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

by dhw, Sunday, November 12, 2017, 13:45 (8 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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.
DAVID: Once again you have skipped over the issue of food supply. If evolution had to occur then everyone has to have food to survive and balance of nature does that. If God simply created us and nothing else, do we eat each other?

And yet again the answer is that food supply is necessary for ALL organisms. But that does not mean that ALL organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders that ever existed were designed to keep life going until – after about 3.7 thousand million years – God was finally able to produce Homo sapiens! Even today, I doubt if you would eat a weaverbird’s nest, or a wasp that laid its eggs on a spider’s back, or a skull-shrinking shrew. And if they and we disappeared, life would still go on with a new “balance of nature”.

dhw: 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.
DAVID: Design is required to create new species. Sorry you can't see that.

I understand the necessity for design for speciation” means I think design is required for speciation. Where we disagree is on the how and when. No, I do not see that the design for evefy single speciation has to be accomplished by a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or by divine dabbling BEFORE conditions demand or allow the major changes that lead to speciation. I propose that intelligent cell communities RESPOND to new conditions by redesigning themselves, either by adaptation or by speciation.

dhw: As I keep saying, it is often difficult to draw a line between adaptation and speciation – the whale being a prime example.
DAVID: I don't know why you can't see a difference in adaptation and speciation. Adaptation is a minor change in an existing form. A new species has great differences in form and function and requires design and planning to achieve it.

The difference is between minor and major changes, and the borderlines are not always clear (e.g. the whale). My hypothesis proposes that both are RESPONSES to new conditions: yes to design, and no to advance planning.

dhw: 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.”
DAVID: How much swimming have you done? Haven't you found it hard work, as a mammal, to move around quickly which is required to catch a prey? (I've used swimming as a physical training method for years because of that fact.)

Polar bears are mammals and catch their prey, but you have missed the point as usual. Pre-whales may well have found it hard work to catch their prey in water. But when they decided that a life on the ocean wave was better for them than starving on dry land, the evolutionary mechanism would have got to work. Stage by stage (eight counted so far) they became more and more suited to marine life. The process is called evolution.

dhw: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.
DAVID: You are just as confused as I am about whales.

I know you are confused about whales. What is confusing about the process I have described above?

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.
dhw: 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).
DAVID: The Cambrian starts abruptly and fits the concept of God's direct creation. But that was the same as God starting original life. Evidence He creates new beginnings of evolution and then evolves subsequent forms. He started bipedalism and then proceeded with an evolution of hominin forms. Fits history exactly.

Why “but” that was the same? If he could create directly then, what stopped him from creating directly later on? What is the explanation that “fits history exactly”? You have simply described history: new forms evolve into different forms. How does that explain why your God, who is able to create what he wants directly, created a billion forms, lifestyles and natural wonders that have no conceivable link to the production of Homo sapiens? Suggestion: he WANTED the higgledy-piggledy bush, and not just Homo sapiens. Is that not a feasible theistic explanation of the higgledy-piggledy bush?

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