Pharyngula

You all recall Ardipithecus ramidus, the very cool 4.4 million year old fossil that showed that bipedalism was very old. It’s a great fossil, a revealing story, and worth the attention it was given.

Amazingly, someone has now had an actual conversation with Ardipithecus. You may be wondering how; so am I. Well, not actually — I have a pretty good idea how this fellow could be chatting with a 4 million year old fossil. He’s nuts.

Kent Hovind, who many of us are enjoying the sensation of seeing him slip from our memories as he cools his heels in prison for tax fraud, occasionally writes these disturbing little letters that then get published on his blog. Usually, he writes these bizarre dialogs with God, who, you will be surprised to hear, always tells Kent how good and wonderful and special he is. This time, though, Kent Hovind is chatting with Ardi. Again, it’s wish-fulfillment; Ardi reassures him that she really is only 4,000 years old, that she died in the Flood, and even witnessed the Ark setting off. Isn’t that sweet?

Oh, God does make another appearance in the closing lines of the story.

KH: Hey, Lord? You said that if I would delight myself in You that You would give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). My desire is that my case be overturned and that I be sent home!

GOD: I’ve got everything under control, Son. Go walk a few laps. I’ve got your back.

I don’t think there are grounds to overturn his conviction, so that’s not going to happen. God is about as ineffectual to Kent Hovind as he is to me.

It isn’t exactly “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” is it?

Comments

  1. #1 Yubal
    April 19, 2010

    PZ, give him peace. Kent is mentally ill and thou shallst not mock the handicapped.

  2. #2 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 19, 2010

    For Hovind, the Twilight Zone theme is way too tame. He needs something much crazier sounding for his theme…

  3. #3 Bologna Pogna
    April 19, 2010

    KH: Hey, Lord? You said that if I would delight myself in You that You would give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4).

    GOD: I also told you to pay your fucking taxes! (Mark 12:17)

  4. #4 scooterKPFT
    April 19, 2010

    Why not go with the old traditional Hymn:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBXPsMednbU

  5. #5 WowbaggerOM
    April 19, 2010

    His incarceration doesn’t seem to have cured him of teh stoopid.

  6. #6 https://me.yahoo.com/a/xnK7TG0Lo5mL8GKo5hytRqwpHvFihEl7Eat3.EjEEeCYqC8fHRcH#05c76
    April 19, 2010

    Wait a minute – apes get married?! I thought that was one of the things that separated us from the lesser beasts.

    Not to mention that the beasts are apparently aware of what humans are up to – she had “heard” about Noah and his project.

    This guy is nuts.

    Lithified Detritus

  7. #7 Sven DiMilo
    April 19, 2010

    Kent Hovind, who many of us are enjoying the sensation of seeing him slip from our memories as he cools his heels in prison for tax fraud,

    this can’t be right

    “Kent Hovind, the sensation of seeing slip from our memory many of us are enjoying as he cools his heels in prison for tax fraud,”

    that’s a little better

  8. #8 Watson
    April 19, 2010

    H: Well, a lot of people spent a lot of time digging up your bones in Ethiopia and hundreds of people have spent thousands of hours studying them.

    AR: Do they get paid for that?

    KH: Oh, yes! Lots of money!

    AR: That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of!

    What about people who got paid lots of money and then didn’t pay their taxes? That seems far dumber.

  9. #9 GregGorey
    April 19, 2010

    i miss Kent. His “lectures” are hilarious.

  10. #10 kaylakaze
    April 19, 2010

    Can you get a tax fraud charge overturned using insanity as a defense?

  11. #11 Balstrome
    April 19, 2010

    Gonna derail a bit, but I have to.

    Women to blame for earthquakes, says Iran cleric

    Women behaving promiscuously are causing the earth to shake, according to cleric, as Ahmadinejad predicts Tehran quake

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/19/women-blame-earthquakes-iran-cleric

    Please, someone check the filters on his Bong.

  12. #12 Glen Davidson
    April 19, 2010

    It’s the science in it that convinces me.

    Wow, Kent, isn’t it a shocker that we try to “expel” delusional conversations with ancient bipeds from the science classroom? Not that it’s much worse than Behe’s babblings on the witness stand…

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  13. #13 jess80
    April 19, 2010

    I think my favorite part of that “convo” is the:

    “AR: What good are my bones? They can?t eat them or build anything out of them.”

    I can’t stop laughing…

  14. #14 Bologna Pogna
    April 19, 2010

    Also, am I reading wrongly, or does Ham at first suggest that ‘Ardi’ was a non-human ape, but then later say that she was ‘a teen just about to get married’? Are my reading skills on the fritz, or is Ken Ham really such a dumbass that he can’t even remember whether the protagonist of his very short story is meant to be an arboreal ape or an ancient Israelite teeny-bopper?

  15. #15 SC OM
    April 19, 2010

    Those apes were really advanced!

    KH: How did you die?

    AR: It was terrible! We had heard about this man named Noah building a big boat he called an ark because a flood was coming, but it had never rained, so most other humans thought he was crazy.

    Farming under these conditions was…well, extremely difficult.

  16. #16 Glen Davidson
    April 19, 2010

    Are my reading skills on the fritz, or is Ken Ham

    I don’t know about your reading skills in general, but specifically, it’s Kent Hovind.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  17. #17 MarianLibrarian
    April 19, 2010

    That was even better than that stupid Insane Clown Posse video. I love that Hovind writes himself stories that sound like they’re written for four-year-olds by someone who is grossly underestimating the intelligence of four-year-olds.

  18. #18 Zeno
    April 19, 2010

    Hovind: I would delight myself

    The poor deranged sucker is in prison. Not much else to do.

  19. #19 Bologna Pogna
    April 19, 2010

    I don’t know about your reading skills in general, but specifically, it’s Kent Hovind.

    LOL, you’re right. So it must be my reading skills then. So I guess that teen ape really DID get married, after all. This changes everything! I’m so confused…

  20. #20 JustALurker
    April 19, 2010

    @14
    Yep, first its an ape like creature, then it goes on to say I’m not millions of years old, only 4000 some years old and a teenager about to get married and have kids.

    Why is it that she has to “get married and reproduce”? Why is she getting married as a teenager? Being 4000 years old she should know it almost never works out when you’re that young making a commitment! I know at this point of exhaustion my humor and posts suck but since coming out of lurking mode, I can’t seem to go back into the closet. lol

    AR: That?s ridiculous! Humans have babies all the time and they are always human. Apes, monkeys and gorillas have babies all the time as well and they are always like their parents. Why would those authors want to believe I?m their great-great grandma?

    *facepalm* I swear if I have to facepalm one more time today people are going to think I’m being abused.

    KH: You know it is stupid, and I know it is stupid, but they don?t. They only know they must find something to report in the news once in a while to keep people paying them and to keep people believing their dumb theory of evolution.

    It’s dumb just because you say it is, in a conversation between you and a dead ape.* RIIIIIIGGHT. OK. You’re dumb, your deity is nonexistent, and your lambs are following you right off the cliff of sanity. SO THERE!!!
    *facepalm* goddamnit.

    *so not trying to down play or insult Ardi in any way shape or form.

  21. #21 ashleyfmiller
    April 19, 2010

    Why, oh why, are all the crazies from South Carolina. Dammit.

  22. #22 https://me.yahoo.com/a/Sd9EXEw5l_AQvNrCQW_13tcMTpfqd.Y3seVspMOFdw--#daed6
    April 19, 2010

    I needed this good laugh, and the comments are even better! :D

  23. #23 Robert MacDonald
    April 19, 2010

    Kent, prisoner number 06452-017, is due out in 2015.

    He could pen so many more talks with extinct animals with the time on his hands. “People wouldn’t listen to God, so I drowned! And then those stupid evolutionists dug me up. But don’t I look good in my death pose?”

    I’d like to see a Top Ten “Kent Talks to the Animals” list.

  24. #24 kiyaroru
    April 19, 2010

    #3 Bologna Pogna
    Thanks for that link!
    Now I can stop stealing buying bibles.

  25. #25 Tenebras
    April 19, 2010

    I can’t tell if he’s just pulling this stuff outta his ass because he knows his stupid followers will gobble it up, or if he really is this mental…..

  26. #26 Sven DiMilo
    April 19, 2010

    Why, oh why, are all the crazies from South Carolina.

    Are you familiar with a certain Rev. BigDumbChimp? He’s bound to show up on a Hovind thread.

  27. #27 Koshka
    April 19, 2010

    I know it comes up a lot but it shits me that people claim that without God we have no morals.

  28. #28 Blondin
    April 19, 2010

    KH: Hey, Lord? You said that if I would delight myself in You that You would give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). My desire is that my case be overturned and that I be sent home!

    God: That wasn’t me, Kent. That was the guy in the other bunk…

  29. #29 sandiseattle
    April 19, 2010

    Yubal @ 1: remember you’re dealing with PZs definition of “mental” here. “Anyone who believes in God is mental” and “mock the Xian (or whatever juvenile insult name is currently in fashion)”. Remember those two factoids and you’ll be alright with most of the Pharyngulite crowd.

  30. #30 Sven DiMilo
    April 19, 2010

    “mental”? what are you, sandi, 12?

  31. #31 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnb-E55g7vrnvH-3L1M6d7QuDYWoM_IDEM
    April 19, 2010

    Once a fraud, always a fraud.

    What disturbs me is not that this guy keeps lying, but that some folk are so sodding ignorant & stoopid that they are actually fooled by this transparent bullshit.

  32. #32 augustus mulliner
    April 19, 2010

    Oh, hell, that’s not even a decent letter from the Poughkeepsie drunk tank.
    Sandiseattle: You got a better way to refer to someone who clings to a set of ancient delusions whipped up by ignorant nomads, in the face of overwhelming physical evidence?

  33. #33 kiyaroru
    April 19, 2010

    quote
    AR: … but it had never rained …

    This seems to indicate a belief that it had never rained before the flood. I’ve heard something like this about rainbows. But RAIN? Really?

  34. #34 MadScientist
    April 19, 2010

    I don’t know about overturning that condition, but you’re doing well working on the insanity defense. Keep it up honey, you really are special.

    - God

  35. #35 Coleslaw
    April 19, 2010

    I think it?s because they like the freedom from morals that this silly belief brings. If humans are just higher apes, then there are no rules against adultery, lying, etc. It gives them freedom from God?they think.

    Just those pesky rules about paying your taxes.

  36. #36 Yubal
    April 19, 2010

    @ sandiseattle

    …yeah, maybe that has something to it, in the general case, but Kent Hovind is more “special”. He is nuts, lunatic, out of his mind, in need for medical care, not re-sociable, CRAZY, pathologically disturbed, without connection to the real world, truly gone fishing, bananas, lost without professional attention…you name it.

    It’s like kicking a guy who’s lying consciousness on the ground, isn’t it?

  37. #37 Biddy
    April 19, 2010

    He’s been drinking too much potato vodka.

  38. #38 Sven DiMilo
    April 19, 2010

    Ardipithecus ramidus: Anyone with half a brain knows there was a designer for this complex world and all the amazing life forms. The designer also gave rules to make His creation run smoothly. Anyone who disobeys those rules will not only mess up the order of things here but will be in serious trouble when they face the Creator on judgment day!

