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

by dhw, Monday, February 18, 2019, 10:44 (704 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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. (David’s bold)

DAVID: Your own statements deny your conclusion in bolds. It is obvious the changes before the Cambrian, perhaps allowed it, but didn't drive it. The bacteria have always survived without the need the improve. Why did they bother to become multicellular? It had to be driven by some sort of force.

I keep pointing out that nobody knows why multicellularity began, as in the first sentence of my comment above! Maybe some single intelligent cells found themselves in a new and tricky situation and decided they’d be better off if they joined forces. We know that bacteria themselves form colonies. Same principle. The Cambrian is an extreme case which may have occurred because of a major change in the environment, as above, and my point is that the changes created new opportunities and new demands. As with multicellularity generally, there were new forms of food (even your own hypothesis rests on the need for organisms to eat so that life can SURVIVE), and these in turn demanded new forms of acquiring food and of avoiding being eaten. The whole process mushroomed through the interdependence of environmental conditions and the organisms themselves, with all the innovations hingeing on what you have called the “immediate driving force” of survival. Why is that so difficult for you to imagine?

DAVID: I've said my positions are fixed, just as you are fixed on survival of the fittest, an unproven Darwinian trope, I don't think evolution was driven by any need for survival. It was built into each evolutionary stage by the designer. PAX means we have fixed defined positions, and will discuss from those. My acceptance of God's choice of method i s only inexplicable to your neutrally fixed mind.. Surprise! To me it is quite clear.

We have long since agreed that survival of the fittest (not Darwin’s coinage) is a philosophical tautology. You have also agreed that the immediate purpose of all the different innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders was to improve the organisms’ chances of survival, and you have called it an “immediate driving force”. Why do you keep pretending that an immediate driving force is not a driving force? If you do not think whale flippers, monarch migration and cuttlefish camouflage were produced in order to improve chances of survival, but were all simply stages on the way to your God’s special design of the human brain, then please tell us how they are related to the human brain. As regards “choice of method”, three days ago you wrote: “Of course I do not know why God made his choice of evolving humans rather than a direct creation”, so how can the link between purpose and method be clear to you? I have offered you different hypotheses, the possibility of which you have accepted – hence our “pax” – but now back you go to the same combination which you yourself cannot understand.


Thank you for all the other new posts. I don’t feel that any of them require comment from me. It is tempting to use the one on “space representation” to re-open discussions on materialism versus dualism and on your contention that the human brain had to be specially designed, as opposed to evolving naturally from earlier brains. However, this would only result in yet more repetition of arguments already flogged to dead horsedom!

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