This may not be the best of news but a new study has found that 119 mammals out of the 260 species understudied commit infanticide – the killing of babies or infants – as a survival strategy. This was made known by a zoologist, Dieter Luxas of the University of Cambridge, and a behavioral ecologist, Elise Huchard from the French National Centre for Scientific Research.

According to Huchard, “infanticide is probably the most extreme manifestation of sexual conflict in mammals, with a major fitness cost for mothers who lose their offspring, in which they have already invested lots of energy.”

The researchers had set out to investigate if mammals with all their known affections for babies still engage in infanticides, why they do so, and the consequences of these acts.

The scientists were able to study 260 mammal species and then found out that 119 of them engage in infanticides; but they also observed 114 mammal species that do not practice this behavior. However, they were only able to record actual animal acts and practices that involved baby-killing. But while trying to establish social structure and mating behavioral patterns to determine factors, they found that in situations where there is no dominating males within the habitat, male mammals tend to commit more infanticide where males and females cohabit together.

Another advisor who is not involved with the study explains that “selection for larger testicles…is a male counter-strategy to that female counter-strategy, which gives you an idea of how dynamic and complicated evolution of reproductive strategies can be. We cannot understand what one sex is doing without also taking into account what has been going on in the other.”

Monogamy, the writer pointed out, is one of the strategies adopted by females to prevent the killing of their infants by aggressive males. While males practice infanticides more under certain circumstances, it must be noted that female mammals also carry out infanticides given other conditions.

50 Responses

  1. Fletch

    I was under the impression that many conservative religious people were against the use and education about birth control. It’s very possible I have overestimated how many people actually oppose that kind of thing. I think that education about sex, that is teaching people that are old enough to have sex and have children(and yes this does start in our early teens), about what sex is and how to avoid unplanned pregnancies is the best tool we have for stopping abortion. We don’t live in a society where we can impose strict birth control measures on people, for instance make it a requirement for every woman who is not trying to get pregnant to get an IUD. I think this is probably a good thing that we cant do this, but it also means that unplanned pregnancies are going to happen, and whether or not it is against the law people are going to get abortions.

    As far as your example of the sexual feelings poster. It almost sounds too stupid to be true, almost like satire. I can believe it is true, but to me it just shows that like in every subject of American education, there are often people writing the curriculum that do not have a good grasp on the subject matter and have little or no common sense. I think this is probably one of those examples. If that kind of thing is the norm I agree things should be changed. There is really no practical reason to teach children that and I think you are very justified in saying you don’t want your children exposed to that. I also think you should have the right to pull your children out of sex ed classes if you want to.

    Also just to be clear I don’t think abortions are a good thing. If there was a practical and fair way to prevent another abortion from ever happening I’d be all for it because I think the world would be a better place if there were no abortions. Unfortunately in the real world there is no practical or fair way of preventing abortions. We know making it illegal doesn’t help, and short of sterilizing women or forcing birth control on people, there is no real solution. That’s why I think education and personal responsibility are very important. I don’t think we should send the message that it’s ok to have unprotected sex with someone because, hey, if they get pregnant you can just go down the street and get an abortion.

    • willow

      Appreciate your thoughts and ideas. Actually SIECUS is very active in many of this nation’s sex education programs, and they are are pushing a pretty bizarre agenda that goes way beyond basic sex education.

      I have nothing against sex education. I received it in health class in 8th and 9th grade at a Catholic school I attended, and I have always been very open on the subject with my children. What I have a problem with is schools encouraging children to engage in sex and experiment with various techniques.

      Sex play as well as actual intercourse causes emotional bonding and leaves a rejected sexual partner feeling lost and used. Sex is also a way to transmit STDs and preteens and young teens are not just able to just drive themselves to the doctor and pay for the medical care they need deal with it, not to mention some STDs are incurable. Then there are the pregnancies. Whether young women get abortions or give birth, it can be very traumatic and life altering. I have yet to figure what the positives are that outweigh these negatives, and why it appears organizations like SIECUS encourage sexual experimentation in kids. Anyway, that is how I have presented it to my kids.

      I have two friends who to this day are suffering over the loss of the babies they aborted, and another friend whose sister mentioned the unknown fact that she had gone through two abortions in the suicide note she left behind before she killed herself. You have to wonder why that was something she felt compelled to disclose.

      I just have a hard time believing we would have as many abortions as we do today if it were not legal. Since the Supreme Court ruled on Roe vs Wade there have been over 55 million abortions in the US alone. That is equal to 1/6 of our total population. It is equal to about 1/2 of all the people who died in the entire 20th century under Hitler, and the communist regimes of China, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

      I also worry that disregard for human life and a desire to dispose of it at any stage in human development leaves us all vulnerable. I know you may think some of what I am stating here is nonsensical, but it is relatively easy to find reliable sources to confirm it on google.

      Take care!

      • Fletch

        I don’t really think anything you’ve said is nonsensical, or even inaccurate, I’m willing to believe that it is accurate, I just don’t think outlawing abortion is a practical solution to the matter. There very well may be less abortions if it were illegal, but there would still be a lot of them and they would be extremely dangerous. Also nothing either of us has mentioned so far gets into the issue of women’s rights. This in itself is a very complex issue and not one that can be completely ignored. You can say you don’t agree with the women’s rights advocates(the ones who believe a woman can do what she wants with her body) but not everyone believes the same thing as you. It is a very difficult issue. I don’t think the decision to have an abortion should be taken lightly and I think that people should have a bigger sense of responsibility in general, and especially when it comes to reproduction. However I don’t think I should be able to impose my beliefs onto others. So the best I think a free society can do is to educate people. And no I do not think schools should be encouraging children to experiment with sex. I think it should be an open conversation, and people should know that sex causes pregnancy, stds, and there are methods you can take to reduce these risks by using birth control or contraception. I think telling students where they can access these things and how to use them is something we should be educating them on. I did learn about STDs in public school and I’ll tell you that did not encourage me to want to experiment with sex.

