Further to: Darwinian catechism on why some mammals kill off infants features a key omission (Now, what is really interesting is that Zimmer avoids saying “And that explains why some men murder their stepkids”) Indeed, the langur monkey specialist quoted disclaims any association between humans and langurs in this matter.
A friend writes privately to say,
According to the “Hansel and Gretel” theorem, it’s wicked stepmothers who have evolved the desire to kill their children.
Yes, I have noticed that in the literature. I replied:
Earlier in life, I read tons of folk tales. Rarely is the stepdad concerned to kill his stepkids.
For one thing, they might be an advantage to him if they are suited for work on his farm or pasture, or if they can hunt or fish.
Or perhaps he is a minor nobleman and he can now control the marriage of his pretty stepdaughter, for social mobility. In any event, his stepsons had BETTER support him in a conflict with neighbours …
He has essentially acquired what another man put into those kids, in terms of upkeep and protection all these years for nothing. (I am thinking back to the days when children were an asset, not a liability, a critical difference between today and the very recent past.*)
It is stepMOM who feels put-upon, as she inherits all the work, on her – we must hope – happy bridal day, without perceiving any obvious advantage to herself or her own kids.
And there can be serious problems if the late mom’s kids were raised with different standards from what new mom expects.
Hence, in archetypal literature, we hear so much more about wicked stepmothers than about wicked stepfathers.
One gets so befogged with the huge stupid social noise around Darwinism that one forgets even the real history of the human race!
Intelligence changes everything. Not always for the good, but it changes everything.
Which is quite different from the history of langur monkeys, amazingly enough.
* My own parents, still living, grew up in an environment where children were still a key economic asset.
– O’Leary for News
Follow UD News at Twitter!