The altruistic behavior seen in living things cannot be explained by evolutionists. (See Altruism.) For example, male and female penguins defend their offspring literally to the death. The male penguin keeps its young chick between its feet for an uninterrupted period of four months, eating nothing during that time. Meanwhile, the female penguin swims through the sea hunting for food for her offspring, and carries what she finds in her craw. Such altruistic behavior, of which a great many examples can be seen in nature, undermines the fundamental premise of the theory of evolution.
Indeed, the well-known evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould describes "the vexatious problem of altruism"214 in nature. The evolutionist Gordon Rattray Taylor writes that the altruistic behavior in living things "has long presented a challenge for Darwinism," 215 making it clear what a dilemma evolutionists face in the area. Nature contains instances of altruism and affection, which are completely non-material values, which deals a mortal blow to the materialist view that sees all of nature as random interactions of matter.
However, unwilling to admit the invalidity of evolutionary scenarios, some evolutionists came up with the so-called Selfish Gene Theory. According to this claim, whose leading proponent was Richard Dawkins, one of the most avid present-day proponents of evolution, behavior that appears to be altruistic actually stems from selfishness, in exhibiting altruistic behavior, animals are actually thinking of preserving their genes rather than of helping another living thing. In sacrificing her own life for that of her offspring, a mother is actually protecting her own genes. If her offspring survive, there will be a greater chance of her genes being handed on to the subsequent generations.
According to this perspective, all living things, human beings included, are gene machines. And every living thing's most important task is to be able to hand on its genes to later generations.
Evolutionists say that living things are programmed to continue their own bloodlines and to wish to pass on their genes, and so behave in a manner appropriate to that programming. The following quote is an example of the classic evolutionist account of animal behavior:
What could 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. 216
Consequently, evolutionists say that at first sight, the behavior of living things may appear to be deliberate. But in fact, living things engage in such behavior unconsciously, not in a manner directed towards a particular objective, but because they are programmed to do so. Yet the genes proposed as the source of this programming consist of coded packages of information, with no ability to think. Therefore, if an animal's genes possess an instruction that predisposes it to altruistic behavior, then the source of that instruction cannot be the gene itself. That a living thing is programmed to engage in altruistic behavior to transmit its genes on to subsequent generations clearly shows the existence of a Power possessed of reason and knowledge to program those genes in such a way, and therefore clearly demonstrates the existence of Allah.
214. Gordon Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery, p. 223.
216. Janet L. Hopson, Norman K. Wessells, Essentials of Biology, McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, Vol. 45, 1990, pp. 837-839.