    This “ape-like creature” sounds a lot like…

    hmmm…

  39. #39 stopthatastronaut
    April 19, 2010

    “AR: It?s not polite to ask a woman her age, but that is a real insult to say I?m that old. Not only is it an insult, it is w-a-a-a-y off! I died about 4,400 years ago. I was a teen just about to get married and start my own family.”

    Whaaaat…..? Apes got married back in biblical times?

    I think I missed that bit of Teh Babble.

  40. #40 Sven DiMilo
    April 19, 2010

    Ardipithecus ramidus: It began to rain terribly hard and water came shooting up out of the ground. It was awful! About forty of us cousins all tried to run to safety, but there was just no place to go. We all drowned together. The last thing I remember is the water and mud getting deeper and deeper over our heads.

    Kent Hovind: Well, a lot of people spent a lot of time digging up your bones in Ethiopia and hundreds of people have spent thousands of hours studying them.

    it’s comedy gold

  41. #41 Feynmaniac, Chimerical Toad
    April 19, 2010

    As Owlmirror points out, if you Google search for ‘Kent Hovind’ on the first page you get this old Pharyngula thread: Kent Hovind is still in jail, and he’s going to stay there for a long time.

    Occasionally a goddist will drop by there.

  42. #42 sandiseattle
    April 19, 2010

    Oooh, lets not go there with the special bit, Hovind don’t need any ego boostin. Yeah he’s crazy, but then so are alot of prisoners. He aint no special case ‘cept in his own mind ( and maybe some of his family members minds. )

  43. #43 lexicakes
    April 19, 2010

    kiyaroru: “This seems to indicate a belief that it had never rained before the flood.”

    I think this is actually a belief that some people hold. A few months ago I was talking to my cousin’s 5 year old daughter, and she mentioned something about how it never rained before the flood. We were in Arizona at the time, and it was raining, so she concluded that Arizona is not a desert because it rains there, but it doesn’t rain in the desert. Then she decided that it can rain in the desert NOW, but it never did before the flood. Of course, I’m getting this information from a 5 year old, so I don’t know how much of it is what she’s actually been taught, and how much was misunderstood by her. At any rate, it would seem that Kent Hovind has the historical understanding of a 5 year old?

    There are so many crazy things going on in this conversation, but I’m surprised that no one has mentioned how crazy it is that apparently this 4000 year old ape can communicate in English.

  44. #44 Sven DiMilo
    April 19, 2010

    No, OK, really, just one more:

    Ardipithecus ramidus: He destroyed everything really fast! My bones should be used to warn people about God?s judgment?not teach them some stupid theory that we are related to humans! I?m so sorry they are lying about me, but what can I do? I?m dead!

    it kills me

  45. #45 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 19, 2010

    Sandi @ 29:

    1: remember you’re dealing with PZs definition of “mental” here. “Anyone who believes in God is mental” and “mock the Xian (or whatever juvenile insult name is currently in fashion)”.

    Been watching too much Harry Potter*, Sandi? You can stop being the village idiot now. Hovind isn’t mentally ill, there’s been a variation on the “God: I’ve got ya covered” nonsense ever since Hovind was caught and landed in prison. This is a man who refuses to admit or acknowledge he did wrong, and he’s been busy having a pity party ever since.

    *As in are you mental?, which is a way of saying “what the hell were you thinking?” It does not mean mentally ill.

    Xtian is an abbreviated form of Christian. Nothing inherently disrespectful about it. X is an abbreviation for Christ, arising from the Greek term Christos, which starts with a Greek Chi, written as X. This usage dates back to the 1500s.

  46. #46 Legion
    April 19, 2010

    god:

    I’ve got everything under control, Son. Go walk a few laps. I’ve got your back.

    We like how in just about every one of these posts, Kent begs god to bust his ass out of jail, and every time, god answers back with some bullshit noncommittal response. LOL.

    How terribly depressing for Kent.

    Just once, we’d like to see Kent lose it and tell god to go fuck himself. We suppose that would entail some hot man-on-man with Jesus action.

  47. #47 Ryan F Stello
    April 19, 2010

    Ah, poor deluded delighted Hovind.

    This reminds me, what has Eric been up to at CreationMinute?
    Hmmm. No new episodes…oh, wait, I get it!
    6 Days of creation and only 6 1-minute episodes.
    So very clever of him and not at all lazy.

    And what’s this?
    A 6-episode DVD “Curriculum” called Beginnings.
    At only 205 minutes, it’ll definitely be the shortest course you’d ever take!

    Other than that, I’m sad to say that the Hovind happy train has finally crashed through the depot’s wall for me.
    I’ll have to look elsewhere, now. *sniff*

  48. #48 Feynmaniac, Chimerical Toad
    April 19, 2010

    This seems to indicate a belief that it had never rained before the flood. I’ve heard something like this about rainbows. But RAIN? Really?

    I wonder if the “it had never rained” is Hovind’s (lousy) attempt to explain why there were no rainbows until after the flood.

  49. #49 sandiseattle
    April 19, 2010

    Caine @ 45:
    I’ll quickly address three things from your comment: “mental” as in the common understood american usage of not quite right in the head or being unable to think clearly. I reject your assignment of me to the position of village idiot, I have a 3 digit IQ and one to be proud of at that. And finally I know Xian is from the greek. I was however pointing out that the term is used here and elsewhere in Atheist circles as an insult word.

  50. #50 SteveM
    April 19, 2010

    re 39:

    “AR: It?s not polite to ask a woman her age, but that is a real insult to say I?m that old. Not only is it an insult, it is w-a-a-a-y off! I died about 4,400 years ago. I was a teen just about to get married and start my own family.”

    Whaaaat…..? Apes got married back in biblical times?

    Either that or he’s saying that teenagers back then had more apelike skeletons before adulthood. Or that we can’t tell the difference between a small ape and a teenage human. All in all an astounding show of ignorance.

  51. #51 Ryan F Stello
    April 19, 2010

    I was however pointing out that the term is used here and elsewhere in Atheist circles as an insult word.

    Xians like you are easily insulted.

  52. #52 Joshua Zelinsky
    April 19, 2010

    Note that even in trying to make Ardi be just an ape, he still gives it very human characteristic. In the conversation Ardi declares that “I was a teen just about to get married and start my own family.” That sounds pretty human to me. Does Hovind just assume that Ardi was from a highly monogamous species? It just gets worse when Ardi says:

    It was terrible! We had heard about this man named Noah building a big boat he called an ark because a flood was coming, but it had never rained, so most other humans thought he was crazy. The people God had made were so wicked! They didn?t care what God?s rules were. They did what they pleased. There was lots of violence, too.

    When the ark was done, two of my cousins felt this strange urge to go get on the boat, so they did. Lots of animals went in there, and God shut the door. A few days later, we heard and felt the ground shake like the earth was ripping open! All the animals that were not on the boat began to panic and run around looking for a place to hide. It began to rain terribly hard and water came shooting up out of the ground. It was awful! About forty of us cousins all tried to run to safety, but there was just no place to go. We all drowned together. The last thing I remember is the water and mud getting deeper and deeper over our heads.

    So apparently Ardi was able to communicate well enough with her cousins to know that they had a strange urge. And Ardi’s species was aware enough of what was going on to know human names.

    However, the real kicker is when Ardi declares that investigating things is stupid:

    KH: Well, a lot of people spent a lot of time digging up your bones in Ethiopia and hundreds of people have spent thousands of hours studying them.

    AR: Do they get paid for that?

    KH: Oh, yes! Lots of money!

    AR: That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of! What good are my bones? They can?t eat them or build anything out of them.

    So aside from the notion that paleontologists and anthropologists get paid “Lots of money” we seem to get a direct attack on scientific investigation as a whole. Apparently if something isn’t immediately useful than Kent thinks we should ignore it.

  53. #53 Joshua Zelinsky
    April 19, 2010

    Sorry, italics fail. Repeating that:

    Note that even in trying to make Ardi be just an ape, he still gives it very human characteristic. In the conversation Ardi declares that “I was a teen just about to get married and start my own family.” That sounds pretty human to me. Does Hovind just assume that Ardi was from a highly monogamous species? It just gets worse when Ardi says:


    It was terrible! We had heard about this man named Noah building a big boat he called an ark because a flood was coming, but it had never rained, so most other humans thought he was crazy. The people God had made were so wicked! They didn?t care what God?s rules were. They did what they pleased. There was lots of violence, too.


    When the ark was done, two of my cousins felt this strange urge to go get on the boat, so they did. Lots of animals went in there, and God shut the door. A few days later, we heard and felt the ground shake like the earth was ripping open! All the animals that were not on the boat began to panic and run around looking for a place to hide. It began to rain terribly hard and water came shooting up out of the ground. It was awful! About forty of us cousins all tried to run to safety, but there was just no place to go. We all drowned together. The last thing I remember is the water and mud getting deeper and deeper over our heads.

    So apparently Ardi was able to communicate well enough with her cousins to know that they had a strange urge. And Ardi’s species was aware enough of what was going on to know human names.

    However, the real kicker is when Ardi declares that investigating things is stupid:

    KH: Well, a lot of people spent a lot of time digging up your bones in Ethiopia and hundreds of people have spent thousands of hours studying them.


    AR: Do they get paid for that?


    KH: Oh, yes! Lots of money!


    AR: That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of! What good are my bones? They can?t eat them or build anything out of them.

    So aside from the notion that paleontologists and anthropologists get paid “Lots of money” we seem to get a direct attack on scientific investigation as a whole. Apparently if something isn’t immediately useful than Kent thinks we should ignore it.

  54. #54 sudomabinusri
    April 19, 2010

    sandi, do you still think dyke is an insult?

  55. #55 writermonky
    April 19, 2010

    And also, Ham just blithely has Ardi talk about her death and all of her “cousins” and all the wicked people of the earth.

    God: the most prolific fictional serial killer ever imagined.

  56. #56 MadScientist
    April 19, 2010

    @koshka #27: That’s because most people don’t understand that correlation is not the same as causation, so they mistakenly believe that morals can only come from religion/bahble/gawd. Of course if they ever bothered to read a bahble, they should know that gawd is a bad choice of a source of morals. Unless of course you’re a murderous rape-crazed tyrant, then god is the perfect source of morals.

  57. #57 Joshua Zelinsky
    April 19, 2010

    I’ll quickly address three things from your comment: “mental” as in the common understood american usage of not quite right in the head or being unable to think clearly. I reject your assignment of me to the position of village idiot, I have a 3 digit IQ and one to be proud of at that. And finally I know Xian is from the greek. I was however pointing out that the term is used here and elsewhere in Atheist circles as an insult word.

    IQ isn’t a terribly useful test for intelligence. And if you knew much about it, you’d understand that half the human population has a three digit IQ. That might not indicate lack of intelligence on your part but it does indicate surprising to talk about a subject despite your ignorance. Note also that even if you do in fact have a high IQ, and even if IQ is a good indicator of raw intelligence, there’s no good reason to be proud of that. There are very smart people out there who don’t use their brains effectively at all.

    As to your comment about Xian being an “insult word”, do you have any evidence for this claim? I’ve seen this claim before and never seen any evidence for it other than their say so.

  58. #58 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 19, 2010

    Sandi:

    I’ll quickly address three things from your comment: “mental” as in the common understood american usage of not quite right in the head or being unable to think clearly.

