reationist Kent Hovind has widely publicized his "standing offer" to pay $250,000 for scientific evidence of evolution. He argues that the "failure" of anyone to claim the prize is evidence that the "hypothesis" of evolution is not scientific but religious in nature. What is the real meaning of Hovind's challenge?
To be as clear as possible at the very outset: Kent Hovind's "offer" has nothing to do with the validity of the vast body of evidence, from a breathtakingly broad range of disciplines, that establishes the Theory of Evolution as one of the bedrocks of modern science. His challenge, as will be seen, is a mere humbug without value in any rational appraisal of science. The terms of the offer are formulated to be unattainable and it would be nothing but a total waste of time and effort for any proponent of evolution to participate in his charade. The only intent of the offer is to gull the credulous and confuse the uninformed.
Supporters of science are not alone in this assessment. Answers in Genesis, a creationist website devoted to promoting much the same viewpoint as Hovind's, has said of the offer: "AiG would prefer that creationists refrained from gimmicks like this."  Even those every bit as dedicated as Hovind to opposing the Theory of Evolution recognize his offer to be a sham and an embarrassment.
The only reason to even address Hovind is to demonstrate how, like some stage magician, he is out to dazzle the unwary with what is, in the end, not very elegant sleight of hand. No attempt will be made here to discuss the evidence supporting the Theory of Evolution because, frankly, I have neither the expertise nor the eloquence to do such a vast subject justice. In any case, if you are reading this, you have already found one resource, the Talk.Origins Archive, that is better equipped to inform and educate you in the real facts and issues surrounding the Theory of Evolution than perhaps any one person could hope to be. Instead, the intent of this FAQ is to disclose, as clearly as possible, how Hovind's offer is deceptive, even on its own terms.
Kent Hovind is the head of Creation Science Evangelism (CSE) Ministries , based in Pensacola, Florida. He and his son, Eric, stump extensively giving creationist "seminars" dozens of times a month, with some dates booked more than a year in advance.  The Hovinds also operate a "theme park", called Dinosaur Adventure Land , which is best evaluated through the Hovinds' own "virtual tour" at their site. 
More than one conservative Christian website lauds Hovind as being "considered by many to be one of the foremost authorities on 'Science and the Bible'."  Given his popularity as a speaker, it is certain that he has considerable influence among certain segments of conservative Christian evolution deniers and his "$250,000 offer" is prominently featured on his website and in his lectures.
As of the time this is being written (July 2002), Hovind's offer is at the website of his CSE Ministries at: http://www.drdino.com/cse.asp?pg=250k. [May 2004: The offer is now at http://www.drdino.com/Ministry/250k/index.jsp.]  [On the face of it, it seems like a simple matter. Under a headline in bold typeface, separated from the rest of the terms of the offer, and below a cartoon of a man and a woman stretching an oversized dollar bill, is the following:
I have a standing offer of $250,000 to anyone who can give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution.* My $250,000 offer demonstrates that the hypothesis of evolution is nothing more than a religious belief. [Emphasis mine.]
Given its place of prominence, that paragraph is clearly intended to convey the impression, at least to those who bother to read no further, that there is no scientific evidence for evolution. But this opening salvo gives only a superficial and wildly incorrect impression of what the offer really is.
By every appearance of that opening, all that needs be done is to present some empirical scientific evidence for evolution and collect $250,000. But note the asterisk! It leads to the following footnote:
* NOTE: When I use the word evolution, I am not referring to the minor variations found in all of the various life forms (microevolution). I am referring to the general theory of evolution which believes these five major events took place without God:
1. Time, space, and matter came into existence by themselves.
2. Planets and stars formed from space dust.
3. Matter created life by itself.
4. Early life-forms learned to reproduce themselves.
5. Major changes occurred between these diverse life forms (i.e., fish changed to amphibians, amphibians changed to reptiles, and reptiles changed to birds or mammals).
That sound you hear is the scraping of goal posts being moved. It is true that, in its broadest possible sense, "evolution" can simply mean "change" and has been applied to such non-biological processes as star and planetary formation. Even cultural phenomena such as the metamorphosis of language and the development of political systems have been referred to in "evolutionary" terms.  Yet, in the United States today, in light of at least three-quarters of a century of conflict over the issue, "evolution" is almost universally understood, even among Hovind's own flock, it would be fair to say, to refer to "biological evolution" (perhaps, among creationists, with abiogenesis  thrown in).