  2. Fletch

    Sorry haven’t been on here in a while but would still like to respond.

    “The mortality rate isn’t that high among fertilized eggs (those that aren’t poisoned by abortion drugs, that is).”

    Before I made the comment I did some research. Conservative estimates seemed upwards up 15%. That’s pretty damn high in my opinion.

    “I am smart and humble enough to admit that I don’t know…”

    Best thing you’ve said so far. I don’t think you’re stupid either by the way. There are plenty of Christians who are much more intelligent than me. Newton, a genius in his own right, believed alchemy was legitimate. So just cause you invented calculus and laid the groundwork for modern physics doesn’t mean you’re right or that all your ideas are good. Newton was a Christian too.

    “because that’s what Adam and Eve chose and you can see by our actions that we all follow them in that mistake.”

    So did god know about human nature when he created humans or are human desires to do things that you think are sinful a punishment for Adam and Eve? I’m sorry but both options seem equally absurd to me.

    Option 1

    God: I know I’ll give them desires, ones that I know at least some will act on. They will only deny these desires out of respect for me because that is what I wish of them.

    Option 2

    God: Now that Eve went and ate that apple, from the tree I specifically asked her not to eat from, I will punish all of humanity for the rest of eternity with pain and death because they deserve it. This was not the creation I had hoped for so I will unleash the ultimate punishment against them. Pain and suffering. But I am a fair god, and if they truly believe in me and have faith in me, sometimes, very rarely, I will intervene with a miracle, cure someone’s cancer, and if they believe the words of my son(me), who died for them, I will allow them to live in heaven with me, but if they don’t, well I have a good place for them.

    “And, again, nothing is more ludicrous than saying “I don’t want to believe in God because I like to sin and pretend I’m my own God, so nothingness, which is incapable of anything and has no will nor intellect, must have created all existence, written all the laws by which it operates and inspired evolution!””

    I’ve never seriously had the thoughts that I imagined god having above. I don’t really think of myself as my own god but I don’t think a god that is responsible for the current state of affairs, and described the way your god of the bible is, is a very good god. I would never punish someone for something their ancestors did. That’s perverse in my opinion, and since I don’t believe in imaginary beings I don’t have to try to come up with ridiculous explanations for why things are the way they are.

    “You’re mostly following scientists who have a lot of reason to pretend that they know things which they don’t, such as that Adam and Eve are impossible.”

    Lets contrast this with what you said previously.

    “I believe that human death entered the world through Original Sin.”

    So if I’m understanding correctly you are saying you agree that there are ancestors of humans that were not humans, pre-human, presumably they died right, but then suddenly souls entered the body of humans and they could no longer die? Then Eve committed the original sin and god made it so humans could die again. I’m sorry that just sounds ridiculous to me. Come on be realistic if the god of the bible is real, there is no literal Adam and Eve. It’s metaphor. Do you think there was a real apple, really a tree of knowledge, really a talking snake?

    “You’re mostly following scientists who have a lot of reason to pretend that they know things which they don’t, such as that Adam and Eve are impossible”

    I’ve actually never heard a scientist say the words “Adam and Eve are impossible”, actually a good scientist would not say anything is impossible, maybe highly unlikely, but nothing is certain in science. There is a difference between what I learn from a scientist and what I learn from a theologian. I can check what the scientist says and prove them wrong because I have access to nature just like they do. The theologian, unless he is making scientific claims, cannot be checked. Sure you can check to see if arguments are consistent, but I can not check for instance if there was no death or suffering for humans before the “original sin”. I don’t think it’s reasonable or logical to believe most things a theologian tells you.

    “I think you’re quite arrogant about things you have no possible way of knowing and the scientists you rely up on have no possible way of knowing, but you want to pretend to be wiser and smarter than all the Christians who built your society”

    Hey you’re the one saying they have hit upon some sort of truth with your theology not me. I do not think you’ve said anything very reasonable here, except, well you did admit you don’t know some things, which I will give you credit for. I am confident in many truths we have discovered from science, I am not with the theological “truths” so I challenge them and nothing you have said has persuaded me in the least.

    Again I don’t hate you or think you’re stupid. I disagree with you, and like most people I disagree with, unless they show I’m wrong, which has happened more than a few times, it’s because they cannot justify what they are saying.

    • AugustineThomas

      There are precisely two options: either God created existence or it somehow developed from nothingness. It’s utterly absurd to believe that all existence developed from nothingness. An eternal Creator God is unfathomable, but not irrational. Existence developing from nothingness and laws coming from no intellect is irrational. If the world truly developed from chaos, no laws would have ever come together. There is no example of chaos breeding laws–true chaos stays chaotic.

      The potential for evil is the necessary side effect of true free will. If God made it impossible for us to do evil we would not truly have free will.

      What offends me is the way that atheists and agnostics like yourself try to put limits on God, as tiny and insignificant as your intellectual power is, you believe you can put limits on God and what he can do. (Of course you’re infinitely important because God loves you. I’m just speaking about the ridiculous arrogance it takes to believe you can put limits on the being who made the Milky Way.)

      Given God’s infinite powers, why couldn’t he create humans any way he wanted at any time he wanted?
      I believe God made Adam and Eve and put them in the world. Of course I don’t know exactly how this happened, but there is evidence that we’ve descended from humans with perfect genetics. Why couldn’t Adam and Eve have been created with perfect genetics and our genetics started to decay after they sinned? Why couldn’t God create beings very similar to other beings he had created but with souls?
      Your guys’ entire belief system boils down to “well we’re quite similar to other hominids, so we must have all come from monkeys and there is no God!”

      You have faith beliefs that are far more ridiculous than the Christian belief that the all-powerful God is capable of doing whatever he wants within the existence he created.

      • Fletch

        “There are precisely two options: either God created existence or it somehow developed from nothingness. It’s utterly absurd to believe that all existence developed from nothingness.”