    Going by that definition, it doesn’t mean mentally ill. So, you’re still wrong.

    And finally I know Xian is from the greek. I was however pointing out that the term is used here and elsewhere in Atheist circles as an insult word.

    First, learn to spell it correctly – it’s Xtian. Second, it isn’t used as an insult, it’s used as an abbreviation. It’s quicker to type than Christian. This is hardly rocket science.

    It’s amazing, really, that you have the whole internet at your fingertips and still manage to never learn anything. So yes, you are the village idiot. Give up on the attempted insults, you don’t have what it takes to be effective in that regard.

  59. #59 WowbaggerOM
    April 19, 2010

    sandiseattle wrote:

    I reject your assignment of me to the position of village idiot, I have a 3 digit IQ and one to be proud of at that.

    Three words – one for each of the digits of your IQ – for you to remember: show, don’t tell.

  60. #60 Biddy
    April 19, 2010

    I wonder how long Ham will pray for god to spring him before he gives up and just asks for some trading cigarettes.

  61. #61 Kel, OM
    April 19, 2010

    I don’t know what’s worse, the quality of the writing or that there are people who exist who swallow this crap.

  62. #62 Ing
    April 19, 2010

    “I reject your assignment of me to the position of village idiot, I have a 3 digit IQ and one to be proud of at that.”

    Is it hard to type while suckling on your toes?

  63. #63 Rick Miller
    April 19, 2010

    The really sad thing is that he’s letting his mind deteriorate, pretending to have conversations with his pal Frenchie and re-hashing the same, worn-out material over and over.

    I wonder how long it has been since he has read a book about anything else? He needs to get his hands on some Newberry Award novels.

  64. #64 Kel, OM
    April 19, 2010

    I reject your assignment of me to the position of village idiot, I have a 3 digit IQ and one to be proud of at that.

    You’re proud of a 3 digit IQ? Wow, and I thought those people who paraded their Mensa membership were full of themselves…

  65. #65 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 19, 2010

    WowbaggerOM:

    Three words – one for each of the digits of your IQ – for you to remember: show, don’t tell.

    This little gem is going into my quote file.

  66. #66 Ing
    April 19, 2010

    “I reject your assignment of me to the position of village idiot, I have a 3 digit IQ and one to be proud of at that.”

    Is it hard to type while suckling on your toes?

  67. #67 Robert H
    April 20, 2010

    Ardipithecus ramidus: Anyone with half a brain knows there was a designer for this complex world and all the amazing life forms.

    I think Kent has gotten to the heart of the issue here! He has clearly defined the upper limit of brain function that allows one to understand “intelligent design”, i.e. half a brain. Now that he has ascertained the higher limit perhaps we can begin to establish the threshold level of cognition necessary as well. Ardi was sufficiently bright to hold a conversation with him (and vice versa). In that Ardi’s cranial capacity was about 450cc and modern man’s is about 1400cc that implies that one-third brained people ought to be able to understand and accept Hovind’s thesis as well, which is something to which most of us will readily concur. More likely the actual threshold is somewhat below Ardi’s level of cognition (and I trust the graph of intelligence to thesis acceptance will be skewed to the left) but that determination must wait for some future channeling on Kent’s part (would Ramtha be able to help?) Regardless, well done Dr. Hovind! I’m sure we all wish you every future success in your research, and congratulations on winning tenure; you certainly deserved it!

  68. #68 Ing
    April 20, 2010

    Dude…the guy is spending his time alone in a cell talking to his little monkey. I think an intervention is due.

  69. #69 Kagato
    April 20, 2010

    KH: Hey, Lord? You said that if I would delight myself in You that You would give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). My desire is that my case be overturned and that I be sent home!

    God Answers Kent Hovind’s Prayers For Early Release; Answer Is “No”

  70. #70 raven
    April 20, 2010

    sandie the mental midget:

    And finally I know Xian is from the greek. I was however pointing out that the term is used here and elsewhere in Atheist circles as an insult word.

    Sandi meet Kent Hovind. You have a lot in common. That should worry you. Both going through life mentally crippled by toxic religion. Hovind turned a civil case into 59 felonies by being too crazy to deal with the feds. He put himself in prison.

    The abbreviation xian was invented by xians shortly after they started their religion about 1700 years ago. As a name for themselves. It isn’t an insult or derogatory. They used it themselves for 17 centuries.

    The cultists just claim it is insulting so they can claim persecution. It is a passive aggressive tactic. It has also run it’s course because no one cared. These days one is supposed to hop on one foot when passing by a church with head bowed. Anyone who doesn’t do this is insulting xians, hates god, kicks puppies, and hates babies.

    BTW, capitalizing Atheist is incredibly insulting to atheists. We are all deeply offended and may form troll squads to complain bitterly all over the internet about persecution for the next decade.

    Sandi, I hope you are extremely drunk because you are making no sense but at least would sober up in a few days.

  71. #71 RLBaty
    April 20, 2010

    Regarding Dr. Dino’s efforts to obtain a get out of jail free pass:

    In March he filed 5 separate motions to try and overturn his criminal convictions, using Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

    A few days later the Court denied all the motions, noting that the civil rules cannot be used to overturn his criminal conviction.

    Last week he filed a motion to reconsider, claiming he didn’t know he former lawyer(s) were incompetent, dishonest and such; claiming he is acting pro se now and deserving of special consideration due to his ignorance of how to navigate the legal system.

    Even more quickly, the Court filed an Order last Friday, which was entered today, Monday, April 19, 2010, with a one-liner noting they considered Dr. Dino’s request and it was DENIED.

  72. #72 RLBaty
    April 20, 2010

    Regarding Dr. Dino’s efforts to obtain a get out of jail free pass:

    In March he filed 5 separate motions to try and overturn his criminal convictions, using Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

    A few days later the Court denied all the motions, noting that the civil rules cannot be used to overturn his criminal conviction.

    Last week he filed a motion to reconsider, claiming he didn’t know his former lawyer(s) were incompetent, dishonest and such; claiming he is acting pro se now and deserving of special consideration due to his ignorance of how to navigate the legal system.

    Even more quickly, the Court filed an Order last Friday, which was entered today, Monday, April 19, 2010, with a one-liner noting they considered Dr. Dino’s request and it was DENIED.

  73. #73 raven
    April 20, 2010

    Hovind is clearly not all there in his head.

    To amplify a point in my previous post, Hovind put himself in prison all by himself.

    He was originally charged with tax evasion, a civil offense and not an uncommon one. At this point, the feds want money and that is it.

    Instead of negotiating and paying up, Hovind played tax resister. At one point IIRC, he claimed to not be a US citizen so he didn’t have to pay taxes. I think this has something to do with declaring yourself a soverign citizen of a country of one person or some such. He also claimed he didn’t have to pay taxes because taxes were illegal.

    Besides not paying up, he managed to totally tick off the feds, the prosecutors, and the judges with a lot of wacko extreme right wing nonsense. There was also a raid in which a large cache of guns were found. It is perfectly legal to own a small arsenal of weapons but it is odd that a xian minister would do so. It is a bit scary that someone clearly not mentally all there does so.

    KH managed to turn a routine civil case into 8 years in prison. That was dumb. As his magic book says, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Too bad he didn’t read that part.

  74. #74 Sgt. Obvious
    April 20, 2010

    RLBaty, I’m not surprised. It’s EXTREMELY rare to get a retrial or get a case overturned on the basis of an incompetent attorney. In the view of the legal system, they passed the Bar exam, so barring major and highly visible incompetence, they’re good enough to provide a valid defense. This is doubly true when the defendant is providing their own attorney (as I assume Hovind did). You were the one who picked out your lawyer, Kent, don’t go whining about it now!

  75. #75 kiyaroru
    April 20, 2010

    I’ve always liked Hosea 8:7

    For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind

    (KJV)

    I especially like quoting the bits that support my point.

    The bible is good for that.

  76. #76 RLBaty
    April 20, 2010

    It might also be worth noting here that both Dr. Dino and his wife have recently filed petitions in the U.S. Tax Court ( http://www.ustaxcourt.gov ) to challenge, civilly, proposals from the government that they owe about $3.5 million dollars over a period of years.

    That might make for a good show as well.

    Dr. Dino and his wife have separate cases and separate lawyers representing them.

    His wife appears to have a regular lawyer, while Dr. Dino has one known for his shenanigans.

    Another show to watch, but those will probably move rather slowly. It will be interesting to see if his wife “flips” in order to protect her interests.

  77. #77 Oneiric
    April 20, 2010

    “[i]AR: Well that idea is not only silly, it?s dangerous! Anyone with half a brain knows there was a designer for this complex world and all the amazing life forms. The designer also gave rules to make His creation run smoothly. Anyone who disobeys those rules will not only mess up the order of things here but will be in serious trouble when they face the Creator on judgment day![/i]”

    That proves it for me… have thought for the longest time that the bible could have been written by apes…
    (that, or monkeys banging around on evil-misogynistic typewriters)

  78. #78 Feynmaniac, Chimerical Toad
    April 20, 2010

    Law seems to be something else Hovind is extremely moronic about. In addition to ending up in jail needlessly through his own stupidity and stubbornness,

    After a 5-year misdemeanor court battle over the $50 building permit, on June 5, 2006, Hovind pled nolo contendere as charged to three counts: constructing a building without a permit, refusing to sign a citation,[120] and violating the county building code.[121] Hovind was ordered to pay $225 per count. That month Hovind complied with the county law:[122] Hovind estimated he spent $40,000 in legal expenses on this case [Source, emphasis added]

  79. #79 MaleficVTwin
    April 20, 2010

    His dissertation read like it was written by an 8-year-old, and so does this make-believe interview.

    Teh stoopid, it burnsssss………..

  80. #80 latsot
    April 20, 2010

    Ardi shows remarkable knowledge of the new testament for a being that died in Noah’s flood.

  81. #81 johnbebbington
    April 20, 2010

    Two points:

    Firstly, what amused me was Miss Ardi’s horror at hearing that some people thought that Kent was related to her.

    Secondly, a few Pgulas are confusing Hovind with Ham which is OK by me. That way a lot of people get to think Ham is in jail for tax fraud and another lot get to think Hovind looks crazy.

  82. #82 gbothel
    April 20, 2010

    Anyone with half a brain my believe in creation, but anyone with all of it there will see through that kind absurdity.

  83. #83 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    April 20, 2010

    Oh, channeling! But it seems that Hovind is unaware that God abhors such things. http://www.gotquestions.org/psychics-Christian.html

  84. #84 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    April 20, 2010

    Oh, channeling! But it seems that Hovind is unaware that God abhors such thing. http://www.gotquestions.org/psychics-Christian.html

  85. #85 Thebear
    April 20, 2010

    I’m a bit confused by this one…

    Doesn’t “died in the flood” equate to “not a friend of baby jebus&co who’d went straight to hell”?

    And if that’s the case – why is the saintly mr. Hovind communicating with the denizens of the netherworld?

  86. #86 Roestigraben
    April 20, 2010

    Now that Kent’s found a new imaginary friend whose voice he’s hearing, wouldn’t it be great if he took his time in jail to write the gospel of Ardi? He could even form a new breakaway sect worshipping his fossilized buddy and become its high priest.

