More Evolutionary Nonsense

By Wayne Jackson

Those who subscribe to Darwin’s theory of organic evolution continue to frantically look for evidence to undergird their baseless ideas. Their panic is fueled by the acceleration of scientific data that establish how very complex our universe is. The probability of an “accidental” cosmos (instead of a chaos) and an earthly environment of marvelous living creatures becomes more remote, even from a scientific vantage point, with the passing of time. One of the latest evolutionary scenarios stretches credulity beyond reasonable limits.

Hank Davis, a psychologist at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada has researched numerous sensational newspaper articles over the past three hundred years; these stories, he believes, provide a pattern which, according to a recent article in the Washington Post, “makes perfect evolutionary sense.”

Here is the theory: The history of scandalous news reports reveals how interested human beings are in “finding out the secrets of others.” “Since humans lived in small groups, the things you learned about other people’s character could tell you whom to trust when you were in a tight spot.”

In the “Pleistosene era” (1.8 million to ten thousand years ago according to evolutionary chronology) primitive man required information about “who needs a favor, who is in a position to offer one, who is trustworthy, who is a liar, who is available sexually, who is under the protection of a jealous partner, who is likely to abandon a family, who poses a threat to us,” etc.

Since we no longer “struggle for survival” in our post-Pleistosene period, we really don’t need the urgent, sensational National-Enquirer-type garbage that so dominates today’s headlines. One social psychologist, Frand T. McAndrew of Knox College in Illinois, explains it this way:

It really no longer makes sense to condemn a politician like John Edwards, who cheated on his wife while she was fighting cancer, when otherwise he might have made a perfectly good president. The two are unrelated. We can’t help it, though, because our “reptilian brain” does not realize that we are in a different environment where character flaws of this nature no longer are issues of survival. Of course there is this challenging question: why didn’t our “reptilian brain” evolve along with our other qualities?

Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, provides this wonderfully brilliant (!) explanation:

The human brain does not have any special module for evaluating welfare policy or immigration policy, but it has modules for evaluating people on the basis of character. That is why we have this gut reaction to affairs and marriages and lying. All of those things existed in the ancestral environment 100,000 years ago (Vedantam 2008, A02).

Here are a few more intriguing logical questions: Has anyone ever examined a “character module” under a microscope, or observed it via a scan? If the “reptilian brain” still gets upset because of marital infidelity, why wouldn’t it be equally disturbed over immigration law-breakers who might flood a country, creating serious economic hardship? And why are “character modules” alerted in those who lie about their sexual affairs, but are not triggered in those who lie about their citizenship status? Does this theory make any sense at all?

If I were an evolutionary biologist, struggling already with the alleged evidence for Darwinism, I think I’d send a note to my evolutionary psychological-socialogical brethren with this message: “Thanks, but no thanks. With friends like you, we don’t need enemies!”

Sources/Footnotes
  • Vedantam, Snankar. 2008. Why Fluff-Over-Substances Makes Perfect Evolutionary Sense. The Washington Post, August 25.
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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.