AWARENESS IN ANIMALS:
ONE OF THE DEAD ENDS
FOR THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION
On Earth, Man is the only being
possessing intellect and reason. Besides his physical characteristics,
the most important features that distinguish him from all other beings
are those that derive from his human intellect and powers of reason-the
faculties of comparison, decision, reasoning, predicting, planning ahead
and taking precautions, comprehension, working toward future goals, and
other similar qualities. No other creatures in nature possess such an
intellect or high degree of awareness. Therefore, we can't expect animals
to plan, anticipate future events, or apply engineering calculations to
decide on any issue.
So how can we explain the behaviors, clearly the products
of reason and consciousness, so often observed in nature? Especially since
some of these behaviors are displayed by beings without a brain! Before
moving to answer this question, we can more easily understand its importance
if, first, we provide some obvious examples of animal behavior that arise
from consciousness and reasoning.
Beaver Dams as Engineering Projects
Beavers calculate like real engineers, work like master builders,
and build lodges of extraordinary design. With the same impressive skill,
they build dams to slow the outflow of the water in which they build their
dwellings. To accomplish this, they have to undergo some highly tedious
procedures. First of all, they must obtain a large quantity of logs and
branches, as sources of nourishment as well as for building material for
the dam and nest. To this end, they fell trees by chewing through the
trunks with their teeth. It has been observed that in this process, they
assess the suitability of the environment: Generally, they prefer to work
where the prevailing wind blows towards the water. This way, most of the
trees they fell fall in the direction of the water making the logs easier
for the beavers to transport.
Beaver nests are of a highly complex design. Each lodge has
two underwater entries, as well as-just above water level-a larder and,
further up, a dry sleeping chamber with a ventilation shaft.
Beavers calculate like architects
and work like craftsmen to build nests of extraordinary design.
Left: A beaver building the dam needed to
raise the water level and protect its lodge.
The beavers' dam.
A drawing of a skillfully built beaver lodge.
Beavers construct the outside walls of their nests by piling
up the building materials they gather, filling every crevice with twigs
and mud, making sure not to leave any holes or cavities.
These building materials they use protect the lodge from
sliding and keep out the cold. In winter, it becomes blanketed in snow,
and even if the temperature outside falls below -35° C (-31° F), the temperature
within remains above the freezing point. For when winter food is scarce,
they also have a food stash concealed underwater.
Beavers also build a network of canals, each of them approximately
one meter (three feet) wide, by which they can reach the trees they feed
off, which are typically located on higher and drier ground considerable
Beavers build their dams of plant matter
and stones, in a manner similar to their nests. First they weave branches
across the water between the two banks of a stream, forming an interwoven
triangular structure. In order to fill in the structure's gaps and raise
its height, they work against the current and keep on adding branches
and mud, until their dam has finally transformed a narrow stream into
a wide pool of calm water. Widening and deepening the water provides them
with an ideal environment where they can store food for the winter, as
well as area for them to swim freely and more easily transport food and
building materials. In addition, it also creates a wide, safe moat around
the beavers' lodges that, just like the moat surrounding a human castle,
makes it almost impossible for predators to attack them.2
This brief summary shows how every stage of beavers' construction
reflects intellect, planning, knowledge and calculation. But it would
be irrational to credit the beaver, an animal without intellect or ability
to reason, with all these qualities. Therefore we must find an explanation
for the source of the beaver's behavior. If this intellect and planning
do not belong to the beaver, who does it belong to? The answer is God,
Who brings out superior features in beavers, as well as in many other
creatures, of which we'll see many examples as we progress through the
following chapters. With His infinite reason and power, God has created
them, brings out their superior qualities by His inspiration, and commands
them to effect their ingenious plans.
The Atlas Moth Caterpillar that Plans a Few Steps Ahead
Obviously, beavers are not the only creatures in nature that
plan, calculate, and display rational behavior. One of the other successful
creatures in this respect is a species of caterpillar, much smaller than
a beaver, in which one would never expect to find the slightest glimmer
of intellect. This is the atlas moth caterpillar.
This caterpillar pupates in a cocoon like all other moth
caterpillars, concealing itself under a leaf once it has emerged from
the larval stage. It does this according to a clever premeditated plan
whose every stage requires great skill. Since a fresh green leaf cannot
be bent to form a protective shelter, the caterpillar overcomes this problem
by the simplest imaginable solution. To serve its purpose, it first ties
the leaf to the branch with its silk, so that the leaf won't fall when
the caterpillar gnaws through its stem. Inevitably, the cut leaf dries
out and, after a while, begins to curl. In this way, the caterpillar obtains
an ideal leaf tube in the space of a few hours.
