Sunday, January 25, 2009

Contraception Versus Evolution?

I just read a very interesting passage in The Abolition of Man, by C. S. Lewis. He writes, "And all long-term exercises of power, especially in breeding, must mean the power of earlier generations over later ones." - p. 56 in the paperback version published by HarperSanFrancisco ZondervanPublishingHouse. This is a very interesting statement to me.

It brought to my mind a sudden realization that there is a possible contradiction, I think, between the idea of contraception and the idea of biological evolution, Darwinian or not. For the record, I don't believe in macro-evolution at all; micro-evolution is a possibility, I suppose. I haven't examined the evidence carefully. When it comes to contraception, I believe most definitely that any abortifacient is murder, and the only defensible contraception at all is that which prevents fertilization in the first place.

Now, here is the possible contradiction: if contraception allows earlier generations to have reproductive power over later generations, and yet later generations are, by evolutionary theory, superior, then what gives? Suppose you have a couple using contraception. Thus they are attempting, at least, to decide who comes into being and who doesn't. Thus they are setting themselves up as a judge over the later generation. But if evolution is true, then the later generation would make better choices. Perhaps the earlier generation should leave as many choices as possible to the later generations.

This is most definitely a half-baked idea, written at 9:40pm on a Sunday. I'd be interested in any thoughts of my readers, however.

In Christ.

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At 2/23/2009 10:07:00 PM , Blogger Beth M. said...

I would think the very existence and widespread use of contraception would mess up the whole evolutionary process. The idea of evolution is that those who are most fit for survival will live longer and have more offspring, therefore causing their genes to become more prominent in the next generation. Today however, the most successful people (by society's standards anyway) are using birth control and limiting their reproduction to one or two children at the most. Either birth control prevents evolution or evolution disagrees with our society's standards of success. If evolution theory holds true, then those of us who choose to focus on being parents and having large families rather than making and enjoying lots of money must be genetically superior :-)

At 3/02/2009 09:34:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Quite. Isn't it intellectually satisfying that Christianity has no contradictions? "Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee." - Augustine.


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