Addendum: Kent Hovind's
300 Creationist Lies

This is an addendum to the letters "Insist On Truthfulness: Misrepresent PAM's Position" by Dan Jarvis and "On Dan Jarvis, And Hovind's 300 Creationist Lies" by Johan Grahn. Some of the info here is repeated from those letters. The main point of this file is to provide space for further discussion (such as the note from the James Randi Educational Foundation) and to offer opportunities to comment on Jarvis's letter.

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Absolute Truth"
Subject: Re: for the Editor ... truth?
Date: Saturday, July 01, 2000 4:12 PM

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Why do they use the ISP number (216.248.142.66) for the URL (web address) rather than go through the formality of registering a domain (such as www.KentHovindMinistries.org)? I paid only $150 to register PAM's domain. If they guy has $250 thousand set aside to give away (assuming this thing is not rigged in some way), you'd think that he'd at least register a domain name!

Most interesting about this is that I didn't see a list of people who have attempted to collect the $250 thousand over the past ten years. At least James Randi used to post the latest attempts to collect his prize. [Randi not only describes the various attempts to collect the money, but also gives specific examples on how to collect the money, such as bend a spoon, read a mind, or levitate. See the James Randi Foundation's response to our inquiry on Hovind's offer.]

This website (like so many Creationist works) overemphasizes its claim that the universe is complex, rather than what physicists and cosmologists tell us, that the universe is almost entirely random, containing nearly equal amounts of matter and anti-matter, and containing a total energy of zero.

If the universe is as complex as Hovind and the others say it is, you'd think that the occurrence of complexities such as life forms would be common -- and thus not surprising -- rather than rare, as many scientists suspect that it is, and as Hovind holds it to be. If the universe is complex, why would the chances of life occurring be extremely unlikely rather than likely, as one would expect of a universe that truly was complex?

This is one of my big problems with Hovind's presentations: they talk out of both sides of their mouths. On the one hand, the universe (Hovind tells us) is "highly ordered" and "complex." On the other, that even though the universe is highly ordered and complex (or so Hovind says), the chances of finding knots of order as complex as we find on Earth are so remotely unlikely as to be unworthy of consideration (according to Hovind and his ilk).

Another thing to think about: even the late Evangelical leader Dr. Walter Martin used to explain how the Flat Earthers were some of the most skilled in the world at the craft of debate. Even the best scientists, if they were not skilled at debate, would walk away losing a debate against the Flat Earthers. I've seen this a lot, where the proponent of one view was very skilled at setting the stage of a debate right off the bat. Even though it was clear to all that he had his head firmly lodged up the kazoo, he technically (and often gracefully) won the formal debate.

1. How much of this is about debating skills, and how much of this is about the quest for truth?

2. How much of this is about loyalty to one side or the other (for whatever reason), and how much of this is about the quest for truth?

3. How much of this is about show, pontificating, and posturing? how much of this is about the audience who is observing this discussion?

4. Would the truth of evolution nullify your faith? If you determined that evolution were true, would you become an atheist?

5. If you became an atheist (or even a Christian who accepts evolution), could you still lead a fulfilled life? would you still be a good person?

6. If evolution turned out to be true -- and if Jesus turned out to be God -- would Jesus be mad at you for believing that evolution were true?

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From: Positive Atheism [mailto:editor@positiveatheism.org]
Sent: Saturday, July 01, 2000 6:58 AM
To: "The James Randi Foundation" <challenge@randi.org>
Subject: Info about people who've tried to collect the $1 mil?

You used to post various people who have tried to collect the $1 mil. Is this info still available?

I have publicly criticized Kent Hovind's $250 thou for proving the Theory of Evolution for not posting the various attempts to collect his money. I will, for now, state that Randi used to post information about people who have tried to collect. If you have such info still posted, I will post a link to this info and will correct the "used to" part in the posted piece.

Thank you.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Johan Grahn"
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: Monday, July 03, 2000 2:33 PM

I have added a response from the James Randi Educational Foundation to Hovind's claims. I will also add your response, and will eventually create a new file that will excerpt his original comment on Hovind, my initial response, the Randi Response, your response, and any others we get.

I also linked Buddika's 300 Creationist Lies on our Web Guide -- despite the fact that it is a GeoCities page. I wish more atheistic groups would host such pages rather than doing the self-promotion that they seem to spend so much space on. We will be weeding out about a megabyte of graphics and will be trimming some other material so we can afford to put more timely stuff on our site -- which has now grown to over 44 megabytes.

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Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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