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Now we are told that “generosity leads to evolutionary success”

Yeah, last time it was, Human brains, we are told, are “hardwired for empathy, friendship”, whether you noticed or not, depending on where you live and what is happening there. Okay, in our Sermonettes from Darwin’s followers, this time it’s this: And if this stuff were remotely true in real life, not so many sermons and rallies and pitches would be needed in order to get people to actually swipe their card for charity:

The discovery, while abstract, helps explain the presence of generosity in nature, an inclination that can sometimes seem counter to the Darwinian notion of survival of the fittest.

“When people act generously they feel it is almost instinctual, and indeed a large literature in evolutionary psychology shows that people derive happiness from being generous,” Plotkin said. “It’s not just in humans. Of course social insects behave this way, but even bacteria and viruses share gene products and behave in ways that can’t be described as anything but generous.”

“We find that in evolution, a population that encourages cooperation does well,” Stewart said. “To maintain cooperation over the long term, it is best to be generous.”

Of course populations that encourage co-operation do well by combining strengths, but so? Generosity means, by definition, benefitting others, not oneself. Often, it means harming one’s own or one’s family’s interests, and examples are legion.

Incidentally, the only reliable way to encourage the trait is to allow people to know that

There is another country, I’ve heard of long ago

Most dear to those who love her and most great to those who know.

Or something along those lines. Just what you won’t hear from these types.

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9 Responses to Now we are told that “generosity leads to evolutionary success”

  1. Denyse O’Leary,,,

    Here is a good looking picture of some free speech advocate
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_J7mx.....G_3181.JPG
    taken at a free speech luncheon
    http://deborahgyapong.blogspot.....on-in.html

    As to the topic at hand, here is a piece I recently did on ‘objective’ morality”

    On the physical reality of objective morality:

    That objective moral values really do exist is readily apparent to most people with common sense, save for the most die hard atheists who are willing to deny anything and everything rather than ever admit there is any evidence for God.

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
    - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    Stephen Meyer – Morality Presupposes Theism (1 of 4) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSpdh1b0X_M

    Neo-Darwinists simply cannot maintain a consistent identity towards a stable, unchanging, cause for objective morality. In fact, Dr. William Lane Craig calls it a ‘knock down’ argument against atheists:

    The Knock-Down Argument Against Atheist Sam Harris’ moral landscape argument – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL_vAH2NIPc

    I think this quote from Martin Luther King is very fitting as to stating the Theists starting presupposition for finding objective morality’s ‘real, tangible’ position within reality:

    “The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws.”
    - Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

    But do we have actual empirical evidence for ‘moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws’ as Dr. King held and as Theists should rightly presuppose? Yes! I think we now have very good evidence that moral laws are just as abiding as physical laws. In this following study it is found that moral reactions are ‘split second’,,,

    Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional, brain study shows – November 29, 2012
    Excerpt: People are able to detect, within a split second, if a hurtful action they are witnessing is intentional or accidental, new research on the brain at the University of Chicago shows.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....brain.html

    And although split second reactions to hateful actions are pretty good, non-locality of morals (i.e. morals that arise outside of space and time and are grounded within the perfect nature of God’s transcendent being) demand a more ‘spooky action at a distance’, i.e. quantum, proof. And due to the seemingly miraculous advances in science we now have evidence to even this ‘spooky’ beyond space and time level:

    Quantum Consciousness – Time Flies Backwards? – Stuart Hameroff MD
    Excerpt: Dean Radin and Dick Bierman have performed a number of experiments of emotional response in human subjects. The subjects view a computer screen on which appear (at randomly varying intervals) a series of images, some of which are emotionally neutral, and some of which are highly emotional (violent, sexual….). In Radin and Bierman’s early studies, skin conductance of a finger was used to measure physiological response They found that subjects responded strongly to emotional images compared to neutral images, and that the emotional response occurred between a fraction of a second to several seconds BEFORE the image appeared! Recently Professor Bierman (University of Amsterdam) repeated these experiments with subjects in an fMRI brain imager and found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli. Moreover he looked at raw data from other laboratories and found similar emotional responses before stimuli appeared.
    http://www.quantumconsciousnes.....Flies.html

    Can Your Body Sense Future Events Without Any External Clue? (meta-analysis of 26 reports published between 1978 and 2010) – (Oct. 22, 2012)
    Excerpt: “But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand,,,
    This phenomenon is sometimes called “presentiment,” as in “sensing the future,” but Mossbridge said she and other researchers are not sure whether people are really sensing the future.
    “I like to call the phenomenon ‘anomalous anticipatory activity,’” she said. “The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can’t explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense. It’s anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it’s an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....145342.htm

  2. As well, the following experiment is very interesting in that it was found that ‘perturbed randomness’ precedes a worldwide ‘moral’ crisis:

    Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter – Random Number Generators – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4198007

