Big brain evolution: learning new tasks (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 29, 2018, 20:26 (234 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: I don't accept your argument. You like to isolate issues without looking at the whole picture that surrounds them. How to go from smaller prefrontal lobe to larger is your nebulous 'push' concept, which just happens because it has to. I go back to design because it is obviously necessary.

dhw: It is not nebulous. We know that the implementation of concepts causes brain changes in sapiens: complexification and limited expansion (with shrinkage probably as a result of efficient complexification). There is no reason to suppose that the same processes did not take place in pre-sapiens, with the brain and skull expanding when their capacity had been exceeded (as in the computer analogy below).

Note you are still ignoring the bigger picture. The Mother's pelvis has to change at the same tine for all of this to work.


dhw: Your software/hardware analogy has the s/s/c doing the thinking and the hardware doing the implementing. When the software presents new concepts, you need to update your hardware. You do not stop producing new software because your computer can’t cope with new ideas. You wrote: “More complexity [of the brain] gives more complex concepts.” More complex hardware does not “give” more complex software.

But you haven't recognized that human effort in computers upgrades software and hardware all at once in coordination. God speciates larger brains in the same way.

dhw: You have just agreed that speciation can be the result of new levels of thought and implementation (= a new step) and now you say that is not what we see in evolution!

DAVID: The central theme of evolution is that tiny improvements in fitness can steadily accumulate resulting in a new species.

dhw: And now you scuttle back to the small-step gradualism that we have both rejected.

And you want a giant jump in brain complexity and size due to the force of thought that may not exist in a brain not capable of handling that level of thought, all without remembering the Mother's pelvis has to change simultaneously, something you carefully never comment about.


DAVID: The unstated assumption (usually) is that the original species was in need of improvement. That is your approach from Darwin. I have not accepted it as causing evolution. God drives the complex advances.

dhw: I have never stated that the original species was “in need of” improvement. I have stated that evolution proceeds through the drive for survival and/or improvement. A land animal may enter the water because that environment may offer improved chances of survival. But its mates may stay on the land and still survive. If it likes the new environment, it may improve its ability to live there by transforming its legs into fins. I don’t know why you find this logical progression so difficult to accept.

Because of the enormous difficult to achieve physiological changes required that I have pointed out continuously. They require a tremendous number of coordinated mutations. Only design can do this. You have animals transforming their own limbs by force of wishing it so!


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