In the first instance, you might think that by hiding in
a dry leaf to obtain a safe abode for itself, the caterpillar displayed
intelligent behavior. This might well be true. But also, it would present
an easy meal. A dry leaf's difference in color would give it away, attracting
the attention of birds and spelling doom for the caterpillar.
Here again, the caterpillar acts to prevent
itself from being recognized easily. Like a mathematician who makes probability
calculations, it prepares five or six other "decoy" leaves just like the
one it will enter, and weaves silk around them. In this way, any hungry
bird must choose among six or seven dry leaves, only one of which contains
the caterpillar's pupa. The others are all dummies. If a bird turns its
attention towards any one of the dry leaves, the odds are six to one against
its finding the caterpillar.3
It's self-evident that these behaviors are all intelligent
and premeditated. But is it really possible for a caterpillar with such
a microscopic brain and simple nervous system to display such behavior?
The caterpillar does not have the faculty of thought to let it plan ahead.
Nor can it possibly have learned this stratagem from another caterpillar
and, in reality, it's not even aware of the dangers that birds might present.
So who came up with this idea of how to mislead the caterpillar's predators?
Were you to ask an evolutionist these questions, he would
never give you clear and satisfying answers. But when cornered there's
one expression that evolutionists resort to: instincts. They say that
any such animal behaviors are instinctive. In the case we've just examined,
the first question they should be asked is, "Define instinct." If such
behavior is instinctive, as with the caterpillar concealing itself in
a leaf, there must be some mechanism or force that drives it to do so.
Similarly, some similar force must impel the beaver to build its dams
and lodges. And, as we can deduce by the first syllable of the word instinct,
this mechanism or force must lie somewhere within the creature.
What is the Source of Instincts?
Even though an evolutionist
himself, Gordon R. Taylor says that evolution leaves unanswered
all questions on animal instinct.
Scientists use the word instinct to define animals' inborn
behaviors. Always left unanswered, however, are the questions of how these
instinctive behaviors first appeared, and how animals developed these
instincts and passed them down through later generations.
In his book, The Great Evolution Mystery, evolutionist
and geneticist Gordon Rattray Taylor admits this logical dead end:
When we ask ourselves how any instinctive
pattern of behaviour arose in the first place and became hereditarily
fixed, we are given no answer...4
Some evolutionists, who do not admit this dilemma as Taylor
does, try to pass over such questions with vague rhetoric of no specific
meaning. According to the theory of evolution, instinctive behaviors are
coded in the genes. According to this rationale, bees build their extraordinary
and mathematically precise combs because of their instincts. In other
words, Someone must have programmed into the genes of all the bees on
Earth the instinct of how to construct regular six-sided combs.
If so, everyone of reason and common sense must wonder: If
living things act out most of their behaviors because they are programmed
to do so, who programmed them in the first place? No program is self-generating
or self-fulfilling, and every program must have a programmer who originated
Evolutionists can find no answers to this question. In their
publications on the subject, they use a convenient smokescreen: the claim
that "Mother Nature" gives all creatures their innate qualities. But "Mother
Nature" consists of rocks, soil, water, trees, and plants. Which of these
elements could possibly make animals behave in a rational, conscious manner?
Which part of nature has the intellect or ability to program living creatures?
Everything we see in nature has been created and therefore, cannot create
on its own. What intelligent person, on seeing a painting, would say,
"What a nice picture these pigments have developed"? This is an obviously
irrational question. To the same degree, it would be irrational to claim
that creatures without intellect can program their own offspring to act
rationally and intelligently.
Here, we're confronted with a very clear fact: Since these
creatures haven't acquired these superior features with their own intellects
but were born with these faculties, some superior Being of intellect and
knowledge must have given them these abilities and created them in a way
as to display their behaviors. No doubt the owner of the intellect and
knowledge we see everywhere in nature is God.
In the Qur'an, God uses bees as an example, saying that it
is He Who inspires in them their seemingly intelligent behavior. In other
words, God's inspiration is really what evolutionists attempt to explain
as instincts, or that animals are "programmed" to do certain things. This
reality is revealed in the Qur'an:
Your Lord revealed to the bees: "Build dwellings in
the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect.
Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord,
which have been made easy for you to follow." From inside them comes
a drink of varying colors, containing healing for mankind. There is
certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Qur'an, 16: 68-69)
"Mother Nature," who evolutionists credit
with the divine powers of creation, consists of lakes, mountains,
and trees. Which part of it can give the beaver the instinct to
build its dam or provide any creature with its extraordinary abilities?
