Lights Out: A Modern Bedtime Story

If evolution is true and believed, then why do moral arguments for or against abortion exist?

If evolutionary theory explains the origin, development, and existence of human beings, then abortion should be celebrated as mere natural selection in action. Along with the unlucky light-colored Peppered Moths in England, the unfortunate short-beaked finches in the Galapagos Islands, the poor short-necked giraffes, and all the other examples proffered as examples of natural selection, why not add inconvenient human babies?

Seriously. Why not?

In evolutionary theory the killing of the weak by the strong encompasses no moral dimension. In fact, the killing of the weak by the strong is natural and drives the engine of evolutionary progress. To attach any moral component to killing in nature is unnatural, if evolution is true.

Why, then, are arguments for abortion rights always centered on moral grounds? “Women’s (meaning already-born, adult women) rights” is a moral ground for the pro-choice position: it is “wrong” for you to intervene and take away my right to kill my baby. “Keep your hands off my body” is a moral admonition: it is “wrong” for you to meddle with my body to prevent me killing my baby. “My body, my choice” is a moral rationale: it is “wrong” for you to take a choice from me with respect to my body, even to keep me from killing my baby.

Of course, the abortion debate will go on forever if based on the morality of the process. But there is a way to end the debate decisively in favor of those who want to abort their babies: stop using and permitting unnatural moral arguments.

Think about it: Why all the focus on the morality of abortion from those who, very likely, believe that they evolved in a God-less evolutionary process of nature? If evolution is the true creation story for human beings, then abortion is not right or wrong, it is just natural selection operating amorally in the same way that produced humans in the first place. As Darwinist George Gaylord Simpson correctly stated:

“Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.”

George Gaylord Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1949), pp. 132, 345.

Evolutionist Richard Dawkins spells it out more plainly:

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. As that unhappy poet A.E. Housman put it: ‘For Nature, heartless, witless Nature Will neither know nor care.’ DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is.

Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life, (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1995), p. 132, 133.

Thus, if evolution is true, those holding the Pro-Choice position should abandon all moral arguments and simply re-brand them selves as “Pro-Purposeless Nature” with the slogan: “Killing the weak and vulnerable is natural.” After all, how can a person created without purpose fight against the blind, pitiless indifference of purposeless nature! On what basis can one created without meaning assign “evil” and “good” to a thing produced (and reproducing) in a system blind to evil or good?

Think how differently issues such as abortion would be if everyone actually believed in evolutionary theory! For one, if millions of parents in the world truly believed evolutionary theory to be the true creation story, then the following conversation would be the most natural and easy . . .

Lights Out: A Modern Bedtime Story

The scene: a typical child’s bedroom.  The child is waiting with the lights on to ask mother a question.  Mother comes in to turn off the light.  The mother hesitates as the child, visibly curious about something, looks at her mother, and asks “the question.”

Mommy:  Lights out, Sally.

Sally:  Wait Mommy, I have a question: where do babies come from?

(Mommy walks over to Sally’s bed.)

Mommy:  Well, Sally, babies come from Mommy’s tummy.

Sally:  Do all babies come from mommies’ tummies?

Mommy:  Yes, from their tummies, where they grow big and strong until they can come out as a little boy, or a girl like you.

Sally:  Do all babies come out of mommies’ tummies?

Mommy, hesitating: Well, yes. They all come out.

Sally: Alive?

Mommy: Sally! Why would you ask such a thing?

Sally: I heard something about ‘bortions.

Mommy, taken back:  Abortions?  Who told you about abortions?

Sally: Mommy did you have a ‘bortion?

Mommy, looking away momentarily before looking right into Sally’s innocent eyes: Well yes, Sally.  Nature operated the way nature does, and I . . . I . . . ended a pregnancy a few years before you were born.

Sally:  You mean I could have had a big brother or sister?

Mommy:  Yes, Sally.  It would have been a . . . a big. . . brother.

Sally: What happened?

Mommy: Well, since your brother was…unplanned, and Daddy and I were not interested in…parenthood, we naturally went to a group called Planned Parenthood.

(Sally’s eyes widen in fearful confusion.  Planned Parenthood? she thought, trying to understand why this was so “natural”.)

Mommy: Planned Parenthood told us about our healthcare option, which was essentially to kill your brother so that we could continue our lifestyle unburdened with a child we did not want.  At the time, I mean.  You see, my career was just starting and Daddy did not make enough money to support a child on one income. It was the natural thing to do.

Sally, still wide-eyed: What?  Who did it?  And how did they get to him?

Mommy: Oh, Sally, it’s really nothing!  I just went to a place like a hospital and let a person dressed like a doctor reach inside me, cut him, uh . . . it, up in little pieces, and suck it out.  It was my choice, and really my only natural choice.  At the time, I mean.

(Sally rigid in fear, Mommy smiling sweetly).

Mommy, trying to soothe Sally’s apparent fright:  Don’t be upset, it’s all very natural. It is just the way nature works. You see, Sally, he just arrived at the wrong time. That’s all.

Sally: Did I come at a good time?

Mommy, laughing:  Of course, Sally!  We decided to keep you because it was convenient and fit our lifestyles.  By the time you came along I was ready to take some time off, and Daddy’s job was going better.

Sally: And today? 

Mommy: Oh, Sally, we’re still doing fine!  Now, go to bed.

Sally:  Mommy?

Mommy: Yes?

Sally:  Will you please leave the light on?

“Lights Out” story used with permission from the author.

Photo modified from photo by Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

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