        Actually you’re wrong. Unless you define god such that god only needs to meet the requirement of being eternal. God does not have to be anything else you say god is. God could be a singularity, or just the nature of reality which allows for the spontaneous formation of universes. But if god is just some construct of reality, and not some creating, loving(or hating), jealous, intelligent being, why call it god? See unlike you I don’t have all the answers and don’t pretend to know how the universe started or even if it’s meaningful to say god created existence, or existence that came from nothing. But no an intelligent god is not necessary in your false dichotomy, let alone the god from the bible and any attempt to declare that it is is an argument from ignorance.

        “If the world truly developed from chaos, no laws would have ever come together. There is no example of chaos breeding laws–true chaos stays chaotic.”

        What are you even talking about here? No example of chaos breeding laws? What does this even mean? We only have one universe to look at and there are laws in this universe. Where exactly are you seeing true chaos to make this conclusion?

        “The potential for evil is the necessary side effect of true free will. If God made it impossible for us to do evil we would not truly have free will.”

        Would you agree that some people are more genetically predisposed towards violence or other kinds of “sinful” behavior? Are you saying that if god would have created humans where they were not so prone to mental disorders, hormonal mood swings, and violent outbursts that they wouldn’t have free will? I mean come on, many of these sinful acts are part of human nature. They arise from our biology and how our brains work. Lots of times we have no control over our emotions. If god is truly trying to give us free will he’s not doing a very good job.

        “Given God’s infinite powers, why couldn’t he create humans any way he wanted at any time he wanted?”

        If that’s the case why even come up with any arguments? You’re the one marveling at god’s creation of the milky way. Why? What about the milky way makes it something to marvel at? Is there something good about it? Wouldn’t it be just as good no matter what is was or how it was formed? Could it be better or worse? Remember god could make the milky way any way he wants.

        “but there is evidence that we’ve descended from humans with perfect genetics. Why couldn’t Adam and Eve have been created with perfect genetics and our genetics started to decay after they sinned? Why couldn’t God create beings very similar to other beings he had created but with souls?”

        Really? What evidence that that? The evidence I know about is we descended from relatives that were not human. Ones that we share in common with other animals. Can you cite a reference for this perfect genetics argument? What does it even mean to have perfect genetics? How would you know a perfect genome if you saw it? Again this is special pleading. You have to invent arguments to get biblical stories to conform to science.

        “Your guys’ entire belief system boils down to “well we’re quite similar to other hominids, so we must have all come from monkeys and there is no God!””

        It’s not quite as simple as that. Have you actually studied evolution? It’s actually much much more than we look similar therefore we must be related. Also evolution does not disprove god. Evolution is possible because of the nature of the universe we live in. If I did believe in god I’d argue that god created the universe knowing that. I don’t really have a belief system or faith either, and will change the beliefs I do have if I can be shown they are wrong or unjustified. I don’t think I can say you would do the same.

      • AugustineThomas

        Why do you insist on referring to God as “god”? God is the proper name. It’s confusing when you use the wrong term.

        It seems quite ridiculous to me to suggest that a dumb God made a smart universe. The creation of human laws required intellect. Why would the laws of existence be any different?
        Once you can admit that, you believe in God. From there it makes a lot of sense to believe in the God of the bible because no other conception of God has led to any goodness. Christianity led to modernity and all the criteria by which you judge what is good and what is bad (even if you’ve irrationally tried to remove God from your beliefs which are inspired by concepts which rely on God).

        My point was that it’s ridiculous for someone with as limited intellect as you or me to pretend we can comprehend the being that made the Milky Way, not to mention the rest of existence.

        Human DNA degradation:
        Sanford, J. 2008. Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome, 3rd Edition. Waterloo, NY: FMS Publications.

        Have you heard of Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam? There is proof that we all descend from one man and one woman. At first, fundamentalist atheists tried to say they know for sure that they couldn’t have lived at the same time, but now the scientific community admits that they could have. The specific humans they have located might not be the actual Adam and Eve, but obviously humans only know a tiny grain of sand from the beach of the story of man. So if, even by the most contemporary science, it is possible that we have descended from one man and one woman, why couldn’t Adam and Eve have existed?
        You’re doing what you accuse fundamentalists of and starting off with a preconceived notion and erroneously claiming it must be true by only believing the claims which you think reinforce your position.
        This points back to the arrogance of any man, even the smartest scientist in the world, believing he can say whether biblical stories are true or not.

        Hardcore evolutionists have all the traits of religious fundamentalists. They ignore evidence which calls their faith beliefs into question and constantly regurgitate whatever claims they think reinforce their preconceived notions.

        Of course evolution doesn’t disprove God. None of us really knows exactly what evolution proves or disproves. All we know is that organisms change. It’s hardcore atheist and agnostic evolutionists who suggests that evolution proves the bible wrong.
        There has been a false, Godless religion built around evolution. That’s all I’m rejecting.
        I acknowledge my limitations, but that doesn’t change the fact that I believe based on logic that theism is infinitely more plausible than atheism and because theism is all but proven and atheism disproved logically that makes agnosticism just as absurd.

        You do have faith beliefs in a belief system. Your belief system is quite common and inspired by the common misconception, based on false humility, that the smartest position is that we can’t say whether nothingness or God inspired existence.
        Again, it’s utterly ridiculous to suggest that nothingness is just as likely to have created existence as God.

      • Fletch

        I started writing a long thought out response but really what’s the point? You’re arrogant. You probably think I am but I’m really not. If you had something good to say I’d hear you out, but there’s nothing good here.