Evolutionists disregard this clear fact, in order to deny
the existence of God. In reality, they themselves search for an explanation
for observed animal behavior, but are well aware that the theory of evolution
cannot explain it. In any current evolutionist book or publication on
animal behavior, you will read sentences like, "To do this requires higher
intelligence, but how do animals, lacking intellect, do it? This is a
question that science cannot answer."
The renowned evolutionist Hoimar Von Ditfurth's comments
on the atlas moth caterpillar are a classic example of what evolutionists
have to say on the obvious awareness in animal behavior:
The thought of presenting predators with
decoys (other dry leaves) in order to conceal itself is astonishing
to us, but whose clever idea is this, anyhow? It's an extremely original
strategy to send away hungry birds who hunt for caterpillars by reducing
the probability of their being discovered among the dry leaves. Who
devised it for the caterpillar to use not long after it was hatched?
. . . These are methods of survival that intelligent humans might resort
to. However, if we consider the primitive central nervous system of
the atlas moth caterpillar (Attacus) as well as its other behavior,
it's clearly incapable of reasoning or designing along those lines.
Then how can this caterpillar protect itself this way? In the past,
naturalists who made such observations believed not only in the existence
of miracles, but in the existence of a supernatural Creator or God Who,
in order to protect His creations, distributed such knowledge for them
to defend themselves. Such an explanation is anathema for today's naturalists.
But on the other hand, its equally pointless for modern science to try
and explain such a phenomenon with instincts. Contrary to what most
of us might believe, attributing such behavior to instincts-in this
case, the caterpillar's-means interpreting them as inborn. That doesn't
get us anywhere else than where we started from, and prevents us from
finding true answers to this problem… However, it's well-nigh irrational
to speak of the "intelligence" of caterpillars lacking a developed brain.
Yet if we look at the behaviors that we've been examining from the start,
we do notice that some features meet the criteria of intelligence. If
focusing on a goal, predicting future events, calculating the potential
behavior of another species, and responding appropriately are not indicators
of intelligence, then what is?5
This is a famous evolutionist's attempts to explain the behavior
of a small caterpillar that acts with intelligence and planning. In such
books or publications, it's not possible to find other comments or explanations,
aside from this sort of demagogic sentences and unanswered questions.
Actually Charles Darwin, father of the theory of evolution,
realized the threat that animals' instinctive behavior posed to his theory.
In his book, On the Origins of Species, he admitted this clearly,
here as well as in other places:
Many instincts are so wonderful that their
development will probably appear to the reader a difficulty sufficient
to overthrow my whole theory.6
In The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Francis
Darwin, Darwin's son, relates his father's dilemma over instincts:
Chapter III of [The Origin of Species],
which concludes the first part, treats of the variations which occur
in the instincts and habits of animals… It seems to have been placed
thus early in the Essay to prevent the hasty rejection of the whole
theory by a reader to whom the idea of natural selection acting on instincts
might seem impossible. This is the more probable, as the Chapter on
Instinct in the "Origin" is specially mentioned (Introduction, page
5) as one of the "most apparent and gravest difficulties on the theory."7
Instincts Do Not Develop Through Evolution
Proponents of this theory say that most animal behavior is
instinctive, but as we stated before, evolutionists cannot explain the
source of instincts, how they first arose, or how animals acquired their
apparently knowledgeable behavior. When some evolutionists feel cornered,
they claim that animals acquire some behaviors through experience, and
the process of natural selection automatically chooses the most successful
ones, which are then passed on to the next generation, through inheritance.
You need not reflect too deeply to detect the scientific
flaws in this logic. We can now proceed to examine the errors in these
1. Invalidating the Claim that Advantageous Behaviors
are Chosen Through Natural Selection
Natural selection, one of the central mechanisms of the theory
that Darwin proposed, means that any change (either physical or behavioral)
beneficial to an animal is selected in preference over others and thus
becomes a permanent feature, to be passed on to the next generation.
But here is a crucially important point that we shouldn't
disregard: Darwin's theory presumes that nature is able to distinguish
between beneficial and harmful, thus making conscious decisions. However,
no force or consciousness existing in nature is capable of such a feat.
Neither the animal itself nor any other creature has the faculties to
determine which behaviors are beneficial. Only a conscious Being of intellect
Who has created both nature and animals can make such selections.
There is only one possible explanation for
creatures devoid of thinking and reason to show compassion and to
protect and feed their young: All living beings act on the directions
of God. The diving bird shown here, feeding its young, does so by
the will of God.
