Harvard Evolutionists Justify Terror as Darwinian Fitness
Their “study” involved native tribespeople, but the amoral implications give aid and comfort to evildoers.
Here’s the bottom line of a paper in PNAS by Luke Growacki and Richard Wrangham of Harvard: if you pillage and plunder, you’re fitter in Darwinian terms. You have more kids that survive.
These were their “findings” after studying male warriors of the Nyangatom in the Ethiopia and South Sudan region. But the implications go far beyond: “Our results appear to apply to similar pastoralist populations and provide support for the expectation that warriors in small-scale societies benefit from participating in warfare.” Later, they are not so specific: “Together these findings suggest that raiding over a lifetime is associated with greater reproductive success.”
The Nyangatom have ongoing conflict with several neighboring ethnic groups including the Turkana, Dassanetch, and Suri, as well as occasional conflicts with other groups. Automatic weapons were introduced into the area in the late 1980s and are used throughout the region. Similar to neighboring pastoralist groups such as the Turkana, the Nyangatom have two types of offensive raids: stealth raids and battle raids. Stealth raids … are composed of a small number of men, usually 4–25, who attempt to capture poorly guarded livestock by stealth or sneak into an enemy village at night and steal livestock undetected. They may also opportunistically attack and kill individuals they encounter.
Growacki and Wrangham did not mention whether they investigated the religion or ethical philosophy of the society. It was all very sterile: raid villages, kill people, steal and destroy, and you have better evolutionary fitness—defined as more surviving children.
The ugliness of the Darwinian worldview can hardly be exaggerated. But neither can its stupidity be. Is this science? Is this scientific value-free neutrality? Good grief; these two evolutionists have just rationalized acts of terror by their fellow human beings! They treat these people like lab rats or something. What kind of scientific method would totally overlook the religious values and beliefs of the people involved? Were any of them Islamic terrorists? (Islamic extremism is rampant in that part of the world.) How would the “findings” have differed if the people had responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and were taught to love one another? How about if they had learned the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not steal”? Did they investigate whether the raiders had any regrets for the pain they caused? The men were smart enough to use automatic weapons; presumably they had enough intelligence to have a conscience and understand personal responsibility. None of this entered the fitness equations of Growacki and Wrangham.
How many times, too, do we have to point out that if you measure fitness in terms of survival, you’ve committed a tautology? The fittest are survivors, and survivors are the fittest; that proves nothing. This has been pointed out for decades, even by other evolutionists, but they still commit the same fallacy. (There’s a good treatment of this problem by Phillip Johnson in his book Darwin on Trial, ch. 2.) As if that were not stupid enough, their own methods undercut their supposed “science.” One could use the same reasoning against Growacki and Wrangham to prove that they are only writing papers as an evolutionary strategy, not as a search for truth. Ask them this question: “If raiders took all your goods and killed your children, would you be upset? Or would this just be an example of natural selection showing you are not the fittest?”
That’s the stupidity part. The ugly part is that these Harvard evolutionists have just rationalized murder, rape, and pillage. Don’t think for a minute that they were just trying to be ethically aloof and neutral. For their “research” they had to watch evil men cause great pain and suffering to fellow human beings. Then they wrote it up as detached as robots in white lab coats holding clipboards. Presumably they could have measured the same evolutionary fitness among the Boko Haram who steal girls and sell them into slavery. It’s not just that they blinded themselves to any humanitarian concerns; they gave great comfort to evildoers. To fail to stand against evil is to be for evil. ISIS or the next totalitarian dictator could look at this paper to justify what they do, because according to “science,” terror is as natural as gravity. What this means is that the real villains in the story are the evolutionists themselves.
Do the world a favor. Point out the stupidity of Darwinian reasoning, and laugh them out of the science journals so that they lose all credibility. That way evildoers will not take them seriously.