  87. #87 Walton
    April 20, 2010

    It is absolutely ludicrous that Hovind is serving time in prison – at massive expense to the taxpayer – for failing to pay taxes. The cost of putting him on trial, convicting him and keeping him in prison must by now have far exceeded the amount of tax he failed to pay.

    Prisons should be reserved for murderers, rapists and other violent offenders who pose a continuing danger to members of the public. The fact that someone can be imprisoned for tax evasion is just more evidence of the batshit insanity and moral bankruptcy of the criminal justice system in the United States.

  88. #88 Azkyroth
    April 20, 2010

    “Jesus loves me. Frequently…”

  89. #89 Sili, The Unknown Virgin
    April 20, 2010

    Ardi reassures him that she really is only 4,000 years old, that she died in the Flood, and even witnessed the Ark setting off. Isn’t that sweet?

    So Hovind is spending his time chatting to someone who sinned so bad that the whole world had to be flooded in response? Why not have a teaparty with Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot while he’s at it?

  90. #90 Danu
    April 20, 2010

    Re Sandi: A 3-digit IQ could be only 101. Which is barely above average. Just sayin’

    As for Hovind’s essay (essay? diatribe? story? Who knows) … it’s scary in its stupidity, inconsistency, internal flaws and downright gibberishness.

    Apart from the other flaws mentioned – I imagine (could be wrong, please correct me if I am) that Ardi had a low life expectancy and so would get ‘married’ long before 14.

    And Ardi was alive in Ethiopia, but they ‘heard’ what was happening in Palestine??

    I also loved (for a certain value of ‘loved’) the way she describes the horror of drowning in mud, but neither she nor Hovind even comment on the cruelty of that.

  91. #91 the bill
    April 20, 2010

    walton @#87

    I think the word you’re missing here is ‘deterrent’. I generally agree that jails should really only be for people who are a genuine physical threat to others, but if you outrightly refuse to keep up your end in the social contract you gotta face the consequences.

    Apologies if I’m feeding the troll…

  92. #92 Jadehawk, OM
    April 20, 2010

    there’s better, more cost-effective, less pointlessly punitive ways at deterring tax-evaders.

    like taking all their property away and selling it to cover back taxes and all costs incurred in prosecuting and convicting the fucker.

  93. #93 Rorschach
    April 20, 2010

    @ 91,

    I think the word you’re missing here is ‘deterrent’

    If it’s not working with the death penalty as deterrent for murder, why would it work for imprisonment as deterrent for tax evasion?

  94. #94 puzzledponderer
    April 20, 2010

    GOD: I’ve got everything under control, Son. Go walk a few laps. I’ve got your back.

    Really, is that a good thing when you’re in prison?

  95. #95 the bill
    April 20, 2010

    testing @93

    Most rational people are put off by the notion of spending time in prison, I’d have thought. Particularly when you get stuck there for something as humiliating as not paying taxes you could readily afford.

    I suspect the kind of motivations, or simple lack of impulse control, that have people end up as murderers is a driver of a different order of magnitude.

    However, it’s not really the point. Societies see imprisonment as a sanction and a deterrent, and if someone really won’t cooperate, what’s a government to do?

    After all, I live in a country that doesn’t have the death penalty, and hasn’t for decades, but we still lock people up. As an activist I’ve frequently stood a very real chance of going to jail, and it scare the bejesus out of me. I figure it must work on many others…

    There does seem to be rather a mood of celebration (if not outright schadenfreude)about this particular incarceration here; hardly seems the time to raise the thorny issue of the effectiveness of imprisonment or challenge its morality, surely?

  96. #96 negentropyeater
    April 20, 2010

    like taking all their property away and selling it to cover back taxes and all costs incurred in prosecuting and convicting the fucker

    I don’t know about the US, but in several European countries above a certain amount (I think it’s currently around 120,000 Euros), it’s both imprisonment AND what you are refering to.

    If it’s not working with the death penalty as deterrent for murder, why would it work for imprisonment as deterrent for tax evasion?

    That’s an argument against the death penalty but not against imprisonment as deterrent for a crime.

  97. #97 Rorschach
    April 20, 2010

    That’s an argument against the death penalty but not against imprisonment as deterrent for a crime.

    However I would argue that imprisonment does not work as a deterrent against anything.

  98. #98 Sili, The Unknown Virgin
    April 20, 2010

    Ooops. Sorry, Thebear. I shoulda read to the end before trying to make a funny.

  99. #99 Jadehawk, OM
    April 20, 2010

    However I would argue that imprisonment does not work as a deterrent against anything.

    especially not in situations in which no one expects to be caught, be it from thoughtlessness or hubris.

    and cheating on your taxes is definitely one of those situations.

  100. #100 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    However I would argue that imprisonment does not work as a deterrent against anything.

    Getting caught works as a deterrent; what exactly the punishment is afterwards is much less relevant.

    As far as I can see, crimes are only committed by two kinds of people: 1) those who are sure they won’t get caught; 2) those who are (even if momentarily) out of their mind and can’t even think that far in the first place.

  101. #101 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    LOL! Great minds think alike, and that within 2 minutes!

  102. #102 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    Er, by “getting caught” I mean getting caught, having a public day in court, getting convicted, and having a criminal record afterwards. Once that happens, it doesn’t really matter much if the punishment is “well, that would be 20 years, but it’s suspended for some vague medical reason or something, so you’re free”, does it?

  103. #103 Jadehawk, OM
    April 20, 2010

    LOL! Great minds think alike, and that within 2 minutes!

    not as awesome as the hot cilantro thing negs and I once did, but still funny :-)

  104. #104 Rorschach
    April 20, 2010

    LOL! Great minds think alike, and that within 2 minutes!

    Jeebus, what am I going to do with you 2 Turteltauben !!
    ;)

  105. #105 negentropyeater
    April 20, 2010

    However I would argue that imprisonment does not work as a deterrent against anything

    Let’s say that I share your sentiment, but I find it difficult to justify it…

  106. #106 Jadehawk, OM
    April 20, 2010

    Jeebus, what am I going to do with you 2 Turteltauben !!

    sit between us and play Anstandsdame?

    *runs*

  107. #107 God
    April 20, 2010

    Before the Flood, the wicked humans had wrecked the sanctity of marriage by making it legal for monkeys to marry. I rescued Ardi’s cousins because they were just living together and mating without marriage.

  108. #108 Bride of Shrek OM
    April 20, 2010

    David

    As far as I can see, crimes are only committed by two kinds of people: 1) those who are sure they won’t get caught; 2) those who are (even if momentarily) out of their mind and can’t even think that far in the first place

    ..nah, there’s a 3rd type that I defend all day they’re:

    3) Those that know they’re doing wrong and know they’re going to probably get caught but still don’t give a rat’s arse about it.

  109. #109 Sili, The Unknown Virgin
    April 20, 2010

    sit between us and play Anstandsdame?

    I was leaning more towards leaving you at Kristian’s place and locking the door, while the rest of us wander off in search of beer.

    Nice vocab, but we stopped using capitals for nouns in ’48.

  110. #110 negentropyeater
    April 20, 2010

    As far as I can see, crimes are only committed by two kinds of people: 1) those who are sure they won’t get caught; 2) those who are (even if momentarily) out of their mind and can’t even think that far in the first place.

    w.r.t tax evasion crime (ie above a certain amount), I think the most frequent case is:
    3) those who think the probability of getting caught is sufficiently small to be worth the risk

  111. #111 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    sit between us and play Anstandsdame?
    *runs*

    Copenhagen could become… interesting… That guy? A chaperone? ;-S

    Regarding turtle doves (yes, really, that’s how they’re called in English), the first thing that came to mind was the Old Testament explaining when to sacrifice “two turtle doves or two young pigeons”. Hmmm. Too much knowledge leads to fucked-up associations.

    Those that know they’re doing wrong and know they’re going to probably get caught but still don’t give a rat’s arse about it.

    How does that work? Is that a martyr complex or something? “I will suffer for it, but it must be done”?

  112. #112 Jadehawk, OM
    April 20, 2010

    How does that work? Is that a martyr complex or something? “I will suffer for it, but it must be done”?

    I’m guessing more like “too jaded to give a flying fuck”, or “used to it”

  113. #113 GravityIsJustATheory
    April 20, 2010

    I would expect at least some people would consider both the likelyhood of of being caught and the consequences of doing so when considering whether or not to break the law.

    E.g. if the only penalty for tax evasion / theft / etc was to pay back the money you owe, then being caught has no net penalty, and (ethics aside) cheating/stealing would be a rational act, as no matter how many times you got caught, succeding just once means a net profit.

  114. #114 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    Is that a martyr complex or something?

    Of course the best ideas are always triggered by clicking the “submit” button. Have you ever defended a card-carrying villain?

  115. #115 Rorschach
    April 20, 2010

    That guy? A chaperone? ;-S

    Wouldn’t be the first time lol.
    I just want beer and good talks, I dont care what you guys get up to afterwards !

  116. #116 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    I’m guessing more like “too jaded to give a flying fuck”, or “used to it”

    Well… at 5 am you think more clearly than I at noon. I’ll get dressed and go do something about my general lack of movement.

  117. #117 Jadehawk, OM
    April 20, 2010

    if the only penalty for tax evasion / theft / etc was to pay back the money you owe,

    well, good thing no one suggested such a silly thing then. I specifically said “taking all their property away”. I’m not aware of the country where the tax-rate is 100%.

    I’m sure there would have to be some loophole closing required to keep them from having all their stuff in other people’s name, though.

  118. #118 Jadehawk, OM
    April 20, 2010

    I’ll get dressed

    *massive mental derail*

  119. #119 negentropyeater
    April 20, 2010

    E.g. if the only penalty for tax evasion / theft / etc was to pay back the money you owe, then being caught has no net penalty, and (ethics aside) cheating/stealing would be a rational act, as no matter how many times you got caught, succeding just once means a net profit.

    True.

    In most countries I know of, it usually works like this :

    1. under a certain amount of taxes accrued due(not specified by the tax code but up to the judge’s deliberation, depending on context, repeat offenders, etc…, in practice around 120,000 Euros):
    pay the amounts due + pay a fine which is proportional to the amounts due (around 25%)

    2. above a certain amount
    same as above + jail time

    So the question is whether jail time in 2) above serves any beneficial purpose for society.

  120. #120 Eidolon
    April 20, 2010

    Rorschach @97:

    If imprisonment were not a deterrent, why then do nearly all of us forgo the improved living standards available through the simple expedient of robbery? Why do we pass up the stress relief of strangling the living shit out of some asshole at work who desperately deserves it?

    Imprisonment means a lot more than the fact you can no longer amble down to the local tap and quaff a couple. Your present and future employment is apt to be permanently changed. Your family is disrupted, perhaps destroyed. Life in prison may be physically dangerous. While it is true that for some folks it is not a deterrent, I suspect it is a quite effective one for most people.

  121. #121 Jadehawk, OM
    April 20, 2010

    While it is true that for some folks it is not a deterrent, I suspect it is a quite effective one for most people.

    peer pressure and social stigma are quite effective on a lot of people. when you’re in a sub-culture that views time in jail as a badge of honor, you’ll suddenly see a lot more reckless and criminal behavior. it usually isn’t the jailtime, it’s the social stigma of jailtime (and people’s inherent moral compass coupled with societal definitions of “good” and “bad”) that keeps the majority people from committing crimes.

