(Warning: Poe's Law in action!)
|The divine comedy|
Eric Hovind, an uneducated huckster, 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 and is now asking for a million dollars so he can make Genesis 3D and then sell it. He thrives on pulling his knowledge of science from out of his ass, as in God taught him to pull a rabbit out of it.
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. Hovind's one attempt at completing a credential in higher education was Jackson Hole Bible College in 1999, which is not a real college. Jackson Hole is an unaccredited, one year Christian school at a campsite that offers a "Diploma in Biblical Foundations" (not to be confused with real credentials such as degrees that take years of study to 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.
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 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. Apparently, the students and operators of the "college-camp site" aren't as smart as a 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.
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.
He even ignores fossils from his own state, the Mazon Creek fossil bed discovery of the Tully monster.
In March 2012, Eric Hovind publicly debated Thunderf00t at Reason Rally for almost an hour. 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 ridiculous 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."
Outwitted by an 11 year old at Portland State University
In November 2012, Eric Hovind debated Bernie Dehler at Portland State University. The arguably best part of the debate was when an 11-year-old boy quizzed Hovind about his argument for the existence of God. Eric Hovind says: "I'm saying if you don't know everything then you can't know anything to be absolutely true." 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."
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.
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 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. 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.
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." Hartmann later told Hovind that his claims were "neither accurate nor scientific.”
In June 2016, Hovind raised over $4,400 (including "salaries") from supporters to "protest" a "protest" at the Ark Encounter so people could learn the "truth." The resulting video footage left Hovind "utterly humiliated" when he asked a question that revealed he didn't know basic high school taxonomy of humans. That is, Hovind asked, "Do you believe we came from an ape-like ancestor?" only to be told, "Apes don’t have tails — learn taxonomy! So yes, you are an ape, by definition."
Murder and racism
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 had 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?"
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, which is religious in nature and has "daily implementation of Christian moral values." 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 have occurred during times when Christian prayer was required in public schools. For instance, the 1959 Poe Elementary School bombing killed 6 and injured 18 others, 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, would Hovind attribute that to the lack of prayer in school? The perpetrator of that bombing also had recently "got religion" and made (rather incoherent) references to God in notes prior to setting the bomb off, but Hovind would surely dismiss a possible religious connection.
Racism and hypocrisy
PZ Myers and others have accused Eric Hovind of racism and using false statistics to vilify immigrants. Hovind is further accused of republishing a grossly racist poem that also appeared on the Stormfront website. 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). Hovind has also been linked to a Neo-Confederate holocaust denying militia The Church at Kaweah.
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. Keep in mind his father went to jail for tax evasion! It's little more than rehashed supply side economics. 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."). 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.
Worshipping the Holy Profit
Creation Today and the Creation Store
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. Eric subsequently filed for non-profit status of "God Quest Inc." to do business as Creation Science Evangelism, which means that his 990 government filings are public record.
In 2010, Eric "re-opened" the "Creation Store" in Pensacola, which sells pseudoscience to the masses. That year Eric received $44,603 from God Quest Inc. , which does not include many perks, such as loaning himself $70,000 to make improvements on his home. The organization brought in $944,582 in earnings and assets from sales and donations.
In late 2011, Creation Science Evangelism announced it would become Creation Today as "a new brand name." The name change is likely due to the bad publicity about Creation Science Evangelism and the Hovinds' legal issues.
In 2011, God Quest Inc. had $1,149,330 in assets and Hovind paid himself $50,666. So in just one year, Hovind made $6,000 more, not including perks like travel and loans from the organization.
As God Quest's 2011 990s show, Eric's income increased as assets and fundraising dropped, though he claimed his staff took a 10% pay cut.
Hovind is busy getting his father's tax problems removed from websites without giving any reason.
Genesis 3D film
Since 2009, Resurrection Pictures has been raising money to produce a movie first called Creation and Dr Dino, but has since been renamed Genesis 3D. Sometime around 2013, Hovind's Creation Today became involved in producing the movie.
Hovind asks people for $16,500 for one minute of the movie at his website. In October 2013, Hovind requested his supporters send him $150,000 via Indiegogo, promising a "mid 2014" finish date and supporters gave him $272,359. By mid 2014, the movie was not completed. Rather, Hovind has asked for another $800,000. As of September 2014, he is now delaying the movie to raise more money.
- 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
- 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
- "After completing his high school studies at Pensacola Christian Academy in 1997, he graduated from Jackson Hole Bible College in Jackson Hole, Wyoming" from Eric Hovind Bio they covered up. Though Web Archive found this. 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/
- "The campus of Jackson Hole Bible College (JHBC), a diploma mill, 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
- See exchange at 2:03:40 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By3ijuxkxDg
- See the schedule: his 'lesson plans/
- Eric Hovind OFFICIALLY accepts atheism is true and accurate
- At 0:48 mark here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhDPrP-tpeo
- "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/
- Search https://www.maps.google.com for directions from Pensacola, FL to Starke, FL
- Atheists unveil Fla monument near Ten Commandments
- Imagine if an atheist jumped onto a Christian monument as it was being dedicated
- Getting tired of Ray Comfort’s silly blog?
- Eric Hovind, Racist?
- Friday, June 12, 2009 Welfare
- Church at Kaweah Spreads Hateful, Militant Christian Views by Leah Nelson (March 01, 2012) Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Eric Hovind and Chad Hovind legally filed Godonomics as a company in Florida in 2010. Search state records here: http://sunbiz.org
- Matthew 22:17-21
- 990 from God Quest, doing business as Creation Science Evangelism http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/260/260479444/260479444_201007_990.pdf
- "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
- Kyle Winkler, "We Are Now Creation Today". Creation Today Current. Winter 2011. Retrieved 2014-11-14. page 4
- Kent Hovind, writing as "God" to Kent says, "You are being ridiculed all over the Internet" and Kent tells God, "There has been an awful lot of bad press about my case and me going to prison." Knee-Mail: "It's Not Over"
- 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/
- "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." Statement from the crank organization.
- 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
- This 30 second commercial sends people to Hovind's "Creation store" to buy a 35 minute audio CD for $8.95.