Darwin himself admitted the impossibility of acquiring complex
and beneficial behavior by means of natural selection. He confessed that
his claims owe more to imagination than to science and are therefore flawed.
Nevertheless, he persisted:
Finally, it may not be a logical deduction,
but to my imagination it is far more satisfactory to look at such instincts
as the young cuckoo ejecting its foster-brothers, ants making slaves…
not as specially endowed or created instincts, but as small consequences
of one general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings,
namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.8
Professor Cemal Yildirim, one of Turkey's foremost evolutionists,
admits that natural selection cannot explain mothers' tenderness and love
for their offspring:
Can a mother's love be explained by the
blind process of natural selection, which has no spiritual aspects?
For such questions, it's hardly possible for Darwinist biologists to
give satisfactory answers.9
Cemal Yildirim, himself an evolutionist,
expresses an important dilemma for the theory of evolution by asking,
"Can a mother's love be explained by the blind process of natural
In living creatures that are devoid of intellect and reason, there are
some innate "spiritual" qualities that they could not have acquired by
their own will. Therefore, there must exist some power that gives it to
them. Neither nature nor the process of natural selection possess awareness
and spiritual qualities, so therefore, they cannot be these qualities'
source. The obvious reality is that all beings live under the will and
control of God. This is why, so often in the natural world, we witness
extremely conscious behavior in unthinking animals that makes us ask,
"How can any animal know this?" or "How could this creature think that?"
2. Invalidating the Claim that Behavior Can Be Acquired
through Natural Selection and Passed on to the Next Generation
The second of the evolutionists' claims is the behaviors
that surviving individuals acquire can be passed on to the future generations.
But this assertion is full of inconsistencies. First of all, even if animals
learn a behavior by means of experience, it's impossible for them to pass
it down to their offspring. The learned behavior belongs to-and stops
with-the animal that acquired it. It's definitely impossible to pass on
learned behaviors via the gene pool.
Evolutionist Gordon R. Taylor, whom we quoted earlier, dismisses
some biologists' claim that an organism's behavior can be passed down
to its later offspring:
Biologists assume freely that such inheritance
of specific behavior patterns is possible, and indeed that it regularly
occurs. Thus [the late Theodosius] Dobzhansky [an evolutionist Professor
of Zoology] roundly asserts: 'All bodily structures and functions, without
exception, are products of heredity realized in some sequence of environments.
So are all forms of behavior, without exception.' This simply isn't
true and it is lamentable that a man of Dobzhansky's standing should
dogmatically assert it. Some forms of behavior are, certainly; we have
no way of knowing that all are.
But the plain fact is that the genetic mechanism shows
not the slightest sign of being able to convey specific behavior patterns.
What it does is manufacture proteins. By producing more of certain hormones
it could affect behavior in an overall way- making the animal more aggressive,
more passive or perhaps even more maternal. But there is not the faintest
indication that it can hand on a behavioral programme of a specific
kind, such as the sequence of actions involved in nest building.
If in fact behavior is heritable, what are the units of
behavior which are passed on-for presumably there are units? No one
has suggested an answer.10
As Gordon Taylor stated, it's highly unscientific to assert
that complex behavioral patterns are inbred. Conscious serial actions,
like birds building nests, beavers constructing dams or bees making honeycombs,
are of a complexity that requires foresight. The fact that worker bees
and ants are sterile present another convincing proof that behavior cannot
The colony's worker ants display specific behavior that requires
a certain level of knowledge and no little skill at evaluation. However,
worker ants can't possibly acquire any of it genetically because they
are sterile and cannot pass on their features to the next generation.
We must ask evolutionists this question: How did the first worker ant
that acquired its specific behavior pass it along to the next generation?
Not just ants, but also sterile worker bees and termites display behaviors
requiring intelligence, skill, solidarity, discipline, teamwork and devotion.
But from the day these creatures first appeared, millions of years ago,
they have been unable to pass on any of their acquired characteristics.
Furthermore, it can't be said that they learned their extraordinary
behaviors. All these creatures begin to display these behaviors perfectly,
from the first moment they emerged from their pupae. They do not go through
any learning process on any subject; all their behavior is determined
according to knowledge they have at birth. This is equally true for the
"instinctive" behaviors of all other living beings anywhere on earth.
If this is so, who does teach them these skills?
