Through Eyes Of Faith Ch 6 Essay

Submitted By tyhurt
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In the sixth chapter of Psychology Through the Eyes of Faith, Myers and Jeeves discuss evolutionary psychology and human uniqueness. What is known as evolutionary psychology today is the evolution of behavior and the mind using the basic principles of natural selection, this was also once referred to as comparative psychology. Comparative psychology in the early stages began observing sensation, learning, and behavior but grew with the increasing complexity of organisms. Along with that came ethologists who use simple animals to explain complex behaviors. The difference between these practices is that evolutionary psychology now seems to challenge our view of human nature and place in this world.
Myers and Jeeves go on to describe how scientists have made direct comparisons between us and animals in evolutionary psychology. As described by Blaise Pascal, it is dangerous for a man to realize how much he resembles an animal, without at the same time showing him his greatness. As well, it is also dangerous to show a man his greatness without making clear his lowliness. A lot of psychologist see evolutionary psychology today as taking over the entire field and offering a full explanation as to who and what we are. So, Myers and Jeeves, suggest we must ask ourselves the question of whether linking ourselves to animal ancestors denies our faith claim of uniqueness that comes from a personal God. The authors suggest not and use two topics in evolutionary psychology, mind reading and self-giving behavior, to back their claim.
The first, mind reading, began with Premack and Woodreff’s description of animals that are capable of understanding the minds of other animals. The theory suggests that mind refers to an animal’s ability to respond not just to one another’s behavior but also to what it assumes about the other’s beliefs and desires. As brain cortex volume increases in more complex beings, these abilities increase as well. Christians have become concerned with this narrowing gap of comparing human-animal similarities in abilities since it can become tempting to suggest that humans are no more than complex primates and ignore all ethical, moral, and religious aspects of human nature. However, as Christians, we should not be overly concerned with the growing support for evolutionary psychology or altogether ignore the new findings, rather we should embrace them. For a more discerning Christian, who seeks knowledge and the complexities of life and all that has been created will certainly be able to find new glimpses to the greatness and intelligence of the Creator.
The second topic in evolutionary psychology, self-giving behavior, also referred to as altruism, is the capacity for