Kent Hovind is in the forefront of the anti-evolution movement. He testifies before governmental committees and has wide public support. This is unfortunate, because his arguments are based on deception. To be fair to Mr. Hovind, he himself is a victim of his own self deception. He knows nothing about science, but doesn't know that he doesn't know. Click here for background information on Kent Hovind.
His "26 Questions for Evolutionists" are listed below. My responses are in red lettering.
1. Where did the space for the universe come from?
2. Where did matter come from?
3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?
4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?
5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?
6. When, where, why, and how did life come from dead matter?
7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?
If I say I don't know the answer to any of the above, then how does that disprove the idea that present species are descended from primitive ancestors? The answer is: it doesn't. These questions are based on the biased, untrue, and unproven idea that evolution must have occurred by mere chance alone. The above also represents the creationist deception of raising issues for which no clear answer exists while ignoring issues which are strongly supported by factual data.
8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?
This question is a typical creationist attack, based on the idea that unless detailed answers to each and every question are forthcoming, then creationism wins by default. Furthermore, the question itself is unclear. Creationists dogmatically refuse to accept the fact that evolution merely states that present species are descended from a primitive ancestor. Just how that primitive ancestor came into existence is a separate issue.
9. Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival? (Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain this?)
What does this have to do with the disproving evolution? The answer is, it doesn't.
10. How can mutations (recombining of the genetic code) create any new, improved varieties? (Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.)
Where is the evidence that it could not? Again, Hovind uses the false argument that unless you can answer his question, he must be right. His example of English and Chinese letters proves nothing.
11. Is it possible that similarities in design between different animals prove a common Creator instead of a common ancestor?
Evolution does not rule out the existence of a creator. It merely states that present species are descended from a primitive ancestor. Where is the evidence to show that evolution rules out a creator God? There isn't any! Creationists believe that anything inconsistent with the account in the Book of Genesis is atheistic and (according to them) immoral.
12. Natural selection only works with the genetic information available and tends only to keep a species stable. How would you explain the increasing complexity in the genetic code that must have occurred if evolution were true?
13. When, where, why, and how did
14. When, where, why, how, and from what did:
15. Which evolved first (how, and how long, did it work without the others)?
Hovind would have you believe that evolutionary science has no answers at all for the above questions. Hovind is trying to capitalize on the fact that no one person is likely to be able to supply ready answers to all these questions. He is trying to convince the reader that science has no answers. In fact, a great deal is known, and the information is generally readily available. This web page and its links to other web sites represent a good place to start.
16. There are many thousands of examples of symbiosis that defy an evolutionary explanation. Why must we teach students that evolution is the only explanation for these relationships?
This statement is not supported by any factual evidence. Symbiosis is a technical subject that the average person is not familiar with. Hovind is aware of this, and attempts to hoodwink the public. (For a definition of symbiosis refer to p. 2143 of Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, 5th Edition.) In fact, no example of symbiosis "defies" evolution.
17. How would evolution explain mimicry? Did the plants and animals develop mimicry by chance, by their intelligent choice, or by design?
18. When, where, why, and how did man evolve feelings? Love, mercy, guilt, etc. would never evolve in the theory of evolution.
19. *How did photosynthesis evolve?
20. * How did thought evolve?
21. *How did flowering plants evolve, and from what?
22. *What kind of evolutionist are you? Why are you not one of the other eight or ten kinds?
The above represents the typical creationist tactic of confusing the viewer with a barrage of questions designed to attack science. Questions 17, 18, 20, and 22 are irrelevant to the issue.
23. What would you have said fifty years ago if I told you I had a living coelacanth in my aquarium?
Fossil records show that the coelacanth existed 60 million years ago. Since 1938 at least eight specimens of coelacanth have been caught. Evolution does not proceed at the same speed for all living things. In some cases, new species evolve in a relatively short period of time. Other species, like the coelacanth, may remain essentially unchanged for millions of years.
24. *Is there one clear prediction of macroevolution that has proved true?
25. *What is so scientific about the idea of hydrogen gas becoming human?
These questions can't be answered in 25 words or less. For example, a complete answer to question 25 would require the contents of texts on atomic physics, chemistry, biology, and geology.
26. *Do you honestly believe that everything came from nothing?
The question is ironic, since biblical fundamentalists (and Hovind is one, see below) believe that God created the universe out of nothing.
After you have answered the preceding questions, please look carefully at your answers and thoughtfully consider the following questions.
1. Are you sure your answers are reasonable, right, and scientifically provable, or do you just believe that it may have happened the way you have answered? (Do these answers reflect your religion or your science?)
2. Do your answers show more or less faith than the person who says, "God must have designed it"?
3. Is it possible that an unseen Creator designed this universe? If God is excluded at the beginning of the discussion by your definition of science, how could it be shown that He did create the universe if He did?
Evolution does not rule out the existence of a creator. It does not take a position on the subject. Quoting the personal opinions of evolutionists, either pro or con, proves nothing. This is not avoiding the issue; it is merely recognizing that it is not a scientific issue. On the other hand, the creationist movement is imposing religious dogma on science.
4. Is it wise and fair to present the theory of evolution to students as fact?
Evolution is supported by an overwhelming amount of factual evidence. Creationism has no scientific support. It exists only as spurious attacks on science. It would be unwise and unfair to include these spurious attacks in public school science curricula.
5. What is the end result of a belief in evolution (lifestyle, society, attitude about others, eternal destiny, etc.)?
6. Do people accept evolution because of the following factors?
Typical examples of creationist prejudice. What Mr. Hovind is really saying is that persons who don't agree with his religious dogma are immoral. This is bigotry!
7. Should we continue to use outdated, disproved, questionable, or inconclusive evidences to support the theory of evolution because we dont have a suitable substitute (Piltdown man, recapitulation, archaeopteryx, Lucy, Java man, Neanderthal man, horse evolution, vestigial organs, etc.)?
Hovind is flailing away with a barrage of misinformation and distortion. Creationists never give up on an argument, no matter how illogical. See a list of spurious creationist claims in this web site.
8. Should parents be allowed to require that evolution not be taught as fact in their school system unless equal time is given to other theories of origins (like divine creation)?
9. What are you risking if you are wrong? As one of my debate opponents said, "Either there is a God or there is not. Both possibilities are frightening."
10. Why are many evolutionists afraid of the idea of creationism being presented in public schools? If we are not supposed to teach religion in schools, then why not get evolution out of the textbooks? It is just a religious worldview.
11. Arent you tired of faith in a system that cannot be true? Wouldnt it be great to know the God who made you, and to accept His love and forgiveness?
12. Would you be interested, if I showed you from the Bible, how to have your sins forgiven and how to know for sure that you are going to Heaven? If so, call me.
What is really frightening about the above is the obvious effort to impose sectarian religious dogma in our public schools. It would be a mistake to dismiss Mr. Hovind as a harmless crackpot. He has a magnetic personality and enjoys huge fundamentalist support.