of course, i'm not convinced that he is the same species. homo sapiens have large brains and substantial cognitive functioning. while Comfort does have the ability to speak, which sets him apart from other animal species, he seems to be lacking the cognitive abilities that the majority of humans have attained.
my hypothesis is that evolution is alive in well in humans today. we know that mutations will come along - some good, some bad - which will survive should they present an advantage to survival. this doesn't mean all humans will necessarily evolve to get better. Comfort's mutation may be allowing him to thrive amongst others in his devolved species (let's call them Homo Estupidis).
the ability to deny what is patently obvious to most is the key feature among Homo Estupidis'. it could be due to a diminished frontal lobe, or maybe due to a cantaloupe being in place where the brain should be. i favor the latter explanation. in fact, let's change their name again to Homo Cantaloupis. yes, i like that better.
of course, it's entirely possible that Comfort is simply acting the part of king of the Cantaloupes, selling his product to the religious rubes who are dying for someone to articulate what they are incapable of doing on their own. someone who is willing to make an ass of himself in public to spout their religious quackery. (i do wonder what Comfort would have said had someone asked him not about the tailbone, but about the occasional actual human tail.)
but i prefer to think that Comfort and his ilk are simply devolved humans. it's much less embarrassing for the rest of OUR species.
that's probably a smart way to look at it. myself, i wish i could sit down with them and watch an episode of "Mutant Planet" or the wonderful 3 hour program "Galapagos" and ask them:
"how can you explain THAT?"
Yes, I would prefer to not be lumped-in with the Homo Cantaloupis. Now THAT would be embarrassing! :)
Mel, you're no cantaloupis, believe me.
It might be less embarrassing but denying the humanity of others only erodes our own humanity. Ray Comfort is just as human as the rest of us. Even if he's infected with the god virus. Even if he's got one or more mutations which make him susceptible to religious thinking. There are many among us who, except for the roll of the dice, could have easily become apologists just like Comfort. We are susceptible to the same host of cognitive biases and use of logical fallacies. At the end of the day we're all just irrational monkeys trying our best to make sense of things. It's not easy to think of ourselves as the same sort of thing as the "other team", but it's the truth. If we demonize others, we are the one's that become the demons. if we dehumanize others, it is our humanity which is lost. To deny that we have the same potential is to make ourselves susceptible to that very potential. That is, if we think ourselves above the mistakes of the other team, then we may find ourselves falling into the same pits without knowing.
Nathaniel, i agree with everything you said. you might have noticed that i was being facetious. i don't think Comfort is really a different species. he's either a true believer or a huckster. the former can be forgiven the latter, well, not so much.
Nathaniel, i too agree with your reasoned views, but i enjoy having fun too.
The hucksters in our species find that among religious conservatives there are easy pickings.
If recovery is possible, being picked easily might contribute to their recovery. If recovery isn't possible, ...well, capitalism provides opportunities.
Being more evolved than another is a matter of being more suited to survive long enough to reproduce. We flatter ourselves to be more rational than the "other sort" so surely we can accept that to be more rational is not necessarily the same thing as being better adapted (more evolved) to the current environment. While I agree that Comfort is wrong, it does not mean he is the devolved one. There is not enough evidence to support that conclusion.
Thank you for this post! It's been quite a while since I have seen so many logical fallacies so conspicuously used to argue a point.
I suppose I should be embarrassed to be of the same species as Ray Comfort ... but the thing is, I can't help it ... so insofar as I can, I Ignore The Dumb Bastard!
That, it seems, is the best policy to take when a situation is beyond your control. And it makes life a lot less stressful when you aren't constantly upset.