However, Hovind is not simply using the term loosely but, instead, is trying to fashion an entirely new and idiosyncratic definition that links vastly dissimilar processes under a single rubric. He then insists, as will be seen, that unless all can be demonstrated equally and in the same way, then none of them can be. It is rather like demanding that a political scientist defend the values of the People's Democratic Republic of (North) Korea or admit that all "democratic republics" are unworkable tyrannies. Just because many things can go under the umbrella of one broad term does not make everything under the umbrella part and parcel of one unitary idea or process.
As Hovind would have it, there is some all-encompassing concept he calls "the general theory of evolution" that embraces (1) cosmology, (2) astrophysics, (3) abiogenesis and (4) biochemistry or genetics or something (given the confused "Early life-forms learned to reproduce themselves"), in addition to (5) biological evolution. All of the other items could be disproved without affecting the validity of biological evolution. Since this "general theory of evolution" is not a part of science, there is no reason for any scientist to attempt to establish evidence for it.
The most charitable interpretation is that Hovind is deeply confused. The alternative would seem to be that he has cynically constructed a strawman  to serve as an obstacle to succeeding at his challenge. Nor is that the only impediment he has thrown up. Anyone familiar with young-Earth creationism will recognize Hovind's usage of "microevolution" as a convenient way of dismissing all demonstrated evolution below the genus level, at least. It is clearly unfair to arbitrarily limit the evidence in this way. Still, the expanded definition of the "general theory" could actually be a good thing for the applicant. If, after all is said and done, the applicant has only to present any empirical evidence in support of these events, the bigger target makes it easier, not harder, to hit. Or does it?
As you might expect, Hovind is not done yet.
Consider the import of the phrase from the footnote "these five major events took place without God". That might look, at first blush, as if it means "without resort to miracles as an explanation for natural events". But, in fact, it requires production of empirical evidence that God had no role at all in cosmology (including the Big Bang), astrophysics, abiogenesis, genetics and whatever else Hovind means by "the general theory of evolution". This calls for the logical impossibility of "proving a negative". Few, if any, atheists would go so far as to say that there could be empirical evidence that God was never active anywhere at anytime throughout the entire history of the cosmos.
More importantly, Hovind is imposing a condition that is totally outside of the Theory of Evolution. The proposition that God never had a hand in the cosmos is certainly no part of evolution and no prerequisite for its truth. 
But that's not all, folks.
Now we turn to the section of the offer called "How to collect the $250,000", where we find the applicant must:
Prove beyond reasonable doubt that the process of evolution . . . is the only possible way the observed phenomena could have come into existence.
But before we can look at that in detail, we have to find out what Hovind means by the "the process of evolution". For that, we must go to still another section of the offer, under "Known options" (is it accidental that the terms of the offer are spread out so widely in the text?), where we find it defined as the "idea" that:
The universe came into being by itself by purely natural processes (known as evolution) so that no appeal to the supernatural is needed.
Initially, why should there be a requirement that the applicant "prove beyond a reasonable doubt" any part of evolution? That is a legal standard having nothing to do with the process of science. (As we will see later, there may be good reason for Hovind to insert legal terminology.) Not only that, the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" seems excessive. After all, why should science be put to that standard when most things in our day-to-day lives, including religious beliefs, are not? Still, it is not necessarily an insurmountable burden, though meeting it for the full range of the "general theory of evolution" would doubtless be difficult and certainly time-consuming.
But go back and note the wording: "the only possible way the observed phenomena could have come into existence". How do you prove that anything is the only possible way "life, the universe and everything" could have come into existence? Again it is calling for proof of a negative and what a negative!
In essence, you would have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that God not only didn't create the universe or anything in it, but that God couldn't have done it. Since an infinite, omnipotent, omniscient being can obviously do anything it likes, including using "naturalistic" or "theistic" evolution  to develop the panoply of life, you logically have to prove, by empirical evidence, that God doesn't exist at all in order to meet Hovind's terms. Clearly this is, as it is no doubt intended to be, an impossible task. [As many Christian theists have been the first to insist, the only way one could know definitively that God did not exist would be to be absolutely omniscient and omnipresent; in other words, to be God oneself. --Ed.]
