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Fairy Tales Regarding The Evolution Of The Idea Of Beauty On Discovery Channel

On August 13, 2003, the Discovery Channel broadcast a documentary called Science of Beauty. The documentary dealt with the alleged evolutionary development of the concept of beauty, and contained ever more nonsensical claims on the subject. It attached special importance to the views of evolutionary psychologists, but rather than being science what it related was actually a fairy tale. The illogicalities and unscientific claims in the documentary are set out below.

The origin of the different races is not evolution but God”s creation

The documentary began with a classic claim regarding the different races, suggesting that “Throughout the process of evolution the human body adapted to a great many climates, as a result of which a picture emerged with such distinguishing features as skin colour, hair type, the shape of the eyes and lips, height and weight.” According to the Discovery Channel claim, hot climates led to flat, wide noses and cold climates to small, narrow ones. To put it another way, according to evolutionist claims, people in hot climates had wide noses because they needed to be able to breathe more air and to be protected from the effect of the heat, while the exact opposite applied to people in cold climates. This is a totally illogical claim, bereft of any scientific proof. In order to “acquire characteristics out of need” the cells of the human body would have to be exceedingly conscious, well-informed, aware of the outside world and know what steps needed to be taken. The fact is, however, that cells work as they are programmed to. Their programmes lie in DNA. That being the case, who or what will change that DNA according to the prevailing climate? Evolutionists claim this is done by mutations. These, however, are not conscious and do not behave in line with a specific need or plan. Moreover, 99% of mutations are harmful, and merely damage or destroy what is already in existence. That being the case, what is the force and intelligence which programmes DNA according to different racial characteristics?

It is the infinite wisdom, incomparable intelligence and creative power of God which creates these racial differences and encodes them in human beings” DNA. All racial features have always existed in human beings” gene pools. However, in societies which live in specific areas or climates, people have become healthier since certain traits provide them with greater advantages, for which reason their lines have been able to survive longer. Thus it is that the number of people possessing certain characteristics in specific climates gradually increased. For example, since people with dark skins were able to live more healthily and comfortably in hot climates, and the entire human population in such a region came to have dark skins after a few generations.

The myth that human behaviour is a legacy from our ape ancestors

The documentary Science of Beauty suggests that human behaviour such as “mate selection” is a legacy from our “ancestors” and goes on to say:

People are unaware as they flirt that they are playing the mating game by old rules. Evolutionary psychology studies how the past, inherited from our ancestors, affects present-day behaviour.

According to Discovery Channel, people recognise one another like apes, get on like apes and mate like them! The evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller expands on that theme and says:

We realise that some things are attractive and others not, and there is a deep-rooted reason for his. We are unaware that our preferences are constantly revised at the genetic level, without our being aware of it, and that we are like puppets in this evolutionary game. Yet it still happens. And has been for at least 1 million years. Everything we find sensually beautiful is a legacy of a process of evolutionary revision.

This “process of evolutionary revision at the genetic level” to which Miller refers is the emergence of human beings and human behaviour by their DNA being subjected to mutations. In order to clarify these claims further, what evolutionists are saying is this: “Mutations change our genes, we acquire certain behaviours as a result of that change, these are slightly revised or altered forms of behaviour of our ancestors we share with apes, but essentially our behaviour is a legacy from these animal ancestors.”

This, of course, is a most illogical and unscientific claim to make.

The way a person finds and appreciates beauty in another and takes pleasure in the beauty in the things around him, and the way human beings feel love, friendship, affinity, trust and loyalty for one another, cannot be explained in terms of genes. Humans” feelings and behaviours cannot be reduced to genes. The most obvious proof is this: No matter how much science advances, apes can never be endowed with such abilities as love, devotion, affection, mutual understanding, speech, the sharing of ideas or thought by playing with their genes. No ape can be made human by tampering with its genes. This is a fact accepted by the entire scientific world.