Darwin voiced this contradiction 150 years ago:
. . . [I]t would be a serious error to
suppose that the greater number of instincts have been acquired by habit
in one generation, and then transmitted by inheritance to succeeding
generations. It can be clearly shown that the most wonderful instincts
with which we are acquainted, namely, those of the hive-bee and of many
ants, could not possibly have been acquired by habit.11
If a working ant or other neuter insect
had been an ordinary animal, I should have unhesitatingly assumed that
all its characters had been slowly acquired through natural selection;
namely, by individuals having been born with slight profitable modifications,
which were inherited by the off-spring; and that these again varied
and again were selected, and so onwards. But with the working ant we
have an insect differing greatly from its parents, yet absolutely sterile;
so that it could never have transmitted successively acquired modifications
of structure or instinct to its progeny. It may well be asked, how is
it possible to reconcile this case with the theory of natural selection?12
Darwin's objection remains unanswered by evolutionists today.
The evolutionist Cemal Yildirim expresses the dilemma that
this subject presents to his fellow evolutionists:
From among the social insects, let us
take the worker ants and bees. Since they are sterile, it's impossible
for them to pass on to later generations whatever characteristics and
modifications they may have acquired during their lives. And yet these
workers have adapted to their environment and way of behavior in an
As we can see from these admissions, the astounding behavior
of living things and their instincts cannot be explained by evolutionary
mechanisms. These animals' skills are not acquired by the processes of
natural selection, nor is it possible to transfer them, through inheritance,
from one generation to the next.
3. Invalidating the Claim that Instincts Evolve
and Change Along with a Species
The theory of evolution claims that species evolve from one
another. According to this proposition, amphibians-for instance-evolved
from fish. But it must not be forgotten that each species' behavior is
distinct. A fish behaves completely different from an amphibian. If so,
did the creature's behavior change according to the biological changes
that took place?
This question highlights the evolutionists' dilemmas and
contradictions. Darwin was well aware of them and even questioned the
proposition that instincts can be acquired and then evolve through natural
. . . [C]an instincts be acquired and
modified through natural selection? What shall we say to the instinct
which leads the bee to make cells, and which has practically anticipated
the discoveries of profound mathematicians?14
We can multiply these contradictions by giving the examples
of other living classes such as fish, reptiles, and birds:
Fish have their own unique ways of hunting, building and
defending their nests, and propagating their species. These characteristics
harmonize perfectly with their existing underwater living conditions.
In the breeding season, some fish adhere their eggs to rocks under water
and increase the oxygen flow to them by fanning their fins. Birds, on
the other hand, conceal their eggs in specially constructed nests and
hatch them through incubation.
Each species-whether a
sea horse, bird or goat-displays its own characteristic behavior.
If these creatures have evolved biologically as evolutionists claim,
their behavior must also have been evolved simultaneously. This
claim, however, is irrational.
Some fish build nests in rock cavities in the water, and
some land animals build nests on trees using bark and twigs as building
materials, whereas birds use grass and other fine matter. On the other
hand, some reptiles such as crocodiles, bury their eggs in sand where
they remain for their two-month incubation period.
"And in your creation and all the creatures
He has spread about there are Signs for people with certainty."
(Qur'an, 45: 4)
Mammals, which evolutionists claim to have evolved from reptiles,
reproduce altogether differently from other class of animals. While all
other species lay eggs, mammals carry their young in their womb for months
before giving birth to them, and then feed their babies with mother's
Each animal hunts for food in a different way. Some lurk
in ambush over an extended period, others camouflage themselves, and yet
others use the advantages of speed or flight. As we know, land animals'
behavior varies considerably from that of water dwellers, all depending
on their environment and living conditions.
Under these circumstances, animals' instincts must undergo
great changes during the evolutionary process. For instance if a fish,
following its instincts, sticks its eggs onto a rock and stirs up the
water to provide an oxygen flow to them, this inner drive must also change,
in the process of its evolving into a land animal. Furthermore, this instinct
must change further, to the extent where the species starts building perfect
nest structures high above the ground to incubate its eggs.
This is clearly not possible.
Yet another difficulty presents itself: If a species' biological
makeup and therefore, its living environment change, but its behavior
does not, then it cannot survive. For instance, a fish able to conceal
itself in the oceans must quickly develop new defense mechanisms for itself,
wasting no time. All of its bodily functions, behavior, and way of life
must change at once. Otherwise, it is doomed, and its species will quickly
die out along with it.
Obviously a creature devoid of logic and awareness cannot
make such sudden decisions requiring reason and strategy. How come, then,
that all living things can behave in the most perfect ways, each one befitting
its biological and environmental conditions?
