The Evolution of Infidelity
The BBC News placed a sultry photo of a likely-undressed man and woman about to kiss alongside the headline of a story, “Genes may be to blame for infidelity.” They report on the speculation by Tim Spector (Twin Research Unit, St. Thomas Hospital) that “if one of a pair of twins had a history of infidelity, the chances her sister would also stray were about 55%” instead of the estimated 23% of women who supposedly are not faithful (how this statistic was ascertained was not disclosed).
He stressed that genes alone did not determine whether somebody was likely to be unfaithful – much was down to social factors.
But he said it made good sense in evolutionary terms to get a good mix of genes – and for women to chose a better option if one came along.
However, he stopped short of concluding that there is an infidelity gene. He said: “There is unlikely to be a single gene for anything like this. But there are likely to be genes that participate in it, a number of genes working together, it might be things like risk taking or those associated with personality.”
A social psychologist is quoted denying that the behavior is genetically based, but more likely based on imitation of the parent.
Notice the moral schizophrenia in this story even if you accept the premise. Alongside the strictly naturalistic explanation for immorality are the words infidelity and unfaithfulness, and the word good, all words loaded with moral connotations. But if unfaithfulness evolved as a sexual selection strategy, if it “makes good sense in evolutionary terms,” who is to call it unfaithful? It is certainly faithful to the only one who matters in Darwin’s universe: me, myself, I. So yes, selfishness makes perfect sense in a selfish universe, because selfishness is the highest good.
Do you see, dear reader, how destructive evolutionary thinking can be in the most intimate matters of the heart? This article essentially encourages the cheater, saying, “You can’t help it; you are doing just what your genes lead you to do. In fact, what you are doing makes perfect evolutionary sense and is actually a good thing for #1.”
Notice that fellow evolutionists rarely condemn this kind of nonsense. If they disagree with it, they usually just replace one evolutionary just-so story with another. None dare call it immoral, even when it involves crime (see 07/18/2003 headline about the evolution of rape). Michael Ruse once rationalized the genocide in Nazi Germany in evolutionary terms, refusing to call it evil, but instead claiming that such societies are usually “unstable.” That means that, conceivably, if it were stable, it would make perfect evolutionary sense. Democracy, on the contrary, is not stable either; “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” So is the Bill of Rights doomed to failure, because it counters the evolutionary pressure of natural selection? Is that why so many Darwinians in elite universities are Marxists? Let’s conduct a survey of how many evolutionists cheat on their spouses, to make sure they are not just promoting Darwinism as a pseudoscientific rationalization for their behavior.
So, Mr. Spector, you’ve told us a nice little story about how cheating makes perfect evolutionary sense. Now tell us about the evolution of broken homes, devastated children and heartbroken spouses. This evolutionary tale is not just dumb, it’s evil. Maybe that’s why the British pronounce it evil-you-tion.