Introducing the brain;complexity: autopilot (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 14:10 (103 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Our brain works at several levels in very complex ways. Much more than simple survival requires. As I see it here is little real evidence that survival plays any role in evolution, if humans are used as an example.

dhw: Why you keep harping on about survival is a mystery to me, except that it is part of your Darwinphobia. Nobody would deny that our own mental activities extend far beyond the need for survival (although survival is the number one priority if it is under threat). But even if we were to accept your view – which I don’t – that your God preprogrammed or dabbled every evolutionary innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder even before they were required, do you think he gave pre-whales their fins, or pre-baleen whales their baleens, or monarch butterflies their migratory timetable and navigation instruments, or spiders their 50,000 different webs etc. all for no useful purpose? No, you tell us, all of this was to provide food and energy, i.e. so that life would SURVIVE until he could fulfil his one and only purpose of producing you and me. And still with your own hypothesis, did he intervene to expand the pre-sapiens brain – your interpretation of brain evolution – so that it would be able to make tools and weapons and clothes, but these had nothing to do with survival? Do you think they were invented so that pre-sapiens could hold archery contests and fashion shows? I would suggest that even in your hypothesis, survival has played a huge role in evolution, human or not. And, to forestall one possible response, the fact that Darwin thought so too does not invalidate the argument.

DAVID: Same old battle between us. I simply accept God did what we see. You are constantly criticizing his method of creation.

I am doing no such thing! I am criticizing your interpretation of his method of creation, and I am challenging your view that the quest for survival has played little or no role in evolution.

DAVID: If hair is gone, a brain is needed to provide warmth by the invention of hides for clothes. Spears and later bows were for hunting for food. Easier than surrounding an animal and beating it to death.

But you say this has nothing to do with survival! Do you think clothes and spears and bows were invented for the sake of entertainment, or philosophy, or art?

DAVID: Apes and monkeys are still enjoying the trees and the fruits available. The advent of bipedalism introduced all sorts of problems and dangers not faced by the tree dwellers. Bipedalism is not a survival advancement if apes are compared.

You keep telling us that you do not regard survivability as playing any role in evolution. We are not just talking about humans, but even with humans you tell us your God deliberately expanded pre-human brains, and only then were they able to invent the tools, weapons, clothes etc. which served the sole purpose of improving their chances of survival. The single example of bipedalism – which I have suggested may well have originated through conditions that required the descent of SOME anthropoids, while others remained in the trees – does not cover the whole of evolution. And I would suggest that the brain’s evolution – whatever the method and timing of expansion – was always linked mainly to survival until humans as we know them reached a point of awareness that took them beyond the basic needs and into the realms of thought beyond survival.


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