Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Evolution of monogamy?

Another bit of evolutionary propaganda on the radio 4 Today programme. As usual, no critical questions allowed, evidence and issues skated over, full of bold assertions. Another addition to the ‘mountain of overwhelming evidence’ that we are easily fooled when we want to be. The item can be heard for another 6 days on this link. 

“Why do so many people attach so much importance to monogamy?”, asked the not particularly monogamous John Humphrys. He spoke to an expert from Manchester University who discussed a paper about why monogamy was apparently helpful. Is it easier to manage one partner? Monogamy is relatively uncommon in mammals, we were told, but more common among primates. There are apparently 3 hypotheses as to what the causes of monogamy are. These are, males stay to help care for offspring, stay to defend females, or they stay to protect their offspring from other potentially killer males.” She said that her team ‘looked at the timing of when monogamy appeared”. It’s not clear how they did this, I suppose I could seek out the paper but on the basis of what I heard, I couldn’t be bothered to confront yet more banal assertions and Darwinian fitting of evidence to prior conclusions. 

As Dr Suzanne Schulz was expounding, Humphrys interjected with a comment about why presumably apes must have done this or that. Obviously the assumption that humans had descended from apes was axiomatic, no need to discuss it. The usual unspoken Darwinian assumption that a behaviour would evolve because it could be foreseen (by what means?) to be useful was not addressed.  If something is really essential to our survival, we can't spend several thousand generations blindly mutating towards it (even if that were possible, and we have no evidence or credible theory that it is). If we need it but haven't got it, we die.
Dr Shultz claimed that the only ‘driver’ for monogamy her team had discovered (she didn’t say what sort of investigation had revealed this 'driver' or even what kind of creatures they had studied) was that males stayed around to reduce the risk of infanticide of their offspring by other males. Slowly maturing babies are vulnerable to being killed by rival males. So their fathers stick around, to protect them.

And thus, quoth the expert, did monogamy evolve. Nothing at all to do with divine command or creation ordinance. Of course, if monogamy is deterministically derived by evolutionary forces, then it is negotiable. If conditions change, monogamy can go out the window. And, as twice divorced Humphrys didn't mention, that is exactly what has happened and is happening in our declining civilisation in which now half of all children are born outside of marriage.

Humphreys chirped on a bit more, agreeing with the expert that it was after all quite a good sort of idea for male parents to stay around as child bearing and lactating female parents are vulnerable. Yes, really. I'd never have guessed, its good we have highly funded universities where well paid experts can work this sort of thing out for us. The normally aggressive and sceptical Humphrys failed to ask how much public money had been spent to arrive at the stunning conclusion that children do better with two parents, let alone dream about going anywhere near the question that, since this was known to be so, why we continue to enact policies which make it ever more likely that couples will not stay together.

Shultz then said that her research had to address the question of whether the male would decide it was more worth his while to help secure the survival of the offspring he knows he has, or leave it and the mother to fend for themselves while he went off to find other mates. Having secured the birth of one child, if he reckons he can get someone else to support it while he takes his active penis elsewhere, he will gladly do so. I thought this an interesting tie in with my recent post about popular songs justifying the abandonment by randy men of their faithful wives. Once again, if we are accidentally evolved pond slime, then why not? And again, why does even survival matter if we are all, as David Byrne sang, ‘On a road to nowhere’

Now we are getting to something interesting. Of course, staying with the mother of your children has been how men tended to behave in any kind of society. This was enforced by beneficent taboos and good example, but also by nature. A sensible woman would not want to give sex to a man with a record of abandonment, and a wayward father would lose contact with his children and be rightly despised by his extended family and community, and so would look forward to a deservedly lonely and poor old age.  Monogamy in less corrupt societies didn’t need that much enforcing, it largely enforced itself or rather was enforced by life itself, and still is in stable societies.

But monogamy is under attack now that the socialist 'welfare' state punitively taxes the hard working and thrifty in order to fund single parenthood on a scale the world has never seen. The selfish unrestrained male can have his cake and eat it too. And so we have a society of fornicators, adulterers, abandoned women, fatherless children and taxpayers bled so dry that self reliant working people increasingly are putting off having children or not having them at all. And genetically, the lazier and amoral men are putting more of their genes into the pool while the independent and responsible are having fewer children and having them later. I am surprised that the evolutionists aren't even saying anything about this. You would think they might care that our tax/benefit system is encouraging dimmer and less responsible people to have more children and the brighter to have less-unless they have a  plan for a Utopia of their own planning which involves the complete destruction of the society that we were used to. Of course, the less secure families are, the more the State finds to do for us, and the less free we are as the State grows, taxing and regulating all the way. Its called Marxism, and it has been tried.

As a faithful monogamous husband, father and income tax payer, I paid for my own kids and those of some ‘selfish gene’ errant male’s too. Nobody asked my permission.

The interview struck me for 2 reasons. First as yet another example of unchallenged evolutionary propaganda on prime time state broadcast medium with none of the obvious critical questions being asked. I must have listened to a hundred such pieces, many are documented on this blog. But also, and perhaps even worse, the assumption that our sexual behaviour just evolves in a deterministic way, that we have no choice, and that above all God has not spoken to us and given us wisdom to live by. But He has, and we know it but deny it, as Paul wrote in Romans chapter 1:18-22

God created us male and female and commanded faithfulness in life, including child bearing and rearing. God hates adultery and abandoning the wife of your youth, no theme could be clearer through the whole of scripture. The union of a man and woman in faithful lifelong marriage is not just good in itself, good for children, good for society, economic sense, an insurance for old age and good for our physical and mental health, but it is something much more than that. Faithful marriage is a strong metaphor of the spiritual relationship between Christ and the community of the redeemed. Divorce and abandoning one’s faithful wife to go after other women is likened to idolatry: idolatry (going after false gods as a substitute for the real One) is likened to adultery.

It is no wonder that the enemies of God, who since God is our benefactor are also the enemies of humanity, are so keen to destroy the God-given natural order of faithful monogamous marriage. This cosy little chat about a pointless bit of research is just another drop in the drip drip drip of propaganda that tells us that we are just clever apes and that we have no responsibility to our creator.

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