Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Evolution Theory

The theory of evolution, for reasons that I have never fully grasped, sits on a shelf of topics that many have labeled volatile. Its mention in whole or in part in public schools is verboten. The basic notion of this theory developed by Charles Darwin is that all living organisms are related and have descended from a common ancestor. Specifically, complex creatures slowly evolve from more simplistic ancestors over time due to naturally occuring random genetic mutations. It seems to me that certain aspects of this theory, which includes natural selection, is based on pretty solid evidence. As a Christian, I naturally hold to my own modified version of evolution theory, but to close our eyes and cover our ears in this area of organism development on this planet seems silly to me.

The other day I read the following quote from Frans de Waal, a primatologist from Emory University, who said, "We seem to be reaching the point at which science can wrest morality from the hands of philosphers." As this quote was cited in a book without any context of de Waal's original discussion, I framed my own thoughts about his statement. I thought about how many so-called deviant behaviors of people that are labeled as sin or human failings and weakness, behaviors such as homosexuality, addictions to drugs and alcohol, rape, murder, and a spectrum of behavioral disorders, seem one by one to be directly connected with some specific aspect of our genetic coding. Chastising a homosexual for being gay or an alcoholic for drinking is like becoming disgusted with a computer program for doing what it was designed to do. It then becomes harder and harder to separate clean cut issues and penalties associated with morality and human weakness from behaviors that are linked to the very fibers of our being.