What is the Source of Instincts?

By Harun Yahya

If living things act out most of their behaviors because they are programmed to do so, who programmed them in the first place?

If living things act out most of their behaviors because they are programmed to do so, who programmed them in the first place?

Scientists use the word instinct to define animals’ inborn behaviors. Always left unanswered, however, are the questions of how these instinctive behaviors first appeared, and how animals developed these instincts and passed them down through later generations.

In his book, The Great Evolution Mystery, evolutionist and geneticist Gordon Rattray Taylor admits this logical dead end:

When we ask ourselves how any instinctive pattern of behaviour arose in the first place and became hereditarily fixed, we are given no answer.

Some evolutionists, who do not admit this dilemma as Taylor does, try to pass over such questions with vague rhetoric of no specific meaning. According to the theory of evolution, instinctive behaviors are coded in the genes. According to this rationale, bees build their extraordinary and mathematically precise combs because of their instincts. In other words, Someone must have programmed into the genes of all the bees on Earth the instinct of how to construct regular six-sided combs.

If so, everyone of reason and common sense must wonder: If living things act out most of their behaviors because they are programmed to do so, who programmed them in the first place? No program is self-generating or self-fulfilling, and every program must have a programmer who originated it.

Evolutionists can find no answers to this question. In their publications on the subject, they use a convenient smokescreen: the claim that “Mother Nature” gives all creatures their innate qualities. But “Mother Nature” consists of rocks, soil, water, trees, and plants. Which of these elements could possibly make animals behave in a rational, conscious manner? Which part of nature has the intellect or ability to program living creatures? Everything we see in nature has been created and therefore, cannot create on its own. What intelligent person, on seeing a painting, would say, “What a nice picture these pigments have developed”? This is an obviously irrational question. To the same degree, it would be irrational to claim that creatures without intellect can program their own offspring to act rationally and intelligently.

Here, we’re confronted with a very clear fact: Since these creatures haven’t acquired these superior features with their own intellects but were born with these faculties, some superior Being of intellect and knowledge must have given them these abilities and created them in a way as to display their behaviors. No doubt the owner of the intellect and knowledge we see everywhere in nature is God.

In the Qur’an, God uses bees as an example, saying that it is He Who inspires in them their seemingly intelligent behavior. In other words, God’s inspiration is really what evolutionists attempt to explain as instincts, or that animals are “programmed” to do certain things. This reality is revealed in the Qur’an:

“Your Lord revealed to the bees: “Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow.” From inside them comes a drink of varying colors, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Al-Nahl 16: 68-69)

Evolutionists disregard this clear fact, in order to deny the existence of God. In reality, they themselves search for an explanation for observed animal behavior, but are well aware that the theory of evolution cannot explain it. In any current evolutionist book or publication on animal behavior, you will read sentences like, “To do this requires higher intelligence, but how do animals, lacking intellect, do it? This is a question that science cannot answer.”

The renowned evolutionist Hoimar Von Ditfurth’s comments on the atlas moth caterpillar are a classic example of what evolutionists have to say on the obvious awareness in animal behavior:

The thought of presenting predators with decoys (other dry leaves) in order to conceal itself is astonishing to us, but whose clever idea is this, anyhow? It’s an extremely original strategy to send away hungry birds who hunt for caterpillars by reducing the probability of their being discovered among the dry leaves. Who devised it for the caterpillar to use not long after it was hatched? . . . These are methods of survival that intelligent humans might resort to. However, if we consider the primitive central nervous system of the atlas moth caterpillar (Attacus) as well as its other behavior, it’s clearly incapable of reasoning or designing along those lines. Then how can this caterpillar protect itself this way? In the past, naturalists who made such observations believed not only in the existence of miracles, but in the existence of a supernatural Creator or God Who, in order to protect His creations, distributed such knowledge for them to defend themselves. Such an explanation is anathema for today’s naturalists. But on the other hand, its equally pointless for modern science to try and explain such a phenomenon with instincts. Contrary to what most of us might believe, attributing such behavior to instincts—in this case, the caterpillar’s—means interpreting them as inborn. That doesn’t get us anywhere else than where we started from, and prevents us from finding true answers to this problem… However, it’s well-nigh irrational to speak of the “intelligence” of caterpillars lacking a developed brain. Yet if we look at the behaviors that we’ve been examining from the start, we do notice that some features meet the criteria of intelligence. If focusing on a goal, predicting future events, calculating the potential behavior of another species, and responding appropriately are not indicators of intelligence, then what is?

This is a famous evolutionist’s attempts to explain the behavior of a small caterpillar that acts with intelligence and planning. In such books or publications, it’s not possible to find other comments or explanations, aside from this sort of demagogic sentences and unanswered questions.

Actually Charles Darwin, father of the theory of evolution, realized the threat that animals’ instinctive behavior posed to his theory. In his book, On the Origins of Species, he admitted this clearly, here as well as in other places:

Many instincts are so wonderful that their development will probably appear to the reader a difficulty sufficient to overthrow my whole theory.

In The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Francis Darwin, Darwin’s son, relates his father’s dilemma over instincts:

Chapter III of [The Origin of Species], which concludes the first part, treats of the variations which occur in the instincts and habits of animals… It seems to have been placed thus early in the Essay to prevent the hasty rejection of the whole theory by a reader to whom the idea of natural selection acting on instincts might seem impossible. This is the more probable, as the Chapter on Instinct in the “Origin” is specially mentioned (Introduction, page 5) as one of the “most apparent and gravest difficulties on the theory.”


Taken with slight editorial modifications from Harun Yahya. DEVOTION AMONG ANIMALS REVEALING: THE WORK OF GOD. GLOBAL PUBLISHING, Okmeydani-Istanbul/Turkey.

Harun Yahya was born in Ankara in 1956. He studied arts at Istanbul’s Mimar Sinan University and philosophy at Istanbul University. Since the 1980s, the author has published many books on political, faith-related and scientific issues. Harun Yahya is well known as an author who has written very important works disclosing the imposture of evolutionists, the invalidity of their claims and the dark liaisons between Darwinism and bloody ideologies. Some of the books of the author have been translated into English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Albanian, Arabic, Polish, Russian, Bosnian, Indonesian, Turkish, Tatar, Urdu and Malay and published in the countries concerned. Harun Yahya’s books appeal to all people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, regardless of their age, race and nationality, as they center around one goal: to open the readers mind by presenting the signs of Gods eternal existence to them.



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