If you don’t know who Kent Hovind is, well, I count you among the fortunate people of this world. So fortunate, in fact, that I recommend you navigate away from this page before I steal your innocence.
Are you gone?
…. Really? You’re still here?
…. Okay, you get what you deserve, then.
Kent Hovind is a Young Earth creationist who has been railing against evolution for years; he’s also famous for starting a creationist theme park in Florida called “Dinosaur Adventure Land”, and more recently, for going to jail for 10 years in 2006 for failing to pay years of taxes. His theory was that he was a minister of God and because of that, everything he owned belonged to God and the US government had no right to tax him on money he received for doing God’s work. The IRS, not surprisingly, was unamused by this.
I’ve never given Hovind too much thought, because let’s face it, he’s so nuts that other creationist organizations (like Answers in Genesis) have disavowed his antics. But I’ve always been curious about his purported Ph.D in “Christian Education” from the Patriot University, which Hovind’s Wikipedia entry states is a non-accredited correspondence university. And today, via Pharyngula, I learned that Wikileaks has obtained and published his “thesis”, which Hovind has refused to allow anyone to see up until this point.
Failing to share your Ph.D thesis is, at the least, a breach of scientific etiquette. Common practice is to send a copy to anyone who asks for one; usually, the university will have the thesis on file, or you can ask the person directly, but it’s bad form to withhold your thesis and doesn’t speak well of it. However, having wasted about 10 minutes of my life reading the introduction and half of the first chapter, I can see why Hovind would be embarrassed to have anyone read it. Putting aside his writing style, which reminds me of a high school student who has been socially promoted, the thesis is both breath-taking in its purported scope and inanity. In the introduction, he claims that the ten chapters to follow will completely demolish evolution, and that’s not even the end of the thesis – it goes on for another six chapters after that. How useful for creationists! Sadly, the material seems to be a rehashing of arguments that were old even when he wrote this mess, but don’t let that stop you from amusing yourself for as long as you can stand it.
(Interestingly, he claims that the chapters of the thesis originate from his radio show, which I don’t know much about. This is what passed for an original contribution to the scientific literature at Patriot University?)
I’ll leave you with a Hovind thesis quote:
While all of the evidence is not in yet, I feel it is still the best option to take God’s word at face value. The Bible has never been proven wrong yet, and I believe it never will be.