  122. #122 Rorschach
    April 20, 2010

    Why do we pass up the stress relief of strangling the living shit out of some asshole at work who desperately deserves it?

    That’s got nothing at all to do with the prospect of punishment for your crime.
    It’s part of people’s moral faculty.

  123. #123 Jessie
    April 20, 2010

    Walton
    So do you believe that the perpetrators of some of the massive frauds and deceptions of the last few years should just be fined, even when others were bankrupted by their actions?

  124. #124 Jadehawk, OM
    April 20, 2010

    So do you believe that the perpetrators of some of the massive frauds and deceptions of the last few years should just be fined, even when others were bankrupted by their actions?

    but see, putting the evil fuckers in jail isn’t going to un-bankrupt anyone.

    OTOH, taking all their stuff away and shoving it into REAL retirement plans, and REAL healthcare, and REAL unemployment, and a million other social programs allows you to play Robin Hood: you punish the assholes AND you help the people they harmed.

  125. #125 the bill
    April 20, 2010

    @#97

    However I would argue that imprisonment does not work as a deterrent against anything.

    @#100

    Getting caught works as a deterrent; what exactly the punishment is afterwards is much less relevant.

    I disagree – from my own experience and the experience of several other people I’ve known I’d disagree. Apart form the sheer awfulness of being confined for years in some miserable institution away from the places and people I love the prospect of playing Happy Families (‘Now, who wants to be Mommy?’) with Mr Extra Y Chromosome really is rather off-putting.

    I know that it’s outrageous that this happens and it’s an utterly disproportionate punishment for anyone, tax-dodgers included, but it’s a fact and I note that there are plenty of jokes about it in the comments above. Nobodys done the ‘the problem is you might have to turn the other cheek a little too often’ joke yet, I believe.

    However, even without such unpleasantness doing time is bloody awful.

    The trouble with the ‘conviction is what counts, the punishment doesn’t matter’ argument is that there are plenty of narcissists and psychopaths out there who don’t give a rat’s arse what the suckers might think of them. ‘Oh, boo hoo, I’ve been condemned in the public arena, oh the shame, the shame – can I go now?’

  126. #126 Wobert
    April 20, 2010

    Three digit IQ, really…..

    where’s the decimal point?

  127. #127 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    *massive mental derail*

    LOL! But I told you on the Endless Thread I don’t sleep naked! I was wearing a long-sleeved, long-panted pyjama! :^)

    The cherry trees are still in full bloom, even though most of them have more or less full-sized leaves now; and I watched a gray heron for maybe 10 minutes in total.

    If imprisonment were not a deterrent, why then do nearly all of us forgo the improved living standards available through the simple expedient of robbery? Why do we pass up the stress relief of strangling the living shit out of some asshole at work who desperately deserves it?

    Innate empathy, and fear of being considered an asshole… see comment 121.

  128. #128 Jadehawk, OM
    April 20, 2010

    in case you haven’t noticed, neither Walton nor anyone else is suggesting to let dangerous psychopaths run around.

    OTOH if they just keep on stealing money, that just gives the law the excuse of constantly taking it away from them.

    this discussion is not about totally abolishing prison; it’s about removing the pointlessly vindictive part, when in many cases there’s much more sensible ways to exert the social pressure necessary to keep average people from breaking the law, recoup financial costs/losses incurred because of the crimes, and sufficiently neutralize the harm done.

    prisons are supposed to be for keeping dangerous people away; a tax evader isn’t dangerous, just expensive. and that can be fixed rather easily.

  129. #129 Jadehawk, OM
    April 20, 2010

    LOL! But I told you on the Endless Thread I don’t sleep naked! I was wearing a long-sleeved, long-panted pyjama!

    you didn’t say you were changing, you said you were getting dressed. And I get to be literal-minded at the crack of dawn :-p

  130. #130 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    Mr Extra Y Chromosome

    There’s no correlation between XYY karyotype and violence. People used to think so for decades, but it’s been known for decades that it’s not the case.

    Also, the idea that rape is normal in prison appears to be limited to the USA among… among First-World-countries-as-defined-by-GDP.

    there are plenty of narcissists and psychopaths out there who don’t give a rat’s arse what the suckers might think of them. ‘Oh, boo hoo, I’ve been condemned in the public arena, oh the shame, the shame – can I go now?’

    Yes. Those need psychotherapy, or, if that’s not possible (I have no idea of the state of the art of psychiatry), must be kept away from positions where they can do harm.

  131. #131 the bill
    April 20, 2010

    @#128

    I mean psychopaths in the clinical sense – not axe-wielding homicidal maniacs – if you work for a large organization there are probably several in your management structure. Narcissists at least.

    However, there remains a classic tension between idealism and pragmatism over this issue. Generally I’d like to agree with you, but little in my life experience confirms your argument.

  132. #132 negentropyeater
    April 20, 2010

    OTOH, taking all their stuff away and shoving it into REAL retirement plans, and REAL healthcare, and REAL unemployment, and a million other social programs allows you to play Robin Hood: you punish the assholes AND you help the people they harmed.

    Problem with that is that very often, most of their “stuff” is very well hidden. It isn’t even that difficult: dig a hole in the ground in the woods and put as many gold bars the hole can store.
    In the case of Maddoff for instance, nobody has a fucking clue where most of his fortune is. You can be quite sure that if you release him, he’ll find a way to get hold of it.

    You seem to underestimate the ingeniosity of major tax evaders and fraudsters.

  133. #133 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    And I get to be literal-minded at the crack of dawn :-p

    Whatever makes you happy :-)

    Note to self: anziehen and umziehen don’t correspond 1 : 1 in usage to get dressed and change.

  134. #134 Opisthokont
    April 20, 2010

    KH: Well, a lot of people spent a lot of time digging up your bones in Ethiopia and hundreds of people have spent thousands of hours studying them.

    AR: Do they get paid for that?

    KH: Oh, yes! Lots of money!

    I have seen this misconception elsewhere amongst creationists: the idea that palaeontologists and anthropologists get paid by the fossil. That, and the idea that scientists do, and are in science because they want to, make a lot of money. All of this merely indicates how poorly they understand who scientists are and how science is done. For a person who likes to call himself “doctor” and parade a Ph.D. around, this should be a massive embarrassment. However, I suppose that Kent Hovind’s failure to be embarrassed is approaching the legendary.

  135. #135 John Morales
    April 20, 2010

    Regarding the comments about being caught and imprisoned being a deterrent, whence recidivism?

  136. #136 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 20, 2010

    a tax evader isn’t dangerous, just expensive. and that can be fixed rather easily.

    Which is why one has to be very stupid to get jail time for tax problems. Acknowledge and pay the taxes, and you will not see a day in jail. Hovind kept claiming he didn’t have to pay taxes. Stoopid. And he kept trying various dodges that wouldn’t work, as any legitimate lawyer would advise him. Which he didn’t listen to. Stoopid. Ergo, jail. He worked very hard to earn his conviction and sentence with sheer arrogance and and a bad case of teh stoopid.

  137. #137 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    You seem to underestimate the ingeniosity of major tax evaders and fraudsters.

    That’s why the EU has started putting political pressure on tax havens. Will be interesting to see how far that will go.

    KH: Oh, yes! Lots of money!

    ROTFLMAO!!!

  138. #138 Thebear
    April 20, 2010

    @Silli # 98: No reason to apologize – yours was the better one IMHO

  139. #139 https://me.yahoo.com/hairychris444#96384
    April 20, 2010

    @Walton

    Tax evasion is fraud. You get busted for it big enough & you get sent down, whoever you defraud… which is supposed to act as a deterrant as other people have said.

    Slightly off this topic, but after I graduated I spent a while working for a UK govt agency who clawed back benefit frauds and over-payments. If a fraudster had been sent to jail for this, had an order to repay and then refused to we could send them back to jail again for this non-payment. Not a popular bunch of people and we were sworn to secrecy about where we worked!

    @Sandiseattle

    As an Englishman I have no compunction about calling people brighter and saner then me (and there are plenty of both) “mental” if they do/suggest something spectacularly stupid. It doesn’t necessarily imply disability in colloquial usage. Most of the time.

  140. #140 sqlrob
    April 20, 2010

    I reject your assignment of me to the position of village idiot, I have a 3 digit IQ and one to be proud of at that.

    So, here’s a trivial task for anyone with a 3 digit IQ.

    Show evidence for your god. Bible doesn’t count (if it does, then Harry Potter counts for Voldemort, Book of the Dead for Ra….)

    Give a parsimonious explanation for all contradictions to the claim that god exists. Must be consistent with Christianity.

  141. #141 Birger Johansson
    April 20, 2010

    Why taunt this obviously mentally unstable individual? It is a bit too much like the Victorians who paid money to enter the Bedlam and look at the crazies that were locked up there.

    BTW if you want to read something really creepy, you should read a translation of “Hitler’s Table Conversations” which occasionally show a glimpse of his pathological world-view.

    Curing recidivism: This is very hard, but using cognitive behavioral therapy has recently showed some success in Swedish prisons.
    -Another approach is pursued by an organisation (“KRIS”) of former Swedish convicts, who themselves are running a program to rehabilitate people coming out of prison, and who fulfil the criteria of being motivated to make a clean break.

  142. #142 sqlrob
    April 20, 2010

    BTW if you want to read something really creepy, you should read a translation of “Hitler’s Table Conversations” which occasionally show a glimpse of his pathological world-view.

    Those are forgeries.

  143. #143 Flex
    April 20, 2010

    Not to derail the discussion much, but this reminded me of a recent article in Science called Markets, Religion, Community Size, and the Evolution of Fairness and Punishment (19MARCH2010, Vol 327, pp 1480-1484).

    I’ll have to dig into their supporting literature, but the gist of the article is that the authors believe there may be a link between the size of a society and the level of punishment for exhibiting unfair behavior.

    One part of this idea is that a large society must develop social norms (often through organized religion, but there are other possibilities) in order to promote fair interactions beyond the immediate group (to the real benefit of the overall society). But because punishment for unfair transactions is often unavailable to a small subset (local group) of this society, in order to make all the local groups feel that an actual punishment has occurred, the punishment has to be more severe.

    As an example, and this is my own interpretation not from the article, if a member of my group sells me a TV which they know doesn’t work well (while claiming it does), there are social controls within my group (reduced interaction, obvious distrust, general disapproval and a avoidance of other transactions and even direct confrontation). However, if someone I don’t know and will never meet, sells a bum TV to someone else whom I don’t know and will never meet, a more severe punishment is necessary to allow me to feel that fairness has been achieved.

    It’s as if our feelings of control over the circumstances of judgement and punishment are reduced, we need to make the judgments and punishments more severe. And, to an extent I can see that. If I can mete out justice to the people in my circle, I can also judge when they have paid enough and are sorry about what they did. In a situation where I have no control over the judgement, punishment, or forgiveness, I may well desire a more severe level of punishment and take longer to acknowledge contrition.

    Now I’m not, in any way, advocating that we adjust our criminal justice system to allow victims to judge and sentence the perpetrators. I think that our system of justice has developed in order to create that sense of societal fairness, but attempts to avoid individual variation in the desires of the victims. I feel this actually adds to the social sense of fairness.

