For a Good Laugh: Kent Hovind’s Doctoral Dissertation

Kent Hovind: creationist, owner of Dinosaur Adventure Land, so-called “Dr. Dino”, claimant of four “PhDs” from Patriot Bible University, and currently serving ten years for tax fraud. But you really need to care about the first and the fourth parts.

Patriot Bible University is essentially a diploma mill, and for some reason they won’t release their doctoral students’ dissertations. By contrast, most (if not all) (accredited) universities allow the public to access their students’ dissertations, often times in the university library. And given the fact that Hovid’s a creationist and utterly ignorant on how the theory of evolution (or science in general it seems) works, people have been curious about exactly WHAT said dissertation contains.

So, I finally found a copy of Kent Hovind’s doctoral dissertation for his “PhD” in Christian Education (which, for some reason, somehow qualifies him to teach about evolution? The mind boggles.). It was leaked on WikiLeaks a few years ago, to the horror of Patriot Bible University (and probably Hovind himself), but the last time I tried to access it the URL was down. Today, said link finally worked, and now I’m free to share said document to the world.

This is the dissertation in question. It’s hosted on my blog, so it should be accessible for all eternity (or until WordPress breaks down, or if WordPress decides to suspend my blog without a reason again, whichever comes first),

Anyways, I just want to highlight my favorite parts.

Introduction

My name is Kevin Hovind. I am a creation/science evangelist. I live in Pensacola, Florida. I have been a high school science teacher since 1976. I’ve been very active in the creation/evolution controversy for some time.

As someone once said, “That’s not a thesis, that’s a letter to Santa.”

All seriousness though. who actually starts off a dissertation saying “My name is <nym> and I am a <career/title>. I have been <career> since <year>.”? Are you writing a serious dissertation or are you sitting on Santa’s lap asking for a PhD for Christmas under the tree?

It is my burning desire to help Christians get back to a simple faith in God’s Word. Satan’s method has always been to instill doubt in God’s Word. The first sentence that came from Satan that is recorded for us in the Bible is: “Yea, hath God said?” He started by questioning God’s Word in the Garden of Eden. It worked there so he has used it ever since.

I’m a undergrad college student, and I can write better sentences then that, complete with complicated sentence structures, Oxford commas, advanced vocabulary, and the like. Seriously, the most complicated word in that passage is “questioning”, with three syllables.

Of course, then there’s the “where’s the evidence that the Garden of Eden exists?”, “where’s the evidence that Satan is an actual being?”, “where’s the evidence that the Bible speaks the literal truth?”, and the like. Then again, this IS a dissertation for a PhD in Christian Education, so it does make sense. You’d think Hovind would have cited his work however, even if it IS from the Bible.

Also, I should note that the Jews didn’t believe that Satan was even speaking in Genesis 3:1. In fact, it’s specifically stated to be a serpent (NIV version, KJV version). I’m aware that Christian tradition presumes that the snake IS Satan, but that’s not what it says in the text itself.

In the twentieth century the major attack Satan has launched has been against the first eleven chapters of Genesis. […] I believe that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant, inspired, perfect Word of God.

So from “God made the earth in 6 days, with plants before man” to “God made the earth, with man before plants” to “serpent convinced Eve to eat forbidden fruit who convinced Adam to eat forbidden fruit” to “kicked out of Eden” to “Cain kills Abel out of jealousy and Abel’s blood calls out to God” to “Noah’s ark and global flood because man is EBIL” to “rainbow covenant” to “lots more babies and names and descendants” to “tower of Babel”?

I mean, they’re nice stories and all, but seriously, they’re just stories. We have absolutely NO evidence that any of this stuff happened. In addition, the story contradicts itself. If God’s word is totally infallible and perfect and whatnot, why does the story contradict itself in it’s FIRST book? Doesn’t God have the power to NOT have the freaking creation story riddled with contradictions and errors?

Also, science is Satan now? Let me go fetch my pitchfork.

I believe that God’s Word is infallible and flawless in every detail.

See above.

If the Bible says that something was created in a certain way, then that is just the way it happened. Now, as a science teacher, I want to keep an open mind […]

> Bible is utterly infallible and that’s final, no questions asked.
> Science: “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”

Choose one.

I will be quick to point out that “there is nothing new under the sun.”

Okay, first off, WHERE IS THE SOURCE FOR THAT QUOTE? GAHHH

Second of all, what is the point of writing this then? A dissertation is meant to advance our body of knowledge with new ideas, not restate it. If I wanted Genesis restated to me, I’ll go read Genesis myself.

There’s apparently supposed to be sixteen chapters in this dissertation. As someone else noted, there’s only four chapters. And none of the chapters really advance any knowledge at all — instead, it just explains what Hovind has come to learn “through many years of studying both science and the Bible”.

If I wanted to read an interpolation essay, I’ll read Montaigne. At least Montaigne is at a higher reading level AND is more interesting to read than this.

I didn’t go over the entire document (since it’s 102 pages long, and time is short), but RationalWiki did an amusing article on this dissertation here. I recommend you save a copy; I personally use it to make myself laugh.

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3 thoughts on “For a Good Laugh: Kent Hovind’s Doctoral Dissertation

  1. Pingback: God the Confused Creator: Part I | Arguing for Atheism

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