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The Washington Times
February 1, 2000

Study indirectly shows the evils of evolution

By Michael Farris
The Washington Times
February 1, 2000

A University of New Mexico biology professor recently released a report that unwittingly confirmed the decision of a lot of parents to home-school their children.

As reported in The Washington Times on Jan. 11, researcher Randy Thornhill conducted a study on male scorpion flies that led him to conclude that human males commit rape for reasons strongly rooted in human evolution. Rape, Mr. Thornhill “found,” originated as an evolutionary need to reproduce.

Mr. Thornhill’s conclusion comes from his premise that the theory of evolution is correct. Humans evolved from animals, so study animals, and you will gain insights about humans.

Mr. Thornhill need not have gone to all the trouble of putting male scorpion flies under a microscope if he wanted to observe rape in the animal kingdom. A visit to any duck pond will show the same animalistic character. Ducks are brutal rapists.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) unsurprisingly squealed in protest at Mr. Thornhill’s study. Though NOW didn’t like the study’s conclusion, it is fair to suggest that most NOW activists share Mr. Thornhill’s conviction on the validity of evolution.

Mr. Thornhill’s study, which was co-written with Craig T. Palmer, a University of Colorado evolutionary anthropologist, should be taken seriously—not as an explanation of why men commit violent sex crimes—but as a solemn explanation of why schools should not teach evolution. This study does two things. It provides empirical evidence why the theory of evolution is false, and it provides strong evidence that instruction in this theory is frankly dangerous.

How does Mr. Thornhill’s study demonstrate that evolution is false? It is pretty self-evident with just a small dose of logic.

If evolution is true, men are merely animals. There is no basis for determining anything to be right or wrong. How can we say that ducks or male scorpion flies are wrong when they commit rape? Assigning that kind of moral judgment to animals is preposterous.

NOW’s response and Mr. Thornhill’s counterresponse, however, prove that all human beings share certain universal beliefs of right and wrong. NOW forcefully argues that rape is always wrong among humans. Mr. Thornhill tacitly agreed and said he didn’t mean to suggest anything to the contrary.

There is nothing in evolutionary theory to explain the rationale for a universal view of right and wrong. Evolutionists may try to explain why such thinking arose, but they cannot defend the correctness of such a view.

For example, assume that all men once thought the moon was made of cheese. Evolutionary anthropologists could explain how people came to believe such a thing, but no one would try to contend that such a belief is empirically valid.

By the same token, evolutionary anthropologists may try to explain the reasons certain mores have arisen, but they have no foundation for arguing that such values are correct. The empirical evidence is here. Even NOW and Mr. Thornhill believe in universal right and wrong—and they defend this belief as truth, not merely a custom that has arisen.

Evolution has no basis for explaining this data. Since the theory cannot explain the observable data, evolution necessarily is false.

The stark truth is this: If you believe in evolution, there is no basis for saying that anything is right or anything is wrong. Even rape.

People talk of rapists in disgusted tones and sometimes say, “He was such an animal.” In that context, calling a man an animal is a pejorative description. But to Mr. Thornhill and his fellow evolutionists, using the label “animal” is simply restating the obvious.

Parents, if you want your children to behave like animals, put them in a school system that teaches them evolution. Right and wrong will confuse them for a while, but eventually, when they have had time to let it sink in—maybe when they are teaching biology at the University of New Mexico—they will realize that all value judgments are indefensible and all behavior has its roots in our animal “foreparents.” Rape is simply an evolutionary force telling a man he needs to reproduce.

If, however, you want your children to believe that rape, racism and murder are always wrong—even when committed on a high school campus—keep them away from schools that teach evolution, lest they follow this theory to its logical anti-social conclusion.

Michael Farris is the father of 10 home-schooled children and president of the
Home School Legal Defense Association

Copyright 2000 News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit our web site at