Survival of the dumbest

Ah, Creationists. If there ever was proof that mankind descended from monkeys, they could be it. But, as Creationist would point out: How come there are still monkeys???

Recently, during a ‘debate’ (not really), I heard a rather odd argument put forward by a devout believer: Since atheists believe (argh!) in Evolution, that means that we must advocate survival of the strongest, making us a bunch of asocial pathological egotists.

Let’s put aside the fact that instead of ‘believing in’ evolution we are convinced by the facts – someone who thinks that faith generates knowledge will not grasp the difference. Furthermore, we’ll also ignore that even if Evolution teaches that only the strong survive, that does not mean that we advocate applying this principle to society. A Christian believes that god created this earth, and therefore all diseases. Yet she does not believe that you should leave a disease untreated just because god gave it to you. So why should someone who thinks Evolution is at work advocate applying it to everything?

What bugged me most, though, was the idea that Evolution means ‘survival of the strongest’. It’s a common misconception, not limited to fundamental believers.

So I tried to explain that evolution actually postulates that instead of ‘only the strongest’, it ‘favors whoever is best adapted‘.

And then I tripped myself up: I tried to illustrate this with how the dinosaurs became extinct; how only small, weak mammals survived while the great, strong lizards died out.

This didn’t go over well with someone who believes the world is only a couple of millennia old.

It’s somewhat gratifying to know that eventually, these nuts will go the way of the dodo.