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← Is religion a threat to rationality and science?

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 1028 by Geoff

I think something similar has already been proposed, but for Kent Hovind instead:

Hovind Factor = (X s i p) x (m 1)


Belief in scripture - "X"
0 - No doctrinal belief required
1 - Metaphorical use of Biblical/Qu'ranic quotation
2 - Belief in scripture as the infallible word of God. Timeless, inerrant and absolute. (AiG/The flud etc.)

Scientific Illiteracy - "s"
0 - Full understanding of detailed, advanced scientific principles
1 - Overall grasp of principles with some understanding of specific area being discussed
2 - Vague understanding of general principle but with poor grasp of many details
3 - No understanding or knowledge of area being discussed
4 - Rejection of basic scientific facts/laws/robust theories and/or denial of any evidence that contradicts scripture
5 - Robert Byers (Extreme, moronic and puerile level of 4 above)

The idiocy scale - "i"
0 - no discernible stupidity
1 - slightly silly, but understandable
2 - foolish
3 - daft
4 - rather funny in a slightly worrying sort of way
5 - very funny in a very worrying way
6 - scary stuff
7 - very scary
8 - unlikely to be accepted by anyone with more than two functioning neurons
9 - Moronic. Stark-bollock-naked, off-the-wall, wing-nut
10 - Kirk Cameron or VenomFangX

Paradox - "p"
0 = Statement is logical and self-consistent
1 = Statement acknowledges slight flaw in internal logic but glosses over it with babble.
2 = Statement relies on an assumed divine intervention to explain self contradiction.
3 = Self contradiction invalidates statement completely, and is left unaddressed.


Mendacity - "m"
0 - Total honesty
1 - Statement maker knows they are telling enough of a porkie to try to mislead a generally credulous audience
2 - Statement maker knows they are lying enough to try to mislead an educated audience, or they are repeating a lie that they have previously been corrected on.
3 - Whopper! (including plagiarism)
4 - Complete, burn-in-Hell, perjury grade, super-lie - for example, one that is strategically designed to mislead authorities or the general public (e.g. as witnessed in the Dover trial and Expelled).

Using this formula, a completely honest statement of scientific merit would score a Hovind Factor of zero.

The maximum Hovind Factor, HFmax, is a completely insane statement which contradicts all scientific evidence but adheres totally to religious doctrine and which the person making the claim knows to be untrue - while at the same time the statement also completely contradicts itself - would score (2 5 10 3) x (4 1) = 100.

EDIT: formula should have "plus" signs inside the brackets!)

Sat, 10 May 2008 09:38:00 UTC | #168928