Unanswered questions (General)

by dhw, Monday, June 10, 2019, 10:42 (102 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Do you in fact know of anyone who supports this belief?

DAVID: Not in those exact words, but all the ID folks believe God designed the evolution of humans, and most religious believers would agree, although some still believe in direct creation.

dhw: It is not a matter of “exact words”. There is a huge gulf between believing in a God who designed evolution and/or who specially designed humans, and believing in the details summarized above.

DAVID: What is not clear in the statement? ID folks believe God designed every mechanism in biology and its biochemistry.

But they clearly do not share your belief that your God specially designed every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, for the sole purpose that the life forms should go on eating one another until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, which was us. Why do you always try to gloss over those beliefs which you know you can’t explain because they don’t make sense?

Under “our unique speech mechanism”:
QUOTE: He concludes that the language faculty emerged with Homo sapiens, or shortly thereafter, but externalization in one form or another must have been a later development, and quite possibly involved little or no evolutionary change. (David’s bold)

DAVID: Note my bold. Anatomy was fully developed before sapiens speech appeared. Anatomic form first, then function. Note, one of the authors is Noam Chomsky.

dhw: Note your own bold: “quite possibly…little or no change” does not mean it was definitely fully developed. In any case, we have discussed this ad nauseam. There is absolutely nothing in this article to contradict the proposal that the original changes to the anatomy were brought about by a need for an increasing variety of sounds. By the time sapiens arrived, all (or perhaps nearly all) the necessary changes were in place. Then generations built on the achievements of previous generations to expand the range of sounds, meanings and eventually linguistic structures. The process is called evolution.

DAVID: You have then admitted, first phenotypical development of anatomy and then the anatomy is learned to be used and language is learned to be developed through plasticity in the brain. Certainly needed, but drive by need is after the physical apparatus is available to use.

Your last sentence is the nub of the matter. I consider it far, far, far more likely that need is what changes the physical apparatus in the first place: legs turn into flippers in response to organisms entering the water; bipedalism evolves in response to our ancestors leaving the trees; the larynx, epiglottis etc. change in response to the need for new sounds. They do not change BEFORE there is a need for change. But once the physical apparatus has changed, then of course its use will entail further evolution. What you call “plasticity” is what I would apply to all the cell communities: they are capable of making changes to themselves in order to meet new requirements.

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