Evolution has a theory as to why parents love their children – but it cannot explain why children love their parents. I would like to hear what everyones views are on this, people who believe in evolution and people who don’t… if you’re a spiritualist or an atheist… I want your theory and beliefs as to why “love” or “care” is something natural or unnatural, man made or mother nature. whatever your views… please share.
Evolution is a thought. Natural Selection is the process of continuing that thought.
Everyone thinks of evolution as pertaining to the whole sum of a person evolving. But really it is the individual genes that are the biological entities that are morphing and being selected for…. not the individual. With this perspective it is easier to understand things like altruism and familial love. The genes are being selected for in a way that ensures their overall survival not the individuals survival…so families bond because they have a lot of the same DNA and bonding increases the odds that individual genes will get passed on. Also you might see a mother sacrifice herself for her child because over the years this trait had evolved as the best way to ensure the genes survive.
I hope this makes sense. Thinking the individual (in our case a human) is at the center of evolution is like thinking the earth is at the center of the universe. I think evolution is very iterative and occurs at many different levels–macro and micro. But really we are vessels for the genes. There is symbiosis, but I think mostly we exist for them to propogate and they will sacrifice the host to ensure the greatest chance of their genetic code surviving.
You do make sense and I am on the same page as you. I am not at all confused about the necessity of a parents “love” or how a bond with their child is beneficial to the survival of the gene. I have read Dawkins book on the “selfish gene” and can see totally how it relates and agree completely with you.
But when I analyse it, and other animal behaviours I always am left with feeling like a child’s love for their parent is not a necessity at all, especially when a child is growing into a reproductive age, an adult is ageing out of it, so there is no need to protect the genes or be fussed by them yet children still love parents? In fact numerous studies have shown that regardless of how a child acts towards it parent, it will still receive beneficiaries because the “unconditional love” is so strong. Children only share half the genes of any single parent but share the most similar genes with their siblings, yet love of parents is always the first on the child’s list followed by sibling rivalry. I’ve read numerous theories as to why, but all have been labelled flawed by the science community to be taken seriously and it is still one of the holes in evolution, which I’m hoping leaves room for spirituality.
I think my studies into evolution and naturalism have caused me some conflict within myself. The thought of not being a free agent but only the result of my chemical and genetic properties leaves little room for a soul.. which to me is a terrifying conclusion.
I don’t think evolution really explains much about anything that really matters to us frankly. In terms of evolutionary theory we might all be dead or just bacteria crawling around. There is no theoretical reason for anything to become complex and sentient like we are or even to survive at all. So all explanations of love or anything like seem pretty damn superficial to me.
The thought that animals just are the way they are because of survival is pretty absurd to me. Bacteria can survive and reproduce really really well. Better than us. So we are just kind of degenerate junk soon to be extinct?
Also, you can survive pretty well by just having a lot of children and taking care they are fit to survive. Love isn’t really necessary for that. If you really want to love your children you might even choose to have less of them and to let them express themselves as they are as opposed to making sure that they become functional reproduction machines.
I feel love and care is very much natural. There is no particular reason for it. Basically, we just love to love. I think of nature more of a outflow of abundance and open-ended play/experiment then of something that needs a reason for things to occur.
I like your perspective. I have thought of why did life need to create so many complex organisms that threatens each others existence? It feels like there has to be some intelligence behind all this need to constantly become more complex and conscious.Thank you for sharing.
its a societal expectation, but you never really asked to be born, so therefore, you’re automatically a free agent once you’re not a child anymore and is now a self aware adult.
Why it isn’t explained? If the parents’ love is unconditional, caring about their children is a form of teaching them how to love. For love to be unconditional adults have to be taught too that loving someone is a choice and the more you love, the more you love. So no one should be taught they’re special, but that they can pick and give.