edit] Hovind does not understand evolution

In December 2013, Hovind debated Thom Hartmann. During the debate, Hovind embarrassed himself by making a ridiculous claim that American public schools teach children they are "cousins of bananas", and that they "evolved from rocks."[24] Hartmann later told Hovind that his claims were "neither accurate nor scientific.”

[edit] Murder and racism

[edit] Sandy Hook murders

On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza murdered twenty children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Lanza earlier in the morning killed his mother before taking her Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle to the school to kill children. In response to the mass murder, Eric Hovind tweeted that same day: "are you happy now that the shooter grew up in a school without God?"[25][26][27]

Ignoring the crass and unsympathetic comment at a time when the nation was mourning, as usual a statement from Hovind is false for several reasons. First, Hovind's statement is incorrect on its surface. Lanza attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School[28], which is religious in nature and has "daily implementation of Christian moral values."[29] Thus, the murderer did in fact grow up in a school that had God. So now does Hovind think that Lanza's Christian education influenced Lanza to kill?

Secondly, school mass murders existed when Christian prayer was required in public schools. For instance, the 1959 Poe Elementary School bombing killed 6 and injured 18 others[30], and pre-dates the 1963 Supreme Court decision of Abington School District v. Schempp that ended mandatory Christian prayer in school. With that example, would Hovind conclude that mandatory school prayer resulted in that mass murder of children at a school? Also homicide rates are down by 50% in the last 20 years[31], would Hovind attribute that to the lack the prayer in school?

[edit] Racism and hypocrisy

Eric Hovind has been accused of racism and using false statistics to vilify immigrants by PZ Myers and others. Hovind is further accused of republishing a grossly racist poem that also appeared on the Stormfront website.[32][33] Later when he got into trouble over racism Hovind tried to deny it and accused the evolutionists of racism. Hovind now tells us that as a Christian he believes "all people are originally of one nation and one blood" (see the Biblical story of the "Curse of Ham" for the Biblical justification of black slavery).[34]

[edit] Godonomics

It's not your money, it's God's money. Eric Hovind got involved with something called "Godonomics," which means, among other things, that Hovind believes that it is wrong for governments to tax the rich.[35] Keep in mind his father is still in jail for tax evasion! It's little more than rehashed supply side economics.[36] Eric uses arguments his father, Kent Hovind, made in the video How to Make Money and Spend it God's Way, where Hovind tells youth at a small Christian school not to get a job and earn a paycheck, but "work for the Lord" and be given items (Kent Hovind, for example, says "I have 94 cars given to me since I've been driving, I had 52 motorcycles given to me . . . I fix them up ride them around and sell them."[37]). Yes, why does society need a person to get an education and become a brain surgeon when that person can follow the Hovinds example and be given material possessions, like motorcycles, by the flock for preaching nonsense.

Interestingly, Godonomics directly contradicts the very holy book he insists on reading literally.[38]

[edit] Worshipping the Holy Profit

[edit] Ministry

After Kent Hovind, his father, went to federal prison to serve a decade-long sentence, Eric took control of Creation Science Evangelism (CSE) and immediately asked people to send money.[39] Eric subsequently filed for non-profit status of "God Quest Inc." to do business as Creation Science Evanglism, which means that his 990 government filings are public record.

In 2010, Eric opened the "Creation Store" in Pensacola, which sells pseudoscience to the masses.[40] That year Eric received $44,603 from God Quest Inc.[41] , which does not include many perks, such as loaning himself $70,000 to make improvements on his home.[42] The organization brought in $944,582 in earnings and assets from sales and donations.[43] It seems despite the non-profit status, Eric Hovind's organization makes him a lot of personal money and its unclear what the difference between a business and Hovind's "Creation Store" is.

In 2011, God Quest Inc. had $1,149,330 in assets and Hovind paid himself $50,666.[44] So in just one year, Hovind made $6,000 more, not including perks like travel and loans from the organization.

