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

by dhw, Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 08:42 (615 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: In my view God caused multicellularity.

If he exists, then of course he did – possibly with a dabble, possibly by giving the first cells the intelligence to work together, as below:

dhw: 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.

DAVID: But they always have remained bacteria.

But maybe some didn’t! That is the whole point. At some stage, single cells formed communities, and that is how multicellular evolution began. Just as you and I believe that some apes remained the same, but others evolved into hominins.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Environment does not drive massive change as in the Cambrian. Other than the arrival of more oxygen, the very simple Ediacarans had the same sea bottom space to live.

A change in oxygen levels IS a change in the environment! It may have been massive.

dhw: 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: Survival is an immediate need when new species are created, if evolution is to continue, but there is no evidence that survival is an immediate driving force.

The term was yours, and an immediate need is a driving force. Hence my next comment:

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Silly thought. All of the evolutionary developments lead to Humans. That is history. Flippers or gills have no direct relationship to brains, except both exist in the same body.

Of course it’s a silly thought. That is the point. Whale flippers, monarch migration and cuttlefish camouflage do NOT lead to human brains! Their direct purpose was to improve those creatures’ chances of survival: what you call the “immediate driving force”.

dhw: […] 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? […]

DAVID: I don't try to understand it. It has to be seen as a chosen method since it follows the live of factual history.

Factual history is vast numbers of organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct, with H. sapiens the most recent arrival. The rest is speculation. If God exists, then he masterminded evolution. That does not mean he designed every life form etc. in order to design humans! You accepted that all my alternative hypotheses are possible (= pax), but a few days later you go back to your fixed belief, which you don’t try to understand because you know it doesn’t make sense.


Under “Not enough time

QUOTE: In what ways do they add to the case for intelligent design? One way is their sudden appearance in the fossil record with fully formed wing articulation. Another evidence concerns the reproductive system in suborders of dragonflies. While the organs in each suborder are constructed from the same basic parts, in each one a different part of the system has the function of sperm transmission—a parallel development in which it appears the same kind of solution was derived independently in several instances. It indicates a kind of design template used several times, as an engineer would use to build different motor engines, using the same parts. (David’s bold)

DAVID: Just like Wistar, but with more sudden appearances now in the fossil record. Note my bold. More evidence for my theory that God uses patterns. Bechly and I are similar converts. It just takes unbiased thought.

It is evidence that there are patterns. Patterns are part of the evidence evolutionists use to demonstrate common descent. The process above is convergence. If God exists, then of course the patterns are his doing. As for “time”, this is used to discredit the hypothesis of random mutations, which we both reject. I agree that the problem disappears if your God preprogrammed or personally manipulated the reproductive systems of different dragonflies – but why he bothered is beyond our comprehension if his one and only purpose was to produce the brain of H. sapiens. The problem also disappears if your God endowed the dragonflies’ cell communities with the intelligence to manipulate their reproductive systems – and then we don’t need to cudgel our H. sapiens brain as to why he would bother if his sole purpose was to produce that brain.

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