To summarize, Hovind has gone, in the course of presenting his offer, from promising money to anyone who can present any scientific evidence for evolution; to demanding scientific evidence of a strawman version of evolution covering numerous branches of science; to demanding not merely evidence, but proof beyond a reasonable doubt; to demanding proof beyond a reasonable doubt that God didn't do everything; to demanding proof beyond a reasonable doubt that God couldn't do anything and, ultimately, to demanding proof beyond a reasonable doubt that God does not exist. At the very least, Hovind's claim that he will pay $250,000 for "any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution" can be said to be deeply deceptive.
Even if Hovind had stuck with the plain meaning of that first paragraph, would the offer be legitimate? Whatever "evidentiary value" there is to the supposed inability of evolution supporters to meet Hovind's challenge depends on there being some method to collect on the offer if and when evidence is produced. For Hovind to fairly make hay out of the fact that the offer remains uncollected, he must have procedures in place to fully evaluate submissions and impartially determine if the prize should be paid. Failing that, there should at least be legal recourse to the courts to force payment if appropriate. Otherwise, "talk is cheap".
Does anyone really have a chance to collect the money under Hovind's procedures? The experience of those people who have inquired or who have made submissions  strongly suggests that fair and unbiased procedures for the review of submissions are lacking. Hovind's own statements do nothing to lessen these concerns.
Although the offer states that a "committee of trained scientists will provide peer review of the evidence offered", all inquiries as to who makes up this "committee" or what their qualifications are have been rebuffed by Hovind.  In one exchange with Dr. Barend Vlaardingerbroek , Hovind did claim that the committee was "neutral". However, he followed that later on by saying "I don't know if they [the committee members] are or are not young earth creationists like me but asking that question or making that stipulation would prejudice the committee." Of course, others, perhaps with a bit more curiosity than Hovind, might want to at least check out the committee members' prior public statements, which could be done without risk of biasing them. It seems more than a tad convenient that no one but Hovind knows their identities.
The most Hovind will say is that there is "a zoologist, a geologist, an aerospace engineer, a professor of radiology and biophysics, and an expert in radio metric [sic] dating to name a few" on the committee.  He refuses to give their names because these people do not "wish to waste time arguing with skeptics and scoffers".  That is strange behavior for "trained scientists", especially if they are impartial and were only recruited to make fair judgments based on specific evidence submitted.
But, then again, nowhere does Hovind's offer promise that the members of the committee will be impartial or that it will be made up of a mix of people from all sides of the issue. Within the offer itself, he only says that these people, "to the best of their ability, will be fair and honest in their evaluation and judgment as to the validity of the evidence".  In short, Hovind is free, by his own terms, to appoint a committee entirely composed of professing believers in a literal interpretation of the Bible and confirmed young-Earth creationists, just as long as they promise to be as fair as they can be. Anyone going to the trouble to provide as much evidence as Hovind demands might want a slightly greater assurance of a fair hearing than that.
If, in fact, the committee is made up of young-Earth creationists, that would be a strange definition of "peer review", considering that Hovind himself declares evolution supporters to be adherents of a "pagan religion masquerading as science".  Could Bible-based young-Earth creationists, whether they consider themselves scientists or not, truly conduct "peer" evaluation of something they consider a "pagan" ideology? How fair would such people likely be under such circumstances? And yet, Hovind refuses to even inquire of them about this.
On a different aspect of the issue, Hovind has implied, at least at times, that he has the right to act as a "first filter", deciding what submissions would even be forwarded to the committee. He has said, for instance: "Evidence of minor changes within the same kind of plant or animal does not qualify as evidence and will not be sent to the committee to waste their time."  At other times, when pressed, he seems to back off, promising to forward everything to the committee.  Still, considering that he claims that "Many have responded to my offer . . ." , it is puzzling why he has yet to produce a single evaluation, even an anonymous one, performed by his crack committee. Occam's Razor suggests that whatever committee Hovind has in mind has never been invoked, despite the "many" submissions.
