When I opened the manila envelope sent by my friend Duane Burgess of Oklahoma, USA, a grin crossed my face when I glimpsed at its contents. Inside was a copy of the current (May–June) issue of AARP The Magazine, published by what was formerly called the American Association of Retired Persons.1 (The organization now prefers to go by its initials, AARP.)
I thought Duane was taking the opportunity to take a slight dig at me for turning 50 recently. And it just so happened that the AARP had just sent me—two days before—an application for membership. Well, the “R” part of AARP is not anywhere on my radar screen, so receiving two pieces of mail related to the AARP over two days seemed more than a coincidence—I thought (incorrectly) that Duane was having a little fun with me and had also put me on the AARP mailing list.
Actually, Duane had sent me the AARP magazine because one of its articles was entitled “The Roots of Hatred,” which attempted to present an evolutionary explanation of why racism exists all over the globe. The article writer was simply regurgitating the “psychobabble” that much of the anger expressed toward different-looking people perhaps originates from our so-called “hunter-gatherer era.”
She wrote: “Imagine, says the University of California, Los Angeles, biologist [Jared Diamond] that you have lived in the Paleolithic when small bands of hunter-gatherers were roaming the world. Usually, each group kept to its own turf. But just suppose, perhaps pushed by hunger or curiosity, you crossed the invisible line marking the limits of your group’s territory.”
The article continued with the speculation that the children of early humans had possessed “evolving brains [which] learned to automatically classify people as either ‘one of us’ or ‘one of them.’”
In the manila envelope, Duane enclosed a letter he had composed and submitted to the AARP editor, which we excerpt below. We do so in order to present a glimpse of the creationist view of a growing-in-popularity movement called ‘evolutionary psychology.’ As the former head of a creation group in Tucson, Arizona, USA, and a long-time AiG supporter, Duane’s insights are worth noting here. (In addition, read AiG’s article on the growing movement called “evolutionary psychology.” See ‘Evolution made me do it!’) As secular magazines continue to bombard the culture with evolutionary propaganda, it is encouraging to know that there are people like Duane who are using AiG material to respond.
Duane (to AiG): I wrote the magazine in order to politely inform the AARP that the premise of evolutionary psychology is in error to begin with, and that because the article was based on that foundation, the credibility of the entire piece was undermined.
I mentioned, for example, that “the notion of hatred arising from hunter-gatherers in their ‘evolving brains’” is flatly false. There is no irrefutable scientific evidence of such proposed evolutionary development of the human race.
Also, I added that functional complexity does not arise from disorder by chance (see Dawkins’ Weasel Revisited). There was no supposed ascension of humanity.
In addition, I wrote that “The brain … has not evolved. People hunt and gather simply whenever there is no developed community with provision of resources. Likewise, people dwell in caves when exploring new areas with no developed habitat.”
Continuing: “An entire industry of ‘evolutionary psychology’ (and related studies) has been allowed to develop and gain credibility.”
“There is but one race, the human race. We need the Creator’s explanation if we are to come to a correct understanding of anger or any other element of human nature and behavior.”
I have not heard yet from the magazine whether it will print my letter, but I least wanted AiG supporters—including those who may have read the AARP article (it is one of the most-read magazines in the world)—to be aware that such wrong thinking is pervading the culture as a whole, not just in the scientific arena.
— Duane L. Burgess, Edmond, Oklahoma, USA
Duane, by the way, is well aware of AiG’s anti-racism book—with its findings based on Scripture and good science—entitled One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism. Because all human beings are descendants of one couple, Adam and Eve, we’re all related—of “one blood” (Acts 17:26)—and have inherited a sinful human nature (Genesis 3) that distorts how we understand our world and our place in it.
In fact, the AARP article writer (perhaps unwittingly) torpedoed her evolutionary arguments when she wrote that: ‘there are obviously genetic differences between the smaller groupings called biological populations—say, between a member of the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria and a Lapp from northern Scandinavia, for instance. But the genetic differences between racial groups of white, black, and Asian are less than the differences within any one of these major groups. This means that you are more genetically similar to many people outside your race than to many of those within it’ [emphasis hers].
Ironically, that very scientific finding is one of the hallmark teachings of AiG’s One Blood book.
It’s a pity that a publication—which bills itself as “America’s largest circulation magazine"—has featured an article that will be read by many who will uncritically accept its evolutionary propaganda. If the article writer were truly concerned about combating racism, she would have done a much more effective job if she had quoted people like the late evolutionist Stephen J. Gould, who recognized that racism can be justified by some people on evolutionary grounds. Gould wrote that racism increased by “orders of magnitude” due to Darwin’s research being used as justification.2