Drew is home, and watching his usual parade of animal shows. He’s especially fond of those narrated by Sir David Attenborough. (Drew insists that we use the “sir.”)
In a show we watched, today, an adult meerkat was teaching a very young meerkat how to hunt for ants. This young one was not his offspring. He just saw that the youth was having trouble catching ants on his own. He began by teaching his student how to burrow. Once he’d burrowed for a while, he found some larvae. He shared it with his student.
The next scene was elephants. I’m especially fond of elephants, and I think everyone in my family who has ever given me a gift has given me an elephant at some point. But that’s another story….
This was a mama elephant who was trying to help her baby elephant out of some mud in which it was stuck. This was mama’s first baby, so she was struggling as much as her baby was. Thankfully, Grandma was nearby, and saw that the big problem was that mama was actually pushing her baby deeper into the mud with her efforts. Grandma poked Mama in the butt with her tusks, and Mama ran forward. Grandma then helped guide the baby out of the mud and back to her mama.
I believe that all living things contain a little bit of God. I think we see it manifested most clearly when we truly Love. That’s why, when I imagine God’s love, I imagine the way my dogs love me, no matter how little energy or time I have to give them.
I also believe in science and and evolution, so I debate with myself about these things. The debate I’m having tonight is:
If animals don’t have souls, why would they help non-offspring? I understand an urge to sustain your own life, and even the lives of your offspring. But why care about the offspring of others? They’re just more mouths to feed, right? Competition.
I know someone will say, “it’s instinct to want our species to perpetuate.” But why? How does the existence of meerkats 100 years from now impact a meerkat, today?
If I was to ask that same question regarding the existence of humans, people wouldn’t hesitate to say that it’s just the right thing to do. But by whose rules? The only way to answer that without invoking God or Souls is to say, “it just is.”
And that’s not a very scientific answer, is it?