Does evolution say its okay to bully?

Scott asks….

Hello, I am from Dallas and I go to a southern baptist school. Recently I had a project in my Logic and World Views class were I had to debate with another classmate on a controversial topic in today’s society, I choose the existence of god because I am an atheist and I wanted to try to convince my classmates that there is not supernatural being. After my debate my schools head master asked me “since evolution proposes that the fittest will survive and the week will die off, is it a good thing if a bigger boy was beating up a small boy?” I responded with no and said that his question was not relevant. But what is the right answer to this question or is there one? Thought you could help, Thanks!
Sent from my iPad

Hi Scott. Thanks for the question.

Your’e teacher doesn’t understand what evolution is. Evolution isn’t about the big beating the small. Some of the smallest things in the world, viruses, kill more people and animals then all of the wars combined. Evolution is about adaptation to an environment. Those that adapt the best go on to have more offspring then those who don’t. The concept isn’t that hard to grasp. I wont go into how it works, there are already enough posts here that answer that (use the search button at the top right hand side if you need to), but I will tell you what I would have said to your teacher.

Are you suggesting that viruses are more fit then humans since viruses have killed billions of people over all of time? Evolution is about adaptation to environments through mutation. Those mutations which benefit survival go on to have more offspring then those who dont. That’s what evolution is all about.

Keep in mind though Scott, that evolution says nothing about if a god exists or not. Many theists believe in evolution. They simply believe that it was god who used evolution to create all of the animals including humans. So if you’re using that to disprove god, I’d find another tactic. Keep trying though. There are some great books out there that can help you learn the basic arguments against the existence of gods. You can check out our book store above to see the top selling books. My all time favorite is George H Smith’s “Atheism: The Case Against God” it’s a heavy reading, but it is by far one of the most comprehensive books on atheism there is. If you want something a little lighter I would suggest Carl Sagans “The Demon Haunted World” or “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins. Both are excellent books to start from.

Hope that answers your question Scott! As always, feel free to chime in using the comment section below.

3 thoughts on “Does evolution say its okay to bully?”

  1. First time poster here.

    I would say there is an interesting topic in the consideration of altruism, selfishness and malice as evolved traits, and whether our species could have survived without the heartless and the bullies.

    A dissonance between the good and the fit would not, however, challenge the veracity of evolution in what many of us consider an uncaring universe.

  2. I actually think your first answer was best. Your teacher’s question isn’t relevant. Science is descriptive, not prescriptive. It’s a method to tell us what the world around us is like, not to tell us how we should behave.

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