May 3, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

Comparing Preferences for Pain or Gain

A group of researchers published in the Journal of Political Economy introduced the idea economic loss and gain incentives are innate, not learned.  To demonstrate this concept, the researchers presented capuchin monkeys two opportunities leading to two different outcomes for the monkey: pain or gain.  The capuchin monkeys had a tendency to choose the opportunity leading to gain.  The report was summarized in Science Daily.1
    This demonstrates loss-averse behavior which is the very basis for economic decisions.  Since the monkeys have not previous had exposure to human economics, this must be instinctual choice, according to the researchers.  The author concludes the article listing the qualifications of the research team and foundation in order to qualify the opinions from the study.


1“New Study Finds Similarities Between Monkey Business and Human Business,” Science Daily.  Source: Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press Journals.

In nature, animals act according to greatest benefit.  For example, when wolves hunt elk, they do not tend to attack those which are strongest and largest.  This is dangerous, and could lead to the escape of the elk, wasted vital energy of the wolves, and even death of the wolves.  So what do researchers observe?  Wolves tend to attack those old, straggling elk; or they attack those males who expended too much energy in mating season.  For what reason?  This is more beneficial to the wolves.
    If choosing a more beneficial option, such as living, eating and breathing, is an economic principle, then even protozoa have economic choice in choosing to eat.  Indeed, this seems to be far more deeply rooted than anticipated!  In fact, ecologists study animal behavior according to an “energy budget.”  This refers to their only having a limited amount of energy to expend when performing various vital activities.  Does this budgeting reflect economic choice?  No.  The animals act according to instinct to increase their own fitness, to survive day to day.  This is not analysis and reasoning.
    Evolutionists see humans as a higher evolutionary form.  Yet for decades the evolution of the human mind, analysis, etc., have presented a major gap to the evolutionary theory.  This study attempts to close this gap by “demonstrating” human reasoning, as put forth in the hypothesis of making economic decisions, is innate to animals in a lower form.  But this cannot be so.  Mankind is created in the image of God, able to make decisions, able to rule, able to appreciate and marvel at God’s creation.  This is not stated for any other creature.  Man stands alone with his intellectual capacity and reasoning.
—Rebekah E.

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Categories: Human Body, Mammals

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