Brain Expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 19:24 (85 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: It is my answer. You want natural causes. […]

dhw: These do not exclude God as the possible designer of the mechanisms that enable organs and organisms to evolve “naturally”.

I'll accept that if you allow guidelines, which you won't. Your weak proposals of God are not the God I envision.

DAVID: Because He evolved us from bacteria. And reached an end point which was His goal.

dhw: This does not tell us why, if he was capable of hands-on designing H. sapiens brain, he hands-on designed all the preceding brains, kept dabbling expansions, then stopped dabbling expansions and left the sapiens brain to do all its own complexifications. You left out my question: “After all, you believe complexification works “naturally” without a dabble. So why not expansion?” Perhaps you will answer now.

I've answered many times. Previous brains undoubtedly had some degree of complexification, and is part of the brain-design God gave them and us. No different than enlarging muscles with repeated exercise. Lose one kidney and the other enlarges to handle the load. Many organs have built-in adaptability, no dabble required. Expansion is by God's design.


DAVID: To save your weird cooperation theory you are ignoring the science I'm presenting. Each new individual is formed from top down instructions in gamete DNA from embryo to newborn. Cooperating organs and cells in organs result. Epigenetic coding changes do not speciate, only slightly modify reactions.

dhw: You really are determined to dodge the brain expansion issue. First it was the expansion of the skull and the birth canal. Now that I’ve answered that (and you have completely ignored my answer, which I shan’t repeat here) you want to switch to the whole process of how the embryo is formed and turns into the newborn! ALL processes depend on cell communities cooperating.

I don't dodge. You are ignoring the science. Those cooperating cells in different organs were forced to be that way by DNA instructions. Cells don't cooperate with DNA. They are specifically told what to do in forming their organs and you haven't gotten rid of the bony issues. It is the DNA which tells what changes are required by all groups of cells. No cooperation, just commands. For a new species to appear, DNA must be changed beyond epigenetics, which cells might suggest. As I stated before, you are mixing up what is really happening to fit your ideas. It is top down control, not bottom up.

dhw: Instruction from cells to cells constitute cooperation. But once a process is established, I would suggest that the cooperation is automatic until new conditions may require a change (as with the skull and the birth canal). Of course the end product of the reproduction process is a community of cell communities that cooperate with one another. How does that mean that the processes leading to the end product do NOT require cooperation? And we are not discussing speciation on this thread. We are discussing brain expansion.

Of course we are discussing speciation. Every new individual with a bigger brain is a new species. Again, untrue bottom up controls is what you present.


DAVID: You do understand my point based on your reply. The genome has to change, and the theoretical Darwin proposed mechanisms are all chance! (Drift, mistake, gamma rays damage, etc.) I"ll stick with God. Do Darwinists accept intelligent DNA? No way. You are on your own as a third way.

dhw: Now all of a sudden the subject switches to Darwin and chance, which we have both long ago rejected. Once again, yes, the genome has to change. You think your God dabbles it. I propose that the cells are intelligent. So does Shapiro, and I am not on my own. And his research is based on the findings of many others who firmly believe in the cellular intelligence which you acknowledge to be 50/50 but reject all the same. May we please return to the subject of brain expansion?

Your imagined degree of cell intelligence is a gross extrapolation from what Shapiro proposed with no advances in that area since his book.

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Under "Genome complexity":
QUOTE: The gene system must have the physical freedom to specify itself, as well as any variation of itself.

dhw: This article is too technical for me to follow, but as always I accept the logic of the design argument. I’d be grateful, though, if you would explain the implications of the above quote, which seems to me to confirm that the gene system has the potential to vary itself.

He uses it in this sense to fit the discussion in biochemical terms: From the dictionary

"specialised, specialized
developed or designed for a special activity or function". DNA is very specific in what it does and maintains it unless changed.

Note this quote: "to specify itself among alternatives." Means it selects a specific function in the process among other possibilities.

My comment should guide you: "This means the molecular reactions go on under precise coordination but each stepwise molecule does not know the end point to which it is directing a process. This demands design, because the chemicals do not get arranged this way on their own, with purposeful results all the time. Note Polanyi uses the concept of guidance by information."


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