        You’re no scientist, it shows in what you write and how you form your conclusions. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with not being a scientist or thinking like one. It’s the fact that you feel confident enough in your position to make claims that science has “proven” that human genes used to be perfect. I don’t know that I can have a conversation with someone like this. The book you referenced is a creationist book. It’s not a peer reviewed journal publishing research results, it’s a non-techical book for the non-scientist. Now look at what you have done by using this as your evidence. I’m betting you haven’t looked into population genetics? Neither have I, I haven’t looked much into the models they use. I do know they use sophistacted statistical models, not the kind that a laymen or probably even a Bachelor’s in math could easily understand. But you are willing to look up the source for some unresearched creationist tid bit you heard and use that as evidence for your point. A point that you have no idea how difficult it would be go get to the bottom of. Here’s one thing I do know. There is more than one population geneticist. If the vast majority do not hold the views of the book’s publisher then it probably ain’t true. Do you expect me to research all of the claims of this fringe writer and teach you the mathematics so you’d understand why his conclusions are false or not accepted? You’re starting to get into conspiracy theory territory by citing books like this as evidence. That’s where I stop. I can go read stuff published by engineers saying that the twin towers could not have collapsed from a plane collision if I’m into that kind of thing. The establishment keeps them on the fringe just like they do with creationists. They are just so damn close minded those educated people.

      • AugustineThomas

        I never said that it is proven. You and the militant atheists are the ones who are in the business of pretending you have proven things you don’t know. I admit that I have faith.
        I only cited scholarly work that it’s possible. You’re claiming that a scientist who is a professor at Cornell is unreliable? That’s the problem with you guys. You say everyone is a hack, even though the people you use to support your faith beliefs have no better credentials.
        To be honest, I don’t think you could explain anything to me. You haven’t done any research. You’ve listened to a few doctrinaire atheists who swear that everyone agrees with them when that’s not the case. You’re no different than the people who said the earth must be flat because “nearly all” the educated men of the time said that it was flat.
        Scientific truth, like all truth, isn’t decided by a vote.
        You’re making yourself look like a fool if you think I should disregard the theory of a Cornell professor because you say that “everyone” disagrees with him.
        Scientists are constantly being proven wrong directly after they swore up and down that they knew they were right. You put far too much faith in the claims of scientists. I simply used the work of another scientist to try to show you that WE DON’T KNOW.
        You’re the one arguing for certainty where there is none. I’m arguing that the truth is not currently known.

        God bless you brother!

      • Fletch

        Oh wow what an excellent comeback. I haven’t done any research on evolution huh? I know much more about it than you do, I’ll put it that way. That’s obvious. But go ahead, yeah I guess if you’re a professor at Cornell, and you write a book about a very rarefied specialty that you are not an expert in, and try to use your conclusions as evidence that evolution didn’t happen, or that animals are devolving, in the face of all of the evidence to the contrary, yeah you’re a real winner. Come on. Like I said you can find professors and graduates from esteemed universities who say that 9/11 is a conspiracy or that alien abduction is real cause so many people are telling the same stories, or that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS or the the Holocaust didn’t happen. You can find professors supporting all of these things. They are all full of it, they get caught up in their pet theory and can’t see reality for what it is. The author of the book you quoted is one of those kind of people and his book is one of those kinds of books. You’re a sheep believing this crap. The creation debate was over 100 years ago. It has as much respect in science as homeopathy does. There are probably plenty of theories within the realm of evolution that are not completely correct, but that doesn’t mean that creationism is true or that evolution didn’t happen. Read a book about evolution, there are lots of good ones out there. Try to learn something new about reality. I got better things to do then to try to educate people who refuse to be educated.

      • AugustineThomas

        There are so many examples of the majority of scholars being wrong on an issue they’re experts in, that I can’t mention them all.
        By the way, in your statement you reject the idea that scholars can be trusted and then you call me stupid for not trusting the scholars who say things that you think prove your beliefs.
        This is my problem with secularists. They reject all scholars they disagree with and then call everyone stupid and backward for not completely believing the scholars they agree with. That is utterly irrational.
        It has been proven that organisms adapt to their environments. None of your ridiculous faith beliefs about evolution being God have been proven. NONE.
        And again, if the university system is so incompetent that it allows the hiring of people you claim are so dumb, then it can’t be trusted. You’re arguing against yourself without realizing it.
        Otherwise, if the Cornell professor can be trusted, then there is still plenty of debate about pretty much all aspects of evolution.
        You guys are evolutionary fundamentalists.
        I hope you move away from your false faith beliefs and really open your mind to the truth some day.

        God bless you!

      • Fletch

        No AugustineThomas, regardless of what you might think, I actually have studied evolution. I don’t believe it on the basis of scholars. I do not have a deep understanding of population genetics, as I said it’s a somewhat rarefied field and requires a very specific mathematical and biological skill set. I also have experience, because it is something I’m interested in, in conspiracy theorists and denialists. I know the kinds of mistakes they make, mostly psychological, and as a result they are fairly easy to spot. Now this does not mean that every conspiracy theory is false or that every denier is wrong. But in general they are.

        Also if you’d read what I said you’d understand that I don’t think the guy you mentioned is incompetent. I think he wrote a book that came to conclusions that were wrong. If this was the kind of thing he did in his day to day job at Cornell then I doubt he would have lasted very long there. I already mentioned Newton for believing in alchemy, Tesla, another genius scientist and inventor, had his own set of crazy beliefs. Someone can be very very good within the confines of their expertise or even within a very narrow subset of a field, but be completely worthless when they try to step outside that field. Another example that comes to mind is from the Noble prize winner for inventing PCR(polymerase chain reaction). He has made comments that would seem to support the HIV denialist position, and has also made comments supporting astrology. I do not think he’s an incompetent scientist, but when he talks about HIV or astrology I think he most certainly is. I don’t think you’ve even taken the time to study the basics of the theory of evolution. I don’t think you really know what claims are made, why they are made, and how they are supported by evidence. This is a big problem. You do not like my response to your cited “expert” but you cannot back up your arguments with any actual factual arguments. You think that since this professor is a professor, and that he published a book(a book for a creationist audience, no for scientists) that is sufficient to prove your point. Then you go on to tell me how I’m just blindly following other scientists. No I’m not. But I’m not an expert in every field of evolutionary biology and as I said being able to understand the arguments made about population genetics would take a considerable amount of study on my part. So instead of spending months or years learning about population genetics I think to myself, you know, if this Cornell professor was really onto something why is the scientific community, that includes many people who are qualified to respond to the arguments this professor made, so quiet? And you know what I think? I think it’s because the conclusions that the professor makes are unjustified. And this is the reason that none of the other professors agree with him or take him seriously.

