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

by dhw, Sunday, February 17, 2019, 10:24 (611 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw:It would seem that we have now reached agreement on these issues, as well as on that of survival as an “immediate driving force” for evolution, and so I shall refer back to this post if any of these issues arise again. Pax! :-)

DAVID: Peace.

DAVID: We can have peace within our preferred positions, which will always differ.

dhw: But you have now raised exactly the same issues as before, which means yet more repetition!

DAVID: I've said we will always differ. Of course we have issues. You are just as fixed as I am. I will continue to present new evidence from science and we will continue to present our differing opinions. Others can decide who they think is more correct.

I offer various hypotheses, ranging from the existence/non-existence of God to the possible purposes and methods that underlie evolution. I am unable to "fix" on any of them because they all entail questions I can't answer. You remain fixed on one hypothesis. The reason for the peace treaty is that we keep going over the same ground: “humanizing” God (impossible not to if you want to talk about purpose); survival (an immediate driving force is a driving force); the incomprehensibility of an always-in-control God choosing to spend 3.5+ billion years designing anything but the one organism he wanted to design; humans were not necessary for survival (nor were ANY multicellular organisms) etc.

Having said that, I (and many others, judging by the viewings of the articles you post) am immensely grateful to you for keeping us up to date with all the latest scientific findings. Yes indeed, let us present our differing opinions. But can we please stop repeating arguments we have already reached agreement on? Pax should remain pax.

DAVID: I view God as in control, and prefer not to suppose about which we have no facts. [...]The facts we both know have lead to what I consider logical conclusions and a discovery of a faith in God. Your conclusionary road differs. So be it.

dhw: I have no problem with your argument that life is too complex to have come about by chance, and therefore you have faith that there is a designer. But please stop pretending that your attempts to read God’s mind […] are based on facts. They are pure suppositions.

I note that you have ignored the fact that your own hypotheses are pure suppositions.

DAVID: You have no answer for why evolution advanced beyond bacteria. Your dependence on survival as a driving force logically goes out the window! Bacteria prove it! Only a designer could have created multicellularity. Bacteria are complex forms, multicellulars are infinitely more complex. All conclusions based on the facts we both know.

dhw: We have been over all this hundreds of times. Even bacteria change themselves in order to SURVIVE in different environments. Nobody knows why single cells began to combine, but if – as some scientists believe – single cells are intelligent, cognisant, cooperative, decision-making organisms (possibly endowed with their intelligence by a designer God), it is not unreasonable to suppose that they found it advantageous to do so. [DAVID's bold] The fact that they produced new methods of SURVIVAL does not mean the only possible explanation is that your God preprogrammed or manipulated them to do so as part of his 3.5+ billion-year plan as bolded above. And it does not alter one jot your agreement that the “immediate driving force” for the various innovations, whether directly designed by your God or not – was SURVIVAL.

DAVID: The bolded portion just above simply says, single cells must have had the innate ability to evolve. Talk about faith!

It does not “simply say” that! If your God exists, then he is the designer of the mechanisms that enabled cells to evolve. Why do you continually ignore this explicit rider to my hypothesis, and why do you assume that your God is incapable of creating such a mechanism?

DAVID: A very simple set of multicellular then appeared, and then relatively suddenly the Cambrian Explosion, just as demanding an explanation as bacteria simply combining. Two giant steps which only a designer can accomplish. Neither are requirements for survival as you present it. Both are jumps well beyond immediate survival. Have you noticed survival is always an immediate requirement, not a force to jump so far forward? You don't view survival as I do as a requirement for advancement. That is pure Darwin theory.

How often must I repeat that we do not know why multicellularity happened – you have even bolded that yourself – but cellular intelligence is a possible answer. As regards the Cambrian, again nobody has the answer, but one possible hypothesis is a massive change in environmental conditions (increase in oxygen?) which created new opportunities for organisms (cell communities) to exploit the environment in new ways. Hence the innovations that led to speciation. Call them “advancements” if you like, but what would be the point of the innovations if they did not improve organisms’ chances of survival? And would they have survived if they hadn’t done so? That is also your OWN inexplicable hypothesis in which your God needed life forms to SURVIVE for 3.5+ billion years till he could specially design his one goal: H. sapiens. So please respect our pax and stop pretending that an immediate driving force is not a driving force.


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