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Meditation 516
Kent Hovind's Dinosaur Adventure Land
What a Shame! What a Disaster!

by: Olga

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Last Thursday, July 13th, a Florida man was arrested on 58 federal charges.  The man is Kent E. Hovind, a young-earth creation evangelist and a founder of the Creation Science Evangelism ministry.  “Dr. Dino”, as he often calls himself, is also an owner and operator of the Dinosaur Adventure Land (DAL) in Pensacola , Florida .

What struck me is the sheer number of federal charges the man faces – 58! What has he possibly done wrong while preaching God and entertaining children?  The Pensacola News Journal mentions several issues, including making threats against federal officials, filing false complaints and tax evasion. 58 charges!  Another surprise to me is that Mr. Hovind does not understand why he is being prosecuted.  "I still don't understand what I'm being charged for and who is charging me," he said in the courtroom [1]. 

Apparently, for the last 17 years, Mr. Hovind has been trying to convince the Internal Revenue Service that he doesn’t owe any taxes since he is employed by God, receives no income, has no expenses and owns no property. So, the proceeds from admission to the Dinosaur Adventure Land ( built in his own back yard!), from sales of literature, videos, fossil replicas, other materials and provided lecture services and live debates are “money he receives for doing God's work… and [they] belong to God."  His employees are “missionaries” and as such are not subject to payroll and social services taxes. Is that why he paid them cash only?  And why would he make frequent bank withdrawals in the amount just below $10,000, which is a starting point for reporting cash transactions?  The Pensacola News Journal cites three withdrawals of $9,500 each on July 20, July 23 and July 26 in 2001.

What a dishonest and hypocritical man, to say the least. And by the way, his Dinosaur Adventure Land sucks!  No, I haven’t been there, and doubt I ever will. As of April this year, its buildings have been closed by local authorities for violation of zoning regulations and failure to obtain a building permit during the construction in 2002. Mr. Hovind’s defense is that such permit would violate his "deeply held" religious beliefs. 

I did, however, found a few links[2],[3] on the Internet about the theme park starting with the official web site that describes it as the place “where Dinosaurs and the Bible meet!”[4]  Built right next to his house, it actually has a feel of someone’s backyard. It offers no mechanized rides, but instead a dozen outdoor games complete with “science lesson” and “spiritual lesson” posted nearby.  Here’s the example of one, posted by the reader of the http://gods4suckers.net/ blog:

“DAL is the dumbest thing ever. Not to mention it’s completely scares little kids out of their wits. There’s a ride where they put you beyond the circumference of a circle with a bowling ball attached to a dangling string inside the circle. Then they swing the bowling ball at your face. However, because the string holding the bowling ball is shorter than the circumference of the actual circle you’re standing outside of, the ball doesn’t hit you. Then they tell you god just saved your f___ing life. Bastards.”

There is also a simple discovery center and museum on the property. A self-proclaimed expert in fossils and a believer that the man and dinosaurs once coexisted, Mr. Hovind filled his buildings with artifacts of questionable nature and scientific value[5] that yet aim to prove the rapid “fossilization”, and the Biblical Flood as the possible explanation of it. The examples of pseudoscience, parapsychology, religious cant, and quackery on the display are abundant. Want to recreate a Grand Canyon formation like it was done by Noachian Flood?  Here’s the hands-on display with pile of sand and a water spigot above it. The signs mock any other ideas of the canyon's formation: “The top of the Grand Canyon is 4,000 feet higher than where the [Colorado] river enters the canyon! Rivers do not flow up hill!"

What a disaster this place is!  But what else would you expect from a creationist park?

Footnotes:

  1. Evangelist arrested on federal charges
  2. Stupid Dino Tricks
  3. Darwin-free Fun for Creationists
  4. Dinosaur Adventure Land
  5. Foolish Fossils