Big brain evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, January 22, 2018, 14:11 (327 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Of course it had to be increased. That can't occur from chance evolution. It is a purposeful enlargement provided by God.

dhw: You are once more dodging the issue. I have never said that the expansion resulted from chance! If a new concept requires expansion, and the cell communities of the brain respond to that requirement, there is no chance involved. And at all times I have acknowledged the possibility that the cellular intelligence or inventive mechanism required for all such changes may have been supplied by your God from the very beginning.

DAVID: Cell communities are your invention by which you propose evolution shows a purposeful way of creating advances in life's new forms. I see no science behind it, and find it totally unacceptable for that reason.

Every organ and every organism is composed of groups of cells that communicate and cooperate with one another. That is what I mean by “community”. It is hardly my invention, and I doubt if any scientist would disagree. Cellular intelligence is not my invention either – it has been proposed by a number of scientists. If my proposal to put the two together as a possible explanation for evolution – as opposed to Darwin’s random mutations – is unique, then good for me to come up with such an original and logical proposition. I don’t know of any scientific evidence that an unknown being provided the first cells with programmes for every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder throughout the history of life, or that the unknown being dabbled.


dhw: I’m sorry that you cannot see the contradiction between your belief that the SOUL is responsible for ideas, but pre-sapiens souls could not have had new ideas until the brain had already expanded enough to implement them.
DAVID: You cannot see my point that more complex ideas require a more complex cortex for the soul to use and develop. Ideas/concepts must appear first, then the implementation.

"Use and develop" is not clear. The soul comes up with the new idea and requires a larger or more complex brain to implement it. That is why the pre-sapiens brain had to expand and the sapiens brain to complexify. Once the idea (artefact/reading & writing) has been implemented, the soul will decide how to use the implement/new ability and may well continue to develop the concept or come up with new concepts until further complexification/expansion is needed. It makes no sense for the brain to complexify/expand before it has a reason for doing so, and the dualist’s reason CANNOT be so that the brain can think of new concepts, because for the dualist, it is the soul that does the thinking. Concept first, implementation by complexification/expansion second.

DAVID: You refuse to recognize brains only needed to be in a survival mode of implementation until 30,00 years ago. And we know recent implementation caused the brain to complexify more and shrink. The only point we scientifically know about implementation is shrinkage, despite how you try to twist that point. (Later): As I've shown implementation causes shrinkage.

Survival mode is a totally different point, quite irrelevant to the question of how your dualist soul can be responsible for ideas and yet not have the ideas until the brain has expanded. I don’t know how true it is that sapiens was only in survival mode until 30,000 years ago, but it makes not the slightest difference to the argument. If it’s true, it simply means that it took a mere 270,000 years for the geniuses to come along with major new concepts. Implementation does not directly cause shrinkage. If it did, by now there should be nothing left. Here is the sequence again: pre-sapiens – probable complexification until capacity inadequate, then expansion; optimum capacity reached with sapiens, and so new concepts implemented by complexification; complexification so efficient that some cells and connections no longer necessary, hence shrinkage. This does not mean that the brain shrinks with implementation of every new concept.


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