RE: [asa] Hovind

From: Duff,Robert Joel <>
Date: Tue Jun 26 2007 - 10:48:42 EDT

Hovind certainly represents an extreme in YEC thought. Just go to YouTube and there are hundreds of clips that will give you a sense of how far out there he is. What I have found interesting to witness are the reactions by other creation science organizations to Hovind's ministry and problems. This is an area we see another distinction between the approaches of AIG and CMI and was one of the first cracks that appeared about two years ago in what was just AIG at the time. AIG had published a direct point by point response to a letter by Hovind which was highly critical of Hovind and warned other Christians to be wary of his ministry. About two years ago that warning about Hovind disappeared from the AIG site. It seems that Ham's approach to other YEC organizations is to not reveal dissent within the ranks but to show a unified front to the lay Christian. Interestingly the authors of that Hovind response are now members of what is now CMI. With the creation of CMI's web!
  site that letter about Hovind has reappeared and can be seen here¨

Members of CMI have been apt to be much more critical of other creationist's theories and although I think they are wrong in general on their stances I would give them credit for at least trying to hold other creationists to some sort of standard and a willingness to discuss what is a bad versus good argument. It is this attitude that seems to be part of the reason for the tensions within AIG that eventually resulted in division. You will notice in the CMI/AIG split it is AIG that is trying as hard as it can to not speak about the issue and provide its followers as few facts as possible in order to continue the appearance that they represent the unified view of creation science. Ham's strategy in all these things is to not talk about problems and focus solely on a happy message and figure that the lay Christian is ignorant and lacks the motivation to look into the facts themselves. I think his strategy will probably work. I have many YEC friends and none of them even know!
  there was a split or if they know they only know the Ham version and don't believe the split is of any importance. However, many of them also have heard of Hovind and just believe he is another Ham and can't distinguish between the two at all. That would seem to present a real danger to the YEC movement that CMI recognizes.

It's a tangled web in the YEC world right now but the average Christian is oblivious to the drama.

R. Joel Duff, Ph.D, Associate Chair
Department of Biology
University of Akron

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Meyer, Kenneth A
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2007 3:50 AM
Subject: RE: [asa] Hovind

Not sure quite what to make of your comments (particularly the words "veiled" and "compliment", but I'll dive in with the best of intentions. Please forgive my rough first post to ASA. I've lurked for a few months and although I feel pretty comfortable with the tone and content, I'm also very aware of the rather frequent conflict and will always attempt to avoid stepping on others' toes (even when I fail).

First off, I'm Canadian and while Hovind and creationism are more prominent in the United States of America, they're by no means restricted to the USA as I'm sure you're aware. I've often used "Americans" as a term for North Americans but since people from the states often misinterpret it as solely citizens of the United States, I thought I'd clarify. Anyway, I'll be sure to look up that film as soon as I find some time.

Maybe I'm naīve (I'd hardly rule it out) but I've found that people I've met who would identify themselves as creationist or YEC and that are willing to discuss their beliefs openly are rather unlikely to follow Hovind. I don't particularly associate willful ignorance with YEC but it's hard not to be aware of Hovind's tax evasion or to support it unless one only looks to sources near to Hovind himself.

I too watched Hovind's videos without the slightest suspicion that he had a history with the IRS. I wouldn't expect people to look into the criminal background of every preacher or lecturer they come across and would never label that as willful ignorance. When the public figure in question is convicted of tax evasion, however, signing a petition to exonerate him without looking carefully at the facts is much more indicative of the culture of apathy I've noticed during my life in the Americas (if you'll excuse my use of the term).

Ken M.

Ken M. - If you'll please excuse the veiled
compliment, I do believe that your comments are
amongst the most reflexive I've witnessed at ASA in
the past few years. Actually including
yourself/ourselves in the topic of discussion is an
important step to make for 'objectivistic' scientists
who would oftentimes rather separate the person from
the 'scientific' message. And though I might normally
take offense, or at least exception, at your statement
about "us Americans" as meaning "(North Americans
really)," there is only the need to watch an animated
film by Frederick Back (accent two e's aigu) to see
the difference (e.g. Le Fleuve aux Grandes Eaux). -
Regards, Gregory A.
p.s. at a time past, I listened to Hovind's 'tapes'
out of curiosity, and I was not aware of his tax
evasion...ignorance and xenophobia, them's strong
words - isn't Ken H. just a good ole' boy, with a
post-Scopes type of mission? 
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Received on Tue Jun 26 10:49:41 2007

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