      • AugustineThomas

        I could just as easily accuse you of everything you’re accusing “denialists” of.
        The massive majority of scholars once believed the earth was flat. That didn’t make them right.
        It’s quite easy to see why the “scientific community” is so afraid of being wrong and how that forces them to circle the wagons, become close minded and spend their energy trying to destroy anyone who contradicts their beliefs rather than truly searching for the truth.
        I hope you realize one day that the most power group is rarely right. The Nazis dominated Germany–that didn’t make them right.

      • Fletch

        Yeah you could easily accuse me of anything. The problem is, since you don’t understand anything about evolution yourself, you have absolutely nothing to back up that accusation. Also once it was widely understood why the earth is not flat almost no scholars, except the minority of deniers who refused to accept the evidence, still believed the earth was flat. Evolution is not some pre-scientific notion of why things are the way they are. So it is not at all analogous to saying the earth is flat. There was no scientific theory that explained why the earth was flat, what is the evidence for the earth being flat, and what predictions can we make if we accept the earth is flat. It is much more analogous to saying the earth is round. The only people who do not accept the fact are those who are either ignorant of the evidence or are motivated to deny the evidence. Modern science is competitive. You make careers off of showing that the work of others is wrong. However, ideas like the earth is flat cannot possibly survive in this competitive environment because it’s trivial to show and explain why the earth is not flat. Get it? While particular aspects of evolutionary biology may still be mysterious or controversial, the idea that humans share a common ancestor with all mammals is not controversial. The idea that humans once had a “perfect” genome or have “devolved” over the years is contrary to these uncontroversial ideas that we have evidence for. And is like arguing that in the past the earth actually was flat or, as some crazy people actually do argue, that the earth is growing in size and used to be much smaller. To explain why these ideas are wrong, especially when arguing with someone who is using arguments that require an understanding of geology, you really do have to have a good grasp on plate tectonics, what is the evidence that plat tectonics exist, what should be the result of a flat earth morphing into a sphere, or a small earth growing, ect. So when someone brings up these ideas even though I may have a basic idea that these ideas are not practical the fact that scientists who do understand these ideas do not find them very compelling to me is a compelling reason to think it is trash. If I really thought the scientific community at large was wrong on something like this I’d dedicate my time on studying these theories and showing why they are wrong in a place where my ideas can be seriously considered. I would not write a book for conspiracy theorists or creationists to read and think that I’ve made some contribution to the subject. There are plenty of creationists out there. When they try to play with the big boys and disprove evolution as a whole in the way I described they fail miserably. The best they can do is become experts in very rarefied sub fields of evolution and point out things like the absence of an understood mechanism for certain evolutionary features. This is probably in many cases legitimate. But it does not mean that evolution did not happen. Science is not gospel, it is the best ideas we have to date to describe reality.

      • AugustineThomas

        You haven’t at all displayed that you have more than a basic understanding of evolution. I’m not sure how you think you’ve shown that you understand it any more than I do.
        I think the fact that organisms adapt to their environments have been firmly established. However, there are all sorts of outlandish claims that secularists make based on the relatively little that has been firmly established that are most certainly not proven.
        You guys constantly try to suggest that what we know about evolution disproves the bible but you use juvenile “proof” for your ridiculous claims and never really establish them.
        You can only remain ignorant because you refuse to read the work of great Christian apologists who can easily explain why evolution doesn’t threaten Christianity.
        You guys are afflicted with group think and you live in an echo chamber. That’s why you feel so intelligent but continue to say such ignorant things.
        A large number of scientists are living under the illusion that because they know quite a bit about a certain tiny subset of science, that means they know everything about everything.
        Ironically, they’re doing exactly what they accuse fundamentalist Christians of.

      • Fletch

        I understand that the evidence points to human beings sharing an ancestor with all animals. I understand that this works by the process of natural selection and occurred over billions of years. I understand that the existence of a mitochondrial Eve does not support the idea of a single human ancestor, or an Adam and Eve, but that all humans that live today can trace their ancestry back to one mitochondrial line. This mitochondrial Eve had a mother and father, and her mother and a father had a mother and father, and so on. Each of these ancestors is equally our own. I understand that at any given time there is no clear distinction between one species and another in evolution history, the idea that one day two humans existed that were magically selected to be the first ancestor of all humans is not supported by the evidence, It is used as evidence by people who do not understand the terms they are using. I have heard the arguments of Christian apologists. Strangely enough none of them seems to share a literalist interpretation of the bible. Seems that those who are not young earth creationists(those who think we do not share common ancestors with other animals) think that the story of Adam and Eve is metaphorical and not literal. You seem to be in some confused middle position. What great Christian apologists are arguing for literal but evolved Adam and Eve? Again why I say you do not really understand what evolution is.

      • AugustineThomas

        You have no proof of anything that you’re saying here. You believe it based on faith. You have faith in a nihilistic understanding of existence. That’s sad.
        Anyway, you’re also confusing the scientific definition of a human with the proper definition. A human is one who has a soul. Adam and Eve are the first creatures with souls.
        None of us can say exactly how all of that came about. The difference is that you pretend you know every detail despite the fact that you obviously don’t.
        That’s the problem with secularists. They’re so busy lying to themselves that they know everything that they don’t realize how hypocritical and foolish they are.

