Awarness in Animals: One of the Dead Ends for the Theory of Evolution
On Earth, Man is the only being possessing intellect and reason. Besides his physical characteristics, the most important features that distinguish him from all other beings are those that derive from his human intellect and powers of reason—the faculties of comparison, decision, reasoning, predicting, planning ahead and taking precautions, comprehension, working toward future goals, and other similar qualities. No other creatures in nature possess such an intellect or high degree of awareness. Therefore, we can't expect animals to plan, anticipate future events, or apply engineering calculations to decide on any issue.
So how can we explain the behaviors, clearly the products of reason and consciousness, so often observed in nature? Especially since some of these behaviors are displayed by beings without a brain! Before moving to answer this question, we can more easily understand its importance if, first, we provide some obvious examples of animal behavior that arise from consciousness and reasoning.
Beaver Dams as Engineering Projects
Beavers calculate like real engineers, work like master builders, and build lodges of extraordinary design. With the same impressive skill, they build dams to slow the outflow of the water in which they build their dwellings. To accomplish this, they have to undergo some highly tedious procedures. First of all, they must obtain a large quantity of logs and branches, as sources of nourishment as well as for building material for the dam and nest. To this end, they fell trees by chewing through the trunks with their teeth. It has been observed that in this process, they assess the suitability of the environment:
Generally, they prefer to work where the prevailing wind blows towards the water. This way, most of the trees they fell fall in the direction of the water making the logs easier for the beavers to transport.
Beaver nests are of a highly complex design. Each lodge has two underwater entries, as well as—just above water level—a larder and, further up, a dry sleeping chamber with a ventilation shaft.
Beavers construct the outside walls of their nests by piling up the building materials they gather, filling every crevice with twigs and mud, making sure not to leave any holes or cavities.
These building materials they use protect the lodge from sliding and keep out the cold. In winter, it becomes blanketed in snow, and even if the temperature outside falls below -35° C (-31° F), the temperature within remains above the freezing point. For when winter food is scarce, they also have a food stash concealed underwater.
Beavers also build a network of canals, each of them approximately one meter (three feet) wide, by which they can reach the trees they feed off, which are typically located on higher and drier ground considerable distances away.
Beavers build their dams of plant matter and stones, in a manner similar to their nests. First they weave branches across the water between the two banks of a stream, forming an interwoven triangular structure. In order to fill in the structure's gaps and raise its height, they work against the current and keep on adding branches and mud, until their dam has finally transformed a narrow stream into a wide pool of calm water. Widening and deepening the water provides them with an ideal environment where they can store food for the winter, as well as area for them to swim freely and more easily transport food and building materials. In addition, it also creates a wide, safe moat around the beavers' lodges that, just like the moat surrounding a human castle, makes it almost impossible for predators to attack them.2
This brief summary shows how every stage of beavers' construction reflects intellect, planning, knowledge and calculation. But it would be irrational to credit the beaver, an animal without intellect or ability to reason, with all these qualities. Therefore we must find an explanation for the source of the beaver's behavior. If this intellect and planning do not belong to the beaver, who does it belong to? The answer is God, Who brings out superior features in beavers, as well as in many other creatures, of which we'll see many examples as we progress through the following chapters. With His infinite reason and power, God has created them, brings out their superior qualities by His inspiration, and commands them to effect their ingenious plans.
The Atlas Moth Caterpillar that Plans a Few Steps Ahead
Obviously, beavers are not the only creatures in nature that plan, calculate, and display rational behavior. One of the other successful creatures in this respect is a species of caterpillar, much smaller than a beaver, in which one would never expect to find the slightest glimmer of intellect. This is the atlas moth caterpillar.
This caterpillar pupates in a cocoon like all other moth caterpillars, concealing itself under a leaf once it has emerged from the larval stage. It does this according to a clever premeditated plan whose every stage requires great skill. Since a fresh green leaf cannot be bent to form a protective shelter, the caterpillar overcomes this problem by the simplest imaginable solution. To serve its purpose, it first ties the leaf to the branch with its silk, so that the leaf won't fall when the caterpillar gnaws through its stem. Inevitably, the cut leaf dries out and, after a while, begins to curl. In this way, the caterpillar obtains an ideal leaf tube in the space of a few hours.
In the first instance, you might think that by hiding in a dry leaf to obtain a safe abode for itself, the caterpillar displayed intelligent behavior. This might well be true. But also, it would present an easy meal. A dry leaf's difference in color would give it away, attracting the attention of birds and spelling doom for the caterpillar.
