Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

What if you grew up with no other humans to copy?

Would you still speak English? No.

Would you walk on 2 legs? Hmmmmmmmaybe.

Would you eat with your hands?

Could you add-up?

Would you know what you looked like?

Would you be consciously aware that you had eyes?

While in New Zealand I heard Rob Harley speak of a boy who’d been kept in a chicken coup while growing-up, and consequently behaved like a chicken.

Today I watched a Channel 4 show from last year about feral children, including a girl called Oxana.

Here’s the write-up from Channel 4’s website:

In 2001, reports surfaced of a young Ukrainian woman brought up by dogs. Abandoned by her parents, Oxana lived from the ages of three to eight with a pack of dogs that protected and cared for her. Remarkable footage shows her crawling on all fours, eating, drinking and even barking like a dog. Throughout history cases like this, known as 'the forbidden experiments', have both fascinated and horrified, going to the very heart of what it means to be human.

Wild Child, the second film in BodyShock, Channel 4's new series of extreme human science from around the world, uncovers the extraordinary lives of Oxana and three other 'feral' children brought up by animals or without human interaction. With just a handful of documented cases over the past two centuries, science knows so little about these children that rehabilitation attempts have proved consistently unsuccessful. However, startling new evidence shows how the neglect faced by these children in their formative years changes the way their brains function forever.

The show also detailed the stories of Edik (also ‘brought up’ by dogs) and Genie, who’d spent 10 years strapped to a potty-chair alone, and who upon discovery only seemed to know the words “stopit” and “nomore” – presumably because they were the words she’d heard most often.

I feel I should type some words of sympathy here, but really, they go without saying.

I also find myself wondering about God’s will, and how hard it is to type that I believe there’s a reason for his allowing these things, if only perhaps to show us how chaotic life would actually be like without him.


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