Tuesday, September 05, 2006

EVOLUTION IS TO BLAME - OBESITY

I have in the past addressed the problem of blaming societal woes on evolution. Men rape according to evolutionary psychologists because it is part of early man's way of survival. Men seek the most shapely and young women according to evolutionary psychologists because they are most likely to preserve the man's gene pool. There is a whole field of science that teaches such things. All sorts of societal ills, including infidelity and having multiple wives, is blamed on latent genes in the human race. The race to map the human genome is a quest to heal every malady and to understand everything that is wrong in man. What Prozac has done for our mental problems, gene therapy will do for every physical and behavioral abnormality.



Now that our society is suffering from a weight problem, personal responsibility is given a free ride in favor of once again blaming evolution. A Reuters article begins:
"Evolution and the environment, not just gluttony, has led to a global obesity pandemic, with an estimated 1.5 billion people overweight -- more than the number of undernourished people -- an obesity conference was told on Monday...."
Notice that the article says it's "not just gluttony", not to completely discount the problem of gluttony. The epidemic, according to the researcher, is a disease that isn't about eating less and exercising more, but it's "discovering environmental and genetic contributors to obesity." But what if the main problem is gluttony? When I visited India, I didn't see the genetic problem there. I saw thin people everywhere, except when there was affluence, and the waists were a little wider. What effects would genetics and "evolution" have on our culture if everyone was forced to eat half-portions? Maybe the genetic response would be to burn more of the stored fat and to create a general thinning of the population.

If the evolustionists could have their way, it would be heaven on earth as the researchers discover and correct the problem gene that makes our body convert all the foods we are consuming into fat. And it will be heaven on earth when they find and turn off the gene that gives us humans uncontrollable passions of rage and lust that are so often associated with raping and creating general havoc in society. And if their godless way came to pass, everyone would be happy and really nice to each other. Until that happens, there is nothing we can do abou it. We'll see.

I don't completely understand this science, but it seems that our eyes are genetically attuned to the things chocolate and our noses to things fried in animal fat. This propensity is evident at any county fair. And our tongues are especially attuned to avoid brussel sprouts and asparagus in preference for things sweet and sour. Again, there are no brussel sprout stand at the county fair. So there is something genetic about this problem of body weight. We are genetically wired to eat fattening food. I have what I believe would be the cure to our weight problems. If scientist could find and amp up the height gene so that we all began to grow at twice the rate and height, our metabolism would need additional cheeseburgers just to keep us alive.

We humans come in all shapes and sizes and our bodies don't all metabolize food at the same rates. But we are more alike than different. And our genetic make-up determines how food is metabolized and processed in the body. This process is designed by God and works pretty much the same in us all. Knowing this, the government gives general guidelines for caloric intake.

The Bible tells us to treat our bodies as temples of God and to exercise self-control in all matters. Over-eating is a health and, sometimes, spiritual problem. Paul talks about people "whose god is their stomach." (Phil. 3:19) And God says in Proverbs "Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, . . ." (Pro. 23:20,21) So we know that overeating can be as idolatry and do serious harm to our relationship with God. As I said in my previous article on being satisfied by God, the devil uses food to lure us away from the spiritual.

Over-eating is about the habit of putting too much of something into our mouths as much as it is anything. And I confess that this has been one of the biggest challenges in my life. But I don't like being lied to and I don't want nicely packaged excuses that let me off the hook of personal responsibility. We don't overeat because we have latent genes from our caveman ancestors who HAD to gorge themselves to compensate for times when food would be scarce; we overeat because it taste good, it makes us feel good, and the triple pattie burger commercial is very tempting.

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