In The Origin of Species, Darwin refers
to this criticism:
It has been objected to the foregoing view of the origin
of instincts that "the variations of structure and of instinct must
have been simultaneous and accurately adjusted to each other, as a modification
in the one without an immediate corresponding change in the other would
have been fatal."15
As we have seen, neither evolutionary processes, nor coincidences,
nor "Mother Nature" can explain the behavior of animals and the true origins
of instincts. How did species acquire the qualities that enable them to
continue their existence?
Actually, the answer is clear and obvious. Anyone who has
observed living organisms must agree that clearly, these behaviors neither
originate in them nor are the product of successive "selective" coincidences.
The true source for animal behavior is to be found neither in their bodies
nor in their environment. It is self-evident that these behaviors are
governed by an invisible power and intellect, which belong to God, the
most compassionate and merciful.
Conclusion: All Living Things Act on the Urging and Behest
As we've seen in the previous pages, evolutionists dealing
with the subject of animal behavior are facing serious difficulties. On
the other hand, the truth is clear. If animals, which clearly do not have
intellect or the ability to reason, can discriminate between details,
link up events, make the proper decisions, and plan for or predict subsequent
events that require intelligence and awareness, they must be governed
and directed by some power outside themselves. Evolutionists say that
animals are "programmed" to behave in certain ways-but who created their
programs? What power inspires the bees to build their combs? The answer
is clear and obvious. Every person who has observed living things can
clearly see that these behaviors neither originate in them nor are the
product of successive coincidences. It is self-evident that there is an
intellect and power that controls everything in nature and governs these
behaviors. The owner of this intellect and power is God, the Creator of
all there is.
The theory of evolution cannot even explain how any organism
came into being, much less explain the source of that being's behavior.
Therefore, it's of great importance to observe animal behavior, because
doing so quickly reveals that no creature is left to its own devices.
It is God, the Lord of everything on earth, in the heavens and in between,
Who creates every being from nothing, controls it, guards it, and commands
its behavior. As the Qur'an reveals:
[Hud said], "I have put my trust in God, my Lord and
your Lord. There is no creature He does not hold by the forelock. My
Lord is on a Straight Path." (Qur'an, 11: 56)
Animals' Devotion Belies Darwin's Thesis that Only the
A protective female crocodile carries her
young in her jaws.
As we have examined over the last few pages, the natural
selection process that Darwin proposed suggests that those animals that
are strongest and best adapted to their geography's living conditions
can survive and continue their species, whereas those that have not adapted
well and are weak in comparison perish. According to Darwinism's natural
selection scenario, nature is an arena in which all creatures are engaged
with one another in a fierce struggle for survival, and where weak individuals
succumb to the stronger, leading to the extinction of their species.
According to this claim, every being needs to be stronger,
fitter than its counterparts, and must fight to survive. Such an environment
leaves no room for devotion, selflessness or cooperation, because any
of these traits could work against the animal in question. For this reason,
each individual must be as selfish as possible and consider only its own
needs-its food, personal safety, and defending its nest.
For months, penguins carry their young on
their feet to protect them from the cold.
Is nature really full of selfish and fiercely competitive
individuals, where each animal is pitted against every other, trying to
destroy or subdue one another?
So far, all the observations made in this respect belie evolutionists.
Contrary to their claim, nature is not an arena governed by warfare alone.
Quiet the opposite is true. There are many examples of devoted animals
that often endanger their own lives, displaying selfless behavior at their
own expense for the good of the herd, and intelligent group behavior with
no personal benefit. In his book Evrim Kurami ve Bagnazlik (The Theory
of Evolution and Bigotry), Cemal Yildirim-though himself an evolutionist,
explains why Darwin and other evolutionists of his time concluded that
nature is a battleground:
Scientists of the nineteenth century
were easily misled into adopting the thesis that nature is a battlefield,
because more often than not, they were imprisoned in their studies or
laboratories and generally didn't bother to acquaint themselves with
nature directly. Not even a respectable scientist like Huxley could
exempt himself from this error.16
In his book, Mutual Aid: A Factor in Evolution,
evolutionist Peter Kropotkin expresses the error of Darwin and his followers
... the numberless followers of Darwin
reduced the notion of struggle for existence to its narrowest limits.
They came to conceive the animal world as a world of perpetual struggle
among half-starved individuals, thirsting for one another's blood. .
