May 5, 2022 | David F. Coppedge

Darwinism Undermines Freedom and Sense

If all behavior is based on evolution, where is personal freedom?
Evolutionists seem oblivious to shooting themselves in the foot.

 

The Darwin-dominated academic press continues its song and dance about the evolution of human behavior. People do what they do because evolution made it so.

Sometimes Darwinians invoke “evolutionary game theory” to model why natural selection makes some people selfish (cheaters) or altruistic (cooperators). But if all human behavior is a product of blind evolution, what happens to truth? It is gone. So is choice. So is personal freedom. And (as evolutionists never consider), so is the writing of scientific papers about evolution. It’s no longer about a search for the truth. It reduces to the authors’ strategy to pass on their genes. Such is the nonsense of evolutionary psychology.

Joint effects of voluntary participation and group selection on the evolution of altruistic punishment (Shin et al., PLoS One, 4 May 2022).

Stop, non-cooperator! May the evolutionary farce bewitch you! Credit: Lucasfilm

As you look over this open-access paper, keep in mind that the authors could not possibly mean anything they say—if they were thinking consistent with their beliefs. Their hypothesis could be debated by sensible people if—and only if—they believe in, and could justify logically the timeless existence of truth and the validity of reason. As materialists, they are not allowed to pilfer from the Judeo-Christian concepts of truth and morality, which do not and cannot evolve.

Many evolutionists are afflicted with the Yoda Complex. They think they are exempt from the evolutionary forces that shape everybody else. They need to come down from their imagined altered plane of consciousness and see themselves as products of evolution, too. They need to get out of the announcer’s box and come down onto the field where “evolutionary forces” are pushing them around the game field where there is no plan, no rules, and no goal.

It is puzzling how altruistic punishment of defectors can evolve in large groups of nonrelatives, since punishers should voluntarily bear individual costs of punishing to benefit those who do not pay the costs. Although two distinct mechanisms have been proposed to explain the puzzle, namely voluntary participation and group-level competition and selection, insights into their joint effects have been less clear. Here we investigated what could be combined effects of these two mechanisms on the evolution of altruistic punishment and how these effects can vary with nonparticipants’ individual payoff and group size. We modelled altruistic punishers as those who contribute to a public good and impose a fine on each defector, i.e., they are neither pure punishers nor excluders. Our simulation results show that voluntary participation has negative effects on the evolution of cooperation in small groups regardless of nonparticipants’ payoffs, while in large groups it has positive effects within only a limited range of nonparticipants’ payoff. We discuss that such asymmetric effects could be explained by evolutionary forces emerging from voluntary participation. Lastly, we suggest that insights from social science disciplines studying the exit option could enrich voluntary participation models.

You can now dismiss all of this as mindless drivel coming from random “evolutionary forces.” They wouldn’t want to be inconsistent now, would they? But wait; consistency (the law of non-contradiction in logic) is not an evolutionary value. It’s not in the Darwin Dictionary. That makes this paper no different than monkey screeches in the trees.

Science Has Spoken: Tell the Truth on Facebook or Risk Your Reputation (University of Houston, 3 May 2022).

Adam Fetterman treated his fellow apes as lab rats in a study to determine whether it was a better strategy to tell the truth in online social networks (OSN). One conclusion the psychologists reached is that admitting when you are wrong is a better strategy for getting people to listen to you.

Humans have an inherent need to form and maintain relationships but forming them online can be tricky with people gathering information about you based merely on textual and pictorial information posted.

“People tend to form the most positive impressions for those on OSNs who display communal, open and humble online behaviors,” said Fetterman. “Wrongness admission serves as a cue of intellectual humility, communion, and competence. Although the admitter is telling onlookers that they have been incompetent in this instance, it suggests that they are willing to work together and that they are competent enough to recognize faulty knowledge and change it.”

This would make sense if people are souls in the image of God aware of the priority of truth, but does it make sense from an evolutionary view? Are people supposed to crouch and roll over like wolves fawning in submission to their social hierarchy? Are they supposed to just acquiesce, like chickens, to their positions in the pecking order? Although evolution is not mentioned in this press release, we can be fairly confident the research was done in accordance with evolutionary assumptions of behavior. Otherwise, Fetterman would have been expelled from the faculty long ago. Perhaps he thought pretending to do research would help him pass on his genes. Or worse, maybe his selfish genes used him as a pawn to perpetuate themselves.

Studying wealth inequality in animals can reveal clues about how their societies evolved (Phys.org, 3 May 2022).

This article illustrates the tension between evolutionary theory and its implications. “Wealth inequality” is one of the politically-correct phrases bandied about a lot these days to nudge people toward socialism. Inequality is bad; it’s wrong, isn’t it? The Left is screaming for “equity” now. Equity is a good word that used to mean fairness; now, however, in social justice lingo, it means pursuing equality of outcome by taking from the haves and giving to the have-nots.

But what are we to think when inequality is the law of the jungle? Are humans exempt? To those who deny human exceptionalism, no; they are not. Human behavior is a product of an animal heritage.

It’s not that inequality hadn’t been studied in animals before. Animal researchers have long explored differences among animals in their physical traits, the territory and resources they acquire, the structures they construct, or the social power they wield. However, what was missing was the overarching view that these different dimensions of animals’ lives are linked under the umbrella of inequality. “As we read, we wondered how the scholarship on the causes and consequences of inequality in humans could help biologists like us better understand animal societies,” says Daizaburo Shizuka, an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences  at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Well, if animals have their winners and losers, then inequality can’t be wrong for humans, can it? The writers, in their effort of “shedding light on social evolution,” cannot bring themselves to leave it at that. But what other tool is in their Darwin toolkit?

The authors acknowledge that studying inequality in animals could also shed light on how inequality operates in human societies, but advise that caution is needed when looking to animals to understand ourselves. Humans are a particular animal species with unique social and cognitive traits. While it’s unlikely that inequality operates completely differently in humans than in other animals, there are also no other societies that operate at the scale of the modern human global economy.

How can they say that? Why is caution needed? Humans are merely animals, in their view. The economies of scale should not matter.

We can look to other species to understand the general evolutionary processes that produce all animals, ourselves included,” says Strauss, “but the question of what makes an ethical human society is fundamentally a moral question where the social lives of animals can’t guide us. This is something we need to figure out on our own.

Whoa! Illegal procedure! They snuck morality and ethics into Darwinism! And “understanding” too. What is that?

See also our article on social science: “Social Sciences Flunk Science Test” (13 April 2022).

It’s funny, but also tragic, to see evolutionists illustrate Romans 1:22, “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Don’t let them steal values from the Christian smorgasbord. Let them starve on Darwin’s empty calories. Hunger is sometimes a necessary prerequisite for repentance.

 

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