I recently skimmed a YouTube video with Kent Hovind entitled 100 Reasons Evolution is Stupid! If you don’t know who Hovind is, you should definitely check out some of his videos — they are case studies of hucksterism. I really can’t comprehend how people watching his speeches don’t see him for what he is. It’s not even the fact that he’s spreading a belief in so-called Intelligent Design (creationism) — something I think is ridiculous. It’s his mannerisms and speaking style. Regardless of what he was discussing, I wouldn’t trust him. He could tell me the sky is blue and I’d be highly suspicious of his claims, just because he sounds like a conman.

As I watched just a short clip, I quickly noticed one lie without really searching for it. He claimed that Stephen J. Gould — a renowned evolutionary biologist — stated the following:

“The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for … evolution.”

It seemed strange to me that an ellipsis was required right before the word evolution in this quotation. Usually ellipses are used to removed unnecessary information, but in this case, what would have fit in here except vital information. It almost seemed as if Hovind was trying to hide something. Well, perhaps I was mistaken, so I looked up the full quotation.

“The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualist accounts of evolution.” (Gould, Stephen J., ‘Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?’ Paleobiology, vol 6(1), January 1980, p. 127)

If you don’t know, Gould was not in favor of the gradualist account of evolution; however, he was of course in favor of evolution itself. Gould supported “punctuated equilibrium” — a view of evolution as quick explosions of diversity in organisms and long periods of little change. Therefore, this quote does in no way demonstrate that Gould questioned the idea of evolution. It is a flat out lie to portray it as such — which is what Hovind did. At best, Hovind can claim that there are disagreements about how evolution functions — which is true.

Although it upset me to see that Hovind was spreading lies to children, I felt better knowing that he’s now rotting in jail. Not sure exactly what for, but if I cant quote mine from all the things he’s said in his life, Hovind said this about his incarceration:

“I went to … jail … because I … solicited … children with … the intention to … have sex with them … and then … murder them.”

Those are Kent’s words, so this isn’t a lie, right?