      • Fletch

        Give me a break. Everything I’ve said here is consistent with the evidence. Not faith. It’s the same kind of inferential knowledge that tells us the grand canyon was carved out by the Colorado river. It is the same kind of inferential knowledge we have about the movement of continents over time. In fact it is consistent with these things. We find fossils of plants and animals separated in time geographically based on models of plate tectonics. We have fossilized organisms that are frozen in time that give us a glimpse into what animals in the past looked like. Guess what, they don’t pop out of nowhere, as evolution would predict the is a gradual change in certain features of organisms over time. As evolution would predict we don’t find animals with completely new traits, they have modified traits that have been passed down through descent with modification(evolution). In the same way that we determine ancestry of human families, we can see our relatedness with other animals. And what would you know, this relatedness matches up with the fossil record. This is not some faith based assumption, and unlike you if someone came forward with a better explanation for the evidence I would drop the theory of evolution in a heartbeat. But like trying to prove the earth isn’t round, that is unlikely to happen.

        “None of us can say exactly how all of that came about. The difference is that you pretend you know every detail despite the fact that you obviously don’t.”

        Who’s pretending to know more here? I accept evolution as an explanation for why we have the diversity of animals and plants we have today. Not only do you think you know exactly why humans are here(God created the universe for us, creating us in his image), you know that there are souls, you know that humans are the only living things with souls and that at some point in human evolution(if you even accept that humans evolved) exactly two humans had souls and that these two humans were the ancestors off all of humanity. You wanna talk about knowing things you cant possibly know? Well buddy you take the cake. And what is your method for dealing with people who are skeptical of your certainty? Tell them they are following Satan or else that they use faith, just as much(or more) than you do. You call them hypocritical and foolish but offer no actual argument to support any of your points. I certainly don’t know or pretend to know everything about evolution. But I also don’t pretend it’s a good idea to go against very well established evidence and theory because it contradicts a story of two humans that lived in a garden with a magical tree and a talking snake that even a large number of practicing Christians think is metaphorical. But go on thinking people that disagree with you are foolish. It’s an easy way to deal with that cognitive dissonance you must have every time you seriously consider that maybe Adam and Eve really are metaphorical. “Maybe evolution didn’t happen. All those people who seem so certain it did must be religious zealots believing in fantastical stories about the history of the earth. I have a basic understanding that animals adapt, but since I read the bible and it says there were only two humans at the beginning, that must be the way it was, and since I cant actually imagine there being a real(though partially unknown) tree of life where all animals share a common ancestor, anyone who says there is is hypocritical and foolish.”

      • AugustineThomas

        None of what you’re saying gives us any indication of where the first organisms come from or what they were like.
        You do realize that the gaps in the fossil record still exist? Your faith that everything evolved from the same organism is highly misguided based on the most current understanding.
        You seem to have decided what’s true and no matter how much the latest evidence contradicts you, you’ll stick to what you’ve decided is true. This is the definition of a fundamentalist.
        I’m glad that my faith allows me to be open to all the evidence!

        The truth is that you have no idea when the first ensouled human beings came to earth and how they got here.
        You’ve got a bunch of unproven theories about the origins of life in general and humanity in specific that you’ve picked up from atheist and agnostic scientists, many of whom were just as arrogant and ignorant as you are. They also pretended that their isolated understanding of a tiny subset of science meant that they know everything about everything.
        The fact that we know that organisms adapt to their environments says nothing about the origins of humanity. You guys can pretend that it does and that you know the entire truth the rest of your lives and that won’t change the fact that you only have an infinitely vague idea of how things have happened.

        That’s what scares you guys so much–the idea that despite all your theories and all your confidence, you still can’t really prove much of anything.

      • Fletch

        “None of what you’re saying gives us any indication of where the first organisms come from or what they were like. You do realize that the gaps in the fossil record still exist? Your faith that everything evolved from the same organism is highly misguided based on the most current understanding.”

        You”re all over the place here. First of all you don’t have to know where the first organisms came from or what they were like to infer that there was some ancestor that is common to all animals. If you did a basic study, just google “evolution for beginners” or something like that, you’d already know this.

        The gaps in the fossil record argument is another red flag that you are an uninformed nincompoop when it comes to evolution. Every time you find a fossil that fills an evolutionary gap you get two new gaps. Get it? Every fossil we find that represents a new species is filling some gap for some specie’s evolution. The fossil record is not complete, I nor any other scientist thinks that it is. What is even the point of bringing this up? In your mind does the lack of fossils documenting the evolution of a species mean that evolution didn’t happen? I mean you’re really grasping here.

        “The fact that we know that organisms adapt to their environments says nothing about the origins of humanity.”

        We know a lot more than animals adapt to their environments. If you want to see a good evolutionary history look up the evolution of whales. You might be surprised how compelling the evidence is that whales evolved from land animals. Creatures that used to walk on four legs, creatures whose nostrils gradually moved back forming a blow hole. We have fossil specimens of these transitions. Not every species that ever lived is going to be fossilized. It takes very special conditions for animals to be fossilized. The vast vast majority rot and decay. We don’t find fossils of humans alongside dinosaurs, we don’t find humans before we find the first ape like creatures. We don’t find the first ape like creatures before we find the first mammals. There may not be a clear evolutionary history for every single animal. But one thing is clear, these animals didn’t pop out of nowhere. Everywhere we find them we do not find anything inconsistent with evolution. This is how scientific theories work. They are a model that explains reality. Evolution is a very very good model for explaining the origins of species. If a human was found alongside dinosaurs that would disprove evolution, if there were major inexplicable changes occurring in animals throughout earth’s history that would be a huge blow for evolution. But evolution stands up to all the tests. You can envision some special instance for human beings, where two were magically given souls and spawned the human race. There is no evidence for this. This is you trying to fit any evidence you can into a pre-drawn conclusion. The only reasonable conclusion I can think of given the evidence is, if your god is real and if the bible is really his book, then the garden of Eden and Adam and Eve are metaphors. Heck this is what most educated Christians think, this is what the Pope and Catholics think, wouldn’t they be motivated to deny it like you? What is it peer pressure from agnostic and atheist scientists? Come on now this is just silly.