Then there is, as there always is, the question of the money. It is only reasonable to inquire if Hovind even has the $250,000. In 1996, Hovind filed for bankruptcy, declaring in official court documents under penalty of perjury that, as of that time, he was receiving no income and owned absolutely no property.  If there is any reason to believe that his economic worth has significantly changed since then, it is not immediately obvious. All he has said about the existence or whereabouts of the money is: "The offer is legitimate. A wealthy friend of mine has the money in the bank. If the conditions of the offer are met, the money will be paid out immediately. My word is good."  Sliding over the last sentence for the moment, it appears that the money and its whereabouts are as anonymous as the committee. Indeed, it is hard not to wonder if this rich friend of Hovind's, if he or she exists, is not also sitting on the committee, if it exists, "guarding" his or her funds. Apparently, we are never to know. It is perhaps instructive to compare Hovind's monetary arrangements with those of James Randi's, who has a $1,000,000 offer for evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. In Randi's offer, an independent, public investment firm certifies the existence of the money and holds the account containing it. 
However, since Hovind has failed to provide any evidence as to his ability to pay the $250,000 and has instead produced only assurances that his word is good, Hovind, himself, has put the question of the value of his "personal coin" at issue. In the same 1996 bankruptcy action , the judge denied Hovind's request for bankruptcy protection, finding:
Notwithstanding the debtor's listing under penalty of perjury in his schedules and statement of affairs that he has no income, has no expenses, and owns no property, the evidence shows otherwise.
The judge concluded that:
Here, the debtor, who has failed to acknowledge his obligations as a citizen and taxpayer of the United States, seeks to utilize this taxpayer supported court in order to thwart the lawful collection efforts of the Internal Revenue Service . . . The debtor having failed to file his federal income tax returns for at least the years 1989 through 1995, having resisted collection efforts by the IRS, and having provided false information in his schedules and statement of affairs in connection with this case, I find that the debtor filed this petition in bad faith and as such the petition is subject to dismissal for cause under the provisions of 11 U.S.C. 1307(c).
No matter what your feelings about the Internal Revenue Code or even the right of citizens to resist it, it is quite a different matter to go to a bankruptcy court, which is unrelated to the enforcement of the tax laws, and file false documents under oath in a cynical attempt to circumvent those laws through the back door. And Hovind's willingness to blatantly manipulate the system cannot engender confidence in his "procedures" for judging the submissions made in response to his offer.
To sum up, from all the circumstances, reasonable questions arise as to whether Hovind can or will voluntarily pay on the offer if it were successfully answered, not only because of the financial loss to him and his ministry (and/or his mysterious friend), but because of what it would do to his "reputation" as an evolution denier and lecturer if he was to admit in 250,000 ways that he was wrong.
The next step is to consider whether he can be forced, through the courts, to pay up or at least acknowledge that the challenge had been met. Indeed, Hovind almost calls for such a standard himself when he said of claimants: "Treat the $250,000 offer as a lawyer would treat a 'who-done-it' case. It is your job to prove that what is being taught to our kids as fact . . . is indeed a fact." 
Speaking as an attorney myself, there are many practical problems with taking Hovind to court. Where you can get jurisdiction over him and what laws will apply, for starters. The simplest and surest answer would be to bring the case in Florida state courts. But then you would have to convince a judge or, more likely, a jury, to impose a significant monetary judgment against a local "man of the cloth". That would be a rather daunting task for any plaintiff under the best of circumstances. Add in having to present rather complicated issues of science and religion in a courtroom, under the restrictive rules of evidence, and you have the stuff of lawyers' nightmares. But the question is moot in the end.
Even without an in-depth analysis of Florida law,  Hovind's offer is clearly a species of contract that is generally enforceable in law, but only upon acceptance of the terms by meeting the conditions exactly. It is in the nature of a "reward", which cannot be claimed unless the "item" is delivered precisely as it is described. 
So, while the good news is that the offer can become a binding contract that Hovind is obligated to pay, the bad news is that the courts will not, for the most part, look to see whether the conditions are fair or reasonable or even capable of being performed, at least in the absence of outright fraud.