Here again, the caterpillar acts to prevent itself from being recognized easily. Like a mathematician who makes probability calculations, it prepares five or six other "decoy" leaves just like the one it will enter, and weaves silk around them. In this way, any hungry bird must choose among six or seven dry leaves, only one of which contains the caterpillar's pupa. The others are all dummies. If a bird turns its attention towards any one of the dry leaves, the odds are six to one against its finding the caterpillar.3
It's self-evident that these behaviors are all intelligent and premeditated. But is it really possible for a caterpillar with such a microscopic brain and simple nervous system to display such behavior? The caterpillar does not have the faculty of thought to let it plan ahead. Nor can it possibly have learned this stratagem from another caterpillar and, in reality, it's not even aware of the dangers that birds might present. So who came up with this idea of how to mislead the caterpillar's predators?
Were you to ask an evolutionist these questions, he would never give you clear and satisfying answers. But when cornered there's one expression that evolutionists resort to: instincts. They say that any such animal behaviors are instinctive. In the case we've just examined, the first question they should be asked is, "Define instinct." If such behavior is instinctive, as with the caterpillar concealing itself in a leaf, there must be some mechanism or force that drives it to do so. Similarly, some similar force must impel the beaver to build its dams and lodges. And, as we can deduce by the first syllable of the word instinct, this mechanism or force must lie somewhere within the creature.
What is the Source of Instincts?
Scientists use the word instinct to define animals' inborn behaviors. Always left unanswered, however, are the questions of how these instinctive behaviors first appeared, and how animals developed these instincts and passed them down through later generations.
In his book, The Great Evolution Mystery, evolutionist and geneticist Gordon Rattray Taylor admits this logical dead end:
When we ask ourselves how any instinctive pattern of behaviour arose in the first place and became hereditarily fixed, we are given no answer...4
Some evolutionists, who do not admit this dilemma as Taylor does, try to pass over such questions with vague rhetoric of no specific meaning. According to the theory of evolution, instinctive behaviors are coded in the genes. According to this rationale, bees build their extraordinary and mathematically precise combs because of their instincts. In other words, Someone must have programmed into the genes of all the bees on Earth the instinct of how to construct regular six-sided combs.
If so, everyone of reason and common sense must wonder: If living things act out most of their behaviors because they are programmed to do so, who programmed them in the first place? No program is self-generating or self-fulfilling, and every program must have a programmer who originated it.
Evolutionists can find no answers to this question. In their publications on the subject, they use a convenient smokescreen: the claim that "Mother Nature" gives all creatures their innate qualities. But "Mother Nature" consists of rocks, soil, water, trees, and plants. Which of these elements could possibly make animals behave in a rational, conscious manner? Which part of nature has the intellect or ability to program living creatures? Everything we see in nature has been created and therefore, cannot create on its own. What intelligent person, on seeing a painting, would say, "What a nice picture these pigments have developed"? This is an obviously irrational question. To the same degree, it would be irrational to claim that creatures without intellect can program their own offspring to act rationally and intelligently.
Here, we're confronted with a very clear fact: Since these creatures haven't acquired these superior features with their own intellects but were born with these faculties, some superior Being of intellect and knowledge must have given them these abilities and created them in a way as to display their behaviors. No doubt the owner of the intellect and knowledge we see everywhere in nature is God.
In the Qur'an, God uses bees as an example, saying that it is He Who inspires in them their seemingly intelligent behavior. In other words, God's inspiration is really what evolutionists attempt to explain as instincts, or that animals are "programmed" to do certain things. This reality is revealed in the Qur'an:
Your Lord revealed to the bees: "Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow." From inside them comes a drink of varying colors, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Qur'an, 16: 68-69)
Evolutionists disregard this clear fact, in order to deny the existence of God. In reality, they themselves search for an explanation for observed animal behavior, but are well aware that the theory of evolution cannot explain it. In any current evolutionist book or publication on animal behavior, you will read sentences like, "To do this requires higher intelligence, but how do animals, lacking intellect, do it? This is a question that science cannot answer."