      • AugustineThomas

        I think you need to Google “evolution for beginners” my friend, because you seem painfully unaware of the admitted limitations of evolution.
        There is absolutely no proof that we all came from the same organism. If you could account for the gaps in the fossil record you would be the biggest scientist celebrity in the history of evolution.
        The only part of evolution that “stands up to all tests” is that organisms adapt to their environments. This proves nothing of the origin of any organism.

        You’re doing what all evolutionist fundamentalists do and trying to badmouth and shout down anyone who doesn’t accept your faith beliefs as absolute truth.

        You’re a hypocrite and a fool. I’m not trying to be mean, but your aggressiveness needs to be exposed as what it is: insecurity at the insufficiency of your false faith beliefs.

        God bless you brother!

      • Fletch

        Oh please. Lets here it. I want to hear a rundown in your on words of what modern evolutionary theory says. And a basic description of what evidence there is to back this up. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not just organisms adapt to their environment. You can keep it basic but if you got nothing better than this, and do not even understand the theory you are arguing against, you’re just a blubbering idiot.

      • AugustineThomas

        By the way, the Church teaches that we don’t have to take every aspect of the bible literally, but who are you to try to put limits on the being who made the Milky Way and all existence?
        You think that God could make all existence, but wouldn’t be able to create a talking snake or any other being if he so chose?
        This is the problem with you guys. Pretending that you know everything makes you so small-minded and foolish.

  3. AugustineThomas

    Animals also eat their own feces and vomit. Should we start doing that as well you enlightened leftists??

  4. willow

    The greater point is we are slaughtering young vulnerable human beings at a horrifying rate – 55 million, or almost 1/6th of the current US population today, since the passage of Roe V Wade.

    Too deadly of a subject to throw around insults based upon semantics.

  5. Mammals Commit Infanticide as a Means of Survival – Design & Trend | Everyday News Update

    […] A new study has found that mammals commit infanticide as a means of survival. The study was done by zoologist, Dieter Luxas of the University of Cambridge and behavioral ecologist, Elise Huchard from the French National Centre for Scientific research, according to the West Side Story.  […]

  6. theodosius IV

    Daniel, don’t demean animals by including humans in the conversation.

    • AugustineThomas

      It’s so incredible that you guys are so nihilistic you actually hate your own species.

    • Fletch

      Abortions don’t kill infants, they kill fetuses. I mean if you’re going to make up your own definition of infanticide why not say male masturbation is infanticide also. Sperm also meets the necessary prerequisite for every infant.

      • Studying_Nomad

        So many lost souls due to male masturbation. We must put an end to this at once. Don’t go letting women off of the hook so easily. No egg should bleed dead. All eggs should be fertilized in order to save all of the potential fetuses, I mean, unborn babies. Sperm and eggs are really just pre-unborn babies. Jail time for all violators!

      • AugustineThomas

        There’s a big difference between sperm and an unborn baby which it has its own unique DNA. You guys are so dead inside that you can’t tell the difference and you put your cheap perversions above everything, even human life.

      • Fletch

        Every sperm has unique DNA, half the DNA that goes into making a baby. Don’t know what your point is. I never said abortion was a good thing either. Is that what you think, that people who actual differentiate between sperm, embryo, fetus, newborn and infant all just love the thought of ripping a developing human out of a woman’s body? I don’t think abortions are “good times”.

        And since you brought Satan into this why don’t you consider the following:
        1. God created everything, god is all knowing.
        2. Satin exists. Therefore god created Satan.
        3. It is possible for women who get raped to get pregnant. God created women, god knows women will be raped, has the power to prevent the man from impregnating the woman, but doesn’t.
        4. God made childbirth extremely dangerous for women, and with modern science we are able to identify when childbirth is going to be deadly for the mother and the developing baby and terminate the pregnancy before this happens.
        5. God created our reproductive systems. With modern scientific medicine there are about 26,000 still births per year in the United States. God knows, because he is all knowing, that with the way babies develop there is a real risk, and before scientific medicine(which we had to figure out by ourselves) significant risk of still birth. That’s not counting all the precious zygotes and embryos that fail to implant in a woman’s uterus, who knows how high those statistics are. I’m finding statistics that say 10-25% of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. Remember god knows about our reproductive systems, he knows the risk and designed it that way, he could stop women from having miscarriages but doesn’t.

        You’re a sheep. I don’t follow Satan. I live in the real world.

      • AugustineThomas

        The sperm has the DNA of the man. The new, unique DNA strand doesn’t exist until the moment of conception. In any society that weren’t a savage, irrational, child-murdering Hell-hole, this would be the obvious moment that the baby would be considered a human being and thus deserving of the dignity not to be murdered as it slumbers in the womb.

        God gives us and originally gave the angels free will. The angels have already made their eternal choices. We still each have a choice until Judgement Day.
        The unfortunate side effect of true free will is the potential for evil. Unfortunately Adam and Eve brought about Original Sin, which is why man can choose to do horrendous evils, such as rape, murder, etc.

      • Fletch

        “The sperm has the DNA of the man. The new, unique DNA strand doesn’t exist until the moment of conception”

        Every sperm is unique just like every human is unique. They have a different number of chromosomes. So what? And not all zygotes are unique(a zygote is the single cell formed after fertilization. Sometimes these split and form two identical individuals. Sometimes they fuse to form what are called chimeras(look it up). These children don’t act like most children I know of. Most children cant split in two or fuse into one. And I wouldn’t really say a zygote is slumbering.

        “Unfortunately Adam and Eve brought about Original Sin, which is why man can choose to do horrendous evils, such as rape, murder, etc.”

        So god allowing millions of miscarriages is not evil? And what is this about original sin? We are being punished for the sins of non-existent relatives? Give me a break. Your mind is so warped by your theology that you have to go to great lengths to deny science and believe in a reality where there really were two people who live in a garden who are responsible for evil and through necessary incest gave rise to the whole of the human species.

