I love Stephen Fry. (Not like that, you know; just as a TV personality.)
[Edit: I’ve just noticed I’ve started two posts like this this month alone. Should I worry? Or is it just that I watch a lot of QI, and so tend to see the guy a lot?]
As mentioned before, a bothersomely short time ago, I think he’s great on QI; thoroughly likeable and obviously a massively intelligent chap. If he has a fault – at least one that I can comment on without actually knowing the guy – it’s that, on occasion, he does drift into a rather clunky derisiveness towards those who believe in things, or are open-minded towards things, that Orthodox Rationalism does not permit. This would include God, of course, and ‘the gods’ even more so; along with such phenomena as ghosts, psychic ability, and so on.
Today, though, I’ve had the maliciously enjoyable experience of watching him deflected from this predictable course by Brian Blessed, actor, bellower, and explorer of wild parts, when Mr Fry asked a question about ‘the abominable snowman’. No doubt gearing himself up for mockery of the silly superstitious fools who believe in such nonsense, Mr Fry had to change course (and did so extremely deftly, I should say) when Mr Blessed told him that yes, he does believe in the yeti.
He offered, in explanation, the fact that he’s visited quite a lot of remote areas of the world, and has heard in each of them similar stories of giant hominids; and he pointed out that much of the world remains sparsely explored, and that we only discovered the mountain gorilla ninety years ago. Is it really so infeasible that a low-population hominid species might still exist out there, as yet undiscovered? Especially when we now know just how many proto-human species there once were before homo sapiens sapiens claimed the Prize?