Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Babies born with morals

Well, this should get the atheist blogosphere a-talkin'
Babies 'can tell friend from foe'

Social animals, including humans, need to be able to rapidly distinguish whom they can trust from those they cannot in order to cooperate, thrive and survive.
Indeed, it could be that it is part of our nature to know the difference between right and wrong, rather than a product of nurture. Today's research shows that this instinct is so fundamental to our survival that we are able to spot a good Samaritan, even before we are able to talk

A great study where they entertained babies with coloful wooden shapes that helped or hindered each other in climbing a hill. When the babies were offered the toys to play with they "strongly preferred" the helper toy to the hinderer.
I presume that the helper toy wasn't soft and cuddly while the hinderer was made of barbed wire! There would have to be a way of eliminating babies' preference for certain shapes and colours.
The fact that babies may have a sense of right and wrong far earlier than previously thought could be a biological adaptation that may also serve as the foundation for moral thought and action later in life, they speculate.

commenting on the story, a reader called Matt Charwood says
It raises questions as to the origin of morality. If
it is inherent, rather than learned, then it sheds
new light on what Dawkins describes as the
'selfish gene.' Perhaps there are areas of the
genome which convey a moral sense. It could be
assumed that morality needs an origin if it is
inherent, and the conventional theories of
evolution do not allow for it. Instead the premise
there is kill or be killed, survival of the fittest
rather than a moral sense. This new research
provides support for the Christian viewpoint that
morality comes from God, and is therefore
evidence of a created order.


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At 12:53 am, Blogger JCE said...

Wow. Matt uses the most convoluted system of reasoning I have seen in a looooong time. It is astounding the mental gymnastics required to take these types of scientific studies and still be able to conclude 'goddidit'. Remarkable really.

Btw - you beat me to the punch in posting this story - lol!


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