The renowned evolutionist Hoimar Von Ditfurth's comments on the atlas moth caterpillar are a classic example of what evolutionists have to say on the obvious awareness in animal behavior:
The thought of presenting predators with decoys (other dry leaves) in order to conceal itself is astonishing to us, but whose clever idea is this, anyhow? It's an extremely original strategy to send away hungry birds who hunt for caterpillars by reducing the probability of their being discovered among the dry leaves. Who devised it for the caterpillar to use not long after it was hatched? . . . These are methods of survival that intelligent humans might resort to. However, if we consider the primitive central nervous system of the atlas moth caterpillar (Attacus) as well as its other behavior, it's clearly incapable of reasoning or designing along those lines. Then how can this caterpillar protect itself this way? In the past, naturalists who made such observations believed not only in the existence of miracles, but in the existence of a supernatural Creator or God Who, in order to protect His creations, distributed such knowledge for them to defend themselves. Such an explanation is anathema for today's naturalists. But on the other hand, its equally pointless for modern science to try and explain such a phenomenon with instincts. Contrary to what most of us might believe, attributing such behavior to instincts—in this case, the caterpillar's—means interpreting them as inborn. That doesn't get us anywhere else than where we started from, and prevents us from finding true answers to this problem… However, it's well-nigh irrational to speak of the "intelligence" of caterpillars lacking a developed brain. Yet if we look at the behaviors that we've been examining from the start, we do notice that some features meet the criteria of intelligence. If focusing on a goal, predicting future events, calculating the potential behavior of another species, and responding appropriately are not indicators of intelligence, then what is?5
This is a famous evolutionist's attempts to explain the behavior of a small caterpillar that acts with intelligence and planning. In such books or publications, it's not possible to find other comments or explanations, aside from this sort of demagogic sentences and unanswered questions.
Actually Charles Darwin, father of the theory of evolution, realized the threat that animals' instinctive behavior posed to his theory. In his book, On the Origins of Species, he admitted this clearly, here as well as in other places:
Many instincts are so wonderful that their development will probably appear to the reader a difficulty sufficient to overthrow my whole theory.6
In The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Francis Darwin, Darwin's son, relates his father's dilemma over instincts:
Chapter III of [The Origin of Species], which concludes the first part, treats of the variations which occur in the instincts and habits of animals… It seems to have been placed thus early in the Essay to prevent the hasty rejection of the whole theory by a reader to whom the idea of natural selection acting on instincts might seem impossible. This is the more probable, as the Chapter on Instinct in the "Origin" is specially mentioned (Introduction, page 5) as one of the "most apparent and gravest difficulties on the theory."7
Instincts Do Not Develop Through Evolution
Proponents of this theory say that most animal behavior is instinctive, but as we stated before, evolutionists cannot explain the source of instincts, how they first arose, or how animals acquired their apparently knowledgeable behavior. When some evolutionists feel cornered, they claim that animals acquire some behaviors through experience, and the process of natural selection automatically chooses the most successful ones, which are then passed on to the next generation, through inheritance.
You need not reflect too deeply to detect the scientific flaws in this logic. We can now proceed to examine the errors in these evolutionists' claims.
1. Invalidating the Claim thatAdvantageous Behaviors are Chosen Through Natural Selection
Natural selection, one of the central mechanisms of the theory that Darwin proposed, means that any change (either physical or behavioral) beneficial to an animal is selected in preference over others and thus becomes a permanent feature, to be passed on to the next generation.
But here is a crucially important point that we shouldn't disregard: Darwin's theory presumes that nature is able to distinguish between beneficial and harmful, thus making conscious decisions. However, no force or consciousness existing in nature is capable of such a feat. Neither the animal itself nor any other creature has the faculties to determine which behaviors are beneficial. Only a conscious Being of intellect Who has created both nature and animals can make such selections.
Darwin himself admitted the impossibility of acquiring complex and beneficial behavior by means of natural selection. He confessed that his claims owe more to imagination than to science and are therefore flawed. Nevertheless, he persisted:
Finally, it may not be a logical deduction, but to my imagination it is far more satisfactory to look at such instincts as the young cuckoo ejecting its foster-brothers, ants making slaves… not as specially endowed or created instincts, but as small consequences of one general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.8
Professor Cemal Yildirim, one of Turkey's foremost evolutionists, admits that natural selection cannot explain mothers' tenderness and love for their offspring:
Can a mother's love be explained by the blind process of natural selection, which has no spiritual aspects? For such questions, it's hardly possible for Darwinist biologists to give satisfactory answers.9
In living creatures that are devoid of intellect and reason, there are some innate "spiritual" qualities that they could not have acquired by their own will. Therefore, there must exist some power that gives it to them. Neither nature nor the process of natural selection possess awareness and spiritual qualities, so therefore, they cannot be these qualities' source. The obvious reality is that all beings live under the will and control of God. This is why, so often in the natural world, we witness extremely conscious behavior in unthinking animals that makes us ask, "How can any animal know this?" or "How could this creature think that?"
