Evolutionary Biologists assert that evolution is foundational to our understanding of living things including us; and, because of that, they pursue investigations of animals to better understand human beings. But are they just wandering down speculative rabbit trails?
Quentin Atkinson of the University of Auckland has been investigating why social monogamy, i.e. living in pairs, evolved. He gathered data on 230 primate species and plotted them on an evolutionary tree and then used statistical methods to “re-run evolution millions of times across the family tree to discover whether different behaviors evolved together”. Atkinson claimed: “We found that the only thing that cropped up regularly before you get the emergence of social monogamy is a high level of infanticide.” The researchers suggest social monogamy evolved because males would guard their own infants from any murderous intentions by other males who desired the infant’s mother. Males could best be sure the infant they were protecting was theirs only if living in a mutually monogamous pair. But non-human primates remain polygamous, so why didn’t they (the non-humans) evolve into monogamy? It seems like an unsatisfactory speculation. Meanwhile, University of Cambridge zoologists Dieter Lukas and Tim Clutton-Brock are questioning whether humans are really monogamous. After all, African apes are polygamous, so it is likely that the common ancestor of hominids was also polygamous. Maybe human beings aren’t really monogamous in spite of the nearly universal nature of marriage across human cultures.
So here is a reasonable conclusion. In spite of them being learned and intelligent, if these researchers begin from a wrong assumption, aren’t their investigations and results merely rubbish couched in scientific terminology? To arrive at their results, they either deny what they observe or speculate about what might have happened. How could they ever arrive at a sure conclusion regarding the past?
The situation for Christian creationists is very different because we have revelation. For example, the basis of human monogamy is clearly summed up by the Creator Christ who told the religious leaders of his day, “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’”. (Matthew 19:4-5). Therefore, we can firmly state that human monogamy works because that is how the Creator designed human beings to function. It also means human beings have no right to re-define marriage by thinking it is natural (and therefore good) to behave like animals. It’s only from an evolutionary perspective that animal behavior, especially degenerate animal behavior, can ever be used to explain, or excuse, degenerate human behavior. We are not in an evolutionary line with animals. Man alone was separately and uniquely created in God’s image.