Further to “So “The Hobbit” was a woman with Down syndrome? And Flores man an “invalid” classification?”, medical historian Michael Flannery, explains why
It seems to me the Darwinians need to reject this possibility for another reason: the very existence of special needs individuals amongst early Homo sapiens contradicts their narrative of “nature red in tooth and claw.” After all, these individuals would have needed some special care and attention and they most certainly couldn’t have contributed to the maintenance of the group to the extent that others could. This very special care and attention is pretty unique to humans. Most suggested animal examples are full of anthroporphic assumptions and leaps, but by and large the existence of specially challenged individuals is counter to Darwinian assumptions regarding species competition and survival. Moreover, these individuals would not in and of themselves contribute any selective advantage to the group, quite the contrary. So this begs for explanation. Invoking the genuine uniqueness of human beings imbued with compassion and protective nurturing–ok, I’ll say it, “in the image of God”–is not a gap argument, it is a real explanation. At least it seems far more reasonable than just-so stories festooned with a lot of hand-waving.
But why do we believe that ancient humans could not have shown compassion? What do we think is the origin of compassion? The selfish gene?
Amazingly, some do.
Never are we more human than when we are humane. We see ourselves most vividly in the care and attention we give to those who need us most. To suggest, as Darwin did, that this type of compassion is little more “sympathy” derived from the “social instinct” belittles compassion and exaggerates instinct.
Works for Darwin. But us? See also: The Little Lady of Flores spoke from the grave. But said what, exactly?
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