Evolution and humans: big brain size uses energy (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, November 10, 2017, 15:24 (10 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Your problem is you don't look at history with a sense of purpose like I do. God prefers evolving things. No evidence of limitations, although I admit it is possible that He must use evolution because of some intrinsic limitations.

dhw: Your problem is that you try to impose one particular purpose on history, and it simply doesn’t fit. Why would a God whose purpose is to produce a bi-pedalling Homo sapiens fiddle with one useless lumbar vertebra 23 million years ago, and then 20+ million years later with umpteen different types of hominin, hominid and homo, some of them unrelated? And that’s without even mentioning the billion other organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct. You have the same problem with the giant universe. Your reading of God's mind simply doesn't explain the history.

You refuse to accept the idea that God uses evolution in everything He creates. You are describing His process. Just as you don't understand the necessity for planning and design for speciation.

DAVID: DNA works throughout all evolved organisms, and is a highly complex code, the origin of which not explained, except in my view by a designer. The human brain arrived. That is proof enough for me.

dhw: As usual, you are conflating two separate issues. The complex code as a case for design is the strongest one you have for the existence of a designer. I have never denied that. But it has absolutely nothing to do with your insistence that it was designed for the purpose of producing the brain of Homo sapiens. It also produced the duckbilled platypus, the mosquito, dead dinosaurs, skull-shrinking shrews etc.

Of course it did produce all those lesser results on the way to the pinnacle, the human brain. God uses evolution to reach His goals.

DAVID: Environment is only one of many reasons for adaptations. Only very major changes related to mass extinctions are that important.

dhw: Environment encompasses climate, living conditions, predators, food shortage, pollution…so please tell us some of the many other reasons there are for adaptations. As for major changes, why should these not arise from local conditions and then spread further afield if successful? Localized changes may very well have been the trigger for tree-dwelling apes to descend to the ground, thereby causing the transition from pre-human to human. No mass extinction necessary.

At the level of adaptation I agree with you. But at speciation I disagree. Reviving the whale issue: just because the water was there doesn't mean they should have jumped in and change to a fish like form. The issue is the impediment of the enormous form and physiologic changes required.

dhw: The question is simply to what extent the known autonomous mechanism for change (in this case complexification and shrinkage) is capable of larger modifications (expansion of brain and skull). We don’t know the answer, which is no reason to jump to the conclusion that your God must have preprogrammed or dabbled it all.

dhw: As for the bush of hominins, many not in our line, doesn’t that make you wonder why, if your all-powerful, always-in-control God’s prime purpose was to produce the brain of Homo sapiens, he produced a bush? Doesn’t the bush suggest a free-for-all? Or a God who just isn’t in control and can’t get what he wants?

DAVID: As before He prefers evolution to reach His goals. He gets what He wants, and yes, limitations are possible.

dhw: One moment he’s in total control, the next moment he’s not, he can do it (early Cambrian), he can’t do it (bipedalism, sapiens’ brain), and the irrationality of wanting one thing and producing billions of others is explained by the fact that you think his mind works that way, and human logic is irrelevant.

The Cambrian explosion, bipedalism, the human brain are all part of the history of God's evolutionary process and show His abilities. The limits may be that He has to use evolution, not direct creation with stages of life, and creates one species after an other to reach His goal.

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