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There are many examples of animals helping other animals, which shows that the evolutionary idea of “survival of the fittest” is flawed. We believe that the better explanation for helpful animals is not found in a purposeless theory like evolution, but rather in understanding that God the Creator has placed the world's array of animals on earth for His glory as they fill particular roles in the planet's ecology.
You would think it wouldn't pay to be a meerkat. These mongoose-like animals from the dry regions of southern Africa will postpone meals to help with the baby-sitting. And they will stay home so their family and friends can go out to supper.
Helpful animals? Whatever happened to the evolutionary idea of “survival of the fittest”?
And what about the helpful “watchman” bird that lets out a loud squawk when it sees a hawk approaching? All the neighboring flocks know to fly off quickly, which confuses the advancing predator. Yet the alarm-caller puts itself in danger when it calls out. Its give-away squawk may make it a target for attack, while those who heed its alarm get away.Helpful birds? That seems contrary to “survival of the fittest” too.
Many helpful animals
The animal kingdom abounds with animals who help (“animal altruism” it's called). Whales may support a sick member of their pod, or refuse to leave a wounded or distressed.
member. Monkeys will pick through the fur of other monkeys to clean off fleas and other parasites. A honeybee may sting you if you go near its hive, thereby ending its life in an attempt to protect the colony. Wolves and wild dogs bring back food to members of the pack who have taken no part in the hunt.
In controlled experiments, researchers found that when rats and monkeys learned to press a lever to obtain food, the animals would slow their rate of pressing the lever if the lever also sent an electric shock to a nearby rat or monkey.
Can evolution explain this caring behavior? After all, evolutionary theory states that “those who do not struggle to survive and reproduce will be wiped out in the ruthless competition known as natural selection.”
Darwin's theory was flawed!
Why are there so many helpful animals if Darwin's theory is correct? Helpful animals use energy helping others with no direct advantage to themselves. Some put their lives in danger to help or care for others.
What would cause a porpoise to waste enormous energy caring for the body of its stillborn calf until the body rots away? Surely such useless expenditure of energy on something completely unproductive would have been eradicated during the porpoise's alleged evolution, if Darwin was correct.
What about the baboon that helps another in a fight? What about zebras that turn towards an attacker to protect the foals in the herd, putting themselves in danger instead of running to escape? And what about the meerkat we mentioned, who will waste energy caring for young that are not even its own?
Problems are obvious
Evolutionists have seen the problems. Helpful animals seem to defy Darwin's theory. Some evolutionists have tried to come up with explanations. In 1962, Wynne-Edwards put forward the idea that altruism evolved for the good of the group, or for the good of the species. The idea is that groups with altruists — helpful or caring animals — do better than groups of selfish animals, so the altruistic groups endure better.
But even evolutionists admit flaws in this idea. What if a “selfish” mutant individual arose in a group of altruists, and was able to avoid the cost of being helpful while still benefiting from the group's altruism? Evolutionists admit that as this “selfish gene” spread through the group, “the whole system would then break down.”
Another theory was proposed: the theory of kin selection. This theory tries to take into account that most beneficiaries of altruistic behavior are relatives of the “good Samaritan” animal. In its basic form, this theory states that “a brother or sister shares as many of your genes (half) as a child, so that in helping a sister or brother to survive or reproduce you are helping to perpetuate your own genes (or, to put it another way, making a gain in genetic fitness) as much as if you protect your own child.”