To suggest that something which the most advanced science, with the most developed technology, and scientists possessed of reason, consciousness and knowledge can clearly never do could be performed by mutations, which are 99% harmful and possess no consciousness or intelligence, is illogical and nonsensical beyond words. For that reason, evolutionary psychologists” explanations of human behaviour in terms of evolution are unscientific and unfounded, and most go no further than being hollow words, devoid of any meaning.

In the documentary in question there has been an attempt to give the impression that human behaviour has in fact been accounted for by means of evolution by adding the word “evolution” between sentences. The sentence “Men and women read each others” faces like maps of evolution. What they are looking for is the false signs given off by sexual hormones” is one example of this. What is a “map of evolution”? What has people analysing character when they look in each others” faces to do with reading a “map of evolution”? Every human being forms opinions regarding other people in the light of his intelligence and the perspectives and experiences he has acquired throughout his life. What has this to do with evolution? Evolutionary psychologists in any case fail to offer an explanation of this, making do with using a great many sentences which contain the word evolution.

Another characteristic of evolutionary psychologists is that by setting out the alleged evolutionary origin of the human character and behaviour that emerges with the collapse of the moral values brought with it by religion, they thus seek to justify that behaviour. The evolutionary psychologist Randy Thornhill, for instance, says that: “every man wants to be with a beautiful woman, and women want to marry a man with $10 million, but the number of people able to do these things is very small.” The conclusion Thornhill arrives at from this is: “What the evolutionary process has done is to bring about those things which allow us to make sacrifices.”

We need to recall at this point that, together with Craig T. Palmer, Randy Thornhill is the author of the book The Natural History of Rape. In this book, Thornhill and Palmer maintain that rape is a result of the evolutionary process and it is perfectly normal, from the evolutionary point of view, for males who wish to hand on as many genes as possible to subsequent generations and who are unable to find sufficient women to resort to rape. It is clear that the words of so-called scientists who justify many forms of immorality with such “evolutionary logic” and who encourage moral degeneration, cannot be taken seriously. In fact, not even evolutionists regard the claims made by evolutionary psychologists as scientific. Gabriel Dover, for instance, a professor of genetics, describes evolutionists” ability to tell unlikely tales in a broad range of fields thus:

This problem of just-so story telling … The problem runs much deeper and wider, embracing many new disciplines of evolutionary psychology, Darwinian medicine, linguistics, biological ethics and sociobiology. Here quite vulgar explanations are offered, based on the crudest applications of selection theory, of why we humans are the way we are. There seems no aspect of our psychological make-up that does not receive its supposed evolutionary explanation… 1

Tim Birkhead, professor of behaviour ecology in Sheffield University, makes similar suggestions to the views of Geoffrey Miller in his book The Mating Mind:

With very little effort needing to be made, evolutionary psychology will be left as a theoretical entertainment instead of a true science. 2

The evolutionist palaeontologist Ian Tattersall says:

In the end we are looking here at the product of a storyteller”s art, not of science. 3

It is plain to see that the claims made on Discovery Channel are not scientific at all, but rather nonsensical to the point of being ludicrous. When evolutionists realised that they could not defend the theory of evolution with scientific evidence they invented such pseudo-sciences as evolutionary psychology and tried to give the impression that “everything can be accounted for in terms of evolution.” However, such efforts led to an even greater loss of confidence in the theory of evolution. Even if channels such as Discovery Channel attempt to resurrect the theory with such broadcasts, they are, without realising it, merely underlining the theory”s illogicalities.

1) Dover, Gabriel [Professor of Genetics, University of Leicester], Dear Mr Darwin: Letters on the Evolution of Life and Human Nature, [1999], University of California Press, Berkeley CA, 2000, reprint, p.45.
2) Coyne, Jerry A. Of Vice and Men: The fairy tales of evolutionary psychology, The New Republic (April 3, 2000)
3) Tattersall, I., ‘Whatever turns you on’, review of The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller, New York Times Book Review, 11 June 2000.

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