Revisiting language and brain expansion (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, February 08, 2020, 15:45 (455 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: And the shrinkage? Please clarify: Did God decide he’d given us too much capacity?

DAVID: Some shrinkage makes way for some lesser enlargement, sensibly.

So did your God give us too much capacity? And does he dabble in order to give us our modern enlargements, or are the cells able to expand themselves?

dhw: Cells do not “magically replace” God. Instead of your God directly preprogramming or dabbling every change in the brain (not to mention every change in the history of evolution) I have him designing a mechanism enabling organisms to do their own designing. Why is this “magic” and why is it “unreasonable”?

DAVID: Repeat: loss of full control! My God is purposeful, not your wishy-washy type.

Repeat: why is deliberate sacrifice of control (as with “human free will”) wishy-washy? Why is the creation of cellular intelligence magic and unreasonable, whereas divine dabbles and a 3.8-billion-year-old programme are not magic or unreasonable?

dhw: Following on from your silly talk of “rights”, why do you deny him the right to experiment, to watch and enjoy, to learn as he goes along….?

DAVID: Again a bumbling God. Stop humanizing.

Why do you see experimenting, watching, enjoying and learning as “bumbling”? And since you agree that your God probably has “similar thought patterns and emotions” to yours, why do you now “deny him the right” to have them?


DAVID: I know that is your theory, which does not explain the gaps, which require design.

dhw: Of course it explains the gaps. Intelligence does the designing, in the form of cells restructuring themselves instead of God having to restructure them. (See also Shapiro thread, but worth repeating since you keep ignoring my replies.)

DAVID: Reminder: Shapiro's theory extrapolates from what live-alone bacteria can do in editing DNA which is needed for their survival, not a species changer.

Reminder: it is a theory. How often must I repeat that the extrapolation is from known processes of adaptation, the argument being that if cells have the intelligent ability to adapt, the same mechanism may be applied to the major adaptations and innovations that lead to speciation. Please stop pretending that just because it’s a theory it has no value. The same reservations apply to your own theory – except that in yours, we do not have ANY known observations to extrapolate from.

DAVID: And as I've reminder you only germ cells can speciate. Whale-to-be legs have to become flippers. What do they say to the germ cells? Change my joints for different movements, change my muscle attachments, change my skin over all to hairless, and have this all done with the next species to appear that has flippers. and just do it. Don't bother with the required design changes as you can do it without thinking….

The legs don’t say anything. They attempt to do the work required, but this proves difficult. This is the point at which the cells (I don’t care which ones they are, because ALL of them are involved in the process of change) respond to the unnaturalness of the movements under the new conditions. Of course they think, or some of them do and then direct the others. That is the whole point of the theory. And they think: “This isn’t working very well”, so they adapt to the sort of movement the pre-whale is trying to perform. This is an extension of precisely the same process observed in the brains of illiterate women, taxidrivers, musicians, and in thousands and thousands of other known changes, as when some fish adapt to polluted waters, and some animals (and humans) adapt to high altitudes, to cold or hot climates, and to any other change in their conditions. The cells respond to the new requirements. They do not anticipate, and the organism does not give orders. It is the attempt to cope that gives rise to the activity of the cells.

David: Oh, I forgot. You think God will let them do it on their own, with no guiding control by God to make sure evolution has the endpoint He desires. Your humanized God all over again.

Of course I think God would let them do it on their own. He wouldn’t, though, if from the very beginning of life he ONLY had the endpoint YOU desire! This is your control freak, human-obsessed God all over again. Why should your reading of your God’s mind and character be any more authentic than any of the alternatives I offer? Especially when, in the case of yours, it leads to a theory which can only be applied to the actual history if we turn our backs on human reason.

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