. . In fact, if we take Huxley, who certainly is considered as one of
the ablest exponents of the theory of evolution, were we not taught
by him, in a paper on the "Struggle for Existence and its Bearing upon
Man," that, "from the point of view of the moralist, the animal world
is on about the same level as a gladiators' show. The creatures are
fairly well treated, and set to, fight hereby the strongest, the swiftest,
and the cunningest live to fight another day." . . . [I]t may be remarked
at once that Huxley's view of nature had as little claim to be taken
as a scientific deduction.17
"Everything in the heavens and the earth glorifies
God. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. The kingdom of the heavens
and the earth belongs to Him. He gives life and causes to die. He
has power over all things." (Qur'an, 57: 2)
This state of affairs also indicates that this theory is
not based on scientific observation. To support their evolutionist ideology,
scientists have misinterpreted some clear features of nature. The war
that Darwin imagined taking place in nature is nothing more than imaginary,
because there aren't creatures who fight solely for their own gain. Many
animals are friendly with others of their species and even behave selflessly.
For this reason, evolutionists find it hard to explain such selfless behavior
they regularly encounter. An article on the subject published in a scientific
magazine exposes this dilemma:
The question is, Why do living beings
help one another? According to Darwin's theory, every animal is fighting
for its own survival and the continuation of its species. Helping other
creatures would decrease its own chances of surviving, and therefore,
evolution should have eliminated this type of behavior, whereas we observe
that animals can indeed behave selflessly.18
Honeybees sting, even kill any animal that threatens their
hive. But in stinging, they will have committed suicide. The barb of their
sting breaks off in the adversary, taking with it part of the bee's lower
abdomen and some of its internal organs. As we see here, the bee sacrifices
its own life for the survival of the rest of the hive.
Male and female penguins protect their young even to the
death. Both parents are totally devoted to their young. The male penguin
shelters its baby between its legs for four months and during this period,
it cannot feed. The female penguin goes in the sea, hunting for food for
the baby and transports it back in its gullet.
The crocodile is one of the most ferocious animals, but the
female crocodile shows astonishing devotion to her offspring. Once they
hatch from their eggs, she carries them to the water in her jaws. From
then on, she will keep them either in her mouth or on her body until they
become self-sufficient. When the baby crocodiles encounter danger, they
instantly seek refuge in their mother's mouth.
The crocodile is not just ferocious, but also an animal devoid
of reason and logic. It would not be surprising, therefore, if she were
to eat her young for food instead of protecting them.
Some animal mothers are forced to leave their own communities
until their offspring are weaned, which exposes them to great dangers.
Many species look after their young after they are born or hatched for
many days or months and, in some cases, even years, providing them with
food, shelter, warmth and protection from predators. Many species of birds
feed their fledglings between four and 20 times an hour throughout the
day. Mammal mothers have a different set of problems to deal with, for
while suckling their babies, they need increased nourishment and therefore,
need to hunt for more food. While her baby gains weight, she continues
to lose it.
Animals without foresight or reason could be expected to
desert their offspring at birth, because they could not be aware that
those tiny creatures signify the survival of their species as a whole.
Yet instead, they take all the responsibility of caring for their young
entirely upon themselves.
Animals do not behave selflessly simply
because they protect their young. In many cases, animals have been seen
to behave very considerately and constructively toward other animals in
their community. One example for this can be observed when food becomes
scarce. In such a situation, one might assume that the stronger individuals
would eliminate the others and seek to keep the limited resources for
themselves. But things don't happen the way evolutionists would expect.
In his book, the renowned evolutionist Peter Kropotkin gives examples
of such behavior: In situations where food resources dry up, he states,
ants begin to draw from their food stores. Birds migrate in flocks. And
in a stream where the number of beavers becomes unsustainable, the younger
ones migrate north, and the older ones south.19 As these
facts demonstrate, no merciless struggle for food or shelter is going
on. To the contrary, it can be observed that even in the hardest of times,
there is solidarity and cooperation in nature, as if each animal were
trying to help ease the conditions for the others.
We must not disregard one important point: None of these
animals possesses the intelligence or awareness to make such decisions
or to create such a protocol. How is it, then, that they can set a common
goal to which they all adhere-and that their chosen aim can be the most
effective of all?
No doubt it is God, the Lord of all the universe, Who created
these creatures, inspires them to the most befitting behavior, and guards
them at all times. God reveals His protection over all His creation as
There is no creature on the Earth which is not dependent
upon God for its provision. He knows where it lives and where it dies.
