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Sex in the Old Testament: God is a Darwinist.

Power gets you sex…even in the Old Testament.

BathshebaThere is a tremendous amount of accumulated evidence that men of high-status have greater reproductive fitness. Generally speaking, this is due to the fact that male status is positively correlated with sexual access to multiple women. In 1986, Laura Betzig published a book titled Despotism and Differential Reproduction: A Darwinian View of History wherein she demonstrated that historically speaking despots have accrued great reproductive fitness via their ability to have greater access to many women (and in many instances they would monopolize their sexual access via the founding of harems). Hence, it might indeed be true that men seek power but the ultimate (perhaps subconscious) reason for doing so is that it augments a man's reproductive fitness.

In a 2005 paper published in Evolutionary Psychology, Dr. Betzig decided to test the link between a man's status and his reproductive fitness by analyzing the narratives in the grand daddy of all books, namely, the Old Testament. This type of methodology is known as a content analysis. Incidentally, in chapter 5 of my book The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption, as well as in my forthcoming trade book, I conduct content analyses on a wide range of cultural products (e.g., song lyrics, music videos, soap opera storylines, movie plotlines) to show that they contain universal elements that highlight our biological nature. Returning to Betzig's study, she found that men of high-status (patriarchs, kings, judges) had a lot more sex than their lower ranked counterparts, as evidenced by the fact that they had more wives, more concubines, and they took the liberty to have sex with greater frequency with the women of other men, as well as having a lot more sex with their slaves and servants.

God seems to have an uncanny ability to develop narratives that are well in line with predictions arising from evolutionary psychology. Another possibility is that mortal men wrote the Old Testament, and in so doing they betrayed their lowly origins (to borrow Charles Darwin's famous term).

Incidentally, the teaser image (also shown above) is a Rembrandt painting of Bathsheba, the beautiful married woman who was lusted after by King David. He seduces her and finds a way to "rid" of her husband. It pays to be a King!

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