Big brain evolution: comparing chimp and brain organoids (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 14, 2019, 19:06 (619 days ago) @ dhw

Dhw: Let me offer you a possible solution to the mystery of Lucy and Co. Maybe in a particular location, tree-dwelling became impractical, and so a particular group of tree-dwellers had to adjust to life on the ground. And life on the ground required or led to new skills, and new skills required changes to the brain which went beyond the brain’s existing capacity. (We know that certain areas of the modern brain expand according to usage, as in the case of taxi-drivers and musicians.) Why do you regard that as less feasible than your God performing brain and pelvis operations on a particular group of tree-dwellers and then forcing them to leave the trees for no apparent reason?

DAVID: The final bolded statement of yours is our difference. God had perfectly good reasons for creating the Lucy-like early hominins, because He had future plans and the purpose of creating H. sapiens over many years of stepwise evolution, at a point when each step was ready to begin.

dhw: It’s a shame that having reached agreement on the feasibility of my alternative hypotheses, we now have to go back over the same old ground. Your image of God becomes more and more confusing. Now he begins with a single purpose – to create H. sapiens – but is apparently so limited in his powers that not only is he unable to fulfil his purpose without first spending 3.5+ billion years specially designing millions and millions of other organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders, but he also has to wait for each of his new brain steps to be “ready to begin”, as if he had no control over the conditions which for some unknown reason would be necessary for the next step. And you don’t know why he chose this method to fulfil his one and only purpose, but we should accept it.

You are amazingly stuck with the same confusion. I view God as free to choose any methods He wants to create humans. We can assume, as you do most of he time, that He is limited and forced to evolve what he wants. We can raise the issue that He might be limited to explain His choice, but that is more a more complicated set of nebulous suppositions than simply accepting God has the right to choose His approach. We do not know He is limited. We know what He produced. I will agree that a million years of Erectus may have been for refinement of that stage in the process, but is still pure guesswork.

dhw: By all means stick to your unproven dogma, though. I asked you why you thought my unproven hypothesis to be less feasible, even though it still allows for your God’s participation as the inventor of the mechanisms that created both the brain and its subsequent developments?

There is no evidence of such a mechanism. Why don't you just use the real facts we have.

Thank you for the two wonderful items under “Nature’s wonders”:

DAVID (under “Defensive glues”): That it doesn't get stuck by its own glue means the glue and the defense from being stuck had to develop at the same time. Only design can do this.

DAVID (under “How cassowaries lose heat”): If these birds developed this mechanism gradually, it is probable they migrated gradually from a cooler region. Otherwise it is possible they were designed for this hot region.

dhw: Although I like your "gradual" hypothesis for the cassowaries, once again, the mind boggles at the sheer scale of information and instructions contained in the “library” you think you God installed in the very first cells. Or do you believe he might have popped in to instruct the slugs and the cassowaries? And all of this to ensure that organisms did and didn’t eat one another for 3.5+ billion years until he could design the only thing he wanted to design. But apparently you find this more feasible than the possibility that he gave organisms the means to devise their own ways of survival.

We have no evidence of such a mechanism. I view God as in control, and prefer not to suppose about which we have no facts. I'll repeat , the characteristics of humans are obviously not necessary for survival, which as I've shown, is not the driving force of evolution. Apes survived without humanizing. You have no answer for that point.

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