Sunday, October 30, 2022

#2583: David Boyd

Bob Jones University is a fundie bible school located in Greenville, South Carolina, and one of the more infamous among a rather significant number of schools in the US that offer a Biblical literalist alternative to education. Its biology program, for instance, is young-Earth creationist to the core, and though the Head of the Department of Biology, David W. Boyd, has a real degree from the (questionable but accredited) nearby Clemson University, he views his education mostly as having been a test of faith. Biology at Bob Jones is not about science but about how to best retain one’s belief in a literal reading of the Biblical account of creation despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.


Boyd also writes articles for Answers in Genesis. Here, for instance, is a commentary on an article of his about bird speciation: there are more than 10,000 species of birds, and not all of them could have been on Noah’s Ark, so which ones were? According to the pseudoscience of baraminology, Noah’s Ark carried kinds of animals from which current species have … well, you shouldn’t say “evolved”. Apparently, though, the number of birds is a bigger problem for “a scientist with a materialistic worldview” who has to explain evolution from “the first bird”, and “that would need millions of years”; someone (Boyd uses “scientist”, but that seems like the wrong word) who conforms to a Biblical view of things, however, “would only need thousands of years”. Yeah, silly materialists. How would Boyd’s alternative work, though? Well, there were apparently just under 200 kinds of birds on the Ark (because!), and if each of those underwent speciation once every 750 years, we would have about 10 000 of them today. Though Boyd is dimly aware the claim “does not account for many variables”, it seems to him much preferable to all that complicated science stuff.


Here is a comment on his review (with one Brian Vogt) of Michael Behe’s silly book Darwin Devolves. They recommend it – and at least they recognize it for the religiously motivated screed it is.


Diagnosis: AiG is still running its bizarre sideshow, and we suppose some people who don’t know better and were prone to motivated reasoning could mistake someone like David Boyd and his religiously motivated cargo cult science for a scientist doing science, given his titles and how he presents himself. Utterly ridiculous.


Hat-tip: Sensuoscurmudgeon


  1. Replies
    1. Mostly because they gave Boyd a degree, but also because they at least used to blanket accept credits taken at Bob Jones (basically, you could, it seems, in practice take your education at the unaccredited Bob Jones and still get an official degree from the accredited Clemson). I am not sure that's common practice anymore.

      Still, I admit the comment was tongue-in-cheek - Clemson is a real educational institution, despite some questionable practices.