    Of course, I also feel that justice systems often lag a generation or two behind the populations general opinion of fairness. And it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to have the caprices of the public dampened by the time delay required to update our system of justice.

    I know, tl:dr. But I’m trying to avoid a day of ESD testing, which is very, very boring. Cheers!

  144. #144 Darren Garrison
    April 20, 2010

    Even “better” stuff is found in his “open letter to Rush Limbaugh”

    http://www.cseblogs.com/2010/03/08/open-letter-to-rush-limbaugh/

  145. #145 Cowcakes
    April 20, 2010

    I always knew he was a wanker and here’s the proof

    KH: Hey, Lord? You said that if I would delight myself in You…..

    Evangelical Auto Eroticism?

  146. #146 PZ Myers
    April 20, 2010

    Hitler’s Table Talk has some seriously mangled history — it was distorted in translation, all the anti-Christian stuff was inserted and was not said by Hitler.

    Why taunt this sad individual? Because his works are still in use (Hovind’s awful lies are widely disseminated on DVD and on youtube), he has learned nothing in prison, and will be emerging from jail in a few years to spread the same bullshit.

  147. #147 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 20, 2010

    Why taunt this obviously mentally unstable individual? It is a bit too much like the Victorians who paid money to enter the Bedlam and look at the crazies that were locked up there.

    Because Hovind isn’t just some harmless mentally ill chap on the street. He is revered by a large group of fundamentalist morons who hang on his every word as if it was knowledge directly from their god. They shove his idiocy down their kid’s throats, and they’d like nothing more than to shove it down your kid’s throat.

    He need to be exposed for what he is until he goes away.

  148. #148 Flex
    April 20, 2010

    Not to derail the discussion much, but this reminded me of a recent article in Science called Markets, Religion, Community Size, and the Evolution of Fairness and Punishment (19MARCH2010, Vol 327, pp 1480-1484).

    I’ll have to dig into their supporting literature, but the gist of the article is that the authors believe there may be a link between the size of a society and the level of punishment for exhibiting unfair behavior.

    One part of this idea is that a large society must develop social norms (often through organized religion, but there are other possibilities) in order to promote fair interactions beyond the immediate group (to the real benefit of the overall society). But because punishment for unfair transactions is often unavailable to a small subset (local group) of this society, in order to make all the local groups feel that an actual punishment has occurred, the punishment has to be more severe.

    As an example, and this is my own interpretation not from the article, if a member of my group sells me a TV which they know doesn’t work well (while claiming it does), there are social controls within my group (reduced interaction, obvious distrust, general disapproval and a avoidance of other transactions and even direct confrontation). However, if someone I don’t know and will never meet, sells a bum TV to someone else whom I don’t know and will never meet, a more severe punishment is necessary to allow me to feel that fairness has been achieved.

    It’s as if our feelings of control over the circumstances of judgement and punishment are reduced, we need to make the judgments and punishments more severe. And, to an extent I can see that. If I can mete out justice to the people in my circle, I can also judge when they have paid enough and are sorry about what they did. In a situation where I have no control over the judgement, punishment, or forgiveness, I may well desire a more severe level of punishment and take longer to acknowledge contrition.

    Now I’m not, in any way, advocating that we adjust our criminal justice system to allow victims to judge and sentence the perpetrators. I think that our system of justice has developed in order to create that sense of societal fairness, but attempts to avoid individual variation in the desires of the victims. I feel this actually adds to the social sense of fairness.

    Of course, I also feel that justice systems often lag a generation or two behind the populations general opinion of fairness. And it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to have the caprices of the public dampened by the time delay required to update our system of justice.

    I know, tl:dr. But I’m trying to avoid a day of ESD testing, which is very, very boring. Cheers!

  149. #149 Hypatia's Daughter
    April 20, 2010

    “3 digit IQ” Hee, Hee! I’m rewatching “EUREKA” and it reminds me of the episode where Carter is so inordinately fond of his IQ of 111 ……….then finds out that it is merely “Higher average (100-114)”

  150. #150 Flex
    April 20, 2010

    Doh! Sorry for the double post. I hit the refresh button after I got an error. I should have simply reloaded the Pharyngula page. I know better than that.

  151. #151 Moggie
    April 20, 2010

    OMG, it’s Dr Knowlittle!

    With apologies to Rex Harrison:

    If we could talk to the animals, just imagine it,
    Nothing would remain a mystery!
    Discussing tax cheats with a cheetah, ants with an anteater,
    And all 6000 years of history.

    If we could talk to the hominids, learn their languages,
    Thanks to a diploma mill degree.
    We’d talk of Noah’s ark with Ardi (perhaps a little tardy),
    We could really teach the controversy!

    If I could talk to the animals, learn their languages,
    Think of all the money I could make!
    If I could walk with the animals, talk with the animals,
    Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals,
    Not a single one of them would know I’m fake!

  152. #152 Eidolon
    April 20, 2010

    Rorschach @122:
    O.K. – perhaps I need to mark hyperbole when I use it. I don’t think we have such innate moral qualms that we comport our behavior without some extrinsic motivation such as fear of punishment. Please tell me you have never lifted something from a store or work. You have not stopped at some action – speeding, assault, theft or what have you because of fear of consequences, including jail time?

  153. #153 BigKnuckleDraggingJarhead
    April 20, 2010

    So, PZ, you’re saying Kent’s opinion on archeology is as significant as Ben Stien’s opinion on evolution, or….. maybe Paris Hilton’s opinion on astrophysics? hehehe

  154. #154 JeffreyD
    April 20, 2010

    Three digit IQ? Well, I guess 89.5 technically contains three digits. Reminds me of my six figure income, $1324.25 .

  155. #155 nigelTheBold
    April 20, 2010

    Stoopid. Ergo, jail.

    I like this idea. I like it a lot.

  156. #156 shonny
    April 20, 2010

    Does buying Robert Crumb’s The book of Genesis count as buying a bible?

    http://www.amazon.com/Book-Genesis-Illustrated-R-Crumb/dp/0393061027/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271769519&sr=1-1

    Well, part of the bible, that is. But at least with the proper emphasis one gets to see what really interested the old lechers.

  157. #157 neon-elf.myopenid.com
    April 20, 2010

    When it comes to Christian FanFic, Kent really is the ultimate Mary Sue.

    Now, if he’d only write some Jesus/Judas slash, he might sound less like a lonely 13 year-old.

  158. #158 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    Please tell me you have never lifted something from a store or work.

    I’m only 27 years old, so my lack of opportunity may be a confounding factor… but… nope, I haven’t.

    I think you’re mostly speaking for yourself.

  159. #159 KOPD
    April 20, 2010

    100 is a three-digit IQ and is the definition of normal. Besides, being proud of something beyond your control like IQ is like being proud of where you were born or what color your skin is. Fuck IQ. Be proud of being rational. Be proud of being ambitious and accomplishing something. Be proud of being compassionate. Be proud of doing something to make the world better for the people you share it with and those that come after.

  160. #160 raven
    April 20, 2010

    wikipedia Kent Hovind:

    In 1996 Hovind unsuccessfully filed for bankruptcy to avoid paying federal income taxes claiming he wasn’t a citizen of the US and did not earn income.[129] Hovind was found to have lied about his possessions and income.[130] He claimed that as a minister of God everything he owns belonged to God and he is not subject to paying taxes to the United States on the money he received for doing God’s work.[131] The court ordered him to pay the money, upheld the IRS’s determination that Hovind’s claim “was filed in bad faith for the sole purpose of avoiding payment of federal income taxes” and called Hovind’s arguments “patently absurd.” It also noted that “the IRS has no record of the debtor ever having filed a federal income tax return,” although this was not the court’s reason for denying the bankruptcy claim.

    Wikisource has original text related to this article:
    Kent Hovind 2005 Affidavit
    On May 13, 1998, Hovind and his wife filed a “Power of Attorney and Revocation of Signature” document with the Escambia County Clerk of Courts which would nullify any of their promises, debts, or legal agreements made prior to April 15, 1998. The document reads, in part: “I/we do hereby revoke and make void… all signatures on any instruments…”. The Hovinds claimed they had signed government documents “due to the use of various elements of fraud and misrepresentations, duress, coercion, under perjury, mistake, ‘bankruptcy’.”[132] In this document, the Hovinds argue that Social Security is essentially a “Ponzi scheme”, referred to the United States Government as “the ‘bankrupt’ corporate government”, renounced their United States citizenship and Social Security numbers to become “a natural citizen of ‘America’ and a natural sojourner”, and referred to their home state of Florida as “the State of Florida Body-Politic Corporation.”[132] Judges and the IRS did not appear to honor this as a legally relevant document in future decisions.[133]

    Wikipedia has a lot about how Hovind put himself in jail. Among other lunacies, at one point he renounced his US citizenship. Which was also dumb, the US government could have accepted that and immediately deported him as an undesirable alien.

    Tax evasion is a civil offense. Doing what Hovind did can turn it into a ciminal offense which he did.

    The deterrent effect in this case isn’t aimed at Hovind, who is incorrigible. It is aimed at anyone who is thinking of declaring themselves “A Natural Citizen of America” and thus exempt from taxes to the USA.

  161. #161 Snoof
    April 20, 2010

    Hmmm… I wonder if Hovind realises he’s actually committing an abomination? Or is an abomination. Or however abominableness works. After all, Deuteronomy 18 says

    10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
    11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
    12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

    I’d say communing with the spirit of a long-dead creature totally sounds like necromancy to me!

  162. #162 David Marjanovi?
    April 20, 2010

    and is the definition of normal

    Of average, more precisely.

    something beyond your control like IQ

    Fun is, it’s not beyond your control ? you can train doing IQ tests.

  163. #163 KOPD
    April 20, 2010

    Of average, more precisely.

    Good point. Can I save some face by pointing out that the distribution is normal? ;-)

    Fun is, it’s not beyond your control ? you can train doing IQ tests.

    True. I guess I was falling victim to that same problem of conflating IQ test results with intelligence. I do know better. Allow me to rephrase:
    …being proud of something beyond your control like IQ intelligence is like being proud of where you were born or what color your skin is.

  164. #164 raven
    April 20, 2010

    Hovind is a weird one and clearly has talents that were useful in one situation and not in another.

    IMO, he doesn’t know or care about the difference between truth and lies, fantasy and reality, evidence and stories, right or wrong and so on. This allows him to just babble and say whatever the fundies want to hear even if it has no contact with the real world.

    While this works with religion, there are areas where it doesn’t work. Such as in being a citizen of the USA. It looks like he tried to define paying his taxes like he does religion, by just making stuff up. Unfortunately for him, the US government doesn’t work on that basis.

    At any rate, while he is what he is, to the fundie xians he is a hero and a martyr. It doesn’t take much for them. One wonders how many of the OT prophets were equally bizarre humans. I suspect Jeremiah and many others would be older versions of Hovind.

  165. #165 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    April 20, 2010

    raven:

    One wonders how many of the OT prophets were equally bizarre humans.

    Assuming that those stories are true, of course. I think that it’s likely the case that some of the figures of the OT were fabricated or extremely embellished.

