March 19, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

Adulterers: Evolution Made Us That Way

Two articles that appeared the same day on Live Science are a study in contrasts.  One was titled, “Surviving Infidelity: What Wives Do When Men Cheat.”  The other was titled, “Are Humans Meant to Be Monogamous?”  The thread that tied them together was evolution.
    The first article admitted the distress, shame, and sense of betrayal wives feel when their husbands cheat, and the sense of anger and dishonor husbands feel at a wife’s unfaithfulness.  “Many spouses never fully recover from their feelings of betrayal and anger, even if they stay together,” one marriage counselor said.  Women and men differ in their general reactions, but “Typical reactions from both sexes include becoming enraged, sad, humiliated, and depressed.”  The article could not offer any explanation or counsel more than stoic methods of coping, because it suggested that evolution made people this way. 

These differences may have deep evolutionary roots.  “From a man’s perspective, sexual infidelity historically jeopardized his paternity certainty — ‘mama’s baby, papa’s maybe,’”  Buss said [David Buss is a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.]  “Male sexual jealousy is, among other things, an adaptation designed to solve the problem of genetic cuckoldry.

He means designed by evolution, in the context of his statement.  Nowhere did the article suggest a non-evolutionary explanation for this problem of unfaithfulness – nor did it explain why if evolution caused it, why it did not select away the pain.
    The second article went further.  It openly proposed the idea that humans shouldn’t get hung up about marital fidelity (monogamy) because other animals are promiscuous, even happily so (see their sidelight, “Animal Sex: No Stinking Rules”).  The article claims that “Only 3 percent to 5 percent of the roughly 5,000 species of mammals (including humans) are known to form lifelong, monogamous bonds, with the loyal superstars including beavers, wolves and some bats.”  The implication is that faithful spouses should go with the flow, or at least get rid of their hangups about promiscuity.
    So what is the answer to their question?  Are humans “meant” to be monogamous?  Don’t look for any universal moral compass here.  Faithfulness, if it is worth anything, is also just an evolutionary strategy:

Evolutionary psychologists have suggested that men are more likely to have extramarital sex, partially due to the male urge to “spread genes” by broadcasting sperm.  Both males and females, these scientists say, try to up their evolutionary progress by seeking out high-quality mates, albeit in different ways.
    The committed partnership between a man and a woman evolved, some say, for the well-being of children.
    “The human species has evolved to make commitments between males and females in regards to raising their offspring, so this is a bond,” said Jane Lancaster, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of New Mexico.  “However that bond can fit into all kinds of marriage patterns – polygyny, single parenthood, monogamy.”

Whatever works.  The article ended by claiming that monogamy is an unnatural thing – it is a societal, not biological, norm: “I don’t think we are a monogamous animal,” said Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle…. She added, ”Monogamy is invented for order and investment ? but not necessarily because it’s ‘natural.’”  This entry was part of an ongoing series on Live Science called, “Life’s Little Mysteries.”
    According to the view propounded by these two articles, human adults are locked into a living hell: controlled by primitive urges from some unseen animal past that are destined to cause heartbreak, anger, pain, sadness, grief, distrust, indignation, humiliation and even rage.

You don’t counsel someone who has an evolutionary adaptation.  You counsel those whose sense of moral rectitude, integrity, faithfulness, honesty, and trust has been violated.  Live Science cannot have it both ways.
    We have already seen what happened when the Darwinists rationalized genocide (11/30/2005, 02/17/2008).  Just wait till you see what kind of world we inherit now that they have rationalized infidelity.  Can you imagine that some day they might even justify rape or murder?
    My, my, you poor fool.  Where have you been? (07/18/2003, 02/03/2008). 

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Categories: Politics and Ethics

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