Thursday, July 14, 2011

This monstrosity is what's taking me so long

My aspirations of becoming an influential 'mad science writer' have been renewed to the point of having a friendly debate with my arch-rival (AR) in world domination, one whose lab is practically adjacent to mine, and who shall remain nameless for reasons which should become obvious.
` He is a young-earth creationist (YEC), which necessitates that he rejects most of modern science, from atomic theory and astronomy to genetics and geology. However, he doesn't think he rejects all this science because he has been told that modern science instead supports creationism.
` Being eager to shake off the rust from my lack of writing, and finding that creation 'science' is one of my favorite pseudosciences to dispel, I have asked him to provide me with what he thinks are the most compelling arguments for creationism, and so far, I have easily picked apart all of them in enormous detail, although most of it is not electronically stored as of yet.
` Now that 'AR' has a computer himself, I figured that I can now combine my blogging and my dispelling all in one go. So far, we've gone from Intelligent Design all the way down to Kent Hovind, whom I have debunked in the past simply by taking passages of what he's stated as fact and showing how they are massively contradicted by facts.
` This time shall be no different. Since AR holds Kent Hovind in such high esteem, evidently believing him to be worthy of Hovind's title 'Dr. Dino', I shall now show that Hovind is no more a Ph.D. than Peter Popoff is a healer, or Harold Camping is a prophet. While easy to demonstrate, with the enormous pile of evidence from Hovind's "unfinished doctoral dissertation" or "rough draft" (depending on who you talk to), it takes a long time and an awful lot of writing to get to every last damning detail.

I'm still working on it, though, and it's so big that it's going to have to be posted in chunks. In the meantime, however, I thought I'd engage him online. Here's what I have so far:

On his Facebook, he posted:

I was not aware that pettiness and scientific sophistication went hand in hand.

And underneath, this really immature article written by Ken Ham. I started typing a response, and kept accidentally posting randomly before I went back and corrected my mistakes, and kept posting corrections, and it really got out of hand. So, he commented that apparently I'm the one being petty, so I did what I should have done in the first place and edited it in WordPad, apologized for that, and posted it:

Who is being petty here? Let's look:
Ham wants his audience to think that he's being persecuted by 'evolutionist' scientists, claiming such things as only a few transitional fossils have been found and later refuted. Yet, all fossils are transitional between what we call one species and another, and there are countless transitional fossils between practically any group you'd care to see. For example:

Ham claims that 'evolutionists' don't want to debate creationists and so they start making false accusations such as 'creationists are anti-technology'. In fact, a staple of anti-pseudoscience arguments is that; since the same method leads to both science and technology, then it's ironic that believers of pseudoscience don't see this conflict!
Methinks this comes from quote-mining, which is exactly what he does when he presents the Richard Dawkins quote; it's wildly taken out of context, as it was meant as a joke!
And as for the PZ Myers quote, this is where it comes from:

If you do some research on this, you'll see that Myers doesn't take Ken Ham seriously because of Ham's constant intellectual dishonesty (like quote-mining), so he's not bothering to be serious himself.
` This isn't about creationism or spirituality, as Ham claims, it's about the fact that Ham really couldn't care less about what scientists really think and have discovered, despite the fact that they correct him time and time again. His response is not to answer them, but to say to the public, 'I don't hear anything from the evolutionists!' as if that makes it so.
` Since he really doesn't care about what they have to say, some of the few scientists who even bother to dignify him with attention will make fun of him and his ignorance/apathy.

It's easy to prove that Ken Ham doesn't know what he's talking about -- he makes arguments against evolution that follow the same sort of straw man reasoning as, say, my example with the 'scientists are stupid because they believe whales came from fish, not land mammals, isn't that crazy and stupid?'. Well, of course they don't! Ham just uses an inflammatory caricature of evolution in order to make his audience think that it's a stupid idea.
` This intellectual dishonesty is the real reason why many 'evolutionists' refuse to debate creationists; their arguments have all been refuted and they haven't come up with any new ones in many decades. Also, if you give people with bad arguments a public platform, then it gives the impression that the two sides are equal and worthy of debate.
` It's like this: What if I went up to you and started saying that Jesus advocated eating children and that Christians were responsible for the destruction of society, as has been done in ancient times? You'd say, "That's not true! We don't really think that because of a) b) and c)!" And what if I ignored that and started spouting to the public that you DID believe that anyway? Eventually, you would have to shut me out for not having an open mind because YOU know what you believe, and what the bible REALLY says.
` This is exactly what Ken Ham does with evolution and science in general. Biologists are not that dumb, he's just making false accusations, which I can (and will) demonstrate (elsewhere, as you'll see)! These misrepresentations he spreads are insulting and only spread prejudice and ignorance of what 'evolutionists' really think, so I hope that you are open-minded enough to accept that he is not arguing against real science!

Many bloggers make fun of FOX News for blatantly misrepresenting people who don't agree with their views. Ken Ham is pulling exactly the same tricks, so it does not surprise me in the least that PZ Myers would make fun of him in a not-even-serious way. If someone is not going to be honest, or consider what one's opposition has to say, then screw them! They've removed themselves from intellectual debate and are fair game for people to make fun of them for (apparently) lying about other people with the intent of making them look bad! ...