A very basic definition of fraud (from the Encyclopedia Britannica) is: "in law, the deliberate misrepresentation of fact for the purpose of depriving someone of a valuable possession". No matter how you feel the phrase "deliberate misrepresentation of fact" might, or might not, apply to Hovind's offer, it is clear that the offer is not intended to generate money (the most common "valuable possession" cognizable in American courts), at least not from those who would claim the prize. And while most of us would consider our time at least as important as our money, the courts do not consider the effort exerted by those who spend their days devising or responding to such point-proving exercises to be a "valuable possession".
The courts do not favor these types of challenges but will enforce them when they are clearly made, accepted and met. However, they will not check to see that the terms are reasonable or even rational and will not reform the terms to make them so. At most, they will interpret any confusing terminology in a way they deem to be most clearly evident in the actual language used. In other words, you either meet the terms exactly as Hovind has written them (to some value of "exactly") or you don't get the money.
Furthermore, one general rule courts use in interpreting contract language is that more specific language is given greater weight than general statements. Thus, despite that opening paragraph, a court would almost undoubtedly hold that, in order to be successful, the applicant would have to meet the more specific terms set out in the section "How to collect the $250,000" and the rest of Hovind's conditions.
That would also include Hovind's "standard of proof". The usual standard in civil litigation is proof "by a preponderance of the evidence", a much lower standard than proof "beyond a reasonable doubt", which is normally reserved only for criminal trials. Contracts can, and frequently do, set higher or lower evidentiary standards for any litigation arising out of the contracts. In this instance, American courts would, almost certainly, enforce the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard set out in Hovind's terms, despite the fact that it bears no relationship to the quality or quantity of "empirical evidence (scientific proof)" necessary to support a theory in scientific practice.
As we have already seen, the conditions of the challenge are logically impossible to fulfill. The courts will not remake them to be attainable and will impose the highest possible standard of proof to boot. Under these circumstances, the fact that no one has gone to court to collected on the offer demonstrates only that Hovind has enough cunning to make it legally impossible to do so.
There is much else wrong with Hovind's presentation. For instance, he goes on to taunt scientists by saying:
If you are convinced that evolution is an indisputable fact, may I suggest that you offer $250,000 for any empirical or historical evidence against the general theory of evolution.
However, note that all talk of "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" has disappeared and "historical evidence" has instead shown up. It takes no great perspicacity to guess what that might be. Clearly, Hovind prefers his gander served without sauce.
He also perpetrates another egregious strawman, conflating science with atheism and religion at the same time. And the list goes on. There comes a point, however, when a dead horse is beyond beating.
Still, one more fault in the offer must be pointed out. Perhaps the worst aspect of Hovind's offer is who it is intended to fool. After all, anyone who seriously sat down to try to win the $250,000 and closely read the rules would quickly discover the impossibility of the conditions and the sham that the offer is. It is no accident that the first paragraph appears so simple and easy to fulfill. Hovind's target audience for this bit of flimflam is just those people least likely to read any further than the opening paragraph . . . the ones who already disbelieve in evolution with a certainty born of religious fervor. In other words, it is his own flock he wants to give an intellectual shearing. It says much about the man.
Hovind could, of course, confound this analysis with a few simple steps. Some possibilities would be:
Until Hovind makes some reasonable effort to turn this into a true test of the Theory of Evolution, his challenge will continue to deserve nothing but disdain from advocates of evolution and creationism alike.
No human can ever know for sure if Hovind is being deliberately dishonest or is just suffering the malady of fanaticism strong enough to overcome reason and any sense of fair play. In either event, the depressing results are plain to see . . . at least to any who choose to look.
[Return to Kent Hovind FAQs]
1. See the commentary by Jonathan Sarfati on a debate between Hovind and the progressive creationist and old-Earth proponent, Dr. Hugh Ross, at http://www.answersingenesis.org/news/ross_hovind_analysis.asp. It is a long article, with the comment on Hovind's offer appearing about 1/3 of the way down, under the heading "Days 5 and 6".
