Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Evolution, Hypocrites and Heroes

From LiveScience: Why We're All Moral Hypocrites
The researchers speculate that instinctive morality results from evolutionary selection for team players. Being fair, they point out, strengthens mutually beneficial relationships and improves our chances for survival.

This story was linked from me mate over at Creation-Evolution Headlines.

It's hard to believe it took a study (and a small one, if I am reading correctly that the study contained only 84 participants) to conclude that people are more accepting of their own vices and harder on others. Personally, I think humans tend to be hardest on those who most closely reflect our own vices, because we see those traits which we live with so often, but without the self-interest to defray the response.

What's intriguing in this article is the very small and woefully inadequate explanation for how evolution "selected" for morality. I studied this issue for while when I was writing an article for a creationist collective several years ago. It seems that among the vast phenomena evolution is unable to explain, human behavior ranks near the top. No matter how long evolutionists theorize, they are working with a framework which is cold, mechanic and ruthless. (We know this because the Discovery Channel narrator reminds us all the time so we won't write nasty letters for showing seal intestines scattered across the beach.) Whenever evolutionists attempt to explain why a ruthless process such as evolution (that cleverly designing non-designer) would select for self-sacrifice, altruism and selflessness, they are stuck. Either they negate the value of truly good actions by suggesting good deeds are performed only because of expected returns, or they negate the reason for selection at all - for the highest goals of an organism are the survival and propagation of itself and its offspring.

It seems, therefore, that there is no evolutionary (or, if you will, scientific) explanation for the actions of soldiers like Matt Croucher, Michael Monsoor and Ross McGinnis who gave their life, or were willing to, at the greatest possible cost to themselves.

It is this kind of heroism that staggers the great, and confounds evolutionists.

It is here where intuition and common sense are most strongly offended by evolution. Evolution teaches that an organism is functioning properly according to evolution only when it seeks its own betterment and benefit; aught else is an aberration from nature's design. (Darwin wrote in The Origin of Species that "Natural selection will never produce in a being anything injurious to itself, for natural selection acts solely by and for the good of each.")

Yet conscience and morality tell us that the people who put others before themselves are the better members of society.

Interestingly, a Biblical worldview has no trouble explaining the sacrifice of the military, or any other everyday hero - without diminishing the deed. Christ tells us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24), and we're told to die to self (2 Corinthians 4:11), and consider others as higher than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). Which side would you choose?

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