2012 was an interesting year. In late 2012, Creation Science Evangelism became Creation Today.[45] The public filings showed Eric's organization had only $751,693 in assets and Eric received a salary of $58,086.[46] Only in a creationist worldview, does someone like Eric Hovind, who lacks science education get to criticize science and lead a ministry that made a mere 65% of its previous year's income while getting a 24% paycheck increase.

But Eric Hovind is dishonest as usual. As the 990s show, Eric's income increased as assests and fundraising dropped. That didn't stop Eric from video-begging for money on March 26, 2013 through facebook and claiming his staff took a 10% pay cut.[47] Sounds fair: tell your supporters you asked staff for a 10% pay cut and bump your own salary up by 24%. Maybe Hovind can solve his father's tax problems with this sort of math. Or not. Hovind is busy getting his father's tax conspiracies removed from websites without giving any reason.[48]

[edit] Genesis film

See the main article on this topic: Genesis: Where Creation and Evolution Collide

Since 2009, Resurrection Pictures has been raising money to produce a movie first called Dr Dino, but has since been renamed Genesis: Where Creation and Evolution Collide. Sometime around 2013, Hovind's Creation Today became involved producing the movie and Hovind's current money-making venture is to beg for hundreds of thousands of dollars to make it.

Hovind asks people for $16,500 for one minute of the movie at his website.[49] In October 2013, Hovind requested his supporters send him $150,000 via Indiegogo, promising a "mid 2014" finish date.[50] As of June 2014, the movie isn't completed. Rather, Hovind is asking for another $500,000.[51] What a great idea to make money: Sell a movie that was paid for by others. In Godonomics' terms, that's worshipping the Holy Profit!

[edit] Creation Minute

Hovind's shares his father's penchant for money-grabbing and the holy profit. He sells 60-second video spots for $5.00 each.[52] Instead of posting videos on YouTube for all to see, Hovind posts commercials that send people to his online store.[53]

