Evolution and humans: more on learning to read (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, November 09, 2018, 15:15 (10 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You stay blind to the fact that a big brain appeared before all the new concepts were developed.

dhw: As you well know, pre-sapiens brains gradually increased in size, and I’m sorry, but the H. sapiens brain (if that’s what you mean by a “big brain”) did not appear before such new concepts as tools, weapons, use of fire etc.

DAVID: You have forgotten that the fossils we have show the brain size jumped 200 cc at a time with each new homo ancestor. You're back to your Darwinism looking for itty -bitty changes.

dhw: I am offering an explanation for WHY the brain size jumped! (I used "gradually" because there were so many phases.) Namely, that new concepts “exercised” the brain - exercise was the word used in the article - to a degree that exceeded the existing capacity. Consequently the brain and its container had to expand.

Yours is a non-answer: so many phases refers to 200 cc jumps in size in the fossils we have from 400 cc to 1,200 cc. I count four 'phases'. Why did human skulls expand while apes did not? New concepts did not drive expansion; they appeared because of the ability to create concepts with a bigger more complex brain.


dhw: As regards the new concepts which appeared after the arrival of the “big brain”, why have you ignored the answer I already gave you? “In order to avoid repeating our past discussions on the subject, I’d better add that once the brain/skull had reached its optimum size, new uses were implemented through complexification, not expansion, and the efficiency of this has even resulted in a degree of shrinkage.”

DAVID: Not ignored, understood and agreed. What were you trying to prove?
And later: In each stage expansion allowed the development of new concepts within the larger size as those individuals learned how to use the larger size and complexity.

dhw: You claimed that the big brain “appeared before all the new concepts were developed”. What I am suggesting (I can’t prove it) is that each phase of expansion was caused by the “exercise” of implementing new concepts, as opposed to your notion of new concepts only being possible AFTER your God stepped in to fiddle with pre-human brains, fiddle-jump after fiddle-jump, all the way to H. sapiens. The brain size would remain static until its capacity required further expansion in order to implement more new concepts. But the process of expansion ended when the brain and skull reached their optimum size (sapiens), as explained above in the passage you ignored.

Not ignored as explained above.


DAVID: See my entry today on how fungus changed the Earth, and was prepared to do so in advance!
Note my bold: the algal ancestors of land plants, a group called ‘charophytes’, were equipped to communicate with fungi well before they encountered them.

dhw: Thank you for this intriguing article (and for all the others you posted yesterday). As usual, you prefer to ignore the fact that living organisms are composed of cells, and the whole point of my hypothesis is that cells from the very beginning were “equipped” with their own form of intelligence. You cannot have any kind of cooperation, including symbiosis, without some means of communicating. So of course the algae and fungi were equipped to communicate. Every form of multicellular life depends on the ability of its cells to communicate, and that ability must have existed before the cells cooperated.

DAVID: Did the communication evolve by chance or was it designed?

dhw: How often do I have to repeat that cellular intelligence, which inevitably includes the ability to communicate, may have been designed by your God? I am, however, pleased to see that you are not disputing my explanation.

Thank you.


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