  166. #166 raven
    April 20, 2010

    Assuming that those stories are true, of course. I think that it’s likely the case that some of the figures of the OT were fabricated or extremely embellished.

    Probably many were. Moses, the Exodus, Abraham, Noah, David and Solomon and so on were almost certainly mostly myth. The older bible stories didn’t hold up when people started doing archaeology.

    Some of the later ones, the crackpot prophets who knows maybe. They are at least realistic.

    For prophets that were real, look at Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, Jim Jones, David Koresh, and the current living ones. The Moonies. Who knew a divorced, excon Korean would turn out the be jesus christ the second?

    It really doesn’t take much to be a hero to the religious and even start whole new ones. Being bizarre seems to be an occupational requirement.

  167. #167 mothra
    April 20, 2010

    Anyone with half out a brain knows there was a designer for this complex world and all the amazing life forms. The designer also gave rules to make His creation run smoothly. Anyone who disobeys those rules will not only mess up the order of things here but will be in serious trouble when they face the Creator on judgment day!

    Gee, a world was designed to ‘run smoothly’ yet, its inhabitants can ‘mess up the order of things.’ Looks like a bug, not a feature.

    I would have been real impressed if Ken Hovind had his conversation with Ardi back in 1993, now, not so much.

    . . .a triple digit IQ= two digits are ciphers.

  168. #168 Feynmaniac, Chimerical Toad
    April 20, 2010

    As raven has been pointing out, Hovind’s case is atypical and his jail time is largely his own making. If he had simply cooperated with authorities after he was caught he would likely not faced any jail time at all. That he got 8 years and had to pay nonetheless is a true testimony to his stupidity/masochism.

  169. #169 Pierce R. Butler
    April 20, 2010

    Snoof @ # 161: … Deuteronomy 18 says

    10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times…

    So Yahweh has an issue with sports officials, test proctors, cooks, lab techs, and everybody eager for coffee breaks &/or going home (includes Hovind & colleagues)?

    The old boy sure has a lot of feathers up his butt, no? The “passing through fire” sounds like joining some non-Yahwehist cult, but does anybody know what’s the purported problem with (optimistic assumption on early Hebrew technology) sundial-watching?

  170. #170 Walton
    April 20, 2010

    “Prison as a deterrent” is a barbaric concept that has no place in a liberal society. The concept of “deterrence” has no limits. It was deterrence that justified brutal public executions in ages past. In any case, prison demonstrably does not work as a deterrent: jurisdictions with higher imprisonment rates do not have less crime.

    Prison should be used only for those people who pose a serious danger to the public – murderers, rapists, child molesters, and so on. And in most cases, those people are profoundly mentally damaged and need treatment; prisons should be focused primarily on providing psychiatric care, rather than “punishment”.

    Other offences should be penalised by a combination of fines, community penalties, compensation orders, and so on. In the case of fraudsters and tax-evaders, I have no problem with (a) fining them, and (b) requiring them to do useful community service, in order to repay others for the harm their wrongful acts have caused. But sending them to prison is barbaric, extremely expensive (in England and Wales, keeping one person in prison costs around ú26,000 per annum) and completely useless.

    I would add – not about Hovind or tax evaders, but on a more general point about prisons – that rich idiots like Hovind going to prison is the exception, rather than the rule. The vast majority of prison inmates are from very disadvantaged circumstances, and often commit crimes because they have few other choices. In England and Wales, Home Office data from 2005 show that most prisoners are from deprived backgrounds, with around a quarter having grown up in foster care; many suffer from one or more mental health problems; most are unemployed and undereducated; and many have problems with substance abuse and addictions. Unfortunately, rather than providing treatment and support for people and addressing these broader problems, most governments prefer to lock more and more people away in the name of being “tough on crime”, despite the demonstrated ineffectiveness of this policy. And don’t even get me started on drug crime.

    The United States now has 754 prisoners per 100,000 population, as of 2008 – a rate massively higher than most Western European nations, where the figure is usually around 100 per 100,000 population. (England and Wales has 141, which is the highest in the EU, IIRC.) The policy of imprisonment as “deterrent” and “punishment” isn’t working, is massively barbaric, and is inappropriate in a liberal society. It’s time to stop.

    Sorry for the starfart – but this is actually what I’m meant to be studying at the moment, as I have an exam in criminology later in the term (along with eight other subjects), so this is all fresh in my mind.

  171. #171 Feynmaniac, Chimerical Toad
    April 20, 2010

    Walton,

    Isn’t the fact that the courts are responsible for sending all these nonviolent people into prison an argument against looking primarily to them for social progress and to uphold liberty?

  172. #172 Walton
    April 20, 2010

    Isn’t the fact that the courts are responsible for sending all these nonviolent people into prison an argument against looking primarily to them for social progress and to uphold liberty?

    Yes and no. It’s an argument against trusting the courts absolutely to uphold liberty; but only an idiot would claim that the courts had a perfect record in upholding liberty. And, indeed, courts don’t always have the means at their disposal to do so; it depends on the legal and constitutional framework in which they operate.

    Rather, the point I would make is that, if every decision on these matters were left completely up to the voters instead of the courts, things would be a lot worse, and the criminal justice system would be a lot more brutal. Miranda v Arizona is a case in point. So is Furman v Georgia.

    For the same reason, I prefer representative to direct democracy, and I don’t want representative democracy to be too representative. The criminal justice system in the UK is, as I have outlined, much too authoritarian and punitive at present; but if the majority of the voters got their way, it would be a thousand times worse. The majority of British voters would almost certainly vote to reinstitute the death penalty, for instance, and to implement “longer sentences” for many classes of offenders, and to eliminate human rights guarantees, if they were given the opportunity to make these decisions. Thankfully, because our parliamentary system isn’t all that democratic in practice, more enlightened opinions prevail.

  173. #173 Celtic_Evolution
    April 20, 2010

    Walton –

    In the case of fraudsters and tax-evaders, I have no problem with (a) fining them, and (b) requiring them to do useful community service, in order to repay others for the harm their wrongful acts have caused.

    And should they refuse to pay the fine? Or refuse to perform the community service? Or refuse to pay the restitution?

  174. #174 Celtic_Evolution
    April 20, 2010

    And, adding on to my #173, is that a realistic deterrent, in your view, to prevent a huge increase in tax evasion and fraud that would irreparably harm the country?

    (Caveat: I don’t necessarily disagree with the spirit of Walton’s argument… my gut tells me that what he’s saying has real humanistic merit. But I’ve debated this issue both internally and with others many, many times and I’ve always, always come away feeling like that some sort of prison time is a necessary deterrent. But I’m always looking to be convinced otherwise… it just hasn’t happened yet.)

  175. #175 Sili, The Unknown Virgin
    April 20, 2010

    Probably many were. Moses, the Exodus, Abraham, Noah, David and Solomon and so on were almost certainly mostly myth.

    I’ve long liked the argument that if Moses was a holy mythical Superjew™ it doesn’t make much sense to 1) give an Egyptian name 2) marry him off to a goy. But I have no basis for evaluating the claim, unfortunately. I’d love to be informed.

  176. #176 Robert H
    April 20, 2010

    The darker side of me envisions a system where if you refuse to pay taxes the consequence is that you are not able to access what the those taxes afford, including roads, police and fire services, public education (not that Hovind would mind), Medicare, etc. This is what is known as “logical consequences” and seems equitable-somewhat akin to the fable of the Grasshopper and the Ants.

    There are people who refuse to pay taxes, such as war resisters (for whom I have considerable respect) who choose to live a lifestyle where they do not make enough money to be under the obligation to pay. This ought to be a desirable approach for Hovind once he gets out of the hoosegow, considering all the admonitions against wealth to be found in the bible.

  177. #177 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 20, 2010

    Walton still seems tooooo much like an ideologue. I think most of us would say our prisons are too full of non-violent offenders. Going to jail for a lid of weed for personal use is overkill, if that is all that is considered. One also needs to consider the likely hood of repeat offences, and repeated offences. The three strikes laws are draconian, but they did get a bunch of repeat offenders out of circulation. I do think that certain non-violent crimes need jail time to deter others. Tax fraud, and fraud in general, a case in point. I bet the IRS got a lot of folks to pay up by pointing the jail sentence for Hovind, when they were attempting the same silly arguments.

  178. #178 Walton
    April 20, 2010

    One also needs to consider the likely hood of repeat offences, and repeated offences. The three strikes laws are draconian, but they did get a bunch of repeat offenders out of circulation.

    Thanks to the “three strikes” laws, California now has more people in prison than in higher education. Its prisons are bursting at the seams, and it is running out of money to keep so many people incarcerated. Don’t you think some of that money could be better spent on, say, education, or providing better mental health and substance abuse treatment – both of which would actually be more effective in reducing crime?

    I do think that certain non-violent crimes need jail time to deter others.

    As you’re fond of asking in so many contexts, Nerd: where’s the evidence? The US has a prison population six or seven times higher, per capita, than most countries in Western Europe. I cited the specific figures above. There is very little evidence that American policymakers’ love affair with mass imprisonment is actually reducing crime. Rather, I suggest that crime would be better reduced by spending the money on mental health care, drug rehab, education and training, and other programmes that actually reduce the propensity of people to commit crimes.

  179. #179 Feynmaniac, Chimerical Toad
    April 20, 2010

    Miranda v Arizona is a case in point.

    As Pygmy Loris pointed out in The Eternal Thread, that decision was made during an unusually liberal period of the court’s history. Usually the court just sides with the rich and powerful.

    The majority of British voters would almost certainly vote to reinstitute the death penalty, for instance, and to implement “longer sentences” for many classes of offenders, and to eliminate human rights guarantees, if they were given the opportunity to make these decisions

    [Citation needed]

  180. #180 https://me.yahoo.com/a/K2PNji0at.txAjzTShOlxwLuFcVVFwbnng--#bd813
    April 20, 2010

    Somewhere in Genesis it states that pre deluge, no rain fell, but a mist came up and watered the ground.

  181. #181 Robert H
    April 20, 2010

    Mass imprisonment doesn’t reduce crime (and there is some indication that it might actually increase it). However, it does contribute to getting people elected (and reelected) which is all the justification for its continued existence. In this political climate you will get farther by arousing fear than by appealing to ‘the better angels of our nature’.

  182. #182 Celtic_Evolution
    April 20, 2010

    Rather, I suggest that crime would be better reduced by spending the money on mental health care, drug rehab, education and training, and other programmes that actually reduce the propensity of people to commit crimes.

    I agree with this, Walton… but how will these programs reduce the number of tax evaders, frauds, or other non-violent criminals?

    I hear and agree with your point about the US being a little incarceration-bloodthirsty… I think the “War on Drugs” has had much to do with it while doing very little to reduce drug abuse… but I have not yet heard you explain what to do with those who would simply ignore the fines and community service you propose as penalty in lieu of imprisonment, nor heard you answer whether you thought those things would actually prove effective deterrents?

    These are essentially two separate issues, Walton.

    Issue 1: The US imprisons too many people for too little reason and seems to be far more focused on incarceration than rehabilitation. On this you will get little argument from me.

    Issue 2: Are simple fines and penalties that do not include incarceration of any kind effective as a deterrent to either the caught and arrested tax evader / fraud or the potential tax evader / fraud?