2. Invalidating the Claim that Behavior Can Be Acquired through Natural Selection and Passed on to the Next Generation
The second of the evolutionists' claims is the behaviors that surviving individuals acquire can be passed on to the future generations. But this assertion is full of inconsistencies. First of all, even if animals learn a behavior by means of experience, it's impossible for them to pass it down to their offspring. The learned behavior belongs to—and stops with—the animal that acquired it. It's definitely impossible to pass on learned behaviors via the gene pool.
Evolutionist Gordon R. Taylor, whom we quoted earlier, dismisses some biologists' claim that an organism's behavior can be passed down to its later offspring:
Biologists assume freely that such inheritance of specific behavior patterns is possible, and indeed that it regularly occurs. Thus [the late Theodosius] Dobzhansky [an evolutionist Professor of Zoology] roundly asserts: 'All bodily structures and functions, without exception, are products of heredity realized in some sequence of environments. So are all forms of behavior, without exception.' This simply isn't true and it is lamentable that a man of Dobzhansky's standing should dogmatically assert it. Some forms of behavior are, certainly; we have no way of knowing that all are.
But the plain fact is that the genetic mechanism shows not the slightest sign of being able to convey specific behavior patterns. What it does is manufacture proteins. By producing more of certain hormones it could affect behavior in an overall way— making the animal more aggressive, more passive or perhaps even more maternal. But there is not the faintest indication that it can hand on a behavioral programme of a specific kind, such as the sequence of actions involved in nest building.
If in fact behavior is heritable, what are the units of behavior which are passed on—for presumably there are units? No one has suggested an answer.10
As Gordon Taylor stated, it's highly unscientific to assert that complex behavioral patterns are inbred. Conscious serial actions, like birds building nests, beavers constructing dams or bees making honeycombs, are of a complexity that requires foresight. The fact that worker bees and ants are sterile present another convincing proof that behavior cannot be inbred.
The colony's worker ants display specific behavior that requires a certain level of knowledge and no little skill at evaluation. However, worker ants can't possibly acquire any of it genetically because they are sterile and cannot pass on their features to the next generation. We must ask evolutionists this question: How did the first worker ant that acquired its specific behavior pass it along to the next generation? Not just ants, but also sterile worker bees and termites display behaviors requiring intelligence, skill, solidarity, discipline, teamwork and devotion. But from the day these creatures first appeared, millions of years ago, they have been unable to pass on any of their acquired characteristics.
Furthermore, it can't be said that they learned their extraordinary behaviors. All these creatures begin to display these behaviors perfectly, from the first moment they emerged from their pupae. They do not go through any learning process on any subject; all their behavior is determined according to knowledge they have at birth. This is equally true for the "instinctive" behaviors of all other living beings anywhere on earth. If this is so, who does teach them these skills?
Darwin voiced this contradiction 150 years ago:
. . . [I]t would be a serious error to suppose that the greater number of instincts have been acquired by habit in one generation, and then transmitted by inheritance to succeeding generations. It can be clearly shown that the most wonderful instincts with which we are acquainted, namely, those of the hive-bee and of many ants, could not possibly have been acquired by habit.11
If a working ant or other neuter insect had been an ordinary animal, I should have unhesitatingly assumed that all its characters had been slowly acquired through natural selection; namely, by individuals having been born with slight profitable modifications, which were inherited by the off-spring; and that these again varied and again were selected, and so onwards. But with the working ant we have an insect differing greatly from its parents, yet absolutely sterile; so that it could never have transmitted successively acquired modifications of structure or instinct to its progeny. It may well be asked, how is it possible to reconcile this case with the theory of natural selection?12
Darwin's objection remains unanswered by evolutionists today.
The evolutionist Cemal Yildirim expresses the dilemma that this subject presents to his fellow evolutionists:
From among the social insects, let us take the worker ants and bees. Since they are sterile, it's impossible for them to pass on to later generations whatever characteristics and modifications they may have acquired during their lives. And yet these workers have adapted to their environment and way of behavior in an advanced manner.13
As we can see from these admissions, the astounding behavior of living things and their instincts cannot be explained by evolutionary mechanisms. These animals' skills are not acquired by the processes of natural selection, nor is it possible to transfer them, through inheritance, from one generation to the next.
