It’s just not what it used to be, even at the BYU, as shown in a day-before-Valentine’s-Day BYU NewsNet article, “The Evolution of Human Love.”
Here’s the article’s first salvo:
In recent studies, researchers have found evidence to suggest that romance is part of evolution and natural selection. In the Jan. 17 issue of Time Magazine, an article titled “Romance is an Illusion” explains how scientists used to think humans were unique in their language, tool making and foresight capabilities. However, scientists discovered that other animals do possess the genes necessary for these traits, and they also have the oxytocin chemical that is secreted during sexual intercourse. The chemical results in a “switching on” of reward pathways in the brain and causing a feeling of being in love.
I’m guessing this paragraph alone caused Valentine’s Day flower sales to drop 50% on campus. And calling love a “commitment device” will make any single fellow think twice before asking for a second date.
A BYU faculty member defends a more traditional conception of love and romance.
Tom Holman, BYU professor of family life, disagrees with the idea of love simply being an evolutionary process. Instead, Holman argues that it was placed in humans by God starting with Adam and Eve. In addition, Holman explained how love is manifest differently depending on the person and his or her life situation, which suggests how and what people love is a choice, not a force of evolution.
Asserting that love and romantic attraction are the result of conscious choice raises its own issues. But LDS leaders have pulled back from asserting the strong choice position. In the Same-Gender Attraction interview posted at the LDS.org Newsroom, Elders Oaks and Wickman were asked about the LDS position on “nature or nurture.” Elder Oaks responded, “The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction.” Elder Wickman added, “Why somebody has a same-gender attractionâ€¦ who can say?” They sidestep the whole question of origins. Whence cometh love … who can say?