Many, many things about creationism baffle me, but nothing confuses me more than when evolution-deniers use evolution to prove their point. One of the biggest perpetrators of this is probably the Creation Museum itself, which constantly talks about variation and natural selection and change of genetic frequencies over time…and then claim that it’s not evolution, even though that is the definition of evolution. Yes, I know, I probably shouldn’t try to figure out the logic of people who have already demonstrated their completely inability to think logically, but I can’t help myself.
Well, I’ve found another one – Pastor Tom. In his most recent post, he rejoiced that scientists have found evidence to suggest that we are hard wired to belief in God through thousands of years of evolution. This is after he has repeatedly announced his distrust for science and his complete nonacceptance of evolution. But of course, he still really doesn’t understand what science is about because he completely misunderstands the article and twists it for our own agenda. I know hardcore creationists don’t care about how evolution works (but apparently you do, when it supports you?), but let me explain some of the common misconceptions Pastor Tom made.
Science has finally done it. It has finally been able to figure out what Christians have known for thousands of years. I came across an article in the Daily Mail called Humans are Hard-Wired to Believe in God, Say Scientists, and boy did it make me smile.
Oh dear, the Daily Mail? Really? That’s the best news source you can find? I tried to search for the actual scientific paper, but I can’t find it… I have a lot of questions about their methodology (were these children already culturally exposed to religion? How about kids raised in irreligious families?), but I guess I’m going to have to use what I have.
You know how teenagers think they know everything, but when they hit their mid-twenties, they suddenly realize that what their parents taught them was right all along, this is just like that.
So a belief in God actually increases chances of survival? You mean religion actually helps people work together more efficiently? Say it ain’t so.
Well, it’s not necessarily so. Supernatural belief may have helped humans a hundred thousand years ago when we were evolving in a hunter-gatherer environment. It may have helped when we needed to form cohesive non-familial groups in other to get enough food, protect ourselves, etc. It may have helped when a lightning bolt came down from the sky and we needed some sort of explanation so we didn’t freak out, but we didn’t have science yet. But that doesn’t necessarily apply now.
You see, a trait that is adaptive in one environment may be maladaptive in another. Let’s use another human example. Thousands of years ago, sugary and fatty foods were a rare and necessary delicacy for humans. Humans that craved those foods more were more motivated to go and find them, and were then healthier and more likely to leave descendants. Most modern humans still have that sweet tooth because we are offspring of the survivors. But now that we live in a modern society where sugar and fat is overflowing in all of our food, our cravings aren’t a good thing. We eat too much unhealthy food and suffer from it – obesity, diabetes, heart disease. A trait that was once very adaptive (sweet tooth) is now maladaptive.
Many scientists believe this is the same situation we see with religion. Supernatural beliefs and group-think were once great traits to have. But now that we have scientific explanations for things, irrational thoughts are no longer a good thing. People die because of faith healing when they could have used modern medicine, people fight wars over their imaginary Gods, people fly planes into buildings for rewards in the afterlife instead of enjoying this life. Will it be maladaptive on evolutionary time scales? I’m not sure. When you have religious people like the Quiverfull movement doing their best to pump out as many Christian warriors as possible (btw, congrats to the Duggars for number 19…ugh), they’re doing a pretty good job at keeping their fitness high. But we also live in a time where evolution has less of an affect on us because of modern technology and knowledge, so who knows.
But really, how can all of this be explained? I’m really glad that scientists were able to figure out that belief in the supernatural, or God, is inherent within every individual, but what does this really mean? Why does this happen? If you’re a Christian, or even if you’re not a Christian, but just a rational non-believer, you know the answer; because God exists. Why would every person be born with a belief in God if God didn’t exist?
Evolution doesn’t strive for perfection or truth. It strives for whatever makes you pump out healthy babies more. If believing in something that doesn’t actually exist still made you more fit, humans would evolve to believe in it. It’s that simple. It does not have anything to do with God actually existing or not.
I have said this before, and I’ll say it again, everyone believes in God. Is it possible, later in life to have our mind poisoned, and for one to dismiss the existence of God, I suppose. But notice this study didn’t confirm that everyone believes in Santa Claus, or a tooth fairy, or pink unicorns, just God. Why is that? Simply, because God exists, and Santa, the tooth fairy, and pink unicorns don’t, and that’s the HardTruth.
Um, read the freaking article, Pastor Tom, rather than cherry picking it for your needs:
The findings of Bruce Hood, professor of developmental psychology at Bristol University, suggest that magical and supernatural beliefs are hardwired into our brains from birth. …The professor, who will present his findings at the British Science Association’s annual meeting this week, sees organised religion as just part of a spectrum of supernatural beliefs.
Yep, that includes Santa, the tooth fairy, pink unicorns, ghosts, angels, Zeus, Ra, Thor, Ganesha, and your God. Sorry Tom, looks like science still shows God is all in your head.