What Christians and Darwinists Agree On–And Are Both Wrong About

happyhubbyAn accepted truth that informs a great deal of the way about which Christianity has always been thought is that one of the major indicators of how far man has fallen from God’s pre-Eden state of grace is that men possess a “depraved” sexuality. What’s usually meant by that is that if any given man were free to do as he truly pleases, he would have as much sex as possible with as many women as possible. Without the constricting principles of God’s law as revealed in the Bible, runs the idea, man would lose control of himself, go animal crazy, and start sleeping with anything that moves.

Darwinists agree! Usually not about the Bible part, of course, but definitely with the part about men being dogs. Where Christians see “fallen man” as the cause of men’s roverosity, Darwinists see the phenomenon of “sexual selection.” But it’s just a different diagnosis for the same illness.

Ah: Self-loathing: Bringing people together since 1859.

I hereby declare that the whole “Natural Man is a Dog” theory is nonsense. If history has taught us anything at all, it’s that in this world men—and certainly men as a group—have the power to do anything they want. If men wanted to have unfettered sex with as many women as possible, that’s exactly what men would do. But that’s not what the overwhelming majority of men do, is it? Instead, the typical man chooses one woman, and settles down with her. And that’s because, in both the Darwinian and religious/morality sense, that’s what works best. Long-term monogamy—which is to say settling down with one partner and raising a family—is the most effective way to keep our species alive and to bring man the emotional and spiritual contentment he invariably seeks. That’s why we do it. It’s what’s best for our primal bodies and our spiritual selves, and we know it.

We men can pretend that we’d like to be out there sleeping with untold numbers of women; we can imagine it so fervently and often that we can actually talk ourselves into believing that’s what we really want to do. But it’s not. Men like to imagine themselves struggling mightily against the ties that bind them. But let those ties be cut, and as sure as drive follows desire a man will do what he can to settle right back down with one woman, because he knows that’s his best chance for the most happiness. You take away God, Christ, the Bible, Darwin, and any other thing you can think of, and that will still be true.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://www.sharpiron.org Christian Beyer

    Right on, dude!

    Back when I was a male chauvinist pig (now I'm MUCH neater, thank you) I used to tease my gal friends (usually after one of them, often my wife, would annoy me) about a new men's club I was forming called "Take Back the Power". The idea being that things were a whole lot better before men began 'submitting' to women (letting 'em vote, letting 'em drive, letting 'em wear trousers etc) and that if we had not been so profoundly gracious then they wouldn't have all these privileges.

    Of course this was just needling rhetoric designed to get a rise out of some people and a laugh out of others. And it was not in very good taste, very sensitive nor a very wise thing to say (that frying pan hurts!). But there is a grain of truth in it and you just focused the patented John Shore magnifying glass on it: if we wanted to be nothing but self-indulgent sexually driven animals then we would, because we could. And some of us are (but they usually have to be either very rich or at least own mirror shades an old Camaro and a mullet).,

    There must be a reason why so many more of us prefer not have harems. (Of course when I next look in the mirror I'll feel much less noble about this).

  • http://www.health1texas.com korydc

    Ultimately, after all the lust, sex and freaky stuff, most still find someone who,or they themselves, become emotional and no long just physical. Sure, men and women both are tempted, at times, to give into physical lusts; however, we eventually long for the love and respect of a certain woman who "rocks our world". Then, and only then, will we find the satisfaction we seek.

    So my opinion is that I so totally agree and I'm glad that I am with the only one true-love, for me: My loving wife Krystal.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Red: Congratulations on your baby!

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty

    Not sure I agree on this one. Most societies see men pursuing some level of sexual variety, whether openly (mistresses have been common for centuries) or in secret (affairs). Not to mention the oldest industry which is still thriving all over the world.

    Not saying that I’m ready to go sleeping around, but that was honestly never a choice for me. Massive societal/religious/familial pressures assured that. I’m positive that had I been free to do it, I would’ve been much more promiscuous as a younger man. Perhaps it would’ve still led to my current monogamous state, but there’s no way to be sure!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Chris: Hah! Very good. Great stuff.

