Human evolution; our complex speech mechanism (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 13:08 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

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

DAVID: But McCrone specifically states the fossils show the changes were present in habilis and the erectus well before modern speech appeared. Do you read what I stated? When is not in question

Thank you. I rely on you to inform me about McCrone’s findings and arguments. If all the changes were present in habilis and erectus, does he think they communicated without using their voices to make sounds, and how does he know that they were not able to make some of the sounds that are now used in modern speech? Is there a tape recording?

DAVID: I'll remind you the dropped larynx required intense re-engineering of the epiglottis, in anticipation of the problems related to that change…

dhw: 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: You are still ignoring my statements summarizing McCrone.

You told us that he has nothing to say about how the changes took place. If so, what statements have you summarized in support of your preprogramming/dabbling hypothesis?

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

dhw: 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: And I find your hypothesis impossible, as all the different changes have to coordinated. Even Dawkins says biology looks designed.

I wrote above (now bolded) that all parts have to cooperate, and I have always agreed that biology looks designed. In case you’ve forgotten, my theistic proposal is that your God designed the mechanism that does the designing – as opposed to preprogramming the first cells with every single undabbled design in the history of life.

DAVID: See my new entry on Darwin doubt among scientists. And I'll remind you, I view God as much more purposeful than you do. He won't give up tight control over evolution.

See my reply on the Darwin thread, and I do not accept that your view of God is “much more purposeful”, since the only purpose you are prepared to offer for every organism that ever existed is his wish to design H. sapiens. You have no justification for claiming that “he won’t give up tight control”, especially since your belief in tight control leaves you with “no idea” why he chose the above method to fulfil his one and only purpose. It is perfectly feasible that his purpose was to create the ongoing, ever-changing spectacle of life’s history, with humans providing the richest variety of all. Your God as spectator at his own production instead of puppet master (but always with the option of dabbling when he feels like it).

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