I have no idea if he's read my comment, but I'm going to guess he hasn't. Then, I sent him a message showing him an example of what I mean:

I've been saying that Ham and Hovind are famous for misrepresenting what evolution is (and what we'd expect to find if it's true, and what has actually been found), apparently for the purpose of making the worldwide scientific community look stupid/oppressive and stubborn.
` Today I saw this video for the first time, and it's a perfect example of what I've been taking about. I know I've described other examples of ring species before, but in under four minutes this video not only describes their significance, but shows how their mere existence specifically refutes one of Kent Hovind's arguments.

Coincidentally (or not?), the video I emailed you days ago refuting some of Kent Hovind's arguments against carbon dating was by the same YouTube user.
` Anyway, I'm interested in knowing what you think of this so far.

I asked him if he's gotten my message about the birds, and he said, "Birds?" I said, "Yeah, with the video?" and he said, "I got your message but... uhhhh... uhhhhh... uhhhh..." I couldn't bear to watch this so I said, "Just wondering!"
` After this, I saw him checking his emails on his laptop. I wonder if he got the email I sent him, which by the way, was this:
I wanted to tell you how I'm tearing down Hovind's arguments just as I tore down the entire documentary Expelled, and then some. Mind you, I'm just tearing down the arguments of a mere man, and not at all your religion!

I have mentioned before that Kent just says whatever he pleases about reality, just as long as it supports his conclusion. Well, I have gotten my hands on his doctoral dissertation, which he has admitted to being his, and has claimed that he is not yet finished with it, explaining why it lists 16 chapters when it only has four!). That's interesting, because if you are not finished with your doctoral dissertation, then you aren't a doctor!

As a writer, you will appreciate the fact that his writing ability is about the same as that of an elementary school student, and I would give him an 'F' for that alone. However, it is much worse: If you also care about facts, it is packed with untrue statements about religions of various types, science, and history, and he doesn't even cite his sources in the entire document!

To give a rather insignificant example, he claimed that Voltaire (which he sometimes spelled 'Voltair') was the one responsible for the ten-day calendar week during the French Revolution. This is impossible, however, because Voltaire had died in 1778, and the French Revolution didn't even begin until 1789, with the calendar having been formulated years later! So, you cannot deny that not only is it false, but it cannot possibly be true unless Voltaire was undead!

I cited this example because it is a plain historical fact, having nothing to do with science nor religion (so you wouldn't think I was being biased), and is so simple and basic that you can easily verify it yourself with the magic of Google.

How could anyone have gotten a Ph.D. with a paper packed with many such factual distortions in every paragraph? Because he went to an unaccredited diploma mill, which I also demonstrate fairly well. Sure, he was a 'science teacher' at a private school, but you don't need any credentials at all for that job; it's no surprise that a school that wanted to teach 'creation science' would hire this guy!

As for my project, I start with Hovind's dissertation (most of which consists of arguments I'm sure you're familiar with) and basically go line by line to prove the whole thing wrong with facts, exactly as I have done in my example above, plus I cite them all for your convenience so that you can check them and make sure that they're really true! So, double-no wonder it is taking me so long!

I, of course, am far from being the first person to extract and expose the utter misrepresentations that Hovind is so (in)famous for: Since I've been spending many evenings finding all sorts of videos on YouTube, I've found several which neatly refute many Hovind's 'arguments'.

Since you're so fond of YouTube, I ask you to watch one of them. (C'mon, just one!) It's rather detailed for its shortness, about some of the things Kent Hovind 'just says' about carbon dating being 'wrong' (i.e. his examples with mollusc shells, seals, and dinosaur bones), and the reasons why these are merely misrepresentations and half-truths. (It should remind you of my writings on how Steve Austin misrepresented the Mt. St. Helens samples as dating to millions of years old, except that it's much shorter and more entertaining!)

Please do watch it, carefully, and tell me what you think of this video, its refutations, and the way that Hovind is portrayed. I'm sure you'll agree that these are not ad hominem arguments, which creationists like Hovind have always claimed are the only kinds of arguments that 'evolutionists' have. Rather, they are actually based on facts, which you can even check yourself!
` If you would like to defend Hovind here, mind that you don't make the same kind of mistake as BigJerre!
So, there you are.


Since I wrote that last part, 'AR' has since seen the bird video, but I don't think he's seen my email to him, or any of the others before that! Or maybe he's just not saying anything because he's never actually had a response to any of the things I've shown him, other than highly flawed rhetoric about ideology.
` Right at the point where I seemed to be really getting across to him that Kent Hovind blocks out people instead of debates them, he told me that we need to stop this whole thing to avoid creating discord between us. I suppose we should, if it makes it any easier for me to take over the world. After all, you need to have a proper understanding of science in order to do so, and he doesn't have one. I do. Why should I try to help him, even though I know it's pointless?
` Because it generates material for me to put on the web, that's why! That's really what this whole thing has been about, since December! (Yes, that's what I've been spending my time doing, but not going public yet!) So, I'm still going to be working on the Hovind dissertation anyway, which is coming in four installments, and I hope he takes a look just out of curiosity because it is a metric shit-tonne of work!


KB said...

Keep up the good work.

S E E Quine said...

Hey, thanks, KB! You too! Mua ha ha ha!