    Red: But a man who keeps a mistress is either lying to his wife, or lives knowing that he isn’t even trying to make or keep his wife emotionally (and so spiritually) content. He’s abandoned truly caring for her. So his marriage is a chauvinistic joke. And I think it goes without saying that a man who pays money to a woman so that she’ll have sex with him is in about as miserable an emotional state as any man can be.

    All I’m saying is … well, what I said: A man has his best chance at being the most content he can be through a long-term monogamist relationship. Do you think you’d be happier single and sleeping around than you are married? If so, you married the wrong woman. If not, you’re living my point.

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty

    I wouldn’t go nearly so far to say that a man with a mistress has abandoned caring for his wife. In the OT God too clearly makes it a non-issue when some of his most loved servants lived in those types of relationships.

    I agree that when sex is at its best it is based on positive emotion, which would leave prostitution and one-night stands lacking severely. But I also believe that for men, sometimes sex is just sex. And that the main reason many men aren’t sleeping around is simply lack of opportunity. Cue up the married celebrity/politician/athlete scandals for evidence.

    Once they’re caught or the wives get fed up with that arrangement, yes, they probably wish they’d never messed around. But they do it anyway.

    I just have a feeling that we’re being far too 21st Century American about this, and that in another time or another culture the norms would be completely different. And that somehow those norms might work for God, and his followers, just as well?

    Also realize that all of this is coming from a man who is nearing the end his “no fly zone” time period following the birth of his third child. So it’s probably my least objective time to be talking about sex! :)

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Burns

    At the risk of sounding pedantic; one needs to be careful in using the term ‘Darwinist’ as being synonymous for ‘evolutionist’. While Darwin’s work is quite compelling and was seminal in the field of biology, the most compelling evidences for evolution by natural selection [ENS] is now from other fields of science. To say that ‘Darwin’ defines ‘evolution’ is something akin to saying a diskette drive defines a personal computer.

    Consider your nit picked.

    ….oh yeah!….dudes would, in the absence of a relationship, have sex with pretty much anything that would have them. We big brained animals, though, derive pleasure from pleasing our mate and derive anguish from hurting our mate. In the absence of that anguish, I am confident that we dudes would be as promiscuous as our physiology would allow.

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty (Michael)

    Thanks, John! The vast majority of my new three-child life is terrific, and the sex thing should be remedied shortly.

    With my wife, of course!

  • Leonardo

    Darwinism or Evolutionism is just a theory, a belief.

    Darwinists are wrong to believe that we are animals but they need to think that to justify their behavior. As you say, inside we prefer to love a woman and have a family. It was God who put that light in the hearts of men (darwinism can't explain how t could evolve taht from dirt)

    "for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness," (Rom 2:14,15)

    "That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world." (John 1:9)

  • http://theskinhorse.wordpress.com theskinhorse

    There is an interesting book that covers this topic: The Red Queen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Queen:_Sex_and_the_Evolution_of_Human_Nature).

    Now, John, you will probably not particularly like or agree with some of the author’s assertions, especially since he does push “men are dogs” in many chapters.(He also pushes “women are gold-diggers.”) What is interesting about the book is the rich detail it has on many other species, and how some are quite different from our own. According to some perspectives in the book, human women may be gold-diggers and human men may be dogs, but some female birds are philanderers (or umm avi-anderers?) and the males are cuckolds and unpaid egg-sitters. Also, the book does go into different cultures and old societal norms compared to new ones. Unfortunately, it has been years since I read it so I’m not sure what I would think of it now if I chose to revisit it. At certain points, it does look pretty grim if you choose to hold the author’s perspective. I take most things with a grain of salt anyway.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Leonardo said: "Darwinism or Evolutionism is just a theory, a belief."

    Ah yes!! The old 'just a theory' chestnut. The sun-centered (heliocentric) solar system is just a theory. Gravity is just a theory.

    Leonardo said: "Darwinists are wrong to believe that we are animals but they need to think that to justify their behavior. "

    And just what behavior might you be describing Leo?

