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Religion Last Updated: Aug 17th, 2006 - 02:29:01

�Subornation of false muster�: The case against �Dr. Dino� and Young Earth Creationism
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Aug 17, 2006, 00:13

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You remember Kent Hovind, aka �Dr. Dino,� although his claim to the �Dr.� and academic credentials is questionable, at best. He�s the founder of Florida-based Creation Science Evangelism which, among its other quaint novelties, offers Dinosaur Adventure Land and this hokey (not to mention grammatically challenged) promo on its homepage:

Hey families! Dinosaur Adventure Land has got so many wonderful events coming up that you may want to stop in sometime! Since the success of our Home school Appreciation Day of 2006, we have decided to do more themed-events at Dinosaur Adventure Land. To start things off, we have decided to make April fool�s Day (April 1st) �Darwin Day.� We will have tons of great rides, puzzles, treasure hunts, and prizes to fill out the day. We sure hope to see all of you here at Dinosaur Adventure land, where Dinosaurs and the Bible meet!

Creation Science Evangelism and Dinosaur Adventure Land are dedicated to Young Earth Creationism at its most ludicrous: human children playing with dinosaurs in Eden, Mr. and Mrs. Tyrannosaurus Rex on Noah�s ark.

Well, it seems Dr. Dino is in a spot of trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has charged him with 58 counts of tax fraud. Specifically, Dr. Dino is �charged with failing to pay nearly $474,000 in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes for employees at his Creation Science Ministry. Hovind has maintained the workers are missionaries and are exempt from taxes and that all his money and possessions belong to God and are not subject to taxation.�

Furthermore, Dr. Dino claims he himself is �employed by God� and, therefore, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Attorney�s Office do not �have jurisdiction in this matter.�

Hovind and his wife, who is herself charged with 44 counts of tax fraud, entered a unique plea: "I would like to plead subornation of false muster.�

As Mark O�Brien noted in his Pensacola News Journal article about the case, that�s �a defense I haven�t heard in 30 years of hanging around courtrooms. The precedent is not good. A man in the state of Washington tried a similar defense a few years ago, claiming he was a �citizen of heaven� and not subject to state laws. But a court there ruled that when in Washington, do as Washington law requires, and found him guilty� [links added].

So what does �subornation of false muster� mean?

1: to induce secretly to do an unlawful thing
2: to induce to commit perjury; also: to obtain (perjured testimony) from a witness

1: a representative specimen
2a: an act of assembling; specifically: formal military inspection b: critical examination
c: an assembled group

But those are dictionary definitions.

After consulting defense attorneys and other legal experts, I learned the basic definitions are essentially the meaning of the plea. Hovind is claiming that, under false pretenses, he is forcibly being called into service as a member of a group to which he does not rightfully belong � namely those subject to paying taxes � for the sole purpose of then being wrongly prosecuted.

But here�s the kicker: Kent Hovind and his wife are being represented by a public defender, at taxpayers� expense.

The �subornation of false muster� plea aside, as Mark O�Brien noted, Dr. Dino�s legal track record is not good. He has already lost cases �with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and with Escambia County�s right to require building permits for his Dinosaur Adventure Land.� It seems Hovind believes no man-made laws apply to him, only �God�s.� But apparently he�s not familiar with the Bible he claims to be the sole source of �Truth� and �God�s law,� as one person who commented on O�Brien�s article noted:

Dr. Dino . . . says that he works for God, that he believes the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and that because he works for God he does not owe any income taxes. Yet in Matthew 22:21 the Bible plainly says that Jesus said � . . . Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar�s; and unto God the things that are God�s.� So it sure seems that Dr. Dino�s (alleged) Boss is also (along with the I.R.S.) expecting Dr Dino to pay his income taxes. Some faithful employee!

Of course, the Court will not be concerned with whether Dr. Dino interprets that Bible passage correctly, but will decide whether Dr. Dino properly interprets I.R.S. (or, �Caesar�s�) law. I suppose that even though Dr. Dino had a withdrawable $430,500 in the bank and withdrew it (as has been reported), he will present to the Court as a defense that, being employed by God, he has no income, no expenses, and owns no property. Oh yeah, THAT�ll impress the Court! [italics added]

The indictment showed that the Hovinds had repeatedly made cash withdrawals from a sizable bank account at AmSouth Bank in a way calculated to evade federal requirements for reporting cash transactions. The withdrawals were for $9,500 or $9,600. Is it coincidental that those amounts are just below the federally mandated $10,000 threshold for reporting cash transactions?

It must be noted that poor Dr. Dino, who claims no financial resources, offered a $250,000 reward to anyone offering �sufficient proof� of evolution. His and Creation Science Evangelism�s standards would, of course, be the bases for determining �sufficient proof.� All the natural history museums worldwide provide inadequate proof as far as Dr. Dino, Creation Science Evangelism, and Young Earth Creationists are concerned.

The shenanigans of Kent Hovind are typical of the sanctimonious whose only real interest is themselves. In the past we had Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. Today we have �Lucky Louie� Sheldon and former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed. And let�s not forget fat-cats Jerry Falwell who blamed 9/11 on gay Americans and Pat Robertson who seems to have missed the �Thou shall not murder� commandment.

The hoaxes of Dinosaur Adventure Land, Young Earth Creationists and their Intelligent Design brethren are attempting to pervert science and turn public school science classes into religious studies classes. The sophism DAL, YEC and ID represent � like all sophistry � comes cloaked in noble sounding phrases such as �free marketplace of ideas.�

Jonathan Witt is �senior fellow� at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, the primary organization pushing Intelligent Design. He made just such a sophomoric argument in a July 27 article: �Such a free marketplace of ideas is crucial to a solid education, and it�s what the current Kansas science standards promote.�

Kansas is the state that redefined �science� to include metaphysical (aka �religious�) explanations for natural phenomena. Not surprisingly, Discovery Institute was working hard in Kansas to further pollute real science. But they lost, big time, as The New York Times reported on August 2:

Conservative Republicans who pushed anti-evolution standards back into Kansas schools last year have lost control of the state Board of Education once again.

The most closely watched race was in western Kansas, where incumbent conservative Connie Morris lost her Republican primary Tuesday. The former teacher had described evolution as �an age-old fairy tale� and �a nice bedtime story� unsupported by science.

As a result of Tuesday�s vote, board members and candidates who believe evolution is well-supported by evidence will have a 6-4 majority. Evolution skeptics had entered the election with a two-person majority.

Witt did, however, make one accurate statement: �The truly confident Darwinist should be eager to tell students, �Hey, notice these crucial unsolved problems in modern evolutionary theory. Maybe one day you�ll be one of the scientists who discovers a solution.��

�One of the scientists who discovers a solution.� Yes, one of the scientists using the scientific method and accepted scientific protocols, not whimsical notions predicated upon socio-political, religious, and economic agendas such as those concocted by advocates of Intelligent Design, Young Earth Creationism, and �Dr. Dino.�

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