Friday, July 17, 2009

I Finally Threw a Book Across the Room

I have always had great respect for books, so it comes as something of a shock to admit today that I threw a book across the room I was so disgusted with the content.

Rewind--Several years ago I had been reading books about Neanderthals as research for my first novel. I came across a book called Buried Alive, by an orthodontist named Jack Cuozzo. I don't have a problem with lay experts writing a book. Sometimes these can be the best resources because they present a different angle.

I stopped reading Buried Alive after about the first 50 pages because it became clear that the book was not a scientific analysis of the Neanderthal, but rather an attempt to use evidence some might be considered scientific combined with known facts presented in bible verses and creationist theories to prove that Neanderthals are a fraud. (And, incidentally, all of science is a conspiracy.)

I had occasionally picked up the book and read a chapter just for the entertainment value, knowing full well the book is a farce. For instance, a fact presented is that Jesus Christ never mentioned "sub-humans" (read hominids) in his teachings, and is used as part of the proof against evolution. This is part of a lengthy list of established "facts" with which the reader is assumed to completely agree, but in fact are interpretations of bible passages. Another example, "All of history must be divided into pre- and post-flood periods." This despite the flood being a fairly localized phenomenon.

But none of that was why I threw the book. In fact, those arguments were the reason I occasionally read onward. These proofs amuse me. It was at the beginning of Chapter 21 that I started to be insulted. "...I would like to establish the fact that the Neanderthals which I have studied all appear to have been post-flood people, mostly buried by relatives and friends." (we know the relationship of the pall-bearers to the deceased exactly how?) and " have a small, very worried and nervous group of people who probably thought they should have stayed closer to the Middle East." (near Mt. Ararat - RN)

And finally, the passage that did me in. "Neanderthal pre-history is made to look like 'square one' by all the museums, or perhaps square two or three if you take into account Homo erectus and the australopichecines (southern apes) in Africa. But that is not based on fact at all. Neanderthal history reflects man forced to live under harsh circumstances after the flood becaused of the wickendess on the earth before the flood."

That is when I threw the book across the room.

It actually started out as pretty good reading, chronicling Cuozzo being chased around France by scientists "afraid he would ruin the secret of their conspiracy." The bait and switch wasn't even subtle.


Christopher Fletcher said...

One of my all-time favorite pieces of laugh-out-loud garbage from the Creation "science" people is their debunking of carbon dating. You see, for carbon dating to be useful, they say, one has to assume that the carbon isotope has pretty much always existed on Earth and that the planet needs to be bombarded from space by it on a consistent basis over the eons. But...the bombardment of the Earth by the carbon-14 isotope wasn't going on pre-Flood. Because the Earth was surrounded by a "water shield." The collapse of this floating water shield, initiated by God, is what caused the Flood. But, of course, the book in which I read this explanation ignored the little fact that this flood seemed to have no impact on any other people elsewhere on Earth. I didn't throw it across the room, but I should have.

Kosmo said...

I may have read that book, Rick. Did it talk about Neanderthal teeth a lot and posit the idea that the Neanderthal phenotype (even the children?) were simply the result of the extreme aging that happened in biblical times? If not, then there's another creationist book out there that tackles the Neanderthal "myth". I threw that one across the room.