3. Invalidating the Claim that Instincts Evolve and Change Along with a Species
The theory of evolution claims that species evolve from one another. According to this proposition, amphibians—for instance—evolved from fish. But it must not be forgotten that each species' behavior is distinct. A fish behaves completely different from an amphibian. If so, did the creature's behavior change according to the biological changes that took place?
This question highlights the evolutionists' dilemmas and contradictions. Darwin was well aware of them and even questioned the proposition that instincts can be acquired and then evolve through natural selection:
. . . [C]an instincts be acquired and modified through natural selection? What shall we say to the instinct which leads the bee to make cells, and which has practically anticipated the discoveries of profound mathematicians?14
We can multiply these contradictions by giving the examples of other living classes such as fish, reptiles, and birds:
Fish have their own unique ways of hunting, building and defending their nests, and propagating their species. These characteristics harmonize perfectly with their existing underwater living conditions. In the breeding season, some fish adhere their eggs to rocks under water and increase the oxygen flow to them by fanning their fins. Birds, on the other hand, conceal their eggs in specially constructed nests and hatch them through incubation.
Some fish build nests in rock cavities in the water, and some land animals build nests on trees using bark and twigs as building materials, whereas birds use grass and other fine matter. On the other hand, some reptiles such as crocodiles, bury their eggs in sand where they remain for their two-month incubation period.
Mammals, which evolutionists claim to have evolved from reptiles, reproduce altogether differently from other class of animals. While all other species lay eggs, mammals carry their young in their womb for months before giving birth to them, and then feed their babies with mother's milk.
Each animal hunts for food in a different way. Some lurk in ambush over an extended period, others camouflage themselves, and yet others use the advantages of speed or flight. As we know, land animals' behavior varies considerably from that of water dwellers, all depending on their environment and living conditions.
Under these circumstances, animals' instincts must undergo great changes during the evolutionary process. For instance if a fish, following its instincts, sticks its eggs onto a rock and stirs up the water to provide an oxygen flow to them, this inner drive must also change, in the process of its evolving into a land animal. Furthermore, this instinct must change further, to the extent where the species starts building perfect nest structures high above the ground to incubate its eggs.
This is clearly not possible.
Yet another difficulty presents itself: If a species' biological makeup and therefore, its living environment change, but its behavior does not, then it cannot survive. For instance, a fish able to conceal itself in the oceans must quickly develop new defense mechanisms for itself, wasting no time. All of its bodily functions, behavior, and way of life must change at once. Otherwise, it is doomed, and its species will quickly die out along with it.
Obviously a creature devoid of logic and awareness cannot make such sudden decisions requiring reason and strategy. How come, then, that all living things can behave in the most perfect ways, each one befitting its biological and environmental conditions?
In The Origin of Species, Darwin refers to this criticism:
It has been objected to the foregoing view of the origin of instincts that "the variations of structure and of instinct must have been simultaneous and accurately adjusted to each other, as a modification in the one without an immediate corresponding change in the other would have been fatal."15
As we have seen, neither evolutionary processes, nor coincidences, nor "Mother Nature" can explain the behavior of animals and the true origins of instincts. How did species acquire the qualities that enable them to continue their existence?
Actually, the answer is clear and obvious. Anyone who has observed living organisms must agree that clearly, these behaviors neither originate in them nor are the product of successive "selective" coincidences. The true source for animal behavior is to be found neither in their bodies nor in their environment. It is self-evident that these behaviors are governed by an invisible power and intellect, which belong to God, the most compassionate and merciful.
Conclusion: All Living Things Act on the Urging and Behest of God
As we've seen in the previous pages, evolutionists dealing with the subject of animal behavior are facing serious difficulties. On the other hand, the truth is clear. If animals, which clearly do not have intellect or the ability to reason, can discriminate between details, link up events, make the proper decisions, and plan for or predict subsequent events that require intelligence and awareness, they must be governed and directed by some power outside themselves. Evolutionists say that animals are "programmed" to behave in certain ways—but who created their programs? What power inspires the bees to build their combs? The answer is clear and obvious. Every person who has observed living things can clearly see that these behaviors neither originate in them nor are the product of successive coincidences. It is self-evident that there is an intellect and power that controls everything in nature and governs these behaviors. The owner of this intellect and power is God, the Creator of all there is.
