email - March 2004

Male Nipples

Jeneve wrote to us because she has “heard evolutionists use the ‘Why did God create males with nipples?’ line.” She wanted a good answer.

This is one of those questions that can have two entirely different correct answers. If you ask to borrow an extension cord from someone, and he says, “How long?”, you can answer “six feet” or “two weeks”. Both answers are correct, but only one really answers the question.

There are two entirely different explanations why male mammals have non-functional nipples. Scientists can give only one of those answers, using the scientific method.

The Scientific Answer

The scientific answer begins with the observation that DNA contains the instructions for building and operating all the internal organs of a body. Scientists also observe that female mammals have two X chromosomes while male mammals have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. The mammals with two X chromosomes develop breasts at puberty which produce milk at the end of pregnancy. The mammals with one X and one Y chromosome don’t.

Given these observations, a scientist next proposes a hypothesis. Perhaps there is something about having two X chromosomes that makes breasts function. Perhaps there is something about having a Y chromosome that prevents breasts from functioning. Whatever the hypothesis, the scientist devises one or more experiments that will prove or disprove the hypothesis.

In theory, this method can determine the correct answer. In practice, the method might not be successful for various reasons. (The experiments might be too expensive, might take too long to perform, might require technology that isn’t available yet, might be ethically objectionable, etc.) But, ignoring the practical difficulties that might be encountered, the scientific method can explain why female nipples produce milk at the appropriate time, and male nipples don’t.

In fact, the scientific answer to that question probably has already been answered, and probably is published in the scientific literature. We frankly didn’t bother to look for the answer because we know Jeneve isn’t interested in that kind of answer. She doesn’t want a scientific answer to the “why” question. She wants a philosophical answer.

The Philosophical Answer

Why would God design male mammals with non-functional nipples? We could just as easily ask why natural selection would favor mammals in which only the female can nurse the young. If both parents could nurse their young, that would seem to be a major survival advantage. Since male mammals have nipples, why didn’t evolution favor those males whose nipples actually work? These questions are addressing motives, not techniques.

The only branch of science that deals with motivation is psychology. Psychology uses experiments to determine the responses of intelligent creatures to specified situations and expresses the results in statistical terms. Psychologists can determine the average number of times one must reward (or punish) certain behavior before the behavior changes. Knowing this, one can predict how long it will take for behavior to change in a similar situation.

But psychologists can’t make God run through a maze to find a peanut. Nor can they shock the theory of evolution enough times to make it pull a lever. Psychologists can’t do experiments to determine the motivation of God or Evolution. The answer to why things are the way they are falls in the domain of philosophers and theologians, not scientists.

Science Against Evolution doesn’t address religious matters, and does not speculate about the motivation and behavior of whatever supernatural forces might exist. Science Against Evolution simply examines the plausibility of the theory of evolution from a scientific viewpoint.

Scientists Advise Philosophers

Scientists can only serve as expert witnesses who explain how a process works. The philosopher needs this data to make a rational decision. For example, a scientist can tell a philosopher that the odds someone will win a weekly lottery four weeks in a row are implausibly small if that person buys only one lottery ticket each week. A scientist can also tell the philosopher that it is impossible to win the lottery without buying a lottery ticket. Then the philosopher can evaluate the claims of someone who says he bought only two lottery tickets one month and won the lottery four times that month.

When a philosopher judges whether or not evolution produced mammary glands, he takes into account the expert testimony of the scientist. He has to decide if random chance, filtered by natural selection, is likely to have produced such a nourishment system. He needs expert scientific testimony to make an intelligent decision. We believe that scientific understanding of biological systems, such as mammary glands, not only shows that it is unlikely that evolution could have produced such a system--it shows that evolution could not possibly have produced such a system. It is scientifically absurd to think that breasts would happen by accident, and that the hormones that make them secrete milk would be produced at the right time by accident.

Therefore, we think the wise philosopher has to reject evolution because the scientific evidence is against evolution.

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