Why Are Drivers Aiming for Turtles Crossing the Highway?

News outlets are reporting the results of a recent research experiment by Clemson University student Nathan Weaver—and it reveals the not-so-sunny-side of human nature. Weaver was looking for ways to give turtles a safer passage across busy highways. He placed rubber turtles in the roadway and recorded how traffic responded. He found that 1 in 50 drivers aimed for the turtles—and ran them over.

What began as concern for turtles has turned into human psychoanalysis. Weaver and others are now commenting on human nature:

And even in today’s more enlightened, modern world, sometimes humans feel a need to prove they are the dominant species on this planet by taking a two-ton metal vehicle and squishing a defenseless animal under the tires, said Hal Herzog, a Western Carolina University psychology professor.

“They aren’t thinking, really. It is not something people think about. It just seems fun at the time,” Herzog said. “It is the dark side of human nature.”

Dark side, indeed.

But this isn’t anything new, really. We didn’t need another research study to prove that something is very dark in us and in this world. Humans are capable of all manner of heinous acts against man and creature alike. Even those who don’t believe in God or sin would agree that this world is a mess. Christians see the mess and assert that sin has taken its toll.

This is why we need something more than legislation for turtle safety—although I’m all for that. The darkness found in the human heart will find an outlet one way or another, unless it’s dealt with at the root.

About Erin Straza

Erin Straza (Associate Editor) is a freelance writer, editor, and marketing communications consultant, helping organizations tell their stories in authentic and compelling ways. After a stint in corporate marketing while earning her MBA, Erin taught marketing communications at Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State. She is crafting her first book, writing from the Illinois flatlands where she lives with her husband, Mike. Find more from Erin at her blog Filling My Patch of Sky and on Twitter @ErinStraza.
E-mail: erin [at] FillingMyPatchOfSky [dot] com
Blog: Filling My Patch of Sky
Twitter: @ErinStraza