    I would suggest picking up Coyne's book "Why Evolution Is True" or Dawkins book "The Greatest Show On Earth" which detail ALL the evidence for evolution. One should be familiar with all the evidence before you denigrate every physical scientist, the majority of Christians and the majority of the earth's population. If you are not willing to become familiar with all the evidence, then you are willfully ignorant…which is worthy and demanding of ridicule.

    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Cohttp://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Show-Earth-Evidenc

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I doubt I’d have any trouble with the book. Why would I? I like science—especially Natural Science stuff. ESPECIALLY stuff about animals.

  • Leonardo

    Wow! What vestigial appendix did I touch?

    Dawkins a scientist?

    What behavior? Well what about the last sentence. I almost run to my tree, you know… to survive

  • http://youngadultsindayton.wordpress.com Talia

    A. People who espouse this view (not your view, I mean the other one.. ;] ) are helping ensure the double standard continues. If men are sex-hungry animals and women…aren't, then men are dangerous and women are dangerous and women are fragile/delicate/in need of protection. If both men and women can finally be accepted as fully human, that would be pure awesomeness.

    B. I'm really, really getting tired of the seriously sexually-repressed Church condemning asexuality as being "unnatural." Even considering my own orientation, I'm pretty positive that I'm less repressed and backwards-minded when it comes to sexuality than a large percentage of religious leaders. Way to go.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Talia: I have no idea what you just said. Or for whom you intended it.

  • http://youngadultsindayton.wordpress.com Talia

    Whooooaaa, excuse the typo up thar. Por favor.

  • http://youngadultsindayton.wordpress.com Talia

    Basically anyone who thinks that the human race as a whole is sexually depraved, and therefore becomes neurotic and repressed trying to "fix" their sexuality by denying it? I guess.

  • http://sharpiron.org Christian Beyer

    Yeah. Even bad sex is good. At least, that's what I hear.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    If bad sex isn't good, my wife's been lying to me for years.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    @Leonardo:

    Well, you said the Darwinists/Evolutionists behaved a certain way. That would include a majority of Christians. I just want to know how that group behaves.

    As far as ridiculing the willfully ignorant (those that consciously avoid evidence that may challenge their worldview); it should be obvious to the casual observer that ridicule is justified and appropriate.

  • http://theskinhorse.wordpress.com theskinhorse

    John: I just meant that the "men as dogs" theme comes up a bit in the book. But it is a good read, in my opinion, and, yeah, animals rock.

  • Leonardo

    Ok Mike. Undoubtly you made clear the doctrine of your belief or religion. Your superiority is evident and according with your bilbe: "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life"

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    @Leonardo:

    Religion? No. I am amenable to being shown that I am incorrect. There are no rituals, there are no worshiped deities. There are no moral judgments on those not like myself.

    Doctrine? If it means following the evidence where it leads regardless of personal comforts and desires, then that is my doctrine.

    Bible? I actually have not read Darwin's original text. Scientific texts become outdated as new evidence is amassed. While manifestly important historically; using it as a source of knowledge would be like reading Galileo to bone up on cosmology.

  • Leonardo

    John I'm sorry, I was just trying to put my opinion about your post and now we (Mike and me) are using your blog to send each other messages. It's your fault! (just kidding). I found the Mike's blog, maybe we can keep us talking there. Not always you can find an "amenable" atheist.

    See ya Mike, if not here, well, at the Throne.

  • http://redefiningseduction.com Paul Reffell

    I'm interested in why you give sexual selection a bad rap. Sexual selection simply means the selection of mates by one sex (female, in most species) of a mate (male) that displays the traits that are most desired by the female for continuation of the species. Apart from it being a Darwinian discovery, and therefore regarded as evil by some christians, what connection does it have to "depravity"?

    Humans are mostly monogamous, some say serially monogamous, i.e. forming parenting relationships until the children reach an age at which they could fend for themselves if they had to. That may be borne out by the evidence of the many 'sacred' vows to "God" of "till death us do part" that are broken and re-sworn with new partners.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Paul: Are you talking to me? Cuz … if you are, you didn't read the post carefully enough/at all.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X