Human evolution; our complex speech mechanism (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, May 13, 2019, 10:23 (64 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: We know that brain and body make changes in response to new demands, and I keep repeating that I do NOT want cell communities to foresee the future. It is you who demand fortune-telling in the shape of your God’s plans and/or direct surgery. My proposal, once again, is that the cell communities RESPOND to needs, not that they anticipate them. What is McCrone’s proposal?

DAVID: McCrone does not discuss the genetic possibilities we discuss. He simply describes the anatomic changes that homo fossils tell us.

dhw: Then please stop using him as if he supported your hypothesis. The fossils tell us the changes that took place – not how, when or why.

DAVID: But his description of the changes and when they occurred fits my theory. As for your 'fortune-testing'. comment, I'll remind you the dropped larynx required intense re-engineering of the epiglottis, in anticipation of the problems related to that change…

And in turn I’ll remind you that in my view the re-engineering of all parts is the RESPONSE to the problems raised by the need for change (i.e. for enhanced communication through new sounds), not in anticipation of them. The sounds cannot be made without all parts cooperating – and that also includes changes to the brain. You opt for a 3.8-billion-year old computer programme or divine surgery for epiglottis re-engineering and larynx-dropping, whereas I propose that the efforts to produce new sounds caused all the changes. Clearly McCrone has nothing to say about either hypothesis, so he offers no more support to you than he does to me.

DAVID: I can easily image your cell committees around the planning table puzzling what to do.

For the thousandth time, there is no planning table in my hypothesis. My proposal is that the changes are the RESULT of efforts to produce new sounds – just as the change of legs to flippers RESULTS from efforts to implement new tasks.

DAVID: Your improbable theory stretching the known fact that individual cells make intelligent appearing responses to simple stimuli is just that, an enormous stretch, when it is obviously not known/proven that cells are innately intelligent.

For the thousandth time, none of the hypotheses are proven. But many scientists support the view that cells are innately intelligent, so it is a hypothesis to be taken seriously. How many scientists support your “assumptions” repeated below?

DAVID: You always forget I've got God in charge and I have made assumptions as to how He managed control. At least I don't imagine brilliant cells running the show, as a huge imaginary stretch.

I can hardly forget your assumption that 3.8 billion years ago your God provided the first cells with a programme to be passed on for every undabbled innovation, life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life. That is the basis of this whole discussion! I don’t know why you should consider this hypothesis to be more imaginable than your God designing microorganisms with the intelligence to cooperate in forming an ever increasing variety of cell communities.


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