To answer Darek Isaacs…

Darek-IsaacsThis guy here is Darek Isaacs, a “creation scientist” (I hate that term; it’s not science) with a history of saying stupid things. They include the claim that dragons were real. He pops up on my radar every now and then and always makes me roll my eyes, but this time I just had to say something.

His latest anti-evolution rhetoric is to imply that if evolution is true, then rape must be acceptable. The logic goes like this: if evolution is all about lots and lots of breeding, how could it be wrong to force a woman to breed with a man? In his exact words, “If evolution is true … is rape wrong”?

I’m sure an evolutionary biologist or other scientist could refute this with ease, but even I can immediately come up with a couple of very good reasons to give Isaacs a resounding yes. Rape is always wrong, and so are you.

Firstly, evolution has never been all about males, and it has never been all about males breeding with whichever female they want or doing so forcefully. Many animals operate under a “female choice” system, where males put on a display of some sort and the females choose the male they find most suitable. All evolution relies on (in sexually reproducing organisms) is the mutation and recombination of DNA, and both genders contribute equally to the DNA of the offspring. If rape were the way to transmit your DNA, a male would only be transmitting it to individuals incapable of fending him off (for a variety of reasons, including physical weakness or lack of familial protection), thus potentially creating offspring – both male and female – with inherited vulnerabilities. Hardly a long-term strategy.

Secondly, cultural evolution is just as real as biological evolution. Regardless of what biological imperatives we operate under as animals, humans (and indeed many other animals) have developed various ways of navigating the intricacies involved in being sociable. Moral codes are one way in which social animals ensure they can function cohesively, morality enables us to be a society rather than a collection of squabbling individuals. Morality, in modern western societies, forbids rape.

Darek Isaacs is one of a great many creationists who attempt to deny evolution whilst knowing absolutely nothing about it. It doesn’t take a great deal of effort, not even a degree, to obtain a basic understanding. Even a simple Google search could easily fill in the vast gaps in his understanding of what evolution is, what it does, and how it does it. I’m not even asking him to stop being a creationist, only to have some knowledge of what it is he attempts to refute so that he can argue effectively. Instead, he creates a strawman – he presents arguments against points that don’t exist, he denies things that no evolutionary scientist actually believes. How is that a discussion? It’s childish.