      • AugustineThomas

        Each sperm is a different representation of the same DNA of the man that it comes from. Everything in the sperm is from the DNA of the man, just a different portion of it, which, when joined with the portion of the DNA from the mother creates a new, unique, complete DNA strand for the new child.
        The fact that, twins for instance, have the same DNA, does not make them any less valuable. Unless you’re arguing that they should each have half a vote, or half of their human rights because they share the same DNA? The DNA, which makes up a human being, is what’s precious, even if it’s represented twice.

        We live in a fallen world. It’s sad that death has come into the world, but that is the price of Original Sin.

        You might pretend that science has disproved a real Adam and Eve, but that’s utter nonsense, more of the same from fundamentalist atheists who pretend that their irrational theories are scientific fact.

        Your mind is warped by your nihilistic, false faith beliefs, which is why you’re more animated by your hatred of Christians than your love of your fellow atheists/agnostics. (This is also why atheists/agnostics are the worst murderers in history.) You’re a materialist, so you live in a sad, close-minded world where there is no meaning and nothing beyond whatever material things you can see in front of you. You would be a lot more creative if you believed in something beyond the physical world.
        And you pretend to be more logical, but atheism is the most illogical belief in the world and, by extension, so is agnosticism. It’s utterly absurd to believe that an existence in which every effect has a cause, itself has no cause. We’ve never seen nothingness, which is incapable of anything, inspire creation, so it’s ridiculous to believe that it could inspire and create everything.

      • Fletch

        “Each sperm is a different representation of the same DNA of the man that it comes from…”

        I was responding to what you said about each fertilized egg at the moment of conception being unique. It isn’t exactly true is it. And under the right conditions any cell could have be a potential human, because each cell that you have in your body has your entire DNA sequence. If the fertilized egg is soooo important, why did God create a reproductive system where the mortality rate of this fertilized egg is so high? I doesn’t make any sense. Are you saying that before Eve ate the apple, her biology was different and that 100% of the fertilized eggs would be born? You have to invent answers to ludicrous questions to conform to your pre-made conclusion.

        “You might pretend that science has disproved a real Adam and Eve, but that’s utter nonsense, more of the same from fundamentalist atheists who pretend that their irrational theories are scientific fact.”

        Go ahead, give it your best shot. Come up with a better explanation for the evidence for evolution. If it’s better at explaining the world than the theory of evolution, and doesn’t require a whole lot of conspiracy theories and special pleading, I will change my thinking. You’re perfectly happy to cite scientific observations about genetics and reproduction. But only when it works to validate what you already believe.

        “Your mind is warped by your nihilistic, false faith beliefs, which is why you’re more animated by your hatred of Christians than your love of your fellow atheists/agnostics. (This is also why atheists/agnostics are the worst murderers in history.)”

        I don’t hate Christians. I’m argumentative against anyone I disagree with. Christians are the only ones I disagree with that get morally offended when I try to get them to back up what they say, and call them on their BS when they use bad arguments. There are plenty of Christians I get along with just fine. Most of them do not take genesis literally though and those that do are not the kind of people that say I’m following satan. Only a special kind of Christian does that. The kind that doesn’t want to think about any ideas that go against their own and wants everyone to know that their ideas are superior. It’s easy just to say any ideas that go against your creed and seem reasonable are just tricks of the devil or some perversion of a nihilistic ideology. I’m not that simpleminded.

      • AugustineThomas

        It’s an unborn infant. There’s no difference between the two. There’s more difference between a full grown adult and an infant than between a child and an unborn child (as, again, there is no meaningful difference).
        You guys are following Satan, whether you admit it or not. You hate life.

    • Studying_Nomad

      We are mammals. Some do commit infanticide under certain conditions. However, you should consult a dictionary for a better understanding of the definitions for both words: “abortion,” and “infanticide.”

      • Jeani

        Or Daniel should learn simple Biology. Must be a homeschool FAIL!

      • AugustineThomas

        Right. You’re a product of the American educational system and you’re trying to look down on home schoolers? Home schoolers have much better grades than people who are products of the failed American “educational” system which is actually a lot more about leftist indoctrination so you guys are so easy to lead around like dumb animals, even if it means murdering your own people until your entire society commits population suicide.

      • Jeani

        See you don’t make any sense at all- MOST homeschoolers are programmed , often by religious nuts. They don’t get grades. Murdering your own people? What the HECK are you talking about, the pro gunners who kill their families and leave their guns around for their children to use to kill themselves?

      • AugustineThomas

        No, the leftists who subsidize doctors ripping children limb from limb in the womb like Nazis at Auschwitz.

      • Jerry Winkler

        Godwin’s law was written about you huh? Look it up, you’re an idiot.

      • AugustineThomas

        So your argument is that ripping a tiny child apart is less evil than shooting a tiny child? Can you explain your logic or you were just hoping to hurl a meaningless insult and call it a day?

      • Jerry Winkler

        What? You’re insane! Godwins law says that the longer an Internet conversation goes on, the more likely hitler is to be referenced, but you skip real, constructive dialogue and just go straight for the hitler shot. That is how we know you are not a serious person with serious thoughts. You jump right past logical arguments and meaningful discussion and go straight into saying liberals are hitler, it’s not very believable. Abortion is completely different than shooting and child. First of, most abortions occur before 8 weeks of pregnancy, when the baby is not even close to being a human. Are you saying that when I masturbate in to a towel, I just committed genocide akin to hitler? You’re insane!

      • willow

        The greater point is we are slaughtering young, vulnerable humans at a horrifying rate- 55 million, or almost 1/6 of the U.S. Population, since the inception of Roe V Wade.

        Too deadly and tragic of a subject to throw around insults and play games with semantics.

      • Fletch

        I agree it is tragic that so many abortions are done. If there was better education, wider access to birth control, and more responsibility on the part of adults having sex these numbers would likely be much lower. Problem is that many of those against abortion actively protest against sex-ed in schools and are against birth control. This is perverse in my opinion.

      • AugustineThomas

        An unborn child is no different from an infant.

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