The theory of evolution cannot even explain how any organism came into being, much less explain the source of that being's behavior. Therefore, it's of great importance to observe animal behavior, because doing so quickly reveals that no creature is left to its own devices. It is God, the Lord of everything on earth, in the heavens and in between, Who creates every being from nothing, controls it, guards it, and commands its behavior. As the Qur'an reveals:
[Hud said], "I have put my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord. There is no creature He does not hold by the forelock. My Lord is on a Straight Path." (Qur'an, 11: 56)
Animals' Devotion Belies Darwin's Thesis that Only the Fittest Survive
As we have examined over the last few pages, the natural selection process that Darwin proposed suggests that those animals that are strongest and best adapted to their geography's living conditions can survive and continue their species, whereas those that have not adapted well and are weak in comparison perish. According to Darwinism's natural selection scenario, nature is an arena in which all creatures are engaged with one another in a fierce struggle for survival, and where weak individuals succumb to the stronger, leading to the extinction of their species.
According to this claim, every being needs to be stronger, fitter than its counterparts, and must fight to survive. Such an environment leaves no room for devotion, selflessness or cooperation, because any of these traits could work against the animal in question. For this reason, each individual must be as selfish as possible and consider only its own needs—its food, personal safety, and defending its nest.
Is nature really full of selfish and fiercely competitive individuals, where each animal is pitted against every other, trying to destroy or subdue one another?
So far, all the observations made in this respect belie evolutionists. Contrary to their claim, nature is not an arena governed by warfare alone. Quiet the opposite is true. There are many examples of devoted animals that often endanger their own lives, displaying selfless behavior at their own expense for the good of the herd, and intelligent group behavior with no personal benefit. In his book Evrim Kurami ve Bagnazlik (The Theory of Evolution and Bigotry), Cemal Yildirim—though himself an evolutionist, explains why Darwin and other evolutionists of his time concluded that nature is a battleground:
Scientists of the nineteenth century were easily misled into adopting the thesis that nature is a battlefield, because more often than not, they were imprisoned in their studies or laboratories and generally didn't bother to acquaint themselves with nature directly. Not even a respectable scientist like Huxley could exempt himself from this error.16
In his book, Mutual Aid: A Factor in Evolution, evolutionist Peter Kropotkin expresses the error of Darwin and his followers as follows:
... the numberless followers of Darwin reduced the notion of struggle for existence to its narrowest limits. They came to conceive the animal world as a world of perpetual struggle among half-starved individuals, thirsting for one another's blood. . . . In fact, if we take Huxley, who certainly is considered as one of the ablest exponents of the theory of evolution, were we not taught by him, in a paper on the "Struggle for Existence and its Bearing upon Man," that, "from the point of view of the moralist, the animal world is on about the same level as a gladiators' show. The creatures are fairly well treated, and set to, fight hereby the strongest, the swiftest, and the cunningest live to fight another day." . . . [I]t may be remarked at once that Huxley's view of nature had as little claim to be taken as a scientific deduction.17
This state of affairs also indicates that this theory is not based on scientific observation. To support their evolutionist ideology, scientists have misinterpreted some clear features of nature. The war that Darwin imagined taking place in nature is nothing more than imaginary, because there aren't creatures who fight solely for their own gain. Many animals are friendly with others of their species and even behave selflessly. For this reason, evolutionists find it hard to explain such selfless behavior they regularly encounter. An article on the subject published in a scientific magazine exposes this dilemma:
The question is, Why do living beings help one another? According to Darwin's theory, every animal is fighting for its own survival and the continuation of its species. Helping other creatures would decrease its own chances of surviving, and therefore, evolution should have eliminated this type of behavior, whereas we observe that animals can indeed behave selflessly.18
Honeybees sting, even kill any animal that threatens their hive. But in stinging, they will have committed suicide. The barb of their sting breaks off in the adversary, taking with it part of the bee's lower abdomen and some of its internal organs. As we see here, the bee sacrifices its own life for the survival of the rest of the hive.
Male and female penguins protect their young even to the death. Both parents are totally devoted to their young. The male penguin shelters its baby between its legs for four months and during this period, it cannot feed. The female penguin goes in the sea, hunting for food for the baby and transports it back in its gullet.
