I just finished reading the entire 102-page doctoral thesis of Mr. Kent Hovind (note that I won't be referring to him as "Dr."), from the prestigious, non-accredited Patriot Bible University. If you don't know, Hovind is one of the dumbest, but most popular, creationism proponents in the USA. He is currently serving a 10-year sentence in prison for tax fraud. The dissertation has been highly sought-after for years by people attempting to see what exactly qualifies Mr. Hovind as a Ph.D., but was never made available until it leaked onto the internet just a few days ago. Now the secret is out! I have some thoughts on it:
1. It contains numerous spelling and grammatical errors. The errors sharply increase in frequency and severity in the second half of the paper, telling me that the finish was seriously rushed. The second half was clearly never proofread, not even while it was being typed.
2. Many of the pages are hand-numbered in messy writing, even though the rest is typed.
3. He brags quite often that he was a high school science teacher. He apparently thinks that should be impressive. To the rubes, it probably is impressive. They don't know that you don't even need a university-level science degree to teach high school science. I don't think Hovind has any scientific education beyond high school. (Verification, anybody?)
4. It contains numerous personal anecdotes and opinions which are not backed up with any facts, and even a poem which he wrote.
5. It contains no references at all to any of the supposed facts it contains, something which would be demanded for all stated facts in a real dissertation.
6. It contains at least one quote which seems to be completely fabricated. This quote is used twice, in different parts of the paper.
7. In one part he argues that religions should not be in schools, then later he writes that his religion should be.
8. It begins with, "Hello, my name is Kent Hovind." This is not at all acceptable for a doctoral dissertation at a real university, nor even for a grade-school paper on polar bears.
9. It contains an ironic discussion about people's faith in their beliefs being so strong that it can hinder scientific progress.
10. It discusses countries in which people are not allowed to practice religion, saying they are contrary to freedom, but ignores countries in which one must practice the state religion and may not be an atheist (at least publicly).
11. It contains an anecdote about how fat Charles Darwin's grandfather was. Is this appropriate for a doctoral dissertation?
12. When he wonders why no trees are more than a few thousand years old, the words "forest fires" never occur to him.
13. It ignores modern scientific knowledge.
14. It contains no original research.
15. Most of the chapters which are discussed in the introduction are not actually contained in the thesis. He planned to write 16 chapters, but only the first 4 are included. He didn't even adjust the introduction to recognise this. The content promised in those chapters is not found anywhere else in the paper, indicating that it wasn't just several chapters combined into one. More evidence for my point #1 above.
16. In 2 places in which he attempts to quote a book (who knows if the quote is even legit), the title is missing, with a note to himself to add the title later.
If you're interested in reading it, check it out here. It's a fairly fast read, as it contains nothing scholarly or difficult on the intellect.