They are all in a Clear Book. (Qur'an, 11: 6)
In the face of these realities, the evolutionists' claim
that nature is a battlefield, that the selfish ones that fight in their
own self-interest come out on top, is unsustainable. The famous evolutionist
John Maynard Smith asks his fellow evolutionists the following question:
Here one of the key questions has to
do with altruism:How is it that natural selection can favor patterns
of behavior that apparently do not favor the survival of the individual?20
The "Instinct" for Continuing the Species
"He said, 'The Lord of the East and the West
and everything between them if you used your intellect.'" (Qur'an,
As we saw in the preceding
pages, evolutionists cannot explain the important subject of animals'
devotional behavior... The many examples observed in nature disprove the
central propositions of the theory of evolution. The late Stephen Jay
Gould, a renowned evolutionist, stated that acts of devotion in nature
pose "the vexatious problem of altruism."21 Gordon R.
Taylor, giving voice to the evolutionists' woes, says that living beings'
devotional behavior "has long presented a challenge for Darwinism."22
Wholly "spiritual" qualities like care and compassion deal a clear sharp
blow to the materialist worldview that views nature as the sum total of
random interactions of matter.
Some evolutionists, refusing to admit defeat, came up with
a proposition they termed "selfish gene theory." Richard Dawkins, one
of the most ardent adherents and the pioneer of this position, claims
that what appears to be selfless devotion is really driven by egotism.
According to his view, animals displaying devotional behavior are doing
so not because they want to help others of their species, but are acting
on behalf of their own genes. To put this idea in context, any animal
mother who sacrifices her life for her young is thereby helping pass along
her genes. If her offspring survive, they will be more likely to perpetuate
her genetic characteristics to the next generation. According to this
rationale, all creatures-humans included-are simply "gene machines." Every
living organism's foremost responsibility is to pass its genes along for
Evolutionists claim that living things behave according to
their programming, to "want" to continue the species by transmitting their
genes along to future generations. The following quote, from the evolutionary
book Essentials of Biology, is a fine example of the explanations
that classical evolutionists offer for animal behavior:
What might account for potentially self-destructive
behavior? At least some altruistic acts are reputed to stem from so-called
selfish genes. Parents that work themselves ragged to feed insatiable
offspring or go without food as long as a predator is near are probably
carrying out genetically programmed behavior-behavior that increases
the chances of parental genes within the offspring being passed on to
yet another generation. These innate, instinctive responses to predators
may seem "purposeful" to the human observer, but in fact they are behavioral
programs triggered by sights, sounds, odors, and other cues.23
This quotation says, in effect, that animals' behavior looks
as if it has a purpose, an "ulterior motive"-but that these organisms
don't commit these acts consciously, much less in order to serve any future
end, but simply because they are "programmed to do so." The question that
needs asking is this: What is the source of this programming? Yes, genes
are encoded data banks, but they cannot think or reason. Genes do not
possess intelligence or judgment; so therefore, if a living being's genes
contained an order demanding selfless devotion, the gene itself could
not be the source of it.
For example, if you press a computer's ON\OFF button, it
will shut down-because an intelligent, conscious, knowledgeable programmer
designed it to do so. Notice the distinction: The computer does not do
this by itself; the button did not become by chance, through trial and
error, a device that switches the computer off. Some engineer designed
this switch, consciously and deliberately.
In this case, even if a creature's genes were programmed
to act selflessly so that the species might continue, this would clearly
indicate the existence of an intelligent, knowledgeable power that programmed
the genes this way in the first place. God is this power, and He directs
all living things, supervises them, and commands their actions-as the
Everything in the heavens and every creature on the
Earth prostrates to God, as do the angels. They are not puffed up with
pride. They fear their Lord above them and do everything they are ordered
to do. (Qur'an, 16: 49-50)
It is God Who created the seven heavens and of the
Earth the same number, the Command descending down through all of them,
so that you might know that God has power over all things and that God
encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Qur'an, 65: 12)
Living Creatures Help not Only Related Animals with the
Same Genes, but Other Species Too
In Chapter 3, we'll see more detailed examples of animals
that help not only their own young, but also other animals in need. This
is an irresolvable issue for the evolutionists, because this behavior
does nothing to pass genes along. The following example by the renowned
evolutionist John Maynard Smith openly exposes the theory of evolution's
In spite of male baboon's lack of genetic
relationship, they do display one type of cooperative behavior. When
two baboons are in some kind of contest, one of them may enlist the
aid of a third baboon. The soliciting baboon asks for help with an easily
recognized signal, turning its head repeatedly back and forth between
its opponent and its potential assistant.24
Clearly, in short, animals help one another and act selflessly
because God commands them to do so.
As we continue through the book, we'll see many more examples
of selfless altruism, compassion, and devotion. It must not be forgotten
that God has created these animals in the most perfect way, making them
behave in this way.