The crocodile is one of the most ferocious animals, but the female crocodile shows astonishing devotion to her offspring. Once they hatch from their eggs, she carries them to the water in her jaws. From then on, she will keep them either in her mouth or on her body until they become self-sufficient. When the baby crocodiles encounter danger, they instantly seek refuge in their mother's mouth.
The crocodile is not just ferocious, but also an animal devoid of reason and logic. It would not be surprising, therefore, if she were to eat her young for food instead of protecting them.
Some animal mothers are forced to leave their own communities until their offspring are weaned, which exposes them to great dangers. Many species look after their young after they are born or hatched for many days or months and, in some cases, even years, providing them with food, shelter, warmth and protection from predators. Many species of birds feed their fledglings between four and 20 times an hour throughout the day. Mammal mothers have a different set of problems to deal with, for while suckling their babies, they need increased nourishment and therefore, need to hunt for more food. While her baby gains weight, she continues to lose it.
Animals without foresight or reason could be expected to desert their offspring at birth, because they could not be aware that those tiny creatures signify the survival of their species as a whole. Yet instead, they take all the responsibility of caring for their young entirely upon themselves.
Animals do not behave selflessly simply because they protect their young. In many cases, animals have been seen to behave very considerately and constructively toward other animals in their community. One example for this can be observed when food becomes scarce. In such a situation, one might assume that the stronger individuals would eliminate the others and seek to keep the limited resources for themselves. But things don't happen the way evolutionists would expect. In his book, the renowned evolutionist Peter Kropotkin gives examples of such behavior: In situations where food resources dry up, he states, ants begin to draw from their food stores. Birds migrate in flocks. And in a stream where the number of beavers becomes unsustainable, the younger ones migrate north, and the older ones south.19 As these facts demonstrate, no merciless struggle for food or shelter is going on. To the contrary, it can be observed that even in the hardest of times, there is solidarity and cooperation in nature, as if each animal were trying to help ease the conditions for the others.
We must not disregard one important point: None of these animals possesses the intelligence or awareness to make such decisions or to create such a protocol. How is it, then, that they can set a common goal to which they all adhere—and that their chosen aim can be the most effective of all?
There is no creature on the Earth which is not dependent upon God for its provision. He knows where it lives and where it dies. They are all in a Clear Book. (Qur'an, 11: 6)
In the face of these realities, the evolutionists' claim that nature is a battlefield, that the selfish ones that fight in their own self-interest come out on top, is unsustainable. The famous evolutionist John Maynard Smith asks his fellow evolutionists the following question:
Here one of the key questions has to do with altruism:How is it that natural selection can favor patterns of behavior that apparently do not favor the survival of the individual?20
The "Instinct" for Continuing the Species
As we saw in the preceding pages, evolutionists cannot explain the important subject of animals' devotional behavior... The many examples observed in nature disprove the central propositions of the theory of evolution. The late Stephen Jay Gould, a renowned evolutionist, stated that acts of devotion in nature pose "the vexatious problem of altruism."21 Gordon R. Taylor, giving voice to the evolutionists' woes, says that living beings' devotional behavior "has long presented a challenge for Darwinism."22 Wholly "spiritual" qualities like care and compassion deal a clear sharp blow to the materialist worldview that views nature as the sum total of random interactions of matter.
Some evolutionists, refusing to admit defeat, came up with a proposition they termed "selfish gene theory." Richard Dawkins, one of the most ardent adherents and the pioneer of this position, claims that what appears to be selfless devotion is really driven by egotism. According to his view, animals displaying devotional behavior are doing so not because they want to help others of their species, but are acting on behalf of their own genes. To put this idea in context, any animal mother who sacrifices her life for her young is thereby helping pass along her genes. If her offspring survive, they will be more likely to perpetuate her genetic characteristics to the next generation. According to this rationale, all creatures—humans included—are simply "gene machines." Every living organism's foremost responsibility is to pass its genes along for future generations.
Evolutionists claim that living things behave according to their programming, to "want" to continue the species by transmitting their genes along to future generations. The following quote, from the evolutionary book Essentials of Biology, is a fine example of the explanations that classical evolutionists offer for animal behavior:
What might account for potentially self-destructive behavior? At least some altruistic acts are reputed to stem from so-called selfish genes. Parents that work themselves ragged to feed insatiable offspring or go without food as long as a predator is near are probably carrying out genetically programmed behavior—behavior that increases the chances of parental genes within the offspring being passed on to yet another generation. These innate, instinctive responses to predators may seem "purposeful" to the human observer, but in fact they are behavioral programs triggered by sights, sounds, odors, and other cues.23
This quotation says, in effect, that animals' behavior looks as if it has a purpose, an "ulterior motive"—but that these organisms don't commit these acts consciously, much less in order to serve any future end, but simply because they are "programmed to do so." The question that needs asking is this: What is the source of this programming? Yes, genes are encoded data banks, but they cannot think or reason. Genes do not possess intelligence or judgment; so therefore, if a living being's genes contained an order demanding selfless devotion, the gene itself could not be the source of it.
