Science Supports Biblical View of Fathers, Mothers, Kids
Despite the materialist mindset of our scientific culture, evidence continues to support human exceptionalism and Biblical morality.
Father’s parenting is unique and valuable, according to this article on Live Science about research done at Washington State. The differences in parenting styles between moms and dads gives children a more balanced development. Mothers are more apt to comfort and coo with baby talk, while dads will engage in roughhousing play with the kids and talk more like adults to them. In addition, dads train kids to take a hurt bravely, and prepare for the real world. “We think that maybe fathers are doing things that are conducive to their children’s learning, but in a different way,” one of the researchers says. “The parents are complementary to their children’s language learning.” The positive findings are predicated on the father being involved with the children.
All these little tendencies add up to a big difference for kids as they enter the world. The children of involved dads tend to have higher IQs by age 3, according to a 1995 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Kids with involved fathers also tend to be happier overall with life, more tolerant of stress and, later on, experience less depression, anxiety, fear and guilt, according to dozens of studies.
“Children of involved fathers tend to do better at school, tend to be more social and more comfortable in social situations,” Schneider told Live Science.
Human fathers are not like animals. Evolutionary zoologist James Gilbert surveys some bizarre behaviors among animal dads on The Conversation. “This Father’s Day, be grateful your dad is a human,” he jokes before talking about male animals that eat their kids (e.g., some worms). Fatherhood in animals spans the gamut of involvement for good or harm, but many animal males take off after donating sperm. That kind of selfishness in human fathers is looked upon with scorn by most people, who would respond with righteous indignation; e.g., What are you, a man or an animal? Gilbert can’t help but extol good fatherhood in his last line: “As a new dad myself, this father’s day, I am thankful I belong to a species where fathers can make a valuable contribution to their offspring’s lives beyond mere genetics.” But that’s the point; men don’t just follow genetic instincts; they have a moral choice.
Toddlers understand justice, Live Science says. Experiments with three-year-olds watching puppets acting unjustly shows they respond instinctively to help the mistreated. “From a young age, babies are tuned into the intricacies of social interactions,” the article says. The researchers at the University of Manchester conclude, “Children, from a very young age, have some sense of justice, in the sense that they’ll treat others as they expect themselves to be treated.” Science Magazine points out that chimpanzees do not routinely punish the unjust. They will take sides in a dispute, but not out of a moral sense. Justice is more than fairness. Children in the puppet experiments returned things to their rightful owners, even with no benefit to themselves.
Young kids understand stoicism. Kids as young as 18 months understand what it means to buck up and be brave, Medical Xpress reports on work by Concordia psychologists. It’s considered an adult thing to be able to hide one’s emotions. Even before they can talk, they can feel empathy toward others who are sad or have just had a negative experience.
Infant brains develop faster than thought, another article on Medical Xpress reports: in fact, years faster, researchers at the University of Louvain found. “The way we perceive faces—using the right hemisphere of the brain—is unique and sets us apart from non-human primates,” they said. “It was thought that this ability develops as we learn to read, but a new study published in the journal eLife shows that in babies as young as four months it is already highly evolved.”
Body different than ape: In attempting to compare humans to bonobos and chimpanzees as “closest relatives,” some California anthropologists unwittingly accentuated the differences. Notable is the fact that humans are naked, sweat, and walk upright, the article on PhysOrg observes, as if these traits “likely came about as early human ancestors began walking around upright, causing the need for more leg muscle and more fat—because a nomadic lifestyle would necessitate a fat store to prevent starvation during lean times, especially for females if they were to successfully bear offspring.” But which came first, the upright posture or the nomadic lifestyle? Either way, the explanation sounds Lamarckian. Some bonobos intermittently walk upright; they are still bonobos. Chimpanzees have supposedly had many more millions of years to try a nomadic lifestyle, but they remain knuckle-walkers to this day. While it’s instructive to measure differences in body mass, skin and musculature, such data can say nothing about how they got that way.
Brain different than ape: Wolfgang Enard in Current Biology grasps at a gene to try to explain how humans got their big brains. The size difference between chimpanzee and human brains is startling. He makes a big deal out of a claim for that “for the first time linked genetic changes in a regulatory element to human brain size evolution” – i.e., “the human version of an enhancer regulating FZD8, a receptor of the Wnt pathway, causes a faster cell cycle in neural progenitors and an increased brain size in mice, while its chimpanzee orthologue does not have such an effect.” It’s simplistic to think, though, that more cells dividing faster would be better, unless they become organized in ways that can give rise to rational thought (including math, science, and philosophy). All he can assume is that this enhancer “contributed to human brain size evolution.” In the end, though, human exceptionalism is undeniable.
We certainly are a special species (although it would be nice to get eventually some independent opinion on this point) and we certainly have pretty large brains.
Misinterpreting tool use: Science Daily tries to make the case that tool use in chimpanzees put them on an evolutionary path to humanity, but there’s a problem: bonobos, their closest relatives, do not have this ability. The University of Cambridge says that tool use is ‘innate’ in chimpanzees but not in bonobos (pygmy chimps). Even so, the tool use is very simple, like using a stick to fish insects out of a hole, or using a stone to crack a nut. Other reports show that crows are more advanced, using tools to solve problems. Based on the tool-use criterion alone, evolutionists should conclude that humans evolved from crows, who evolved from chimps, who evolved from bonobos. Humans are the only ones who use tools to make tools to make other tools. An engineer would likely be insulted by being told, as he designs a spacecraft instrument, that his intelligent design is not involved.
Enard has independent thinking on the subject of human exceptionalism. It’s right there in Genesis 1-2. He just doesn’t want to accept it.
We live in a day where cultural insanity is becoming normalized—even mandated. For example, the Obama administration is requiring public schools to change their bathrooms for LGBT tolerance, against the wishes of the vast majority of parents. Secular materialists and PC leftists are redefining gender, family, and morality. We are being told that you can choose your identity independent of your biology, that intact families are unnecessary, and that same-sex couples can raise kids just as well as moms and dads. But reality has a way of trumping ideology. As these articles show, the science demonstrates human exceptionalism. No other primate looks, acts or thinks anything like a man, woman, or child. Thousands of years of experience show that the biological differences between men and women are there for a reason: they were designed to complement one another, providing the best hope for the next generation to develop moral character and community reinforcement of godliness.
Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, anything less is folly. Our Darwin-drunk society is rejecting the Genesis foundation, pretending that conscience and the innate moral sense are evolved strategies of blind evolutionary forces. But if the all-wise God is indeed our Creator, can anything less than stupidity result? Now the chickens are coming home to roost. Several have pointed out the tangled web of illogic inherent in the belief one can choose his or her identity apart from the biological systems God ordained. Currently, some race groups are decrying a white lady choosing to identify as a black, while supporting others who want to change their gender (look at the tortured logic in Live Science‘s article on Rachel Dolezal; if she would be celebrated for choosing an identity against her biological gender, why not against her biological skin color?). The feminists are struggling to cope with whether to accept men identifying as women at all-female universities, or what to do about their female students who want to identify as men. We’re watching the insanity destroy itself. Albert Mohler has had some good podcasts recently on the tangled, self-defeating nature of identity politics when the Christian worldview is rejected.
But of course; there can be no logic in rejecting the Creator’s plan. We should pray that its implosion will be quick and as painless as possible, so that the wise among us can mercifully lead the wounded back to the truth.