  183. #183 Walton
    April 20, 2010

    I hear and agree with your point about the US being a little incarceration-bloodthirsty… I think the “War on Drugs” has had much to do with it while doing very little to reduce drug abuse… but I have not yet heard you explain what to do with those who would simply ignore the fines and community service you propose as penalty in lieu of imprisonment, nor heard you answer whether you thought those things would actually prove effective deterrents?

    Hmmm. I don’t necessarily oppose imprisonment, as a last resort, for fine-defaulters and those who don’t comply with the terms of community service orders. I suppose the threat of prison is necessary to make these enforceable.

    But what I am arguing is that, for all non-violent offenders, the first resort should be a fine, community service order, treatment order, compensation order, etc., or some combination of the above. At the moment, both in the UK and US, there are large numbers of short prison sentences being handed down for relatively minor offences, and this has increased markedly over the last ten years. It isn’t doing any good, is very expensive, and is also unjust and inappropriate in a free society.

    In England and Wales, the prison population in 1991 was 42,500. It is now well over 80,000, and the growth shows no sign of stopping. It’s time to cut the amount of imprisonment, and spend the money on addressing the psychological, social and economic causes of crime, rather than “punishing” those who commit petty crimes (who are, overwhelmingly, themselves victims of disadvantaged social circumstances).

  184. #184 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 20, 2010

    I suppose the threat of prison is necessary to make these enforceable.

    You mean as some sort of…

    what’s the word I’m searching for…

    Deterrent?

  185. #185 Leon
    April 20, 2010

    Wow, I’m impressed that an apelike creature (in fact, one not even related to us, as Ken would have it) is not only able to communicate with a human, but to have such articulate sentence structure, right down to proper spelling and grammar.

    Of course, Ardi is as ignorant of evolution and the rest of science as you’d expect any ape to be. Didn’t see that one coming.

  186. #186 Celtic_Evolution
    April 20, 2010

    Hmmm. I don’t necessarily oppose imprisonment, as a last resort, for fine-defaulters and those who don’t comply with the terms of community service orders. I suppose the threat of prison is necessary to make these enforceable.

    This is really the concession I was looking for, Walton… beyond it, we pretty much agree.

  187. #187 Alan B
    April 20, 2010

    Perhaps someone ought to remind the criminal about some of the statements in his Bible. Such as:

    New Testament:

    1) Jesus instructed Peter to pay the (Head?) tax (and provided the means to do so). No doubt the living Jesus would also require him to pay tax (and if necessary, would provide the means). Paul also commanded that custom/tax should be paid and honour given to those to whom it was due because God is the source of all power and authority.

    2) All liars will end up in the Lake of Fire. Honest, sincere repentence will solve that problem but he seems, as yet, to have realised that he is guilty of lieing and fraud. Maybe he is still in jail because he has yet to sort that out?

    3) Theft is a sin but will be forgiven on repentence but the forgiven thief is expected to work hard so as to be able to give to others – this will show how genuine the repentence is.

    Old Testament / Covenant

    4) Under the Old Covenant (which was basically a code of law for a rag-tag nation) the punishment for theft for an animal was multiple restitution of the animal. Thus, for a cow, the thief had to return 5 times the value or a sheep 4 times. Possibly the difference was because a cow was more important to a family and its loss would cause greater hardship (milk, pulling power for a plough or cart). As with other legal issues, the judges would decide the tarriff on conviction.

    5) If someone could not meet his debts then he was to sell himself and his family into slavery – probably to the family he had wronged. He would then work for a subsistence income (food and lodging only). “Slavery” in the Old Covenant was not the harsh whips-and-chains type of situation but the man would be deprived of his liberty for an extended period. His time would not be his own. He would not to be looked after in comparative luxury and high cost in prison (with his “Human Rights” respected as in the UK) and he would not be able to give up responsibility for looking after his wife and family – it was up to him to earn extra so that he could provide for them while he worked off his debts. Working for an honest, upright member of society would give him an excellent role model to show how to live.

    All of this should be presented to our fundamentalist, Bible-believing, criminal friend as the Biblical solution to help him to become an honest, useful, member of society.

    Worth a try??

  188. #188 KOPD
    April 20, 2010

    Wow, I’m impressed that an apelike creature (in fact, one not even related to us, as Ken would have it) is not only able to communicate with a human, but to have such articulate sentence structure, right down to proper spelling and grammar.

    Especially with Kent Hovind doing the dictation.

  189. #189 Becca
    April 20, 2010

    I sometimes think that, after my husband dies (my bet is he’ll die before I do: I come from a long-lived line, and he doesn’t), and my kids are all grown, and I’m starting to fail, that my “retirement plan” will be to go rob a bank, get thrown in jail, and let them take care of me for the rest of my life. I somehow don’t think non-violent geriatric women are at risk for rape in jail.

  190. #190 truthspeaker
    April 20, 2010

    Posted by: sandiseattle | April 19, 2010 10:56 PM

    Caine @ 45:
    I’ll quickly address three things from your comment: “mental” as in the common understood american usage of not quite right in the head or being unable to think clearly.

    That’s actually the British usage.

    And finally I know Xian is from the greek. I was however pointing out that the term is used here and elsewhere in Atheist circles as an insult word.

    I’ve never seen it used as an insult, here or anywhere else.

    By the way, American is capitalized and atheist isn’t.

  191. #191 Feynmaniac, Chimerical Toad
    April 20, 2010

    Somewhere in Genesis it states that pre deluge, no rain fell, but a mist came up and watered the ground.

    It says in Genesis 2:5-6:

    These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

    Apparently some creationists (Hovind seems to be one of them) read this as saying that there was no rain before the “Great Flood” while others think it only refers to early creation. Rational people on the other hand take it as a myth.

  192. #192 Alan B
    April 20, 2010

    The Greek spelling (transliterated) for the word “Christ” is Christos. The Ch is the Greek “chi” which is more or less a capital X. The r is the Greek “rho”. Its capital letter takes the form of a capital P.

    One of the earliest Christian symbols (or “christograms”) is the Chi-Rho which is a capital X superimposed on a capital P. This was used by Christians themselves, not their detractors. The fish (“Ichthys”) was used in a similar way and to identify one Christian to another.

    Thus, the use of an X as in Xian or Xmas is just a shortened form of Christ (first letter standing for the full word) with no negative connotations although I know some have objected to its use on the basis that X is the unknown and its use is disrespectful.

  193. #193 Eidolon
    April 20, 2010

    David M @ 158

    Not a binder, a stapler, a ream of paper…nada? Well damn good for you! Not a candy bar, not a toy? Good on you!.

  194. #194 Peter H
    April 20, 2010

    It’s interesting that Hovind’s “companion” is fully aware of the total evil in the world, god’s plan to wipe the slate, yet goes along with the whole thing for the sake of chatty, nay cheerful extinction, and coming back to life in a SC prison cell.

    I would have chosen the Riviera.

  195. #195 TB Tabby
    April 21, 2010

    Anybody wanna take a shot as MSTing this thing?

  196. #196 tommoyang
    April 21, 2010

    This reminds me of something my psychology lecturer told our class

    Back in the day, if you heard voices you were listening to god. Nowadays, you’re a schizophrenic.

    It’s pretty funny to see a case of this in real life

  197. #197 David Marjanovi?
    April 21, 2010

    The majority of British voters would almost certainly vote to reinstitute the death penalty

    I’m still surprised at this. Over here, it’s almost universally considered something that civilised people just don’t do. The Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium in Graz, so named immediately after the Total Recall election, was promptly renamed when the Governator signed his first death sentence forms; there were outraged protestors carrying signs with “SCHWARZENEGGER TERMINATES IN REAL LIFE” (English in the original, for the world’s TV cameras; I think I remember the color scheme correctly, too).

    Not a binder, a stapler, a ream of paper…nada? [...] Not a candy bar, not a toy?

    Well… no, not that I remember. :-|

    Oh, yeah, two laughably overpriced candy bars at a scientific conference where we weren’t adequately fed. :-) Imagine! No cookies during tea break! And not enough time during lunch break! I was seriously hungry that evening.

  198. #198 stoney
    April 23, 2010

    sandiseattle Author Profile Page | April 19, 2010 10:56 PM #49

    Caine @ 45:
    I’ll quickly address three things from your comment: “mental” as in the common understood american usage of not quite right in the head or being unable to think clearly. I reject your assignment of me to the position of village idiot, I have a 3 digit IQ and one to be proud of at that. And finally I know Xian is from the greek. I was however pointing out that the term is used here and elsewhere in Atheist circles as an insult word.
    /end

    First of all ‘mental wasn’t being used as you were utilizing it-as others pointed out. I’ll come back to your usage though.

    Others have dealt with the pride in having a 3 digit IQ. You’ve forgotten, or ignored, that Pride is a sin. Or doesn’t it matter since you’ll confess it to a magic man, mumble some magic words and have the ‘slate wiped clean?’ In which case, so much for morals. Observation. [shrug] Such is your business. Don’t grump at me about it. I didn’t write the bronze age incoherent rubbish in your holy tome.

    As others have pointed out Xtian/Xian is not an insult. However, do feel free to feed your persecution complex.

    Please keep in mind atheist/atheism is no different than words such as; apolitical and asynchronous. The only time to capitalize them is when they are the first word in a sentence. All three mean; without the property following the ‘a.’ It is very simple.

    Christians, for one, are atheist with regard to all other deity constructs but theirs. They get upset when their deity construct doesn’t get special treatment.

    Let me point out I don’t consider you a; universal idiot, global idiot, village idiot, or any idiot at all. Your superstition fills your emotional need(s). Your business.

    You were taking ‘mental’ to mean ‘unable to think clearly.’ That can be broken down to; cannot think/unable to think clearly/unwilling to think. Items can be subject dependent as well.

    I’m curious to see if you can think or are willing to think. You’re more than welcome to pass on this, but then I’ll have to come to the conclusion you’re unable to-at least on this subject. Whatever action you take, or don’t take, in this world-wide medium will be of some small amusement.

    Note that any attempt at apologetics indicates you’ve ‘folded.’

    I’ll tell you what though; give it a shot and I’ll take apart a standard dictionary definition of the g o d letter string.

    Please provide; a clear and concise definition of the God letter string. Do not; beg myriad questions, hand wave furiously, or present broken logic. Unsupported assertions are terminally useless and provide no information. Making stuff up isn’t any ‘answer.’ One unsupported assertion is as ‘valid’ as any other.

    Then provide objective supporting evidence for each claim. Show your work.

    Posted by: Alan B Author Profile Page | April 20, 2010 4:09 PM #187

    Perhaps someone ought to remind the criminal about some of the statements in his Bible. Such as:

    []

    All of this should be presented to our fundamentalist, Bible-believing, criminal friend as the Biblical solution to help him to become an honest, useful, member of society.

    Worth a try??

    /end

    Terminal waste of time. The superstition/ignoramus/liar/hypocrite industry works on ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ or “I’m not the one I’m preaching to” standards.

    The perverse tome of incoherent vapid insanity and inanity will support any course of action a person chooses and allow the miscreant to avoid responsibility for his/her action(s).

    Now if y’all are up for some fantastic comedy:

    Why do people laugh at creationists? 28 parts, iirc

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Thunderf00t#p/c/AC3481305829426D/0/BS5vid4GkEY

    Cheers

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