Monday, June 17, 2013

#601: Jack Cuozzo

Jack Cuozzo is a dentist and Young Earth Creationist whose main contribution to the lunacy movement is his belief that Neanderthals were ordinary humans who lived for hundreds of years (as in the Bible) causing their skulls to continue to grow and morph – despite, of course, the fact that the age of fossilized individuals can be determined (and has been determined not to be hundreds of years) by other means, for instance by examining tooth development (as in here), which suggests that Cuozzo missed some classes during his training as a dentist. Cuozzo spelled out his view in his book Buried Alive, and used it to argue for the ridiculous idea that creatures have undergone devolution since the Fall, i.e. “a gradual loss of genetic information due to mutation” (Adam and Eve were genetically perfect, and it is a standard creationist canard that mutation can only lead to poorer functioning, never mind that they don’t have a clue about what the technical term “information” means). Hence, Neanderthals were just superior human beings. It should be unnecessary to point out that the whole creationist notion of devolution, which is based on medievalistic teleological assumptions about directions of evolution, has nothing to do with science. You can find a rebuttal of some of the falsehoods and dishonesties of Cuozzo’s book here, and a general review here.

Interestingly, Cuozzo also spends some efforts refuting the claims of fellow creationists that Neanderthals were just ordinary humans that suffered from arthritis or rickets or similar diseases, since that would contradict his assumption that the Neanderthals must have been better than us.

Cuozzo classifies most older hominid specimens as “apes” (rather arbitrarily), which is another piece of evidence that the creationist classifications of these are entirely arbitrary and that the hominids in question are actually somewhere in between present humans and something else (this one is illuminating).

Diagnosis: Standard fare. Though Cuozzo is surely an intelligent guy, his lack of understanding of evidence, combined with an unhealthy dose of confirmation bias, is not going to lead him to anything resembling reality. Sorry.

1 comment:

  1. I can accept that Cuozzo is a Neanderthal. That ought to make everyone happy!