Birds Helping Birds
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”
Altruism – helping one another – is a real puzzle to those who explain the world of living things in terms of materialistic evolution. Evolution is supposed to work on the selfish survival-of-the-fittest principle, so there should be no reason for any creature, including man, to develop a helping attitude. In fact, there is no way to explain how the genetic code could possibly develop and pass on a trait such as altruism.
Researchers have studied a bird called the white-fronted African bee-eater. Members of this species help each other, sometimes even at the sacrifice of their own life. For example, one bird will face a spitting cobra to defend another, and scientists have been puzzled to know how this altruistic trait can possibly be passed on, when it often results in death. Another common altruistic habit of the African bee-eater is that one female will put off starting her own family to help another bee-eater raise her young. Some argue that such behavior is limited to birds that are related. But they admit that even adopted orphaned bee-eaters will help their adopted parents in this way.
While it is often denied, the theory of evolution has yet to adequately explain altruism. Altruism is a demonstration of that commandment given by our Creator to “love our neighbor.”
Notes: Kathy A. Fackelmann, “Avian Altruism,” Science News, Vol.135, June 10, 1989, pp. 364-365.
Photo: Courtesy of Luc Viatour. Licensed under the GNU Free Documentation 1.2 License.
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