Monogamy…It’s Unnatural

Monogamy, for those who don’t know, is the practice of being married to one person at a single time (the antonym being Polygamy).

A few days ago I stumbled upon an opinion article in The Las Angeles Times, entitled “Monogamy isn’t easy, naturally,”* the subheading being “Swapping partners in the animal world is more common than once thought.  Even birds do it.  But while polygamy may be in our genes, fidelity has its benefits.”  Today, Dr. Albert Mohler, brought it up on his radio show, and pointed me towards another alarming article, “Who Knew I was not the Father?” by Ruth Padawer of The New York Times.  While the two articles have a different subject, I do believe they have a very strong and fundamental connection.

The monogamy article was written by an evolutionary biologist at the University of Washinton, David P. Barash.  The article claims that human nature does not incline us towards monogamy…but it does have its benefits.  At this point, with both a PhD and being an ardent evolutionist, we’re inclined to take him at his highly-credentialed word.  Of course the idea seems reasonable, but one has to wonder if there isn’t a deeper motive to these types of articles, and not one necessarily stemming from advanced expertise.

I can understand, if we’re animals, then we should act like animals (by the way, the Bible doesn’t say that men in their depraved nature won’t act like beasts, Romans 1:18-32 is good proof of that much).  Natural selection calls us to promulgate our seed to every available mate, and of course with that in mind, one can only wonder why such an article would appeal to the society in which we now find ourselves.  Of course the article gives no substantial evidence for the claims (it’s an opinion so I’ll cut him a break), presupposes an evolutionary worldview, and implicitly denies a Creator, a soul, and a moral standard.

At best it shows us examples of other animals and we are to infer that this means we should act in like manner.  It then appeals to our natural sexual drive to conclude that we are made to be polygamous.  “There can be no serious debate about whether monogamy is natural for human beings. It isn’t,” Barash states boldly (so consider the rest of this “debate” to be the antithesis of “serious”), he goes on, “A Martian zoologist visiting planet Earth would have no doubt: Homo sapiens carries [sic] all the evolutionary stigmata of a mildly polygamous mammal in which both sexes have a penchant for occasional “extra-pair copulations.”

Here’s the equation:

Man has sexual desires (a) + Man sees many potential mates (b)  = Naturally Polygamous (c)

This is a fallacy at best, the first premise (a) plus (+) the second (b) does not equal (≠) the conclusion (c).  It is illogical to assume that because someone has sexual desire, and since in many people that desire wishes to be filled compulsorily and immediately, we must conclude that we are built to be just like the animals…and polygamous (See the animals do it!).  Of course in a worldview that rejects a Creator, and a Creator who has built within us a sexual desire, to be fulfilled within the confines of a covenantal agreement of marriage, it might be the first deducible conclusion.

Yet, with the fallacy of the argument built upon a presuppositional worldview that, in my mind, is a wrong conclusion. Let me be fair though, as Dr. Barash does go on to say that, “natural isn’t necessarily good.”  But in the end he boils down polygamy and monogamy to a “choice” and still maintains that we are built for polygamy (this isn’t a review, just read the article).

We must also turn to the practical danger of such writings.  I’m sure Dr. Barash is a nice fellow, this is no attack on his person, but an attack on the idea which he claims to be true.  The other article “Who Knew I was not the Father?” is a sad article about our sad state of affairs in this country.  In it, many fathers, through DNA testing, are finding out that the daughter which they raised and loved is not their biological child, but is actually the child of another man.  One can only wonder if these two articles have a connection at their core.  I’ll leave that for the reader to decide.

Barash’s article is making bold claims, and like most evolutionists or atheists, they completely neglect the ramifications of their thoughts.  Many statements are easy to make when you have nothing to lose, nothing to worry about, and are far from any consequence of the thought, so often times you see these types of things coming from the “intellectual elites.”  Now, when you’ve suppressed the reality of a Creator, and suppressed the reality of moral absolutes, you’ve created a vacuum for any and all ideas…whether or not they can be substantiated…and whether or not they are dangerous.

Dr. Barash has disconnected the human conscience from an evolutionary idea.  He’s told us that monogamy can be beneficial, and for some it may have its benefits, but really we are not built for it.  He conveniently neglected the damage these types of practices have on many involved (Such as those explained in The New York Times article), but instead has given us examples from the animal kingdom (by the way, I’ve seen this idea in the homosexual debate.  It is often said that there are over 1500 species of animals that exhibit homosexual behaviors.  Of course one could argue that murder and cannibalism are observed in Black Widows, but hopefully no one will claim that affects our morality…time will tell).  There is a reason that breakups are hard, there is a reason divorces are grievous and guilt-ridden, there is a reason that people can get very attached, especially in light of sexual relations…but one must wonder if there is a deeper foundation at the core of our sexual desires.

Yet, I’m ever so sure that the evolutionists have created a beautiful explanation for that as well…but that’s another post.

There’s a good reason that The New York Times and The Las Angeles Times have such a hard time figuring out how to solve the problem.

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” -Hebrews 13:4 (esv)


*Barash, David P. “Monogamy isn’t easy, naturally.” Las Angeles Times, November 22, 2009, Opinion section.


~ by TSL on November 24, 2009.

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