Brain Expansion: current literature is puzzled (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, April 20, 2020, 16:11 (40 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTE: Imagine a mutation, or series of mutations, that improve the eyesight of an organism. For the brain to be able to process this information, it either must evolve after the eye, before the eye, or at the same time. (DAVID’s bold)

QUOTE: Evolving the brain at the same time as the eye is the only explanation that allows the function to be an actual advantage. .(DAVID’s bold)
Even the terminology used by scientists to explain the evolution of the human brain sounds anything but random: The homo sapiens brain evolution was a "special event." Rapid evolution was "needed." The brain evolved "in preparation" for our complex social structure. Even those dedicated to a random, naturalistic explanation for life cannot avoid using terminology that implies purpose, intent, and intelligence. (DAVID’s bold)

dhw: I’ve cherry-picked your bolds to try and create a coherent argument. Simultaneity is crucial to my own theory (expansion accompanies and is caused by the effort to implement the concept), I do not subscribe to randomness, I agree that the human brain is “special” but would suggest that there is a natural progression from one expansion to another until the brain reaches sapiens size, and finally I also agree that there is “purpose, intent and intelligence” behind its evolution. None of this in any way counters the observation that brain cell communities RESPOND to new demands, and that ALL the expansions may have originated when the existing smaller brain could not develop a new concept without adding to its own capabilities (hence expansion). The – perhaps God-given - intelligence etc. may be that of the cells/cell communities responding to new demands, just as they do in a changed environment to which they must adapt or die.

DAVID: The bold indicates your usual reversion to Darwin. We have no proof that challenges of nature or species competition drive evolution. The article is a complete opposite of that view.

dhw: The article doesn’t even touch on the subject. I used the reference to “purpose, intent, and intelligence” to point out that this could just as easily refer to cellular intelligence as to God dabbling or preprogramming brain expansion. If you do not believe there is a link between environmental change and evolutionary adaptation and innovation, so be it – I would have thought it was plain common sense.

Since when is common sense scientific proof? Common sense tells us the sun revolves about the Earth.

dhw: My suggestion here was that the cell communities that make up the brain follow the same procedure: they respond to new demands by changing themselves (in former times, by expansion; today mainly by complexification).

Answered elsewhere, contra your theory noting our brain shrunk a substantial amount, a result of increasingly serious thought


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