Feature Article - September 2012
by Do-While Jones

Homo Mysterious

An evolutionist makes a compelling case against human evolution.

We encourage everyone to read Homo Mysterious, by Dr. David P. Barash, published by Oxford University Press. Its subtitle is, “Evolutionary puzzles of Human Nature.” The real mystery is how an evolutionist could write a book filled with scientific evidence against evolution, and still believe in evolution. In the first chapter, Dr. Barash writes,

In Homo Mysterious, you will be introduced to the ocean of unknowns, as well as the major hypotheses that currently occupy scientists who are attempting to unravel each puzzle (including some proposed here for the first time). Like science courses, nearly all science books describe what we know, thereby giving the impression that we know nearly everything, whereas the reality is exactly the opposite: We know very little compared to how much we don’t. Homo Mysterious is designed for readers likely to be challenged by the blank spots on the human evolutionary map, the terra incognita of our own species. 1

Rather than leave blank spots on the map, most other evolutionists seem compelled to draw roads that aren’t there. It is our belief that an incomplete map is better than an incorrect one. Dr. Barash apparently agrees with us because, in subsequent chapters, he presents evolutionary puzzle after evolutionary puzzle, all the proposed evolutionary explanations for those puzzles, and compelling arguments why all those evolutionary explanations are wrong, leaving blank spots on the evolutionary map.

Summary of Arguments

We aren’t going to repeat the details of all his scientific arguments against evolution because we really want you to read them for yourself. Besides, that would take us hundreds of pages. Instead, we will briefly summarize his arguments, hoping to tease you into buying the book.

Sex

Chapters 2 and 3 deal with human sexuality. They are essential a two semester high school course in sex education, only raunchier. These chapters tell you more than you really need to know about the female body, unless you are a gynecologist.

The first notable mystery begins when a girl becomes a woman: menstruation. Although a few other species bleed slightly at mid-cycle, no other organism does so as prominently as Homo sapiens. 2

He explains why, from an evolutionary perspective, menstration is disadvantageous (as if women didn’t already know). He goes through several evolutionary explanations, and proves them all wrong.

The only explanation he doesn’t think worth exploring is the “especially foolish … theological assertion that it constitutes part of the punishment inflicted by a vengeful deity upon a disobedient Eve.” 3 Throughout the book, he never misses an opportunity to say something nasty about religion. In fact, he devotes two entire chapters to explaining why religion doesn’t make any sense; but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

A recurrent theme throughout the book is that there is nothing more important than sex. Evolution is all about producing more offspring than competing organisms do, so every aspect of a creature should have something to do with improved reproduction.

Given this mindset, Dr. Barash is puzzled by concealed ovulation. Other species overtly advertise when they are most fertile, encouraging sexual intercourse at the optimum time. Why don’t humans? There is no good evolutionary explanation.

Why do men have nipples? Why do women have large breasts when they aren’t lactating? Since breast size really has nothing to do with fertility or vitality, why are men attracted to female breasts? We will demurely allow you to find out for yourself what he says about orgasm.

Menopause makes the least sense of all from an evolutionary perspective. Other species are fertile as long as they live. Why aren’t humans?

Given the assumption that the first living things were asexual, how and why did sex evolve in the first place? There is neither a mechanism nor a reason for it.

Chapter 4 is devoted to homosexuality. If there is a “gay gene,” the theory of evolution would predict that it would quickly be eliminated from the gene pool for the obvious reason. He spent 52 pages trying (unsuccessfully) to find an evolutionary explanation for homosexuality.

Art and Music

Chapters 5 and 6 deal with the arts. Why did humans evolve a love of music? How do fine arts improve our fitness for survival and increase our reproductive success? How does strawberry cheesecake benefit our species?

The book makes it clear that the two things Dr. Barash hates the most are strawberry cheesecake and religion—not necessarily in that order; and for the same reason. Humans crave both but, in his opinion, they aren’t good for us.

We don’t want to give away too much of the book, so you will have to read his thoughts on how music might make you more successful with the ladies (or not).

