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Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Instinct to Help is Hardwired Into Us

This story of Derby the Dog proves, at least to my satisfaction, that God made us after all, despite what the survival-of-the-fittest evolutionary model claims to the contrary.  It illustrates the kindness of people toward animals and, for that matter, toward any fellow creature in trouble. There is no basis in Darwin's survival of the fittest evolutionary model for any evolved creature to do this kind of thing. We should, by all accounts, be programmed to claw our way to the top, using and abusing anything that gets in our way or impedes our ascent. That we stoop to help ugly dogs, disease ridden stray cats and risk our lives to cut a fishing net off an entangled whale speaks to a very non-evolutionary impulse in humans to be kind to those whom we cannot use to our advantage, to creatures that cannot but cost us labor, expense, time and personal risk to aid them in their predicaments. 

We (at least most of us) even rush to the aid of our fellow humans in need, even though in an evolutionary sense they are our direct competitors in the struggle for evolutionary supremacy. We even lend a hand, when it was their own decisions that put them in peril in the first place. The landscape of humanity is littered with food banks, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and grandmas raising half a dozen or so of their irresponsible offspring's babies and grandbabies despite being old, worn out and having raised one generation already.  We do it because we have an innate sense that it is right to do so.

Evolutionary processes did not put that there.

God made us to care for the world. We do it almost instinctively - especially if we happen to be good friends with our Creator. We know what is right and we have to work very hard to push that knowledge of what is right to do aside so that we can be able to act like thugs, punks and bullies. It's hard in the beginning to be a sinner. We know better.  It's hard-wired into us.

© 2015 by Tom King

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