For example, if you press a computer's ON\OFF button, it will shut down—because an intelligent, conscious, knowledgeable programmer designed it to do so. Notice the distinction: The computer does not do this by itself; the button did not become by chance, through trial and error, a device that switches the computer off. Some engineer designed this switch, consciously and deliberately.
In this case, even if a creature's genes were programmed to act selflessly so that the species might continue, this would clearly indicate the existence of an intelligent, knowledgeable power that programmed the genes this way in the first place. God is this power, and He directs all living things, supervises them, and commands their actions—as the Qur'an reveals:
Everything in the heavens and every creature on the Earth prostrates to God, as do the angels. They are not puffed up with pride. They fear their Lord above them and do everything they are ordered to do. (Qur'an, 16: 49-50)
It is God Who created the seven heavens and of the Earth the same number, the Command descending down through all of them, so that you might know that God has power over all things and that God encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Qur'an, 65: 12)
Living Creatures Help not Only Related Animals with the Same Genes, but Other Species Too
In Chapter 3, we'll see more detailed examples of animals that help not only their own young, but also other animals in need. This is an irresolvable issue for the evolutionists, because this behavior does nothing to pass genes along. The following example by the renowned evolutionist John Maynard Smith openly exposes the theory of evolution's dilemma:
In spite of male baboon's lack of genetic relationship, they do display one type of cooperative behavior. When two baboons are in some kind of contest, one of them may enlist the aid of a third baboon. The soliciting baboon asks for help with an easily recognized signal, turning its head repeatedly back and forth between its opponent and its potential assistant.24
Clearly, in short, animals help one another and act selflessly because God commands them to do so.
As we continue through the book, we'll see many more examples of selfless altruism, compassion, and devotion. It must not be forgotten that God has created these animals in the most perfect way, making them behave in this way.
2.John Sparks, The Discovery of Animal Behaviour (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1982), pp. 114-117.
3.Hoimar von Ditfurth, Dinazorların Sessiz Gecesi 1 (Turkish translation of the German original of Im Amfang War Der Wasserstoff ((In the Beginning Was Hydrogen)), (Istanbul: Alan Publishing, Nov. 1996) Trans. By Veysel Atayman, pp. 12-19.
4.Gordon Rattray Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery (London: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, 1983), p. 222.
5.Ditfurth, Dinazorların Sessiz Gecesi 1, pp. 12-19
6.Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (New York: The Modern Library), p. 184.
7.Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1896), Letter of C. Darwin to J. D. Hooker, Down, March 1, 1854.
8.Darwin, C., The Origin of Species, p. 208.
9.Cemal Yildirim, Evrim Kurami ve Bagnazlik (The Theory of Evolution and Bigotry) (Ankara: Bilgi Publishing House, January 1998), p. 185.
10.Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery, p. 221.
11.Darwin, C., The Origin of Species, p. 185.
12.Ibid., p. 204., p. 221.
13.Cemal Yildirim, Evrim Kurami ve Bagnazlik (The Theory of Evolution and Bigotry), p. 34.
14.Darwin, C., The Origin of Species, p. 124.
15.Ibid., p. 124.
16.Cemal Yildirim, Evrim Kurami ve Bagnazlik (The Theory of Evolution and Bigotry), p. 49.
17.Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, Chapter I. (http://www.spunk.org/library/writers/kropotki/sp001503/index.html)
18.Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technology Journal), no. 190, September 1983, p. 4.
19.Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, Chapter II.
20.John Maynard Smith, "The Evolution of Behavior", Scientific American, September 1978, Vol. 239, no. 3, p. 176.
21.Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery, p. 223.
22. Ibid., p.223.
23.Janet L. Hopson and Norman K. Wessells, Essentials of Biology (USA: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, 1990), p. 838.
24.John Maynard Smith, "The Evolution of Behavior", Scientific American, September 1978, Vol. 239, no. 3, p. 184.