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2010-NOV-27 [SAT] 11:29 AM
Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and Evolution
by Mark S. Blumberg
Started reading this book about a little over a week ago, and it is simply fascinating.
During the course of researching the 1952 Glen B. Denney case which involved an SHC (Spontaneous Human Combustion) event, one book ("Mysterious Fires and Lights" by Vincent H. Gaddis) led us to another book ("Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine" by George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle), and while searching through the catalog at the Seattle Public Library for that book (Unfortunately the Library didn't have it), this one ("Freaks of Nature") was almost at the very top of the list of results from our original search. It sounded interesting enough, and thinking there would be a whole load of cool freak pictures, we put it on hold, and a week later, I went to go pick it up.
Before I tell you what happened when I got to the library, let me state for the benefit of the Politically Correct (PC) crowd that I don't mean to sound insensitive to those who are born with defects such as two heads or one eye. This is so far from the truth as to be laughable. Off the top of our heads we don't even know what the PC term is for them. I use the term freaks because that is what the name of this book is and don't mean it in a derogatory way by any means. As a matter of fact, I have a lot of respect for them, because in order to go on living they have to figure out a way to get past it and go on with their lives. This probably takes a whole lot more courage then I'll probably ever have, and with that said, let's move on also.
I was very disappointed right from the get go, because not only was it a small book, but while flipping through the pages, I also noticed that there weren't many pictures at all, with most of them being cartoon sketches. One series showed a progression of freaks starting with a face with no eyes, then only one eye, all the way down to one with two heads with all the different variations in between. Interesting, but no cigar.
Not only that, but the chapter headings and formatting looked more like something you'd find in a textbook or scholarly work, and was nothing like what we were expecting at all, but since I didn't have anything else to read on the bus ride home, I started reading it, and lo and behold, was very surprised at how interesting it was and how it fit right in with some of the serial killer theories we had that not only were they a result of genetics, but also environmental anomolies. We had never thought of serial killers as freaks, at least not in the same sense as someone with two heads, but in the psychological sense they were definitely freaks of nature. At least we hope so anyway. The alternative that they are not and are the norm is just too crazy to even think about, but that doesn't mean there isn't the smallest possiblity it isn't true. We just hope it isn't true, but in order to truly solve the problem of serial killers, an open mind is not only essential, but an absolute necessity.
Not only did this idea that serial killers were a developmental and evolutionary experiment have a certain amount of merit, but it was also a revelation of sorts, because it opened up a whole new room of ideas and theories to research and explore as to what exactly is it about serial killers that allows them to do what they do? What exactly is it about them that makes them so different from the rest of us? Are they a whole new step up (or down) on the evolutionary ladder?
Anyway, Mark S. Blumberg is a very talented writer that explains complex ideas in an entertainingly simple way, but not by talking down to his reader, but by using examples that are universally understood in their simplicity. Thus, we were now glad that I had given the book a chance and are seriously thinking of buying it for our library.
To read more about this book, please go to our AmyStrange.org webpage here:
Or to read more about serial killers or our theories about them, please go here:
LAST UPDATED: December 12, 2010
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