2. See http://www.drdino.com/
3. See their itinerary at http://www2.drdino.com/cse.asp?pg=itinerary.
4. The Dinosaur Adventure Land website is at http://www.dinosauradventureland.com/.
5. See http://www.dinosauradventureland.com/dal.asp?pg=virtual
6. See, for example, http://www.blueletterbible.org/audio_video/kent_hovind/ at Blue Letter Bible, and http://makeashorterlink.com/?W17115331 [Link defunct] at Steeling the Mind (Compass International).
7. In case of a later change in URL, the text of the present offer is attached here, in its entirety, as an Appendix.
8. For various uses of "evolution", see http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-definition.html
9. The hypothetical development of life from non-living systems via natural mechanisms.
10. For a definition of "strawman argument", see http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/jargon/jargonfile_s.html
11. See http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-god.html
12. While these terms perhaps have no "official" definition, among those debating the merits of evolution versus creationism, "naturalistic evolution" is usually used to refer to the development of the diversity of life as a result of the natural laws of the universe, without resort to explanations based on the miraculous intervention of God, while "theistic evolution" refers to such development mostly through natural means coupled with the intervention of God at one or more "critical" stages.
13. See http://www.kent-hovind.com/250K/challenge.htm#names for a handy list of sites discussing contacts various people have made with Hovind over taking the challenge and/or inquiring after the full conditions of the offer.
14. For example, see Ian (Budikka) Wood's experience at: http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/kent_hovind's_lies.htm or Dr. Barend Vlaardingerbroek's at http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/kent_hovind's_bogus_challenge.htm.
15. See: http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/kent_hovind's_bogus_challenge.htm.
16. References to "Answers to Commonly Asked Questions about the $250,000 Offer" are to material originally appearing on Hovind's site but which has since been removed. However, that material is still available at Wayne Jackson's Christian site: http://www.revelationwebsite.co.uk/index1/Article.htm (at the bottom of the page) as well as at Lenny Flank's anti-Creation Science site (about half way down the page): http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/2437/hovind.htm.
18. From the Offer, under the section "How to collect the $250,000" at http://www.drdino.com/cse.asp?pg=250k [May 2004: now http://www.drdino.com/Ministry/250k/index.jsp]
19. From an article on his CSE Ministries website, "Questions for Evolutionists", at http://www.drdino.com/cse.asp?pg=articles&specific=3 (May 2004: http://www.drdino.com/QandA/index.jsp?varFolder=CreationEvolution&varPage=QuestionsforEvolutionists.jsp):
The test of any theory is whether or not it provides answers to basic questions. Some well-meaning but misguided people think evolution is a reasonable theory to explain man's questions about the universe. Evolution is not a good theory -- it is just a pagan religion masquerading as science.
20. See "Answers to Commonly Asked Questions about the $250,000 Offer" at http://www.revelationwebsite.co.uk/index1/Article.htm.
21. See Dr. Barend Vlaardingerbroek's exchange at: http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/kent_hovind's_bogus_challenge.htm or the response to Ron Rayborne by Hovind that "I will send this to the committee if you wish but I feel they will just laugh." at http://www.geocities.com/kenthovind/250K/ron.htm.
22. See "Answers to Commonly Asked Questions about the $250,000 Offer" at http://www.revelationwebsite.co.uk/index1/Article.htm.
23. See 197 B.R. 157 (Bkrtcy.N.D.Fla. 1996). Hovind's declarations as to his income and assets are not the end of this story, however. The bankruptcy court specifically found that Hovind had both income and property at the time of his filing and he was merely attempting to use the bankruptcy procedure to recover property that the Internal Revenue Service had seized for his failure to file returns or to pay income taxes. However, the IRS investigation failed to reveal assets anywhere near $250,000. The amount the IRS determined Hovind owed in taxes (a little over $21,000 total for the seven tax years) strongly suggests that his income was considerably less than $50,000 a year. His largest discovered asset was his home, which would not be subject to seizure to pay off any debt resulting from a successful claim on the prize money. The full text of the decision is available.
24. Again, see "Answers to Commonly Asked Questions about the $250,000 Offer" at http://www.revelationwebsite.co.uk/index1/Article.htm.
