Setting a new standard for creationist historical scholarship
Young earth creationist Kent Hovind received a “Ph.D.” in 1991 from Patriot Bible University, a diploma mill in Colorado (photo above). Unlike the situation with dissertations originating from accredited universities, Hovind has consistently refused to release his dissertation for public scrutiny. WikiLeaks has, however, obtained a copy and even the briefest perusal will show that the work doesn’t meet the standard for doctoral research … heck, I’ve failed undergraduates for writing like this!
Witness Hovind on Galileo:
In the early 1600’s, Galileo invented the telescope. He looked at the moon and noticed the rugged surface of the moon. He then said that the moon was not smooth like Aristotle said it was. Aristotle had said back in 400 B.C. that the moon was like a perfect smooth sphere, a crystal ball to reflect the sunlight. Galileo even published a book that stated that the moon was not smooth. Aristotle was also contradicted by Galileo on his theory of gravity. Aristotle had said that heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects. Galileo proved that to be wrong. In the mid 1600’s, Galileo, under penalty of death by the Catholic church, had to recant his awful heresy of teaching that the moon was not smooth. He had dared to suggest that the doctrine of Aristotle as taught by the church could be wrong! He wrote a second book to say that he was wrong and that the moon was perfectly smooth. The priests even refused to look through Galileo’s telescope because they said it was demon possessed. The hold to Aristotle’s philosophy on the minds of the people of that time was so strong that scientific progress was hindered. We face the same thing today. The faulty teaching of evolution is hindering scientific progress.
Bear in mind that this is being written by a 38 year old who had been teaching high school for fifteen years by this point. Note the extensive documentation, sophisticated sentence structure, and higher-order analysis that you see in doctoral dissertations.
Hovind on Darwin (chapter 1 of the dissertation is a history of evolution from Satan to modern times):
The next man we come to in tracing the history of evolution is a man by the name of Charles Darwin. Darwin was born in 1809 and died in 1882. He i.es most famous for two books that he authored. The second on was The Descent of Man. The frost one, and most famous, is The Origin of Species my Means of Natural Selection. This book also had a subtitle called “The Preservation of the Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.” He took a five year voyage in the 1830’s on the HMS Beagle. During that voyage, he read extensively Lyell’s book. This greatly influenced him to think that the earth was millions of years old. When he returned from his voyage, he was encouraged by Lyell to publish a book. Darwin wrote for many years, but never published the book. Lyell realized that a man named Wallace was going to beat Darwin to the punch in publishing such a book on evolution. Lyell encouraged Darwin to go ahead and publish his book. Darwin published it in 1859. The Industrial Revolution was well under way and people were looking for some way to justify the cruelty that accompanied this revolution. (Child labor, sweat houses, etc.) Darwin’s book was just what the world needed to justify the cruel ruthless tactics of the industrial revolution. Darwin had a theology degree. He became a deist, and later, very proudly an atheist. There are many stories of him repenting on his death bed, but there still is much confusion on the issue.
And that is everything you need to know about Darwin.
Random fact from the dissertation: Auguste Comte was an ardent “Darwinist” who “strongly promoted Darwin’s teachings”. This is all the more remarkable given the fact that Comte died two years before the publication of Origin.
Random fact from the dissertation: “Because of Wallace’s spiritist [sic], pantheist, and occultist teaching of evolution, he could really be considered the father of the New Age movement. He lived in Malaysia for about eight years, and watched the spiritist rituals that those people performed. He developed many of his theories in that setting.” At least Hovind’s not claiming that Wallace was an ID proponent.
Random fact from the dissertation: “Racism started, or was very much enhanced by Darwin and Thomas Huxley.” *head explodes*
If you know even a small amount about the history of ideas, do read Hovind’s first chapter and stand in awe at his writings on Satan, the ancient Greeks, the Church fathers, Voltair (sic), Lamarck, Thomas Payne (sic), Erasmus Darwin, Lyell, Marx, Huxley, Haeckel, Freud, Rockefeller (sic) and Henry Fairfield Osbourne (sic). I’d love to have my undergraduate students produce an “Annotated Hovind” just to illustrate how creationists mangle history (and writing).
Update: Here is Karen Bartelt’s review of the thesis from 2000. It gives you a further flavor of the epicness of Hovind’s fail.
Update (01/07/10): PBU has issued a denial claiming that the leaked document is a “rough draft” of a dissertation “project” and not the final, completed dissertation. PBU also notes that “Patriot issues Bible degrees for the purpose of equipping students for ministry; Patriot is not a research institution.” Never has a truer word been spoken!