No, Grandparents Are Not Products of Evolution
Is nothing sacred? Evolutionists try to explain grandparents by Darwinism, but run into conundrums —while dishonoring seniors.
Daniel Dennett called evolution a “universal acid,” but perhaps a better description is a universal toxin. Take any subject that gives human life beauty and meaning, and Darwinism will corrupt it into a Malthusian battle for ‘fitness’ – a vague term that can mean anything. Now they’re doing it again with grandparents.
To most elderly people, grandchildren are a great blessing. We all know grandparents who brag on their grandchildren and absolutely love to dandle their children’s children on their knees and play with them. Grandparents are also a tremendous source of wisdom to the younger generation.
Enter Darwin, and the lights go out. The smiles turn to blank stares. Grandparenting has no intrinsic value. It’s just a tool of the fitness machine, that works blindly for no purpose. In fact, in Darwinian theory, grandparenting makes no sense! Grandparents contribute no ‘fitness genes’ to the grandchildren.
Since it makes no sense, Darwinians need to find out why it exists. They’ve tried it before, and now they’re at it again. In Current Biology, Michael A. Cant and Darrin P. Croft take up the challenge anew, trying to explain grandparents by natural selection. Their open-access paper, “Life-History Evolution: Grandmothering in Space and Time,” looks for hope in two new studies about an evolutionary conundrum.
In this, they reduce human beings with all their values and purposes into pawns of natural forces. Not only that, they use the family records of Christians — in particular, Lutherans in Finland – as props in their dirty work. But does evolutionary theory help? Not at all. Cant and Croft can’t decide what makes sense. ‘On the one hand, this’ but ‘on the other hand, that’ summarizes this exercise in Darwinian futility.
The evolutionary puzzle of the extended post-reproductive life of female humans has been explained by indirect fitness benefits gained by grandmothers helping raise their grandchildren. Two new studies support this ‘grandmother hypothesis’ and explore its limits in space and time.
Grandfathers get even less respect than grandmothers in this amoral battleground between fitness genes. So in Darwinian terms, why don’t grandfathers keel over in their post-reproductive years? That ‘evolutionary puzzle’ is not even addressed. The authors appeal to ‘kin selection’ to explain grandparenting, a controversial idea even among evolutionists, with its counter-intuitive idea of ‘inclusive fitness,’ which brings in non-reproducers to help in the fitness game. It’s a logical stretch not at all accepted by all Darwinians. Even so, at the end, nothing is certain in the various approaches to sift grandparents through the Darwin sieve.
Both studies provide important confirmation of the dynamic nature of kin selection as a force shaping human life history. Selection for late-life survival and helping is weaker when there are few grandchildren to help, those grandchildren live far away and grandmothers have become great-grandmothers. To understand how kin selection changes across the lifespan in family groups we need to zoom out to consider which individuals disperse from the family and how far, and how the life stages of family members are overlaid in time and space (Figure 2). These studies are further evidence that fundamental features of our physiology and patterns of aging are explained by our evolutionary history of family life, with all its opportunities for cooperation and conflict.
The stale Darwinian rhetoric, never settled and always subject to new storytelling, adds nothing to “understanding” human nature. It turns our honored grandparents into mere objects, subject to “forces” of natural selection: kin selection according to some, ITSNTS selection by others (for that, see 3 April 2018).
This is ugly. Get angry at stupid Darwinists today! They are destroying everything good, true and beautiful about human life. This is not science. Injecting Darwin toxin into human relationships destroys its subject matter.
Another reason it is stupid is that it is self-refuting. The same ‘force’ that destroys grandparents destroys scientists, too. Cant and Croft are pawns of the same blind selective forces that make their only interest survival, not meaning. They can’s get out of their own trap. They couldn’t, and therefore didn’t, mean anything they said in this stupid paper! Everything is irrational in Darwinland. Stuff happens. Everybody fights to pass on their genes, or rather, is a sword in the hand of selfish genes, which includes the act of writing scientific papers. Are you angry yet? This is the stupid myth of our generation!
Now go and impart some wisdom to your grandchildren, so that they don’t fall prey to the idols of our age.