    Mass Consciousness: Perturbed Randomness Before First Plane Struck on 911 – July 29 2012
    Excerpt: The machine apparently sensed the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre four hours before they happened – but in the fevered mood of conspiracy theories of the time, the claims were swiftly knocked back by sceptics. But it also appeared to forewarn of the Asian tsunami just before the deep sea earthquake that precipitated the epic tragedy.,,
    Now, even the doubters are acknowledging that here is a small box with apparently inexplicable powers. ‘It’s Earth-shattering stuff,’ says Dr Roger Nelson, emeritus researcher at Princeton University in the United States, who is heading the research project behind the ‘black box’ phenomenon.
    http://www.network54.com/Forum.....uck+on+911

    Thus we actually have very good empirical evidence supporting Dr. King’s observation that ‘that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws’. In fact, since the emotional reactions happen before the violent images are even viewed, or before the worldwide tragedies even occurred, then one would be well justified in believing that morality abides at a much deeper level of the universe than the ‘mere’ physical laws of the universe do (just as a Theist would presuppose that morals would do prior to investigation). Moreover, the atheistic materialist is left without a clue as to how such ‘prescient morality’ is even possible for reality.

    Verse and music:

    Mark 10:18
    “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.

    Barlow Girl – Never alone
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8QubLxJI54

    Of semi related note:

    And as weird as it may sound, this following video refines the Ontological argument into a proof that, because of the characteristic of ‘maximally great love’, God must exist in more than one person:

    The Ontological Argument for the Triune God – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGVYXog8NUg

    i.e. without this distinction we are stuck with the logical contradiction of maximally great love being grounded in ones own self which is the very antithesis of maximally great love.

    Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpYeekQkAdc

  3. The trend of science as practiced by some today seems to undermine morality, values, and standards. Biologist Richard Dawkins, who rejects the idea of God, stated: “In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice.”

    Here we find a critical difference between the Bible’s view of humanity and atheistic evolution’s view. God’s Word stresses that humans hold a special place in creation; evolution suggests that humans are the accidental product of blind natural processes. The Bible explains that humans are made in the image of a just and loving God and are able to live moral and good lives; evolution, with its emphasis on the struggle to survive, is at a loss to explain the human qualities of love and altruism.

  4. Plotkin said. “It’s not just in humans. Of course social insects behave this way, but even bacteria and viruses share gene products and behave in ways that can’t be described as anything but generous.”

    Social insects, bacteria, and viruses are also generous? Now that’s a stretch.

    They may ACT in ways that are generous, but is there even one person who thinks they do that by conscious choice?

    Does a virus say “I feel like acting generous today and then goes and helps his neighbor to his own detriment?

    These guys want to take all meaning out of human behavior. Not only do they claim that bad guys can’t help themselves, but they want to diss love as nothing more than the outcome of chemical reactions in the brain.

    How boring!

  5. Generosity is advantageous, except for when it isn’t. Therefore, nature selects it, except for when it doesn’t.

    Seems legit.

  6. Generosity is advantageous, except for when it isn’t. Therefore, nature selects it, except for when it doesn’t.

    Seems legit.

    This is the thinking of a Darwinist who wants to pretend that there is no such thing as morality. It’s an excellent example of how they view morality. It’s not whether something is right or wrong that matters. It is whether or not it is advantageous or not. Everything is self-centered and he can’t even see it. He thinks it is “legit”.

    When does nature not select generosity? Just curious.

    If there are times when generosity is not advantageous, then why does it persist among humans?

    Why is if found only in humans?

    For Phinehas, generosity is only valued by you and by nature if it is advantageous? So, does that mean that you try and gauge when generosity will be beneficial to you and when it will not? And on that basis you decide whether or not to be generous?

    I doubt it, although there are probably some who might do that at times, but this is not true generosity.

    True generosity is an anomaly for evolutionists so they have to twist it to be something less than it is in order to explain it by their worldview.

    The generosity you are describing is actually nothing more than dressed up selfishness. If we are generous for ulterior motives, then it is not true generosity. I’m sure it is hard to always have 100% pure motives, but that is the standard.

    The whole point of this article is that even when generosity is NOT advantageous to us, we humans practice it. Is it advantageous simply because it makes us feel good?

    A person who jumps in a freezing pond to save a drowning victim – does he do it because it makes him feel good?

    What benefit is it to himself if he drowns? And yet he does it.

    How is generosity selected in such a situation when the giver perishes?

    The evolutionary story just doesn’t add up.

  7. Phinehas, I fear I may have misread your post too. That’s twice in one day. I guess I have trouble reading sarcasm. Sorry!

  8. tjguy:

    No worries. Being misunderstood is the price of doing snarky business on the internet. :)

    To be clear, I find evolutionary explanations for generosity downright derisory. Nor do they appear to have anything to do whatsoever with science.

  9. tjguy

    It’s an excellent example of how they view morality. It’s not whether something is right or wrong that matters. It is whether or not it is advantageous or not.

    You have conflated two concepts here. One is the question of how the capacity for moral understanding evolved. The other is what we that moral understanding mandates us to do.

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