Strange ending to Strange Creations

20 07 2007

I finished Kossy’s Strange Creations last night, reading the book to my wife as she practiced her knitting, and I have to say that I was not very impressed. While the book is informative (it contained some lesser known-creationist tracts and odd beliefs about human origins I had not heard previously), Kossy seems to give a bit too much credit to kooks and crackpots. It’s almost as if she tried to be objective, but her opinions on certain hypotheses and nutty claims (especially in the sections on creationism [against] and the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis [slightly pro]) clearly come through. The last section of the last chapter dealing with the Heaven’s Gate Cult even ends with a call towards respect for the beliefs of “Bo” and “Peep” (the leaders of the group) and those who committed suicide because they wanted to ascend in a UFO to Heaven, their actions spurred on by the coming of the Hale Bopp comet in 1997.

Kossy’s general appeal is that we’re all looking, in one way or another, for spiritual fulfillment (or, in evangelical parlance, the “God-Shaped Hole” argument, is vulnerable to plenty of dirty jokes), so who is she to judge what someone else believes? What is they were right and are in heaven right now? While Kossy describes herself as a skeptic, the book shows that she does have some fair New Age leanings, and she is far more critical of traditional religious beliefs than crystal power or alien breeding experiments. If Kossy wanted to give her opinion on matters, she should have been forthright and stated what she thought, although such a book might have been very different. She does admit that she became enamored with the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis early on as well, and while she does present criticism against it, she frames it as more of a promising “theory” that just needs more evidence, evidence which I don’t believe exists.

Anyway, the book, as a whole, is a fair index of weird claims and oddball beliefs, and is probably best utilized as such (it’s not written in a way that’s especially friendly to reading it straight through). If you’re looking for some examples of strange origins for humans, then you’ll likely find a fair resource, but otherwise I’d say avoid the woo and read The Demon-Haunted World instead.


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