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

by dhw, Saturday, November 11, 2017, 12:49 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Your reading of God's mind simply doesn't explain the history.
DAVID: 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.

If God exists, and since I believe that evolution happened, then of course he would have used evolution, and I suggest that what he created was a mechanism that provided a vast higgledy-piggledy bush of organisms extant and extinct. You refuse to accept the idea that God might have WANTED a higgledy-piggledy bush of organisms extant and extinct, instead of wanting only one species and going all round a billion mulberry bushes to get it. I understand the necessity for design for speciation, and suggest that cell communities (perhaps endowed by your God with their intelligence) do the designing. I do not accept that every step of speciation had to be planned 3.8 billion years ago or dabbled in advance.

dhw: 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.
DAVID: 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.

So God used the evolution of the duckbilled platypus to achieve his goal of producing the brain of Homo sapiens. No wonder you say his logic is different from ours.

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.
DAVID: 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.

(No other reasons for adaptation, then?) As I keep saying, it is often difficult to draw a line between adaptation and speciation – the whale being a prime example. I very much doubt that pre-whales would have said to themselves: “The water is there so let’s jump in.” It seems more likely they would have said, “There ain’t enough food here on the land, but there’s a helluva lot in the water, so let’s go get it.” I find that more feasible than imagining God preprogramming their eight stages 3.8 billion years ago, or dabbling with one part of their anatomy and saying, “Now go into the water for no particular reason” and then pulling them out again (or diving in himself) eight times to do more fiddles.

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.
DAVID: 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.

We know they are all parts of the history, and according to you he can create directly when he wants to (early Cambrian) but otherwise can’t when he wants to (humans).


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