[edit] References

  1. Eric Hovind's efforts to sell his self-published tapes and DVDs in the manner of a used car salesman were so transparent that the Christian radio hosts of 97.1 who invited Hovind on to support their beliefs publicly called Hovind a "huckster" at the end of a 2009 debate with Michael Shermer. http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2009/05/michael-scherme-1.html
  2. The title of Eric Hovind's video is "Why are we doing this show?" and Hovind displays no fewer than 12 items he sells in his online store. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pU8Iv8dRN8
  3. http://www.creationtoday.org/about/eric-hovind/
  4. "After completing his high school studies at Pensacola Christian Academy in 1997, he graduated from Jackson Hole Bible College in Jackson Hole, Wyoming" from https://web.archive.org/web/20120413151854/http://www.creationtoday.org/about/eric-hovind/ As of 2013, Hovind stripped mention of Jackson Hole Bible College from his official biography and says now only "following college graduation in 1999" from http://www.creationtoday.org/about/eric-hovind/
  5. "The campus of Jackson Hole Bible College (JHBC) is located at Rocky Mountain Lodge, a short drive from Jackson on the way to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort." http://jhbc.edu/files/Course_Catalog%202012-2013.pdf
  6. http://jhbc.edu/program/
  7. http://jhbc.edu/files/JHBC%20Schedule%202012-2013.pdf
  8. See exchange at 2:03:40 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By3ijuxkxDg
  9. See the schedule: http://jhbc.edu/files/JHBC%20Schedule%202012-2013.pdf
  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhDPrP-tpeo
  11. http://jhbc.edu/files/JHBC%20Schedule%202013-2014.pdf
  12. "The Art of PROFESSIONAL stupidity! (Eric Hovind)" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xmYYnE_7ck
  13. http://www.yecheadquarters.org/?p=1517
  14. Eric Hovind OFFICIALLY accepts atheism is true and accurate
  15. "The Art of PROFESSIONAL stupidity! (Eric Hovind)" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xmYYnE_7ck
  16. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/11/21/that-awkward-moment-when-a-creationist-gets-outwitted-by-a-sixth-grader/
  17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhDPrP-tpeo
  18. http://www.reddit.com/r/cringe/comments/18yn7i/eric_hovind_vs_6th_grade_atheist/
  19. At 0:48 mark here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhDPrP-tpeo
  20. "Monuments to atheism and Christianity, now side-by-side at northern Florida courthouse," Palm Beach Post, July 7, 2013 http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/monuments-to-atheism-and-christianity-now-side-by-/nYfH2/
  21. Search https://www.maps.google.com for directions from Pensacola, FL to Starke, FL
  22. Atheists unveil Fla monument near Ten Commandments
  23. Imagine if an atheist jumped onto a Christian monument as it was being dedicated
  24. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/13/creationist-upset-public-schools-teach-children-they-are-cousins-of-bananas/
  25. https://twitter.com/erichovind/status/279652939423944704
  26. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2012/12/stay-classy-eric-hovind/
  27. http://skepticalprobe.blogspot.com/2012/12/huckabee-hovind-self-aggrandising-from.html
  28. http://www.tampabay.com/news/nation/frustrating-search-for-newtown-conn-shooter-adam-lanzas-motive/1267513
  29. http://www.stroseschool.com/school-mission/
  30. http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/heights-news/article/Survivor-recalls-1959-Houston-school-blast-that-1732461.php
  31. http://ideas.time.com/2013/09/18/navy-yard-whiplash-are-killings-going-up-or-down/
  32. Getting tired of Ray Comfort’s silly blog?
  33. Eric Hovind, Racist?
  34. Friday, June 12, 2009 Welfare
  35. Eric Hovind and Chad Hovind legally filed Godonomics as a company in Florida in 2010. Search state records here: http://sunbiz.org
  36. Godonomics
  37. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksAWI9cDdCU
  38. Matthew 22:17-21
  39. http://www.kenthovindblog.com/?p=62
  40. http://pensacola.creationstore.org/aboutDAL.php
  41. 990 from God Quest, doing business as Creation Science Evangelism http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/260/260479444/260479444_201007_990.pdf
  42. "Eric Hovind alleges he took active control over the lot by personally building a home on it with $70,000 he borrowed from CSE..." http://ncse.com/files/pub/legal/hovind/20090729_orderpartiallygrantingsummaryjudgment.pdf
  43. http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/260/260479444/260479444_201007_990.pdf
  44. http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/260/260479444/260479444_201107_990.pdf
  45. http://www.creationtoday.org/about/current/
  46. http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/260/260479444/260479444_201207_990.pdf
  47. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10200217130250031 The video is discussed here: http://howgoodisthat.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/its-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-eric-hovinds-creation-ministries-as-the-poster-child-for-anti-science-christian-apologetics-posts-a-video-begging-his-supporters-for-cash/
  48. "At the request of Mr. Eric Hovind, son of Kent Hovind, the Creation Science Hall of Fame removed the open letter from Kent Hovind on his tax battles. Mr. Hovind asks everyone to respect the privacy of the family and not ask for a specific reason. CSHF apologizes for any inconvenience that might have happened to the Hovind family or to anyone else. We wish only to do what is right by the Hovind family." http://creationsciencehalloffame.org/living/kent-hovind/
  49. https://secure.creationtoday.org/np/clients/ctoday/donation.jsp?campaign=4
  50. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/genesis-3d-movie
  51. http://www.creationtoday.org/wordpress/wp-content/themes/cse/emails/other/042414-GenesisUpdate2/
  52. See Hovind's Money Grubbing Creation Store http://store.creationtoday.org/index/page/product/product_id/1092/product_name/Creation+Minute+7%3A+Evidence+of+God+%28Downloadable+Video%29
  53. This 30 second commercial sends people to Hovind's "Creation store" to buy a 35 minute audio CD for $8.95.

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