Explaining natural wonders: before or after? (Animals)

by dhw, Tuesday, June 06, 2017, 15:05 (913 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You say ice ages probably had natural causes, and I’m sure one can find natural causes for trees giving way to savannah and for dry land giving way to water. So when you say your God “controlled Earth’s evolution and life’s development”, do you mean that he organized all the environmental changes, including these three, or that he simply “anticipated” them (infallible crystal ball-gazing), and they actually occurred by chance?
DAVID: God doesn't actually tell us what is on or within His mind. I am convinced He controls evolution and the gaps in the fossils make it appear He knows what environmental changes are coming. I can't go further.

Fair enough, but your hypothetical preprogramming or dabbling of all the structural changes could just as easily have taken place AFTER and in response to the environmental changes, and you would still have had the gaps in the fossils. Changing the structures before the changes were needed not only seems against common sense, but it also leaves you with the commonsense argument that he must have fiddled with the environment as well as with the organisms. However, if there is a possibility that he left environmental change to chance, there must also be a possibility that he sacrificed control over other aspects of evolution (e.g. lifestyles and natural wonders), no matter how convinced you may be.

DAVID’s comment: the last ice age ended about 11,700 years ago.
Survival concepts are described in this article. Little else occupied our brain at that point. It must have become more complex faced with this degree of environmental adversity.

dhw: An important observation, as it suggests environmental change initiated brain change, just as it may well have initiated other responses that led to speciation. In this case, it would have activated the internal drive for survival, and the lucky few were able to come up with concepts that enabled them to give the requisite instructions to their brains and bodies. ;-)

DAVID: 11,700 years ago, the brain change is not in size; that was fixed 200,000 years ago. Of course groups developed survival concepts and their brains became more complex and more prepared for when the warmer interglacial time (now) arrived. Size first, use second. :-)

Ah, but I didn’t say the change was in size. The point was the sequence: environmental change triggers drive for survival, triggers concepts to enable survival, triggers brain changes. In this case, yes, the size was already there, as it had reached its maximum, but if concept precedes and causes brain change (complexification) after the 200,000 years, why would it not also have preceded and caused brain change (expansion) before the 200,000 years?:-P

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