January 21, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

The Evolution of Spite

Since everything evolves, according to consensus science, why not attitudes like spite?  The BBC News reported about a University College London study on attitudes of revenge between the sexes.  They found that men seemed to get more satisfaction out of hurting foes than women.  This is all part of an evolutionary explanation for altruistic behavior in humans.  According to lead researcher Dr. Tania Singer, “evolution has probably seeded this sense of justice and moral duty into our brains.”
    Where a sense of revenge came from seems a puzzle, however, from an evolutionary viewpoint, because apparently apes don’t have it.  In another press release from the Max Planck Society, chimpanzees exhibit neither altruism nor spite.  Researchers put chimpanzees in a cage with levers that could either deliver a treat equally easily to another chimpanzee in another room, or to an empty room.  The scientists were surprised that the chimps seemed to have no preference for either choice.  “Contrary to initial expectations the chimpanzees behaved neither altruistic nor spiteful,” the press release stated.  “According to the researchers, both characteristics therefore seem to be human-specific.”  Humans give blood and give to charities for people they don’t even know.  “This kind of altruism has never been demonstrated in any other animal except for humans and some believe it is one of the characteristics that makes us human,” the article continued.  The evolutionary explanation for this was given as follows:

If altruism and spite are unique to humans and are not present in chimpanzees, then it is likely [sic] that these characteristics have arisen in the last 6 million years [sic] since humans and chimpanzees shared a common ancestor [sic].  Humans’ intense regard for each other, either positive or negative, may have made an important contribution to our ability to cooperate, our sense of fairness, and the morality that defines today’s society. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)

Presumably this explains the Israeli-Iran controversy, discussions about earmarking on Congressional bills, and what to do about terrorism.

Only an evolutionist can take negative evidence and give it a positive spin.  Only an evolutionist can take moral evil and turn it into brain chemistry.  Only an evolutionist can speak of morality and altruism while denying the definitions of the words.  Should evolutionists be able to get away with presenting these ideas as the only permissible scientific explanations in public schools?

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