25. See http://www.randi.org/research/index.html
26. See 197 B.R. 157 (Bkrtcy.N.D.Fla. 1996). Again, the full text of the decision is available here.
27. Again, see "Answers to Commonly Asked Questions about the $250,000 Offer" at http://www.revelationwebsite.co.uk/index1/Article.htm.
28. Since no attempt to collect on the offer is presently pending, or ever likely to be, only a superficial web search was conducted concerning the nature of Florida contract law. That search did indicate that Florida follows standard rules of American common law in regards to contract formation.
29. As an aside, this type of offer can be legally withdrawn at any time, up until the very moment that the conditions have been met. Thus, even if there has been fairly extensive discussions over the terms (as there have been on occasions in the past - see footnote 12), Hovind, if he felt the need, could simply say that the offer is no longer in effect and avoid paying, as long as the conditions had not been fully met up to that point.
Dr. Hovind's $250,000 Offer formerly $10,000, offered since 1990 I have a standing offer of $250,000 to anyone who can give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution.* My $250,000 offer demonstrates that the hypothesis of evolution is nothing more than a religious belief. Observed phenomena: Most thinking people will agree that-- 1. A highly ordered universe exists. 2. At least one planet in this complex universe contains an amazing variety of life forms. 3. Man appears to be the most advanced form of life on this planet. Known options: Choices of how the observed phenomena came into being-- 1. The universe was created by God. 2. The universe always existed. 3. The universe came into being by itself by purely natural processes (known as evolution) so that no appeal to the supernatural is needed. Evolution has been acclaimed as being the only process capable of causing the observed phenomena. Evolution is presented in our public school textbooks as a process that: 1. Brought time, space, and matter into existence from nothing. 2. Organized that matter into the galaxies, stars, and at least nine planets around the sun. (This process is often referred to as cosmic evolution.) 3. Created the life that exists on at least one of those planets from nonliving matter (chemical evolution). 4. Caused the living creatures to be capable of and interested in reproducing themselves. 5. Caused that first life form to spontaneously diversify into different forms of living things, such as the plants and animals on the earth today (biological evolution). People believe in evolution; they do not know that it is true. While beliefs are certainly fine to have, it is not fair to force on the students in our public school system the teaching of one belief, at taxpayers' expense. It is my contention that evolutionism is a religious worldview that is not supported by science, Scripture, popular opinion, or common sense. The exclusive teaching of this dangerous, mind-altering philosophy in tax-supported schools, parks, museums, etc., is also a clear violation of the First Amendment. How to collect the $250,000: Prove beyond reasonable doubt that the process of evolution (option 3 above, under "known options") is the only possible way the observed phenomena could have come into existence. Only empirical evidence is acceptable. Persons wishing to collect the $250,000 may submit their evidence in writing or schedule time for a public presentation. A committee of trained scientists will provide peer review of the evidence offered and, to the best of their ability, will be fair and honest in their evaluation and judgment as to the validity of the evidence presented. If you are convinced that evolution is an indisputable fact, may I suggest that you offer $250,000 for any empirical or historical evidence against the general theory of evolution. This might include the following: 1. The earth is not billions of years old (thus destroying the possibility of evolution having happened as it is being taught). 2. No animal has ever been observed changing into any fundamentally different kind of animal. 3. No one has ever observed life spontaneously arising from nonliving matter. 4. Matter cannot make itself out of nothing. My suggestion: Proponents of the theory of evolution would do well to admit that they believe in evolution, but they do not know that it happened the way they teach. They should call evolution their "faith" or "religion," and stop including it in books of science. Give up faith in the silly religion of evolutionism, and trust the God of the Bible (who is the Creator of this universe and will be your Judge, and mine, one day soon) to forgive you and to save you from the coming judgment on man's sin. * NOTE: When I use the word evolution, I am not referring to the minor variations found in all of the various life forms (microevolution). I am referring to the general theory of evolution which believes these five major events took place without God: 1. Time, space, and matter came into existence by themselves. 2. Planets and stars formed from space dust. 3. Matter created life by itself. 4. Early life-forms learned to reproduce themselves. 5. Major changes occurred between these diverse life forms (i.e., fish changed to amphibians, amphibians changed to reptiles, and reptiles changed to birds or mammals).
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