I said in my previous post that evolution is too simple because it answers the wrong questions. But it is too simple for another reason, and that is evolution is entirely incapable of explaining human behavior. In a thousand ways, the behavior of man contradicts evolutionary ideas. One example of this, one of many, is the societal attitude toward children.
The one thing that evolutionary philosophy and Christianity really agree on is that children are good and desirable. From a Christian perspective, children are the result of loving union between man and wife. They are also a product of obedience to God’s command to be fruitful and multiply. While the Christian philosophy of family is too large to develop here, it is sufficient to say that Christianity views children as a blessing and not a curse.
From an evolutionary perspective, children are valued because the purpose of all life is propagation. If a species survives to another generation, it has succeeded. The point of all adaptation and evolution is to minimize the chances of extinction.
I’ve heard evolutionary psychologists try to explain the mysterious attraction between men and women using this reasoning. Men are attracted to younger women with certain anatomical traits, they say, because it means they are more likely to be fertile and produce more offspring (the obvious irony being that the modern ideal of beauty is that which is least likely to produce many children). Women are attracted to men that are wealthy, handsome, and strong because they will be more likely to provide sustenance for their large families. All the complexities of human attraction and love are explained by the simple evolutionary principles of survival and propagation.
But the problem is, this reasoning is contradicted in every way by experience. Evolutionary philosophy would predict the employment of every means possible to produce larger and larger families. What we see in actuality is every means possible employed to prevent them. The most obvious example of this is the terribly anti-evolutionary practice of abortion. In a philosophical system that places survival and propagation as the highest ideals, the destruction of one’s own offspring is the most atrocious crime. If evolutionary ethics were capable of outlining mortal sins, abortion would certainly be the worst. Abortion rebels against every evolutionary ideal.
Abortion, and contraception, is not without its consequences–consequences that illustrate just how anti-evolutionary it is. Studies show the birth rate in industrialized countries is declining at an alarming rate. In some countries, they are even falling below replacement levels. This trend is ultimately unsustainable. The very thing evolution must prevent at all costs–extinction–is being brought about by the supposed advancement of the human species.
My point here is not to debate the rightness or wrongness of abortion or birth-control. It is simply to point out that human behavior is highly inconsistent with evolutionary principles. This is because man is not really after survival at all–man is after happiness. If happiness can be attained, through sex or any other means, evolutionary ideals will be sacrificed in an instant. And this is exactly what we see happening. Mankind is chasing after happiness, and not propagation, with reckless and self-destructive abandon. Evolution as a theory remains in vogue simply because it removes the inconvenient moral limitations and responsibilities of theism. These, it is supposed, would interfere with the all consuming quest for happiness. Evolution is not an explanation, it’s an excuse.
Man was made for happiness, and for evolutionary philosophy, this is a real problem. Why would evolution bestow upon its supposed crowning achievement a desire for something that leads it to destroy the evolutionary process? It wouldn’t. And this leaves us with two options: either man is not an evolutionary animal, or he is evolution’s gravest mistake.