Revisiting language and brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, February 04, 2020, 11:24 (347 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: And the modern brain has shown overall shrinking, remember.

dhw: So the brain responds to new requirements, and does not change in anticipation of them. I explained shrinkage in my post: [the brain] “eventually shrunk, presumably because complexification proved so efficient”. What is your explanation? Did God pop down and say, “Hey, they didn’t need all the capacity I gave ‘em, so I’ll shrink ‘em”?

DAVID: You are confusing two different events: 200 cc jumps in brain size before the new species uses them to full capacity and the completed modern brain which can enlarge small areas when necessary. Note the entry yesterday about brain complexity ( Sunday, February 02, 2020, 19:29)

There is no confusion. You are simply ignoring my explanation of the jumps, and refusing to answer my question about shrinkage.

dhw: You quote me and ignore what you quote! I did not say the brain expands with each new need. “The brain expands”(= the jump). “And for a while, the expanded brain can cope with all the demands made on it….” until it can no longer cope. Cue for more expansion (= the next jump).

DAVID: You are pointing to a possible cause but have no answer as to how the brain suddenly enlarges. For me God does it when needed.

An interesting volte face by you. Previously you told us he enlarged the brain before the enlargement was needed. As for how the brain enlarges, I’m surprised you don’t recall the theory that cell communities are intelligent and have the ability to change their structure (which would include expansion) to meet with new requirements and/or exploit new opportunities.

dhw: To our knowledge, every adaptation that has ever happened has been in RESPONSE and not in anticipation. (David’s bold […]

DAVID: Only minor, within a species, adaptations fit your statement. There are no known reasons for true speciation. [..] Yes, adaptations are not speciation. My proposal is based on the logical need for a designer.

Once more: Nobody knows, and so we propose theories. Once more: we do not know the extent to which adaptation may lead to speciation (think of the whale). Once more: my proposal is that intelligent cells restructure themselves autonomously. Once more: they may have been designed by your God.

DAVID: Only a designer could have created that mechanism, a mechanism dhw awards to evolving organisms by his suggesting God gave such a mechanism so they could do it themselves.

dhw: And why do you consider that to be an argument against the proposed mechanism?

DAVID: I don't. Note it requires God! And my God would design it with guidelines to achive His specific purposes.

I have no objections to the argument that it may have been designed by your God. It is your theory of evolution that is under fire, not your belief in God. Once more: your “guidelines” only consist of divine preprogramming and/or dabbling, the exact opposite of autonomous intelligence.

DAVID: In evolution doesn't the present build from the past? We know local brain areas enlarge, when required (London cabbies, illiterate women). Why a limited capacity now?

dhw: […] yes, evolution builds from the past. The human brain built on the brain of its primate predecessors. That is precisely the process I have described. Limited capacity because we'd have had trouble with an elephant-sized head, and so complexification took over, as explained above (including shrinkage).

DAVID: […] You are again erroneously comparing two very different processes, a small area of the current modern brain modifying to handle a new task, vs. 200 cc jumps in brain size in speciation. Again reverting to and apples and oranges argument.

I have explained the jumps as being the result of the same process: namely, that the cells of the brain RESPOND to new requirements and do not anticipate them. I also answered your question: “why a limited capacity now?” Any other questions to which you wish to ignore the answers?;-)

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