Religion

Chapters 7 and 8 deal with the “problem” of religion. Why did humans evolve such “irrational” beliefs? Here’s the fundamental paradox that puzzles him: If the theory of evolution were true, then religion would not have evolved! The mere existence of religion argues against the fundamental principles of evolution. That’s why he spends 74 pages trying (unsuccessfully) to explain it.

Let us remind you that it is not our belief that he was unsuccessful explaining these things—he is the one who says there are no good evolutionary explanations.

The Human Brain

Perhaps our favorite chapter was chapter 9, in which he contemplates the human brain.

Accordingly, here is a paradox along with mystery: As clever as we are, we aren’t smart enough to figure out why we became so clever! 4

In past newsletters we have examined the evolutionists’ speculative connection between tool use and brain development, fire and brain development, bipedality and brain development, and social interaction and brain development. Evolutionists have come up with all sorts of fanciful stories about how and why humans evolved big brains. Dr. Barash examines them all, and debunks them all even more rigorously than we have.

Other evolutionists have previously noted how “costly,” and thermodynamically improbable, a big brain is. Dr. Barash explains the problem this way:

And a big brain is very, very costly. Its 100 billion nerve cells are highly nonrandom, hooked together via perhaps 100 trillion carefully orchestrated connections. Such a device is devilishly difficult to encode, requiring more than its fair share of precious DNA. Moreover, even after it is constructed, the human brain is extraordinarily expensive to maintain. It uses up an inordinate amount of metabolic energy. Although it occupies only about 2% of the body’s weight, it accounts for roughly 20% of our total metabolism, compared to 10% or so for most mammals, including chimpanzees. … For an animal like ourselves, a product of natural selection like all other living things, to have evolved a brain like this, we must have needed it very, very badly. But for what? 5

In a word, his answer is, “sex.”

We have already noted that the human mind did not develop as a calculator designed to solve logical problems. Rather it evolved for a very limited purpose, one that is ultimately no different from that of the heart, lungs, or kidneys; the job of the brain is simply to enhance the reproductive success of the body within which it resides … 6

The Meaning of Life

One theme that is repeated over and over in his book is the notion that there is no meaning to life other than to procreate. It totally dominates his thoughts. Every mystery is answered in terms of how it will increase reproductive success. Sex isn’t the answer to every question, so he has lots of unanswered questions.

Stay tuned. (Note to my editor at Oxford University Press: Maybe we should start thinking about a follow-up book, Homo Mysterious v. 2.0, to cover the “missing link,” crying, laughing, yawning, blushing, suicide, morality and ethics, the unconscious, the evolution of emotions, and our evolutionary future, as well as some of the other mysteries that must, for now, remain especially mysterious.) 7

How does blushing increase reproductive success? How does suicide increase reproductive success? He can’t find answers to his questions because he is looking for evolutionary answers. There aren’t any evolutionary answers because the theory of evolution isn’t true.

The Religion of Evolution

It is evident in his book is that evolution isn’t just a theory, it is his religion. He proudly claims to be an atheist.

I don’t think I could eliminate religion by scientific argument or ridicule (although frankly, I would do so if I could.) 8

He mocks those people who look beyond sex for the answers to the bigger questions of life saying,

For any belief, it is always possible to come up with a seemingly unlimited amount of supporting evidence. 9

“It is undesirable,” wrote philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell, “to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for it to be true.” 10

The irony is that it wasn’t possible for him to come up with an unlimited amount of supporting evidence for the religion of evolution. In fact, he came up with about 300 pages of solid scientific evidence against it. But, as “undesirable” as it is, he believes in evolution when there is no ground whatever for it to be true.

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Footnotes:

1 Homo Mysterious, Dr. David P. Barash, 2012, Oxford University Press, page 7
2 ibid., page 11
3 ibid., page 14
4 ibid., page 267
5 ibid., page 271
6 ibid., page 289
7 ibid., page 311
8 ibid., page 199
9 ibid., page 312
10 ibid., page 199